Debates of 28 Feb 2007

PRAYERS 10 a.m.




Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Order! Order! Correction of Votes and Proceedings, Tuesday, 27th February, 2007. [No corrections were made.]
Hon. Members, we do not have any Official Report today.



Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing (Mr. Hackman Owusu- Agyemang) 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, Madina and surrounding areas at present receive water from the Kpong Headworks. They are served from the Okponglo Booster Station. The Kpong plant which was commissioned in 1965 has really not been
expanded, although the population of the supply area has increased tremendously.
Rationing of water is therefore undertaken in order to equitably distribute whatever little we have to the residents of the area.
Due to power interruptions (even before the load shedding), and low water pressures however, rationing is sometimes not effective in these areas.
Mr. Speaker, in the short-term, the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) has commissioned drilling contractors to undertake the drilling and mechanization of boreholes as well as extension of pipelines to borehole sites around Pantang and Agbogba. The completion will supplement the intermittent supplies from Okponglo Booster Station to Pantang and Madina areas.
In the medium-term, a new 15-million gallon per day (mgd) plant at Weija is being constructed to be connected to the Okponglo Booster Station. The project was started in December, 2006 for completion in eighteen months. This will enable more water to be available and transferred from West Accra to the Okponglo Booster Station from where it will be pumped to serve eastern areas including Madina.
Mr. Speaker, in the very long-term, we are proposing the construction of a Kpong No. 2 Treatment Plant which will produce about 40 million gallons a day to serve Greater Accra and its environs. In addition to that we have what we call the Accra rural which will serve Dodowa and its environs. Kpong No. 2 is estimated to cost $198 million.
A Chinese Construction Company (Messrs China Ghezouba) has submitted the technical details. This has been
assessed and we are in the process of finding the finances for it. The financial proposal at present is being reviewed by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to determine whether the concessionary criterion is met.
I n d e e d , f o r t h e A c c r a / Te m a Metropolitan Area (ATMA), the Accra rural, again funding is being looked for and that is in the order of $98 million; and with these two interventions if successfully completed Greater Accra would be served for the next twenty years without any problems with water. For now, the measure that we have resorted to is what I have outlined above.
Alhaji Amadu Sorogho 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, about three months ago, in this very House, this very Question was asked and the hon. Minister was represented by his Deputy. And in her Answer to the same Question, the same thing that the hon. Minister has just repeated, that a Chinese company has submitted technical drawings and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning was just about to review them was said. It has since taken another four months.
I want to find out from the hon. Minister how long this thing is going to stay at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning so that it can get reviewed to enable the people of Madina to enjoy water. From the Answer he has given, there is no hope that there can be water in Madina for the next two years.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, if my dear hon. Friend asked the Question three months ago and was given the Answers, and they are the same, it means we are consistent. The truth and the transparency are showing -- [Hear! Hear!]
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
We have not finished with the hon. Member for Abokobi/ Madina. I will come to you.
Mr. Iddrisu 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am on a point of order.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Point of order?
Mr. H. Iddrisu 10:10 a.m.
Yes. Mr. Speaker, I would like to refer you to Order 67 of our Standing Orders, in particular 67(1) (b); and with your permission, I will quote. It has to do with Questions complying

with conditions. The hon. Minister in his answer said that sourcing for $198 million is not a tea party. Mr. Speaker, in my view, the use of the phrase “tea party” is unparliamentary and we should not allow our records to contain that.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Hon. Member for A b o k o b i - M a d i n a , d o y o u h a v e supplementary questions?
Alhaji Sorogho 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
All right, please let us go on with your supplementary questions.
Alhaji Sorogho 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to find out from the hon. Minister whether he is aware that water serving Madina and its areas comes through gravitational force at the Vice Chancellor's place in Legon, and that the only pumping machine that was pumping water from the Ghana Water Company Limited has broken down for the last eight years and has never been served. What efforts is he putting in place to make sure that this thing is done?
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Order! Order!
Alhaji Sorogho 10:10 a.m.
I am being very fair, that is why I am saying that. I am not like some of them who will say -- [Inter- ruption.]
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Hon. Member, you have asked your question. Please, resume your seat.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, where you have water falling by gravity, most of the time you do not need a pumping facility. That is the same thing we are doing in Madina. It falls by gravity. I am not aware of the fact that the machine had broken down for eight years. Indeed, if it had broken down for eight years then not a single drop of water would have flowed and would have gone through the
pipes. I am not aware.
What I am aware of, Mr. Speaker, is very unpatriotic acts by some people -- and I hope within the next couple of days we can prosecute them -- who have been tapping into the system, using the fire hydrants and then making sure that they siphon the water to the lower grounds so that these are not made available to those who are uphill. This is a problem and the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) has arrested two or three people and they will be prosecuted soon.
Mr. Speaker, let me use this opportunity to appeal to the people of this country to recognize that water is a strategic asset and we must treat it. The amount of sabotage in the system is certainly unacceptable and that is the reason why these things are happening. We only managed to find out this last week, that a lot of people, are connecting Ghana Water Company Limited facilities even to their bedrooms.
This is unacceptable. So the main reason is not the pipe, the main reason is the fact that we have now discovered that three people in Madina are doing what should not be done and that is why the water is not flowing. That is the technical information that I have.
Alhaji Sorogho 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the last Answer given by the Deputy Minister on his behalf, the same mention was made of boreholes being drilled, and when the hon. Minister got up he repeated it. Mr. Speaker, Agbogba is completely not part of Madina. It is not even within my constituency. Ashongman areas that were mentioned the last time have nothing to do with my constituency.
Mr. Speaker, as I speak, now not a single borehole has been drilled in my constituency and that is to say, the Madina areas. Now, they keep on talking about 40 boreholes -- I want the hon. Minister to tell me where I can locate those boreholes which have been drilled and are to
supplement the little water that comes out through gravitational force.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I guess that the boreholes need not necessarily be drilled in Madina, per se for water to flow. We have to go to areas where we can drill boreholes and the water flow would be adequate to mechanise. And so if we do it in Pantang, for example, and there is water there, it can be pumped. In other words, the hon. Member is telling me that Weija is not in Madina, so Weija cannot supply water to Madina.
The point at issue here is the fact that when we get the boreholes going and we mechanise them, Madina will be served. Whether the boreholes have been sited in Madina or not, it is not germane to the issue on the floor.
I would want to assure the hon. Member that whatever it is, the boreholes that are being drilled in Pantang and its environs will all be put together into the same high level tank and the water will flow to Madina. So he should not be worried if they are not being drilled in Madina. Water can still flow without barriers and it can go through, and it will get to Madina.
Alhaji Sorogho 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, permit me; the question was not answered -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Let me call you first. Hon. Member for Abokobi-Madina.
Alhaji Sorogho 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I do not know, but the hon. Minister refused to answer the question. In the Answer, it is stated that some boreholes have already been drilled and I want him -- because none has been mechanized. Even the only ones that have been drilled at Agbogba and Ashongman have not been mechanized.
He keeps on reiterating as if I do not know what I am talking about.
What I am saying is that the boreholes have not been drilled. They are not there. I am not talking about mechanization. I want him to tell me where those boreholes are so that I can go and check, because they are not there. That is what I am saying, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the boreholes have been drilled. So far, five have been drilled in Pantang, Agbogba -- [Interruptions.]
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Order! Order! Hon. Minister, you should not be distracted.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I appreciate that. Heckling is part of the game and I enjoy it.
Mr. Speaker, the boreholes have been drilled in Pantang, Agbogba, Pokuase, Tantra and all the water will go into one high-level tank. So all these have been drilled. It is left with the laying of the pipes.

Mr. Speaker, the difficulty in all these systems has been the fact that for the longest while no piping distributive systems were put in place, and for that reason once you have the boreholes, you need to put the piping in place. It is going to cost us ¢30 billion to do precisely that. We are sourcing for the funds but the boreholes have certainly been done and if the hon. Member wants to see them, I would invite him to Ghana Water Company to go and physically inspect them, if that would satisfy him.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:20 a.m.

