Debates of 28 Jun 2006

PRAYERS 10 a.m.




Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Order! Order! Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 27th June 2006.
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, page 7, paragraph 9, “The following Papers were laid” and reference is made to Petroleum Agreement amongst the Government of Ghana, and Amerada Hess Ghana Limited and Mr. Speaker referred this to the Finance Committee. Mr. Speaker, with your indulgence, I thought this should have been referred to the Committee on Mines and Energy or at best a joint Committee on Finance and Energy.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Hon. Member for
Tamale South, what is stated therein is the correct one. If you had drawn my attention to it maybe I would have so directed; but what is recorded is correct, I referred it to only the Finance Committee.
Hon. Members, we have the Official Report for 20th June, 2006.
Mr. Lee Ocran 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, on column 1217, paragraph 2, I said “these days there is a new type of refugee”, not “refugees” as written in the Official Report
-- What is there is bad grammar, sir.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Very well. Hon. Members, we will take item 3 later. At the Commencement of Public Business, item 4.
Mr. John A. Tia 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to painfully evoke Standing Order 48 (2); it is on the question of quorum of Parliament. Standing Order 48 (2) says that and with your permission, I beg to quote:
“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, the person presiding shall adjourn the House without Question put until the next sitting day.”
Mr. Speaker, I said so “painfully” because the Majority side which has responsibility for running government business in this House is not serious. Look at their side; the leadership is missing -- clearly and visibly -- [Interruptions.] They are not serious and it is not the work of the Minority to do the business of the Government side. I am therefore, Mr. Speaker, calling upon you to exercise your powers under Order 48 (2) to adjourn the House till tomorrow in the morning. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Hon. Deputy Minority Chief Whip, you have referred me to the relevant provision but it says, after an interval of ten minutes. So we shall have to wait for ten minutes.
Mr. Akwasi Osei-Adjei 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,

Mr. Speaker, on even counting we are 26 and they are 24. How on earth can he say that we are not serious with government business? Mr. Speaker, if hon. Members play to the gallery like this they bring the whole business of Parliament into disrepute -- [Interruptions] -- Because he is very sure that the cameras are here that is why he is saying this. And Mr. Speaker, these are not fine words and I object to that.
Minority Leader (Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin) 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I do not think that this is an issue we should belabour. I think that, yes, it is high time hon. Members took the business of this House seriously and attended parliamentary sittings promptly as Mr. Speaker has been doing. Mr. Speaker, I am surprised that the hon. Deputy Minister took this on the political side because these are issues that have been raised from time to time to make sure that we discipline ourselves.
We must as much as possible be criticizing ourselves from time to time so that we all live up to expectation. And as an hon. Member he has done it a number of times himself. I think that the hon. Member who raised the issue is the hon. Minority Chief Whip. He is not the Deputy Minority Chief Whip as you stated, he is the Minority Chief Whip.
Mr. Speaker, apart from that, usually we have 10 minutes and within the 10 minutes I have seen not less than 10 more hon. Members enter the House. We still have a few minutes to wait, and at the end of the 10 minutes we can now take the
decision. If we do not get the 76 Members as required by our Standing Orders -- 76 - Because we are now 230 so we need 76 hon. Members. So let us still go on with the business of the House that is permitted by our rules until that time comes.
STATEMENTS 10:10 a.m.

Mr. C. S. Hodogbey (NDC -- North Tongu) 10:10 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to make a statement on Town and City Planning in Ghana.
Mr. Speaker, the Department of Town and Country Planning was established to give towns and cities in Ghana beautiful and modern layouts. This department, dating back to the colonial administration, is today part of every regional and district set-up. If you go to offices of the Department of Town and Country Planting and you are given the layout of any town or city in Ghana, you will appreciate the work of the department.
But you will also ask why the ground layouts of our towns and cities are different from the blueprint. This Statement cannot exhaust all the issues and the solutions to our haphazard structural set-up. But why the reality on the ground is different has several explanations. Is it failure of building inspections and an un-enforcible guidelines?
It is noted that most countries today use rectangular layout design for their towns and cities. That is, streets are planned on north-south, east-west basis and more often are in straight lines with alleys where possible. This system helps to reduce vehicular traffic congestion during rush hours, geo-coding to assist fire and police services. It provides other advantages too. The roundabout system does not help rapid vehicular traffic movement but we continue to employ this in our towns and

cities design layout. In some developed cities, ramps or mini roundabouts are used only where necessary to slow down traffic in residential environments.

In many countries, infrastructural development such as streets, water lines, electricity and telephone lines are provided before buildings start. In our case though some real estate developers are taking the initiative, we let buildings shoot up first before these utilities are sent to the area. In view of that structures are built on routes where these utility lines have to pass. The 10 or 30 feet of land reserved for utilities and future road expansion are sometimes occupied by unauthorized structures ignoring the plan.

With the West African Gas Pipeline coming into effect, how will gas go to some homes? And with no street directional addressing system, which is a crucial element of identification, it makes life difficult in our villages, towns and cities for taxi drivers, deliverymen and security agents. Accessibility to some areas by our Fire Service, the police and other security agencies has been made difficult because of our layout and absence of directional addressing.

Mr. Speaker, also in many countries, towns and cities are zoned. The zoning system makes it such that one can only erect a particular structure, for example, a single storey or two-storey buildings in that zone. Others such as shopping malls, schools or liquor stores cannot be set up in any place if the area is not zoned for that purpose. Zoning helps to reserve space for playgrounds, recreational parks and others. In most towns and cities in Ghana, layouts do not make provisions for parks where people can gather for picnics or for other activities. No space is created in our cities for people to learn

to drive. Toilet facility, a requirement at every eatery and to be part of every house, is omitted. Our forest preserves created for specific reasons have become areas of co-habitation with pockets of settlements. A clear example is the Achimota Forest Preserve now being used as prayer camps and for other activities.

Mr. Speaker, the way we are building or using lands is leading to depletion of our lands for settlement and for agriculture. We are far exceeding our town and city limits because of the uneconomic use of our land. A clear example is Accra which is now virtually joined with the Central and Eastern Regions. It will not be too long when Kpong and Sege will be part of Accra.

Worst of all, the quality of the materials used in construction do not conform to standards in the building and construction industry. Town and Country planners are more interested in building permits. Most often we see notices on walls “Stop Work, Produce Permit by . . .” As soon as the permit is produced, what goes into the construction is left to the owner or the developer. Materials are not inspected, neither do we send mixed concrete to be tested; continuing inspection of the construction is ignored.

Our towns and cities are planned with no underground sewerage system; if they do, hardly are they implemented. Open gutters do not link to any central or main sewerage system. The situation is worsened by the haphazard way in which structures are put up, therefore making the flooding of our towns and cities very easly when there is heavy rain.

Mr. Speaker, where do we dispose of our wastes including the hazardous industrial wastes containing chemicals

like mercury, lead and others? Do we have landfills incorporated into our town and country planning but which are not used? If we do, why do we have numerous hills of waste materials or garbage in the open just at the outskirts or even within our towns and cities?

