Debates of 17 Feb 2006

Mr. Speaker 10:05 a.m.
Order! Order! Correction of Vote and Proceedings, of Thursday, 16th February 2006.
Hon. Members, we have the Official Report for Thursday, 9th February, 2006. If you have any queries, please bring them to the attention of the Table Office.
Mr. S. K. B. Manu 10:05 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, my attention has been drawn to an anomaly in Wednesday, 15th February, 2006, issue of Votes and Proceedings. I want to believe that we have only one hon. Manu S. K. Balado in this House. But if you take that issue of Votes and Proceedings, that Balado Manu, who I am, has been recorded as being present. And if you come to the absentees list, that same Balado Manu has been recorded as being absent. It is a very serious anomaly and I want to draw the Table Office's attention to this so that they redress the situation.
Mr. Speaker 10:05 a.m.
Item 3 Business Statement.

Majority Leader/Minister for Parliamentary Affairs (Mr. Felix Owusu-Adjapong) 10:15 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Business Committee met yesterday, Thursday, 16 th February 2006 and
determined Business of the House for the Sixth Week ending Friday, 24th February

Mr. Speaker, the Committee accordingly presents its report to this august House as follows:

Arrangement of Business

Questions -

Mr. Speaker, the Committee has programmed twenty-two (22) Questions to be answered by various Ministers during the week.

The details are as follows:

No. of Question(s)

i. Minister for Education and Sports 4

ii. Minister for Manpower, Youth and Employment 1

iii. Minister for Lands, Forestry and Mines 2

iv. Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing 5

v. Minister for the Interior 3

vi. Minister for Fisheries 2

vii. Minister for Road Transport 5

Total Number of Questions 22

Statements -

Mr. Speaker may allow Statements which have been duly admitted to be made on the floor of the House.

Presentation and First Reading of Bills

Mr. Speaker, the Committee is glad to inform the House that the Persons With Disability Bill will be presented and read the first time in Parliament on 24th February 2006.

Papers and Reports

Mr. Speaker, Papers and Reports may be presented to the House for consideration and those which have already been presented may be taken through the required stages of passage.

Motions and Resolutions

Mr. Speaker, motions may be debated and the relevant Resolutions taken where required.

Committee of the Whole

The Committee of the Whole is expected to consider the proposed Formula for sharing the District Assemblies' Common Fund for the year 2006 on Thursday, 23rd February 2006.


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 -
Majority Leader/Minister for Parliamentary Affairs (Mr. Felix Owusu-Adjapong) 10:15 a.m.
- 290, 291, 292 & 293
Minister for Manpower, Youth and Employment 289
Consideration Stage of Bills
Subvented Agencies Bill
Committee Sittings.

Questions -

Minister for Lands, Forestry and Mines 259 & 260

Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing - 275, 276, 277,

278 & 279

Motions -

(a) Second Reading of Bills Customs and Excise (Duties and Other Taxes) (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill.

(b) Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee on the Request for exemption on income and corporate taxes in respect of the Kwanyaku Drinking Water Treatment Plant Rehabilitation and Expansion Works in the Central Region.

Committee Sittings.

Questions --

Minister for the Interior - 269,

270, 271

Minister for Fisheries - 219 & 256

Consideration Stage of Bills

-- Insolvency Bill

Motions -

Third Reading of Bills

Subvented Agencies Bill

Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill

Committee Sittings.

Committee of the Whole to consider the proposed Formula for sharing the District Assemblies' Common Fund for the year 2006.

Questions -

Minister for Road Transport - 202,

203, 204, 205 & 206

Presentation and First Reading of Bills Persons With Disability Bill

Motions -

Third Reading of Bills

Insolvency Bill

Committee Sittings.

Mr. Speaker 10:15 a.m.
Hon. Members, my Office has received a letter from a solicitor of hon. Eric Amoateng, Member of Parliament for Nkoranza North explaining his absence. I refer this matter to the Privileges Committee in accordance with
our Standing Orders.
Questions - Minister for Road Transport? Is the Minister for Road Transport in the House?
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:15 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
he normally knows Friday is his day and I am not sure what is happening, so if we can start with Statements.
Mr. Speaker 10:15 a.m.
We shall stand it down.
STATEMENTS 10:15 a.m.