The boreholes have been sunk, and what we have not been able to access has been the ¢30 billion for the pipe work for all the areas that it covered. But we must accept that some improvement has taken place over the past couple of years, as far as Madina water is concerned. It is a matter of opinion, but these are the facts.
Mr. D. A. Azumah 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the hon. Minister's response, he mentioned Kpong number II project and indicated that a facility is being sourced and the technical proposal had been submitted by a Chinese company. I want to know from the hon. Minister whether this source is meant to expand the Kpong water source itself or it is for the provision of a treatment plant.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
I was not too clear with the question but if I may explain, maybe it would answer him. Of course, this is a new treatment plant and a distributive system which would be linked to the old one and then expanded to, if he likes, the eastern part of Accra. It is 40 million gallons per day in addition to what is there already. So an extra 40 million gallons is what we are trying to put into the system, and this is what is would take us to 2025 with the population that we have. I hope I am clear.
Potable Water to Ashaley Botwe, Nmai Dzor, etc
Q. 590. Mr. Kwadjo Opare-Hammond asked the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing to explain why potable water had not flowed through the taps for nearly 15 years in Ashaley Botwe, Nmai Dzor, Obojo and the surrounding areas.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the pipelines to these areas were never laid. So in a way, it is not as it the pipes
were there and the water did not flow through them. The pipes were never laid and that is the fact of the situation. So we are now initiating moves and the Ashaley Botwe Residents Association has extended the pipeline from Ritz Junction through Ashaley Botwe to Nmai Dzor on other distributive networks.
The secondary distribution pipelines have already been laid and pipeline testing is completed. It is proposed to also link the dedicated High Density Poly Ethylene (HDPE) pipeline from Dodowa to the existing Kpong line to boost pressure in the line. Boreholes have been drilled to augment the water supply from Kpong Headworks which serves the areas and this will be done in approximately two weeks time. Again, the East-West connection if completed would also assist tremendously in improving the water situation. It is estimated that this would be finished in eighteen months.
Again, the long-term solution in the facility we are seeking for the 40 million gallons per day treatment plant that would be at the Kpong Headworks to meet the growing demand of Accra Metropolis.
Mr. Opare-Hammond 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I heard the hon. Minister say something like the pipes were not laid. Mr. Speaker, pipes were laid in certain areas of Ashaley Botwe and Ogbojo and other places I have mentioned. Unfortunately, the water flowed through them, I think in 1990, and after that the water just stop flowing through them. Mr. Speaker, I want to find out from the hon. Minister whether he is seeking to make us believe that water is flowing to Ashaley Botwe as at now.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in 1990 - that is 17 years ago, I certainly was not in the saddle; but what is important here is that the Ashaley Botwe Residents' Association are the people who are laying
the pipes. So far, they have not been connected to the mains and that is why water is not flowing; and it is because we did not make provision for that. And that is why I am hoping that in the next fortnight, we would be able to connect the HPDE pipes through so that
they can be fed with water. For now, the difficulty would remain for the next fortnight, unfortunately. I do not think that in 1990, the pipes had been laid but I could check on that and report to my good hon. Friend. But certainly, 17 years ago, the pipes were not there and Ashaley Botwe 17 years ago, Mr. Speaker, was not a very major conurbation.
Mr. Opare-Hammond 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would to also thank my hon. Senior Colleague for the assurance that in two weeks that we may find water flowing through the taps in Ashaley Botwe. But in the meantime, Mr. Speaker, I want to find out what plans the hon. Minister has for areas that pipes have not been laid so that if the water starts flowing these areas can also benefit from it.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, under the very maligned Urban Water Project we intend to extend the network to most parts of the urban areas, and that does not exclude Ashaley Botwe and its environs. For the time being, sourcing of funds is what we are pursuing and hopefully, when we get the funds we should be able to extend it. Certainly, it is on the drawing board and in the programme, and funding is what has held it up for a while.
Adenta SSNIT Flats its surrounding areas (Water)
Q. 591 Mr. Kwadjo Opare-Hammond asked the Minister for Water Resources,
Works and Housing why water had not flowed to certain parts of Adenta SSNIT Flats and surrounding areas for over six months and what steps were being taken to urgently address the situation to avert the outbreak of an imminent epidemic.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, Adenta SSNIT Flats and surrounding areas get their supply of potable water from mechanized boreholes sited at Dodowa. Unfortunately an electro-mechanical fault occurred at the Dodowa plant on 29th January, 2006 and this resulted in a breakdown of the Dodowa borehole system for about two months. The fault was rectified on 15th March, 2006 for water supply to be restored to the areas.
Indeed, water did not flow to those parts of Adenta for about two months and certainly not six months. Five (5) additional boreholes have now been drilled and mechanized to augment the existing water supply system. In the long- term the usual story, once we get Kpong number II going this would be a thing of the past.
Mr. Opare-Hammond 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I do not want to argue with the hon. Minister on the number of months that Adenta has not had water; but Mr. Speaker -- [Interruptions.]
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Order! Order!
Mr. Opare-Hammond 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
I want to ask the hon. Minister if he is aware that part of the problem is due to illegal connections that are done with the connivance of the staff of Ghana Water Company. And if he is aware, what is he doing with these recalcitrant GWC staff?
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I did mention in my earlier intervention
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:30 a.m.

that indeed one of the major difficulties of the Ghana Water Company is illegal connections and downright sabotage of the system, and I cannot hide the fact that indeed some members of staff -- and they are under investigation -- have even gone to the extent of sabotaging the system and making sure they do not only engaged in illegal tapping but sometimes even close the valve, for whatever reason only God knows.

The National Security is looking into the issue and I can assure him that anybody who is caught interfering with this strategic social service will be dealt with accordingly. I think that we should all be part of the crusade to avoid illegal connections through the central system so that all of us will be served. Indeed, we are looking at the possibility of tracking down those who sell water on their KIA trucks and their motorised tractors because they are part of the sabotage scheme also.

Indeed, the President even made allusion to it in Kwanyaku. This is a time when we should all be patriotic enough to let us share whatever little that we have, rather than people being so selfish as to even use water hydrant -- sabotaging water hydrants. If there is fire now we cannot even service the fire tenders. This is the situation we have and this is lack of patriotism that nationally we have with some of these people. And if anybody is proving conclusively that this is done, I can assure him the law will take its full course without any batting of the eye at all.
Mr. Opare-Hammond 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the hon. Minister's Answer, he did make mention of the Accra East-West interconnection. Mr. Speaker, I would like him to explain a little bit what that entails and how soon the project will be completed since the people of Adenta
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
most of us in this country for far too long have suffered from lack of potable water - all of us, every part of the country.
Mr. Speaker. I had the privilege of speaking to this august House on the East-West connection during the Supplementary Budget. That is what we call the Areeba donation of $20 million to be supplemented by $10 million extra from the Government. This is to construct one extra treatment plant in Weija and then lay pipes from Weija to join the Okponglo Booster Station near the Tetteh-Quarshie Circle, from where the major part of Adenta, East Legon, Legon, Taifa and all these areas are served.
So once it is brought in there -- and that will be some 15 million gallons per day, -- this thing will augment the water supply to those areas, including Adenta. But for the time being, I think that the hon. Member should acknowledge -- because people have been speaking to me -- that at least the sinking of the boreholes in Dodowa has helped the situation. Where Adenta was zero per week, now two days a week they get water. This is the difficulty which we are tackling. So the East-West connection is expected to be finished in 18 months but we are pushing them to finish it in 12 months, using local materials. We have already purchased the pumps from Interplast and the technical team which did the original Weija plant is also on site, as well as the consultants; and so God willing we should be able to do it within the next 12 months.
Alhaji Seidu Amadu 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to find out from the hon. Minister whether or not the critical water shortages
that we are experiencing in some parts of Accra, namely East Legon, Ashaley Botwe and Adenta are as a result of the inefficient operations of the private management contractors who are now responsible for distribution of water supply in the Accra area.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I thank my good Friend, who was also my predecessor, for this question. Mr. Speaker, I believe that the difficulty, basically, is due to the load shedding. Once you shut off electricity, you incapacitate the headworks at Kpong; and then the water flows out. And when you switch- on the facility, it takes a minimum of six hours for pressure to build up -- because it would have been empty -- from Kpong all the way to Accra. And so instead of losing water for the six hours that the electricity is shut down, it translates into three times - 18 hours - and that is the major problem.
Again, the tripping -- not even the load shedding -- many a time knocks out our pumping machines; they are very sensitive. This is the difficulty that we have had. So the major problem with, even the little that we have not flowing is due to the load-shedding as well as the erratic electricity and energy supply to the headworks. Indeed, it happens also in Weija.
But to come to the issue of the private operators, Mr. Speaker, I do not think that it is their inefficiency at all. I believe they are making quite a lot of impact. Unfortunately, there are people in this society who like to always put a spin on the facts. There is a Coalition Against the Privatisation of Water; but nobody has privatised water. It is the management that we had to cede, on consultation; and this was not even started by this Government.
This reform started in 1997 and we agreed that we would do a management
contract, and the people are here. And as far as I am concerned, from the monitoring that I have put in place, they are doing a good job. It is because of this powerful lobby called, “Coalition Against the Privatisation of Water.” I believe if even they want to lobby against it, they must change its name and call it “Coalition Against Management Contract” -- certainly not privatisation of water.
Nobody intends to privatise this asset; this Government will never privatise it. We are saying help us to manage it, and I have appeared before this House to justify it. That is not the difficulty. I think they are doing well but sometimes, they also suffer from a lot of sabotage.
In the last fortnight, we uncovered evidence of people trying to sabotage so that it can be said - give a dog a bad name and hang it - that, that particular contract was not the best of contracts that we did. But I believe that in the fullness of time, we will be able to find this out. So I want to assure him, if he is listening, that it is not because of this management contract which has brought the water to the situation that it is in.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in answering these questions, the Minister has alluded to acts of sabotage which have contributed enormously to deficiencies in potable water supply.
May I know from the Minister what concrete plans the Ministry is putting in place to arrest this situation of unaccounted for water in Ghana, since we all acknowledge that there are really high levels of unaccounted for water -- water that is produced which cannot be accounted for. In Ghana it hovers around 50 per cent. What concrete measures is the Ministry putting in place to arrest this
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:40 a.m.

