Debates of 24 Jun 2005

PRAYERS 10 a.m.

Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Hon. Members, we start with item 2, correction of Votes and Proceedings of Thursday, 23rd June 2005. Page 1. . . Page 6 --
Mr. David T. Assumeng 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, page 6, number 58, the name is “David ‘Tetteh' Assumeng” and not “Tettey”.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Page 7. . . Page 11 --
Mr. Kwadjo opare-Hammond 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, page 11, under Public Accounts
Committee, my name is Kwadjo Opare- Hammond and not Kofi Opare Hammond. That is number xv.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
All right. Corrections
would be made accordingly.
We do have the Official Report of
Tuesday, 21st June 2005. Any omissions or corrections?
Deputy Majority Leader (Mr.
Abraham ossei Aidooh) ( on behalf of the Majority Leader): Mr. Speaker, I beg to present the Business Statement for the Eighth Week ending Friday, 1st July, 2005.
Mr. Speaker, the Business Committee met yesterday, Thursday, 23rd June 2005 and determined the business of the House for the Eighth Week ending Friday, 1st July 2005 and presents its report as follows:
Mr. Speaker, the Committee has scheduled twenty (20) Questions to be answered by Ministers during the week.
The details are as follows:
No. of Question(s)
i. Minister for Finance and Economic Planning 4
ii. Minister for Fisheries 3
iii. Minister for Energy 5
iv. Minister for Presidential Affairs 1
v. Minister for Road Transport 5
vi. Minister for Information 1
vii. Minister for Justice and Attorney-General 1
Total Number of Questions 20 Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister for Energy has also been scheduled to answer one (1)
Urgent Question during the week.
Mr. Speaker, in all, twenty-one (21) Questions are expected to be answered.
Mr. Speaker, you may allow duly admitted Statements to be made on the floor of the House.
Mr. Speaker, Bills may be presented for consideration by the House. Papers may be laid and reports from the various Committees are also expected to be laid.
The Committee once again wishes to encourage all Committees with outstanding businesses to expedite action on such referrals and report to the House as soon as practicable.
Mr. Speaker, motions may be debated and their consequential Resolutions, if any, may also be taken.
Mr. Speaker, Friday, 1st July 2005 is Republic Day and so the House will not be Sitting.
Mr. Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 160 (2) and subject to Standing Order 53, the Committee submits to this honourable House the order in which the Business of the House shall be taken during the week.

Questions --

Minister for Finance and Economic Planning -- 10, 74, 94 & 116

Minister for Fisheries -- 73, 142,


Laying of Papers --
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Committee Sittings

Urgent Question --

M r. J o s e p h Ya a n i L a b i k (Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo) to ask the Minister for Energy when he will brief the House on the status of the West Africa Gas Pipeline Project.

Questions --

Minister for Energy -- 5, 6, 151,

152 & 153

Minister for Presidential Affairs

-- 71

Committee Sittings --

Business Committee to meet to determine Business of the House for the Ninth Week.

Questions --

Minister for Road Transport -- 24,

25, 60, 68 & 69

Minister for Information -- 118

Minister for Justice and Attorney- General -- 138

Motion --

Adoption of the Report of the

Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs on the Fourth Annual Report of the Third Session of the Fisheries Commission covering the period of January- December 2003.

Committee Sittings
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Item 4 -- Questions. Question 19 stands in the name of hon. Samuel Johnfiah, Member of Parliament for Ahanta West.
Mr. A. o. Aidooh 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, with
respect, the Minister for Road Transport is unavoidably absent from the Chamber and we seek your permission, and ask your indulgence, to permit his Deputy to act for him in this matter.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
All right. Deputy
Minister for Road Transport, you would make yourself available.

YAXING - - 10:10 a.m.

