Debates of 18 Feb 2005

PRAYERS 10 a.m.

Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Order! Order!
Correction of the Votes and Proceedings and the Official Report.

Majority Leader (Mr. Felix K. Owusu- Adjapong) 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Committee met yesterday, Thursday, 17th February 2005 and arranged Business of the House for the Sixth Week ending Friday, 25th February 2005. Mr. Speaker, the Committee accordingly submits its report as follows:
Arrangement of Business
Papers and Reports
Mr. Speaker, Papers and Reports of Committees may be laid in the House during the week.
Mr. Speaker, you may authorize Statements to be made on the floor of the House.
Mr. Speaker, motions for adoption or otherwise of Committee Reports may be duly debated.
Committee of the Whole
Mr. Speaker, the Committee of the Whole has been programmed to meet on Tuesday, 22nd February 2005, to discuss issues on the Commonwealth Parlia- mentary Association (CPA) and the Inter- Parliamentary Union (IPU).
The Committee will in future hold discussions on the Pan African Parliament, the ECOWAS Parliament, AWEPA and other international organizations to which Ghana is affiliated.
Mr. Speaker, the Committee will also meet officials from Data Bank Limited on Wednesday, 23rd February 2005 to discuss investment opportunities in the country.
Hon. Members must endeavour to take note of these arrangements and attend the meetings accordingly.
Membership of Pan African Parliament, the Community Parliament of ECOWAS and ACP/EU
Mr. Speaker, the mot ion and consequential resolut ions on the composition of the Membership of the Pan African Parliament, the Community Parliament of ECOWAS and the ACP/EU would be taken during the week.
Message on the State of the Nation
Mr. Speaker, debate on the motion to thank His Excellency the President for the Message on the State of the Nation will continue on Tuesday and conclude on Wednesday, 23rd February 2005.
Mr. Speaker, the debate will run up to 12 noon each day to allow meetings of the Committee of the Whole to take place. Post-Budget Workshop
A post-budget workshop is being organized for Leadership, Chairpersons and Ranking Members of Committees and Committee Clerks from Friday, 25th to Sunday, 27th February 2005, at Elmina. Details of the workshop will soon be communicated to hon. Members.
Mr. Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 160 (2) and subject to Standing Order 53, the Committee submits to this honourale House the order in which the Business of the House shall be taken during the week.


Laying of Papers

Motions --

(a) That this House thanks H.E. the President for the Message on the State of the Nation which he delivered to this honourable House on Thursday, 3rd February,


(b) Membership of the Pan African Parliament, the Community Parliament of ECOWAS and


Committee of the Whole to discuss issues on CPA/IPU


Laying of Papers

Motion --

That this House thanks H.E. the President for the Message on the State of the Nation which he delivered to this honourable House on Thursday, 3rd February 2005.

Committee of the Whole -- Presentation by Data Bank Limited.


Laying of Papers


Committee Sittings


Laying of Papers


Committee Sittings
Mr. E. K. D. Adjaho 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I submitted two Urgent Questions and I want to find out from the Chairman of the Business Committee what the status of those Questions are. One was on the status of Acting Ministers and the second one was on the status of the docket on the murder of the late Issah Mobila.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Hon. Deputy Minority
Leader, my information is that Questions are being processed. They have not yet reached the Chair; they are being processed.
Mr. Adjaho 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, these are Urgent Questions and the Standing Orders on this matter are very, very clear. In fact, Mr. Speaker, as I am speaking now, one of the Questions has virtually lapsed. Otherwise, it makes nonsense of asking Urgent Questions; and these Questions have been there for about two weeks now.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I
think on a lighter note, my hon. Colleague could have helped the Business Committee if he had raised this at the Business Committee meeting yesterday; and I will advise that in future we all contribute to get this thing done the way we always agree to work on consensus. However, I will check up with the Clerk's Office and then discuss with my hon. Colleague as to what we can do. And therefore I believe he can comfortably sit down and let us move on.
Mr. Adjaho 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I had raised this matter at the Business Committee and I am sorry I should not have raised this matter on the floor. But Mr. Speaker, with the greatest respect I did mention this matter to you in your lobby that I filed two Urgent Questions. So the hon. Chairman of the Business Committee should not create the impression as if he is not aware that I have taken up this matter both at the committee level and in your lobby in his presence.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Hon. Deputy Minority Leader, let us resolve this matter after the formal Sitting.
Item number 4 -- Statements. Hon. Members, I have admitted one Statement to be made by the hon. Member for Lawra/ Nandom.
STATEMENTS 10:10 a.m.

Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor (NDC -- Lawra/Nandom) 10:20 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, for giving me the opportunity
to pay this tribute in memory of the late Naa Abeifaa Karbo II, Paramount Chief of Lawra Traditional Area and the immediate past Member of the Council of State.
Mr. Speaker, the late Abeifaa Karbo II was born on the 7th of January 1927 in Lawra. He had his elementary education in the Lawra Native Primary School and the Tamale Government Boys School between 1935 and 1943. He later attended the Government Teacher Training College in Tamale from 1944 to 1948. After some years of teaching in schools within the Lawra district he was elected as the first Member of Parliament for the Lawra- Nandom constituency in 1954, a position he held up to 1965.
While in Parliament, Mr. Speaker, he studied law at the Faculty of Law at the University of Ghana and the Ghana School of Law. He was called to the Ghana Bar in 1965.
I have had a very close association with Naa Abeifaa Karbo II, affectionately called Chief Karbo since 1974. I first met him personally in the company of two childhood friends to solicit his support for a tree-planting exercise we were undertaking in Lawra town as a student association.

Beyond giving us financial support for the project, he offered us pieces of advice that became a lasting memory to us. Since then I have related to him more closely, particularly when I was in difficulty. In terms of custom, I should normally refer to him as my maternal uncle, being of the Kusielle clan as my mother. I however, preferred to refer to him as grandfather when he became the Lawra Naa, to befit his status as the Paramount Chief of the Lawra Traditional Area. Though Chief Karbo had influenced our lives and many

others of my generation in the area in many ways, I would like to place only three occasions on record in his memoir.

