Debates of 31 Oct 2006

PRAYERS 10 a.m.


Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Order! Order!
Hon. Members, we have assembled here this morning to officially commence business for the Third Meeting of the Second Session of the Fourth Parliament of the Fourth Republic. The cheerful reflections in the Chamber this morning indicate that you had enough rest during the long recess notwithstanding the equally important responsibilities you carried out in your various constituencies.
Let us express appreciation to the Almighty God who has made it possible for us to meet once again to continue from where we left off. It is my prayer that He
will continue to show us such mercies throughout this Meeting so that we can discharge our responsibilities to the best of our abilities.
Hon. Members, as you are aware, whilst on recess, news about the demise of hon. Kwabena Sarfo, Member of Parliament for Offinso South, and the Rt. Hon. D.F. Annan, former Speaker of Parliament, reached us. It is sad that we have lost these great compatriots at the time that their contributions to this House are most needed, but let us be consoled by the legacies they left behind. As we mourn them, let us take sober reflections on these legacies and also draw useful lessons from their sense of patriotism.
Hon. Members, thank you and may God richly bless you for the various contributions towards the burial and final funeral rites of these compatriots. On behalf of the Leadership of Parliament, I once again, wish to convey the condolences of the Parliament of Ghana to the bereaved families, friends and all loved ones. I am hopeful that the new Member of Parliament elected to replace the late hon. Kwabena Sarfo will equally live up to the task.
Hon. Members, at this stage, shall we
10. Emmanuel Dodoo, Esq. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Labourer 11. Edward Yeko, Esq. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Labourer 12. Patrick Akolgo, Esq. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Labourer 13. Stephen Adjei-Baffour, Esq... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Labourer
14. Frederick Dodoo, Esq. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Labourer Cleaners
1. Felicia Gyamah (Ms.) .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Head Cook 2. Florence Afful (Ms.) .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Cleaner 3. Elizabeth Kotey (Ms.) .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Cleaner 4. Augustina Ayitey Adjin (Mrs.) .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Cleaner 5. Dora D. Armah (Ms.) .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Cleaner 6. Stella Boadi (Ms.) .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Cleaner 7. Mary Dodoo (Ms) .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Cleaner 8. Abubakar Ishaaq, Esq. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Cleaner 9. Maxwell N. S. A. Akwei, Esq. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Cleaner
10. Isaac Quayson, Esq. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . Cleaner 11. Michael Dzanenu .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . Cleaner 12. Helena Antwi, (Ms) .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Cleaner 13. Solomon Coffie, Esq. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Cleaner 14. Regina Paula Gbevedzi, (Ms) .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . Cleaner 15. Thelma Anim Agyei (Ms) .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . Cleaner
OFFICERS -- Contd. xxi
all rise to observe a minute's silence in honour of our two departed compatriots.

“May their souls rest in perfect peace”.

Hon. Members, this short Meeting promises to be quite busy and hectic. In accordance with article 179 of the 1992 Constitution, the Government's Financial Statement for the year 2007 would soon be presented to the House for consideration. The House is also expected to consider a backlog of Bills, a number of new Bills, motions and Questions during this short Meeting. I, therefore, entreat all hon. Members to continue to lend support to Leadership to ensure that the House executes these tasks with dispatch.

Let us remind ourselves that, as representatives of the people we are enjoined to place the national interest above all personal and partisan considerations. I, therefore, pray that we shall strive further to deepen the spirit of co-operation and consensus-building that has long been the hallmark of effective deliberations in the House.

I must admit that, over the years, hon. Members have been working under very trying circumstances, but I am pleased to assure you that Leadership is committed to doing all that is humanly possible to mitigate some of these challenges. The Leadership, on the other hand, expects you to endeavour to reciprocate this gesture by showing much commitment and zeal in the exercise of your legislative responsibilities.

May I also remind hon. Members that time for Sitting is ten o'clock prompt and I shall as usual commence proceedings

on time. I, therefore, expect the utmost cooperation of hon. Members in this respect.

Finally, I wish to welcome you all back to the House. May I officially declare the Third Meeting of the Second Session of the Fourth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana duly commenced.

