Debates of 21 Jun 2007

PRAYERS 10 a.m.


Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Order! Order! Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 20th June, 2007. [No correction was made in the “Votes and Proceedings”.] Hon. Members, we do not have any Official Report for today.
Item 3 -- Urgent Question -- Volta Regional Minister?
Mr. F. K. Owusu-Adjapong 10 a.m.
Speaker, I want to crave your indulgence to allow the Deputy Volta Regional Minister who is also an hon. Member of Parliament to stand in for the Minister. The hon. Minister is legitimately unavailable.



Mr. Bandua 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, indeed, before I ask my first supplementary question, I want to put on record that I have medical reports here on resultant effect of what happened when they were brutalized by the soldiers. Indeed, I have a full report. So what the hon. Deputy Regional Minister is saying never took place. I am rather surprised because it looks like the Fulanis are now using the soldiers to brutalize settler communities in my area. This is what is happening. I will now come to my second supplementary question.

Mr. Speaker, I want to find out from

the Regional Minister, whether there are procedures in place that will ensure that before soldiers undertake the operation, and after the operation, they report to the

Mr. Nayan 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think in my Answer, I stated that the soldiers were sent to Tapa-Abotoase, Odei to embark on “Operation Cowleg” and not to brutalise people.
Mr. Bandua 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think he has not answered my question. The question is whether there are procedures in place that prior to such an operation and after the operation that they have to follow. That is whether by authorization they have to report to the various security agencies in the district.
Maybe, if they are going to Odei, they may have to report to the district police commander; and whether the police have got to be involved, and after the operation, whether or not they are expected to present a report to the REGSEC?
Mr. Nayan 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think before the military go into any district perhaps, the first point of contact will be the District Chief Executive (DCE), and the District Commander of Police. So that in case they may need the assistance of the police, then it will be a joint operation between the police and the military. After the operation, they report to the DCE and then give a report to REGSEC.
Mr. Bandua 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want
to bring to the knowledge of the Deputy Regional Minister that they never consulted the DCE, neither did they consult the Police Commander because I have been in touch with the Police
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Hon. Member, ask a question.
Mr. Bandua 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, my question will follow. I want to lay the foundation before I ask the question. The question is that, have they presented a report to him about what happened at Odei and whether or not some people have suffered casualty in the area after the operation?
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Please, ask your
question, one after the other.
Mr. Bandua 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, once he says that reports are given to them, I want him to tell us, in brief, the detailed information in the report that was presented to the REGSEC after the operation.
Mr. Nayan 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think I
stated that after every operation they report to the DCE and then they give the REGSEC a report which I have here. In the report that we received there was no indication that people were brutalized over there.
Mr. Bandua 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Deputy Regional Minister said in the Answer to my Question that the place is still volatile. I want him to brief the House why he thinks the place is still volatile.
Mr. Nayan 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am saying the place is still volatile because we have two problems over there. The first one is that we are aware of a land conflict between the landowners and the settlers. We also have conflicts between the Fulani herdsmen and those people killing the cattle indiscriminately. That is why I say the place is still volatile. But there is peace, as I talk now.
Mr. C. K. Humado 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the Answer of the hon. Deputy Minister, he started by saying that they went on “Operation Cowleg”, which means they were to drive away the Fulanis, but they ended up rather arresting the locals. I would like to find out from him whether the perception is that anytime our security agencies are sent on “Operation Cowleg”, they rather connive with the Fulani herdsmen -- I want to know whether it has not strengthened that perception -- the way this has happened.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Hon. Member, ask another question. You asked a question about perception; but that is not the question.
Mr. Humado 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to
find out from the hon. Deputy Regional Minister whether the purpose for which the security agencies embarked upon “Operation Cowleg”, has really been served in this particular case.
Mr. Nayan 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, each time we send out the military for an operation like this, we give them a mandate. The operation was meant to drive away the destructive herdsmen who were in such districts. Then we also tell them that we will not allow thieves or criminals to use that operation to kill other people's cattle indiscriminately. Because we are aware that we have some people who go about stealing and killing the cattle of not only the aliens but also indigenes.
So they have been given a mandate, and I do not think the operation was undermined.
Mr. M. T. Nyaunu 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I
would kindly want to know from the hon. Deputy Minister, whether in his candid opinion the objective which they set themselves has been achieved.
Mr. Nayan 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think in my Answer, I said the operation was not undermined; because it was properly done. In the first place, these destructive herdsmen were sent away from the various districts. In the second place, those people who were found to be using that opportunity to steal people's cattle were also arrested. So I do not think it was undermined.
Mr. E. K. D. Adjaho 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I
heard the hon. Deputy Regional Minister for the Volta Region telling this honourable House that nobody was brutalized. Would he be surprised to see eight medical reports signed by the Senior Medical Officer at Worawora Hospital, indicating that the people had been assaulted and there were some injuries done to them by the soldiers?
Mr. Nayan 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, of course, I think I indicated that the operation was properly done. Because, in the first place, those people who were involved, the herdsmen who were destroying people's cattle, were sent away from the districts. Secondly, people who were also found stealing and killing cattle indiscriminately were also arrested.
So if some of them were found with the carcass or meat of such animals and they resisted arrest, of course, then they would want to apply some minimum force to get them arrested. I am not aware of what they are saying but I think I would be prepared to make some investigations to be sure whether people were actually brutalized or not.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Hon. Deputy Minister, thank you very much for appearing. Item 4 -- Questions. Question No. 649 -- Hon. Paul Okoh --


Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Question 650, hon. Hajia Salifu Boforo?
Alhaji A. Yakubu 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, with your kind permission, I would like to ask the Question on her behalf.
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Have you been mandated?
Alhaji Yakubu 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
When was this done? Today or yesterday?
Alhaji Yakubu 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, a few minutes ago.
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Go ahead.
Savelugu Township Streets (Tarring)
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
Savelugu is the district capital of the Savelugu-Nanton District and in the Northern Region. It is situated along the national road N10 from Tamale to Bolga.
Future Programme
Some of the roads in the Savelugu town have been captured under the MCA programme for upgrading which is expected to take off early next year.
The remaining roads that have not been captured under MCA will be programmed for surfacing under 2008 budget.
Alhaji Yakubu 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister is saying that the remaining roads have been captured under the MCA or not captured under the MCA programmes for servicing under the 2008 budget. But specifically what quantum or road would be done?
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, as my hon. Colleague is aware, when you prepare the budget, you look at what has been achieved the previous year and then you try and find out which one you can carry along for the following year. And he may be aware that when we presented our budget to Parliament, instead of the 100 per cent funding we needed we were given only 54 per cent.
So that alone means that we must be doing further calculations, and that is why it will be dangerous for me to stand here and say that this amount can be carried in the following year. If we are lucky, now that we are getting near oil, money may flow quickly and we may be able to do a
lot of these roads in time.
Alhaji Yakubu 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the roads that have been captured under the MCA are expected to take off early next year. Will that also depend on luck; or specifically when next year?
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think I will arrange, because of this, possibly for the hon. Minister responsible for the MCA to come and explain how the MCA works. I do not think that we are talking about luck; we are talking about availability of money.
We have been told that the money is there, it is a question of when you finish with your procurement procedures, you just apply and get it, as compared to other institutions where we are now going to rely on our taxes and the ability to secure those taxes and then programme with it. So there are quite different ways of funding a project, but I think we may need to have in-depth study as to how the MCA system works; there, like it is said, the cash is there.
Tanoso-Koforidua-Sreso, Tadieso-Bomiri, etc. Feeder Roads
Q. 651. Mr. Simons Addai asked the Minister for Transportation what plans the Ministry had to construct the following feeder roads:
(i) Tanoso-Koforidua-Sreso
(ii) Tadieso-Bomiri
(iii) Atea-Akokobenomsu.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Tanoso-Koforidua-Sreso, Tadieso- Bomiri and Atea-Akokobenomsu feeder roads are all un-engineered. All the three roads are located in the Techiman District, Brong Ahafo.
Future Programme
Engineering studies are currently being carried out. Based on the outcome of the studies the necessary interventions will be undertaken next year.
Mr. Addai 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister has just indicated that studies are ongoing. Is he aware that some culverts have been constructed on the Tadieso- Bomiri road and the road is diverted, causing a lot of inconveniences to the people?
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, definitely I need notice to check that because this has got nothing to do with the Question that was asked. It is an additional information he wants to secure and I crave your indulgence to be given opportunity, should he want it, to give it to him either in person or through the official channel.
Mr. Addai 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, is it that the Department of Feeder Roads in Brong Ahafo does not have even a single equipment to carry out road construction itself?
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Come back properly; this is not a supplementary question.
Mr. Addai 10:20 a.m.
I am asking this question because I visited their office -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
You may wish to ask about that, but ask the question properly because this is not a supplementary question. If you have any other questions, please ask.
Mr. Addai 10:20 a.m.
Then I go on to the next question. What message would the hon. Minister send to the people who ply the road for farming activities who threaten everyday that they would never take part
in the coming elections if the road is not constructed?
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
If you have other questions then please ask them.
Mr. Adjaho 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, we have just been informed by the hon. Minister that engineering studies are currently being carried out on those roads. I want to find out from them when the engineering works started and when should we expect the engineering works to be completed.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, these are detailed information and I will supply on appropriate notice.
Amoonakwa-Fearon, Okaitei Nettey-Agbon Kwatei, etc. Roads
Q. 652. Mr. Jonathan Tackie-Kome asked the Minister for Transportation when works on the following roads would be completed:
(i) Amoonakwa-Fearon Road
(ii) Okaitei Nettey-Agbon Kwatei Road
(iii) Hansen-Abbosey Okai Road
(iv) Central Business Dis tr ic t (CBD) Roads.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the above-mentioned roads form part of the Ashiedu Keteke road network being managed by the Accra Metropolitan Roads Department. The above-listed roads also form part of the entire CBD Area Roads.
The Amoonakwa, Fearon, Okaitei Nettey, Hansen and Abossey Okai Roads are being executed under the Partial Reconstruction of Selected Roads in the CBD of Accra, whilst Agbon Kwatei Road is among a list of roads under Partial Reconstruction of Selected Roads in Ashiedu Keteke-Accra.