First, when I was to enter the university,

I got admission into the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) to do Land Economy, and Law in the University of Ghana. I still remained undecided until I visited him in his Accra home at the Airport Residential Area. When I put my difficulty before him, he made a remark which did not only help me to decide to read law but also was to later become a prophetic remark.

He told me lawyers can work almost in every job but land economists can work only in a couple of jobs. He added that even after graduating in land economy, I might want to do law one day to be an authority in land matters. Two of my friends, Mr. Speaker, who did land economy, are currently studying law in the Ghana Law School.

Second, I visited him when I was a research assistant to the Committee of Experts which drafted the 1992 Constitution. I wanted to have his views on some constitutional proposals, given his experience as a member of the 1968 Constitutional Commission. After our discussion, he asked me whether I would like to take part in the 1992 Parliamentary Elections. I said no; I did not like party politics. He smiled and asked me who then from the Lawra/Nandom constit-uency I thought would represent us in Parliament and use the “beautiful Constitution” which we were drafting. I said I would think about it.

I was later to go back to him in the year 2000 to inform him that I wanted to contest the parliamentary elections for that year, and in his typical manner, he again smiled and asked me for which party. I said the

National Democratic Congress (NDC). He told me the party was not what was important to him but the suffering of our people. He gave me invaluable details of his own political past, particularly in opposition, and the lessons I needed to learn. He told me to let my mind decide my political actions and not my stomach. He advised me to always be on the side of my people and never make enemies in the quest to be a Member of Parliament. He wished me well; I thanked him and left.

Third, I visited him when I returned from the United Kingdom to do my PhD fieldwork. I went to interview him on the history of land relations in the Lawra Traditional Area. He asked me to go and speak first to the Tengan sob (Tindana or earth priest) at Yikpee and come back to him the next day. On my return he gave me a lot of information and handed to me a pile of documents I could not find even in the National Archives both in Tamale and Accra. These documents proved most useful to my understanding of the customary land law of the area.

Chief Karbo II was a man of many

words, a teacher, a lawyer, a politician, a public servant and above all a traditional ruler. In performing all these roles, a common thread run through all of them. He kept to his principles about life even under very tempting and difficult situations. It did not surprise me, Mr. Speaker, to learn that as early as 1947 he and Mr. E. A. Mahama, then students in the Government Teacher Training College in Tamale, protested against the rule which obliged northerners, both students and teachers, to wear the smock at all times on school premises. He certainly was a leading northern figure in the anti-colonial struggle of the late 1940s and the 1950s.

The late Chief Karbo II had served this country in many capacities and high offices. He was a member of the National Commission set up in 1996 to enquire into
Alhaji Malik A. Yakubu 10:30 a.m.
(NPP -- Yendi): Mr. Speaker, I would like to say a few words about this great man who passed away recently.
Chief Abeifaa Karbo II was indeed a great man but very humble and very understanding. He had a very liberal
mind which enabled him to wear many caps. I remember in the early 1980s I had a friend and he also was a friend to the same person. We had a common Pakistani doctor who was a Moslem.
This Pakistani doctor interacted very closely with Chief Abeifaa Karbo II to the extent that he espoused the beauty of Islam to Chief Abeifaa Karbo II who was a devout Christian. But because of his liberal mind he undertook to study the Koran and other books on Islam, and lo and behold he did not hesitate to embrace Islam and took the name Abubakar. I am not too sure if in his traditional role as the Chief of Lawra he still remained a Moslem, but he was a very devout Moslem after embracing Islam.
Chief Abeifaa Karbo II was of the United Party (UP) Tradition, and a very proud Member as such; and he displayed the sterling qualities of liberal democracy. During the governance of the Progress Party (PP), he was a member of the Government and I remember an incident when the Northern Students Union had a problem with the Government on certain matters concerning the North. Typical of students, they were quite arrogant and exhibited a lot of difficult stance. The Government reacted rather angrily but decided to let a committee of government meet with the students and hear exactly what the problem was for them to have taken such a stance.
Chief Abeifaa Karbo II was one of the members of the committee and after listening to the students, he told his colleagues on the committee that these children were very wise. They were embarking on noble objectives and they had no business of quarrelling with them. From that date, Chief Abeifaa Karbo II became a friend of students. He was virtually a member of the Northern Students Union even at his age, and he did
not break his relationship with the youth since then.
It was then that I established my relationship with him; and it continued. Unfortunately, I did not see him for the last time before he died. He was a highly principled man. He would express his mind notwithstanding who you were. No wonder -- [Interruption] -- Well, he can say what he likes. But it did not matter who you were. If you were a Head of State or whatever and he disagreed with you, he would express it without any fear or favour. No wonder at one stage when the former President, His Excellency Jerry John Rawlings went to Lawra and said certain things which the Chief felt were unpleasant to him, he responded very bluntly and his elders had to say that they should pull their horses back.

Now this is just to show that this was a man, who was prepared to speak his mind at any time. But as the maker of the Statement, my hon. Brother Kunbuor has done by giving this brilliant statement on him, it also shows that this man was not dogmatic about political shades; and so no wonder -- notwithstanding the fact that hon. Kunbuor expressed his desire to stand on the ticket of a political party that was different from Chief Karbo's political tradition, he encouraged him; and this helps everyone, the tolerant mind, the very broad mind that Chief Karbo had.