Mr. Speaker, in conclusion I call on authorities to implement and enforce requirements as set out in their designs for a better Ghana. Something has to be done quickly else when a natural disaster occurs it will be difficult reaching areas to save lives. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for this opportunity.
Alhaji Sumani Abukari (NDC -- Tamale North) 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am on my feet to support the Statement and applaud the hon. Member for this particular Statement.
Our cities and towns are running into serious troubles. I say so because if you take a look around -- In fact, some two days ago when I was coming from Elmina I asked a colleague of mine who was in the car with me whether we had town planners and city planners. This is because I remember that when I was young these people were there and very active. So I asked him whether they were still there and he told me they were there; he even directed me to their office. So I am very happy that an hon. Colleague of mine is raising this issue here today.
Mr. Speaker, every year we hear of flooding; and we hear of flooding because people are allowed to build on waterways. Nobody checks them. If we take a look at a master plan of any town or any city, on paper it is very good but when the construction starts nobody checks them. Waterways are sold out to land developers; parks where children should
play are sold out to the developers. Mr. Speaker, our planning has ceased in practicality; on paper it is there, but when it comes to the practicality we do not have planners and our cities are not planned. Unless something is done to plan our cities properly and to control the way we build, we would soon get into very serious trouble.
Mr. Speaker, I even know that a few years ago -- For instance, about five kilometres after the Weija Dam, there was a place that was reserved because of the bird culture and aquatic culture in that area. There was a big notice that nobody was to build there. Today that area has been sold to a land developer who has put up estate houses and when it rains most of the houses are knee-deep in water.
Mr. Speaker, most of the time, the problems we hear about flooding, gutters being choked and all those things are caused by our own behaviour, because we do not conform to the rules and directions of the Department of Town and Country Planning. One wonders whether the Town and Country Planning officers should continue to get their salaries for doing nothing.
Mr. Speaker, I think it is heartening that the Ministry of Environment has been brought under the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development because that Ministry ought to check seriously the sort of abuse of land that is occurring in our country.
Sometimes the sort of houses that we build, like the hon. Member said, is heartbreaking. You go to certain areas which are supposed to be first-class residential areas and people put up huts and structures that do not befit the place. If you go to certain countries like Kenya, there are open areas that are reserved as parks, not only for game and wild animals but also for human beings for recreation,
Mr. J. K. Hackman (NPP -- Gomoa West) 10:20 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to associate myself with the Statement.
It appears that in Ghana we have problems of coordinating the affairs of planners, engineers and designers. It is even pathetic when you see any of the emergency services trying to reach accident victims in case of motor accidents or even going to put out fire by the Ghana Fire Service. Road congestion seems not to have been factored into the design of our roads.
We also have situations whereby the Ghana Fire Service is able to reach the location but cannot find water. This clearly indicates that the Ghana Water Company has not linked up its activities with even how to access areas and where fire hydrants should be provided. We have seen occasions when people deliberately locate their facilities in marshy areas so that when there are rains nobody can move, nobody can get in and you cannot even go and get people out. I think this is a very serious issue that the Ghana Water Company, Electricity Company of Ghana and other state agencies concerned with
providing such utilities should take on board when they are planning our roads and facilities.
It is even sad that Ghana is gradually becoming a sporting nation. Of all these developments that are going on we do not see even playgrounds specifically designed to encourage people to participate in sporting activities. The children just close from school and watch television. They watch television the whole day; they do not exercise or do anything because there is no facility even to encourage them. I wish to congratulate the hon. Member who made the Statement again, and I think these are issues that we should seriously take on board in our city and country planning.
Mr. Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo (NDC - Wa Central) 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, thank you for this unique opportunity to contribute to this very important Statement.
Mr. Speaker, one clear trademark in Ghana today, if you go to all the cities, is poor planning. This is demonstrated in times when we have heavy rains and when vehicles have to move in-between houses either because they are ambulances going to houses or they are Fire Service vehicles trying to go into areas where there are fire disasters.
Mr. Speaker, it is becoming too much for us to bear, considering the fact that every now and then our population increases, every now and then we are faced with the challenge of matching Accra, for example, up to other cities throughout the world. I think that we can no longer afford to close our eyes to it and that is why, for me, the hon. Member who made the Statement has done a lot by bringing it up in the House for us to have a thorough look at it. I suppose that after this Statement the Ministry involved should do something about it.
Minister of State (Mr. Kwadwo Adjei- Darko) 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Constitution and the Local Government Act make District Assemblies the highest planning authority. Unfortunately, the Assemblies are planning authorities within their areas whilst they do not have control over lands, so the major problem which we have to address as a nation is the administration of lands.
Mr. Lee Ocran (NDC - Jomoro) 10:40 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, the haphazard development of our towns and cities is not due to lack of planning. In fact, on paper Ghana has some of the most beautifully planned towns and cities. It is only when the plans are translated on the ground that we find haphazard development. This is because the authorities that are supposed to enforce the rules and regulations do not do so; and also we the citizens are so indisciplined that we do not want to conform to the established planning.
Mr. Speaker, you go to even government residential areas, lands that have been left for parks, and recreational purposes are being rezoned. Now they have a term they call rezoning, top government officials put pressure on the Department of Town and Country Planning to rezone those areas and those areas are then given out to them to build; so if you go to Accra everywhere is filled.
The hon. Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and NEPAD would bear me out that recently the two of us have been fighting to protect an area in East Legon that has been reserved for a park. Some people want to settle on that land and we have been fighting for the past one and a half years to protect the land. When citizens are not disciplined then of course we would have a problem. If there is fire or there is an earthquake anywhere in East Legon, there is no place to run to.

During the colonial times and even up to the 1960s, even how Cantonments had its name was because it is well planned with trees and so on. We have rezoned the area and people are cutting the trees and on one small plot they put up as many as six houses. We are going to have a concrete jungle in the place; it is no more beautiful.

So Mr. Speaker, do not let us blame the planners; they have been doing their best. Sometimes it is the politicians - all of us have done it one time or the other. We may want a land to build and then we try to put pressure on the civil servant to rezone areas where we know we are not supposed to build -- [Interruptions.] They zone the areas and give it to us and we build our houses, then we come and sit in Parliament and start making statements.

So Mr. Speaker, charity begins at home. Let us discipline ourselves first. If we discipline ourselves then we would be able

to discipline the civil servants when they are making the mistakes. People build in wrong areas, and let the City Council try to demolish those buildings put in the wrong places, people would go to politicians; houses in the night to plead with them and then in the morning they call these officials to their offices and say, “You see, this man is my party man so you just forgive him.” So that is why the indiscipline continues.

Mr. Speaker, in the year 1999, a Green Belt Committee was set up to determine the boundaries of the Accra/ Tema conurbation because Accra was expanding and there was no limit to the expansion. This Committee was set up with three objectives: one, to reserve areas for recreation; two, determine the boundaries of Accra/Tema conurbation and to reserve an area for peri-urban agriculture. What has happened to it? This thing has been thrown off. So much money was spent; aerial view was taken, geographic censor organizations were brought in to do some map work; who has followed up? Nobody.

Mr. Speaker, I do not want to speak much but on this topic, if I had time, I would have spoken for about one and a half hours. Mr. Speaker, let anybody take an aerial view of Takoradi, and he will see that the white guy who planned Takoradi did it around circles, it is just beautiful. And he enforced the regulations. No single storey building was to be built around the market circle; and it was maintained. Come Independence and we started doing our own thing. So it is the indiscipline of us Ghanaians and not until we have been able to enforce the regulations we can draw any plan, we can come here and say anything, Accra and all our cities will continue to be the same.
Mr. Benito Owusu 10:40 p.m.

Atwima-Nwabiagya): Mr. Speaker, I

thank you for allowing me to contribute to the Statement.

Mr. Speaker, my hon. Colleagues have said a lot about the problem of poor planning in Ghana. But I think I still have one thing that I can say about this whole problem. Mr. Speaker, my point is that of poor capacity, of lack of capacity in terms of the Departments of Town and Country Planning and Survey.

Mr. Speaker, since Independence the country has been growing; it has been growing at an alarming rate but all this time the Departments of Town and Country Planning and Survey have been stagnant. Mr. Speaker, if you should go to their offices, as we sit here now, they are in a deplorable state. They are still using old, archaic survey equipment.

Mr. Speaker, if we want to be able to be abreast with planning in modern times, I think it would be better for us to equip them and to give them the necessary capacity for them to be able to cope with the current growth in our country. Mr. Speaker, I quite remember that we were here to approve their budget. In their report they said that they wanted to employ more staff to cope with the problem that we are talking about. We were not able to help them.

Mr. Speaker, I would also want to cite an example of my own District Assembly regarding this same problem. Mr. Speaker, when I became a Member of Parliament I paid a visit to the Planning Department in my District Assembly; they only had four staff. How can just four staff cope with such a big place like Atwima-Nwabiagya even if we should take Abuakwa alone?