Mr. Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Majority Chief Whip, it does appear your question is not a supplementary question. Question 592.
Water Supply to Wa and Its Suburbs
Q. 592. Mr. Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo Mr. Speaker, this question has been brought forward from the ‘recycle bin'. It had been asked and answered so if the Minister has additional information, I will be grateful to have it. And the question is -- “To ask the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing when water supply would be extended to the following suburbs of Wa township.”
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I thank my good Friend. Yes, there is something new and exciting to add. Since asking the Question, we have succeeded in getting the Dutch Government to agree to assist us with the grant for Wa water which we will take from the Black Volta.
The technical agreement has been signed and we are waiting for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to give us the all-clear, which I hope to get within the next fortnight, to go to Cabinet and then to come to this House. With that, we will be able to serve all the areas that he has listed in his Question. And I was very elated, very delighted that the Dutch Government agreed to support us for Wa water. So I am proudly announcing that God willing, Wa water should be on course before the end of this year. That is the new information that I have.
Mr. Pelpuo 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am grateful to hear that and I want to say that we appreciate it and come next year, we would want to get the promise fulfilled by the Minister.
Aboabo Drainage Works
Q. 636. Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka asked the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing when the Aboabo drainage works would commence.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
my information is that the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) has engaged a consultant to undertake the design of the Aboabo drain. The design, I am told, has been completed and reviewed for the work to be awarded. The KMA and the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment are therefore better placed to answer this Question. It is not all the primary drains that come under the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing. This particular one comes under the KMA, so they will be the best to answer.
Alhaji Muntaka 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am
a bit saddened by the answer given by the hon. Minister. If you look at the Answers that he has provided in the Order Paper, he seems to be on top of what is happening. But then now that he is on the floor to answer, he is referring to the KMA. In the answer, he categorically stated that it is a World Bank project and in conjunction with his Ministry and KMA the designs would be completed by the middle of March. I am a bit saddened that he is now referring the whole Question to KMA as against what he has in the Order Paper; and it is going to make it extremely difficult to ask further questions.
May I then ask whether these Answers in the Order Paper really came from his Ministry or from KMA.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Answers did come from my office and I was trying to get KMA because like the big drain in Accra here, they are under the Ministry of Local Government, Rural
Development and Environment. And when I appear before the this House and I know we have the Assurances Committee, I want to make sure that what I say I can be held to it. KMA was not very committal specific as to the date that it could be done; that is why I thought they should answer that.
Certainly, these are the indications that we have but so that I could not be hauled before the Assurances Committee, I decided to put the issue where it rightly belongs. Certainly, we work in tandem, we work closely together, and we shall pursue that particular aspect of it. I am sorry if I did not satisfy my good hon. Friend but what is here, indeed, is what I was told. And that is why I said the information is not directly under my control; but we will do the best that we can.
I apologize if I did not give him any joy this morning but I will pursue it vigorously for him. Let us jointly do that and I am sure we will achieve some results.
Mr. Nii Adu Daku Mante 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, while answering the hon. Member who spoke last's Question, the hon. Minister made mention of a drain in Accra. I want to be sure as to which drain he was talking about, whether it was the Nima drain or some other drain elsewhere.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I know he has a problem with some drains but I was referring to the Odawna, the big one for which this House approved World Bank funding and which is being handled by the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment. That is where sometimes there is some dichotomy, and there are grey areas. That is the particular one I was referring to, Sir.
Akontombra, Nsawora, etc
(Small Town Water Systems)
Q. 637. Mr. Herod Cobbina asked the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing when the following towns in Sefwi-Akontombra Constituency would be provided with small town water systems:
(i) Akontombra,
(ii) Nsawora,
(iii) Bopa,
(iv) Ackaakrom
(v) Kojokrom.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I have stated before this House again and again that our interventions at the rural water level - In other words by CWSC -- 96 per cent is funded by donor agencies and only four per cent by the Government; and many a time we do not even get the budgetary resources for that. In this particular instance, the IDA of the World Bank is financing a Small Towns Water and Sanitation Project in the Western Region. The initial phase of the project is on-going with district and town selection. Ankontombra has been selected as one of the towns for this phase. The other towns unfortunately are not there and would be considered under subsequent phases of the project when additional funds are sourced from the World Bank.
In the interim, boreholes fitted with hand pumps would be provided to serve the communities while we wait for permanent pipe systems for the communities. And that is the fact of the case, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Cobbina 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, according to the Minister, Akontombra has been selected as one of the communities to benefit from the Small Towns Water and
Mr. Cobbina 10:40 a.m.

Sanitation Project. I want to know from him when this project will start and the duration of the project.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, my information is that after the site selections then we will get the “No Objection” from the World Bank, the IDA. And the indications are that before the middle of this year, they would have started - that particular project would have started.
Mr. Cobbina 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, according to the hon. Minister, “boreholes will be fitted with hand pumps” to be provided for these communities. How soon will these communities, Nsawora, Bopa, Ackaakrom and Kojokrom, be provided with boreholes to serve as an interim measure, as proposed by the Minister?
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I have directed that it should be done as quickly as possible and I am assured that we are looking for HIPC resources to do this. I do not think we can take them all at one time because the major intervention must go to the guinea-worm endemic areas, and we did not get too much money this year under HIPC for it. But as soon as we can, we will do it. I will liaise with my hon. Colleague and find out precisely when it will start but I gave instructions that it be done as quickly as possible. I was even hoping that by the time I appear before this House I could say that it has started.
So give me a bit of time; we will see what we can do.
Mr. Cobbina 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, according to the hon. Minister, when HIPC funds come they will be considering those guinea-worm endemic areas. I think water is life and it is through bad water that we get guinea-worm. Why is his attention
being drawn to the guinea-worm areas as against other communities which need water?
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, this gives me a golden opportunity to state that the interventions that are being made on a massive scale in this country should eventually make guinea worm a thing of the past. Unfortunately, for the time being we have it. So it is a matter of priorities and choosing where to tackle first.
I believe that we have come to the stage where the nation should vote a lot more resources for rural water and that is why I stood before this House and said that every assistance should be given to it. For now 96 per cent of our interventions are paid for by donors.
So if jointly they do not select a particular locality then what we have to do is to go to look for other sources of funding; and the only source of funding, since the Budget did not give us anything, is the HIPC. That is what I said.
But Mr. Speaker, in the face of all these difficulties, I believe it is not a misplaced priority if we give absolute priority to the guinea-worm endemic areas. In the 21st century, we should not be having what I would even call a scourge; and so we are going to -- and I think my good Friend should appreciate the fact that like the chiefs' umbrellas some should follow others.
There should be a scale of priority and I think absolute priority should be given to areas of guinea-worm infestation and then we shall come to -- We do appreciate that water is life but if there is any one Millennium Development Goal (MDG) which will be met -- This Government, this country, will certainly meet the MDG and beyond, by the year 2015. The scale
Mr. Sampson Ahi 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the Minister's Answer he says that the IDA of the World Bank is currently financing small towns water in the Western Region. I want to find out from the Minister -- If the IDA of the World Bank is financing these projects why then are they asking the beneficiary communities to pay counterpart funds before they enjoy this facility?
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, this has been the arrangement all along, that beneficiary communities should pay five per cent of the totality of the budget. I have appeared before this House and said that personally I do not share in that proviso and that in instances where communities cannot pay the five per cent we should find means of paying for them.
The donors have taken me on and they thought we were reneging on our own situation. But I said, no, inasmuch as those in the urban areas do not pay five per cent for water connections, I personally - and personally - do not see the justification in asking rural communities which cannot afford to pay five per cent before they are connected. In this instance, Akontombra's particular issue has been taken care of.
So I do not think that the hon. Member has to worry. In certain instances, on an ad hoc basis where they cannot afford to pay the five per cent, this Government will find means of paying the five per cent, because that is a precondition of the donors, and it is something that has gone on for the last decade or so. I appreciate the issue that he is raising, it is completely under control.
Mr. Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Question number 676,
Mr. Stephen Kunsu, Member of Parliament for Kintampo North.
Mr. Harod Cobbina 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member has asked me to -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 10:50 a.m.
All right. Go ahead.
Mr. Cobbina 10:50 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for allowing me to ask the Question on behalf of my comrade.
Communities In the Kintampo North Constituency (Potable Water)
Q. 676. Mr. Harod Cobbina (on behalf of Mr. Stephen Kunsu asked the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing what alternative plans the Ministry had in providing potable water for the following communities in the Kintampo North Constituency where it had been extremely difficult and impossible to access water from the sinking of boreholes.
Tahirukura, Bawakura, Jatokura, Chiranda, Atakura and Maamakura.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, on a lighter note, I was not aware that our Friends on this side also call themselves comrades. I thought maybe hon. Lee Ocran calls himself comrade but not all the rest.
Mr. Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon. Minister, is this the answer? -- [Laughter.]
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the newly inducted ‘comrade' asked the Question and the Answer is that the communities mentioned in the Question lie within the hydrogeological environment which has low to medium groundwater potential.
Surface water resource in and around these communities is also very poor. For communities of the size of the above,
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:50 a.m.

groundwater still remains the best and cheapest option of meeting their water supply needs. CWSA is currently piloting a new advance siting technique known as (2D-restivity) in the Northern Region portion of the Voltaian basin which has shown some positive results.

Under a new project to be financed by Agence Francaisse de Development (AFD) in the Brong Ahafo Region this technique will be used to explore deeper the subsurface within about 1 - 2 km radius of these towns with the prospect of locating high yielding boreholes at deeper depths. Any such borehole will then be mechanized using solar energy, piped to the centre of the town, stored in an elevated tank and distributed through a number of standpipes close to the tank.

Failing to find sufficient groundwater through harvesting or dug-outs which will be filtered into hand dug wells fitted with hand pumps will be explored to provide the communities with water.