Current Situation

Currently, five (5) projects have been awarded on contract within the Central Business District area. Three projects are ongoing whereas the remaining two are yet to commence.

The general progress of works so far is satisfactory.

The civil works are at various stages of completion. These works are expected to be completed by the end of January, 2008.

Future Programme

Under the Ministry's strategy of improving the road network within the Accra Metropolis, Odododiodioo will have additional 2.8 km of roads to be sealed. The procurement process has been completed. Contractors have been introduced to their various sites and work is expected to begin soon.
Mr. Tackie-Kome 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the hon. Minister's Answer he said the Amoonakwa-Fearon, Okaitei Nettey, Hansen and Abossey Okai roads are being executed under the Partial Reconstruction of Selected Roads. Can I know from the hon. Minister what “partial recons- truction” means?
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the difference is that when you are doing overall reconstruction, they are all reconstruction. It is different from when you are reconstructing in areas where there are existing roads; for example you are not doing a new curve -- you are maybe doing only sealing, and it is different from where you are now doing the curves, the drainage and things like that; that is full reconstruction.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:30 a.m.

So it means that you look at the situation and see what particular improvement works you can do that will make the road more friendly and usable.
Mr. Tackie-Kome 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in his Answer he said civil works are at various stages of completion and that these works are expected to be completed by the end of July, 2008. May I know from the hon. Minister whether it means the whole project would be completed by the time given.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, that is our expectation.
Mr. Tackie-Kome 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, may I know from the hon. Minister the specific timeframe that works will begin on the road network improvement within the Accra Metropolis, especially the 2.8 kilometre road in the Odododiodioo constituency?
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, with your indulgence if I can read that portion, perhaps he may not see the real need for that supplementary question: “The procurement process has been completed. Contractors have been introduced to their various sites and work is expected to begin soon.”
Mr. Speaker, our contract adminis- tration is such that when the contractor wins the contract and is introduced to the site he may need to look at how he mobilizes himself or herself. In such situations we want to be a bit liberal, especially if we want to encourage Ghanaian contractors to be able to compete with their foreign brethren. And in such situations we do not want to set specific time; they will try and suggest that they are talking with their bankers; they say maybe in two weeks' time they will get information for us.
So if he wants detailed information, as
it is, the best approach is for me to talk to the individual contractors concerned and see their real problems, because we need to encourage them. And that is why we should not be too legalistic and extra formal.
Mr. Tanko Abdul-Rauf Ibrahim 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the hon. Minister's Answer he mentioned that currently five projects have been awarded on contract within the Central Business District area; three projects are ongoing whereas the remaining two are yet to commence. The question I want to ask the hon. Minister is, are all these five projects awarded to one contractor? If yes, at what costs and when were they awarded?
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would need to verify with the number of contractors that are working on these jobs.
Alhaji Muntaka M. Mubarak 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the earlier answer of the hon. Minister, he said because they were local contractors there was the need for us to be a bit liberal. I want to find out from him whether being liberal means the fellow, when he is awarded the contract can decide when to start work without the Ministry giving him a specific time. And if the answer is no, and there are specific times, then the hon. Minister should be able to tell that by maybe July or August the contract will be expiring. So can I find out whether they give them a specific period and if yes, in this particular contract, when is the set date for work to begin?
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, when I say we want to be “liberal”, what it means is that we could award a contract and say we are giving them the job effective 1st July, 2007 and we want them to be on site on the 2nd July. That would have been one method. When we use
that method and he does not come to site on that day he would have been deemed to have defaulted, and it can amount to a breach.
But what we have experienced is that a number of Ghanaian contractors, after they have won the bid, it is at that time they begin to talk to their bankers. So if he tells you that he is talking to his banker “A” and you get sufficient information that that bank is seriously considering to grant him the facility, you then begin to say that all right, “based on this, can the bank give it by 1st August”?
That is why it is not very easy to be
digital in this exercise because you want to help him to be in business and you want him to go to the third party, the bank, which you have no control over and which he also has no control over, and then to help him to persuade the bank that Ghana Government can make the payment directly to them if they want it that way. And that is a negotiation process.
But what we try to do is that we try to advise them that whatever procedure that they are following they should be able to complete the job within the overall timeframe. So if for instance the job is from 1st June, ending December 20, and he decides to spend two to three months to do the preliminaries, then we expect that his construction programme could be such that the remaining four months would be enough for him to complete. And that is the way we can be helping our people to do effective project management.
Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the hon. Minister's Answer he indicated the flexibility and informality and non- strictly legal arrangements for these types of contracts. The issue I want to know from the hon. Minister is whether those informality and non-legalistic things are contained in the contractual arrangement
Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor 10:30 a.m.

with the contractor.
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon. Member for Lawra- Nandom, this cannot be a supplementary question.
Dr. Kunbuor 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, what I mean is that in relation to the specific contracts that the hon. Minister has mentioned, are they part of the terms of the contract?
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Minister for Transpor- tation, if you have any answer.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I like the way you said if I have the answer, which is a polite way of saying that it is not a real supplementary question. But if he wants to be legalistic I can respond.
Mr. Speaker, my hon. Colleague is aware that you can put out a contract and say that I want the project completed in six months. But you also would know that when it comes to project management you have to be told whether he can do it in five months. If he can, then it means when there is a delay of one month before commencement you have no problem.
If however you realize that he cannot do it in five months but in five and a half months then it is your duty to make sure that you try and get him to site. And I am sure my hon. Colleague is aware of the conditions under which our contractors have been operating.

The choice would have been to have abandoned all of them so that we go to those who bring all manner of heavy vehicles, equipment to do the project. And that is where you then begin to say that if the person can show that by delaying for two months he can use four months to

complete the job because he has now been sufficiently resourced, you allow that; but you do not write that into the contract.

The contract will say “You are commencing on such a date and you are finishing on such a date”. The flexibility is a question of how you do the project management and not how you interpret the legal aspect of it. That one is strictly adhered to. And that is why when they default we are able to set in motion the process of taking back the project using due process.