Mr. Speaker, aside that, day in, day out, these four people have to cope with over about 200 new developers who troop to their offices to register their documents and at the same time these same number of people are supposed to go out to the field to look at what these developers are doing.
Mr. J. Y. Chireh (NDC - Wa West) 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I thank you very much for allowing me to associate myself very closely with the Statement and to thank the hon. Member who made the Statement for what he has said.
First of all, I would want us to take note that the Department of Town and Country Planning has very well-trained people. I know that my senior and House Prefect back in secondary school is the head now and he is a very disciplined person; but they are an orphaned department. They are orphaned in the sense that almost every time, to find where they are located, which Ministry is responsible for them, it becomes a problem.
Currently, they are under the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Develop-ment and Environment. They are operating under a very archaic law, Cap 84, an Ordinance of the Gold Coast. If you operate an Ordinance of the Gold Coast and you have very modern laws like Act 462 which deals with Local Government and it gives you power -- What it does is that the Local Government or the District Assembly is the planning authority and what it means simply is this, that even if you own land in the Assembly area you cannot decide how you use that land.
You can decide to sell it, but if it is to be used for factories then you sell to people who want to build factories. If it is for residential purposes, the Assembly will decide that and I know that the Town and Country Planning officers, unmotivated as they are, have been drawing up layouts
properly and submitting these things religiously to the District Assemblies for them to approve and say that an area is meant for a particular development. Unfortunately the District Assemblies are not stamping their authority and part of the problem is indiscipline.
Now if we talk about allocation of responsibility, obviously it is not the Department of Town and Country Planning that has that responsibility. Theirs is a technical job; they have done it and it is for people to enforce it. We have departments that allow people to develop; before you develop your property you must have a permit.
Now, some people complain about delays in getting approval from the same District Assemblies to develop their plots and as a result they go ahead even before the Assembly is able to say they can put up a building here or only one-storey or two-storey or whatever development they want to make. I think that what we need to do effectively is to avoid the confusion about ownership and the right to use.
Land use must be differentiated from landownership. The benefits of sale of the land should be different from what one uses the land for, otherwise we would be dancing in a circus. There is also the urgent need now to modernize and harmonise all the laws pertaining to planning and development in this country because the Department of Town and Country Planning has been left alone and it is not sure of what it is.
Of course, with the poor equipment, the motivation all added -- because the National Development Commission and the National Development Planning Systems Act are all supposed to play a role to decide how we develop land in this country.
Until we stick and harmonize and look again and people who should enforce these
regulations -- the planning regulations must be enforced. We must even set up courts to decide who is flouting these regulations and bring them to book. So long as we do not do this, we can at best, every year, go through the ritual of making statements. But I would ask that we do harmonization of the laws, do proper re- allocation of responsibilities and insist on ensuring that people go by the rules.

Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and NEPAD (Mr. Akwasi Osei-Adjei): Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, for allowing me to also contribute to this Statement.

Mr. Speaker, I think the issue basically has been explained. I think it is between the building permit, planning permit and building inspectors. Mr. Speaker, what in this country we do not do is that having obtained the building permit nobody comes round to inspect what you have put up. Mr. Speaker, if you look at Osu, Adabraka and then you go to Kumasi, Asafo area -- Mr. Speaker, these suburbs were planned during the colonial days. And then you count one, two and three; after the third house, there is a street and then behind it, you go one, two, and three; and then there is a street.

But as we continued after indepen- dence, as my hon. Friend from Jomoro said, everything was just thrown overboard; nobody cared about them. And what we are doing now is even destroying our heritage. Mr. Speaker, if you go to Osu now, the so-called Oxford Street, the houses there are now becoming a complete jungle. People are building five, six - people are building “short” houses for shops, and people are leaving that area. So a time will come that there will be nobody; there will not be anybody
Mr. E. T. Mensah (NDC - Ningo- Prampram) 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I also rise to associate myself with the Statement on the floor and to indicate that for all the concerns that we have raised, we have all the laws.
My Friend, the hon. Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and NEPAD was talking about laws out there that when you fell a tree, you were dealt with. We have it here. In our law, we have something that we call the landscape design. When you present your design for consideration, you should have a landscape design and the number of trees to be planted. The problem, Mr. Speaker, is that we do not have the capacity. The officials that we expect to do this work do not have the capacity.
At the planning level, when you are going to build a house they go through; they want to check on the land use, they want to check all the details, whether you have title to the land; and these are determined by the planning committees that we are supposed to have in all the District Assembly areas. And on the planning committee, we have all the heads of the utilities - the head of Electricity, the head of Ghana Water Company Limited, head of roads -- so that they look at all these before they give you the planning
permission which has to go to another division of the District Assembly, the Engineers Department; we do not have it.
When the white man planned the various towns and cities, he created the Public Works Department (PWD) which had all the facilities to monitor, in those days. Even though we have it in the District Assemblies' Act (Act 462) that they are the highest planning authority in the areas, they do not have the capacity. We do not even have the departments, let alone having those who will work in them, starting from the planning to the monitoring. So it is important.
We do not also have enough planners. Even though the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) is producing planners we do not have enough planners who are highly motivated to do what has to be done. So MSA I think that we have to go to the drawing board. We must make sure -- and I have said it again and again -- that all the Public Works Departments that we have in most of the districts are just there. If we can convert their facilities into a facility that will help the District Assemblies to perform the functions that it was performing before, we would be getting somewhere.
I talk about Accra all the time. Accra
has the Engineer's Department without the engineers that we need. Ideally, Accra should have six engineers. You have the Public Works Department which is sitting down with all the buildings and the facilities. The Engineer's Department has been run down by the sea, yet the PWD is still sitting there; nobody knows what they are doing currently; and Accra has a problem with facilities to work.
I talk about Tema all the time as well.
The Tema Development Corporation (TDC) was set up by Kwame Nkrumah with a Legislative Instrument for a purpose; that purpose no longer exists. They were to build rental units for workers; and it no longer exists. What they
are doing is that they are now just selling lands in dollars. What we should do now is to convert the TDC into the Planning Division for Tema. There have been conflicts all along between the District Assembly and the Tema Development Corporation.
So I believe that there are things that we should do that we were not doing. We must just hold the bull by the horns and ensure that the right things are done; then we will stop making the various noises that we are making. It is because we are not facing the realities.

Congratulatory Message to the Black Stars

Majority Leader/Minister for

Mr. Speaker, again with your indulgence, I respectfully ask hon. Members of the House to applaud the Black Stars for the wonderful performance they put up at the World Cup. [Hear! Hear!] The Stars have indeed been good ambassadors of not only Ghana, but also the whole of Africa. The achievement of the Stars at the World Cup is a great joy to the whole continent.

Mr. Speaker, in 1990, Pele predicted that an African country would soon win the World Cup. Sixteen years on, after two Brazilian and two European Champions, Ghana, having defeated the Czech Republic and the United States,
Mr. Abuga Pele (NDC -- Chiana/ Paga) 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, for the second time in two weeks, we are making a Statement to congratulate the Black Stars, and I think they deserve it.
The Black Stars have exited from the World Cup with a lot of dignity. They sold Ghana's brand of soccer to the whole world; soccer brewed in Ghana was a great game. They endeared themselves to almost everybody in the world, the football fraternity. By their performance, everybody has now seen that Africa has emerged as a force in the world of soccer.
Mr. Speaker, as the Statement indicated,
officiating was generally very poor. There were many controversies in the World Cup which have even been acknowledged by the World Cup Organising President, Franz Beckenbauer himself. Even Mr. Sepp Blatter had occasion to comment on the poor officiating at the competition. But Mr. Speaker, apart from the excellent performance of our boys and the excitement that we all had because of their
performance, I think that this competition has given us a few lessons which we must learn.
For the first time, we now know that Ghana football can mount the pedestal of world soccer and that with a little effort, we should be seeing ourselves in the near future as world champions. What we thought was not possible yesterday, today we now know that it is very real; and it is even possible that tomorrow we are going to take the cup. So it is my hope that the management, the sporting authorities would begin to put the foundation in place to ensure that this becomes a reality.
Mr. Speaker, we are reaping the benefits
of the soccer academies and the juvenile teams of the 1990s. People like Appiah, Essien and others have all emerged on the world scene because of what was put together in the 1990s. I hope that we would put together a similar thing so that by 2010 and beyond we would begin to reap even better benefits than today.
Mr. Speaker, another lesson the competition has taught to this country is that if we have a proper vision, we get united and bring everybody on board and stay properly focused we can do a lot of things - from football, to our economy, to our religion, to everything. If there is a national sense of purpose we can achieve a lot.