So when we lose such a personality, it is indeed, a big loss to the nation and we can do nothing more than wish him restful place in the bosom of the Lord and pray that the family he had left behind -- and he does have a very large family -- the Karbos are very many. We pray that God will protect them and grant Chief Karbo a lucky place in paradise. Thank you.
Mr. E. K. Salia (NDC -- Jirapa) 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, kindly permit me the opportunity to associate myself with the brilliant Statement made by my colleague, hon. Dr. Ben Kunbuor of the Lawra/Nandom constituency.
Indeed, the passing away of Chief Abeifaa Karbo II, the Lawra Naa and Chairman of the Lawra Traditional Council is a big loss not only to the Karbo family but also a loss to the entire Upper West Region -- and I will say, the entire nation. I say so because Chief Abeifaa Karbo II comes from the non-tradition of early politicians, particularly of the north-western part of this country, a group of politicians who were steadfast in their pursuance of the principles that were dear to them.
Chief Karbo II was one of the very young Members of Parliament in the 1950s in the pre-Independence Parliament, and contrary to popular public opinion, Chief Karbo II was a member of the Northern People's Party; and that is not the same as the New Patriotic Party. The acronyms are the same -- NPP -- but originally they belong to the Northern People's Party. And indeed, at Independence, it was thought that with the victory of the Convention People's Party (CPP) most of those politicians, the four of them in particular -- B. K. Adama, Chief S. D. Dombo and Jato Kaleo -- were going to bend a little and follow the path of the CPP just like some of them had crossed carpet from the NPP to join the CPP. But these were not the people to do that.
They were convinced about what they were pursuing and they stayed in opposition throughout the period. A lot of them suffered untold hardships but they did not burge. He later on was one of those who decided that after two terms in Parliament it was time to let others take
Mr. E. K. Salia (NDC -- Jirapa) 10:30 a.m.

over the mantle. So in the 1969 ,the four of them who had matured in age, Jato Kaleo, Chief S. D. Dombo and B. K. Adama stood for elections but he opted out and his place was taken by Mr. Sanzeri of Nandom.

He had acquired academic knowledge

while in Parliament and he went to London to complete his legal studies. When he came back he had other significant roles to play and he was made a member of the Public Services Commission; subse- quently, he became its Chairman. That was the period some of us were in the university, in the 1970s; and that was when he displayed his foresight, his brilliance as a public servant. In those days university students and even some sixth formers had the opportunity to do vacation training, something that this Government has now seen fit to talk about as part of the educational curriculum.

In those days, he made it possible for students from the various universities to get attachment to Civil Service departments so that they would gain some knowledge. I believe that was the biggest contribution of Chief Karbo II to the Public Service of Ghana.

The infant Public Services Com- mission blossomed under his admini- stration and it was a surprise to us that later in the 1970s he decided to go into politics again as Commissioner of Health and Agriculture, and subsequently, as Commissioner for Special Duties. All this while, his father had passed away and he was in line to be the chief but he decided to postpone it and render valuable service to the entire nation before he subse-quently went to sit on the skin of the Karbos.

Mr. Speaker, on this occasion, we all must be missing him because of his interest in the youth. As Regional Secretary for the Upper West Region, in the 1990s, and in 1992 in particular, he was one of those who gave me very useful advice.

We did not belong to the same political tradition but he was more concerned about the peace and tranquillity of the Upper West Region and the development of that region.

So whoever came along, he gave him advice that could lead to the improvement of the lot of the people of the Upper West Region in particular. And I can say that the peaceful elections of 1992 were part of his contribution because that was the region in which the least trouble arose. And I would say that it was based on his useful advice.

On this occasion, I wish to express my condolences to the larger Karbo Family, to the people of Lawra and hope that with his passing away, there would be a peaceful transition so that there would be a fitting successor to take over the skin of Lawra who would continue to rule the people as Chief Abeifaa Karbo II did and as his father before him did, particularly for all those who attended the Lawra Primary and Lawra Middle Boarding schools. We hope that the Almighty would give him peaceful respite in His bosom.
Mr. J. A. Ndebugre (PNC -- Zebilla) 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to associate myself with the hon. Member for Lawra Nandom, my younger brother, hon. Dr. Ben Kunbuor as well as the two hon. Members who spoke earlier. I have also crossed paths with the late Naa Abeifaa Karbo II in terms of family, politics, profession and other terms.
Familywise, I got connected with him through the number of his brothers and children, notable among whom are Mr. Richard Karbo, who served under me when I was Minister, otherwise described as Secretary for Agriculture, as well as Mr. Edward Bowele Karbo, who is now the National Director of the Town and Country Planning Department.

I also associated myself with some of his children, including his daughters, but for reasons other than what other hon. Members may think, that is in terms of family. So through these few instances I have mentioned, I interacted with him initially.

Politically, as I have already men- tioned, I was Secretary for Agriculture some time in 1984 and then, having to know that he had earlier on been Commissioner -- in his days, a Minister was described as a Commissioner -- for the same Ministry of Agriculture during the Akuffo/Rawlings interventions in our national history and politics. So even though I did not meet him there, he was in Accra all right when I was performing my duties as Secretary for Agriculture and I had a lot of valuable advice from him; and if one goes to the Ministry now, his picture is sitting there comfortably with my picture as well. So politically, that was how we crossed paths.

I do not think that it is altogether correct to say that he was not just dogmatic. I think that I associate myself with the hon. Second Deputy Speaker when he said he was not dogmatic. As well as not being dogmatic, he had room to participate anywhere he found himself. I think I have mentioned already that he was a Commissioner for Agriculture when General Akuffo was in office as a Head of State, and when Flt. Lt. Rawlings took over after the June 4 intervention, he did not refuse to participate in the running of the affairs of the nation or the State.

He remained Commissioner for Agriculture till the end of that regime. That is why I will not agree that he belonged to a particular political tradition; and I do not actually agree that he was initially a member of the United Party (UP) tradition, because the Northern People's Party was different from the United Party as such.

At the time the Northern People's Party existed, there was no United Party.

The Northern People's Party had an agenda different from the agenda of the Convention People's Party and different from the National Liberation Movement. It was only after the passage of the Avoidance of Discrimination Act, which seemed to have proscribed parties based on ethnicity and relation and so on, which compelled the Northern People's Party to merge with the National Liberation Movement to form the United Party. So the man's political tradition was changing and he was able to adapt himself to situations that arose during his lifetime.

So Mr. Speaker, I take recognition of the fact that the late chief is going to be given a state burial and we want to thank His Excellency the President for having decided that this illustrious son of the soil be given a State burial. In giving him the state burial, the President becomes the chief mourner during the funeral. So I wish to pay my condolences, first and foremost, to His Excellency the President since he is the chief mourner; and then, I extend the same to the Government of the New Patriotic Party.