Bridge Across River Ponpon (Construction)

Q. 653. Mr. David T. Assumeng (on behalf of Mr. Raymond Tawiah) asked the Minister for Transportation when the bridge across River Ponpon near Oterkpulu would be constructed.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, let me give some preliminary information. My Ministry had a problem regarding identification of the town called Oterkpulu. Because what we had by way of the Question, when we checked with our roadmap there was no such town. The Question we had, the spelling was this way -- Mr. Speaker, let me quote: “Oterkprku” -- [Interruption.] Please, it is not the same thing -- “Oterkprku.” But my Ministry advised that they know that there is a town there which is spelt -- that is why I needed that confirmation before I go on -- “Oterkpulu”. And we want to assume that that is the town he wants us to respond to.
If it is then, Mr. Speaker, the bridge
across River Ponpon is on the main Oterkpulu-Odumasi National Road (N3) and is located about 400 m from the town of Oterkpulu. It is a concrete bridge with a total span of 52 metres and a width of 4.9 metres. The engineering design of a new bridge is completed. The construction of the bridge will be undertaken as part
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:40 a.m.

of the Transport Sector Development Programme which takes off in 2008.
Mr. Assumeng 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the name of the town is Oterkpulu like he said. I want to know when the project will commence next year.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, as I always say, we hope to present our budget to Parliament for 2008. If we are lucky and the entire budget is captured then definitely we will set in motion the procurement process. And therefore it may be too early for me to stand here and say it can commence in January because he will be a major player in the whole process of securing funds for this particular construction.
Mr. Evans Paul Aidoo 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to know the condition of the existing bridge over River Ponpon -- the current condition of the bridge.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Ministry has already concluded that it is not satisfactory, that is why we are trying to do a new one. It is not satisfactory; it can be used but it is not satisfactory.
Ms. Akua Sena Dansua 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, is the Minister saying that if the Ministry does not get its full complement of the budget this particular bridge will not be done; is that what he is saying?
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I can definitely not say so. What I am saying is that we will definitely want to include this in next year's budget. Fancy we are told that we cannot get the full 100 per cent, we will do reappraisal and the prioritization will be taking care of which one must be done first. Because do not forget, we are looking at bridges in the whole country.
So if that should happen and we see that this one is in a fair condition as against another bridge which is in a very poor condition, you will see that this decision can then be different. And that is why it will be dangerous for me to say here that we are going to do it or we are not going to do it. And I hope that when we come to work on the budget, hon. Akua Dansua and the others will all help to ensure that road budget is never cut and that we get the hundred per cent.
Sikabeng-Obawale Road (Defence Wall)
Q. 654. Mr. David T. Assumeng (on behalf of Mr. Raymond Tawiah) asked the Minister for Transportation if the Ministry had any plan to build a defence wall along the Sikabeng- Obawale Road.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Sikabeng-Obawele feeder road is 7.2 km long. The road is engineered and is located in the Yilo Krobo District of the Eastern Region. The road was awarded for surfacing in March 2003 and completed in March 2004 at a contract sum of ¢3.3 billion. The project was executed by Messrs A. Naggesten Limited. Due to erosion on a section of the road a retaining wall and other drainage structures were awarded in October 2005 to check the erosion.
The cost of the retaining wall and the drainage structures was ¢897 million. The project was completed in July, 2006 and executed by Messrs A. Naggesten Limited.
Mr. Assumeng 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the issue is not necessarily erosion on the road but the issue of a defence wall. In fact, the nature of that wall is like that of Adukrom side of the road. If you are using that
Mr. Assumeng 10:40 a.m.

road there is a deep valley and the hon. Member wants to know if the Ministry has any plan to seal that portion of the road -- the valley.

In fact, if you happen to use that road -- I do not know whether he has ever used it but I believe he will be using it as he goes along. But the valley is what we are talking about; whether he has any plan to prevent -- That side of the valley is very deep.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, within the last three to four months, Owusu-Adjapong has had the opportunity of using a lot of the roads there. But if he reads the Answer -- I am sure that if the hon. Member himself were to be around, he would have asked permission to withdraw the Question.
This is the information I had from my office that perhaps the Question might have been with us for a time and therefore when the works were done, the Question would have been given already. That is why I would not want us to discuss it verbally but if he can leave it to the man himself he may tell him that this second contract cures the defect that he is trying to bring out. But if he thinks that is not the case, we can still go back and possibly have a joint inspection with him.
Mr. Bradford D. K. Adu 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, considering the dangerous nature of that road, will the hon. Minister take an urgent step to erect the defence wall?
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, with your permission let me read the last two sentences.
“The cost of retaining wall and the drainage structures was ¢897 million. The project was completed in July 2006 and executed . . .”
And if that is what my hon. Colleague is asking about, then what we are saying is that this has been done. But if there are any other remedial works that are required to be done, I am sure we shall look at it. But I am answering the Question that has been put today. That is all.

Bawku Hospital - Missiga, Missiga- Kulungugu, Missiga-Garu Roads


Q. 656. Mr. Simon A. Akunye asked the Minister for Transportation when the road from Bawku Hospital to Missiga, Missiga to Kulungugu and Missiga to Garu would be completed.

(Mr. Owusu-Adjapong): Mr. Speaker, the 5 km Bawku-Missiga and the 11.4 km Missiga-Kulungugu road is part of the National Road N1. It is a gravel road and in a fair to poor state whilst the 24 km Missiga-Garu road is part of the national road N2, a gravel road in fair condition.

Current Programme

Bawku-Missiga (km 0-5)

The road was awarded to Messrs Alhaji Awudu Ali but terminated in 2006 for non-performance. It was readvertised and the evaluation report has been sent to the Central Tender Review Board for concurrent approval.


The (km 1-6) was awarded to Messrs Suguru Naaba Ventures in December, 2006 for completion by December, 2007 at the cost of ¢12.1 billion.

The (km 6-12) was advertised in May
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:50 a.m.

2007 for upgrading.


The (km 0-5) is being upgraded by Messrs Suguru Naaba Ventures at the cost of ¢3.2 billion. It is 86 per cent completed and the primer seal has been completed. It is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Km 5-11.5 was advertised in May, 2007 for upgrading.
Mr. Akunye 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to find out from the hon. Minister what percentage of the road was done by the former contractor and how much was paid to that effect. I also want to know what is going to be the likely cost of the work to be done by the incoming contractor.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, when a contract has been terminated, you try not to spend a bit more time on it. But if he thinks that is important information, I would definitely secure that information for the House. The important thing is that the contract has been terminated for non- performance and I never foresaw a need for me to find out what percentage he did.
Unless he was going to talk about maybe the contractor not being treated well or something of the sort, then I would have seen the need to go into the details of why the contract was terminated. All I have been told is that he could not perform and I am sure my hon. Colleague is aware that he could not perform and that was why another contractor had to come in.
Mr. Mahama Ayariga 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the case of the Bawku-Missiga Road, the hon. Minister says that it has been sent to Central Tender Review Board for concurrent approval. Mr. Speaker, I want to find out from him in his rough
Mr. Mahama Ayariga 10:50 a.m.

estimation, how long it will take from this stage to the point of award so that we can anticipate when we can have the road completed.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it will be dangerous for me to give that figure because I checked out with my Deputy and he confirms, just as I knew, that we do not have control over the way the Central Tender Board administers.
It will amount to us possibly giving them direction as to how to do their work. And we may end up even being accused of infringing the Procurement Act. Even though I have my reservations on some portions of the Act, once it has not been amended, we should live strictly by it.
Mr. Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Question number 910, hon. Kofi Frimpong, Member of Parliament for Kwabre East?
Asafo Market Interchange
Q. 910. Mr. Kofi Frimpong asked the Minister for Transportation what was the state of the Asafo Market Interchange.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the project is progressing steadily. Physical progress is 80 per cent completed. Expected date of completion is July 2007.
The outstanding works are street lightening, traffic signalization, asphal- ting, handrails, guardrails, road-line marking and road signs.
Mr. K. Frimpong 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to know from the hon. Minister, why has it taken the Ministry so long a time to complete this project? It started long before the Tetteh-Quarshie Interchange which is now in use but we are yet to complete the Asafo Market Interchange.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, definitely it has not taken the Ministry too long. Rather it has taken the contractor

much longer time to complete. When the Ministry realized that things were not moving as fast as we wanted, the Ministry took the bold decision of agreeing with the contractor to take portions of the contract out. That was why the other time I had that famous and important visit and inspection of that road.