Mr. Speaker, as I speak, an American company has approached us, which has been undertaking what we call “bedrock exploration,” going very deep down, way below conventional drilling levels to see whether they can find water. We are trying to contract them to work in the Greater Accra Region and some other regions.

This is one region that it occurred to me could be added to them if they do come. The bedrock has proven successful in certain areas. But the difficulty, Mr. Speaker, is that the ground water has to be assessed to find out whether it can feed the system. As of now, Mexico, for example, is sinking because most of their water supply is ground water, and as they draw the aquifer(s) fall and then they refill it but not very fast.

So we have to be very careful when we are dealing with the issue of groundwater. But this certainly would be explored and we will see how best we can solve the situation.
Mr. Harod Cobbina 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, if you look at the Answer the Minister has just given to us from the Order Paper, it looks like a demonstration of a project yet to be undertaken. What immediate measures is his Ministry putting in place to solve the difficult situation, which is providing water for the people of Kintampo North?
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in my briefing, I was told that most of the drilling have yielded no water. This is the reality on the ground and I have asked them to look further, or otherwise, find ways of resolving the issue. I do not know whether we would use tankers or what have you - rain water harvesting. But these are not satisfactory solutions. But we are faced with a very major scientific challenge in this particular part of the country and I am really hoping that since I have sent them back to come up with a solution, they would find a solution for me. For the moment, regrettably, I am not able to assure my hon. Colleague because I am told that no matter how deep they go by conventional drilling they have not been able to hit water. But we would keep trying with this new technology that they have developed.
Dr. Kwame Ampofo 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the hon. Minister's Answer to the Question it appears that his last resort is to fall on the ground water cisterns. My question is, when they drill the well and they strike water, it is not all the water that can be used, so what criterion do they use to certify that the water is indeed potable
and indeed good for human consumption?
Mr. Speaker 11 a.m.
I have not called you to answer yet.
Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am sorry. But it is an interesting question.
Mr. Speaker 11 a.m.
It may be, but is it supplementary? It is not supplementary.
Alhaji Amadu Seidu 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, going by the Answer the hon. Minister has provided to the Question, he has agreed that the underground geological formation of that area is such that underground water is difficult to get no matter how deep they try to drill. I want to know whether he is going to suggest the possibility of building slow sand filtration dams to serve such difficult communities such as mine, central Gonja.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I made allusion to it that we may have to resort to that once it is done and the filtration process can be put in place. But I want to assure the House that in all instances water which is drilled is tested by the Ghana Water Company and the CWSA to make sure that it is potable. And in this instance we shall do the same. For example, the President's Gold Award went to the CWSA for taking out magnesium and iron from the water. This technology was developed by a young Ghanaian engineer located in my proud Koforidua area, and he got the gold award.
Other difficulties, like fluoride, we are working on them. So water that passes through the system of CWSA or Ghana Water Company is certified to meet
Mr. Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon. Minister, thank you very much for appearing to answer these Questions. You are discharged.
Ghana's Struggle for Independence: The Genesis, Facts and Architects
Mr. J. B. Danquah Adu (NPP -- Akim Abuakwa North) 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to address the House on this historic occasion of our country's 50 th Independence Anniversary.
Mr. Speaker, the Statement is on “Ghana's Struggle for Independence 11:10 a.m.
The Genesis, Facts and Architects.”
It is important that our children, grandchildren, the youth and adults of today understand and know the genesis, architects and facts about Ghana's independence struggle.
Mr. Speaker, the focus of this Statement is on one of the architects of Ghana's Independence -- an immortal son of Ghana, Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah alias Kwame Kyeretwie. In 1951 the Talking Drums wrote of him “For when all were asleep, or making money for themselves, or not quite sure that it could be, he delved into our ancient history and discovered and gave us the Magic name Ghana -- Touchstone of Gold Coast Nationalism and he said the Hour of Liberation has Struck.”
Danquah had a normal elementary school education and sat the matriculation examination three times achieving success in his last attempt. Perseverance was his


Between 1934-1936 while in London, J. B. Danquah researched in the British Museum for evidence to support his 1928 Hypothesis that the main Gold Coast Tribe descended from Ancient Ghana Empire. It was his diligent research that led to the adoption of the name Ghana for our country at independence.

It may be recalled that in 1946, as a member of the Legislative Council, he brought about the Legislative Union between the colony and Ashanti under the Burns Constitution of 1946. However, he realized that, that Constitution could not serve the country well and therefore in January 1947 in the company of Mr. George Grant, R. Blay and Francis Awoonor-Williams they conceived the noble idea of a new movement for the liberation of the Gold Coast from colonial rule.

In 1946, J. B. was elected a Provisional Member of an African Dominated Legislative Council, the first of its kind in West Africa. Pursuant to the Youth Conference Policy, Danquah got the Asantehene and his War Council to accept and sign a Petition which he had prepared for the Joint Provincial Council which brought about Legislative Union between Ashanti and the Southern Part of the country then known as the Colony in the Legislative Council under the Burns Constitution of 1946.

Importantly Danquah was instrumental in bringing back Kwame Nkrumah to serve the secretary of his organization - the UGCC.

The singular and principal contribution Dr. Danquah made to the Independence of Ghana is that when almost all and

sundry seemed satisfied with the then Constitution, Danquah realized that the Burns Constitution was dead and that the Gold Coast could not live by a dead Constitution, and so in January 1947, this man Danquah with his friends, George Alfred Grant, R. Blay and Francis Awoonor-Williams conceived the noble idea of a new movement for the liberation of the Gold Coast from colonial rule.

In August 1947 the UGCC was inaugurated and with it the struggle for National Independence began in earnest. Our Independence Movement was born.

It is important to recall excerpts of the speech of Danquah on that historic occasion which reflected his magnanimity, his patriotic and nationalistic fervour as well as his democratic credentials: “He who is not with us here is not against us, and we who are here are not against those who are not with us here.”

However, the most poignant portion of his speech were his opening words which is recorded here as “Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen. We have, from all the corners of this country come to Saltpond today for a specific purpose; for a decision; we have come to take a decision whether our country and people are any longer to tolerate a system of government under which, those who are in control of government are not under the control of those who are governed. . .”

Mr. Speaker, he goes on - “we have come to Saltpond to ponder and to deliberate upon the ways and means to bring an end to this insecurity and this frustration”.

“British Freedom is a precious thing but British Freedom is not Gold Coast Freedom.” British Liberty is Grand to have but you cannot have and possess British Liberty in a Gold Coast atmosphere. We

must have, here and now, if we are to be well governed, a new kind of freedom, Gold Coast Freedom, Gold Coast Liberty.”

“We brought with us our Ancient Freedom. Today that freedom is threatened and has been constitutionally threatened for a 100 years since the Bond of 1844 and the time has come for a decision”.

“Our duty is clear, we must fight against the new domination and we must fight with the weapons of today, constitutional, determined, persistent, unflinching, unceasing until the goal of freedom is attained”.

Danquah concluded “our duty here today is to ensure that we alter the constitution in such a way that both the Chiefs and people will have the reality of power in their hands”.

With this speech, Danquah and his friends set the tone and agenda for the journey towards our independence.

Acting upon the advice of Ako Adjei, J. B. invited Kwame Nkrumah to return home to take up the post of General Secretary of the UGCC.

In 1948, Danquah's reaction to the Christiansborg crossroads shooting incident of February 28, was swift and decisive. In the morning of February 29th he sent a cablegram to the colonial office which read as follows: “Unless Colonial Government is changed and a new government of the people and their chiefs installed at centre immediately, outraged masses now completely out of control with strikes will result in worse violence and irresponsible acts by uncontrolled people”.

“Souls of Gold Coast men slaughtered in cold blood upon castle road cry out for vindication in cause of freedom and liberty”. “Let the King and Parliament act

without delay in this direst hour of Gold Coast people and their chiefs.”

Simultaneously J. B. addressed the Chiefs and people of the Gold Coast through all the Newspapers in an article entitled “The Hour of Liberation Has Struck”. In this article Danquah urged his countrymen not to waiver in their determination to liberate the country from the shackles of the Bond of 1844 and establish a constitution of freedom to regulate national affairs. “Inheritors of Ghana's ancient kingdom,” he urged, “my message, as you can see, is not moved by fear. Aggrey blotted fear from our dictionary -Eagle, fly for thou art not a chick”.

Mr. Speaker, I believe that it was this powerful message which broke the spell of darkness and gave momentum to the nationalist struggle.

The nationalist zeal of J. B. and five of his colleagues brought upon them the retribution of the colonial government in the form of arrest on 13th March, 1948.

A week after their removal, Danquah with his restless pen again wrote amongst other things; “Only a constitutional government accountable to the governed was the only solution,” that is “Self government within the Commonwealth is the only solution to my mind”.

In April, Danquah's demand for an enquiry into the 28th February disturbances was granted with a setting up of the Watson Commission.

J. B. and his colleagues during the Watson Commission demanded that the Gold Coast be granted self-government as the Colonial Constitution of 1946 was out-moded.

Danquah's exertions before and during
Mr. Speaker, the Statement is on “Ghana's Struggle for Independence 11:10 a.m.

the Watson Commission's sitting and especially his calls for a new constitution that reflected the true aspirations of his countrymen won him the appellation: “The Doyen of Gold Coast Politics”. Indeed, the Watson Commission acknowledge J. B. as the moving spirit behind the UGCC and the struggle for Independence.

