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.