Mr. Speaker, I want to use this occasion to add that we should always believe in ourselves. We have often doubted our own ability; that has been our problem. We have the potential, we have the resources and we have everything, but the problem has been that we have never believed that it is possible for us to do things ourselves. We have often relied on foreign coaches, for instance, to coach our national teams.

Mr. Speaker, I believe that what emerged in the World Cup tournament was not the result of one particular coach; it was a co-operative effort from both the local coaches and our former stars like Anthony Yeboah, Abedi Pele and others. It was the collective effort that resulted in what we are seeing today. So, Mr. Speaker, I think that, for me, it is not very, very essential for us to go out scouting for coaches. We have very good coaches in this country who can perform just as well.

Mr. Speaker, I think one unfortunate thing that occurred during the competition was when our coach was heard in the media -- on radio and television -- casting doubt on the ability of our Stars to emerge or to travel that far. Mr. Speaker, it was a very unfortunate thing. Whilst we would not hesitate to praise the coach and the management team, I think that it is important, at this stage, to mention that whoever is heading our team or managing our team, should believe that the boys can perform.

I want to credit this excellent performance to the boys themselves. This is because, if they had been listening to what the coach had been saying all along, I do not think that they would have gone this far. On three occasions, in the German media and on British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the coach expressed doubt about our ability to go very far; and the boys have proved him wrong.

So I think that the result of what we are seeing today is not just the coach alone, per se; it is a collective effort. All the coaches were there. They made suggestions as to the formation to adopt, the selection and what type of system to use. And I think that while we are congratulating the management and everybody, we should also believe in our local coaches.

I want to also say that in future, if we are picking any local coach to handle any of our national teams, he should be paid
Mr. Abuga Pele (NDC -- Chiana/ Paga) 11:10 a.m.

as much as they pay the foreign coaches. There is no need paying a local coach $500 and then giving $20,000 to a foreign coach per month; it is so unfair. If we motivate our own coaches, they will become some of the best in the world. We have seen their performances outside.

In Gambia, a Ghanaian coach took the Gambians for the first time to the African Juvenile finals and to the World Cup. We have seen the exploits of the former Hearts of Oak coach, Jones Attuquayefio in Benin and other places. Mr. Speaker, we can do a lot if we believe in ourselves.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, the Statement mentioned the need for us to begin to lay a proper foundation for future soccer. I think that the one area we need to tackle seriously is this issue of soccer academies. We need to put laws in place to regulate them. Children are being sent out of this country at the age of five, some even three years old. When they see the slightest potential in the player, he is whisked straight outside and we do not know what becomes of such boys.

So I think that we need to regulate the establishment of these academies, the trend and the speed with which people just convey our players to foreign countries. Also, we need to encourage the establishment of more academies in many of the regions. I think that if we put all this in place and we focus properly and get united, this country should go far in soccer.

I take this opportunity, once more, to congratulate the Black Stars, the management and all the sponsors -- Goldfields as the Statement mentioned -- the supporters, Ghanaians and all black Africans. This is because I heard that in Nigeria the celebration was even much more serious than what took place in this country. So we must thank our neighbours and thank all blacks everywhere in the

world for the massive support they gave the Black Stars.

Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo (NPP -

Amenfi East): Mr. Speaker, I also rise to support the Statement on the floor and to congratulate our gallant heroes, the Black Stars, for their wonderful performance in Germany.

Mr. Speaker, much as we are concerned with the poor officiating that has caused the Black Stars' exit from the tournament, we must not run away from our own weaknesses. Mr. Speaker, honestly, if you consider the fact that in the match with Brazil, our boys had fifteen shots at goal as against six by Brazil, it means that we had all the chances to actually beat Brazil.

Mr. Speaker, but there is one problem with our footballers in this country, and the problem is with the finishing. And here, I would call on the Ministry responsible for sports to start, as a policy, looking for strikers; because, throughout the tournament, what we saw was that the team actually lacked strikers. We played all the beautiful football in the world.

If you take the Ghana-Brazil match, we actually outplayed Brazil in all departments of the game but when it came to the finishing that was where we lacked most. And Mr. Speaker, 2010 is not far away. In 2010, we are going to South Africa. We must start building our team now and in doing so we must work on the strikers; that is where Ghana is found wanting in this whole enterprise.

Mr. Speaker, one thing that the

performance of the Black Stars has also brought to the fore is the issue of respect. In fact, somebody called me from Canada and told me that because of the Black Stars performance, now Ghanaians can move around the streets with their heads up. The whole Canadian community is giving Ghanaians the due respect; formerly this was not so. And it is not only Canada; it

is seen across the whole world. If you go to Germany, if you go to Britain, and everywhere, Ghanaians are now given the due respect, which previously was not there.

Mr. Speaker, another issue, which

has also come to the fore is the issue of patriotism. If you look at the way the boys played, they actually exhibited a high spirit of patriotism; and this is a call to all Ghanaians. If we can die a little for our country, wherever we are and in whatever field we are, I think it will bring a lot of contribution to this country in terms of our development.

So Mr. Speaker, without much ado, I once again want to congratulate our Black Stars and wish that my hon. Colleagues join in extending our congratulations to them. They are really heroes at the moment.
Mr. Sampson Ahi (NDC - Juabeso) 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am grateful to take part in congratulating the Black Stars. I think that the Black Stars are heroes. They have done their best and they need to be commended.
Mr. Speaker, most critics of the Black Stars are saying that we were not able to utilize our chances but, to me, I think that it is not so; because, from the word go, the Black Stars were threatened and frustrated by the application of excessive yellow cards and red cards. So they were panicking. So how could they organise themselves and take advantage of the various chances that came their way?
Mr. Speaker, I would want to suggest
that Africans should boycott the next World Cup. African leaders should resolve to boycott the next World Cup to prove to the entire world that the white man does not respect the black man. They
Mr. Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon. Member for
Adenta, do you have any point of order to raise?
Mr. K. Opare-Hammond 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I have a feeling that my hon. Colleague over there is misleading the whole nation and, indeed, the whole world. Mr. Speaker, he is making certain allegations or allusions which I believe are not based on facts or solid evidence. Making suggestions that we should boycott on the basis of these allegations, without evidence, I believe, is not good enough for us. And so I would ask that Mr. Speaker, with respect, asks him to maybe sober a little bit and if possible withdraw that aspect of the statement he just made.
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon. Member for
Juabeso, do not draw us into any debate, just make comments.
Mr. Ahi 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think that
my hon. Friend maybe did not watch the match yesterday. Everybody who watched the match and saw what the referee did to our team would conclude that they were up to a certain task of just eliminating all the Africans and for that matter the Ghanaian team from the Games - [Hear! Hear!] So Mr. Speaker, let me continue.
I think that the attitude of the referee yesterday was totally unacceptable; that is why I am calling on all African leaders to resolve to boycott the next World Cup. They should resolve to send a signal and write to FIFA to show our displeasure at how the referee handled the match yesterday.
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon. Member for
Atwima-Nwabiagya, do you have any point of order?
Mr. Owusu-Bio 11:20 a.m.
Yes, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member on the floor is totally misleading us and it is very dangerous. How can we boycott something that we are hosting? Mr. Speaker, in 2010, the World Cup is going to be hosted on this African continent by South Africa. So Mr. Speaker, we must rather rally behind South Africa to support them so that hopefully, we get a very good competition. Perhaps, in our life time we may not even have that chance again; just like the eclipse which we may not see again.
On that note, I think he may have to withdraw that statement.
Mr. Ahi 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, that is how I
see African football moving forward -- by taking my advice. It is an advice to African leaders.
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon. Member for
Tamale South, do you have a point of order to raise?
Mr. H. Iddrisu 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon.
Member is a very close friend of mine but I am compelled to rise on a point of order because I do not think that it will be appropriate that the records of this House give an indication that the Parliament of Ghana is advocating for a boycott. I respect his opinion all right but I do not think that this must be part of the records of the Parliament of Ghana.
He may have very strong feelings against the officiating, but the President of FIFA is a friend of Africa. And indeed, if you were to know the politics which culminated in the selection of South Africa to host it, and the market value -- I would want to plead with him to come with
some other suggestion. I find a boycott too strong.
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon. Member for
Juabeso, are you calling for a boycott?
Mr. Ahi 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, let me say that

