Debates of 19 May 2006

PRAYERS 10 a.m.





Majority Leader) 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Majority Leader is unavoidably absent and I am seeking your permission to read the Business Statement on his behalf.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Permission granted.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Hon. Member for Shai
Osudoku, are you making your usual application?
Mr. Assumeng 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to
draw your attention to Order 48 (2) and with your permission, may I read.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Yes, you may read it.
Mr. Assumeng 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it says:
“If at the time of Sitting a Member takes notice or objection that there are present in the House, besides the person presiding, less than one-third of the number of all the Members of Parliament, and after an interval of ten minutes a quorum is not present,
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Hon. Member, we shall
certainly comply with Order 48 (2). We need ten more minutes. So let us go on and see what happens.
Mr. Assumeng 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am not
quite clear with your ruling.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Would you be kind
enough to read it again.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Hon. Member, for Nkawkaw, resume your seat.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Yes, Hon. Member, what
point do you want to raise? Is it in respect of the Official Report?
Mr. E. P. Aidoo 10 a.m.
Yes, Mr. Speaker. It
is in respect of the Official Report, pages 7 and 8.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Would you please bring
it to the attention of the Table.
Hon. Deputy Whip, you may now read out the Business Statement.
Mr. Okerchiri 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Business Committee met on Thursday, 18th May 2006 and determined Business of the House for the Second Week ending Friday, 26th May 2006.
Mr. Speaker, the Committee presents its report to this honourable House as follows 10:10 a.m.
Arrangement of Business
Mr. Speaker, the Committee has scheduled twenty-one (21) Questions to be answered by various Ministers during the week under reference.
The details are as follows:
No. of Question(s)
i. Minister for the Interior 8
ii. Minister for Food and Agriculture 6
iii. Minister for Transportation 7
Total No. of Questions 21
Mr. Speaker may allow Statements duly admitted to be made on the floor of the House.
Bills, Papers and Reports
Mr. Speaker, Bills, Papers and Reports may be presented to the House for consideration. Mr. Speaker, those which have already been presented to the House, may be taken through their various stages of passage.
Motions and Resolutions
Mr. Speaker, motions may be debated and the appropriate resolutions taken where required.
Mr. Speaker, Thursday, 25th May 2006 is Africa Day. The day would be observed as a public holiday in accordance with Article 626.
Mr. Speaker, the Business Committee once again wishes to remind the various Committees to expedite action on their
respective referrals and present same for consideration by the House.
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 the Interior - 400, 401, 402, 403, 404, 405, 406 and 407.


Second Reading of Bills --

Persons with Disability Bill, 2006.

Committee Sittings.

Questions --

Minister for Food and Agriculture - 456, 457, 458, 459, 460 and 461.


Laying of Papers --

(a) Report of the Committee on Education on the Polytechnics Bill, 2005.

(b) Report of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on the Laws of Ghana (Revised Edition) (Amendment) Bill,


Committee Sittings.

Public Holiday (Africa Day).
Mr. Speaker, the Committee presents its report to this honourable House as follows 10:10 a.m.

Questions --

Minister for Transportation - 254, 311, 312, 313, 314, 315 and 316.