You may recal l that af ter the inspection, the Ministry decided that the asphalting should be given to a specialist subcontractor. And then we said the lighting and the signalling should also be given to a specialist subcontractor.

Mr. Speaker, it is this very important decision we took that is now enabling the completion of the construction by July. Therefore, if anything at all, the Ministry must be congratulated for taking the bold decision when it was necessary to do so.
Mr. Balado Manu 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to know from the hon. Minister if serious background check was made on the contractor and the contractor's previous works before that contract was awarded to him.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the information available to me is that due diligence was made on the contractor. But you know in this world there are always ups and downs. One can be performing very well but for some good reasons one may begin to fail. But when we realised that even though the contractor could do asphalting and lighting but not at the speed that we wanted, we took the appropriate decision.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the Answer of the hon. Minister, he said the expected date of completion is July 2007. Mr. Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that on the contrary the project is being advertised for commissioning on the 29th of this month? Is the hon. Minister aware?
visit, that I inspected all roads leading from Accra through Kumasi to Nkoranza. That is what is very famous.
Alhaji M. M. Mubarak 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, this is one road that has generated a lot of controversy in Kumasi. I do not know whether the Minister is aware that as at the beginning of this week, not even asphalt had been spread on this road. It has not been opened for even testing, yet we have fixed a date for its commissioning. Does he think it will be proper for the road to be commissioned for motorists to start using it or he thinks we should open it for testing first. Again, as of now, not even asphalt has been placed on the road.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, if you were in the construction field, you would know that there are certain works that can be done in days. We have sat down with the specialist contractor doing the asphalting and he has satisfied us with all the calculations we needed. He has proved that it is achievable.
Mr. Speaker, the problem is not with that main one. We have now noticed that a detour, one of the slip roads, is what rather we are concerned with because we realized that after doing further soil test, the soil support for that area, not for the main one, requires us bringing boulders to make it firmer.
These are all things which have been taken into account and I am in constant touch with our representative, the Minister for Ashanti Region who tells me on daily basis the progress of work in that area and that is why I am sure that barring any other unforeseen circumstances, we should be able to execute it within the time-frame set as I said earlier, not as advertised. The advertised date is a different matter, and the answer is also a different matter. The difference is that we are putting pressure and we think it can be done by June 29.
Therefore, instead of the July, we
should be able to bring it back to June. I suppose your prayer should be that at long last, this overpass should be completed so that you can enjoy the use just like I also enjoy the use of that facility.
Mr. Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Minister for Transpor-
tation, thank you very much for appearing to answer these questions.
Item 5 - Statements.
STATEMENTS 10:50 a.m.

Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am aware -- [Laughter] -- I am aware and I will tell you something more we are going to do that day. Mr. Speaker, it is the wish of the Ministry and for that matter the Government that instead of doing it on July 2, as was the original date, we should be able to do it on June 29. Because we are putting pressure on them, we think that yes, if they want to work at the normal pace, they should finish by July 2 or thereabouts. But if they are able to put in extra effort, we should be able to do it by June 29. That is why we have advertised that we are going to do it by June 29.
Mr. J. Y. Chireh 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Minister in his Answer, said that he made a very famous visit to the site. I know he was doing a campaign but that is not the point. But why should he not have been sacked for the undue delay rather than being congratulated for the project.
Mr. Speaker 11 a.m.
Please, repeat.
Mr. Chireh 11 a.m.
The Minister said we should congratulate the Ministry for this undue delay. But how can he reconcile that with the suffering of the people who need to use the road?
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I said we should be congratulated for taking the bold decision and not for the delay. But let me explain why it is famous.
Mr. Speaker, what made it the famous inspection was that when I reached Anyinam and I was doing my inspection, I rang my hon. Colleague the Minority Leader and informed him that I was making a famous visit to inspect that bridge and from there I was also going to inspect the road networks in Nkoranza North. That was what made it a famous

5 and 17 are involved in some economic activity, with 57 per cent of them involved in agriculture.

Mr. Speaker, the issue of child labour in agriculture comes at a very appropriate time when the Government is beginning to make strides to ensure that the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (F-CUBE) policy is properly implemented to the benefit of the children and the entire nation.

Mr. Speaker, between October 2006 and April 2007, a pilot study was conducted into labour practices in the cocoa sector. One of the findings was that 91 per cent of children aged between 5 and 17 years in cocoa communities are enrolled in school. This figure buttresses the 87 per cent enrolment rate recorded in a previous study by the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs. It is strongly believed that the introduction of the Capitation Grant is a key factor for this positive development that should be celebrated.

In spite of this achievement, child labour persists within the agricultural sector in some rather subtle forms that have deluded many observers, but has continued to attract international attention. A study conducted in 2006 by the General Agriculture Workers Union of TUC revealed that 72 per cent of the children involved in the study worked on farms either on temporary or permanent basis, with the average age of child-farm workers being 13.5 years.

The fishing sector is certainly one area that presents a situation of grave concern. The New York Times, BBC, the Oprah Winfrey Show and several websites have reported cases of Ghanaian children's engagement in fishing. The Ghanaian

media has also sown video clips of children as young as four having to dive under water at dawn to untangle fishing nets. These children do not attend school, have no health insurance, are poorly fed, sleep in open spaces and very often have no contact with their parents.

Mr. Speaker, it is believed that many of these children drown to death as they dive underwater, and their bodies are not found for at least a decent burial. Yet, these are children of the land of Ghana who deserve better.

Mr. Speaker, it is sad to not that some

of the children take part in hazardous activities that are detrimental to their health. Mr. Speaker, in the various studies that I mentioned earlier it was found that children as young as 10 years have been involved in such activities as felling trees, bush burning, handling chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides, carrying loads that are too heavy for their sizes and ages, working without the needed personal protective equipment, working long hours in awkward positions, and skipping school to work on farms.

This situation, coupled with the case of children who dive underwater to fetch fishing nets, is clearly in contravention of the Children's Act of 1998, which spells our clearly that children should not be involved in activities that expose them to hazards. Section 91 of the Children's Act clearly prohibits child participation in hazardous work including going to sea, mining and quarrying, and porterage of heavy loads. Yet, these are what the children are exposed to.

Mr. Speaker, one of the main problems

that we as a nation are faced with is that many of us do not recognize some of the agricultural activities as being tantamount to child labour or even its worst forms. This is due to the complication of cultural socialization practices with our legal instruments.

For many, many years, children have followed their parents and guardians to the farm and learned to become farmers themselves. Agriculture is part of the fabric of our nation today as much as in the past. So, too, is the tradition of helping out in the family farm and learning from parents or guardians. However, times have changed and laws have been enacted to regulate child-work activities. Child participation in agriculture therefore needs to be done in accordance with the established laws.

Again, Mr. Speaker, media reports

within Ghana and on the international media scene have shown that some children are transported from their homes to be exploited as farm-hands or sea- hands. These children can be said to have been trafficked, and this is clearly in contravention of the Human Trafficking Act, which was passed in 2005 by this august House.

Mr. Speaker, I would like at this time to

refer to the Harkin-Engel Protocol, which was signed into force in 2001 between US Senator Harkin and Congressman Engel on one side, and the World Cocoa Foundation on the other side. The Protocol requires all cocoa-producing countries to put measures in place to eliminate worst forms of child labour in cocoa production.

The deadline for putting these measures in place has been set for July 1, 2008. Even before the deadline, Mr. Speaker, all cocoa producing countries are being carefully observed to ensure that child labour is eliminated.

In response to this protocol, the

National Programme for the Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour in Cocoa (NPECLC) has been established as a programme within the Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment. The programme is currently preparing to scale
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 11:10 a.m.

up the pilot survey of child labour and forced adult labour in areas of the country covering 50 per cent of Ghana's cocoa production.