Mr. Johnfiah 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I wish
to thank the Minister for the elaborate Answer he has given. Indeed, I do not want to ask any supplementary question, but I would want to plead that the Ministry considers increasing the fleet for Takoradi.
Ms. Akua Sena Dansua 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to know from the Minister when specifically the services would be extended to the three remaining regional capitals; and also when the rural-urban service would be introduced.
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, by the end of the year, we expect our fleet to be a thousand. In other words, within the year, we are expecting more buses and as soon as they arrive, we would send buses to the regional capitals.
Ms. Dansua 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I do not think the Deputy Minister has answered my question; I want to know specifically; I do not want him to give me an idea, whether next week or 1st January or February; what is the exact time?
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
But hon. Deputy Minority Chief Whip, I thought the answer was before the end of the year, or so. You want to probe further?
Ms. Dansua 10:20 a.m.
All right, I have a second supplementary question. Mr. Speaker, I want to know what measures are in place to ensure that collectors in these buses do not embezzle their collections.
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Metro Mass Transit Limited (MMT) is a private company, and all measures have been put in place to ensure that
Mr. J. A. Ndebugre 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, if one looks at the table given, the breakdown of the number of buses and personnel and so on, one realizes that for Koforidua, whilst they are operating a total of 10 buses, they are employing 37 personnel. Cape Coast is operating 9 buses, employing 29 personnel, and so on. Can the Deputy Minister tell us on what basis the personnel are employed because the difference of 1 bus, giving rise to a difference of 8 personnel does not seem to make too much mathematical sense to me. So my specific question is: what is the basis for fixing a particular number of personnel for a particular operating area?
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think the number of personnel that is employed in each regional capital is purely at the discretion of the company and the efficiency level it wants to establish. So really, I cannot -- I also think that the number of passengers that are carried in a particular location influences the number of personnel that is required for the operations.
Mr. S. Sallas-Mensah 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to find out from the Deputy Minister if I am right to say that the MMT Limited is hundred per cent owned by the Government; and what is the total capitalisation of the company?
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think in my Answer, I said that the Government owns 45 per cent shares in the company -- [Interruption.]
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:20 a.m.
Will you not allow me to finish? [Laughter] -- Mr. Speaker, the Government owns 45 per cent shares; and the total capitalization, it was not part of the Question and I am unable to answer unless he gives me notice to give him this at a later date.
Mr. Sallas-Mensah 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, from the Answer he gave here in the House, the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) is a shareholder. SSNIT is hundred per cent owned by the Government, the State Insurance Company Limited is hundred per cent owned by the Government, the National Investment Bank is hundred per cent owned by the Government, the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) is hundred per cent owned by the Government, the Ghana Oil Company (GOIL) is hundred per cent owned by the Government. So am I not right to say that all these are government companies, so the MMT is owned by Government?
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon. Member, ask a specific question, please.
Mr. Sallas-Mensah 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I was not satisfied with the Answer he gave as to whether I am right to say that the MMT Company Limited is hundred per cent owned by Government.
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think the six other companies are legal entities on their own, because -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Order! Please, do not be distracted.
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Government's share of 45 per cent is held by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Ministry of Road Transport. So these are two different entities that we are talking about.
Mr. Adjaho 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in his Answer to the main Question, the Answer given is to the effect that six other institutions hold 55 per cent shares. We want a breakdown. As he rightly pointed out, they are legal entities in their own rights; so we want to get the breakdown of all those -- maybe he is telling us that he needs notice. The six are separate legal entities. We want the breakdown and what their actual contribution is which constitutes that 55 per cent.
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think that I need notice to be able to provide these details because the Question put across this morning is for me to update the House on the regional distribution of the MMT buses. So if he requires a breakdown, this would be provided later.
Prof. A. W. Seini 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, my question is related to hon. Ndebugre's question, because there is the saying that coming events cast their shadows. If you look at the personnel employed, with the exception of Takoradi and Swedru, the rest employed too many staff; it is only in these two places that the average is less than two.
My question to the Deputy Minister is: what measure is the MMT taking to ensure that the company runs efficiently so that it does not end up or it does not suffer the fate that was suffered by the Omnibus Services Authority (OSA) and the others before it?
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, MMT is a privately-owned limited liability company, and it is run on commercial lines, unlike the OSA. It has an expatriate Managing Director -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon. Deputy Minister,
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:20 a.m.
It has an expatriate Managing Director and his responsibility is to make sure that the company runs effectively, efficiently and profitably. That is the assurance that we would give you.
Mr. G. T. Bayon 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would want to ask the Deputy Minister for Road Transport whether he thinks that by the mode of distribution of the buses on regional basis, they have been fair to the other three regions. I ask this question because if as early as October 2002 some regions started operations with these buses and up- to-date, not a single bus has gone to some of the regions -- I am referring particularly to the Upper East and the Upper West regions -- where poverty is more pronounced -- [Interruptions.] I am talking about the Upper East and Upper West regions because they are the two most deprived regions .
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, a journey of a thousand miles starts from the very first step. The company started off with a few buses that were given to us by the Italian Government. Now, as and when we buy more buses, we would extend these bus services to the regions where we have traffic volumes. And then depending on the type of buses that we have, we would decide where these buses would go.
To be specific on the Upper East and Upper West regions, we are expecting a hundred Tata buses and these would be allocated to these regions because of the nature of terrain and the clearance the buses provide off the ground. Those buses are very suited for these areas.
Mr. Lee ocran 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the hon. Deputy Minister's Answer, he said that the Government's contribution in the company is represented by the assets of
Omnibus Services Authority (OSA) and that so far, the Metro Mass Transport (MMT) has created one thousand jobs. Are these one thousand jobs inclusive of the jobs that were in OSA, or these are new jobs created? And what happens to the staff of OSA?
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think this question is outside -- [Interruptions.]
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon. Deputy Minister, if you cannot answer it, say so. [Laughter.]
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I need notice to be able to answer this question. [Laughter.]
Mr. Adjaho 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would want
to find out from the hon. Deputy Minister when the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) and Goil Oil Company took up shares in the company.
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, they have taken shares but I do not have the dates. This can be supplied to the hon. Member later.
Mr. B. K. D. Adu 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to know from the Deputy Minister which of the two buses is economically viable to run -- the double-decker or the single-decker. As I can see from his Answer, there are 112 single-deckers and 38 double-deckers.
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon. Member, are you sure this is a supplementary question? Deputy Minister, if you are in position to answer, you may answer it.
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, all the two types of buses are economical to run. The double-decker buses obviously carry more passengers and therefore are more efficient and effective in transporting people, but it also depends on the kind of road that you are using. In Accra and Kumasi, we have better and good road

networks that is why we are using the double-decker buses there.
Mr. Gershon Gbediame 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, may I know from the Deputy Minister the criterion used in sending buses to the various regions.
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the criterion used is ‘volume'. As we can see from the table, of course, the population of Accra is higher than any other region and therefore they have more buses; and as we go down the line, we see that Kumasi comes next. So we use ‘volumes'. But again, we want every region to benefit from the MMT service, that is why we are extending it to all the other regions.
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
I will give you plenty of time to ask questions.
Road Network in Ahanta West constituency
Q. 20. Mr. Samuel Johnfiah asked the Minister for Road Transport when the rehabilitation and subsequent tarring of the following roads in the Ahanta West constituency would commence:
i) Apowa-New Amanful
ii) Ankyernyim-Egyam
iii) Anyano-Egyambra
iv) Egyambra-Miemia
v) Dixcove-Akwidaa
vi) Km 16 Princess-Akatakyi.
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, first, Apowa-New Amanful. Background
The road is engineered and located in the Ahanta West District. The road has been receiving regular routine/recurrent maintenance and is in fair condition.
Future Programme
The road has been captured under the International Development Agency (IDA) Tranche II Programme for surface dressing due to the high traffic volume. Feasibility studies are being conducted on the road and will be completed by September this year. Engineering studies and design will commence in October this year and will be completed by May 2006 for procurement of works to commence subsequently. The Consultant engaged for the studies is M/s Civotech Consult Limited.
(ii) Ankyernyim-Egyam
TheAnkyernyim-Egyam feeder road is located in the Ahanta West District. It provides access to fishing communities along the road corridor. The road is engineered and is in a fair state.
The Ankyernyim-Egyam feeder road was awarded together with five other roads (as a package) for routine/recurrent maintenance in November 2004 at a contract sum of ¢330.4 million. Works commenced in January, 2005 and are expected to be completed in January, 2006.
The contractor on the project is M/s Kambecon Ltd. He had worked on three (3) of the roads in the package and will soon commence works on the Ankyernyim-Egyam feeder roads. The
three roads which have been worked on are Kansaworodo-Angu (10 km), Awotwe- Aprapraso (3.8 km) and Bomba Jn-Bomba (1.3 km) respectively. The percentage of work completed to date is about 65 per cent Traffic volume is however too low to justify any proposal for surfacing at the moment.

(iii) Anyano-Egyambra (16 km) and Egyambra-Miemia (0.8 km)

Mr. Speaker, the two roads are engineered and are both located in the Ahanta West District. The Anyano- Egyambra and Egyambra-Miemia feeder roads are in fair condition. There are however some slippery sections and water- crossing points that need culverts and filling of their approaches to improve mobility.

Mr. Speaker, invitation for bid for the routine/recurrent maintenance of feeder roads including Anyano-Egyambra and Egyambra-Miemia has just been advertised under the DFR routine/ recurrent maintenance programme for 2005. The routine/recurrent maintenance contract will be awarded by the end of August, 2005 for completion within six months.

The roads wi l l undergo spo t improvement works including sectional regravelling and installation of culverts to enhance mobility. Traffic volumes on these roads are relatively low to warrant surface dressing.