Hon. Majority Leader, you were standing?
Majority Leader (Mr. F. K. Owusu- Adjapong) 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to add my voice to the Welcome Address to hon. Members and to let them know that we have a lot to do within these two months, or less than two months available to us, in that, we have a lot of Bills that society expects us to complete, especially the Domestic Violence Bill and other Bills. Therefore, it is my prayer and hope that we shall all work very hard.
Again, it is becoming necessary that
instead of choosing 9th November 2006 for the presentation of the Government's Financial Statement, it is more likely to be on 16th November 2006; and that will mean that we may have to reprogramme and increase the input.
Mr. Speaker, I believe that Leadership
had opportunity of having a two-day retreat and definitely we would want to create an opportunity for the House to discuss some of the important items that we discussed. For now, I can only raise the issue of how we recognise Members of Parliament.
For some time, we have just been talking about 200 or 230 Members of Parliament, as if it is just one system. But I think we have developed as a country
to a level that we now need to officially recognize that one should count on the Leadership and not only that but one should begin to recognise Chairmen, Vice chairmen and Ranking Members of their committees, as an office, so that we now know that structures are being built in Parliament for the good of the country.
This will then be a challenge to those who have been made to hold such responsibilities. I hope that when such a meeting is convened, we shall all be around so that we collectively decide how we want to help in remodelling this institution of ours, and then possibly negotiate with any other authority so that it becomes a nationally accepted way of running our Parliament.
Mr. Speaker, hard work would be
expected of all of us and I hope I can count on everybody's support so that we can help you in running a very successful Meeting.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Hon. Deputy Minority
Leader, do you have anything to add too?
Mr. E. K. D. Adjaho 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
I think you have said it all for now and therefore I will reserve my comments.
OATHS 10:10 a.m.

Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Hon. Members, I have
received notification from the National Electoral Commission and it reads:
“Offinso South Parliamentary Bye-Election
I submit herewith the completed writ of election for the Offinso South bye-election held on Tuesday, 24th October, 2006.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Deputy Minority Leader, do you have anything to say?
Mr. Adjaho 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, we can only congratulate Dr. Achaw for being elected as a Member of Parliament to represent his people. As the newest of all the Members of Parliament in this House, I will recommend to him to start consulting the hon. Member for Atwima- Mponua, Mr. Asiamah, so that he would start guiding him. But Mr. Speaker, he is representing all the people. Now that the election is over, he is representing all the political parties that contested his. He is not representing only the party on whose ticket he has been elected into Parliament, he is representing everybody in that constituency; those who voted for him and those who voted against him.
Mr. Speaker, it is rather worrying that on the eve of the election news came through of some murder in his constituency. Mr. Speaker, as the representative of all the people of Offinso South, I will urge him to take that matter up and to liaise with the relevant security agencies so that we get to the bottom of the matter.
Mr. Speaker, we will work with him, we will cooperate with him and we will
Majority Leader (Mr. Owusu- Adjapong) 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, these days one has got to be very careful as to how scores are recorded. This is because I do not remember NPP contesting three bye-elections; I am only aware of NPP contesting two bye-elections -- [Inter- ruptions] -- And even then, possibly we did that reluctantly because we felt that there was no need trying to take a seat from the meagre number they have in Parliament -- [Interruptions] -- and no wonder the leadership of the party did everything to suppress all interest in the Tamale election so that it could be a walk- over for our colleagues on the other side.
Mr. Speaker, definitely, they have achieved some results by being able to retain their three seats and we congratulate them on that. We even expected that in the light of the falling support that they had in Offinso they were not going to waste their resources and spend more of the money in reorganizing their party and find a way of getting the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) back into the system. [Interruptions] Now that it has been settled, I think we would continue to urge our new hon. Colleague to ensure that he recognizes that he is the Member of Parliament for Offinso South, as my hon. Colleague said, and not for any political party; and when he comes to Parliament he is a Member of Parliament and not a Member of NPP as such. We hope that not only our side but all other senior hon. Members of this House would try and help
in guiding him so that he becomes a very useful Member of this august House.
Mr. Speaker, a statement was made about the murder that was reported. It is unfortunate that at the time my hon. Colleague was not always listening to radio because he had been asked to rest for some time and therefore did not hear what the police high command in Ashanti Region -- the statement they issued on the matter, where they declared that they were in firm control; that it was not any politically motivated murder and that they were investigating the incident as a normal murder.
I hope that we would not try to go back to some of the old stories that some very serious politicians of the country tried to make without checking the facts, that we shall rely constantly on the information that is given by the official source.
Mr. Speaker, it does not mean that he should not be interested. After all, he has just been sworn in to defend the Constitution and the laws of this country, which include ensuring that any murder committed anywhere must be brought to the fore.
Mr. Speaker, I believe we have more to do today and therefore I want to end here.
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon. Member for Offinso South, I welcome you to this House and wish you well.

PRESIDENT 10:20 a.m.