The programme is also progressively setting up a system to monitor the incidence and prevalence of child labour in the cocoa sector. This system is modelled by the Child Labour Monitoring System that was set up on pilot basis in five districts by the West Africa Cocoa and Commercial Agriculture Programme of the ILO (ILO/ IEC/WACAP) between 2003 and 2006.

Remedial actions have also been designed to support children who are engaged in worst forms of child labour and place them back in school or into apprenticeship. Community sensitization is also a key activity in eliminating child labour and this is being undertaken.

Some District Assemblies have already embraced the issue of elimination of worst forms of child labour, and have prepared action plans and programmes to achieve this noble aim. So far, six districts -- namely Kwaebibrem, Bia, Asante Akyem North and South, Amansie Central and Wassa Amenfi West -- have made moves to form Child Protection Committees at the District and Community levels to sensitize their citizens on child labour issues and also to resolve cases of worst forms of child labour.

Mr. Speaker, several non-governmental

organizations and social groups have also joined forces with Government to monitor child labour and to sensitize communities to the need to eliminate child labour in all sectors including agricultural and non-agricultural sectors. I would like to mention that the Ghana Cocoa Board and the General Agriculture Workers Union of the TUC have been very instrumental in this direction.

Mr. Speaker, the Government's multi-

sectoral approach to dealing with poverty, which causes and also results from child
Mr. J. Z. Amenowode (NDC -- Hohoe South) 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this very important Statement by the hon. Deputy Minister.
Child labour, indeed must be eliminated in all its ramifications. Most of the times,
when we talk of child labour, attention is shifted to those around the Volta River, those who go to fishing. We tend to ignore or not pay proper attention to some very obvious ones that are just under our eyes. Mr. Speaker, I would want to draw attention to some of these so that the child rights activists and we, hon. Members of this House would take a closer look at those ones too and include them in our areas of vigilance.
In Africa or Ghana, once we become a little affluent, the house needs a house- help, and most of the time we go to the villages and bring these young ones and call them househelps. Yes, we provide them with food and we provide them with shelter but the work they do in most of these houses, is nothing short of child labour, by international definition. They go to bed late at night, after the whole family has slept and they wake up before cock-crow. They do all the heavy jobs; yet, most of these children are under 18.
Then we drive along the streets everyday, we see children under 18 selling iced water, pure water, and we buy from these very little children. You ask them why they did not go to school and they tell you they are in the afternoon shift. When you get them in the afternoon they tell you they had attended the morning shift. We pass by them all the time and claim we are fighting child labour. It is happening right under our noses.
Mr. Speaker, go to the university campuses, we have these children who polish our shoes, who do odd jobs for us. We leave them behind, get back to platforms and condemn child labour whilst we are supporting child labour.
Mr. Speaker, one very traumatic thing that I have seen is with the school system. These days, most of the children in the
primary schools and the junior secondary schools are very, very young. Yet, in the rural areas, we see these children being sent to the bush to cut bamboo trees, to weed farms. You will see a child holding a hoe that is taller than him, going to farm.
These are obvious cases of child labour. And so whilst we are looking at the big ones, Mr. Speaker, I would want to draw attention to these little ones that culminate in bigger problems. Obviously, we encourage some of them.
To the effect that the Volta Region being the most endemic, if I should use that expression, in child labour terms as per the statistics, well, I would not fault the statistics but I think most of the children involved are transported from other regions.
Quite recently, it was on the news that a number of them were transported from Winneba which is in the Central Region. The destination was the Volta Region, and it must be curbed. I would therefore wish to appeal to the hon. Minister to involve Members of Parliament from the Volta Region, especially those along the Volta Lake, in the formulation of a plan that will eradicate the involvement of children in fishing. But the others, like the househelps, those at the university campuses -- it is you and me -- those of us who see them and use them -- who should try to curb that.
Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity and I support the Statement.
Mr. A. K. Mensah (NPP -- Abura- Asebu-Kwamankese) 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this Statement on the floor of the House. In fact, this type of child labour is becoming chronic in our society, to be specific, in the Ghanaian society. But what is lacking is that parents themselves give a whole lot of excuses -- For instance, they say they have no money with which
Mr. A. K. Mensah (NPP -- Abura- Asebu-Kwamankese) 11:20 a.m.

to educate their children.

Therefore, the option is to see to it that they become breadwinners at such tender ages. This excuse or argument is not all that tenable in the sense that there should be what we call a total commitment on the part of the parents themselves.

It is against this background, trying to do away with this child labour that this Government has put in place this School Feeding Programme and the Capitation Grant so that the children who would have engaged themselves in such child labour are now found in the schools -- [Hear! Hear!] -- So it is highly commendable on the part of the Government that it is embarking upon this project.

Once again, apart from the total commitment that the parents themselves should wield -- desisting from sending their children on to the streets to be breadwinners by engaging in such child labour -- there should also be proper education by the Ministry. The Ministry should do so in conjunction with, maybe, the Non-Formal Education Division so that education would go down to the people at the grass roots and they will be educated also to desist from that.

Another point is that we should not

misconstrue this attitude to mean a different thing altogether because as children, occasionally and at the weekends we should help our parents. But we should not misconstrue children in the coastal areas and in farming areas helping their parents at weekends to mean child labour. When children help their parents, we wash away the dirty linen of laziness among them.

Some of us come from the coastal areas and when we were children we helped our
Mr. A. K. Mensah (NPP -- Abura- Asebu-Kwamankese) 11:20 a.m.

parents by going on fishing expeditions whenever we were on vacation. At the same time, we were able to school and then come to this far.

So there must be a total commitment on the part of the parents so that we erase that action of sending the children on the streets to engage in child labour. There should be total commitment, and at the same time education must be emphasized so that they will desist from it. Again some parents may send their children to help them in their businesses during weekends to help eradicate laziness among them.

Mr. Speaker, with these few comments, I associate myself with the Statement.
Mrs. Juliana Azumah-Mensah (NDC -- Ho East) 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this very important Statement made by the hon. Deputy Minister. Mr. Speaker, as we all know, child labour is on the increase although Ghana was the first country to ratify the protocol on child rights. But I believe it is not yet ready to ratify the ILO Convention 138 in which they have to stipulate the age of the child, which tells us whether it is child labour or not.

Mr. Speaker, my own region, the Volta

Region is supposed to be topping all the regions for child trafficking and child labour. But my Friend, hon. Amenowode did say most of these children are coming from other regions to places like the Volta Lake for fishing activities.

Mr. Speaker, we know the underlying causes of child labour is definitely the poverty that we are all wallowing in. That is the underlying cause and therefore we must prevent poverty. Honestly, sometimes one wonders how come we do not place our priorities right by using

our meagre resources in areas whereby we can divert these resources to help people to come out of poverty.

It is not an easy thing for a mother to let go of her child to become a labourer on a farm or fishing. We all know the reasons why the mothers do this; it is because they cannot feed all the children. If they have five children then two of them must be sold out or something like that, to pay for the others even though they know that they are highly exploited.

Mr. Speaker, it is also important to

resource our women who are mostly the people affected by this phenomenon. I believe if we divert resources to give loans to our women, I am sure a mother will not let go of her child easily to be engaged in child labour. A lot of the reasons have been mentioned already. I would like to also stress the point that we as a nation must make sure that there are laws that deal with the irresponsible fathers we have.

A lot of households now are being headed by women. And where are these fathers who at the beginning enjoy whatever it takes to bring these children into the world, and then when the time for responsibility comes they disappear and leave the children on the shoulders of the mothers? I believe we must have laws to bring to book these irresponsible fathers so that when they ran away, they would be brought back to look after their children properly.

Minister for Women and Children's

Affairs (Hajia Alima Mahama): Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the Statement on the floor and I am happy about the hon. Member for Ho East's Statement. In fact, I share her view on the issues that she has raised and I am also going to mention some of them.

Mr. Speaker, indeed, there is child

labour, there is child trafficking and there is child-prostitution. We have not closed our eyes to these. There are legislations to deal with issues of child labour, child trafficking and all the other issues related to that. However, we also have a problem with enforcement and implementation.