Second Reading of Bills --

Laws of Ghana (Revised Edition) (Amendment) Bill, 2005.
Mr. Charles Hodogbey 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in paragraph 4, the Business Committee once again wishes to remind the various committees to expedite action on their respective referrals and present same for consideration by the House; I would like to know which committee is responsible for the welfare of the House; because there is nothing representing the Committee of the House meeting on hon. Members' welfare.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
You would want to know which committee does what?
Mr. Hodogbey 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, what I am referring to is that there is no mention of the Committee of the Whole regarding the welfare of this House - of hon. Members -- in the weekly schedule.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
We shall deal with that in due course.
Mr. Ibn Mohammed Abass 10:10 a.m.
Speaker, once again, I would want to express my unhappiness about the fact that an Urgent Question I asked has not yet reflected in the Questions for the hon. Minister for the Interior. We all remember that I drew the attention of this House on several occasions to an Urgent Question I asked about the public safety situation in Bimbilla, and what the hon. Minister was doing to bring about return to normalcy. Up till now, that Question has not yet been attended to and I would want to once again
draw your attention and the attention of the Business Committee to look at this matter and ensure that the hon. Minister for the Interior comes up with an Answer.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Thank you very much indeed.
Mr. E. K. D. Adjaho 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in
fact, what has been captured by the Acting Majority Leader is what took place at the Business Committee meeting.
But Mr. Speaker, the first week of this Meeting is ending today and we have not seen the Agenda for this Meeting. Mr. Speaker, what it means is that when Business Statements are read, a lot of us will be asking Questions, “where is my Question?”; “Is my Question pro- grammed or it is not programmed?” I would want to ask the acting Majority Leader when he will make available to hon. Members the Agenda for this Meeting. I had also filed some three Urgent Questions before we went on recess. We would then know whether our Questions have been programmed for this Meeting or not.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Acting Chairman, are you in a position to answer this question?
Mr. Okerchiri 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I will carry the concerns of the hon. Members for Bimbilla and Avenor/Ave religiously to the Majority Leader, and I hope that soon they will have favourable answers.
Mr. Edward Salia 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would have deferred this question but for the fact that my two hon. Colleagues made reference to Urgent Questions that have not been answered. I would want to talk about normal Questions; those are not even urgent. For nearly eight months now I have asked Questions that have not been answered and one of such Questions was so important that if it had been answered it might have influenced the allocation of the Millennium Challenge Account funds.
I asked to find out what projects were being considered at the time and what
was the basis for selecting beneficiary communities. That Question has been ignored since that time. I believe that it has affected my interest, in the sense that, if that Question had been answered, maybe we would have pursued other avenues to see whether we could get better allocation from those funds.
So it is one of the most important things for me and I think that we ought to consider a maximum time limit within which Questions asked must be answered. There is an undue delay in answering some of these Questions and some of us suspect that it could even be deliberate; it might have been intended not to have been answered altogether.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Hon. Member for Jirapa, your concerns will be addressed.
Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I just want to reiterate two issues; maybe that will help clarify the concerns of hon. Members.
Mr. Speaker, the first one is that the Order of Business or what we call the Agenda for the Meeting is the duty of the Clerk. It is the duty of the Clerk to prepare the Agenda for a Meeting. I think that that definitely is done under your guidance and not that of the Majority Leader. That is the first thing, and I think we have to clarify that.
Mr. Speaker, yes, the Majority Leader comes in because he has to inform his Colleagues in Government that they would be needed on those days to answer Questions or perform certain roles in Parliament. But he is not in charge of that duty.
Again, Mr. Speaker, I think that we need to enforce our Standing Orders concerning Questions to hon. Ministers
Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, there are time limits that are given and I think that we are not complying with them. So hon. Members ask Questions and for some months -- six months -- they would have heard nothing; and sometimes they are not even aware that the Question would be answered in a week or in a day. Therefore, you do not see them because they tend to perform other duties. I think we have to make sure that we enforce, especially Standing Order 60, Rule 3, where with your permission I quote:
“A Minister shall not take more than three weeks to respond to a Question from the House.”

Mr. Speaker, and that is on receipt of the Question and these Questions are usually processed by your goodself and the Clerk, which is also stated in Standing Orders 64, 65 and 66. So Mr. Speaker, I think that we should start enforcing these rules to make sure that people comply and treat this House with dignity.

It is important that we ourselves start showing that we are here to perform a function and not to take up all the blame and let the constituents think that we are the people who are not performing when it is as a result of a number of issues, including the lack of capacity; because we are not well-resourced and the other arms of government are not co-operating with us but rather are trying to dominate and stifle us.