Mr. Isaac Asiamah (NPP 10:25 a.m.

Mponua): Mr. Speaker, thank you for this opportunity and I rise to associate myself with the Statement on the floor.

Mr. Speaker, kerosene is key to the

survival of the people in my constituency, in particular Atwima-Mponua. I have about three hundred and thirty-three communities and out of this only twenty- two are hooked to the national grid.

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the people

of Atwima-Mponua during this shortage have really suffered from the lack of kerosene in the constituency. Mr. Speaker, the problem was clearly manifested as a result of lack of effective public relations in TOR. One would have expected that during the shortage TOR would have come out clearly to inform Ghanaians, particularly the rural folks of what was happening, but that never happened. So there were rumours all over and people were rather hoarding instead of bringing it to the market, as if we were going to experience a shortage.

Mr. Speaker, this smuggling of kerosene

to other countries should be checked. The information we are getting is that close to our neighbouring countries, those living there normally smuggle some of the kerosene there to sell at a higher price.

Mr. Speaker, this defeats the purpose of Government in making kerosene more affordable to the ruralfolks. The intention of Government is that kerosene should be more affordable to the ruralfolk, but then if we have such unscrupulous elements selling it at a higher price to other communities outside our shores, it defeats that purpose.

Mr. Speaker, again, we used to have

a special arrangement with the District Assemblies whereby we had a stockpile of
Mr. Ntow-Ababio 10:35 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. Mr. Speaker, I heard my hon. Friend say that people living along the borders do smuggle kerosene outside the country. As a Member of Parliament who represents the people of Dormaa who are close to la Cote d'Ivoire border, it is unfair for a Member of Parliament, on the floor of the House, to make such an allegation against us. I want my hon. Friend to come with clear evidence or he should withdraw and apologise to the people of Dormaa - [Interruptons.]
Mr. Asiamah 10:35 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I do not think I was referring to the people of Dormaa only. The statement I made was that people living close to our neighbouring countries sometimes
Mr. Speaker 10:35 a.m.
Hon. Member for Dormaa, do you have a further point of order to raise?
Mr. Ntow-Ababio 10:35 a.m.
Yes, that is so Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the practice in the House, which conforms with our rules and regulations, strictly stipulates that until a Member is able to produce evidence, hard one of course, the Member must withdraw and apologise until such a time that he process such evidence. Mr. Speaker, I am imploring your good self so that you can direct my hon. Friend to do same.
Mr. Speaker 10:35 a.m.
Hon. Member for Dormaa, what do you want him to withdraw?
Mr. Ntow-Ababio 10:35 a.m.
That some people along the borders of the country do smuggle -- Until such a time that he produces evidence it is neither here nor there.
Mr. Speaker 10:35 a.m.
Let him go on.
Mr. Asiamah 10:35 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am really
Mr. Speaker 10:35 a.m.
Hon. Member, continue - [Interruption.]
Mr. Asiamah 10:35 a.m.
My opinion is simple; it is a fact that people sometimes smuggle kerosene to our neighbouring countries, and that is a fact nobody can dispute. That occasionally explains the shortfalls we have in kerosene delivery.

Mr. Speaker, if we want to control the number of births that we have in this country, these are some of the things that we should look critically at. Because, if the people have no access to light the only thing they may resort to is to go to their rooms early and nobody can tell what will happen. Mr. Speaker, I am saying this because I am a rural Member of Parliament; I am from a rural constituency and know what I am talking about.

Mr. Speaker, lastly I urge the District Chief Executives to be really on the ground so that such things, they will report immediately to the appropriate authorities for redress, because, the Members of Parliament really suffer. We would normally receive numerous calls coming from the constituencies, saying “Honourable, I do not have kerosene.” I have had numerous calls during this shortfall period from my constituency complaining of lack of access to kerosene. It becomes so disheartening because they believe that we have been elected to duly represent them; all these problems are put at the doorsteps of the Member of Parliament. We expect the DCEs to be more proactive so that these complains, as they do come, they will report them appropriately to the authorities for redress.