ACCRA 10:20 a.m.


CASTLE, OSU 10:20 a.m.



Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon. Members , Correction of Votes and Proceedings, Friday, 28th July 2006.
Mr. E. K. D. Adjaho 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I refer you to page 36, item 49 of the Votes and Proceedings. item 49, I think there is a mistake there. The motion is supposed to be moved and seconded by two people;
and Mr. Speaker, it can only be one person seconding a motion moved. Mr. Speaker, I want them to go back to the records and do the proper thing.
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Proper correction ought to be made; thank you for that. We have these Official Reports for Friday 21st July 2006; Tuesday, 25th July, 2006; Wednesday, 26th July, 2006; Thursday, 27th July, 2006 and Friday, 28th July, 2006. If there are any mistakes you may draw the attention of the Editor of Debates.
Item 4 -- Urgent Question -- and it is in the name of hon. John Akologu Tia, Member of Parliament for Talensi. Is the hon. Minister for Upper East Region in the House?
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I will beg your leave to ask the Question on behalf of hon. J. A. Tia; he has authorized me to do so.
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Please, go ahead.



Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Louder, please.
Mr. Gambilla 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, this is a case involving galamsey miners who have the concession in the mining area. There are two groups that operate in the area known as Yale mining zone in the Talensi/ Nabdam District.
They had a misunderstanding as to who had to mine and to what extent. They disagreed with each other and resorted to the Regional Coordinating Council, the Regional Security Council, to help them resolve the conflict. As the Regional Coordinating Council was advising the District Assembly to resolve the conflict., a committee came from Accra -- a two-man committee from the Minerals Commission -- to investigate and resolve the matter.

This committee investigated the matter in the field and met the galamsey operators. The Committee submitted the report with a copy to the RCC which has the overall responsibility for peace and order in the region. We studied the report at the Regional Security Council (REGSEC). The REGSEC accepted the report of the committee from the Minerals Commission, Accra. We therefore invited the factions to the REGSEC meeting and read the recommendations of the committee that came to do its work. One of the aggrieved factions was still peeved and disagreed with the findings of the committee. He walked out of the meeting because the recommendations directed that both parties should go back and co- operate so that REGSEC would continue to monitor -- The other group, led by Nashiru, insisted that the other party had no right to operate in the area because he was not a native of the district. The association disagreed with them.
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
You may resume your seat at this stage.
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Question was specific -- on the causes of the conflict. The Minister dwelt heavily on the steps that are being taken, relying on the report from the Minerals Commission. May he share with this House what were the findings of the Minerals Commission's investigation into the matter?
Mr. Gambilla 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to read the recommendations --
1. The agreement which was signed between the feuding parties and witnessed by the Gbane Chief -- Gbane Chief is the chief of
the mining area -- should form the basis of the operations. This in a nutshell states that Mr. Pio, also known as Point 9, should remove his prepared core body and the phase shared into four with Nashiru taking one. This is slightly modified for the phase to be divided into three with one portion going to Nashiru. Mr. Pio is to mine the prepared ore but from any plaques he missed he is to make available 15 bushloads of ore to Nashiru for his efforts.
2. The flooded pit should be de- watered at a cost to be borne by the two in the proportion of 2:1 in favour of Nashiru.
3. The District Chief Executive --
Let me go to the 4th one; the 3rd one is irrelevant.
4. The Al-Sunnah religious sect should be strongly prevented from injecting any influence into the activities before it becomes a breeding ground for religious conflict which would have catastrophic consequences not only for the district but for the entire region and the country as a whole.
Mr. Speaker, these are the key findings by the mining experts who came from the Minerals Commission, Accra.
Mr. H. Iddrisu 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, final supplementary on this. Mr. Speaker, is the hon. Minister suggesting that the conflict had religious undertones? By the tacit reference he has made to Al-Sunnah, is he suggesting now that part of their findings was to the effect that it had some religious undertones on the ground?
Mr. Gambilla 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, during
the process of the conflict, it was realized that one person who supported Nashiru to disagree happened to be the Imam of the Al-Sunnah. And the committee had found that at a point there was some sort of tactics to use the religious component as a case. So we decided that the conflict should be devoid of religious or ethnic identifications.