So Mr. Speaker, I just want to crave your indulgence to be strict in the enforcement of our Standing Orders. Even though we need to revise them in the near future, what we have is still good enough to enforce compliance of the other arms of government.
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Thank you. Let us move
STATEMENTS 10:20 a.m.

Mr. Kojo Armah (CPP - Evalue- Gwira) 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would want to associate myself with the Statement made by my hon. Colleague and to also offer my condolences to the victims.
Mr. Speaker, the Statement, though very short, brings once again to the fore the problems we are facing in the Western Region at this time of the year when the rains are beginning to do their rounds.
Mr. Speaker, we have always been
complaining, those of us from the Western Region, that because of the rainfall pattern we suffer enormously, especially when it comes to the issue of roads and the quick response by agencies like National Disaster Management Organization
I believe that what has happened at Asankran Breman could also happen in other areas of the Western Region at this time of the year. School buildings might not be able to withstand the rains. The roads are terrible; we may not have transport good enough to quickly respond to the issues as they come. We also have the problem of capacity of the NADMO personnel to deal with such disasters in our area. And I believe, every year, when this issue comes up and we speak about them, they also die with the passage of time; nobody really cares to come to the aid of the affected areas and the victims.
Mr. Speaker, I believe the Ministry
of Road Transport, Ghana Highway Authority, Department of Feeder Roads should all team up to bring some relief to the people of these affected areas.
In my own constituency, Mr. Speaker, there is not one good road to the cocoa growing areas though we have been crying for these roads all these years. I believe that when the rains come, we are going to have a very bad situation, perhaps not comparing it with the Asankran Breman but more than what we have because we are also in the forest zone.
So this Statement, as I said, is quite short but it also calls for a lot of action from the relevant agencies. They should actually sit down and map out some long- term relief programmes for the Western Region particularly. I will say it for my constituency in particular because the roads there are terrible. Without good roads you cannot get to the hospitals; without good roads you cannot get relief and without good roads, possibly you may not even have cocoa and foodstuffs evacuated in good time.
So Mr. Speaker, I associate myself with the Statement made by my hon. Friend and also call on the relevant agencies to do well to come to the aid of the affected areas, the victims and the people of the Western Region.
Mr. J. K. Avedzi (NDC - Ketu
North): Mr. Speaker, I would like to associate myself with the Statement made by my hon. Friend. Mr. Speaker, the rains this time are not affecting only Western Region but the lower part of the Volta Region is also seriously affected.
In my constituency for instance, there are three main rivers that flow into the Keta Lagoon. The flooding of these three rivers has caused a lot of damage to the people of Ketu North. Mr. Speaker, just yesterday, when I had a call and I went to
the constituency, I realized that there were so many roads in the constituency which were completely cut off. For instance, the road leading from Tadzewu to Dzodze is completely cut off by the rain. The road leading from Afife to villages like Tinu, Kporkuve, Ohawu are completely cut off.
Two days ago, the road between Afife and Avelavi which is part of the main Aflao-Accra road was completely cut off. Vehicles could not use the road. Vehicles coming from Aflao had to use the Keta Sea Defence road through Keta to Dabala Junction.
Now, apart from the road being cut off, flooding is also causing a lot of damage to the Afife Irrigation Farm. Currently, there is planting going on and all the farmers have done their first planting but the farm is completely submerged in water. If this water is not lifted within the next two or three days, it means that the planting that the farmers have done would go to waste; and that is going to affect the yield for the year. So the rains that are falling these days are actually affecting not only the Western Region but the Volta Region as well. And that is why I associate myself with the Statement.
I wish to call on the authorities involved -- the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, NADMO, International Development Agency (IDA) -- to come to the aid of the Afife Irrigation Farm so that they can have a good yield for the year. If that is not done, it is going to affect rice production for the people of the area and, definitely, that will affect the economy of Ghana; because we all know that Afife is the number one rice producing centre in Ghana and if we do not get rice from Afife this year, it will have effect on rice consumption.
Mr. Speaker, I think the Statement
is very short but it needs action. The authorities must move quickly and resolve the issue and then plan for future
Mr. E. K. Salia (NDC - Jirapa) 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to associate myself with the Statement made by my hon. Colleague representing the Amenfi West constituency. Mr. Speaker, even in the forest, where there are tree checks, the effects of the wind are as serious as has been described by my hon. Colleague and I, indeed, express a lot of sympathy to the individuals and communities that have been so adversely affected by this disaster.
Mr. Speaker, I will consider this