The Watson Report stated on page 17, “We are satisfied that the UGCC's Creator and Driving Force was Dr. Danquah.”

Mr. Speaker, the outcome of the recommendat ions of the Watson C o m m i s s i o n w a s t h e C o u s s e y Constitutional Committee set up to draft a new constitution for our country.

Mr. Speaker, here also, Danquah participated with George Grant, Akufo- Addo, Cobbina Kessie, Obetsebi-Lamptey which resulted in the Arden Clarke's Constitution which gave the Gold Coast Eight African Ministers in the Executive and an Elected Legislative Assembly of 84 Members.

The Watson Commission and the resultant Coussey Constitutional Report brought our beloved country to the threshold of full self government. It is against this background that one must understand and appreciate Danquah's statement of January 1960 that “When independence was achieved the CPP has not been formed. The inauguration of independence took place when CPP was in power, but the Priest who baptizes a child is not by any chance the child's parents.”

The break away of Nkrumah to form the CPP in June 1949 ended the unity of anti-colonialism. The polarization of Gold Coast society was accentuated by the elections of 1951, 1954, 1956 and 1960.

It is my prayer that the euphoria of
Mr. George Kuntu-Blankson (NDC -- Mfantsiman East) 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, thank you for allowing me to comment on the Statement made by my hon. Colleague on the other side of the House.
Mr. Speaker, it will interest the House to know that history is made by people but it is not a single individual that makes history; with collective efforts history cold be made. As much as we are trying to enumerate the achievements of one of our illustrious sons known as J. B. Danquah, it must be a collective effort -- We have reached a stage in this country where there is the need for us to talk about the achievements of the collective --
So that our young generation also could learn something out of this. Because it is within the collectivity that this country
can achieve the purpose for which our great grandfathers started constructing this country.
Mr. Speaker, if we continue to always single out individual's efforts without taking into consideration the wider dimension -- like our great Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah said, “The independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of Africa.” [Hear! Hear!] -- we will achieve nothing because we have reached a stage that we should negate our individualistic way of dealing with things so that Ghana will collectively move ahead.
The young generation are hungry; they are suffering. Look at what we heard this morning -- questions emanating from all localities in respect of water, in respect of roads, in respect of good healthcare, like even how we can eliminate mos-quitoes --
Mr. Abraham Ossei Aidooh -- rose
-- 11:10 a.m.

Mr. Kuntu-Blankson 11:10 a.m.
In order to alleviate -- [Some hon. Members: Odomos! Odomos!]
Mr. Speaker 11:10 a.m.
There is a point of order.
Mr. Kuntu-Blankson 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, on this note I wish to rest my case. [Laughter.]
Mr. J. A. Ndebugre (PNC -- Zebilla) 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to contribute to this very important Statement. I want to preface my statement by quoting page 5 of what the maker of the Statement had said, and with your indulgence I quote:
“It is my prayer that the euphoria of Ghana's 50 th Independence Anniversary celebration would help bring our people closer together”.
I think the most important thing in this Statement is what I have stated. If we look
Mr. J. A. Ndebugre (PNC -- Zebilla) 11:10 a.m.

at history and we take a few examples about how some other nations developed, where they started and where they have come to, we will realize that the statement that I have quoted is very important. If we take the former Soviet Union (USSR), the architect of their revolution was Vladimir llyich Lenin.

When Lenin died, two great forces arose in contention, one against the other. And one was led by Joseph Stalin; the other was led by Trotsky. It led to a lot of problems for the people of the Soviet Union then. But in the end, today, if you go to the Soviet Union they are not discussing whether it was Stalin who was right or it was Trotsky who was right in whatever ideological position they took.
Dr. Kwame Ampofo 11:20 a.m.
On a point
of order. Mr. Speaker, under normal circumstances I would not have risen on point of order but for the records and for the young students in the gallery it has to be put straight. The hon. Member who has the floor is misleading the House. He stated that today if one goes to the Soviet Union - but there is no Soviet Union right now so one cannot go to the Soviet Union today. What we have now is Russia, the Federation of Russia Republic.
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon. Member for
Zebilla, you may take it on board.
Mr. Ndebugre 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I
concede that there is no Soviet Union now;
it may be that I am being nostalgic about the existence of the former Soviet Union.
What I mean is that if you go to the
streets of Moscow today they are not debating whether it was Trosky Station who was right but whether there is food on the table. That is all I am trying to say. And I tried to connect with China the struggle between Mao Zedong and Deng Zao Ping. In the end the position of Mao Zedong was not totally rejected, neither was the position of Deng Zao Ping because it is Deng Zao Ping's ideas that have finally led to the state in which the Chinese economy is being run now.
Now you go to even a neighbouring country whose name I would not mention but where two brothers started together and they are at each other's throat now because one thinks that this is the way to do it and the other person thinks that this is the other way to do it. So it is natural.
If one goes to Cuba there were rumours that there was conflict between Fidel Castro and Chez Guevara, and so on and so forth. The point I want to make is that we are in the 21st Century. Independence was fought, the people who initiated the struggle, those who participated in it, there were fishermen, there were farmers, there were market women, there were some who died, who suffered and died in jail; we have not mentioned them.
This business of whether it was Danquah or Nkrumah or Paa Grant or Ndebugre and so on is unnecessary [Laughter] I am talking of the original Ndebugre, not me. Mr. Speaker, on a more serious note, what I am trying to say is that we have gone long past this kind of thing, the blame game - who threw the first bomb, who made the first coup, who did this is absolutely unnecessary and backward -- absolutely unnecessary and backward - and I am calling on this House
Mr. Ndebugre 11:20 a.m.

to be the starting point to campaign against this kind of thing.

Mr. Speaker, I think that the reactions from my hon. Colleagues show very clearly that the point I have tried to make has sunk and I may also go down in history one day as the one who initiated the coming together of the Masses, starting from the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana.
Mr. Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo (NDC - Wa Central) 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, these remi- niscences, rhapsodies about the great men of this country who sacrificed their lives to make sure we are what we are today must be done in such a way that it is a reflection and a spiritual one at that about where we want to go.
Mr. Speaker, the discussions about great men cannot be done in isolation when we come to think about the general vision of Ghanaians to see themselves in a happy life, to see themselves as developed state, to ensure that the people of Ghana stay in Ghana and work in Ghana and develop the country.
The regrettable thing, Mr. Speaker, about the Independence of Ghana was that when Ghana became independent we
were two people in one country. There was the north which was underdeveloped and there was the south which was quite developed. At Independence the first person to graduate from northern Ghana was still to come in 1961, and this long education gap is a reminder to the fact that there are more things to be done to ensure that the north caught up with the south so that we could move together as a nation.
Mr. Speaker, the secondary school in the Upper West Region, Wa in particular, was started in the 1970s which was a sad testimony of the fact that the Upper West Region was a very backward region at the time. But Mr. Speaker, what I want to say today is that the independence of Ghana, apart from not being meaningful until it had totally liberated Africa, would not be meaningful until we begin to see that the independence of Ghana means an assurance that we remain a united country and we have an equilibrium in development.
That is what would satisfy the soul of Dr. J.B. Danquah, the soul of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and the souls of the rest of the Big Six. Mr. Speaker, they did not fight a battle so that one day our young people would be running away and going abroad. They did not fight a battle so that one day we would be a beggar economy that at all times we have to take loans before we can develop.
Mr. Speaker, they fought a battle so that one day Ghana could stand up to the world and say these are black people managing their own affairs, ensuring that we are developed as much as all other countries are developed.
Mr. Speaker, the present situation in which we find ourselves is not a good omen for the future of Ghana and I want to call on our leadership and all Ghanaians to stand up to this challenge of ensuring
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon. Member for Kade,
do you have a point of order?
Mr. Ofosu 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, perhaps
it is not a point of Order at this stage but a statement was made by the hon. Member alluding to the fact that at inde ndence we had two Ghana, that is the southern developed part and the northern undeveloped part.
Mr. Speaker, I know that before independence we did not have Ghana; we had the Gold Coast - the Northern Protectorate areas and the Trans-Volta Togoland. So if he is talking of two Ghana, I am not too sure of what he wants to put across and it would be for the benefit of us and the public that he tells us what he means by two Ghana at independence. I want your guidance, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon. Member, please conclude.
Mr. Pelpuo 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it is important to put this in perspective. I have talked about one Ghana with two people.
Indeed, most Ghanaians will agree with me on this score. But Mr. Speaker, the conclusion of what I am saying is that we must be very focused in our independence and that we must be very forthright and forward-looking and that our deter- mination should be to ensure that Ghana is a free country not surviving kept alive by foreign donor interventions; and that our policy should be directed at ensuring that domestic fund mobilization would ensure that Ghana stood on its own and be able to reflect the feeling and the wish of our founding fathers that there is a new African, a new black man who knows that he can take his own destiny into his own
hands and ensure that he can match up to all other countries in the world.

Capt. Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey (Rted)

(NPP -- Berekum): Thank you Mr. Speaker for the opportunity to contribute to this very important Statement. Mr. Speaker, I want to make three points.

Mr. Speaker, the first one is that today is a very historic day in our national life and it is unfortunate that we do not seem to regard it very much. Today is 28th February; a day that retired soldiers marched to the Castle wanting to present a petition to the Governor. They were stopped at the crossroads and a shooting incident took place and as a result of that shooting incident, widespread strikes and riots took place in the city, and that marked the watershed in the struggle for independence.