Mr. Speaker, I rise to associate myself

with the Statement made by the hon. Minister for Energy. But before I give my short support, I want to confirm that along the borders of this country, particularly the Aflao Togo border which I am very conversant with because I served in the Ghana Embassy in Lome, smuggling of petroleum products is a very lucrative business [Hear! Hear!] Sometimes, they even put it in baskets; they line the baskets with plastics, put the kerosene or petrol inside and one would think it is tomatoes or something they are taking along. Some operations were made and quite a number of these things came up. So it is important that we make sure that we patrol our borders to ensure that whatever supplies we get in this country largely remain in this country for our own use.

Mr. Speaker, I would want to agree with the hon. Minister that rural kerosene distribution has suffered some setbacks. The first round which was started came with about ten tanks for each District Assembly, which were distributed strategically; recovery was a problem. There was a second round of programme which was launched about two years ago and for which tanks were also made available. These tanks were also supplied but since then no kerosene at all has been supplied to the people who were given the tanks, thus creating a little more anxiety on the part of the people.

Mr. Speaker, the problem that we had with the supplies, particularly in my district, is that some places where tanks were sent, were sent particularly on the basis that there was no electricity and there was no possibility of electricity getting there in the next few years because of the very remoteness of the area, and particularly because there are no roads at all to that place. I am happy that the hon. Minister said there was going to be inter- sectoral approach to this issue.

Mr. Speaker, in some of the areas that we represent motorable roads virtually do not exist - we have made this known

several times - and they are also the food- producing areas of the districts and the constituencies. Therefore, if they cannot get electricity in the near future, if they can also not get kerosene now, then the people need some particular “Marshal” plan arrangement to save them from the ravages of poverty.

Mr. Speaker, I want to urge the hon. Minister for Energy that whilst he considering improving kerosene supply to the country as a whole he must make some particular strategic plans for these rural areas. I would even suggest that we must have district bulk supply depots where kerosene, when it is in sufficient quantity, would be stored for onward re- distribution to some of these remote areas. A gallon of kerosene in some places in my constituency costs more than ¢20,000, and for people who cannot make ends meet, this is a very big burden.

I would also want to rope in the hon. Minister for Roads Transport, if he is here; that he must also give priority to some of these areas that we have been complaining about. We are in a particularly bad situation because the rainfall pattern in our place makes road construction difficult. But that does not mean we should abandon the people to their fate and say that because nature has endowed them with more rainfall than necessary they must continue to suffer. So I want to urge the two hon. Ministers, who are presently in the House, that they should look at the problems of some of these deprived areas, some of these very difficult areas, and that some arrangements should be made to address their difficulties.

On the problem of the recovery, I believe some proper arrangements ought to be made, with the District Assemblies intervening; that people who are given the tanks are people who are themselves a little

bit self sufficient to be able to pay the basic deposits so that the District Assemblies, either from the Common Fund or from the HIPC Fund, can guarantee - that is what we did in the first round - the products to these suppliers so that the bills scan be paid early; because we cannot continue to uphold the debt whilst we also continue to expect that supplies would be made. Mr. Speaker, the kerosene matter is very serious for the rural areas, but it is also part of like for them and therefore we should do everything possible to ensure that they are brought to the mainstream of supply.