Statement as a generic statement for all disasters throughout the country, and I wish to say that it is not limited only to the Western and Volta Regions. Particularly, in the North, where the nature of the vegetation is such that the tree cover is very sparse and there are no tall trees to act as windbreaks, when fierce winds begin, the situation is particularly serious because of the torrential nature of rainfall there. This is the beginning of the rainy season in the North and already a lot of communities are also suffering from the effects of fierce winds. My concern, however, is that every now and then we make these Statements in which it is often stated that the local NADMO makes assessments of what disasters have occurred and the cost of the disaster.
Unfortunately, my experience is that
-- For instance, last year, the people of Saboli in my community were affected by a similar disaster and assessments were made so that NADMO would come to their assistance. Up till this time that I am speaking, no such relief has come. Early this season, the community of Tampala was similarly affected and again the assessment has been made.
We need to find out, as a follow-up to these statements, what indeed NADMO does to these communities. I am very certain that a lot of the time, NADMO does very little to relieve afflictions of these communities. Mr. Speaker, I would like therefore, to appeal through this House to NADMO to reintensify their efforts in terms of coming to the relief of communities afflicted by disasters of this nature.
Mr. Speaker, I know that there is
an annual budget for disasters. How the moneys or how the resources are allocated, we never know and I hope that if there is a periodic reporting to this Parliament, NADMO would be able to tell us which of these disasters they have attended to. I am convinced that there is still a lot that is left to be done by NADMO in terms of its response to disasters in communities like these.
I would therefore like to add my voice to that of my hon. Colleagues so that something urgent can be done, not only for people of the communities affected in the Amenfi West constituency, but all other communities that have made such appeals or that have been afflicted by such disasters.
Mr. B. D. K. Adu (NPP - Okere) 10:30 a.m.
Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to add my voice to those who have contributed to the Statement on the floor. Mr. Speaker, these natural disasters would continue to be with us but our
ability to be able turn round and fix all the destructions which would come, by way of these natural disasters, is what is most important.
The maker of the Statement mentioned the cost of destruction as amounting to six hundred and fifty million cedis. To my estimation, this is not much at all, and as a nation, we should be able to raise six hundred and fifty million cedis within a week to fix everything which has been destroyed. I therefore wish to appeal to the District Assembly there, the Regional Coordinating Council to raise money and help NADMO to fix all the destruction within a period which would help the people who are in distress.
Mr. Speaker, if NADMO is not
resourced, all these disasters would come and then they would still be there unresolved. So Mr. Speaker, I appeal that NADMO be resourced to be able to amend or rectify all these destructions.
Mr. Sampson Ahi (NDC -- Juabeso) 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to add my voice to the Statement on the floor and in doing so, I wish to say that disaster in whatever form is a threat to human survival. Mr. Speaker, about six months ago there was a serious disaster that occurred in my district. Communities such as Benchiman, Maafia experienced serious disasters which resulted in about one hundred people being homeless. Immediately, NADMO went in to assess the gravity of the situation and as I speak today, nothing has been done about it.
About one month ago, Mr. Speaker, between Benchiman Nkwanta and Asanso, there was a heavy rainfall and because of that people from Bia District and Juabeso District were cut off from Wiawso, and for that reason also people from these two districts could not travel to Kumasi. Several appeals were made, but as I speak today, the people are still going through this trauma.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to appeal to the
Ministry of the Interior that whatever we say here, we do not say it because we want to speak. We mean whatever we say and we are serious about whatever we say here. It is like whatever we say here is taken for granted. We are not taken seriously. What happened in Amenfi West happened about two months ago and the people there are struggling to survive at the moment.
We have a Director for Amenfi Central District who represents NADMO. He is there, he is living with them and he is aware of whatever has happened; but at the moment nothing has been done. So you would ask yourself whether NADMO is really working in the interest of the people or NADMO is working in their own interest. Mr. Speaker, before I sit down, I wish to appeal to NADMO, and, the Ministry of the Interior to be up and doing so that we can serve the purpose for which NADMO and, for that matter, the Ministry were established.
Mr. S. K. B. Manu (NPP - Ahafo
Ano South): Mr. Speaker, I also rise to contribute to the Statement. Mr. Speaker, we have all been talking about the consequences of disasters but we have failed to look at the causes of some of these disasters. Naturally, some disasters are not preventable but other disasters are humanly preventable.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member for Jirapa just talked about the situation in his area. Recently, Mr. Speaker, I had the chance of travelling the length and breadth of Upper East and Upper West Regions and while on my rounds I got horrified. Mr. Speaker, these are areas where we do not have trees. Naturally, the trees there, as he confirmed, are of low height and not big enough as we have down south.
Ironically, however, that is the area that people cut the few trees around for
Mr. Sampson Ahi (NDC -- Juabeso) 10:40 a.m.