Then after that, my condolences will go to the family of the late chief, as well as all the people of the Northern, the Upper East and the Upper West Regions, and the people of Ghana generally. Mr. Speaker, may the soul of this great man rest in perfect peace. Thank you very much.
Mr. J. Y. Chireh (NDC -- Wa West) 10:50 a.m.

Mr. Speaker, thank you very much for allowing me to pay tribute to -- I will call him my great-grandfather.

First of all, I have had the opportunity of interacting with him in terms of official relations than most of the people who have spoken before me -- first as Regional Secretary, and late as Regional Minister. Now, one of the things that Naa Abeifaa Karbo II was noted for is discipline; and when he talked about discipline, sometimes he carried it to very far ends.

I also want to take this opportunity to say that this was somebody really committed to farming and agriculture, and when he retired to become chief back home, indeed, at my insistence -- I asked him to come back home and be paramount chief. He was a paramount chief living outside the paramouncy, and I told him that well, we all needed his good counsel back home and he agreed. He did offer great advice and counsel to many of us.

Indeed, there were occasions that he had a regime. If he returned from the farm and was tired, nobody was to wake him up. He had his siesta -- discipline according to colonial standards. No matter who arrived there, it was impossible to see Chief Karbo II. But I am telling the House, after his death, that anytime he asked -- and it was his great-grandchild calling at the door, he obliged immediately.

Indeed, he is the man we are mourning today, and those of us who come from the Upper West Region -- that is why even in 2001, when it was obvious that he would have been one of those people brought into the Council of State to advise and it was not too easy for him to get it by election or by appointment, the region decided that he should represent it and advise the President.

This is why all those of us who come from the Upper West Region, value his advice and we value what he stood for. Indeed, unlike many people, he was principled. That is why some would ask, why did he serve these people? His commitment was for the upliftment of his own people and in whatever position he was placed to offer a service, he was able to do it. That is why we must all keep him in memory and I would add that we have lost, as a family -- the nation has lost a son and it should not just only be a state burial, we must also begin to look at possibilities of including men like Naa Karbo II in the history books and the activities of this nation.

Indeed, in talking about political development and people who fought for democracy and the statehood that we are enjoying as Ghana, we cannot leave him out. Unfortunately, sometimes when the counting is done, some of them get missing. In his last days, he had terrible and agonizing time and which for me was unfortunate because as some people would want to claim now, he was the person who was serving Ghana and not individuals. So the fact that he served his nation well should have been an occasion for him to be given the best of treatments.

Mr. Speaker, we do not call people great just because they amass wealth. We call people great when they die in poverty but stand for principle, and that is why I add my voice in expressing condolences to everybody, the nation Ghana for losing this illustrious son.
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Nana Akufo-Addo) 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity. Mr. Speaker, this is the first time since you came to occupy this august Chair, that I have the opportunity to be called. I therefore take the opportunity first of all, to congratulate you. All of us who are members of the learned profession are
very happy to see you sitting in that Chair. We know that you will conduct the affairs of this House in an appropriate manner.
Mr. Speaker, we are commemorating the death of one of the most illustrious sons of our country, a man who gave his whole life to the service of our nation. At the end of his eventful and rich life, he has been showered with honour as he rightly deserved, ending up as a member of the Council of State, and today also, a man to whom the President of the Republic has decreed full State honours, at his burial.
Mr. Speaker, there is just one aspect of this man's life that I would like to comment upon, on such occasion -- where his importance of principle lay in the way in which one conducts public life. He belonged to a very noble group of citizens in our country who for a long time were the subject of a great deal of vilification and abuse and invectives because of the position that they took about the development of our nation. They never relented. At the time when their views were very unpopular, where they were consistently being derided for the political views that they held, they continued to hold those positions.
Today, we have seen that it is as a result of their tenacity, as a result of their commitment to their views and the values that animated their lives, that we are getting from their lives a much better Ghana than the one, which they occupied. I think it is a lesson for all of us, for this generation of political leaders in our country, that we ought not to be people who just blow with the wind. Today's fashions may be tomorrow's opprobrium and I urge all of us to recognize the virtue of principle and consistency, fidelity in national life.
Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin (NDC -- Nadowli West) 11 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for allowing me to add my voice to the tribute that is being paid by this House to a great man, a man that fathered every-body, a man who truly served his nation on the basis of principles.
Mr. Speaker, I believe this tribute is going to enlighten a lot of people as to where we are coming from as a people.
Mr. Speaker, Naa Abeifaa Karbo II was not and has never been somebody who treasured the principles, the beliefs and the value systems of the National Liberation

Movement (NLM). Naa Abeifaa Karbo II came, as truly stated, from the tradition of the Northern People's Party. Mr. Speaker, as rightly observed by hon. Ndebugre, it was the passage of the Avoidance of Discrimination Act of 1958, to proscribe parties with ethnic flavour that brought about the marriage of the Congress Party, the National Liberation Movement and the Northern People's Party to form the United Party.

Mr. Speaker, so they came from different political traditions with different sets of beliefs, and values; and the one that was treasured and practised by the late Naa Abeifaa Karbo II was the principle that he advised my hon. colleague here, hon. Ben Kunbuor to uphold -- that you should let your mind decide your political actions for you, not your stomach.

Mr. Speaker, he treasured principles. He treasured service to his nation. He did not treasure materialism. He did not treasure money. He served his nation. He died in dignity, not in wealth.

Mr. Speaker, the love of money is the root of all evil and that is where he parted with some of his colleagues. He has earned a State burial. In the days where timorous souls left the shores of this country as a result of some leadership crisis, these were the men who stood tall, fought on and led the tradition; and at that time it was called the Dombo people. That is how the United Party was termed in the newly inde-pendent Ghana. The timorous souls all left the shores of the country. They stood and helped put the tradition together until 1966 when Ghanaians struck and others came back and took the leadership and they were forgotten. Mr. Speaker, this is where we are coming from.