With these few words I want to thank the hon. Minister for his Statement.
Mr. S. K. B. Manu (NPP - Ahafo Ano South) 10:45 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I also rise to support the Statement made by the hon. Minister.
In the first place, I want to thank him for coming to the House to brief us on the problem of kerosene shortages and explaining how it came about; and also what his Ministry and the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) are doing to ensure that the problem is not experienced again.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to appeal to him as the Minister for Energy that rural dwellers are suffering a lot. This country has always encouraged people to go back to the land, and going back to the land means going back to the rural areas to farm so as to ensure food security for this country. However, the irony is that these rural areas where we want the people to be are the places where a lot of difficulties are faced. When it comes to energy, it is these people who suffer; when it comes to roads, it is these people who suffer; when it comes to water, it is these people who suffer; and when it comes to health these are the people who suffer.
In the light of all these I ask myself - are we really serious that people should go back to the rural areas and help produce
the cash crops and the food crops that we need in this country? If we want people to live in such areas then we must make life in those areas more attractive and more comfortable. But we the consumers are rather made comfortable; we have electricity, we have water, we have better hospitals and - The life of the rural person is very precarious and I think as a nation we must redirect our policies to alleviate the sufferings of these people, some of whom I represent in Ahafo Ano South.
This kerosene problem brought a lot of hell to me as the Member of Parliament whenever I went there. They know that they have elected me to represent them so I must be able to have answers to their problems, including kerosene; and they are right to think that way. But here we are, we did not even know how it came about until today when the hon. Minister has come to inform us. I would like to appeal that next time when there are such problems the hon. Minister should come early enough to inform us and not wait until when the problem is almost solved that we are told about the genesis of the problem. I think that timely reporting and timely information to the public would help ease tension. I would also like to advise the Ministry to encourage and make available the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LLLPG) so that if people have Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) they can use that and would not use much kerosene for cooking.
Again, I would like to appeal to the Ministry to help send electricity to our rural areas, particularly where the people on their own have planted the low-tension poles. And here again, I have a little quarrel with the Ministry The policy where we say Self-Help Electrification Programme This is undertaken in the rural areas where the people are poorer and they are rather being asked to produce their own
poles before they are given electricity; and they are the poorest. In the cities where they are relativity richer the Government goes out to buy the poles for them.
What is this policy? I find this policy to be very wrong, anti-rural - Hear! Hear!] And we must now direct our policy to alleviate the sufferings of the ruralfolk. And the worse thing is that when they have planted the poles, for years they will not be given the electricity. If you go to the Ahafo Ano South Constituency, we have about 18 communities which have for over the past ten years planted their poles and yet no electricity has been extended to them.
I want to seriously appeal to the Ministry that I am even prepared to use part of the Common Fund to pay for labour, and I just need materials from he Ministry, so that my people will also enjoy electricity. Transformers, cables are all that we need and I think that the hon. Minister, as he is looking at me seriously, has taken me serious and will help the Ahafo Ano people to have electricity in the shortest possible time.
Road Accidents caused by Mini Buses
Ms. Elizabeth Agyeman (NPP - Oforikrom) 10:45 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity given me to make a Statement about the rate of accidents on our roads involving mini buses, particularly the 2007 Mercedes Benz mini buses.
Mr. Speaker, innocent citizens and travelers are being killed on our roads because of the rate of over-speeding and over-taking by the drivers of the 14 - and - 12 seater mini buses, notably the Korean and japanese built buses which we have allowed to be converted into 19 - and 15 - seaters respectively.
Mr. Speaker, like the Toyota Hiace,
Ms. Elizabeth Agyeman (NPP - Oforikrom) 10:55 a.m.
Nissan Urvan, Hyundai Grace, et cetera, the PNDC banned these types of mini buses from traveling beyond 30 kilometers.
Mr. Speaker, that measure drastically reduced the spate of fatalities on our roads. Despite the existence of this PNDC enactment, the owners of these buses have decided to go beyond the distances they cover over the years. This state of affairs has alarmingly increased the spate of accidents.
Mr. Speaker, while the 14 -- and 12 -- seater four (4) wheelers were banned from covering long distances, their cousins, the 22-seater 207 Mercedes Benz mini buses were not so affected. With regard to the over-speeding, over-taking and the accidents which these buses are causing, it appears as if they have taken over from their junior cousins, the 12 - and 12-seaters.
Mr. Speaker, about three months ago I was going to Obuasi from Kumasi. When I passed jacobu junction, I witnessed three of these 207 buses that had just been involved in an accident. I stopped my car, went to the accident scene and later found out that twenty-two (22) passengers had died on the spot. Four (4) more passengers died later at the Hospital after the seriously injured were rushed to the G.G.C Hospital at Obuasi and the Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi.
Mr. Speaker, about three years ago I lost my brother who was travelling on one of these 207 mini buses from Kumasi to Accra. The bus was involved in a ghastly accident at Amasaman which killed eighteen (18) passengers instantly. Most pathetically, our family never heard of my brother's death until after two weeks, when we got worried and started looking for him. At the Neoplan Station in Kumasi it was revealed to us that a 207 Benz bus
had been involved in an accident some two weeks ago and some bodies were lying unidentified at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. We followed up to the Hospital where we were able to identify the body by the short he wore that fateful morning. This story repeats itself on daily basis, virtually.