The other issue associated with these

new areas that are coming into the language of Ghanaians, “selling children”, “slavery”, sometimes we have to look at them in relation to the arrangement in our life patterns and at the household level. I agree that we have this pertinent problem. However, the fact is that within our socio- cultural system, parents could give their children up to be fostered by relatives. Within our socio-cultural system, one could give one's child up to anybody who is not one's relative to work with. Sometimes they will give them something, sometimes they will not.

So when we start using the word “slavery” -- I personally refuse to use the words, “sold her child”. I refuse to use those words and I refuse to use the word “slavery”. Yes, they send the children out and at the end of the day it is the children who suffer -- sometimes they die, they are not well fed and they are not put in school. But again, there are certain issues that we need to look at. As our economy grows, we need to look at social services and I am glad that a social protection strategy is being put in place for us to address some of these issues.

Every year we bring our budget here

for approval; how much is put into the agencies that are supposed to respond to challenges of child trafficking, challenges of child labour, challenges of child prostitution? I admit we are moving from HIPC status but we do not have the

resources. And definitely now with the energy crisis, one would not expect that all the money would go into these institutions.

We should respond to issues of energy, it is a priority. But we should begin to increasingly put resources in these institutions that exist. Yes, people call me on radio and say there are children on the street and I ask them, if I go and pick the children on the street, where am I going to send them to? Am I going to pick them to my house? I do not have accommodation for them, I cannot take them to my house.

On the other hand, if you go to the Department of Social Welfare, if you go to the children's homes, they will also say, “Madam Minister, we are ready to accept the children but you have to provide for their upkeep -- you have to provide food, you have to provide for their welfare, you have to provide school uniforms”. These are pertinent issues that we need to deal with.

I am happy that we have found oil and the resources that will come from the oil, it is my hope -- I believe so, because the Government has started taking steps, as was said by the hon. Member who made the Statement, to respond to some of these issues on children. So with more resources coming in we need to divert resources to institutions that deal with social services to support the children.

We just finished the consultative group

meeting and money was discussed -- putting money in different areas, putting money in the sectors. And our donor partners are even eager to brand us as a trafficking country. They are eager to brand us as countries that are engaged in child labour.

I want to know what percentage of their resources they would want to put in to

come out with specific programmes with the social service institutions to support this. It is not enough to go and put up the Oprah Winfrey Show or to go and grade Ghana as tier one, tier two or tier three. They should support us with the resources to do that.

Mothers are very critical in this regard.

Of course, for a mother who bears the child for nine months to look at the child and say, “Take my child away” -- We should know it is not a question of the mother hating the child or the mother not loving the child; there must be something more to it. So when we talk about the empowerment of women, we talk about gender equality, child trafficking, child labour, all have a bearing on this. We need to ensure that we support issues of women empowerment and in all our MDAs we need to mainstream these issues.

It is not just Ministry of Manpower, or Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs -- we need to mainstream them and put resources on them and ensure that we support our mothers to take care of our children.

The fathers -- I would also ask the question: where are the fathers? The responsibilities are always placed on the women. A woman with five children and the husband has run away and meanwhile -- [Interruption.] Where are the men? They always leave the women to take care of the responsibilities; the men are always out of coverage area. When you are looking for the men they are not there. Go to the Neonatal Centre at Korle-Bu; children are lying there with their mothers.

Our men should do more than they

are doing to support the women. And we

should take them on; we should not be pointing fingers at the women, we should be pointing fingers at the men. When they go around, the men are not even there to be interviewed; it is the women they go to interview. And the women would say, “Oh, I gave my child out”. How much were you given? “I was given a hundred thousand cedis”. We cannot even get the men to interview them.

The media ought to go after the men, get the men to interview them because they are the ones who have the resources. They have the land, they have control and access over all these resources and they are not prepared to share it with the women, for the women to utilize the resources to provide the support, feed their children and take care of them.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to also use this opportunity to call on the House -- All these issues that we are talking about -- child trafficking, child labour, child prostitution - And I will also be the first to say that it is not only in the Volta Region, it is all over the country. You go all over the country and there is an aspect of this.

I would like to encourage all of us to

engage in sensitization. The hon. Minister has been leading in this regard. They always ask me: where is the enforcement? You have not prosecuted them; and I say my indicators are not the number of people who are prosecuted for child labour or child trafficking; my indicators are the number of women who have the resources to take care of their children and ensure that their children go to school. And we can also achieve this through more sensitization.

We should engage them, support them and hon. Members should use part of our share of the Common Fund to support women in their economic activities. We

have just had¢ 98 million; let us use it to support the women -- [Inter-ruptions] Sorry but whatever amount it is, let us use that to help in the sensitization and to support our women to take care of their children. At least, the women have proven to be more reliable when we come to children issues, and so let us support them.

The Ministry will continue to do its work; we are engaged in the whole country, moving, criss-crossing, sen- sitizing, supporting women, talking to them, pushing for legislation and trying to mobilize resources to support them. But we need all the support in this regard.

Finally, when the 2008 Budget comes before this House -- I know you all care -- let us realign the resources and put more in the sectors that are dealing with these crucial issues. Our children are so important to us and we need to support them.
Mr. Speaker 11:40 a.m.
At the Commencement
of Public Business -- item 5 -- Laying of Papers.
PAPERS 11:40 a.m.

Mr. Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Are you doing so on his
behalf or the Deputy Minister is doing so?
Mr. A. O. Aidooh 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the
Deputy Minister would do that, if he has your permission to do that.
Mr. Speaker 11:40 a.m.
All right, Deputy
Minister for Energy.
Deputy Minister for Energy (Mr. K.
T. Hammond) Mr. Speaker, in view of some development, if the House would be kind enough to grant us leave, we would be glad to withdraw the Bill that was laid and subsequently debated by the Committee. Mr. Speaker, we would subsequently lay the one that we would want the House to consider.
Mr. Speaker 11:40 a.m.
All right.
Mr. A. O. Aidooh 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, do I
understand that the new one has been laid by the Minister?
Mr. Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Yes. Right, thank you for
that. Let us move on to item 8 -- Motion -- Chairman of the Committee --

MOTIONS 11:40 a.m.

Chairman of the Committee (Nii Adu Daku Mante) 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, that this honourable House adopts the Report of the Joint Committee on Finance and Mines and Energy on the Credit Agreement between the Government of Ghana and Fortis Bank of The Nether-lands for an amount of nine million, eight hundred and ninety-nine thousand, five hundred and eighty-three euros (€9,899,583) for the Self-Help Electrification Project (SHEP-4).
Mr. Speaker, in doing so I crave your
indulgence to present the Report of your Committee.
1.0 Introduction
The Credit Agreement was laid in the House on Tuesday, 12th June 2007 and referred to the Joint Committee on Finance and Mines and Energy for consideration and report in accordance with article 181 of the Constitution and the Standing Orders of the House.
To consider the document the Committee met with the Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, hon. Dr. A. Akoto Osei, Deputy Minister for Energy, hon. K.T. Hammond and officials from both Ministries and reports as follows:
2.0 Background
One of the methods for poverty reduction and growth agenda Ghana is undertaking is the extension of electricity infrastructure to support social infras- tructure, especially in the rural areas and operations of the production sector.
The National Electrification Scheme (NES) was set up to help realize this objective.
The National Electrification Scheme (NES) commenced in 1990 and is aimed at providing electricity to all communities
in the country over a 30-year period. Complementary to the NES is the Self- Help Electrification Programme (SHEP). Under the SHEP policy, communities within 20 km radious of an existing 11/33 kV network and which have provided the requisite Low Voltage (LV) electric poles and have further wired at least one-third (1/3) of the houses are qualified to be connected to the national grid.
So far about 4,000 communities in Ghana have been connected under the NES. Consequently, access to electricity in Ghana has grown from about 15 per cent of the population at the inception of the NES to the current level of over 50 per cent.
3.0 Project Financing
The total cost of the project is estimated at Sixteen million, two hundred and sixty-seven thousand, two hundred and twelve euros (€16,267,212.00). The financing package under the ORET Scheme comprises a loan in the sum of nine million, eight hundred and ninety- nine thousand, five hundred and eighty- three euros (€9,899,583.00) from the Fortis Bank of The Netherlands and a grant component of six million, three hundred
and sixty-seven thousand, six hundred and twenty-nine euros (€6,367,629.00).
4.0 Terms and Conditions of the Credit
The terms and conditions of the credit are as follows:
Contract Amount - - Euro16,267,212.00 (including financing cost of Euro1,685,262.00)
A. Grant Component - - Euro 6,367,629.00 (including 75 per cent of the financing cost)
B. Loan Amount (Facility) - - Euro 9,899,583.00 (including 25 per cent of the financing cost)
Interest Rate - - Euribor+0.5% = (3.76+0.5%=4.26%)
Grace Period -- 2.0 years
Repayment Period -- 10 years
Maturity -- 12 years
Grant Element -- 40.15 per cent.