I recall that the former President

attended a function in Lawra and after he was told of a practice in Lawra where strangers were not given permission to own land and build in Lawra township, he thought that was a native practice that was discriminating and also impeding the development of Lawra; and he talked about futeng nekaa. This is what the hon. Second Deputy Speaker referred to and said that they should move away from it, and the late Naa Abeifaa Karbo II responded. This I believe was in good faith. It was an interaction that was meant to support and assist the development of Lawra township which, you would recall, is one of the oldest towns in Ghana's history.

Mr. Speaker, yes, Naa Abeifaa Karbo II, served his nation and we those who saw him as a father and believed in what he believed in will keep the tradition burning. He believed in principles; he believed in service to the people. He did not believe in property. Mr. Speaker, all of us will forever treasure the values that were held high by the late Naa Abeifaa Karbo II. And I believe strongly that it is the only way countries like ours -- struggling developing countries -- can develop.

I want to urge my hon. Colleagues once again to be guided by the fact that we should let our minds lead us and not our stomachs. It is very, very important. And we should not be friends that will be termed fair-weather friends -- friends only when we are in good times and when bad times come then the eagle flies away. Mr. Speaker, that will not be good for this country. We hope and pray that the whole nation would be behind us in trying to immortalize the late Naa Abeifaa Karbo II who together with pillars such as the late Dombo and late Jato Kaleo held high the flag not just of the Northern Territories but of the whole country.

This was a man who decided not go
Mr. Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon. Members have paid tribute in memory of Naa Abeifaa Karbo II, Paramount Chief of the Lawra Traditional Area and a fellow member of the Council of State between 2001 and 2004. Let us all be up-standing and observe a minute's silence in his memory. [A one-minute silence was observed.] May his soul rest in perfect peace.
Item 5 -- Motions. We shall continue with the debate that This House thanks His Excellency the President for the Message on the State of the Nation, which he delivered to this honourable House on Thursday, 3rd February, 2005.
MOTIONS 11 a.m.

Mr. Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon. Member for Anansie West -- [Pause.] You have ten minutes.
Mr. Kofi Krah Mensah (NPP -- Amansie West) 11:10 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for offering me the opoortunity to contribute to the motion on the floor, so ably proposed by hon. Yaw Osafo- Maafo, MP for Akim Oda and Minister for Education and Sports and seconded by hon. John Mahama, MP for Bole-Bamboi.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank His Excellency for this stimulating, strategic and thought-provoking speech, which he ably delivered to this honourable House on the 3rd of February 2005.
Mr. Speaker, with your permission I want to comment on a few aspects of the Message, firstly, Human Resource Development.
I am particularly delighted to know that formal education will now start at age four -- two years of kindergarten. This is a bold and necessary dream; all Ghanaian children will need it. It is my fervent hope that all parents, no matter where they stay or live, shall be made to send their children, male or female, especially the girl-child to undergo this necessary stage of education. Mr. Speaker, I hope we shall not excuse any parent, if he or she were uneducated, not to permit his child to attend school.

This means that all District Assemblies
Alhaji Collins Dauda 11:10 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, I heard my hon. Colleague say that gone are the days when JSS pupils could not read and put figures together and I think he is seriously misleading this House. There has never been any occasion in the history of the introduction of the JSS system when we have had pupils who could not read and write; so he is seriously misleading us. All pupils, that is the assertion he is making; that pupils of JSS, there has never been any such situation in this country. If his child cannot read and write, he should address that but not for the entire population of JSS pupils in this country.
Mr. Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon. Member for Amansie West, could you deal with this matter?
Mr. K. K. Mensah 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu 11:10 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member made a statement which, in my view, is not accurate; as if to suggest that the JSS period would be increased. The President never stated that in his Address. He said that the period that the JSS pupils were overworked in the three years -- In accordance with what the President said in his Message on the State of the Nation, it is still three years. The proposal for an increment is only for SSS.
Mr. K. K. Mensah 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, that was precisely what I said. I said that the sorry story of SSS students doing the three years and being overworked, we are all witnesses to that. That is what I said. Mr. Speaker, suffice it to say that the country will be the winner when the improved senior secondary school (SSS) system is introduced. It is also reassuring to note from the President's Address that those who do not meet these grades to the year fifteen should be given an opportunity to do an apprenticeship course which would be at the expense of the State, under Private Industry and Commerce. This, to my mind, is a good suggestion and we should all embrace it.
Mr. Speaker, it is my humble plea that even this one year apprenticeship course should be extended to two years, if only to prepare the beneficiary to better train for the proper business of the workplace, for the future.
Mr. K. K. Mensah 11:20 a.m.
and expand. This way, we would have given them the tool with which to work.
Mr. Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak to the motion. I also thank hon. Osafo-Maafo for ably moving the motion and hon. John Mahama for seconding it.

Ms. Akua Sena Dansua (NDC -- North Dayi) Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the motion. But before I do that, I wish on behalf of women Colleagues on this part of the House to congratulate our women Colleagues on the other side, who have been appointed Ministers and also nominated Deputy Ministers of this nation. We are not happy that many of the deputy women nominees are going to play second fiddle to their male colleagues but at least this is some good beginning. We hope that they will perform very well so that when the NDC comes back to power in 2008 -- [Hear! Hear!] -- the President will feel confident to appoint many women into ministerial positions.

Having said that, Mr. Speaker, I would like to associate myself with all the brilliant points made by earlier contributors from our side, particularly those made by my Colleague Member for Bole-Bamboi, hon. John Mahama. I wish to urge the President not to dismiss the comments that we on this side are making just because they come from the Minority side. I believe that as Members of Parliament in this country we are all committed to the nation's development and we on our part will always be objective in our contributions, contribu-tions that will make this nation move forward and make the advancement of Ghanaians a reality.