I am calling it few cedis in relation to the money they have to spend when disaster strikes. I am talking in relative terms, Mr. Speaker. My advice is to Ghanaians, not to only people in that area, because it does happen down south too.

The chainsaw operators are also contributing seriously to some of these disasters. The oak tree, the onyina, the odum and other trees that God planted for us; He knew why He did that. He planted those trees so that they will serve as wind- breaks to safeguard our buildings and other facilities we put up. But we have gone out of our way, once again, in the quest for easy money and we have cut down all these trees; and you know that the gestation period for odum is over a hundred years. So if you cut one odum tree today, it takes over a hundred years to get odum in its place.
Mr. Speaker, let me ask 10:40 a.m.
who even bothers to plant an odum tree? Nobody does it. When we try to plant, we plant the acacia, the teak and those small, small trees which cannot help break the wind. So Mr. Speaker, as we talk about the consequences of disasters, we must look at people who through their actions and inactions create disaster. So when the disaster is so created and you call on NADMO to come and assist, NADMO will come if the resources are there. And we are all aware the resources of the nation are not without limits, they have limits.
So if the National Disaster Manage- ment Organization does not have the means to come to your aid, what will they do? They will sit there; they will take inventory of what you have suffered and it will be shelved somewhere, and your people will be sleeping in the streets and under poor conditions.
So I would like Ghanaians to learn to respect our environment and not think about the money that we can get immediately, so that we can stem the tide of some of the disasters that take place in this country, and let the NADMO Headquarters and their branches also have a bit of relief because if they do not have the resources they cannot help us. We can cry, Jesus will come down but the resources will not be there to help us.
Tribute to the Late Ferdinand Ofori-Ayim
Mr. K. A. Okerchiri (NPP -
Nkawkaw): Thank you, Mr. Speaker. F e r d i n a n d O f o r i - Ay i m , f o n d l y remembered by loved ones as Freddie, was born 46 years ago to Osabarima Ameyaw II, Pomasehene, Abomosu and Etwieba Sophia Afia Kyerewa Ofori-Atta, all of the Eastern Region.
Mr. Speaker, Freddie died in a tragic lorry accident while he was on his way to Kwahu to do the preparatory ground work for the paragliding event held there this Easter.
All those who came into close contact with him could bear the incontrovertible testimony that he was a workaholic, affable, humble, unassuming but always on hand to offer a helping hand.
Mr. Speaker, Freddie, by all standards was a seasoned journalist and a prolific writer. This was evidenced when he worked with The Statesman newspaper where he produced some of the masterpieces of
journalistic work and no wonder won for himself, GJA Awards.
Freddie was a role model for the youth. He would leave office late in the night and return very early the next day to write his stories for publication.
His stories almost always captured the main headlines of The Statesman and The Weekend Statesman.
Freddie, undoubtedly, had very pleasant human relations. His broad smiles, fluent Akyem Twi, laced with Akan Adaye, were but some of the few attributes of the man whose life was shortened while travelling to perform a national duty at Mpraeso in the Eastern Region.
Indeed, Ghana has lost an illustrious son. But the most important thing is the lessons we can learn from the quality of life that he led.
Freddie has left behind footprints of landmark, and as we brood over his death, may we take a cue from his short life and contribute our quota to the development of mother Ghana.
Freddie, may your soul rest in perfect peace.
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu (NDC - Tamale South) 10:40 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to join in paying tribute to a very illustrious son of our country who was contributing to the national development efforts in the capacity of Special Assistant to the Minister for Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City, now Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations.
Mr. Speaker, I do so with a very heavy
heart and to agree with the testimony of our Deputy Majority Whip that Ferdinand Ofori-Ayim was a gentleman, he was not only humble and affable but very
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu (NDC - Tamale South) 10:50 a.m.