(iv) Dixcove-Akwidaa (11.0 km)

Mr. Speaker, the Dixcove-Akwidaa feeder road which is 11 km long is engineered and located in the Ahanta West District. It is in a fairly good state.

The Dixcove-Akwidaa feeder road has
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:40 a.m.

just been advertised under the routine/ recurrent maintenance programme for 2005. The works to be carried out are clearing of vegetation and reshaping. The traffic volume on these two roads is too low to warrant tarring.

(v) Akatakyi Jn-Akatakyi (1.6 km)

Mr. Speaker, the link between Akatakyi Jn and Akatakyi is 1.6 km long. The link which is in poor condition is un- engineered and is located in the Ahanta West District. The link would require improvement.

Mr. Speaker, the link has been programmed for rehabilitation in 2006 under the Tranche (II) of the International Development Agency (IDA) programme which is a component of the Road Sector Development Programme (RSDP). Currently, a consultant has been engaged to conduct feasibility study on the road and the study is expected to be completed by September this year.

Engineering studies and design will commence in October this year and are expected to be completed by May 2006. The consultant engaged for the studies is M/s Civotech Consult Limited. Preliminary information indicates that activities to be carried out on the link include the construction of culverts, raising of low lying areas, gravelling and surfacing of rocky and steep sections.
Mr. Samuel Johnfiah 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would want to know if the hon. Deputy Minister could tell us what it means to say that the road is engineered, because in the Answer he is also saying that engineering studies and designs would commence in October; meanwhile he is saying the road is engineered.
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
normally, some of these feeder roads start off as paths and may be upgraded by grading the road. If we say engineered road, it means that engineering studies have been carried out on the road, like survey works, road alignments. We have determined the position of culverts and then designed the road, both geometrical designs and pavement design to determine the type of base that we would have to use on the road. So if we say the road has been engineered, it means that all these studies have been done.
Mr. Johnfiah 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has attested to the fact that on the Amprado-Amanfro road, traffic is heavy. I just want to know whether in the engineering studies that would take place, it would be done in such a way that tarring would be done eventually.
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, if we say surface-dressing, it means tarring; so tarring would be done.
Mr. c. S. Hodogbey 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the Answer to the Question, the hon. Deputy Minister said volume was used as a criterion for tarring roads. In some places he said “relatively low”; other places he said “too low”. How many cars normally would have to be assessed for a road to be tarred?
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, yes, I will need notice. Mr. Speaker, with respect to low volumes of traffic, we all know that in engineering terms, if you have vehicles below two hundred, this can be described as low traffic volume.
Mr. G. K. Arthur 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to know from the hon. Deputy Minister whether apart from the traffic, they have other criteria or other specifications to rate a road or propose a road for resurfacing or surfacing?
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think I said if the traffic volume is low, then obviously it would not be considered for tarring. If the volume increases to about two hundred vehicles then that particular road would be considered for tarring or surface-dressing.
Mr. Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon. Deputy Minister, do not be distracted in answering the question. If you have answered it, then you may resume your seat.
Mr. Arthur 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I was asking the hon. Deputy Minister, that apart from the traffic, what other criteria or specifications they look for before they consider a road for tarring. Apart from the traffic, do they consider other specifications or criteria to propose a road for surfacing?
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, yes, there are other considerations. Especially, it is the policy of the Ministry to tar roads within towns. And also where you have very steep gradients which are likely to be washed away by rains, we also consider tarring those portions of the roads.
Mr. A. K. Agbesi 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I just want a clarification. The hon. Deputy Minister said that if you have two hundred cars -- I want to know whether two hundred cars a day, a month, a year, or whatever -- I just want to know.
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, two hundred vehicles a day.
Mr. A. W. G. Abayateye 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister said that normally, the number of vehicles which move on the road -- But in case the number is low but heavy vehicles ply that road, like timber trucks, trucks moving stones and other things, do they fall into the category? He said they use other categories in considering a road to
Mr. A. W. G. Abayateye 10:40 a.m.

be tarred.
Mr. Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon. Member, are you asking a hypothetical question?
Mr. Abayateye 10:50 a.m.
My question is that in case there are not many vehicles but the weight they carry -- does it fall in?
Mr. A. o. Aidooh 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, under the Standing Orders one should not ask hypothetical questions. So he is out of order.
Mr. Speaker 10:50 a.m.
The next Question stands in the name of the hon. Member for Ho West.
Status of Honuta-Kpedze- Dzolokpuita-Bame Road
Q. 21. Mr. F. A. Agbotse asked the Minister for Road Transport the status of the Honuta-Kpedze-Dzolokpuita-Bame road which had been at a standstill since
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Honuta-Kpedze-Dzolokpuita-Bame road is 30 kilometres. 14 kilometres of it, that is, from Honuta-Kpedze-Dzolokpuita (Regional Road R50) is under GHA, 5 kilometres of this road, from Kpedze- Akome, is tarred whilst the rest is not.
The section from Dzolopkuita-Bame which is 16 kilometres, is under the jurisdiction of the DFR. The condition of this road ranges from fair to poor.
current Position
The section of the road under GHA is being tarred in phases. The 6. kilometre Akome-Dzolokpuita section of the road was awarded to Messrs Jasoung Limited for tarring at a contract price of ¢4,044,145,820. The works commenced on 14th November, 2003 and was scheduled
for completion on 13th November, 2004. Works have progressed to the laying base and percentage completed stands at 60 per cent. However, due to shortage of chippings, sealing works have been delayed.
The contractor, however, is back on the site and preparing to do the prime sealing and sealing, following some improvement in the supply of chippings. It is anticipated that the works will be completed before the end of the year.
The 3-kilometre Honuta-Kpedze stretch is gravel surfaced. It was awarded to Messrs Limakma Limited in May 2005 for grading as part of the Ho-Honuta- Kpedze-Dzolokpuita-Fume routine maintenance contract. The contract sum is ¢1,816,952,000.00. The contractor has mobilized to site to commence the works.
This will keep the road in a motorable condition until the tarring of the entire stretch is completed.
The DFR sec t ion s ta r t s f rom Dzolokpuita-Bame which is 16 kilometres long and located in the Ho district. The road was awarded in June 2004 under a GOG funding to Messrs Gbonta Limited at a contract sum of ¢1,456 billion. The project commenced in July, 2004 and was expected to be completed in July 2005. Total payments to date for work done is ¢632.2 million whilst the percentage of work done is 49.4 per cent.
Works carried out so far by the contractor include clearing of 14.3 kilometres of vegetation, construction of 8 No culverts and construction of 1 kilometre of concrete U-drains. The progress of work has been slow due to the rocky nature of the terrain.
Mr. Agbotse 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Minister for Road Transport came to this House on 9th May 2003 and this is reported in the Hansard of 9th May 2003, column 150 where he gave the following assurances:
“As a continuation the remaining stretch of road from Bame- Dzolokpuita will be rehabilitated to gravel-filling-surface this year in preparation for its tarring in 2004.”
Mr. Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how long it takes to re-gravel a sixteen-kilometre road.
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it could take about six months to finish that road but it depends on the performance of the contractor on site. He mentioned that the hon. Minister was here in 2003; we are now in 2005 and I said contractors are on site working. We have told him the contract sum and how much has been advanced to them. We will ensure that that road is completed this year. That is the assurance I can give him.
Mr. Agbotse 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask him whether this is an assurance that the work will be done by close of year 2005.
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I do not know whether my hon. Colleague is asking a question or making a statement-- [Interruptions.] Yes, I said we have contractors on site working and hopefully by the end of the year this project should be completed.
Mr. Agbotse 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister is telling this House that the contractor is on site and is working to complete work by the end of this year. When was the last time he or officials of his Ministry went to inspect work on that road?
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister is currently on a tour of all the regions visiting works being done
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:50 a.m.