Mr. Speaker, there is one observation
Mr. Benito Owusu-Bio 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. The hon. Member on floor, Ms. Akua Sena Dansua, has been misleading the House by saying that when the President came to this House to deliver his Address, he was only looking at the Minority side. Mr. Speaker, we were all in this House and we were all present when the President was giving this Speech and on no occasion did I see the President only looking at the Majority side. Mr. Speaker, I think this is wrong. What she said is wrong and she has to be called to order.
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon. Member, I wish you could refer to the Message and point out portions you think support your assertion.
Ms. Dansua 11:20 a.m.
Yes, Mr. Speaker, I am coming to that but I think that his body language too was part of the presentation and therefore there is need for me to comment on it.
Mr. B. D. K. Adu 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it seems hon. Akua Dansua has lost sight of the fact that the President actually loved the Minority more than us, by so looking at them. This is a point of information to her.
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon. Member, proceed.
Ms. Dansua 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would restrict my comments to only three aspects of the Address, and these are the mention of women and children which is on page 21, paragraph 1.
Mr. Speaker, looking at the whole Address, H.E. the President just dismissed the issue of women and children in a one- paragraph statement, and I do not think that this is good enough for a country that has 51 per cent of its population being women. And particularly, considering the great role that women play in this country, I would have thought that after mentioning the fact that policy on gender and children has been approved or launched, these are the specific programmes and projects that he would bring on board to ensure that issues concerning women and children are addressed, especially having wasted four years, or having spent four good years to come out with a policy that should have taken about six months or so to do. I feel very sorry that the President just dismissed this issue of women and children in such a passing manner.
Mrs. Gladys Asmah 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, my hon. Colleague is misleading this House terribly. Mr. Speaker, she said that we wasted four years without a policy. Mr. Speaker, it is rather unfortunate. The policy document started going round various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in June 2001 when the first format was done. Mr. Speaker, we had a group of researchers to work on it and it was put on the website of the Ministry of Information for over six months for people like my hon. Sister to make inputs into it.
Mr. Speaker, before the policy was started, the NCWD and the GNCC were also working with policies, but they were put together. So she cannot say that we wasted four years. There were policies that were implemented before the two were put
together and it came out. Mr. Speaker, it has been in existence for a very long time.
The reason why we did not bring it here was that just about the time we were going back to the country, we knew that some Members of Parliament would be going back, and some may not come back, so there was no point in bringing policies to Parliament while some of them would be leaving. So we decided to wait until the new Parliament is inaugurated before we issue the statement, which we have done. So for her to say that we wasted four years, Mr. Speaker, is neither here nor there.
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon. Member, I know you changed the word. After you said “wasted”, you immediately substituted another word for it, is that it?
Ms. Dansua 11:20 a.m.
Yes sir, I did. I have withdrawn the word “wasted.”
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
I know and that is why I am pointing out to hon. Members. Go ahead.
Ms. Dansua 11:20 a.m.
Thank you sir. I also want to say that Ghana as a member of the United Nations assented to the Millennium Development Goals -- [Pause] -- Well, Mr. Speaker, before I continue with my contribution, I would like to say that whatever explanation the former Minister for Women and Children's Affairs gave is neither here nor there, because it took four years for the policy to be launched. And in fact, this House is not seized of any policy on women and children, which we have approved, so I think that I am still correct. Having said that, Mr. Speaker -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon. Member, watch your time.
Ms. Dansua 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, she should stop heckling me and I will continue my presentation -- [Interruption.]
Mrs. Asmah 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the documents have been sent to Parliament and have been distributed -- [Interruptions.] She has got her copies. There are two copies -- the early childhood development policy and the gender and children policy. They have been distributed and parliamentarians are supposed to have copies. There are two documents -- children and women -- and it has been sitting here for over a month; it was here before we went for the Christmas holidays. Mr. Speaker, that is the truth I am telling her.
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon. Minister for Fisheries, you will be given plenty of time to contribute. In the meantime, let her proceed.
Ms. Dansua 11:30 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As I was saying, Ghana is also a member of the UN, which assented to the Millennium Development Goals -- time- bound development agenda of the UN -- which sets out specifically what programmes each nation should follow to ensure the development of women and children by 2015. It is unfortunate that H.E. the President failed to mention this in his Message and also to let us know exactly how women and development issues in Ghana are going to be addressed over the next four years. We were all witnesses, under Positive Change Chapter 1, to how resources for women in this country were disbursed. Most of the funds that came around were -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon. Member, are you raising a point of order? I am sorry I could not recognize you early.
Mrs. Ohene-Konadu 11:30 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I think that in this
day and age, when we are talking about mainstreaming -- trying to mainstream gender in all programmes and policies -- there was no need for the President to dwell specifically on what is happening with regard to women. Because, whatever he says in the Message is applicable to women as well, so there was no need for the President to talk about specifics on women. So I think that the hon. Member is misleading this House by saying that the President did not say anything about what is happening to women here.
She is also talking about international conventions; I do not know if I heard her right; and that the expectation is that he will also report on what is happening to women, with regard to these conventions. I think that whatever the President said is applicable to women and children as well. So we should take it as such. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon. Member, proceed.
Ms. Dansua 11:30 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the points I am making all point to the fact that when you look at some of the areas mentioned in this Message, areas like education, human resource development and private sector development and all, the President went to great lengths in coming out with specific programmes that will enhance work in those areas. So I am at a loss as to why he should dismiss the issue of women and children in just one paragraph; and that is all that I am saying.
Having said that, Mr. Speaker, I just also want to say that the President missed a very golden opportunity to address the issue of the Domestic Violence Bill that has generated a lot of debate in this country. Some people think that the delay is being caused by the Executive and I thought he would have used this opportunity to tell us exactly when action would be concluded on this Bill for it to
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon. Minister for
Fisheries, are you raising a point of order?
Mrs. Asmah 11:30 a.m.
Yes, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my hon. Colleague is misleading the House. She just mentioned the Domestic Violence Bill. She herself is aware, and the newspapers have been reporting that because of the controversial nature of the Bill, the people of this country must make inputs so that all of us holistically would own that law.
Mr. Speaker, in the Northern Region where we were disseminating this Bill, all the FM Stations were saying that the Government was bringing a law that was going to arrest husbands and get them imprisoned; which means the people have not understood the issue. That is the reason why Cabinet took a decision that people in this country must know what is coming and they should make inputs because it affects every single family in this country.
Mr. Speaker, the Bill has gone to five regions, remaining five; and it will be wrong on the part of the Government to say that the other five regions must not also make an input into this. She is misleading the House. She is aware that the Bill is going round the country; we have not been to the Volta Region yet. The Bill has not been sent to the Volta Region yet for them to make their input. Everybody in this country has the democratic right to make inputs into whatever would affect him or her and that is exactly what the law is seeking to do.