Mr. Speaker, I think it is only fair and proper that on such a day as this we all pay tribute to all those retired soldiers who took part in that march.

Mr. Speaker, the second point is that I always find it interesting when we are looking at the history of Ghana, especially at the beginning of the struggle that as the hon. Member who made the Statement rightly pointed out, the people who were at the forefront of the struggle were of varied backgrounds. And I think that it is important for Ghanaians to remember at all times that the struggle took place not just by one class of people but by all manner of people.

We had lawyers -- Dr. J. B. Danquah, Mr. Akuffo-Addo and others; we had businessmen like Paa Grant; we had chiefs like Nii Kobina Bonnie of Osu Alata, who led the famous boycott. Then, Mr. Speaker, we had ordinary people. And we also had retired soldiers. It is
Mr. Pelpuo 11:30 a.m.

important, Mr. Speaker, to emphasize that they were retired soldiers, like me -- a retired captain -- [Laughter] -- But Mr. Speaker, they all played a role in the struggle for independence and we must always acknowledge that.

Mr. Speaker, the third and last point I want to make is quite interesting. Mr. Speaker, even though the capital of the Gold Coast initially was Cape Coast and it was shifted to Accra, it is important to recall, and very significant indeed, that most political activities began not in Accra, not in Cape Coast but at Saltpond. As the hon. Member who made the Statement rightly said, the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) was born in Saltpond and the Convention People's Party (CPP) was born in Saltpond.

Mr. Speaker, this for me shows that every part of Ghana is important. Whether it is Hohoe or it is Berekum; whether it is Yendi or it is Atimpoku; whether it is my hometown Jinijini -- [Laughter] -- or Tuobodom -- [Laughter] Mr. Speaker, every part of this country is important and this is the reason why I would recommend to our various political parties, our various national organizations that they should not concentrate all programmes always in Accra.

They should find out. Places like Akotombra in Sefwi; they are waiting; places like Suhum, Kraboar Coaltar; they are waiting; Mr. Speaker, places like Kwamekrom in the Volta Region; they are waiting. Places like Evalue-Gwira, Kikam, Hamile and others; they are all waiting. We must get our people together. We must let everybody feel that he is part of the national wheel so that together we can march forward as a nation.

Mr. Speaker, with these few words, I associate myself with the Statement.
Mr. Lee Ocran (NDC -- Jomoro) 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in this jubilee year, I believe that statements should be made that will bring the people together instead of tearing us apart. But in doing so, Mr. Speaker, history should not be turned upside down. Facts are facts and nobody can ever change the facts.
Mr. Speaker, we all know from history that the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) was formed by George Alfred Grant of Axim (Paa Grant); his lawyer, Mr. R. S. Blay who later became the First Vice Chairman of the UGCC, his Kinsman is sitting right here (Mr. Freddie W. Blay).
At the time the idea to form the UGCC was mooted by Paa Grant, Dr. J. B. Danquah was spending his holidays in Mr. R. S. Blay's house. Mr. Speaker, it is no wonder that Dr. J. B. Danquah became Second Vice Chairman of the UGCC and not even the first, let alone the Chairman.
Mr. Speaker, history is made by those who make them and not those who conceive them and not those who want to make them. -- [Hear! Hear!] -- In Ghana's fight for independence there were very ordinary men. We should never forget the role played by the railway workers of Sekondi-Takoradi; Turkson Ocran; Kobby Binney, and Abogo Duncan -- these were the footmen. Paa Grant was a financier; he financed the UGCC and he was the man who paid Dr. Kwame Nkrumah's fare to come back to the Gold Coast and not the history that people want to bandy about; the records are there.
We should acknowledge the roles played by various people. Ako Adjei played his part. Without Ako Adjei, Kwame Nkrumah would not have come to the Gold Coast. And so were others. But we are making efforts to distort history in such a way that - I think it is time to put a stop to it.
The hon. Member for Zebilla (Mr. J. A. Ndebugre) made a fine contribution.

Everybody has played his or her part. There are so many unsung heroes; people that we do not know, those who threw the first stones, those who were shot in 1948, at the Christianborg Crossroads, who knows them? Nobody knows them. Nobody has ever recorded those who lost their lives till date. We only know of the three, Sergeant Adjetey, Private Odartey Lamptey and the other one, Corporal Attipoe. We do not know the many others who during the course of the looting were shot dead. That is how history is made.

Mr. Speaker, I believe that we all need each other. Everybody has played a role. If you go to the constituency level, there were people who played roles in the struggle for independence but today, nobody knows them. The market women who contributed money under the leadership of Sophia Doku to defend Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in the courts; who paid Dr. Kwame Nkrumah's legal fees, nobody mentions them today. We all know the roles that they played.

So, Mr. Speaker, in paying tribute to all those who have contributed to Ghana's independence struggle, let us not try to put anybody before any other person because history is clear.

Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu (NPP

-- Suame): Mr. Speaker, in associating myself to this Statement made by my Colleague, I think we should be very clear in our minds. The maker of the Statement started off by saying that we should accord respect, dignity to our great grandfathers, the pioneers of our independence. He laid the foundation, acknowledged the role played by some and indicated that he was going to particularise the person of Dr. J. B. Danquah.

forth to do. Indeed, he mentioned the name of Mr. R. S. Blay, who the hon. Member the hon. Member for Jomoro just mentioned. So it is not as if the maker of the Statement wanted to dwell on the singular achievement of Dr. J. B. Danquah. He indicated to us that all of them did play major roles, but that he was particularising the role played by Dr. J. B. Danquah.

Mr. Speaker, at the appropriate time, as I have said, it may be important for this House to dwell on the achievements of the others so that the records would be set straight, because the struggle for independence did not begin with the Convention People's Party (CPP) or with Dr. Nkrumah; it began earlier and as the hon. Member for Jomoro has indicated it even pre-dated the efforts of the United Gold Convention (UGCC); the UGCC only added Pilip to the independence struggle and Nkrumah came and added additional venom to the struggle. So all the various roles played by the various individuals should be acknowledged.

But Mr. Speaker, the important thing for us the lessons to draw from the Statement made by my Colleague is that celebrating the event this year, the 50th anniversary this year, provides us with a new platform to re-launch our commitment to Ghana as one nation. Mr. Speaker, it is to wield and weld all of us together as one people, in one nation, with a common destiny.

Mr. Speaker, I just want to reiterate the significance of this very important occasion.
Majority Leader (Mr A. S. K. Bagbin) 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to commend the maker of the Statement, hon. J. B. Danquah Adu, a person whom my firm and I counselled for sometime before we met in politics, in Parliament, on different political sides. Mr. Speaker, if we had gone by
our draft programme this is the period that we should have been eulogizing the founding fathers of this nation, and hon. Members would have been given enough opportunity to come out with their contributions on our founding fathers and other gallant soldiers and ordinary people to, at least, put momentum on the movement to independence.
Mr. Speaker, it true that Dr. J. B. Danquah was the spirit behind the struggle to the attainment of independence. He is really one of the architects of the struggle for our independence. He was the talent, he was the thought, he was the moving spirit behind the whole scene and he contributed tremendously to the achievement of independence in 1957.
Mr. Speaker, the unfortunate thing that
has befallen this nation is the fact that these founding fathers failed to handle properly the differences that cropped up as a result of differences of human beings and of the values that they believed in, in life.
Mr. Speaker, I can recall that there was an attempt by the chiefs of Elmina in the early days to solve these differences between Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and Dr. J. B. Danquah, but unfortunately after the agreement was signed and all the traditional drinks were given, the struggling masses disagreed with that agreement and urged Dr. Kwame Nkrumah on, He then reneged on that agreement and carried on with the CPP. I think that is what has bedeviled the politics of this country.
Mr. Speaker, we are failing now to see each other as a brother. You really need courage, you need fortitude, and you need to be focused and fearless to be able to fight the colonialists. I think together, led by some individuals including Dr. J. B. Danquah, our grandfathers did well
by achieving independence for us. We, today's generation, are still left struggling to liberate ourselves from black tyrants, people who use power arbitrarily and arrogate what belongs to all of us to themselves. It is high time we inbibed the same qualities of our grandfathers and struggle hard to nail the forces of oppression so that we could unleash the air of freedom and liberty to our people.
It is true Dr. J. B. Danquah was totally against violence, it is true that he did not only work as a political leader; we know that he was one of the architects of the Achimota College where Dr. Busia later on met him in 1935. So Mr. Speaker, I want to urge this House to create the opportunity for us to make statements on the contributions of these great leaders.
Most of the activities were at Saltpond, but the people who led the activities came from Axim and Half Assini. Paa Grant -- George Alfred Grant -- came from Axim, a rich merchant, who was spurred on because the colonial companies came and were taking away the trading activities from them and the price of cocoa collapsed and they had to fight. So it is true that it is in his house that the UGCC was formed.
But you have to ask yourself how come Dr. J. B. Danquah was there. Definitely, Dr. J. B. Danquah was a fighter without money and Paa Grant had the purse; so Paa Grant sponsored and chaired and Dr. J. B. Danquah was the vice chairman. Definitely, they wanted Ako Adjei to be the secretary to the UGCC, but it was he who said that there was a better person than him in London, in the person of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah; and it was through the funds of Paa Grant that Dr. Nkrumah was brought down to support the movement for our freedom and justice in this country.
So Mr. Speaker, it is important that we should not allow emotions to becloud
Mr. Pele Abuga (NDC 11:50 p.m.