Mr. Speaker, as I have earlier indicated, our boys did their best. Even though we lost, I think that it was robbery; we were robbed, otherwise we would have matched them boot for boot. And in fact, yesterday, we were able to prove to the whole world that if there is Brazilian soccer, we have Ghanaian soccer also in Africa.

And very soon, with this team in place, when we are able to put these boys together for the next World Cup, we shall prove to the entire world that even Brazil cannot match us. We have shown it by defeating the second best team in the world and gone ahead to even beat the fifth best team in the world. So what was left on our hands was to beat the best team. But with the support shown by the referee for the Brazilians we have been disappointed.
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Please wind up.
Mr. Ahi 11:20 a.m.
I wish to call on all Ghanaians
to say congratulations to the Black Stars and when it is time for them to come back, all of us should show our support to them, in welcoming them, because whether we like it or not, they are heroes.
Alhaji Malik A. Yakubu (NPP -
Yendi): Mr. Speaker, I think the Statement made by the Majority Leader is most appropriate. A Statement was made before the match with Brazil and we were expecting to win; after the match, a Statement is being made again to congratulate these warriors of Ghana; I
think it is most appropriate.
Mr. Speaker, before the Brazilian match, the captain of the Black Stars promised the nation and the world that in no way will they fear Brazil, the number one football nation for now. And they went to the field and lived up to that promise, and I think the manner in which they played, the flair they displayed -- they did not play as if they were playing against any big team.
In fact, the commentator made a comment, that the Black Stars were playing just as if they were playing any African team. In other words, they were playing a team they thought they were even superior than. So I think that sometimes a team may lose a match with a fallen crest and sometimes a team may lose a match with the chest out; and that was precisely what the Black Stars of Ghana showed the world. They played with such confidence that you were at ease and you were no more afraid of the outcome of the match.
Mr. Speaker, I think this world tournament in which Ghana has participated has given us some discoveries. I think as a nation, we may not have known the depth of the support that Ghana enjoys in the world; and we found that apart from the solid African support we were perhaps pleasantly surprised to find support from the Americans, support from Asia and support from Europe. I was told by somebody from the United Kingdom that the BBC sports news was full of praise for Ghana even before the Brazilian match and that Ghana stood very special to them.
Then in Africa, a head of state, the President of Liberia, came out openly and said she was going to stop state business and watch the Stars' match. I think we need to immensely thank people who lifted
their support to that level. Mr. Speaker, the performance of the Black Stars, this high level of display, this worldwide support that has been generated by their participation in the World Cup poses a major challenge to the football nation of Ghana. We cannot afford to slide down the hill in the coming years. This means that we must do everything only to be going higher and higher but never to come down. We all know the factors that made Ghana to perform poorly at the last Africa Cup although we have a very, very talented football population.
Tony Baffoe, when he was interviewed in Germany attributed the past poor performances to lack of unity. He said we were not united, we did not have the unity of purpose as these young men of today have; and I think we have to begin immediately to correct the malaise that prevented Ghana from earlier successes from the way they have shown. This is only a glimpse of what Ghana can do and therefore every support that we have seen that has been pouring forth from various parts of Ghana should continue to come.
The players should know that even though some of them are well-placed in their individual clubs in Europe, and are earning a lot of money, what they have earned from their playing for Ghana, the fame, the respect, the admiration that they have gained -- there is no way any of them can gain that from their individual clubs that they play for in Europe. Therefore, in future, we do not expect any Black Stars player playing outside Ghana to hesitate a minute when he is required to come and render service to his nation.
We have all seen the benefit that football has brought to this nation. Therefore, no resource should be considered too much to plough into sports development. We see that it can generate a lot of goodwill and
Mr. Ahi 11:30 a.m.
money, if we are talking of financing and money to Ghana. We should therefore as a nation never, never relax in providing resources for our players.

Mr. Speaker, I think that the people of Ghana have shown that we are a great people. Everybody has noticed that we rose up as one people with one purpose, loving our country more than anything else. This means that if we manage the country as it should be managed, we would have a people who would respond. I think that even if we had heard the news of the discovery of oil, Ghanaians would not have burst out rejoicing in the manner they did and that is a very great hope for this nation -- that we have a people who will, when the opportunity strikes, come out and show that they are proud Ghanaians.

And we say congratulations to the

Stars, congratulations to all those who supported them, congratulations to the people of Africa and congratulations to the peoples of the world. And congratulations to the Arab World. The contribution of the Arab Prince of a hundred thousand dollars to us means that the unfortunate incident which nearly marred the relationship between Ghana and the Arab World is understood in its proper light and that there was no malice intended.
Mr. Francis A. Agbotse (NDC -- Ho West) 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I stand to support the Statement made by the Leader of the House to congratulate the Black Stars for their sterling performance in the World Cup. This is their first attempt but they have proved to the world that they are worthy ambassadors of Ghana and Africa.
Mr. Speaker, when you watch the
match in detail, you would see that what happened to our boys was technical -- because the technical bench was not able to see - [Interruptions.] If you watch the Brazilians, they stopped their Samba game. All they did was that they absorbed the shock from our boys and then released the ball and followed it up and then they scored goals. The technical team of the Brazilians - [Interruption.]
Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei 11:30 a.m.
On a point of
order. Mr. Speaker, my senior Colleague has just told this House that we lost because of technical reasons. Mr. Speaker, football is a very technical game. On what basis is he making that statement - [Interruptions] -- because he has not adduced any evidence. He is running to a conclusion that says that based on technical evidence yet he has not provided this House with that evidence. Until he can do that I think he should withdraw.
Mr. Agbotse 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon. Member, continue
your contribution.
Mr. Agbotse 11:30 a.m.
And so next time, we
would have to study the clips on all the matches of our opponents and see where they have shortcomings and use our team on those basis to play against them.
Secondly, our boys have done well. I
would say that they have excelled, like everybody is saying. But when we appoint
Dr. A. A. Osei 11:30 a.m.
On a point of order.
Mr. Speaker, my senior Colleague said that out of the twenty three -- we sent twenty eight and so how can he talk about twenty- three? He does not know anything about football, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon. Member for Ho
West, please continue.
Mr. Agbotse 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, they
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon. Member, do
not be distracted; continue with your contribution.
Mr. Agbotse 11:30 a.m.
I am talking about our
local players. Our local players should be trained by the coaches we bring here - [Interruptions]. When I finish, you make your statement. So that next time when we are sending players they should be locally made players.
On this note, I congratulate the Black Stars. They have done well but next time,
they should do better. Mr. I. K. Asiamah (NPP-- Atwima-
Mponua): Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for this great opportunity to contribute to the Statement on the floor of the House.
Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Committee on Education and Sports, I congratulate the Black Stars for their splendid performance in this World Cup tournament.
Mr. Speaker, after yesterday's match,
comments and contributions coming from Ghanaians both at home and abroad clearly indicate that the Black Stars have made us proud and that indeed the whole continent is proud of the Black Stars. Mr. Speaker, Ghanaians very much appreciate what the Black Stars have done for us, lifting high the flag of Ghana and of course, promoting the image of Ghana abroad.