On Monday, 30 th january 2006, between the hours of 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., I was returning from Kumasi to Accra by road, and between jejeti and Enyiresi, there was yet another fatal accident involving a 207 bus.

Mr. Speaker, human heads had been severed from their bodies in a very tragic manner; five passengers died instantly and th injured were rushed to the Nkawkaw Hospital.

Mr. Speaker, just last Monday, the 13th of February 2006, two of these Benz buses belonging to the same owner got involved in a similar accident at Akomadan in the Offinso North Constituency; twelve people died on the spot and others were rushed to the hospital.

Mr. Speaker, many examples abound, which unfold tragic consequences. I do not think we have to sit down as lawmakers and watch these 207 buses decimate our population.

Mr. Speaker, just as the promulgation of a PNDC Decree reduced the spate of accidents involving the twelve-seater mini buses and fifteen-seater mini buses, we need to put in place similar laws to restrict the use of these 207 buses as passenger carriers. In Europe and other places, these 207 mini buses and similar models are used to haul goods within a certain radius.

Mr. Speaker, the Ghana Private Road

Transport Union (GPRTU) AND THE private Road Transport Association (PROTOA) should be encouraged to put down proper guidelines and educational programmes for short and long distance drivers, especially those driving the 207 buses.

The guidelines could cover recording passengers' names, speed limits, regular maintenance of vehicles, and frequent in- service training for the drivers and travel time limitation. Heavy fines and attitudinal change on the part of drivers are also important issues to consider.

Mr. Speaker, I am not advocating the withdrawal of these mini buses from our roads. However, as lawmakers, we should let the drivers and owners of such vehicles know that we are very much concerned about the rate at which these 207 buses have been involved in rampant accidents on our roads, thus killing innocent citizens of the land. Perhaps, we can legislate to permit such vehicles to carry only goods and not people.
Mr. Benito Owusu-Bio (NPP - Atwima-Nwabiagya) 10:55 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for allowing me to contribute to the Statement on the floor.
Mr. Speaker, although these mini buses contribute to the general transportation network of the country day-in-day out they appear to be almost a menace on our roads. Mr. Speaker, as one drives on our major highways, one is sometimes shocked by the way they over-speed, overtake and even sometimes stop abruptly on the highways. Mr. Speaker, I think that drivers of these vehicles are not properly trained and also the vehicle owners do not take
into consideration due diligence when recruiting these drivers. Mr. Speaker, this happens not to be the case in comparison with the large buses or coaches since these are very expensive and as such the owners always would want experienced drivers to handle them.
Mr. Speaker, also, I would urge the licensing authorities to make it almost impossible for such vehicles, which have been designed to carry goods only, to be changed to carry passengers.
Mr. Emmanuel Gyamfi (NPP - Odotobri) 10:55 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt about the spate of road accident on our roads at the moment. There are a lot of factors that contribute to this particular problem.
Mr. Speaker, I believe that about three days ago, the Executive Secretary of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) said that about forty per cent of the motor vehicles on our roads do not have valid roadworthy certificates. And with this, a lot of accidents can happen because before one is given a valid roadworthy certificate a lot of things must be taken into consideration. For instance, the tyres, the lighting system, the brakes and a whole lot should have been checked before these certificates are given out. But because there are some dubious ways of
Mr. Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon. Member for Atwima-Mponua, do you have a point of order to raise ?
Mr. Issac Asiamah 10:55 a.m.
Yes, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, it is not true that good motorable roads in this country record less accidents. It is rather the best of roads that record the highest accidents in this country. That is a point of correction.
Mr. Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon. Member, continue.
Mr. Gyamfi 10:55 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am speaking from experience- [Hear! Hear!] The Kumasi-Obuasi road is a typical example and everybody can bear me out. The hon. Member for Obuasi is here and he can testify to what I am saying. So Mr. Speaker, to end, I would submit that the Government should go ahead with its road infrastructure development so as to help to reduce such fatal accidents on our roads.
Mr. Joe K. Hackman (NPP - Gomoa West) 11:05 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to associate myself with the Statement on the floor.
Mr. Speaker, it is sad to note that the hon. Member lost the brother and there was no means of knowing until two weeks later. I remember a long time ago on the Accra-Tema Motorway, there was an SOS telephone on the highway. Now, the new road network does not seem to have SOS telephones on the highway. So in the event of an accident there is no way of reporting to anyone. I would also appeal to passengers to sometimes carry some form of identification cards on them, together with telephone numbers, so that in the unfortunate situation of an accident somebody might be able to know that such a person had been involved in an accident.
Mr. Speaker, I am very much aware that the law on on-the-spot fine instituted by the MTTU has been passed. However, this has not been implemented. I believe strongly that if the non-the-spot fine is
Mr. Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon. Majority Chief Whip, do you have any point of order?
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:05 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, if I heard my hon. Colleague right, he said articulated truck drivers sometimes get broken down in the middle of the road - [Interruptions] - Mr. Speaker, if I got him right - I want to believe that it was a slip but certainly the drivers do not get broken down in the middle of the road. [Laughter.]
Mr. Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon. Member for Gomoa West, please continue.
Mr. Hackman 11:05 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I know my hon. Brother has command over the English Language, and we always try to redefine some of the words. Mr. Speaker, it is also very important for GPRTU to really check themselves, especially in allowing the sale of alcohol at lorry parks. Most of these drivers who involve themselves in accidents are found to be heavily drunk and it is because akpeteshie and other hard liquors are sold right at the lorry parks. They take shots of akpeteshie before they take off; sometimes they want
to get there as quickly as they can.
Mr. Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon. Member for Evalue Gwira, do you have any point of order?
Mr. Armah 11:05 a.m.
That is so, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, when the hon. Majority Chief Whip raised the point of order, I got the impression that it was only trucks that breakdown; but now, from what the hon. Member is saying, the drivers who drink a little bit of akpeteshie also break down. [Laughter.]
Mr. Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Let him continue.
Mr. Hackman 11:05 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think the GPRTU should also consider the issue of time limits that a driver could take from Accra to Kumasi. Some of them are making it in two hours whilst others use about four hours. I am sure if the GPRTU institutes measures to control time limits that the drivers could use from one destination to another it will also reduce the problem.
With that I support the Statement on the floor and I wish hon. Members will put their heads together especially to see to it that road accidents are reduced on our highways.
Minister for Road Transport (Dr. Richard Anane) 11:15 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to associate myself with the Statement. But in doing so I want to assure the House about measures that Government has been taking in the past few years to address the concerns that hon. Members have raised.
Mr. Speaker, the serious interventions