friendly. Indeed, many of us can testify even to his contribution to the growth and development of the media in Ghana. I still remember his contribution in leading the propaganda drive of the then New Patriotic Party (NPP) in opposition when he was Editor of The Statesman and championed many of the issues and the values of the party in his capacity as editor.

Mr. Speaker, as we pay tribute to Ferdinand Ofori-Ayim, we are informed reliably that his family and some friends have put together a foundation to see how we can honour the quality life that he lived and to see how we all can contribute to the memory of the dignified life lived by him.

Mr. Speaker, may I take this opportunity to call on hon. Members of Parliament to generously contribute to the endowment fund which has been established and also to urge their friends and relations to do same. That is the greatest contribution we can make to his life and to his legacy.

Mr. Speaker, it was also the hope, indeed, a very strong conviction of Ferdinand Ofori-Ayim that Ghana could do better in developing its tourism potential and ensuring that the tourism industry, like in many other countries, contributed enough foreign exchange. Indeed, in some of his radio and television discussions he had the strongest conviction that tourism could surpass even gold in terms of foreign exchange earning depending upon how we as a country developed it. It is regrettable that he did not live to see the benefits of what he sought to develop.

And like adequately represented, we are told that he was on his way to organize another major event of paragliding at Atibie in the Kwahu District when he regrettably met his untimely death.

Mr. Speaker, as we pay tribute to Ferdinand Ofori-Ayim, one of the major lessons we need to learn is about how
Mr. J. D. Mahama (NDC - Bole/ Bamboi) 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, as a fellow professional in communications and media, I think that it is only fitting that I say a few words in memory of Mr. Fredinand Ofori-Ayim.
I got to know him when I was working in the Ministry of Communications. At that time hw was working with The Statesman and his newspaper was one of those that was very critical of our Government. His articles were incisive and very biting. But despite the supposed hostility, I think that on a personal level, whenever we met, Fredinand Ofori-Ayim's humanness and his friendly and cheerful nature always came out. So even though we did not agree politically, on a personal level I think that he was a very friendly, cheerful, kind and affable person.
Alhaji M. M. Mubarak (NDC - Asawase) 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, Freddie was one gentleman that I had met a couple of times on radio in Kumasi. He was very emphatic about issues; he would argue hard but at the end of the day there was one common line, he kept saying we should all do our very best in what we believe in, in moving
this country forward. I believe that was exactly what he was doing when he was trying to prove that tourism could be a great source of income to this country. The issue of setting up a foundation in the memory of Freddie is a very laudable one.
Mr. Speaker, but we would all agree, like many illustrious sons and daughters of this country who have died, after just about three - maximum one year, let us ask ourselves who may be there to continue to co-ordinate this foundation that might take care of his children and his wife? I think, as a country, once illustrious sons and daughters concentrate on giving what they have to the country, in times of tragedy, the country must have a proper structure for taking care of their wards. I believe that for all Ministers or Members of Parliament or government functionaries who die through accident, this country must mandatorily have a system of taking care of their children because after a few months everyone forgets about the tragedy and nobody will bother to even ask whether the children are alive, whether they are in school and what have you.
This is what I stand for and I think this country must establish a system, whether it is through insurance or what have you such that we can properly take care of the children and make sure that at least if they do not enjoy life better than when the man of the house or the woman of the house was alive, they should be able to maintain the living standard that they had.