on roads. We are yet to go to the Volta Region; and I am assuring him that very soon we will go to the Volta Region to inspect the roads there.
Mr. Agbotse 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I do not think that is an answer to my question. When is the last time he visited that road for him to give the assurance that he has given; because there is no contractor working on that road.
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I have not visited the site, but we have engineers who monitor contractors and who have moved to the site. So I am saying that we have awarded the contract and the contractor has moved to site and very soon we will visit the site to ascertain the work going on.
Mr. Sallas-Mensah 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would want to find out from the Minister what is happening to the Government's policy of linking constituency capitals by tarred roads, under the Road Sector Development Programme.
Mr. Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon. Member, this cannot be a supplementary question.
Mr. Sallas-Mensah 10:50 a.m.
Dzolokpuita is a constituency.
Mr. opare-Asamoah 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, this is ongoing and I will need time to give him full details.
Ms. Akua Sena Dansua 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want the hon. Minister to clarify something for me. I do not know why the Ministry should commit resources to doing routine maintenance on a road that is waiting to be tarred and then eventually spending money again to do the tarring work. I am at a loss; would they not
Ms. Akua Sena Dansua 11 a.m.

rather commit all the resources together and ensure that the road is tarred instead of doing routine maintenance at one point and then going back and looking for money for tarring? I am confused.
Mr. opare-Asamoah 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
permit me to say that in this country we need to develop the culture of maintenance. Roads have to be maintained to make them motorable, that is why the Ministry carries out routine maintenance all the time. The fact that we have planned to tar a road does not mean that if the road is in a bad shape we should not maintain it till we are ready to tar it. So the routine maintenance is done to make sure that the road is motorable until we are ready to tar it.
Mr. E. T. Mensah 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to find out from the hon. Minister whether we have a mobile routine maintenance gang at the moment?
Mr. opare-Asamoah 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to get the question clear -- routine maintenance gang from the Ministry or -- [Interruption.]
Mr. E. T. Mensah 11 a.m.
Precisely, mobile
routine maintenance gang.
Mr. opare-Asamoah 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, all
our routine maintenance works are carried out on contract so the Ministry does not have a mobile gang that carries out routine maintenance.
Mr. E. T. Mensah 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, since
when did the Ministry start this job on contract basis? Because the Ministry used to have routine maintenance gangs under the respective Ministries.
Mr. Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon. Deputy Minority
Chief Whip, it seems as if we are now straying. Is this a supplementary question? That is where the problem is.
Sogakope-Adidome-Ho-Fume Roads
Q. 22. Mr. Joe Kwashie Gidisu asked the Minister for Road Transport what was the fate of the Sogakope-Adidome- Ho-Fume roads which had been left unattended to since 2001.
Mr. opare-Asamoah 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the proceedings of the House on Friday, 4th June this year, a similar Question about this road was answered. However, I would go ahead and give an Answer to the Question.
The 117-kol imetre Sogakope- Adidome-Ho-Fume road is a Regional Road (R 28) which links Sogakope in the south of the Volta Region to the Tema- Asikuma-Hohoe road (N 2) at Fume in the north through Ho.
The project was awarded on the 11th of June 1996 to be completed on the 10th of June 1999, a total of 36 calendar months at a contract sum of £18,805,255 ($31,216,723) without fluctuation.
The project was a awarded in two phases -- Phase 1, Ho-Fume road and Phase 2, Sogakope-Ho road at a total of 117 kilometres.
Revised contract
In April 1999 the scope of works was reduced from 45 kilometres to 25 kilometres because of funding problems and slow pace of work. The completion date was also revised to 30th August 2001. Progress Made
Based on the original scope of works the physical progress of work was 40 per cent, this amounts to 72 per cent of the
reduced section of 25 kilometres.
The project was eventually terminated in the year 2003. The contractor has challenged the case in court and the verdict is still pending as a result of which we were unable to repackage the project for award.
Road Maintenance Action Taken
However, to keep the road motorable we have been grading the road under our routine maintenance contracts.
Future Programme
The project will definitely be continued. This will however be after the case has been determined in court.
Mr. J. K. Gidisu 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, this
road was identified in the President's State of the Nation Address to Parliament in 2001. Taking cognizance of the court case the hon. Deputy Minister is referring to today, what has held up the settlement of the case till now to let the road be in the state in which it is?
Mr. opare-Asamoah 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it
would be difficult for me to tell him what has happened to the court case. The court case is still on. We in the Ministry have no control over court proceedings and we are saying that we are carrying out routine maintenance until such time that the court determines the case and then we would go back to the project and do it. I mentioned that this project would certainly go on but we have to wait till the determination of the case in court.
Mr. J. K. Gidisu 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, what is the degree of certainty? For almost five years now the road project has been suspended so what is the degree of certainty that the hon. Deputy Minister is
Mr. J. K. Gidisu 11 a.m.