In fact, there were other issues of ethnicity where they said Mr. Bio was not from the place so he should not mine. So we tried to downplay and to prevent ethnicity and religious identity. So there is no issue of religious factor in it apart from this.
Dr. Kwame Ampofo 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, galamsey implies illegal mining. Under what clause of the Minerals and Mining Law were galamsey operators, illegal operators, granted licence to operate and who granted those licences?
Mr. Gambilla 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, we know that ordinarily, when we say galamsey it is illegal mining. And the laws made from this House approved small-scale mining. But these people are known as galamsey operators operating under one licence. These are the terms used by the Minerals Commission. So it is an identification of these people; it is not the issue of legality or non-legality. They have a concession.


Mr. Gambilla 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, this is a case on which a report was submitted and upon which the Regional Security Council decided to do some sensitization and pre- management implementation.
Mr. Speaker, on 22nd January 2005, i.e. sometime before I was sworn intio office as Regional Minister, a communal violence broke out between two communities in the Talensi-Nabdam District of my region. The communities are Gonno-Torsin and Tongo Beo.
My predecessor had set up a 5-man Committee to investigate the causes of the violence and submit a report. Members of the Committee were:
(a) Mr. Bakari Sadiq Nyari -- Regional Lands Office, Chairman
(b) Mr. Daniel Awuku Ayive -- Regional Director, Department
(c) Mr. Samuel Nnuro Amponsah -- Regioanl Commander, BNI
(d) Mr. Raymond K. K. Maaldu -- Regional Registrar, Upper East Regional House of Chiefs.
(e) Omanhene, Kwaku Boateng -- Senior Programme Officer/ EPA, Upper East Region, Secretary.
Mr. Speaker, upon assuming office, I found the Committee under-resourced and unable to discharge its duties fully. I therefore provided the Committee with the needed resources which soon enabled it to work.
The Committee was given the following terms of reference:
(a) Determine the circumstances leading to the incident;
(b) Determine whether traditional allegiances to either the Tongo- Rana or the Zuarungu Nab had any bearing on the conflict;
(c) Find out if the new District Boundaries for the Talensi- Nabdam District created any disaffection among the people of Tongo-Beo, Torsin and Gonno;
(d) Any other issues which in the opinion of the Committee has bearing on the conflict; and
(e) Make recommendations towards the forestalment of any future occurrence of the conflict.
Mr. Speaker, the Committee duly completed its investigation and submitted its report to the Regional Security Council.
The main findings are stated below:
1. The Committee found that the violence which broke out on 22nd January 2005, had both remote and immediate causes.
2. That the immediate cause of the violence was the arrest by the Bolgatanga District Police on 21 January 2005 of one Atubiga Anaba upon complaint made by three elders of Tongo Beo. The other immediate factor was the attack and destruction of one George Adima's bicycle by some people from Yeenibiisi on the same 21 January 2005.
3. That the issue of counterclaims of ownership and control of lands in Gonno and Torsin by Beo-Rana is a key factor which contributed to
the conflict.
4. That the creation of Talensi/Nabdam District and Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly and the determination of the boundary of the two adminis- trative areas especially along the Tongo-Beo electoral Area is one of the major factors that contributed to the conflict.
5. Consultation with the view to consensus building over the delineation and demarcation of the boundaries before the creation of the Talensi-Nabdam District out of Bolga District was inadequate and not finalized as the range of participants and the consultations were limited.
6. The Committee also noted that the issue of traditional allegiance and loyalty are factors in the conflict and this has the potential of widening the scope of the conflict.
7. The Committee is of the view that until the decision by Gonno- Torsin to sever their traditional allegiance with Tongo-Beo, these communities recognize and paid allegiance to the Beo-Rana and Tongo-Rana. Indeed, Beo-Rana saw them as part of Tongo-Beo and that all customary practices emerging from the relationship were performed by all customary practices by all parties, so there was peaceful co-existence.
8. It was noted that the conflict has the potential of spreading to other traditional areas as subtle attempts are being made to draw Kumbosugo, ‘Dulugu and Yarigabisi into the
conflict against Beo-Rana on the issue of ownership and control over lands in the area.
9. The area is sitting on a time-bomb which can explode if immediate solution is not found to their grievances since general security in the area is threatened.

Mr. Speaker, the above findings are the main ones. But the Committee came up with other additional findings which I humbly present as follows:

1. The people of Gonno and Torsin have in their petitions raised the fact that they are Grune-speaking as opposed to the Beo people who speak Talen as a basis for seeking separation from the Tongo-Beo people and also from the Tongo- Beo Electoral Area.

2. That the people in Gonno/Torsin are divided between support for and opposition to the Beo-Rana: some being opposed to the Beo-Rana while others mainly within Laabiisi and Koneabiisi are not opposed to the Beo-Rana.