made by Government are seen in the following: At the end is the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority. Mr. Speaker, the institution is ensuring that we only get qualified people who appreciate the responsibility entrusted to them to be at the steering wheel.

Mr. Speaker, I had occasion to mention on the floor of this House that even some of my Colleague Ministers had the experience of wanting to acquire licences and thinking that it was as in the past. Mr. Speaker, they called the office and tried to get the licences but they were politely approached by the Chief Executive of the DVLA himself to request of them to come down to be tested before they could be given licences. I was assured by some of these hon. Ministers that, yes, it was a very pleasant surprise to them but they were very happy that this is the turn of events.

Mr. Speaker, in the same vein, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority certification of vehicles is now very stringent and one does not just pass through as it was in the past. We do appreciate that the DVLA did not have the capacity to be able to certify all vehicles in the country. Mr. Speaker, we are now spreading the activities of the DVLA by way of setting up new offices in other areas to be able to catch the vehicles that are in those corridors.

Mr. Speaker, in addition to that the road agencies are addressing some of the long standing problems on our roads through the correction of mal-alignments - vertical and horizontal-like the various curves that we see on the roads and the hills that we see; because often the hills and the curves, a lot of vehicles tend to have collisions and other things. So Mr. Speaker, these are all being done to make sure that our roads are safe.

Then the activity of the National Road Safety Commission has also been enhanced. Between 2001 and 2005, the Road Safety Action Plan was put in place and executed. And Mr. Speaker, with the execution of the Road Safety Action Plan road traffic accident fatality rate, which was about 76 in the pre-2000 years, has been brought down from 31 deaths per 10,000 vehicles as at the end of 2001 to a provisional 19 deaths per 10,000 vehicles as at the end of 2005. Mr. Speaker, these are all as a result of the concerted activities of the various agencies in their attempt to ensure that we have safety on our roads.