giving the House?
Mr. Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon. Member, what
supplementary question are you asking, please?
Mr. J. K Gidisu 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the
hon. Deputy Minister said the road project would certainly come on. For five years now we have been in that state of suspense and the situation with the certainty which he is talking about is bleak. I am therefore asking, what is the degree of certainty he is giving to this House that after this time it would not be the same state of suspense for the past five years?
Mr. J. K. Gidisu 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think
that is an insult to me on the floor. What does he mean by it is “360 degrees”? [Interruption] -- Or the language, the linguistic interpretation is his problem?
Mr. Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon. Member, there is no need for you to take this matter up. Hon. Deputy Minister, the question has not been answered.
Mr. opare-Asamoah 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
Mr. Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Mr. opare-Asamoah 11:10 a.m.
In my statement,
I said that the future programme for this road is that the project would definitely continue. This will, however, be after the case has been determined in court. So we will see how we can move this case forward in court for a settlement as soon

as possible and then continue with the project. That is all I can say.
Mr. E. T. Mensah 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, we
want to know the status of the case in court because we are aware that the case in court is linked with other cases like the bridge at Ningo and others. Some of the jobs have been done so what is the status of the case in court? Otherwise, it can be forever.
Mr. opare-Asamoah 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I
have been informed that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning appointed an auditor about six months ago to conduct a forensic audit on the project to reconcile the indebtedness of each party to the other. This is the information that I have. As to its current status, Mr. Speaker, I will need time to find out. I do not have the answer here now.
Mr. E. T. Mensah 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, as a
follow-up to the question about the auditor having been appointed, does it mean that the case has been determined and is to be resolved out of court? Why has it become necessary for forensic audit to be carried out?
Mr. opare-Asamoah 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
I think the case has been referred to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to find out the level of indebtedness to each party to facilitate the process of the determination in court. That is what I can say for now.
Mape-Dove Junction
Q. 23. Mr. Joe Kwashie Gidisu asked the Minister for Road Transport what is being done to improve the Mepe-Dove Junction road which becomes impassable especially during the rainy season.
Mr. opare-Asamoah 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Mepe-Dove Junction feeder road is 15 kilometres and located in the North Tongu District. The road is partially engineered but in a poor condition. The road needs to be improved and will require
additional culverts, raising of low lying areas and sectional gravelling to make it motorable. The road serves mainly farming communities along the corridor and boasts of an important market at Mepe.
Future Programme
The road has been programmed for tarring in 2006 under the Tranch (II) of the International Development Agency (IDA) component of the RSDP.
Currently, feasibility and engineering studies are ongoing and expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Mr. J. K. Gidisu 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in
the Minister's Answer, he confirmed the nature of the road. In the interim, what mechanisms is his Ministry putting in place to, at least, control the situation before the tarring of the road in 2006?
Mr. opare-Asamoah 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
the Department of Feeder Roads is looking at what they can do to the road to make it motorable in the meantime, and I will report as to the progress made in due course.
Mr. Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon. Deputy Minister,
thank you very much for coming to the House to answer these Questions.
Item 5 -- Statements. Yes, hon. Member of Parliament for Kwadaso?
STATEMENTS 11:10 a.m.

Mr. Francis Aggrey Agbotse (NDc -- Ho West) 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, yesterday, I was driving from the Presbyterian Secondary School (PRESEC), Legon towards Accra and I saw a very young gentleman walking briskly along the road; he was stark naked. The first thing that came to my mind was that he had either taken wee or some of the hard drugs.
Not long ago an hon. Member of this House made a Statement in this House about the plight of Ghanaian drug dealers who were in prison in Thailand. A young man from the Crusading Guide actually visited the prisons in Thailand and came back with a harrowing story about Ghanaians in those prisons. Our security personnel are doing everything possible to check drug trafficking from Ghana, but the more they do, the more Ghana is recognized as a transit country for drug trafficking. I think it is time we educated citizens that drugs do not do anything good
Mr. David oppong 11:30 a.m.

ofoase/Ayirebi): Mr. Speaker, I rise to associate myself with the Statement on the floor. Mr. Speaker, drug abuse is a menace that had been with us for ages. There are aspects of this abuse, especially those that had to do with hard drugs that are controlled through our criminal justice system but there are aspects of drug abuse which are normally not brought to the fore. There are certain drugs that are normally sold in pharmacies that are seriously abused. The use of drugs cuts across ages,

social groups and it is abused by all sexes. Now this growing menace is affecting our youth who are the most vulnerable.

Mr. Speaker, I think the time has come for us to take a broader view of dealing with this drug menace. It is a social problem and must be approached as such. It is my contention that the method used in fighting the menace of HIV/AIDS must be adopted in fighting this drug menace. The approach must be holistic. We must look at it from all angles and we must consider that this is not just a criminal problem but a social one at that. We must have programmes that will look not only at hard drugs but the abuse of ordinary drugs by all kinds of people in all manner of society.

The time has come for us as a people to set up bodies that will look into this problem and that will go into the areas that abuse these drugs, especially those areas that are heavily populated. I call upon Parliament, I call upon all those who have a stake in the future of our children and the future of this nation to take a second look and to set up bodies that will deal with drug abuse the way we have tackled the HIV/AIDS menace.

Mrs. Gifty ohene-Konadu (NPP

-- Asante-Akim South): Mr. Speaker, I rise to associate myself with the Statement made on the floor and in doing so I would like to draw attention to a related and equally devastating phenomenon which is emerging among the youth of this country; and that is the use of aphrodisiacs. Mr. Speaker, I think that we should also consider educating the youth against the use of such concoctions which will harm them eventually.

Mr. George Kofi Arthur (NDC --

Amenfi Central): Mr. Speaker, I like to associate myself with the Statement that

has been made. We must understand that Ghana has an image to protect. Indulgence in drug abuse and narcotics trafficking can erode the confidence the international community has in Ghana. Drug abuse is a very serious issue which must engage the attention of all and sundry.

Mr. Speaker, since the youth indulge in this undesirable habit, we must expect the worse consequences in Ghana in future since the greater part of the population is made up of the youth. It means that Ghana might be producing a lot of mad men in our streets in future and this is not a good sign for a young democracy like Ghana. It is in the light of this that I will also add my voice to the cry of all Ghanaians that we should do all that we can to educate our people, to conscientize our people so that the evils of drug abuse will be made known and this should be eradicated from our society.

Deputy Minister for the Interior (capt. Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey (rtd.)): Mr. Speaker, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to this Statement made by the hon. Member for Kwadaso.

Mr. Speaker, I am privileged to be the

Chairman of the Narcotics Control Board and we are trying to do the best we can to bring this menace under control.

Mr. Speaker, what at times baffles me

a lot is how human beings can swallow drugs into their bodies and try to cross the borders of our country. And in most cases, most of these drugs get burst in their stomachs and it leads invariably to their death. Unfortunately, most of the youth of this country or the youth generally who indulge in drugs do not seem to appreciate the dangers that are involved. After all, if you are using drugs and they are to make
Mr. David oppong 11:30 a.m.
you better, fine. But when you are using drugs and they are to cause your death, they are to cause you to become insane, they are to cause you to develop cancer and they are to cause you to lose your life, then there is absolutely no basis for you to indulge in them.
Mr. Speaker, we at the Narcotics Control Board are doing all what we can to arrest anybody that we find indulging in drug trafficking. And we have declared a total war on drug trafficking.
Mr. Speaker, as I speak now, we
are aware that as many as forty-four Ghanaians and other foreigners who are on trial in courts in this country have jumped bail and that makes it difficult for us to encourage the granting of bail to drug traffickers.
Mr. Speaker, they have given all sorts
of interesting names to drugs. Some of them call them crack, pot, junk, crystal meth and they even give them the name disco biscuits. But all these are drugs and they use them against the health of the individual.
Mr. Speaker, whilst on this, I must
bring to the attention of the House that there is a problem in the Central Region, especially in Cape Coast. We understand that some of these our young students in the second cycle schools are engaging seriously in smoking wee continuously and all efforts are being made to control it. Indeed, for that reason, we have decided to celebrate the World Drugs Day in the Central Region. The ceremony would take place in Cape Coast on Sunday.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to urge
all my hon. Colleagues to support the campaign against drugs and wherever we see anybody engaging in drugs, we should deal with that person seriously. We would

[CAPT. EFFAH-DARTEY (RTD.)] want to rid Ghana of drug traffickers and all those who think that they can use our airports and ports as bases for drug trafficking. Mr. Speaker, we can assure them that they would not have it easy. We would smoke them out and deal with them.