3. That the leadership of those communities that resolved to sever their relationship with Tongo- Beo are accusing the police of harassment on the promptings of the Beo-Rana. The anti-Beo group thinks that the police have unduly assisted the Beo-Rana to “harass” them since the Beo-Rana had frequently resorted to the use of the police to settle differences between him and members of the communities.
Mr. Gambilla 11 a.m.
is light at the end of the tunnel that this will soon be resolved.
7. A meeting of all opinion leaders, the Chief of Tongo Beo, the Chief of Gonno and all their elders with the youth of the two communities is planned to take off in November to prepare the ground for the implementation of the committee's recommendation.
8. The Regional Co-ordinating Council and REGSEC are involving respected civil society groups, hon. MPs from Talensi and Bolgatanga constituencies, Bolgatanga NCCE, Zuarungu Naba, Gonnon Naba and other stakeholders to mend the sour relations and bring peace to the area.
9. Embarked on orientation and re-orientation of the people on misconceptions and misinter- p r e t a t i o n s a n d c o n f u s i o n s surrounding:
Administrative boundaries,
Political boundaries,
Traditional Authority boun- daries,
Geographical boundaries,
Ethnic and cultural boundaries,
as the people see these concepts as being power taken away or subjecting one into subserviency and infringing on local/ domestic sovereignty.

Mr. Speaker, I must admit that a lot still remains to be done to achieve lasting

peace in the area and we are working towards that. We have for now made some modest gains as explained above and we intend to build upon that in order to win the ultimate prize.

Mr. Speaker, I assure you that I will cover every blade of grass and leave no stone unturned to bring peace to our people. Our beloved country, Ghana, under the NPP Government of His Excellency President Kufuor has achieved world fame for being a peaceful country, almost surrounded by unstable nations. I will not allow pockets of violence anywhere in my region to dent this peaceful national image recognized world-wide.
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, a rather long Answer to a very short Question. Mr. Speaker, the Minister in his Answer said, and with your indulgence if I may refer to page 8, that the Committee established that it could not make any findings of facts that the handwriting indeed was the handwriting of hon. John Tia. Can we therefore rely on the committee's report to say that hon. Tia has been exonerated and that the allegations against him were unfounded?
Mr. Gambilla 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, as I said
earlier, for security reasons, we are holding the report. We have to do the sensitization and find out more before we can accept the report; so I cannot say “yes” or “no”.
Mr. H. Iddrisu 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the
Minister is appearing before this country's Parliament. What security report is he hiding from this House? The Question was specific. He set up a committee on a security problem; he has read it here. By their findings, an allegation which was made against an hon. Member of this House, his committee establishes, had no basis. Can he confirm to this House that the hon. John Tia had no hand in the supposed note that he wrote?
Mr. Gambilla 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I cannot confirm because as I said earlier, the report has been submitted, but we are still studying the report and managing the processes to implement it. It is when we conclude this stage and we do not find anything contrary that I can respond positively.
Mr. H. Iddrisu 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it
appears that the Minister himself has no faith in the very committee report he read to this House because I referred him to page 8. Can we then ask him to retract the report he just submitted to this House, if we cannot rely on it?
Mr. Gambilla 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the report submitted by the committee that was established to investigate the conflict is still under study. That is why I said the report has not been implemented. I have set up a three-man sensitizing committee to sensitize the communities before I see to the safety of implementing the main report, because if it is implemented now, the war can erupt again. Perhaps, if along the line there is anything contrary to the findings of the committee, we would raise it.
Mr. David Apasera 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I
want to ask the hon. Minister for Upper East whether this committee's report has been made available to the stakeholders and what the opinion of the stakeholders is with regard to this report.
Mr. Gambilla 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to
repeat that when the committee submitted the report, we did not want to rush to implement wholesale what the report stated. We decided to send a sensitizing committee and to do our intelligence work further before we accepting the report submitted by the committee. As at now, I am Chairman of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) and the REGSEC
has not pronounced the acceptance of the report, because we do not want to rush into it. We are soon getting to that. So the report was submitted rather to the REGSEC and we have not implemented it yet, and we do not want to rush to implement it or to give it out without our comments so that the war erupts again.
Mr. E.T. Mensah 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I
want to know from the Minister whether the report that he has just read is different from a report that he has somewhere that we do not know about.
Mr. Gambilla 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, with all due apologies, it is out of respect for this House that I had to read the report. But if I prevented the implementation of the main report because there was the likelihood of a faction waging war again, that was for a security purpose. I would not have read the report to anybody until we finished our findings, until we could accept or reject the main report. That we have not done yet.
Mr. E.T. Mensah 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, my
problem is quite simple. It is a simple question or simple statement about a handwriting, and findings have been established by the report, yet he cannot say “yes” or “no” or tell us whether he agrees with what has been put there or whether the hon. Member has been exonerated.
So if he cannot tell us anything on this simple one, because I have other questions to ask on other paragraphs and I believe that other hon. Members also have other questions to ask on other paragraphs, then I want to suggest that he retracts or withdraws what he has brought before us and come back again when he is properly on his grounds to receive the questions that would be fired at him here.
Mr. Speaker 11 a.m.
Deputy Minority Whip, as you know, this is not a question. Hon. Minister, you are discharged. Thank you for coming to answer these Questions.