Paga): Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to make this Statement on the tomato crisis that is afflicting the people of the Upper East Region.

The farmers in the Upper East Region are in serious crisis because they were led into an unprecedented increase in production of tomato this season.

It is normal and it is often the case that tomato farmers experience a glut when farmers produce quantities which outstrip demand mainly from the market women from Accra and elsewhere in the southern part of the country.

However, what has happened this year is unprecedented and derives mainly from external influence.

Mr. Speaker, the genesis of the crisis

can be directly attributed to the assurance from the Pwalugu Tomato factory that the farmers should produce massive quantities and that every bit of it would be at the factory for canning. This assurance was reinforced by the authorities, various DCEs, and political authorities and the

papers were replete with information that this time they should produce as much as they can, for the factory will be buying all the tomato. This resulted in increased production and the cultivation of hitherto uncultivated lands at the Tono Irrigation site and all the villages around wells and river beds. Many farmers had to sell their cattle and sheep, others had to go in for loans to invest in the tomato farming.

Mr. Speaker, then all of a sudden, these

poor farmers were told that the factory would not buy because it was not ready; that it has problem electricity and a myriad of other unanticipated problems.

To confuse the farmers and compound the problem, the market women who were the traditional buyers, opted to buy their tomato from Burkina Faso - another main source of tomato which is believed to be a more superior quality in terms of durability. The farmers, confused and demoralized decided to vent their anger on these poor women.

Mr. Speaker, a near volatile situation

developed at Paga border when their vehicles were blockaded from coming into Ghana with their wares (tomatoes they had bought previously) chanting youth, brandishing cutlasses and guns demonstrated in Navrongo and threatened to unleash mayhem on these women. It took the District Security Council (DISEC) and the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) to calm the situation which still remains dangerous and simmering.

It is very crucial for Government

and NADMO to enter the fray and find a lasting solution to the problem. As a first step towards domeriorating the problem, farmers should be given some compensation and assisted at least half way. Mr. Speaker, two farmers from my

constituency have already committed suicide by taking DDT and only the Lord knows how many more may follow.

As a long-run solution, the factory should be assisted by Government to start capacity production for the ensuing season.

In all this it is I important for Government officials and politicians be careful when they are making promises to people who are already burdened with poverty. Thank you.
Mr. J. A. Tia (NDC -- Talensi) 11:50 p.m.
Speaker, I rise to add my voice to the sentiments raised by the hon. Member for Chiana-Paga (Mr. Pele Abuga).
Mr. Speaker, it is most unfortunate that
when people occupy certain positions in this country, they make statements that give promise and hope to the people that they are leading but they do not follow up those statements to the right conclusion.
Mr. Speaker, the Vice President is on
record to have called on hon. Members of Parliament and other citizens to engage in farming, in agricultural activities to improve the well-being of the people of this country.
Mr. Speaker, as I speak now, I am
one of the victims of those promises that were made by the Vice President, the Minister for Agriculture and the Upper East Regional Minister, that the Pwalugu Tomato Factory would be re-activated and that farmers should go out and farm and their produce would be bought.
Mr. Speaker, I am doing about four acres of tomato farm in a group, together with some people -- four acres. Mr.
Speaker -- [Interruptions] He does not know what he is shouting about.
Mr. Speaker, for more than one week
now, efforts made by my people on the farm to sell their produce to the factory have proved futile; not a single crate has been given to them. Mr. Speaker, the other point is that those farmers who are even lucky to get crates from the factory are told t hat they should go and find their own means of transport and transport the produce to the factory gate before they are paid. This is making the life of the farmers really very bad. It is not surprising that two farmers have actually lost their lives.
Mr. Speaker, I am very happy that the
Minister for Agriculture is there and he is listening. We have stated time and again that the only means of livelihood, the only means of income for the people of these northern regions is agriculture. Therefore, if the people will see everything that they have and go into farming only to be met with this kind of situation, it is most unfortunate.
So Mr. Speaker, I hope the Minister
for Agriculture will take note of this Statement and get in to help the farmers of the Upper East Region.
Minister for Agriculture (Mr. E.
A. Debrah): Mr. Speaker, no doubt market exercises a very strong pull on agricultural production and productivity. It is, therefore, said to hear that some farmers in that part of the country are finding it difficult to market their produce.
However, it is a situation that needs a
careful look at and I think at this point in time we should not be apportioning blame. For example, if the Vice President says, “farm to move Ghana forward”, it is not a bad advice at all, because people are farming and making money. If there is a glut of tomatoes to Ghana, then we must
Mr. Speaker 11:50 p.m.
Hon. Member for Chiana-Papa, do you have a point of Order?
Mr. Abuga 11:50 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am sorry but the Minister is misleading the House. We know that there are instances when tomato production outstrips demand and I indicated it very clearly in my Statement. But Mr. Speaker, this year's glut has been caused by the promise of the factory and agricultural experts and various government officials, that the farmers should go into large quantities of tomato production, and that the factory has been rehabilitated and was ready to buy their tomatoes. So this must be conceded.
Mr. Speaker 11:50 p.m.
Hon. Minister, please continue.
Mr. Debrah 11:50 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, as the hon. Member who spoke last rightly said, farmers went into production because they were convinced that the factory was going to buy their tomatoes; and that statement might have come from the factory itself. What I am saying is that the factory is not for Government -- [Interruptions].
Mr. Asaga 11:50 p.m.
On a point of Order. Mr. Speaker, I think that the Minister for Agriculture is misleading this House. We are from the Upper East Region,
as Members of Parliament, and the statements that politicians and govern- ment officials made that the factory has been rehabilitated and therefore its capacity can now take the expected production are on record; and the Minister knows the number of statements that the Regional Minister, hon. Boniface Gambilla has been making around the Upper East Region.
Mr. Speaker 11:50 p.m.
Hon. Member for Nabdam, please exercise patience over this matter. Hon. Minister, please continue. [Interruptions] Order! Order!
Mr. Debrah noon
Mr. Speaker, I am surprised that the hon. Member is saying that I am misleading the House and I am not answering the question. I said that there is a factory that has been rehabilitated and according to this Statement the factory said, “produce and we shall buy everything”; that is a fact. The factory is in operation, Pwalugu is in operation, it is processing tomatoes and it is buying tomatoes.
Mr. Speaker noon
Order! Order!
Mr. Debrah noon
So, Mr. Speaker, if the tomatoes not being bought the way they should be bought, we need to all have a look at it and see how the problem could be solved. I do not think that people should stand up and start blaming the Government. Pwalugu Tomato Factory is a private tomato factory. It has been rehabilitated in the interest of farmers in the Upper East Region. If there is a problem there, we will have a look at it and see how the problem can be solved.
I thank the maker of the Statement
for bringing this to the floor. I shall now discuss the issue with the Minister for Trade, Industry and PSI to find a solution to the problem. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Several hon. Members -- rose --
Mr. Speaker noon
Hon. Members, I do
not think I have to call any other person.

Chairman of the Committee (Hon. Nii Adu Daku Mante) noon
Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, that this honourable House adopts the Report of the Finance Committee on the Request for Exemption of tax liability on equipment and materials to be imported or purchased locally, corporate and expatriate tax totaling €7,329,361.16 in respect of Koforidua Water Supply Expansion Project in the Eastern Region.
Mr. Speaker, in presenting your

introduction, the background, observations and recommendations and the conclusion and request that the Hansard captures the whole Report as having been read. Mr. Speaker, attached to the Report are appendices on the assessment of tax liability.

1.0 Introduction

The above tax waiver request was laid in the House on Wednesday, 14th February 2007 and referred to the Finance Committee for consideration and report in accordance with the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of the House.

To consider the exemption, the Committee met with the Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, hon. Prof. George Gyan-Baffour, officials from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and Ghana Water Company Limited and reports as follows:

2.0 Background

Hon. Members will recall that a loan Agreement between the Republic of Ghana and the KBC Bank of Belgium for an amount of thirty-eight million, seven hundred and thirty-nine thousand, four hundred and eighty-two Euros (38,739,482.00) was laid in the House on Friday, 19th May 2006 and approved by resolution on Thursday, 1st June 2006 by the House for the Koforidua Water Supply Rehabilitation and Expansion project.

Koforidua, the regional capital of the Eastern Region and its adjoining seven communities of Ada, Okorase, Oyoko, Effiduase, Jumapo, Asokore and about eighty (80) kilometers to the north of Accra.

Until 1938, there were no public water supplies in the Koforidua area. The town

relied on rainwater and shallow wells. The surrounding rural areas depended on shallow wells, River Densu and its perennial tributaries. In 1938, intake works were constructed on two of the tributaries of the River Densu, the Suhyen and Okume Streams.

Transmission mains, treatment works, a service reservoir and a distribution system were constructed at the same time.

The Koforidua Water Supply System hardly had any expansion or rehabilitation till the year 2003 when through the Six (6) Towns Water Supply Project, the existing plant was rehabilitated to increase production level from about 800,000 gallons a day to the present 1.2 million gallons a day. Since the rehabilitation and expansion of the system, the inhabitants of Koforidua and its environs have and are still increasing.