Mr. Speaker, in addition to that this august House passed the Road Traffic Law at the end of 2004. This was to replace the Road Traffic Ordinance of 1952 which had gone through some amendments but which still did not seem to take into account some of the new developments in road transportation. Mr. Speaker, these activities have all come together to help in bringing down the road traffic accident fatality rate in our country.

However, Mr. Speaker, with particular reference to the 207 mini buses, while they are a concern we would want to appreciate that it is not just the buses but there are other factors which ought to have been addressed. We have addressed these and I want to assure the august House that since last year the Ministry has taken up the issue of the 207 mini buses; the Committee which I set up to investigate and advise me is yet to bring its report to me. But even in the course of their investigation the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) even a made a request that we permit them to import some of these vehicles. That has been kept on hold because I am yet to receive the advice of the committee, and based on this we will know how to go about it. But we appreciate that the

207 mini buses were not made to carry passengers.

We also appreciate that if they were not made to carry passengers than the body build would not be built in such a way as would give safety to people who are carried on these vehicles. So all these have been taken into account and we are addressing these issues. But before we take an action we must have hard facts to advise us in the action that we want to take.

So Mr. Speaker, while associating with the submission of my hon. Colleague I still want to assure the august House that we are addressing the issues.

Tribute to the Late Dr. Francis Kwame Buah

Rev. B. B. Donkor (NPP - Hemang Lower-Denkyira): Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for allowing me to make a Statement in the form of a tribute to the late Dr. Francis Kwame Buah affectionately called Father Buah or F.K. Buah, a renowed historian, statesman and a constituent.

Mr. Speaker, before I proceed with my tribute, I implore you to allow me to make tyhis citation, and with your kind permission, I quote:

“Days and moments quickly flying Blending the living with the dead Soon will you and I be lying like this Each within our narrow bed”.

Mr. Speaker, Dr. F. K. Buah, known by his family members as Kwame Gyetau, was born to Opanin Buah Kwadwo of Twifo Wamaso and Rose Abena Boatemaah Sarfo from Twifo Mampoma, all small towns near Twifo Praso on 22nd

August, 1922 F.K. Buah was the second born of his mother and the eighth of his father.

He started his elementary education at Twifu Mampoma and continued his secondary education at St. Theresa's junior Seminary, Amisano, near Elmina. He undertook a 4-year course at the National University of Ireland, the University College of Cork, graduating in 1951 with a Double First Class Honour degree in History and Economics and winning a college award to read for Masters in Politico-economic history. He was awarded a Doctor of Education, motu proprio, by Albert Einstein International of Cambridge's Examinations Syndicate, becoming Chief Examiner for WAEC's GCE O-Level History papers; Reviewer for WAEC's A-Level History papers, and Local Subject Expert for the Council's A Level General Papers. He was an examiner for the International Baccalaureate in Contemporary World History, serving for a period as Chief Examiner for the papers.

Dr. F. K. Buah was a teacher at St. Theresa's Seminary, Amisano, Elmina and was Head of History Department, Achimota School, Accra. He was the First headmaster of St. john's School, Sekondi and Tema Secondary School both in the public system.