5.0 Observations

The Committee noted that the facility has a grant element of 40.15 per cent which meets the Government's minimum concessionality requirement of 35 per cent.

The Committee observed that the cost of the project is US$16,267,212 and it includes a financing cost of €1,685,262. Under the financing terms, 62 per cent of the amount would be financed through the supplier's credit agreement amounting to €9,899,583. The grant component would be used to finance the balance which amounts to €6,367,629.

The Committee noted that the implementation of the project would enhance wealth creation by helping to establish cottage industries among others and the creation of employment and support for social services, which includes schools, health posts and so on.

The Committee observed that Phase 4 is expected to cost a total amount of US$350 million and a total of about 2,500 communities are expected to be connected to the national grid.

The Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning informed the Committee that however, funding for the project is inadequate and therefore Government is looking for other alternatives to secure funding for the successful implementation of the project.


Certainly, any facility that seeks to send electricity to our communities is a welcome one and deserves to be supported. But in doing so I have a small problem that has to be addressed by the Ministry of Energy.

Mr. Speaker, in our constituencies when electricity is being extended from one community to the other, sometimes some damage is incurred by farmers and property owners. At the last committee meeting, I raised this issue for the hon. Minister to respond. His response was that there was no policy position on compensation for those who may incur damages as a result of extension of power from one community to the other.

But I just want to take the opportunity to draw the hon. Minister's attention to the provisions of Lands (Statutory Wayleaves) Act, 1963, Act 186 and specifically, section 6 of it which, with your permission, I would want to read for his attention. It reads as follows:

6. Compensation

(1) Where any person suffers a loss or damages as a result of carrying out of a survey under this Act or as a result of installation, construction, inspect ion, maintenance, replacement or removal of a specified work that person is entitled, except where the loss or damage resulted from or arose out of the acts of that person, the servants or the agents, of that person and subject to this section, to compensation of an amount assessed by the Minister in respect of the loss or damage.”

Mr. Speaker, this is a very clear, unambiguous provision that has to be adhered to by the hon. Minister for Energy. I have had complaints upon complaints from our constituents whose farm crops have been destroyed as a result of extending power from one community

to the other, and they have not been paid compensation. It is in this regard that I want to draw attention to this particular provision so that the Ministry would factor in payment of compensation in their programme for the SHEP project.

Question proposed. Deputy Minister for Energy (Mr.

K.T. Hammond): Mr. Speaker, I also rise to contribute to, and to support the motion. Mr. Speaker, it is true that I had this discussion during the course of debate at the committee stage. The section of the Act that the hon. Member has alluded to has a general application to all sorts of situations.

What the Ministry of Energy has had to grapple with is that since the commencement of this particular SHEP project, there has not been a consideration of this matter, whether it is right in the context of the SHEP project to make provision for people who may, in one way or the other, be affected in the course of construction of this facility to their villages.

Mr. Speaker, I suspect the reason has always been that resources for this particular project have not been very big and that the various communities might have to make some sacrifices. What I have observed is that the contractors make as much effort as possible to ensure that damage to farming activities and farming products like cocoa, palm trees are reduced to the barest minimum. It is against this backdrop that I suspect that from 1989 there was no indication as to whether there must be a compensation scheme put in place.

Mr. Speaker, we have been thinking that, maybe, it is about time we came up with some sort of policy. Whatever the meagre resource that we have, something may have to be set aside for payment of compensation.

Some Members noted that SHEP-3 has not been fully completed and yet the SHEP-4 Phase 1 has begun. They also noted that in some communities, installed transformers are yet to be connected whilst other communities are unable to provide the low tension poles necessary for the completion of the final stage of Phase-3. They therefore urge the Ministry of Energy to strive to complete all the programmes under SHEP-3 before moving on to


The Deputy Minister for Energy explained that usually during the last phase of the SHEP-3, some of the communities are unable to procure the low tension poles for power to be connected for them as a result of lack of funds. This he said has contributed to the delays in the completion of some of the projects. He assured the Committee that steps would be put in place to address these concerns but these delays should not affect government programmes con-cerning the rural electrification.

He however encouraged Members to repor t any anomal ies in the implementation of the SHEPs in their various constituencies to the Ministry so that steps can be taken to address them.

Members further requested that the Ministry of Energy should furnish the Committee with a list of beneficiary communities and their districts under the

SHEP programmes that has been approved by the House. The Deputy Minister for Energy assured the Committee that the list would be provided.

The Committee was further informed that all taxes, duties, licence fees, stamps fees and other applicable charges related to the execution of the project and incurred in Ghana, will be borne by the Government of Ghana.

6.0 Conclusion

In view of the socio-economic importance of the facility and the urgency attached to the programme, the Committee respectfully recommends to the House to adopt its report and approve by Resolution, the Credit Agreement between the Republic of Ghana and the Fortis Bank of The Netherlands for an amount totalling nine million, eight hundred and ninety-nine thousand, five hundred and eighty-three euros (€9,899,583) for the Self-Help Electrification Project SHEP- 4 in accordance with article 181 of the Constitution and sections 3 and 7 of the Loans Act, Act 335.
Alhaji Collins Dauda (NDC -- Asutifi South) noon
Mr. Speaker, I rise to second the motion with all my strength and with all my heart.

I have heard the issue from my hon. Friend that on so many occasions -- people complaining and they write letters to -- I may have to tell the House, in certain specific and exceptional cases we made efforts to look for some money to pay certain individuals, depending on the extent of the damage done to their farms. But it may be necessary for the whole House, for all parties, to think about what exactly and what money is to be put aside for this compensatory scheme. I have no objection to it at all.

Mr. Speaker, I support the motion and ask that the House accepts it and gets this money ready for the development of this particular scheme.

Let me just also add that we have said it in this House repeatedly. It is not so much about the Ministry of Energy moving over from one SHEP to the other without completing the other one. That in a sense would not make much sense. It has been the problem of the communities. We finish with the SHEP within the time-frame that we allocated ourselves and then some communities obviously have not been able to provide the requisite low tension poles for their communities.

Mr. Speaker, it becomes a little bit

difficult for the Ministry to be standing still, waiting for the communities to come up with their low tension poles before we move on. In those circumstances we move on with the next phase and when they are ready we go back and sort it out for them.

I have appealed to those who have spoken to me and I take this opportunity, Mr. Speaker, to appeal to the whole House and all Members of Parliament in whose communities these problems exist to please indicate to us -- because sometimes our consultants do not indicate

these problems to us. Do us a favour and let us know where these problems are and we would quickly attend to them.