We are going round the country; at least, we will go to the Volta Region for her to make an input into the law so that when it comes to Parliament, it would be holistically owned by the whole country; and they will respect and accept it. It is very, very important. If we are going to put marriage and rape into a law, the people must know; that is why we are going round the country. Mr. Speaker, I thank you.
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon. Deputy Minority Whip, time is not on your side, wind up.
Ms. Dansua 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, she should stop heckling me and I will make my point. I think she has only confirmed the fact that the Bill is actually delaying and they should expedite action on it.
Mr. Speaker, I would want to recommend this document -- the Women's Manifesto -- to our hon. Colleagues on the other side who are Ministers. I believe that all that they need to help in the advancement of women in this country are contained in this booklet and when they help us to implement it, they would be going a long way to help women and children in the country.
Mrs. Asmah 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, my hon. Colleague is misleading the House. The Women's Manifesto that she just showed us was launched on the 2nd of September. Mr. Speaker, it may surprise my hon. Colleague to know that the activists for this, especially those we put together to do the document for the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs, the same people, knowing what we have put up for the next ten years, took portions of it and put them in the Women's Manifesto, making it look as if they were working on behalf of women and children. Mr. Speaker, we can name them. The same specialist who worked on our ten-year action plan was
the same person who put up the Women's Manifesto, knowing what was coming; they planted it.
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon. Minister, that certainly was not a point of order. Hon. Second Deputy Minority Whip, please wind up.
Ms. Dansua 11:30 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am not surprised that my hon. Colleague is behaving this way. It was the same attitude that she adopted in that Ministry. I want to go to the issue of HIV/AIDS -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon. Member, go ahead; you do not have time.
Ms Dansua 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I now want to comment on the issue of HIV/AIDS.
Mr. Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon. Member, I have already given my ruling on this matter.
Mr. Mahama 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it does not have to do with the matter on which you gave the ruling. Mr. Speaker, I am on a point of order. If I heard the hon. former Minister for Women and Children's Affairs right, she is accusing the experts of plagiarizing their documents. That is quite a serious charge; they are not here to defend themselves and I am just hoping that she is certain of what she is saying. If you call the experts to come and help you with a ten-year plan -- they were bringing their expertise to help you -- that did not debar them from using their expertise to produce a Women's Manifesto. So I do not see the point about what she is trying to put across.
Mr. Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon. Member, I do not
see the point of order you are raising either.
Ms Dansua 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I now proceed to the issue of HIV/AIDS.
Mr. Speaker 11:40 a.m.
But you must sum up, you are completely out of time.
Ms Dansua 11:40 a.m.
Yes, Mr. Speaker. The President in his Address admitted that the fight against HIV/AIDS is failing or has failed because it has not produced the necessary attitudinal change that is required and I want to say that perhaps it is because the messages that are being sent out there are not user friendly. So we will need to take a critical look at these messages, repackage them and make them more user-friendly. This way, I believe we can obtain the necessary results. Mr. Speaker, I think that the President should also have commented on the management -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Your time is up. You must please wind up.
Ms Dansua 11:40 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The President also spoke about good governance and he said that good governance underpins all the policies of his Government, but he goes on to say that the resources to support constitutional bodies such as National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and National Media Com-mission (NMC) among others, would be allocated to them as and when the economy improves. I think it is a bit contradictory and the President should have made a specific commitment to the fact that this year, he is going to ensure that these institutions have enough resources to work with so that this policy of good governance would be achieved. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity. Thank you.
Mr. Benito Owusu-Bio (NPP -- Atwima-Nwabiagya) 11:40 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for granting me permission to contribute to the motion on the floor on the State of the Nation Address delivered to this august House by His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor.
Mr. Speaker, the Message by the President was precise, concise and straight to the point. I listened with rapt attention and admiration at the able and gentle manner in which he delivered the Message. The calm demeanour of the President, the poise and balance in the delivery and the hopes encapsulated in the Message made me feel proud to be a Ghanaian.
Mr. Speaker, I intend to centre my contribution on private sector develop- ment and funding. The President, in his Message made private sector develop- ment his second priority and laid emphasis on the informal sector. This sector, he acknowledged, comprises mainly small- scale enterprises which are all regulated and as a result lack the basic day-to-day business ethics. This, Mr. Speaker, can make them stunted in growth. As a result, I welcome wholeheartedly the President's call for the setting up of a department under the Ministry of Private Sector Development and PSI to train and educate entre-preneurs.
Mr. Speaker, training entrepreneurs in basic courses and disciplines like book- keeping, banking and entrepreneurship skills is a giant step which will help their businesses to grow. Mr. Speaker, the President also mentioned funding which he acknowledged as a major problem for private sector development. The truthfulness in this assertion cannot be disputed.
In the first term of the President, micro- credit loans were given to our market women and farmers to increase their
capital base. Mr. Speaker, this has helped the people of my constituency a lot and I am glad to hear that it shall be continued and decentralized this time round.
Mr. Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon. Member, are you raising a point of order?
Mr. E. T. Mensah 11:40 a.m.
Yes, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my hon. Friend is misleading this House. He said that over the last nineteen years, before President Kufuor's first term micro credit was not available. I want to draw his attention that poverty alleviation was initiated within the said nineteen years, so he is misleading this House.
Mr. Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon. Member, take that on board and deal with it.
Mr. Owusu-Bio 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. Member on floor did not hear me well because I never mentioned what he said. What I said was that over the past nineteen years preceding the first term of the President, lack of funding killed businesses, a lot of companies and industries. This is what I said, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. E. T. Mensah 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, that is also not correct. There were various interventions -- [Interruption] -- various interventions were made. So many Japanese grants and even assistance from various interventions were made and I
Mr. E. T. Mensah 11:40 a.m.