Nii Amasah Namoale: On a point of

order. Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member who just spoke is misleading the House. We do not have linesmen in football anymore. We have assistant referees and so the hon. Member should update his facts.
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon. Member, please
go on.
Mr. Asiamah 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, indeed,
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon. Member for
Mr. Yaw Baah 11:30 a.m.
Exactly so, Mr.
Speaker. Mr. Speaker, if I heard my hon. Colleague who just spoke, he said that Ghana played eleven stars against 14 Brazilian stars. But in football, it is eleven against eleven. And so if he could come out clearly as to why eleven against 14 players when the whole world spotted only 22 players on the field -- if he could come out clearly to show where Ghanaians were eleven and the Brazilians were 14.
Mr. Asiamah 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think we are all aware that in football matches eleven players from each team, of course, play but then I am trying to send home the message that, indeed, bad officiating has been a bane to Africa's progression in the World Cup since its inception. That is the message I want my hon. Colleague to understand. Also, about linesmen, I wanted the ordinary Ghanaian to understand the meaning of “linesmen” -- what I meant by “linesmen” and not that I do not know they are assistant referees.
Mr. Speaker, the Ghanaian style of playing -- you can call it the multi- system, the agbadza type, the kpanlogo type or the adowa type -- was clearly manifested at the World Cup. Clearly, whether it was highlife or whatever, Mr. Speaker, we proved to the world that Ghana has something to show to the world. That is something we must be proud of.
Mr. Speaker, for me, what we must work on is our scoring chances. Clearly, that has been the problem, not only for Ghana but all the African teams that were presented. We played so well but at the end of the day what is there to show that we can progress to the next stage?
So it is about our scoring chances -- Yesterday for example - We had 52 point something per cent against 48 per cent, which clearly shows that the Black Stars outplayed the Brazilians but at the end
of the day we are coming back home. So let us work on our scoring abilities. That is why we take up coaches; our coaches should be able to work on how to score. Clearly, somebody like Sam Johnson of Accra Hearts of Oak, look at how he was transformed by a certain coach; let us work on our defence so that when we go to such tournaments we can perform and perform well.
Mr. Speaker, there are more lessons to learn from this tournament. First of all, it is about the need to maintain absolute unity and cohesion in our teams across board - the local teams and whatever it is. We should be able to have total unity and cohesion; that is the only way we can progress. You could see that we have a captain who is not only a captain but somebody who has been a unifying factor; I am talking about skipper Appiah. He has been so sober and has been able to unify the team; that is what we need. A team leader is a player and so far I am impressed about the captain's role since we qualified to contest in the World Cup tournament.
Mr. Speaker, another lesson we need to learn is about putting in the right investments. We went to the World Cup contest not by chance; we made the right investment. After the qualification the ten thousand dollars golden handshake by the President alone was something to motivate the players.
Also, we are told, reliably, that the amounts that our players have received so far to that stage is something I must commend the handlers of the national team for. Motivation has so far been superb and that is key in all these things.
Mr. Speaker, another key lesson to learn from this is about catching our players young. As the hon. Ranking Member said, Mr. Speaker, we have more talents in this country. Go to our schools -- What are we doing to catch them young?

Another key point we are missing is about getting very physically, well-built players for our national team. We abandon our people. and sometimes common food to eat is not there. So our players, right from the word go, excuse me to say, are handicapped in terms of physique. It is something we must accept. Why do we not have these soccer academies built to train some of these people who have the talents and potentials to be great footballers in future?

Mr. Speaker, the hon. Ranking Member and I were in Brazil and what we saw, or witnessed - Brazil is performing well not just because of anything but because they have put in the right investments. Everywhere, in every community they have decent soccer pitches, quality parks that they play on. If Ghana also wants to adopt soccer as the leading game in our investments and our economy, let us invest right in soccer, our pitches, right in our communities.

Mr. Speaker, here I must commend hon. Yaw Osafo-Maafo for this laudable idea that he has brought into the Ghana Education Trust (GET) Fund. He has introduced a special facility for sports development in the GET Fund; that is key because if we are talking about education, sports play a key role in education and so I am so much comfortable that we have a facility to promote sports in this country. That is the key, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. E. T. Mensah 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the young man is misleading the House. The support for sports development from the GETFund existed before my very good Friend, hon. Osafo-Maafo became the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning -- let us get this straight -- to
the extent that we got permission to use part of the main Common Fund to support sports development.
Mr. Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon. Member for Atwima-Mponua, you may be winding up.
Mr. Asiamah 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, anyway, if I said something negative I do not know whether my hon. Colleague would have accepted it, but this is about a very positive thing and wherever it is coming from, I am not concerned but the fact that it exists is key.
Mr. Speaker, finally, I must on behalf of the committee which was then -- I do not know whether it is still being headed by hon. Joe Baidoe-Ansah; he is now a Deputy Minister for Tourism and Diaspora Relations. He did a very useful job when he was Chairman of that great committee.
Mr. Speaker, I must also congratulate the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Government, and indeed, Ghanaians both at home and abroad and the world over. Mr. Speaker, I was in Germany myself and the game against the Czech Republic was so overwhelming. The support came from every race, whites and whatever it is; they all supported the cause of Ghana.
Mr. Speaker, thank you for the wonderful opportunity and God bless you.
Minority Leader (Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin) 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it is really appropriate that we thank and congratulate the Black Stars for the successes that they have chalked at the World Cup tournament in their first outing.
Mr. Speaker, we are now the toast of the football fans in the world. Definitely, some of us are not technical men; we are spectators and we have had the opportunity to listen to some of the technical men. Today I listened to Messrs Moses Foh- Amoaning and Herbert Mensah. They did a very good analysis of the match between Ghana and Brazil. Mr. Speaker, we have achieved a lot as a nation and I think we should not even take what we are doing today for granted.
Minority Leader (Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin) 11:50 a.m.
This country would achieve greater heights if we continue to work together in unity. The seeds we are sowing today in the forms of leadership would blossom tomorrow for the country and this is what has been exhibited by the twinkle, twinkle little stars who are now the Black Stars at the World Cup tournament.
It was because of experience and consistency in policy, it is because of the unity of the country, our togetherness, that is why we achieved what we have achieved at the World Cup tournament. We should stay away from politicizing all issues; at least, we have seen a lot of it in this country and I think we should advise ourselves.
Mr. Speaker, it is always important to listen to wise sayings and sometimes I cannot resist the temptation of quoting some of them. We are often falling into the trap of what one E. E. Cummings stated -- and Mr. Speaker, I quote:
“Men's minds are too ready to excuse guilt in themselves.”
We always want to push the blame on somebody else. It is true, listening to the commentator of the match and also the reaction of our coach and what the referee did after the match, gives some credence (Editor's own words to the concern) that there were some kind of unfortunate decisions that were taken which were not in favour of the Black Stars.
But we should not wholly push the blame on officiating. We should look within ourselves and see where we can sharpen our weaknesses so that we would not have any excuse to be blaming others. After all, in our match against the United States of America (USA), similar questions were raised as to whether we actually earned a rightful penalty. But Mr. Speaker, that one we won and we rejoiced. Yes, naturally if it is against us we would
lament, we may weep, we may mourn, that is normal. But I would want us to focus on seeing what we could do to improve upon the performance of the Black Stars.

Mr. Speaker, what I also realized from the performance of the Black Stars was the fact that self-image, confidence was with the young lads. They played with all the confidence and the assurances of the nation; they played with friends; they played with mates and it is good that we should train people to go out there and get the experiences.