Mr. Speaker, with these few words,

I would want to congratulate the hon. Member who made the Statement and to thank my hon. Colleagues who have added their voices to this Statement.

Thank you very much.

Improving Ghana's Decentralization Programme

Mr. Samuel Sallas-Mensah (NDc

-- Upper West Akim): Mr. Speaker, my Statement is on improving Ghana's Decentralization Programme. Ghana's decentralization programme was initiated in 1988, following the passage of the Local Government Law (PNDC Law 207). The programme had been developed over the years and is now considered as one of the most ambitious and comprehensive in Africa, which had been a reference point for many African countries for replication.

As a member of the 1992 Consultative Assembly who moved the motion for the adoption of the 5 per cent District Assemblies Common Fund into the Constitution, which has become the main financial resource of the Assemblies, I deem it fit to make this Statement to put the decentralization process back on course.

The appointment of District Chief Executives (DCEs) had always been based on political considerations while the election of assembly members were invariably done on political lines contrary to the provisions of the Constitution.

Assembly members were, therefore, more likely to act to the dictates of the Central Government, which had not been willing to relinquish power to the local government, adding that instead of

having decentraliazation, there was now “centralized decentralization”.

DCEs were normally appointed on political considerations and not necessarily on managerial expertise; most of them are not able to manage the districts, hence the failure of the system.

Financial difficulties and lack of logistics are some of the major factors that had undermined the decentralization process.

The District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) had been the largest source of income to the Assemblies; it had been irregular, unpredictable and the District Assemblies themselves have refused to decentralize to the substructures, that is, the urban, town and area councils.

To make matters worse, District Assemblies make high recurrent expenditure on hosting government officials who paid visits to the districts, but most DCEs were reluctant to complain for fear of losing their job.

The local government institutions posed a great challenge to the realization of the goals of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS). In order to address the deficiencies, I recommend the need for committed leadership at all levels of decentralization and the readiness to make hard choices with respect to the assignment of responsibilities, financial and human resources.

To that end, I urge the Presidential Oversight Committee on decentralization, which was appointed in November 2003 to assert its authority by co-coordinating, overseeing and monitoring individuals and collective efforts of stakeholders to plan and implement decentralization-related


I recommend also a phased approach to the decentralization process and the need to stick to the decentralization action plan in order to consolidate the few gains made.

There must also be a relationship between political and economic reforms that promoted sustainable development and poverty reduction.

I call for the active participation of the citizenry and the need to build an “inclusive consensus” and ownership among the key actors of decentralization.

In conclusion, I advocate a synergy between wider public sector and decentralization reforms as well as strong partnership between decentralization institutions and non-governmental organizations.

Mr. Speaker, thank you.

Deputy Minister for the Interior (capt. N. Effah-Dartey (rtd.)): Mr. Speaker, I was privileged to be a Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development for four continuous years. And on day-to-day basis I had at first hand, to grapple with this problem of decentralization. Mr. Speaker, it is in this light that I am grateful to you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this Statement on decentralization.

Mr. Speaker, our nation Ghana can

only develop if, and only if we pay serious attention to decentralization. We cannot sit in Accra and award contracts. We cannot sit in Accra and take decisions for people living far away from the city. Mr. Speaker, when you travel into this country -- And I am privileged to say that by God's grace I have visited every part of this country. When you go there you will see that they have different sets
Mr. David oppong 11:40 a.m.
of problems. In Kumawu, they have a problem with water.
But in another part, they have a problem with roads, like the Western Region. You go to the North and some of their biggest problem is just food to eat. And Mr. Speaker, this is the reason why we have decentralization; give the people the power, the authority to decide for themselves and solve their problems.
Unfortunately, what is happening in this country is that those in Accra authorized by the Constitution are compelled to shed off power. And then in the regions instead of they also shedding off power, they try to keep it to their chest. And the little that they will shed off to the District Assemblies, they all keep it to their chest.
They do not want to shed off power to the extent that, as I speak now, most of our Town and Area Councils are paper councils; buildings and offices have been erected by previous governments and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Administration and these buildings are just standing there. As I drive along, I see Town Council offices closed. I see buildings meant for occupation by Town Council members closed and some overtaken by weeds. This is partly because the District Assemblies do not want to shed off power to the Town and Area Councils so that they can govern their people.
Mr. Speaker, if you look at our cities -- Accra, Kumasi, Sekondi/Takoradi and Tamale -- you have one man sitting there as Metropolitan Chief Executive. He does not want to shed off power to the various sub-Metropolitan Councils. So the situation becomes confused.

Mr. Speaker, when an hon. Member

of this House was the Mayor of Kumasi, he started implementing this idea of decentralisation by making the town councils of Kumasi very effective, to the extent that they had power to deal with problems. When he did this experiment, Kumasi woke up and started running as a city.

Mr. Speaker, the other day a colleague hon. Member was making a Statement about Akontombra and I was making the point that in every town in this country, in every village in this country, we have buildings. Go to a place like Konongo, Konongo which is on the road from Accra to Kumasi, when you get there and you see the big, big buildings lining the streets left and right, you would see that if everybody who is an owner of a house in Konongo were to be paying property rate that would go to the District Assembly, the District Assembly would have enough money to take care of every problem that they have. Go to Akim Oda, the land of diamonds, gold or minerals and look at the buildings there.

Mr. Speaker, in my own hometown, Berekum, if you see the beautiful buildings lining the streets and if the Berekum Urban Council were collecting property rates from owners of the buildings, they would not have an excuse to complain about money. And yet everyday the chorus, the common cry from almost all over the country is, “we do not have money; we want money”. But, Mr. Speaker, the answer to the problem is effective decentralisation. If we can make decentralisation work according to the rules, practically on the ground, our biggest problem of even funding would be resolved because everybody would be brought into the bracket.