think -- [Interruption] -- he was in the secondary school so he could not follow the politics of the time. [Uproar.]
Mr. Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon. Member for Atwima-Nwabiagya, continue and take this on board.
Mr. Owusu-Bio 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg your indulgence to answer my hon. Member on the floor who just raised a point of order. Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member mentioned the fact that during the period which I mentioned there were a lot of credit facilities but I would like to draw his attention to the fact that those credit facilities, loans and funding were only given to the companies which had something to do with their Government, that is it.
Mr. E. T. Mensah 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. Mr. Speaker, what he is saying is not correct. We can list all the companies which benefited -- even ECGD loans, the raising of capacity of our contractors to Grade A were all done during our time and the Vice-President was a beneficiary as well as many, many companies. It was not only NDC but he benefited from such interventions so it is not correct that we coloured the credit.
Mr. Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon. Member, for Wa
Central do you have a point of order to raise?
Mr. Pelpuo 11:50 a.m.
Yes, Mr. Speaker. Mr.
Speaker, the hon. Member who is a very good friend is saying many companies collapsed during the nineteen- year period. I am more interested in giving us specific evidence or statistics referring to what he has just said. Because it is a very serious allegation to be made against

a government that came to develop a country; and the evidence shows that the country has been developed up to an extent. Business has been propped up but he is saying that within that nineteen years there had been collapse of businesses; can he give specific examples and evidence to that; If not, he should simply withdraw the statement in good faith. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Owusu-Bio 11:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the
Mr. Mahama 11:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. Mr. Speaker, his own mother set up a very successful hotel business and it is still in very good business over the last nineteen years.
Mr. Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Let him continue, unless you have a point of order to raise.
Mr. E. T. Mensah 11:50 a.m.
Yes, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I heard him mention Siaw. Siaw was closed down during the Supreme Military Council II (SMC II). It was not in the last nineteen years. So the hon. Member should get his fact straight.
Mr. Owusu-Bio 11:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the bold companies which went in for these loans at the rate mentioned ended up being overburdened and unable to pay. This has affected the poultry industry in my constituency, which over the
years has been the main employer in my constituency. As I speak now, most of the companies in this industry in my constituency are almost folding up due to the problems mentioned. Examples are Darko Farms, Nkum Farms and Akropong Farms.
Mr. Speaker, I was therefore glad to hear from His Excellency the President that more efforts shall be made to reduce interest rates. I also welcome the passage of the Venture Capital Fund Law and the Long-Term Savings Law.
Mr. Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon. Member, do you have a point of order to raise?
Mr. Afotey-Agbo 11:50 a.m.
Yes, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I heard my hon. Colleague mention factories which had problems during the National Democratic Congress (NDC) era. In my own constituency, I have a big factory, the biggest cocoa processing factory in Ghana, which will take about three thousand workers and they are being discouraged, sitting in my constituency as at now, within fours years. And I have thousands of people in my constituency who do not have jobs to do. And their stomachs are being played upon with politics. So the hon. Member should not complain; he should withdraw.
Mr. Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon. Member, it seems you want to contribute to the debate. You will be given time; this is not the time.
Mr. Agbesi 11:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member is supporting this Address; he started by saying that he is supporting this Address.
Mr. Speaker, he is speaking on private
sector development and he said that in his own constituency, some companies have run down because of lack of funds. He mentioned what was happening about nineteen years ago and if he is in support of this statement, Mr. Speaker, then he should tell us, the past four years for which his Government is in power, what has happened to those companies which were in disarray before they came and the position as at now. Mr. Speaker, he must be able to tell us.
So Mr. Speaker, we would want to know from him what the position is as at today. For the past four years, what has his Government done to those companies which were collapsed before this Government came to power and what funds have they given to these companies?
Mr. Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon. Member for Ashaiman, this is not a point of order at all.
Mr. Owusu-Bio 11:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I plead that the above-mentioned companies must be helped to access the venture capital fund to alleviate their funding problems.
Mr. Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon. Chief Whip, it seems you have a point of order to raise?
Mr. Tia 11:50 a.m.
Yes, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my hon. Colleague made a statement earlier on and I have been thinking about it. And I have come to realise that he was mis- leading this House.
He mentioned, as one of the companies that collapsed in the nineteen years of the PNDC/NDC, Darko Farms. But I recall that Darko Farms used a lot of money to run for Presidency -- [Laughter.] And he did not make it and then did not have money. It was not NDC or PNDC that collapsed Darko Farms. So he was
Mr. Owusu-Bio noon
Mr. Speaker, there are many countries in the subregion which depend on poultry products from Ghana. It is important therefore to help these companies to continue to try not only to serve the national requirements of our people but provide employment to our youth, whilst at the same time contributing our quota to inter-state trade in the sub- region. Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the National Health Insurance Scheme, which has been launched, will be successful only when the human resource needs of the health sector is addressed.
Mr. Speaker, just two weeks ago, I was informed that all the medical officers posted to the Ashanti Region this year had failed to turn up at their posts.
Mr. Speaker, I feel that emphasis must be placed on finding a permanent solution to this problem of lack of medical personnel. Medical personnel who graduate from our universities must be made to understand that the nation Ghana deserves to be paid back with their service and commitment after they have been educated and trained with the nation's resources.

Whilst thanking you, Mr. Speaker, for your indulgence, I wish to reiterate my thanks to His Excellency the President for the State of the Nation Message and to also welcome home “Positive Change Chapter two”.
Majority Leader (Mr. Owusu- Adjapong) noon
Mr. Speaker, as Leadership discussed with you, we need to have a meeting of all Chairmen and Ranking Members at 12.00 noon and the time being exactly 12.00 noon by the watch here, I

think it is the appropriate time for us to remind Chairmen and committee members that we are meeting at the Conference Room. On that note, I beg to move that this House do now adjourn till Tuesday 10.00 a.m. in the morning.
Minority Chief Whip (Mr. John Tia) noon
Mr. Speaker, I beg to second the motion.

  • The House was accordingly adjourned at 12.02 p.m. till 22nd February, 2002 at 10.00 a.m.