I do not agree with my hon. Colleague here that they were trained outside and that we should depend on only those who are trained locally. These are guys who were trained here and who won matches at world outings at the juvenile level; they have now matured to the senior level and they had to go up there to reap some benefits for the nation and they are doing very, very well for the country. We need to commend them highly for that.

Mr. Speaker, it was Maxwell Maltz, one American psychologist who wrote that “self-image sets the boundaries of individual accomplishment”. That is exactly what the Black Stars did. I think that what we did was just to catapult ourselves into the league of countries that excel in football in Africa. Where we got to, Nigeria got there before; Nigeria at the World Cup also got to the group stage. In fact, Cameroon and Senegal have even excelled more than Ghana; they got to the quarter finals at the World Cup tournament. So we still have a little more work to do and that is why we should not allow the euphoria, we should not allow the enthusiasm, we should not allow the interest that has been shown by all Ghanaians and the whole world in our Black Stars to just dry up and let us be the losers.

I believe strongly that the Ministry of

-- now it is Education, Science and Sports - We can see that that kind of composition is a mouthful. I think that I will urge the Government to take a second look at that Ministry. Education alone is too large to handle; to add a critical aspect of human life - sports to that Ministry is rather asking for too much.
Mr. Akwasi Osei-Adjei 11:50 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, the statement the
Mr. Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Order! Minority Leader, please conclude.
Mr. Bagbin 11:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think that some of these comments should be taken in good faith. No budget was made for the Minister to stay back. I think that we need to let Parliament as an institution be seen as an equal arm of Government, that is the issue I am raising.
Members of Parliament are as equal as Ministers of State and we should try to encourage hon. Members to be professional Parlia-mentarians not to be looking up to being promoted to a
Ministerial level. [Some hon. Members: Yes.] It is because of some of these perks and benefits that is why this Parliament is going downwards in oversight and other functions and a lot of people outside are raising that issue. We need to stand up and we need to look at some of these issues critically. [Hear! Hear!]
Mr. Speaker, I want to end by saying that in the midst of that difficulty a number of the players managed to score goals and we need to mention some of them who actually scored very good goals. One goal that was commended was the one scored by Haminu Dramani, I do not know the young man but he was commended and I am told he is from Kpando Hearts of Lions - [Hear! Hear!] He did very well. Asamoah Gyan scored a very beautiful goal and Appiah, the skipper performed marvelously well. I think that he showed

Mr. Samuel Sallas-Mensah noon
Mr. Speaker, yesterday a similar agreement was laid and it was referred to the Finance Committee. For the Paper to be reflecting this today I think it is a mistake. I would want to draw your attention to it so that you can reverse it.
Mr. Speaker noon
Hon. Members, we have to amend that and instead of it going to Committee on Finance it should go to the Committee on Mines and Energy.
By Mr. F. K. Owusu-Adjapong (on behalf of ) the Minister for Energy --
Petroleum Agreement amongst the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Tullow (Ghana) Limited, Sabre Oil and Gas Limited and Kosmos Energy (Ghana) Limited in respect of Deep Water Tano Contract Area.
Referred to the Committee on Mines and Energy.
By the Chairman of the Committee --
Report of the Finance Committee on the Loan Agreement between the Government of Ghana and the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium and Commerzbank of Belgium for an amount of five million, eight hundred and seventy- eight thousand, five hundred and seventy-nine euros and sixty-three cents (E5,878,579.63) for the supply and installation of electronic and telecommunications systems for Parliament to be executed by SIEMENS NV/SA of Belgium.
Mr. Speaker noon
Item 5 - Motion.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong noon
Mr. Speaker,
I am a little bit surprised that even it has been advertised on the Order Paper because this was the document which I said the Minister and the Chairman wanted to meet on and I have not been briefed that they have resolved whatever problem they have on this matter.
Mr. Speaker noon
So we defer the item?
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong noon
Yes, please.
Mr. Speaker noon
Item - 6.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong noon
Mr. Speaker, I would suggest we defer this for further consultation.
Mr. Speaker noon
The item is deferred. Item 7 -- Motion.

Mr. Speaker noon
Any seconder to the motion?
Mr. M. A. Asaga noon
Mr. Speaker, I rise to second the motion.
Question put and motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Loan Agreement between Government of Ghana and
Government of the Kingdom of Belgium and Commerzbank
of Belgium
M r. K w a d w o A g y e i - A d d o : Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, that this honourable House adopts the Report of the Finance Committee on the Loan Agreement between the Government of Ghana and the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium and Commerzbank of Belgium for an amount of five million, eight hundred and seventy-eight thousand, five hundred and seventy-nine euros and sixty-three cents (E5,878,579.63) for the supply and installation of electronic and telecommunications systems for Parliament to be executed by SIEMENS NV/SA of Belgium.
In so doing I would want to present the Report of the Committee. Mr. Speaker, with your permission, I would want to read part of the objectives, the terms and then the conclusion, and having done that, I would request that you ask the Hansard Department to capture the full body of the Report as having been read in its entirety in this House.
1.0 Introduction
The above Loan Agreement was laid in the House on Wednesday, 21st June 2006 and referred to the Finance Committee for consideration and report in accordance with article 181 of the Constitution and the Standing Orders of the House.
Mr. M. A. Asaga noon

To consider the agreement, the Committee met with the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, hon. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, and officials from Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning reports as follows:

2.0 Background

The Office of Parliament exists to

provide support services to Parliament for the benefit of the people of Ghana. This is done through arrangement and facilitating of the Sittings and work of Parliament, informing the public of daily proceedings and assisting the office of the Speaker.

In 1996 a number of equipment and machinery were installed in both the Chamber Block and the Administration Block to enable Parliament to achieve its objectives.

Since then no new and additional equipment and machinery have been added to the stock of communication equipment and machinery in spite of the need for this.

The conference equipment in the Chamber of Parliament is over ten (10) years old. Consequently, there are persistent and sometimes embarrassing breakdowns when equipment ceases in the course of debates/speeches on the floor.

Additionally, it is also becoming more and more difficult to service the system due to unavailability of spare parts. Moreover, the recording system uses Audio Cassette Decks which do not facilitate fast transcription. The closed circuit TV system has also not worked for many years thereby compromising security.

The need for a complete system replacement for Parliament is long overdue. Parliament is currently using two buildings which are the Chamber and the

Speaker's Block as a result of inadequate space; a third building is currently under construction which is to be used as offices and Committee rooms.

This facility is to be used to supply and install electronic and telecommunication systems in these three buildings for Parliament.

3.0 Objectives of the Project

The objectives of this project are made up of the following --

To Facilitate:

Orderly debates/speeches within the Chamber of Parliament and other Conference rooms;

M o d e r n i z e d r e c o r d i n g a n d transcription of debates and Proceedings;

Efficient archiving and retrieval of recorded proceedings;

To enhance efficient local and external voice (telephony) and video communications.

To improve the security of the Speaker, MP's and staff, as well a s v i s i t i n g VIP's and guests.

To control access and detect intrusion into certain areas of the House.

To provide for the efficient dissemina- tion of information through mul- timedia technology.

4.0 Scope of Works

The project covers the Supply and Installation of:

Fibre Optic Backbone and Data Cabling

Public Address System

Conference and Simultaneous Interpretation System

Parliamentary Recording System

Closed-Circuit Television System

Access Control System

Intrusion Detection System

Metal Detection

X-Ray Scanners

Internet Connectivity

Video Conferencing

Video Distribution System

Telephone System (PABX).

5.0 Terms and Conditions of the Credit Facility

The terms and condition of the Loan Agreement are as follows:

(i) Amount

: EUR 5,878,579.63

(ii) Interest Rate : 0 per cent (zero per cent) per


(iii) Repayment Period : 15.5 years by 31 semi-annual


(iv) Moratorium Period

: 14 months after effective date of the Loan Agreement

(v) Maturity Period : 16 years 7 months

(vi) Management Fee : 0.75 per cent

(vii) Commitment Fee : 0.20 per cent

6.0 Observation

The Committee observed that currently the existing equipment and machinery are in a very poor state and therefore constantly break down. The video system in the House has been removed because it is beyond rehabilitation and the need to replace them is long overdue.