Mr. Speaker, with regard to travelling in the night, I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to almost every government functionary to minimize travelling in the night. As of today, if you travel between Techiman and Tamale there is no single road sign, all the road marks are worn off, there are sharp curves, and
Mr. Benito Owusu-Bio 11:10 a.m.
(NPP -
Atwima-Nwabiagya): Mr. Speaker, thank you for allowing me to add my voice to the Statement on the floor. Mr. Speaker, once again we are here paying tribute to a colleague and friend who died through a motor accident. Mr. Speaker, Ferdinand Ofori-Ayim is being remembered today and we all acknowledge his contribution to national development. Mr. Speaker, I want to give my support to the endowment fund which is being set up for him and to say here that I shall personally be contributing to that fund.
Mr. Speaker, at this juncture, I would also want to draw the attention of the House to what happened in my constituency on Tuesday night. Mr. Speaker, the accident that happened there, I will term it as a massacre. Mr. Speaker, it was carnage and it was horrible. Mr. Speaker, whilst going round to sympathise with the bereaved families I came across orphaned babies, children, brothers and sisters and families and it looked like NADMO or our disaster relief agencies did not have what we term trauma department or anything of that sort.
Mr. Speaker, you could tell that those people were saddened and right away, their lives had been changed and there was nobody there to try to console them or to try and actually psyche them up to come out of the problem. Mr. Speaker, it is good
we are setting an endowment fund for our dear colleague, Ferdinand Ofori-Ayim. However, I feel that there must be a call for a national relief fund that will cater for all persons who are bereaved through such disasters.
Mr. Speaker, I would also want to take this opportunity to inform the House that on Tuesday, 23rd May, I shall bury 27 of my constituents in Abuakwa. Mr. Speaker, I think I shall need all the help of this House. So I will urge all hon. Members, those who can, to actually join me to go to Kumasi on Tuesday to pay my last respects to my constituents. Also Mr. Speaker, I shall urge the House that after the burial, maybe the House will also help me in trying to set up or give them something as a token to help them to actually come out of their bereavement. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Minority Leader (Mr. A. S. K.
Bagbin): Mr. Speaker, we are paying this tribute under our Standing Order 71 where we are given the opportunity to respect distinguished sons and daughters of the nation for what they have done for us. It is clear from what has been said already that in spite of the youthful age of 46 years, our late friend, brother and father, Ferdinand Ofori-Ayim had distinguished himself and therefore he is fit to receive the accolade of a distinguished person and therefore receive such a tribute from the House.
Mr. Speaker, it is true that as not just an editor but a reporter of The Statesman, the late Ferdinand Ofori-Ayim excelled in his profession and caught the eyes of friends and foes together and in fact got the admiration of all politicians. Whether you were in agreement with his valued system or philosophy of life or not, he was so compelling that you had nothing but love for him.
Mr. Speaker, Ferdinand had the three qualities that Warrand Buffet of the Financial Institute of America did cite
about the type of people that one should hire if he wanted to employ workers for any type of job.
Mr. Speaker, I just want to quote what he said. He stated that -- and I quote 11:10 a.m.
“In looking for people to hire look for three qualities -- integrity, intelligence and energy. And if they do not have the first, the other two will kill you.”
Mr. Speaker, the late Ferdinand Ofori-Ayim was a man of integrity, very energetic and very very intelligent. He conducted himself, as already said, in absolute humility. It is because of his energy that he worked to the extent that people called him a workaholic and it was because of his intelligence that he inured himself to all people and was admired by all.
Mr. Speaker, it is sad that at this time we have lost such a nice person. Already we have lost similar people even from this House. The late John Achuliwor left us in the same way. Our hon. Colleague, Acheampong went the same way; and there are numerous others, not forgetting the three hardworking expert doctors that we lost together on the same road.
Mr. Speaker, I think we are compelled as a nation and as a House to take a critical look at the laws governing the use of our vehicles and our roads. Either it is a spell that has been cast on the nation or it is our culture, that is one of recklessness, we think it is time that we looked at it as a nation.
Mr. Speaker, I am compelled to believe and to go with those now urging that this House should pass a law constraining some type of vehicles from moving in the night. I also believe that it is high time we invested seriously in recoveries of broken- down vehicles on the roads and insisted
Mr. Speaker, I just want to quote what he said. He stated that -- and I quote 11:20 a.m.