Right now, we have the Internal Revenue Service complaining about money, but all over the country, if every

District Assembly, every town council, every area council were bringing all their revenues together, there would be so much money with which we can run our cities and our towns. It is on this leg that I want to congratulate the hon. Member who made the Statement for having taken such a very important topic to make a Statement on; and I call on my hon. Colleagues to help support the programme of decen- tralisation.
Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor (NDc -- Lawra/Nandom) 11:50 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this Statement.
I was particularly surprised to hear the erstwhile hon. Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development lamenting so much about the shortcomings of decentralisation, and I guess it is because his sojourn in the Ministry was not sufficiently long enough for him to implement his concerns.
But, Mr. Speaker, the question has always been asked -- for those of us who have been practitioners in this sector for some years now -- that given the peculiar nature of the African state, we need to ask a very fundamental question on why is it that decentralisation became so important, particularly in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. This is because the basic idea of an African state is to concentrate as much power as possible at the centre. What is the motivation that leads the present African state to want to decentre power and share it with lower level units?
When you begin to address this question, Mr. Speaker, you might find that perhaps it was just a bandwagon effect that most African countries in the face of democratisation got on and were not very clear in their minds what exactly or what
aspects of decentralisation they intended to pursue.
If you look at the Ghanaian variant of decentralisation, four objectives are said to be critical -- evolution of government machinery, democratisation, transfer of means and competence to the lower level and the bottom-up approach to development planning. Two of them that are very critical and that we have not paid much attention to have to do with democratisation and the bottom-up approach to development.
Mr. Speaker, democrat isat ion, basically, is a process and so when we started decentralisation in 1989 with a mix of appointed and elected members, one expected that as the years moved on we eventually would be getting to a total election of almost all the main actors within the decentralisation process.
I have had the opportunity of seeing one of the reviews that were done on decentralisation in Ghana, and one of the key recommendations had been that we needed now to move, particularly to elect the main actor, that is the District Chief Executive, at that level. This recom- mendation, I am sure, the former Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development is aware of, but we do not know what exactly is creating the inertia to deepen the democratisation process at the lower level in relation to this elective process.
Mr. Speaker, what is particularly disturbing is what is presented as the bottom-up approach to development planning. One of the studies that I undertook with other colleagues came out with very, very interesting questions in terms of who is competent to define the development priorities of almost all the District Assemblies that we have in this country.

Why you choose to decentralise is that you acknowledge that there are differential responses to national development intervention or that there are peculiarities to development concerns in one area that are not the same for another area. So in trying to actually prioritise your development concerns, what takes place in Shama Ahanta might not be the same development problems for Lawra District Assembly, for instance. But what do we see, Mr. Speaker?

Almost every medium-term develop- ment programme of the District Assembly normally commences ironically from the top, through what has come to be known as “Guidelines” for the preparation of the bottom-up development plan by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC).

If you take a closer look at these guidelines they circumscribe the province within which everybody has to fit his development priority area. Even in communities where the development is not fitting into the guidelines of the NDPC you still find that they struggle to fit them in.

Mr. Speaker, we have evaluated 45 District Assemblies Medium-Term Plans. In fact, we are not even going to talk about the fact that by the time the plan is about to be implemented you find that the plan period has already expired. If you take the 2002-2005 plan period, most District Assemblies, as at now, have not yet had the clearance from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to implement the plan; and we are almost moving into 2006. One wonders what type of development processes, guided by what plan, has been taking place all along before the approval of the plan. And one community that we went to gave us a very interesting answer. Two of them are worth

noting, Mr. Speaker.

One of the community leaders told us that, of course, we claim that our bottom- up approach to development planning is to start from the grass roots but that, indeed, from what they are seeing, when you uproot the grass and turn the roots upside down, then you are actually starting from the top but at the same time starting from the grass roots.

Equally interesting, Mr. Speaker, was

another village we visited; and we met a teacher in that village. The teacher gave us a very graphic picture of how local communities ridicule this particular approach to development planning. He said that when you look at the entire village, the only building that you see that is roofed with corrugated iron sheets is the KVIP toilet.

So he says, for a stranger to visit this village and with nobody there to show him the chief's house, he might end up in the toilet as the most prestigious house within that community. And this is how we need to take local level concerns seriously. It has always been a worry for me that over the years, this particular approach, the bottom-up approach to development planning that is available to local communities, is one that we need to actually address.

If you go to the District Assemblies Common Fund Administration Act, you again find a very interesting claw-back flaw there. You find that the Ministers for Finance and Economic Planning and Local Government and Rural Develop- ment are also supposed to put their heads together and decide project priorities for the District Assemblies, and yet under our Constitution the District Assembly is supposed to be the highest political authority at the local level.

What is the constitutional basis for Ministers sitting in Accra awarding or

transferring means and competence to the local level and giving the District Assembly guidelines as to the area that they should spend that money on? How will the local communities take ownership of their own development initiative that is envisaged by the District Assembly process?

Mr. Speaker, I think this is an issue that this House intends to revisit and at the appropriate time we might indeed be inviting the Committee on Local Government to really take a second look at decentralisation, look at the bottlenecks, look at the difficulties it has travelled through over the years and let us see how we can fine-tune and reconnect decentralisation to its original idea of the four micro-objectives on which the programme is actually premised.

Lastly, Mr. Speaker, you would also realise that when you have to deal with decentralisation in terms of development planning, the unit committees are supposed, basically, to be the starting point.

Mr. Speaker, I can give you the typical example of how medium-term develop- ment plans are prepared by the districts. The first thing is that, you just have the District Assembly together with the team from NDPC and the planner from the Regional Coordinating Council descending on two or three communities and claiming that they are collecting baseline data, ignoring the rest of the communities and unit committees which they used as the basis.

The so-called consultation process that takes place is basically to ask them and to energise them just to be revenue-collecting outlets. There is no arrangement within the unit committee level in which the

Unit Committee members are supposed to collate the peculiar development problems facing their committee, which would be transported to the District Assembly to be included in the formulation process.

What became very striking of the forty- five medium-term plan that we reviewed was this: almost everyone of them had development constraints, development opportunities and development problems in the same stage. What are development constraints for one District Assembly are replicated through all the forty-five District Assemblies; and I would use two District Assemblies as a typical example.

At that time the Sissala District Assembly and Lawra District Assembly, land was neither a development potential nor a development constraint for both District Assembly areas. Yet, if you look at Sissala they have a population ratio of about ten people per square kilometre. If you go to the Lawra district, it is ninety- eight persons per square kilometre. How can land be unproblematic for these two District Assembly areas? And this convinces me, Mr. Speaker, that we have actually not dealt with the basic issues in allowing these processes to come up from the ground.

Of course, if you are struggling to fit your development concerns within the NDPC Guidelines, you are bound to come up with this type of absurd conclusion in the medium-term plan.