Mr. H. Iddrisu 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the
question was specific. I needed to know how many expatriate workers work with GT and how much each of them is paid. It appears from the hon. Minister's Answer that he is looking for a postponed date to come back to this House. Mr. Speaker, this Question was filed over a year ago and I think the hon. Minister must provide the details. How many expatriates and how much are they paid? That is the specific question.
Prof. Oquaye 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the expatriate staff, which was 25, has been reduced to 11. Mr. Speaker, with regard to the details, they have been compiled and on advise, they will be available by 15th November, 2006.
Mr. H. Iddrisu 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the
hon. Minister made reference to some agreement, which was signed on 25th October, 2006. Is he aware that even in 2002, an agreement was already signed with TMP, which provided for the employment of expatriate staff? So will the hon. Minister furnish this House with the details of how many they are and how much they earn?
Prof. Oquaye 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the details, as advised by the Chairman of the Board, are being compiled and they will be made available by 15th November, 2006.
Mr. Alfred Agbesi 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, as the hon. Member for Tamale South said, this Question has been lying unanswered for over a year. Mr. Speaker, this House has oversight responsibility over Depart- ments and Ministries. Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister who is answering this Question has a responsibility to this House -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon. Member for Ashaiman, please ask your question.
Mr. Agbesi 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, when expatriates are coming into this country, it is always on record -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon. Member, are you asking a question or you are addressing the House?
Mr. Agbesi 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am asking a question with premises to the question. Mr. Speaker, I have to lay the foundation for the question. Mr. Speaker, when expatriates are coming into this country, there are always records and figures of them before they enter this country. If the hon. Minister cannot today tell us how many expatriates are there in this country, and how much they are paid, then he is trying to evade the question.
Mr. Speaker, the question is how much those 25 expatriates who came into this country are earning, according to the records at his Ministry? If he cannot answer this question, Mr. Speaker, it means that the hon. Minister is hiding something from this House. I ask him to answer the question.
Mr. Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon. Member for Ashaiman, I am in charge; you are not.
Mr. Agbesi 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am begging you to allow the hon. Minister to provide this House with the fees that were being paid, salaries that were being paid to the expatriates that entered into this country some years ago and which are known to his Ministry. I am asking this question because, expatriates can never enter this country without any records; and it is known to the hon. Minister. If he says no, and that he wants up to 15th November, 2006 to answer this Question, he is trying to run away from the question. This country must be administered by laws; and he wants to be President. He must answer this question. [Laughter.]
Prof. Oquaye 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the general specifics by way of number of expatriates have been specifically stated. Details of individual remuneration, et cetera, are being compiled and they will be delivered; and a date has been stated.
Mr. Francis Agbotse 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would want to find out from the hon. Minister whether he will come back to this House, after 15th November, 2006 to give us the figures.
Prof. Oquaye 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, when the compilation has been made, as per the date stated, all relevant questions regarding same will be answered accordingly.
Ms. Akua Sena Dasua 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would want to know from the hon.
Minister if, by his actions, he is not eroding the power of this House because Parliament can compel anybody to attend to the business of this House. And in this particular Question, the hon. Member for Tamale South has asked for a response to a question. The hon. Minister has provided part of the answer to the question and he is keeping part to himself. Is the hon. Minister not eroding the authority of this House, Mr. Speaker?
Prof. Oquaye 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would never attempt to erode the powers of this House. If I had the power, I would add to it. Thank you.
Mr. Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Question number 506 -- hon. Member for Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo (Mr. Joseph Yaani Labik).
Extending Telecommunication Services to all Towns with Senior
Secondary Schools
Q. 506. Mr. Joseph Yaani Labik asked the Minister for Communications how far the programme to extend telecom- munication services to all towns with senior secondary schools had reached and when would Nakpanduri and Bunkpurugu senior secondary schools benefit from the scheme.
Prof. Oquaye 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the programme to extend telecommunication services to all towns with senior secondary schools (SSS) is a commitment Government has undertaken, and this is progressing steadily. Mr. Speaker, I am respectively happy to announce that so far, 251 out of 485 schools, representing 52 per cent, have been provided with telecommunication services. Mr. Speaker, where telephone facilities have been provided in towns but have not yet been extended to the SSS in the town, a connection system know as “Last Minute Solutions” would be pursued to get them connected.
Mr. Labik 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, from
the Minister's Answer, he said that all towns that have been connected to the telecommunication services and not the secondary schools, provisions have been made to provide some services for them. I want to inform the hon. Minister that in the case of Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District, no communication service has reached that district. So what provision is he making for those two senior secondary schools?
Prof. Oquaye 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it is an
on-going process, and when we speak about the last-minute solutions with regard to those who cannot immediately have the facilities fully extended to them, we mean that a broadband facility would be provided which would give them Internet access in the interim.
Mr. Labik 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon.
Minister, said 52 per cent have been connected. When would the remaining 48 per cent benefit from the connection? In his answer he said 52 per cent have benefited from the scheme. I am now asking when the remaining 48 per cent would benefit?
Prof. Oquaye 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, as soon as the telephone companies including, Millicom (Ghana), Kasapa, Ghana Telecom are able to expand their facilities, this would be done. Mr. Speaker, if I may add, Millicom Ghana expects to expand coverage to Nakpanduri and Bunkpurugu in the north-eastern corner of the Northern Region in the second quarter of 2007. Ghana Telecom on its part would also cover the area under its Phase-II Expansion Programme in the first quarter of 2007. Another service provider, Kasapa Telecom hopes to cover Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District during the second half of 2008. So Mr. Speaker, there is a lot of progress to be expected.