Mr. Speaker, I worked at the Akyem

Chambers so I learnt the pronunciation of the names, it is Kyebi and not Kibi.

Once again, let me repeat what I said, that it is important that hon. Members will pay a better tribute with their presence at the funeral of our late colleague. We all agree that this was the type of person we needed in today's politics. A person who was forthright and frank with his belief that he belonged to this philosophy of life, either property-grabbing or property- sharing or whatever and did not hide under. We admire people who are truthful and frank and we think that the late Ferdinand Ofori-Ayim has left a legacy that the youth will learn from.

Mr. Speaker, with this I once again urge hon. Members to attend the funeral and to leave this question to all of us: “Death will come when it will come; are you ready?” Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
  • [A one-minute silence was observed in the memory of Mr. Ferdinand Ofori-Ayim.]
  • PAPERS 11:20 a.m.

    Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Item 5, Committee
    Alhaji Seidu Amadu 11:20 a.m.
    Mr. Speaker,
    the technical overview of this report lies in the purview of the Select Committee on Water Resources, Works and Housing. I therefore wish to crave your indulgence that the report be handled jointly with the Finance Committee.
    Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    I do not think there should be any objection to that -- jointly by the Finance Committee. And which other Committee were you suggesting?
    Alhaji Amadu 11:20 a.m.
    Mr. Speaker, Water
    Resources, Works and Housing.
    Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Water Resources ,
    Mr. Samuel Sallas-Mensah 11:20 a.m.
    Speaker, I would want to oppose the hon. Member's response -- you have ruled already but I would want to make a case to reconsider Mr. Speaker's ruling.
    Mr. Speaker, this is a straightforward
    Loan Agreement and it does not involve any technical assessment. So Mr. Speaker, I think that this referral should go strictly to the Finance Committee for deliberation and report to the House.
    Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    In order not to --
    Mr. Bagbin 11:20 a.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I think you are right in ruling that that Committee be part of the consideration of the Loan Agreement. At least, we will always have to look at value for money and other issues involved with the loans. And I think that it is important that we should be including rather than excluding people. So why not? The whole thing will come back to the House and so those Members will be here. So if they are there to raise the issues that they may raise on the floor for the Ministry to get the opportunity to clarify, it is better that way.
    So Mr. Speaker, I think it is right and
    in any case, the right thing is that he should have come by a substantive motion because you have ruled and he cannot get up and raise this at this time.
    Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Thank you very much,
    hon. Minority Leader. I have taken note of your concerns.
    Mr. Okerchiri 11:20 a.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I think
    that we have exhausted the Business on the Order Paper and at this stage I do move that this honourable House do adjourn till Tuesday, 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon.
    Mr. Bagbin 11:20 a.m.
    Mr. Speaker, it is time
    for Committee Sittings which is item 6 and not item 5 on the Order Paper. There is a mistake there and I second the motion.
    Question put and motion agreed to.
    ADJOURNMENT 11:20 a.m.