Mr. Speaker, what do we see at the end? You would always find an appendix with the names of all those who participated ostensibly in the preparation of the plan, of course, to satisfy the statutory requirements. Just do an analysis of the list and you would find that over 85 per cent of this list are government employees who took part in the so-called public hearing but you do not know whether they took part in relation to the fact that they are
Mr. M. K. Jumah (NPP -- Asokwa) 11:50 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for allowing me to associate myself with the Statement by the hon. Member.
Mr. Speaker, th is i ssue about decentralisation in Ghana, any time it is brought up I shudder, in the sense that it had so much promise. For some time, Ghana was leading countries like Uganda, Burkina Faso, Tanzania when the issue of decentralisation was being discussed at every forum. Unfortunately, it looks like we are paddling backwards when it comes to decentralisation.
Mr. Speaker, if you would allow me, I would want to support the Statement being made here by giving a few anecdotes about my experiences, especially in Kumasi. Mr. Speaker, the laws that fashioned decentralisation in Ghana were made right here in this august House. Mr. Speaker, what I do not understand is that in reviewing these laws -- [Interruption] -- because there have been several attempts in this House.
What I do not understand is this and I want to quote Fella Ransom Kuti. He says:
“Water, water everywhere, and still there is no water to drink.” [Hear! Hear!] We have so many hon. Members here who have experiences as former Assembly Members and District Chief Executives and still our experiences have not been made to bear on the changes in the law.
Mr. Speaker, take for example unit committees. In Kumasi they have over four hundred and five unit committees in our book, over almost four thousand unit committee members in an environment of extreme poverty. Mr. Speaker, unit committee members go to meetings without allowances, and so in Kumasi most unit committees do not work; in fact, they do not even exist. You will need the unit committees to form town councils and if they do not exist, then as Chief Executive, you are forced to conjure members from within the community.

As Chief Executive, one has too many masters; one has to satisfy the Assembly members, one has to satisfy the Regional Minister, one has to satisfy the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, one has to satisfy the President; and in Kumasi one has to satisfy the Otumfuo. [Hear! Hear!] Mr. Speaker,
Alhaji collins Dauda (NDc -- Asutifi South) noon
Mr. Speaker, I also rise to associate myself with the Statement.
Mr. Speaker, the District Assembly concept provides a unique platform for people who have special expertise in the district to be used in helping to develop the District Assemblies. And Mr. Speaker, that is captured under the law where one- third of the members of the Assembly is appointed by Government.
But Mr. Speaker, th is unique opportunity has been abused; abused in the sense that the rationale behind that, as I said, was to provide a platform where the District Assemblies could identify people with special expertise so that their knowledge could be tapped to help develop the District Assembly; but today, I am afraid that is not the situation.

capt. N. Effah-Dartey (rtd.) -- rose
-- noon

Mr. Speaker noon
Hon. Deputy Minister for the Interior, do you have any point of order to raise?

Mr. Speaker, I am saying that about 95 per cent -- If my hon. Colleague wants to insist on his statement then I will call upon him to give evidence, to give data to support the fact that it is party func- tionaries -- [Interruptions.] Mr. Speaker, I said 95 per cent. There is a small section, I will concede -- one or two -- but it is not the generality -- and that is why I think my hon. Colleague should refine or amend his statement; otherwise, he is running into dangerous waters.
Dr. B. Kunbuor noon
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, I am not sure if this is a proper case for a point of order because the hon. Deputy Minister is misleading the House -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker noon
Hon. Member for Lawra/ Nandom, please leave that to me.
Alhaji Dauda noon
Mr. Speaker, I also come from a district where there is a District Assembly and therefore appointments are made to the District Assembly. If the hon. Deputy Minister is not aware, I want him to know from today that in Asutifi District Assembly the one-third membership of the Assembly is made up of party functionaries.

capt. Effah-Dartey (rtd.) -- rose --
Mr. Speaker noon
Hon. Deputy Minister, do you have a point of order?
capt. Effah-Dartey (rtd.): Yes, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, what the hon. Member is saying cannot be factually correct because even the law makes it possible that -- In fact, it is such that the one-third includes at least traditional representatives and he cannot tell me that Nananom have brought representation who are party functionaries. The statement is factually incorrect. I am saying that if the hon. Member is saying that some of the appointees are party functionaries, I will concede; but he generalised it across board, even for his own district Asutifi South, that all the one-third members are party functionaries. It is factually incorrect. He is misleading the House, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker noon
Hon. Member for Asutifi South, are you talking about everybody or some or most?
Alhaji Dauda noon
Mr. Speaker, I said most of them -- [Interruptions.]
Mr. Speaker noon
Please, go ahead and conclude.
Alhaji Dauda noon
Mr. Speaker, my hon. Friend introduced a very interesting item, and that is the fact that some of the hon. Members have to be appointed in consultation with the chiefs and traditional authorities. Even in that regard, I still have a problem.
Mr. Kofi Frimpong noon
On a point of
order. Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member is still misleading this House, in that he is citing a case in his district, but this does not pertain to all other districts -- [Interruptions.] If it is his district, then he should state so and stop generalising it. In fact, that era is gone when somebody's problem becomes a national problem. He should therefore say that it is in his district and not the whole country as he is saying.
Mr. Speaker noon
Hon. Member, I heard him talking about Asutifi South. That was the area he was referring to. Please, go ahead and wind up.
Alhaji Dauda noon
Mr. Speaker, on this note, I wish to humbly call on the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to critically look at the rationale behind putting that provision in the Local Government Act and comply accordingly, so that a situation might not arise whereby if the President wants to make appointments and he asks the District Assemblies to approve of them, the President would rush to revoke the appointments of some of the government
appointees for fear that they may vote against the Government's nominee.
Mr. David H. Yeboah (NPP -- Afigya- Sekyere East) noon
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for allowing me to associate myself with the Statement on the floor. I also thank the maker of the Statement.
This morning we were discussing this topic with the hon. Member for Gomoa East (Mr. R. S. Quarm) and another leading hon. Member from the opposite side.
Mr. Speaker, this is a good Statement because, to me, I think that District Chief Executives have to be elected because even the Assembly members who contribute less at the Assembly were elected. I think that we as Members of Parliament have to decide to come out with a resolution so that all the District Chief Executives would have to be elected.
Mr. Speaker noon
At the Commencement of Public Business, item 6 -- Committee Sittings. Leadership of the House, do you have any indication on that?
Mr. A. o. Aidooh noon
Mr. Speaker, I beg to move that we adjourn proceedings to Tuesday next, at 10 o'clock.
Mr. E. K. D. Adjaho noon
Mr. Speaker, I beg to second the motion.
Question put and motion agreed to.
  • The House was accordingly adjourned at 12.08 p.m. till 28th June, 2005 at 10.00 a.m.