Mr. Spealer I rise to second the motion and in doing so, I wish to take advanage of this opportunity to make a few comments on the work and the Report. Mr. Speaker, it is very clear that the Agreement before us is one that will benefit this country tremendously if we strike some luck and oil is found in the area. The Cape Three Points area is not a virgin area. In fact, it has been explored before and therefore there have been data and information that indicate the possibility of striking oil in the area. This is why such agreements are very important and we must look at them from the economic point of view as to the benefits that they will bring.
Also, I wish to observe that the Agreement is actually based on the model agreement which means that it is in a standard format with only slight changes in the wording according
to the individual corporate bodies that we are dealing with. Therefore, there is nothing too new about this Agreement. Several previous agreements such as with Ghana and other companies have been based on this very model.
So Mr. Speaker, at the committee level when we considered the document, we made it clear to the Ministry and the technical people, GNPC, who go into such agreements that the model agreement having been used over some time should not be taken as foolproof but that the observations and comments that we make at the committee level ought to be used to improve upon the model agreements so that future agreements will even be more crisp and more beneficial to the country. But all in all, I think there is not much to say against this Agreement and I will seek the support of the full House to ratify this Agreement.
Mr. E. K. D. Adjaho (NDC - Avenor/
Ave): Mr. Speaker, as indicated by the Ranking Member, I rise to support the motion for the adoption of the Committee's Report. But Mr. Speaker, it is important to make one or two observations.
Mr. Speaker, at page 5 of the Report, the Committee recommended that the guarantee should be attached to the Agreement as an appendix, and the parties agreed to the recommendation. Mr. Speaker, it is my view that when Parliament is being called upon to ratify an agreement, my understanding is that everything should be put together, everything in the agreement should be so perfect, because we do not have the power to do any amendment; we are only ratifying the document.
But we have seen in the course of the Committee's deliberations that certain
documents that would make the whole document complete were rather missing. For example, the portion that I have read out which should be attached as an appendix, and the fact that the document was not dated.
Mr. Speaker, I would want to take this opportunity to say that in future, when the Executive is bringing Agreements in order to evoke the powers conferred on Parliament, under article 268 (1) of the Constitution, they should make sure that they do their homework well because if we had pushed further, it would have meant that they would have had to withdraw the document and bring it back to the House in order for it to be ratified. But once it is in the national interest that we push some of these agreements, with the expectation that in future we would make commercial discovery of crude oil in this country, we thought that we should let it go for now. But Mr. Speaker, in future, I do not think that some of us will go that way.
Mr. Speaker, it is also important to
point out that the Model Petroleum Agreement has been used extensively in formulating this agreement, which is the subject matter of this Report. And it is also important that whilst we condemn people, where people have to take credit, we have to give them credit; and that these model standing orders were prepared by the GNPC under the former Chief Executive, Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata. It is important to put this on record.
Mr. Speaker, I believe that we should all support this agreement, but in future, the Executive should make sure that they make our work easier by making sure that the documents are correct.
Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu (NPP
- Suame): Mr. Speaker, I also rise to associate myself with the motion and indeed to support it.