The technical team informed the Committee that the project involves the rehabilitation of the two existing buildings and the completion of the third building currently under construction. The Committee observed that this will address the problem of lack of Committee rooms for meetings.

The Committee further observed that the project would include the supply of security equipment such as closed-circuit systems, metal detection equipment, et cetera. This would help address the issue of the security of Parliament and control access into certain areas of the House as this issue has been a major concern to Members.

The Committee again noted that when the project is completed it would facilitate orderly debates and speeches within the Chamber of Parliament and other Conference rooms. It will also improve the efficient distribution of information to the general public through multimedia technology.

The Committee observed that the Ministry of Finance and Economic
Mr. Speaker noon
Any seconder to the motion?
Mr. M. A. Asaga (NDC - Nabdam) noon
Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the motion and to speak to it and to ask the House to approve this Loan Agreement which is very important for electronic installation in Parliament. Looking at the terms and conditions, I think these are very good conditions and Parliament should be supportive of this particular loan. In
Mr. Agyei-Addo noon
Mr. Speaker -
Mr. Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Let me call you first,
Chairman of the Committee. You may wish to wind up, so let us hear others speak on this matter.
Mr. H. Iddrisu (NDC - Tamale
South): Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the motion and to call on the Majority Leader to do same. Apart from the deficiency in the communication system in the House, I do believe that hon. Members do have some other peculiar problems that have to do with their maintenance. I hope that the excitement with which he is sourcing money to redo our telecommunication system, he would apply the same skills in ensuring that he negotiates properly with the Executive on the condition of service of Members and deal with it.
Mr. Speaker, in doing so, I would like to refer to page 3 of your Committee's Report and to say that even though we are told that it is to enhance telecom-munication and information system, many of the listed items on page 3, paragraph 4.0, focuses essentially on security devices and not on telecommunication system. If you look at all those issues that are being related, they have to do with security. I agree with that too, but I think that we must have value-for-money, and in having value- for-money, we should ensure that this particular project is diligently monitored that this honourable House will have same.
I remember that I had the unpleasant task a few months ago when some disparaging lies were attributed to my person when we were debating the Representation of Peoples Amendment Bill (ROPAB). I attracted some very misleading headlines of bringing guns to this honourable House. I subjected myself, I remember, to the security of Parliament
terms of its concessionality, it is 42.8 per cent and with a zero interest rate.
Mr. Speaker, we all know the problem we have in this Chamber and part of the offices of Parliament regarding electronic gadgets. We know there is an improve- ment in the internet connectivity but we still need to do more.

Mr. Speaker, between 1996 and 2000, any time we got up to speak we used to see our names on display. These days there is difficulty in knowing who is up and who is sitting down. I hope that this electronic installation would also include the display of names when people are voting in particular and also during secret voting so that we will not go back to the days when we were whipped by our counterparts to “show it to me” before they voted secretly.

So on this note, I support the motion and urge all hon. Members to support it.

Question proposed.
Mr. A. Pele (NDC - Chiana-Paga) 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I refer to page 4 of the Committee's Report. We all know that the loan is for the supply and installation of electronic and telecommunication systems in the Parliament of Ghana.
Mr. Speaker, on page 4, paragraph 2, it reads -- and with your permission, I quote 12:10 p.m.
“The technical team informed the Committee that the project involves the rehabilitation of two existing buildings and the completion of a third building currently under construction.”
I am confused as to whether part of this money, is going to be used for rehabilitation of the building and the completion of the third building. If the Minister or the Chairman of the Committee will clarify this position because I think the loan is solely for the telecommunication equipment.
to do a thorough investigation in order that my integrity was not impugned.
I believe sincerely that when we do have such a security device tomorrow, hon. Members will not go on discrediting others merely on the basis of emotive assumptions because I had my reputation suffering, that I had brought in people with guns to this honourable House when nothing of that sort happened. It was just because people wanted to say that in expressing our opposition to the Bill, some members of the public as usual came to take part in the debate. So, I think that it is important that this House has a very efficient security system in order for us to determine who comes to this House and who comes with what to this House.
Mr. Speaker, I support it, but I still think that there is too much emphasis on security in the underlisted items that are to be procured for this other than issues of telecommunication.
Finally, Mr. Speaker, many hon. Members do not have even internet connect iv i ty and somet imes our contributions -- I hasten to say this -- are not even based on thorough research because of the difficulty that hon. Members have. If, for instance, we are debating the Whistleblower Bill, many hon. Members will want to know best practices that pertain in other parts of the world.
If hon. Members were given laptops, not the laptops that Members carry anyway - [Interruption.] Mr. Speaker, I said laptops and I am referring to computer devices that hon. Members - [Interruption] -- With this, I support the motion, Mr. Speaker.
Majority Leader (Mr. F. K. Owusu- Adjapong) 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I believe that we all do support the approval for this particular loan except that we all want to be assured that this is not the last
Majority Leader (Mr. F. K. Owusu- Adjapong) 12:10 p.m.

project we are undertaking to enhance our performance in Parliament.

Mr. Speaker, as we speak now, we are also working hard to ensure that the three-storey building here for committee rooms and offices is completed in good time for our use.

Some hon. Colleagues might have observed in the dailies that we have also advertised for the remodelling of the GNTC block which we have acquired to be used as Committee rooms and offices. So it means there are a lot of things that are being done through the useful co- operation between the Executive and the Legislature (Office of Parliament).

Mr. Speaker, I want to assure you that the Executive is also putting on the agenda the completion of Job 600 and that we are at an advanced stage of trying to conclude similar negotiations so that we can secure funding for the completion of this project.

We have been advised that to complete Job 600, we need about 2425 million dollars. To fund it through an annual budgetary system may never work; we tried it before in 2004 and we saw nothing -- when we were allocated ¢25 billion towards the development of that structure. So what the Government is trying to agree with Parliament, is for us to see whether we can secure a loan facility for the completion of the entire project and then have a repayment terms.

I want to assure my younger hon. Colleague that we will do all that is within our power, and with their support, to ensure that we work on such a loan facility and get the building completed.

With this, I hope the Chairman of the Committee can respond to the few things he needs to clarify, with your permission,

and therefore move forward.
Mr. Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Chairman of the
Committee (Mr. K. Agyei-Addo), you may please wind up.
Mr. Agyei-Addo 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, as
was presented in the Committee's Report, this is a facility that is going to be used to rehabilitate our telecommunication systems. As to the issue that was raised by the hon. Member for Chiana/Paga (Mr. Pele), I believe the loan is not really to do the rehabilitation of the building as such, but rather to rehabilitate the existing telecommunication system that we have. As regards the new block that is being built, it is to provide new equipment because after it has been completed we will still need those equipment in order to make them very effective.
On this note, I would want to thank everyone who contributed and I believe we shall all support this motion and reach an agreeable consensus.
Mr. Speaker, I thank you.
Question put and motion agreed to.
Mr. Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Item 9 - Resolution
- Minister for Finance and Economic Planning.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker,
I want to seek your indulgence to allow the Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning who is also a Member of Parliament to move the Resolution.
Mr. Speaker 12:10 p.m.
RESOLUTION 12:10 p.m.


H E R E B Y R E S O LV E S A S 12:10 p.m.

Mr. K. Agyei-Addo 12:20 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to second the motion.
Question put and motion agreed to.
Mr. Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Majority Leader, at this
stage, any indications?
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 12:20 p.m.
Mr. Speaker,
as it was agreed last week, there is a meeting of the Chairpersons and the Ranking Members of this august body with the Leadership and this is supposed to precede tomorrow's closed Sitting. I therefore move that this House do now adjourn to enable the Leadership commence this meeting as advertised. I therefore move.
Mr. Abuga Pele 12:20 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to
second the motion.
Question put and motion agreed to.
ADJOURNMENT 12:20 p.m.