F. K. did not limit his development programme only to Tema Secondary School; he helped develop his District of birth - Twifo Hemang Lower Denkyira Distrct. It was through him that the defunct Twifo Praso Teacher Training College was established, which was converted to the present Twifo Praso Secondary School established in 1981. He did not rest there but championed the selection of a new site and the building of entirely first class modern secondary school at Twifo Praso.
Dr. Buah served on a number of public boards including the following 11:15 a.m.
a. Governor of Apowa St. Mary's Training College;
b. Member of the Government's Orthography (Twi-Fante) Committee;
c. One time President of the People's Education Asso-ciation;
d. Government nominee to WAEC and twice elected Vice-chairman of the Council;
e. Member of the Council of Cape Coast University, serving in the last two years as the Pro- Chancellor and Chairman of the University Council; and
f. Chairman of the Greater Accra Regional Conference of
As a result of his eminent contribution to education, Dr. Buah received awards and honours including:
1. Exhibition in History at the National University of Ireland in 1951;
2. Fellow of the International Biographical Association, Cambridge, U.K. in 1978; and
3. Doctorate degree in Education (Honoris Causa); awarded by the prestigious Albert Eintein International Academy Foundation in 1993;
His profile featured in the IBA's “Internat ional WHO's WHO of I n t e l l e c t u a l s ” a n d “ M E N O F ACHIEVEMENT,” and the Marquis 1985 series, “WHO IS WHO IN THE
He was elected the Member of Parliament for Twifo Hemang Lower Denkyira Constituency in 1979, and he was appointed Minister for Trade and Tourism and Minister for Education, Culture and Sports in the Limann Administration.
He undertook a wide and intensive research for the publication of 15 history textbooks and his many successful publications include The Ancient World, The World Since 1750, West Africa from A.D. 1000, and A History of Ghana. His last book, The Government of West Africa was successfully launched on july 15,
Mr. Speaker, the late F. K. Buah was not only a historian par excellence but he also made history in his life time. This is manifested in what has been best described as “F.K. Buah the First”
Mr. Speaker, Dr. F. K. Buah was 11:15 a.m.
1. the first from his home district, Twifo Hemang Lower-Denkyira to obtain a University degree;
2. the first Ghanaian to graduate at an overseas University obtaining Double First-class honours (1951) in History of Economics.
3. the first from his home district to be elected Member of Parliament and a Minister of State.
4. the first scholar in Ghana to be appointed as the founder Headmaster of two schools in the Public system of Education: St jojn's College, Sekondi (1951- 1958) and Tema Secondary School
5. the first Ghanaian scholar to popularize in his writings the use of the indigenous forms of the country's place and personal names in Ghana, such as instead of Asante, Ashanti, instead of Kibi, Kyebi, Kwawu, Sehwi (Sefwi), Wassa (instead of wassaw), Bono-Ahafo, et cetera.
6. the first Ghanaian scholar to publish 16 textbooks in History adopted across Anglophone West Africa, plus other works.
7. the first Ghanaian non-official to be elected Vice Chairman twice
by the West African Examinations Council.
8. the first Headmaster at the pre- tertiary level to be appointed in Ghana by Government as Pro- Chancellor and Chairman of University of Cape Coast.
9. the first Ghanaian to receive, motu proprio, the degree of Doctor of Education from the world-famous Albert Einstein International Academcy Foundation (1993).
10. the first Ghanaian teacher to be recognized and publicly proclaimed by his colleagues as “A great pillar of strength to education in Ghana.”
F. K.'s memory is perpetuated at the Tema Secondary School. A magnificent edifice in the form of a bust is mounted in concrete by the 1976 Year Group.
On Sunday, 4th December, 2005, Dr. F.K. Buah woke up but looked rather weak. His departure was sudden and totally unexpected. Dr. F.K. Buah was survived by his wife, three children and seven grandchildren.
Mr. Speaker, it goes without saying that the demise of F.K. Buah has created a big vacuum not only for his family but his hometown, constituency, district, Ghana as a nation, the sub-region and Africa as a continent. Students and for that matter the academia will forever remember him for this incisive writings.
Mr. Speaker, at this juncture, on my own behalf and that of Parliament, I express my deepest condolence to the bereaved family.

May his soul rest in perfect peace.
Mr. Speaker 11:15 a.m.
We will go back to item 4.


Mr. Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Question No. 197, hon. Yaw Effah-Baafi, Member of Parliament for Kintampo South - [Pause] Question No. 198, hon. Member for Kintampo South, Mr. Yaw Baafi - [Pause] Question No. 199, hon. Yaw Effah-Baafi, Member of Parliament for Kintampo South - [Pause]. Question 200, hon. Michael Coffie Boampong, Member for Parliament for Bia? [Pause] Question No. 201, hon. Michael Coffie Boampong (Bia)? - [Pause]
PAPERS 11:15 a.m.

Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 11:15 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, today being a Friday I am sure most hon. Members would want to visit their constituencies and to go to the mosque too, I am told. I therefore move that this House do adjourn till next week, Tuesday at 10.00 a.m.
Mr. A. O. Aidooh 11:15 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to second the motion.
Question put and motion agreed to.
ADJOURNMENT 11:15 a.m.