Community and National Orientation Centres

(Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District)

Q. 507. Mr. Joseph Yaani Labik asked the Minister for Communications, how far the Ministry was proceeding with its programme to establish community information and national orientation centres in the districts, so that ICT Services can also reach the people of Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District.
Prof. Oquaye 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the
provision of affordable access to ICT services in the underserved areas through the construction of Community Information Centres is a programme being undertaken with the support of HIPC programme funding made available to the Ministry. So far, fifty (50) out of seventy- two (72) of such Centres constructed in the ten regions have been equipped with facilities. It is our objective to reach out to the remaining 158 constituencies under the decentralized selection process and Bunkpurugu and Yunyoo would have to be considered by the Northern Regional Coordinating Council in future selection.
Licensing Fee by Cellular Phone Operators (Payment)
Q. 508. Mr. Haruna Iddrisu asked the
Minister for Communications how much was paid as licensing fee by cellular phone operators in the country, and how the fee was disbursed.
Prof. Oquaye 11:20 a.m.
An amount of $56.83
million was realized as licensing fee from the cellular operators as at 29th December 2005. The National Communications Authority (NCA) has since monitored the payment of the amount by the operators to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.
Mr. Speaker, disbursements are the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance
and Economic Planning (MOFEP).
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the
Minister in his Answer gives an indication that $56.83million was realised. Mr. Speaker, there are four major telephone providers in this country: Areeba Spacefon, Kasapa, Tigo and OneTouch. May we know the individual operator's contribution to the $56.83 million? How much did each of them pay as licensing fee?
Prof. Oquaye 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, if my hon.
Friend on the other side would like to know the various categories of contributions by way of the specific companies -- Ghana Telecom, Areeba, Millicom Ghana and Kasapa -- this could be asked and could be provided for.