3.0 Project Cost and Financing Plan

The total cost of the project is


The financing scenario is as follows:

Phase 1 -- €18,296,306.00

Phase II -- €17,226,249.00

Financing & I nsurance Costs -- € 3,216,927.00


3.1 Details of Tax

The detail tax schedule as determined by the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) and the Internal Revenue

Service (IRS) is as follows:

Imports -- €6,435,095.58

Corporate -- € 630,525.36

Expatriate -- € 263,740.22



Attachment: Attached to this report is the Tax Assessment schedule on equipment and materials, corporate and expatriate income for the project.

4.0 Observations and Recommendations

The Committee observed that the project when implemented would enable the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) to meet the water supply requirements of the growing population in Koforidua and its surrounding areas.

The Committee further observed that the benefits to be derived from the project include:

Improvement in the access of potable water

Improvement in the level of service by increasing service coverage in Koforidua municipality and surrounding towns and villages and reducing the level of non revenue water.

Growth in productivity of inhabitants leading to economic development and poverty reduction.

M a j o r b o o s t i n b u s i n e s s opportunities; mainly tourism and food, palm oil processing industries and

Maximization in social and health benefits of clean safe and reliable water supply.

The Committee again observed that the works include the;

Construct ion, supply and installation of electro-mechanical equipment;

Raw water intake at Volta Lake;

Water treatment plant near Volta Lake at Aterpoku;

Transmission pipelines including boosters and local reservoirs;

Distribution pipelines including standpipes;

Technical assistance to ensure the sustainability of the project.

The Committee noted that this project is one of the priority water projects of government which are intended to improve the water supply situation in the Koforidua municipality and surrounding towns, especially villages along the transmission route from the intake on the Volta Lake through Aterpoku to Koforidua.

The Committee also noted that clause 14.2 of the Loan Agreement requires that all equipment and materials as well as corporate and expatriate incomes shall be exempted from the payment of local taxes levies. 5.0 Conclusion

After carefully considering the strategic importance of the project and the need to ensure its smooth implementation, the Committee concludes that the request is necessary and therefore respectfully

recommends to the House to adopt its Report and grant the waiver of tax liability on equipment and materials to be imported or purchased locally, corporate and expatriate taxes totaling seven million, three hundred and twenty- nine thousand, three hundred and sixty- one Euros (€7,329,361.16) in respect of Koforidua Water Supply Expansion project in accordance with article 174 (2) of the Constitution.

Respectfully submitted.



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Prof. Gyan-Baffour noon
Mr. Speaker, I beg to second the motion.
Mr. S. Sallas-Mensah (NDC -- Upper East Akim) noon
Mr. Speaker, I rise
to object to the motion on the floor of this House. Mr. Speaker, I really think that the Committee would have to go back and do its work. According to the Report, the tax waiver request was laid in the House on Wednesday 14th February, and on the
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Mr. Speaker noon
Order! Order!
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Mr. Sallas-Mensah noon
And if we were
Mr. Speaker noon
Order! Order!
Mr. Sallas-Mensah noon
Mr. Speaker,
there has never been a time in this House that this House has approved a tax exemption for a corporate body. That is the sole prerogative of the Internal Revenue Service.
Mr. Sallas-Mensah 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, we
do approve exemptions on equipment, expatriate taxes and all that, but not for
My Ref. No. C 65/Ops My Ref. No.

Nii Adu Mante: Mr. Speaker, it is

rather unfortunate that my good hon. Friend is saying that he and probably some other hon. Members of his party, or hon. Members from his side, were on strike and for that matter he did not believe that they attended the meeting. With the greatest
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Mr. Sallas-Mensah 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker,
even if they were there, technically, they have something which is wrong. It is a matter of principle. A Committee of this House has done a work which is technically wrong and must be referred back to the committee to correct.
Mr. Ossei Aidooh 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I
just want to caution my Colleague not to mislead this House. Mr. Speaker, what an Interior body can do, can be done by a superior body. Mr. Speaker, the Consti- tution is clear that this House can grant tax relief. The fact that another body can do it does not mean that we cannot do it. This House has the power to grant tax relief, and there is no limit. The fact that we permit another body to do it does not mean we cannot do it.
Mr. Sallas Mensah 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, if
Mr. Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Order! Order!
Mr. Ossei Aidooh 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker,
Mr. Sallas-Mensah 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker,
I crave your indulgence that this matter should be deferred for the Committee to go back to look at it again - [Interruption] This is an august House and we must be right with our facts and know what we are doing.
Majority Leader (Mr. Felix Owusu-

Mr. Speaker, it is Parliament which vests power in any other authority; and we can take it back at any point in time. Therefore, let us get it clear that, perhaps, we have given this power to IRS and therefore we should wait for them to work on it and if we are not satisfied we intervene. That could be a different argument.

Mr. Speaker, I think that for a member

of the Committee to come and say that he was not around and therefore nothing should be done also should not be accepted. Therefore, let us hear other people on this matter and then when we are convinced that there is the need for us to refer it back to the Committee, I think we can do that.
Mr. Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon. Member for
Jirapa, were you up?
Mr. Salia 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I was not up
but I am up now. Mr. Speaker, do you want me to say something about this?
Mr. Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker,
Mr. Salia 12:10 p.m.
I do not know whom he is
addressing because I was the person who just got up before he said his brother- in-law; and I am not his brother-in-law -- [Laughter.] And if it is now intended to be so, I will consider that. But for now, I am not his brother-in-law. [Laughter]
Mr. Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon. Minister, I will
urge you to address brethren appropriately.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 12:10 p.m.
Speaker, my good Friend, hon. Salia knows that I was addressing hon. Sallas- Mensah. Maybe, he was not listening. He was down under; he was in Australia and that was why.
Mr. Speaker, the point is that we have approved many tax exemptions in this House and maybe there were minute differences in this. We have approved tax exemptions for all the water projects, almost all the projects that we have done in this country. If he believes that a particular section of the Report does not sit well with him and it sits well with the Majority, so be it.
But his Ranking member was at the
meeting and a few of the people were around. That he was playing kobolo is nobody's business. But whatever it is, I think we are right and we should go ahead and make sure that we approve this exemption for this project. We will do the same for Adeiso, so he should not worry about it at all.
Mr. Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon. Member for
Upper West Akyem, I cannot give you a second bite, you have already spoken unless you have something else to say.
Mr. Sallas-Mensah 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I
Mr. Speaker 12:10 p.m.
No, I do not intend to call you at this stage, you have had your chance.
Mr. Akwasi Osei-Adjei 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker,
on the issue of the exemptions that my hon. Friend is talking about, by the Constitution, it is only this House that grants exemptions. And then also, Mr. Speaker, IRS does not grant exemptions; they give reliefs that are approved by this House. IRS on their own cannot grant exemptions.
Mr. Salia 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I did not want to contribute to this with respect -- [Interruptions] -- I was not present but we attended this meeting. The only impression I am getting is that there has been an addition which was not discussed. What we approved was for the exemption from duties on imports or inputs, that they were bringing in.
Unfortunately, I can see that beyond the schedule of equipment and materials, corporate tax has also been included in it. I believe that is where the error is coming from. Because, we do not even know what profits they will make. How can we, in advance exempt them from the profit taxes that they make here?
I believe that this is in error and either that is withdrawn, that particular correction is made, or the entire paper is withdrawn for reconsideration; because the wrong thing has been included. It is for customs duties and similar such expenditure that beneficiaries would ordinarily be paying. And since it is a transferred payment and the Government of Ghana will bear it, there is no point in allowing them to pay the duty. But corporate tax is profit tax, generally, and it should not be included in this schedule.
Mr. Speaker, I think that is the true
Mr. Salia 12:10 p.m.

Mr. Ossei Aidooh 12:20 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I believe that our hon. Colleague is wrong. Mr. Speaker, what it means is that this House is granting them that exemption and IRS will have to comply with it, that is all. We do not have to wait for them to make the profit before they are exempted. We can grant the relief and then IRS is bound by it. That is all. If there is no profit, they do not pay tax, that is it. This House can do that -- [Interruption] No, please, we can do it.

Nii Adu Daku Mante: Mr. Speaker, with the greatest respect, we covered every aspect of it at the committee level as we have indicated in the Report; and this is what we have presented to this House.
Mr. Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Leadership, I think this is a matter you have to sort out. Kindly sort it out, if it can be done any moment from now. You might as well take advantage and go and resolve it. This is just a small matter. I can give you time to resolve it. [Pause.]

Hon. Majority Leader, what is the wish of the House?
Majority Leader (Mr. Felix Owusu- Adjapong) 12:30 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think we are coming to a conclusion that we defer further discussion on this. In fact, the decision is for us to clarify one particular item and take it up tomorrow morning. We hope by that time both the hon. Minister for Finance and Economic Planning and the Ranking member and the hon. Chairperson of the Committee and the
Leadership would have been able to sort things out -- so tomorrow.
Minority Leader (Mr. Bagbin) 12:30 p.m.
Speaker, that is so. We have agreed that it should be deferred till tomorrow.
Mr. Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Hon. Members, it is
deferred. Item 7 -- Committee Sittings.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 12:30 p.m.
Mr. Speaker,
we have scheduled a meeting of the Finance Committee for 11.30 a.m. but we have problems with accommodation. But whatever it is, we would still need to adjourn till tomorrow 10.00 o'clock in the morning. I so move.
Mr. Bagbin 12:30 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to
second the motion.
Question put and motion agreed to.
ADJOURNMENT 12:30 p.m.