Mr. Speaker, with these few words I support the motion.
Minority Leader (Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin) noon
Mr. Speaker, I definitely believe that all hon. Members would support this motion because the money would definitely push forward the National Self Help Electrification Project (SHEP).
Mr. Speaker, it is important for
us to emphasize that various District Assemblies should start looking at ways of generating revenue to support some of these community projects. It is important that hon. Members should also in that direction educate their constituents who might have put up some houses to develop the culture of paying rates to the District Assemblies. These are all ways of generating revenues to support such laudable projects.
Mr. Speaker, I have had an experience
in my constituency which I believe other hon. Members might have also experienced. Since 2001 not a single village in my constituency has had the benefit of being linked to the national electricity grid. I think the cheap politics that is now going on, trying to blame hon. Members of Parliament for being the cause of the non-connection of the villages should not be tolerated.
I believe strongly that after hon. Members of Parliament approve this, it is the duty of the Ministry to share it equitably. And if that is not being done, definitely we would be holding the Ministry responsible. It is the case, if the hon. Deputy Minister is not aware, that there is no national programme at the Ministry on the implementation
Mr. Speaker noon
Hon. Deputy Minister,
do you have a point of order?
Mr. Hammond noon
Yes, Mr. Speaker. The
hon. Minority Leader made a factually inaccurate statement that there is no policy on fair, effective implementation of this facility in the country. Mr. Speaker, that is not correct. The emphasis of the Self-Help Electrification Project is on the self-help.
Mr. Speaker, the communit ies themselves apply to satisfy the qualification criteria, and if they do not indicate that they have in place the requisite materials and facilities that we require from their end, as a quid pro quo, then there is a problem. There is a level at which the Ministry enters. That has been the system that was put in place from as far back as 1989 which we are continuing up till now. So I take very strong exception to the suggestion that there is no policy and indeed something about cheap politicking and whatever. Mr. Speaker, that is not true.
Mr. Bagbin noon
Mr. Speaker, I cross-
checked on this and I repeat that there is no national programme of implementation. I cross-checked on it and I cross-checked from the hon. Minister himself.
Mr. Speaker, since 2000, for example, a number of communities that have acquired the poles have been supplied with the pylons but as at today they are not connected at all. The initial complaint was on the quality of the poles but the poles were later on supplied around 2002 and up-to-date they have not yet been
erected. The things are all available but the contractors are complaining that they have not been paid and that is why up-to- date they have not done much work in those communities.
Mr. Speaker, I am simply drawing the attention of the hon. Minister and the Ministry to the fact that they have to take a second look at the implementation of the programme. They should not just depend on the report that it is because some communities are not able to acquire the poles. That is untrue. I am saying this on record, and the hon. Minister can cross- check on that.
I think it is important that monitoring and supervision of the implementation of the project be enhanced and that hon. Members be brought on board to inform the Ministry and, in fact, assist the Ministry to make sure that they rationalize the implementation of the programme.
Let me end, Mr. Speaker, by saying
that, it is important, absolutely crucial, for us to also put in place a programme to protect that national resource that is invested in the communities. We are witnessing the burning down of some of these poles; we are witnessing rampant theft of even the pylons; and recently in the newspapers we saw one of the alleged culprits seriously burnt by some of the electrical wires.
Mr. Speaker, I think it is important that various District Assemblies put some mechanisms in place to make sure that they protect this national resource. It is not prudent for us to spend so much money, especially credit facilities from develo-pment partners and just watch them go waste.
I have seen a lot of these poles piled

up at places and burnt by bushfires, and having to be replaced. I have seen a lot of the pylons, stored at places, being stolen by thieves. Some have been prosecuted and some managed to bolt away. Mr. Speaker, I think the call on the District Assemblies and the various communities to protect this national resource is well placed and should be encouraged by the Ministry.

It is with this, Mr. Speaker, that I support the motion.
Mr. Joe Danquah (NPP -- Tain) 12:10 p.m.
Speaker, I also rise to support the motion before the House and by so doing I wish to commend the Committee for a good work done.
Mr. Speaker, for me since 2001 up to
today, 17 communities in my district alone have benefited from this electrification project -- [Interruption.] Mr. Speaker, I wish to add that before then only two communities in my district had benefited from the electrification project and I wish to make some few observations.

One, Mr. Speaker, under the SHEP

communities are supposed to provide low voltage (LV) poles. Mr. Speaker, you would agree with me that SHEP usually goes to rural areas and the rural dwellers do not have enough funds. At times you go round and realize that communities just cannot provide the LV poles. On the other hand, their counterparts in the cities do not provide any low tension poles at all; meanwhile these rural dwellers provide the food that we eat. They provide the cash crops that we export.

Even the loan that we are now going to approve, these rural dwellers are going to provide the cash crop for us to repay. So how come that these rural dwellers have to provide LV poles before they are connected to the national grid, whereas

their counterparts in the cities do not provide anything at all but electricity is provided for them?

Mr. Speaker, I want to call on the Ministry to review this policy so that rural dwellers also benefit from the project without paying anything like their counterparts in the cities.

Mr. Speaker, I want to look at the award of contracts. Mr. Speaker, contracts are awarded in Accra; they are awarded by the Ministry. I do not have any problem with that. But my problem is that the Ministry does not involve major stakeholders in the implementation of the project, especially the beneficiary District Assemblies; they are not involved. They do not even know who and who are doing what in the districts.

All that we see is that contractors move to the districts and they start planting their poles and they start connecting. The Assemblies do not even know the terms of the contract so they cannot even monitor; so it is with the Members of Parliament from these areas. We do not know how the contracts are awarded. We do not know the terms of the contracts and therefore we cannot monitor.
Mr. K. T. Hammond 12:10 p.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, again, the hon. Member makes a factually inaccurate statement in this House. Mr. Speaker, it is not true. Anytime we have awarded a contract -- There is a list of contractors who are very capable, some of whom we have inherited for many years. They have the proven track record of doing the rural electrification project and so we tend to rely on those contractors.
Mr. Speaker, anytime we have had to do these, the District Chief Executives and the District Assemblies have been involved in it. We have informed them that these
contractors are coming to the spot and indeed some of the materials sometimes are sent to the District Assemblies and then to the chiefs of the various communities. I do not know what the hon. Member is talking about.
Mr. Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon. Member for Tain, please conclude.
Mr. J. Danquah 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, for the information of the hon. Deputy Minister for Energy, I was the District Chief Executive for four years and I know what I am talking about. No letter was sent to me throughout the four years that I stayed in office. Mr. Speaker, I think that the hon. Member should take this seriously and communicate it to the Ministry so that they change the way this electrification project is being done in the country.
Mr. Speaker, as I said, hon. Members of Parliament would not know how the contracts are awarded or what is entailed in the contracts and therefore we find it very difficult to monitor. At times one even visits a project site and the contractor asks you, ‘who are you?' Mr. Speaker, it is a serious thing. I am just calling on the Ministry to look at the process of award and the management of those contracts. At least, there should be some sort of decentralization so that all of us would be involved -- the RCC, the MPs, the District Assemblies -- so that we can monitor and ensure quality work.
Mr. Speaker, one other important area I want to look at is the way we supply the electric materials. Mr. Speaker, these materials are just handed over to the contractors in Accra. They have to cart the items from Accra to their project sites, and anything at all can happen on the way. Some of them actually divert some of the items. Some of them even sell the items
Mr. Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon. Member, are you concluding?
Mr. J. Danquah 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, let me conclude. I just want to echo what the hon. Minority Leader has said that we should be vigilant and we should be monitoring the way these contractors perform so that the money we are going to approve today will not go into people's pockets.
Question put and motion agreed to.
RESOLUTION 12:10 p.m.


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

Mr. Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Hon. Members, at this stage we will suspend the Sitting of the House for ten minutes only.
The Sitting was suspended at 12.17 p.m.

Sitting resumed.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Members, Sitting is brought to order. We will continue with item number 10 on the Order Paper, that is, continuation of the debate on the Private Member's Motion.
Mr. A. O. Aidooh 12:55 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, we thank you for your indulgence in allowing us to have a meeting a short while ago. I have the impression that following that meeting, hon. Members want to go and do some reflection on the issues discussed. It appears that hon. Members are more disposed to have an adjournment, unfortunately, at this stage. That is what I gather from our hon. Colleagues on both sides of the House.
Therefore, if you may permit us, I would want to move at this stage that you adjourn proceedings and continue tomorrow morning at ten o'clock.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Is that the consensus, that you want proceedings adjourned till tomorrow?
Mr. Adjaho 12:55 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, that is so.
Looking at the situation now, I think that that is the mood. So we can continue tomorrow.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Very well.
If that is the general consensus, I will want to be advised again. Since you are on your feet, could you advise me as to what to do immediately?
Mr. A. O. Aidooh 12:55 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg
to move for adjournment.
Mr. Adjaho 12:55 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to second the motion.
Question put and motion agreed to.
ADJOURNMENT 12:55 p.m.