Mr. Speaker, the whole amount for

the various companies were, 22.5 million allocated for Ghana Telecom (GT), Areeba and Millicom (Ghana) and 15 million for Kasapa. Mr. Speaker, the whole amount of $88.5 million was discounted to Government that the amount be paid directly to Government, within a period of six years. The total paid to date, Mr. Speaker, is what I have stated. If we want details of individual companies, this can be asked and provided for.
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the
hon. Minister could not just have arrived at a figure of $56.83. Mobile spectrum in Nigeria, as I am told, was auctioned for $582 million; the specifics are there. I would like to know from our Minister for Communications, how much each of the operators in Ghana paid for the spectrum.
Prof. Oquaye 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Question asked was how much was paid and that total is what I have said. If my hon. Friend on the other side would now want to have what each company paid, he may ask and that would be provided.
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, this morning, this is my second encounter with the hon. Minister on the important issue of Parliamentary Questions which is normally used to probe Ministers over their ministerial responsibility and to make them answerable to this House. Mr. Speaker, my question is simple: What is the breakdown of the $56.83million that was paid?
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon. Member for Tamale South, my impression is that he does not have the figures here at the moment. That is what he is saying -- [Interruptions.]
Minister for Communications, do you
Prof. Oquaye 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Question asked how much was paid by cellular phone operators in the country at a certain time. Mr. Speaker, I have stated the amount that was realized, and that is the Answer to the Question. Mr. Speaker, if my hon. Friend wants to ask for further details, he may do so specifically and he would be answered.
Mr. C. S. Hodogbey 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Minister for Communications mentioned $56.83 as the amount that was realized as of October 29.
My question is, how much since the inception of all these telephone operators, since they came into existence, has the country got from these telephone operators?
Prof. Oquaye 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, if my hon. Friend wants us to go to the archives including what was perhaps collected in National Democratic Congress (NDC) time and so on, we would find that for
Mr. J. K. Gidisu 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it is quite mind-boggling that the hon. Minister is not being specific. The House wants to know how he came by the total and that is the breakdown the House would want to find out from him. What was the aggregate payment of the various communication operators in the country -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon. Member for Central Tongu, I thought the question had been dealt with already?
Mr. J. K. Gidisu 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it has not been answered.
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Yes, because he does not have the figures here.
Mr. J. K. Gidisu 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, he is very evasive with the answer.
Mr. E.T. Mensah 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the answer given by the hon. Minister is that an amount of $56.83 million was realized in 2005 from various operators. It means that various operators put some sums into the basket which amounted to $56.83. We want to know how much each of them put in the basket. How did he come by that amount?
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Deputy Minority Whip, I think we must come properly.
Question No. 543, hon. Joe Danquah, Member of Parliament for Tain.
Mr. E. N. Ofori-Kuragu 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, with your kind permission I would like to ask the Question on behalf of hon. Joe Danquah, who is currently indisposed.
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
All right, go ahead.
Extension of Telephone Facilities to Tain District
Q. 543 Mr. Ofori-Kuragu (on behalf of Mr. Joe Danquah) asked the Minister for Communications when telecom- munication facilities would be extended to the newly created Tain District.
Prof. Oquaye 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, Ghana Telecom has planned to cover Nsawkaw, the District Capital of Tain by the third quarter of 2007. Kasapa, on its part is preparing to cover the Tain District by the second half of 2008.
Mr. Speaker, Millicom (Ghana) has recently covered Sampra and this will provide coverage to some neighbouring towns in Tain District.
This is the position as at now.
Mr. Ofori-Kuragu 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to know if there is any chance of getting Ghana Telecom Company to speed up the process as lack of such facilities is causing embarrassment in the district.
Prof. Oquaye 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, when we receive requests from concerned persons such as District Chief Executives (DCEs), hon. Members of Parliament, we always ask that projects be facilitated. We shall do so in this case.
Mr. Emmanuel Gyamfi 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, may I know from the hon. Minister for Communications what his Ministry is doing about other newly-created districts, especially Amansie Central District -- because the district is also not connected to the telecommunication network. So may I know from the hon. Minister what his Ministry is doing about other newly created districts which are not connected?
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon. Member, is your
district under Tain District?
Mr. Gyamfi 11:30 a.m.
Amansie Central.
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon. Member, this is not a supplementary at all. If you have other questions, you may ask.
Hon. Minister for Communications, thank you very much for appearing; you are discharged for the time being.

Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Papers -- Minister for Finance and Economic Planning?
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to crave your indulgence to allow the Deputy Minister who is also a Member of Parliament to lay it on behalf of his Minister.
PAPERS 11:30 a.m.

Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Item (b), Chairman of the Committee on Public Accounts?
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, before we look at (b) I just wanted to plead with the Committee that made the reference that because of the Budget if they can work a bit faster on the matter so that we go for the Budget next time. That is what I wanted to plead.
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Thank you. I hope the
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I was trying to seek information as to whether this had not been worked on already, and I have not got it. But the chairman is not around, so if we may step it down and maybe look at it tomorrow.
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
We defer (b). Leadership, at this stage any indications?
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, there are a lot of organizational exercises that we need to undertake in preparation for the task ahead. I therefore move that we adjourn till tomorrow, 10 o'clock in the morning to enable the various leadership of Committees to look at their programmes and plans. I so move.
Mr. E.T. Mensah 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to second the motion.
Question put and motion agreed to.
ADJOURNMENT 11:30 a.m.