Debates of 26 Jul 2007

PRAYERS 10:30 a.m.


Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Correction of Votes and Proceedings, and if the Official Report is available to hon. Members, we would do the correction there also. Pages 1 . . . 25. [No correction was made in the “Votes and Pro-ceedings”.]
There being no corrections, the Votes and Proceedings of the Forty-First Sitting of the Second Meeting of Parliament dated Wednesday, 25th July, 2007 is taken as a true record of the proceedings of the House. For a consistently long period now, we have not recorded any errors and that means the Clerk and his staff are very diligent in seeing to the recording of the proceedings of the House. They should keep up the good job.
Mr. Abraham Ossei Aidooh 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to propose that we move to item 5, Laying of Papers.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 10:30 a.m.
So we would stand down Question time for now and also stand down Statements and move to Commencement of Public Business.
Laying of Papers, hon. Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, item 5 (a)?
Mr. A. O. Aidooh 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, may we have the hon. Minister for the Interior to lay the Paper on behalf of the hon. Minister for Finance and Economic Planning.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon. Minister for the Interior, you are permitted to lay the Paper on behalf of the hon. Minister for Finance and Economic Planning.
PAPERS 10:30 a.m.

Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon. Deputy Majority Leader, do we proceed to motion number 6?
Mr. Aidooh 10:30 a.m.
No, sir. We go to Questions.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Very well. Now, we come back to item 3, Questions.
Is the hon. Minister for Health available?
Mr. A. O. Aidooh 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, he is not and we beg that you allow his Deputy to act on his behalf.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 10:30 a.m.
well, hon. Deputy Minister for Health, you may get ready to take the Questions.
Hon. Member for Hohoe South, Mr. J. Z. Amenowode, please ask your Question.


Mr. Amenowode 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, un-fortunately, the hon. Minister 's Answer basically is a definition of what psychotherapy is; it is not an answer to my Question. However, in his definition, he stated and I quote: “. . . interpersonal
relational intervention used by trained psychotherapists to aid clients . . .”
That was his answer and I am emphasizing, “used by trained psychotherapists”. He stated that it is an integral part of our medical practice in Ghana and indeed, that medical psychologists in our psychiatric hospitals are using it. I just want to know if by this, the hon. Minister is implying that medical psychologists are indeed trained psychotherapists who are qualified to offer these services.
Mr. Owusu-Agyei 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member's Question was to ask the Minister for Health if he would consider the introduction of psychotherapy into the health care delivery system. The first part of the Question was just to give a definition of what psychotherapy means, and we are saying that it is being practised already in Ghana in our psychiatric hospitals.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon. Minister, your answer says it is being practised by psychologists and the hon. Member is asking whether these psychologists are trained as you have indicated in the case of the psychotherapists. That is what he wants to be clarified.
Mr. Owusu-Agyei 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the definition given to me and the briefing given to me means that trained psychologists in the mental hospitals also have some grounding in psychotherapy, which means if we happen to have adequate numbers of them in our health delivery system, we shall be able to emphasise that in all the health facilities, particularly the psychiatric hospitals.
Mr. Amenowode 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, medical psychologists are not psychotherapists. I just want to say that before I go on. Empirical studies have shown that 90 per cent of all Out-Patients Department (OPD) attendances in hospitals are
Mr. Owusu-Agyei 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, there is merit in considering it if it is worthwhile and we have the personnel available.
Mr. Amenowode 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am sure we do not have the personnel now. But Mr. Speaker, I would want to inform the hon. Minister and his Ministry that currently in Ghana, the University of Education, Winneba, and the Art Education Department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) have a modality of psychotherapy which uses the creative, expressive as a technique which is recognized and practised in the United States of America and Europe.
I would want to ask the hon. Minister if he would consider liaising with these institutions to produce at least some few for experimental use in our hospitals.
Mr. Owusu-Agyei 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, thanks very much for the information given me by my hon. Colleague. If he is saying that these institutions are producing that calibre of personnel, I do not see the reason why we should not take advantage of that. Already the two universities, University of Ghana, Legon, and KNUST are offering certain courses which are
relevant to our Ministry and those courses are funded by the Ministry, that is, we give a lot of support.
So if he is telling us that this particular discipline is also available in the University of Education, Winneba, and KNUST, there is no reason why we should not go in and offer the necessary support. Probably, we may have to provide additional funding to these institutions so that we can train a few more for use in our health facilities.
Mr. G. K. B. Gbediame 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in view of the statistics that my hon. Colleague who asked the Question brought up, I want to know from the hon. Minister if he would consider it as a matter of urgency to specially sponsor students to offer these courses in order that they can be deployed to our various hospitals to attend to this large number of patients.
Mr. Owusu-Agyei 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, we would consider that as a matter of urgency so that we can train them. Already, we have several of these courses, as I have already indicated. So we would consider it as a matter of urgency.
New Edubiase Hospital (Transformer)
Q. 1053. Mr. Ernest Kofi Yakah asked the Minister for Health what efforts the Ministry was making to provide New Edubiase Hospital with a transformer to enable the hospital mortuary operate effectively.
Mr. Owusu-Agyei 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the
New Edubiase Hospital was among three others including Nkwanta in the Volta Region, Bimbilla in the Northern Region and Juabeso in the Western Region whose construction was funded by the OPEC Fund. The Ministry realized the need for a dedicated electrical supply system to the hospitals to enable all the equipment installed function optimally, including the
Currently, the procurement procedures for the transformers have begun and, in collaboration with the Electricity Company of Ghana, hopefully, these transformers would be installed before the end of the year.
Mr. Yakah 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if he is aware that in the absence of the transformer, the morgue is not functioning as expected.
Mr. Owusu-Agyei 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am aware that without the transformer, a morgue cannot function, but there are several cases where we, the hon. Members of Parliament (MPs) or the District Assemblies come in to assist. I would give him an example of my own constituency. He might have heard of that major accident which occurred around Winneba Roundabout which claimed forty-one lives.
At that particular moment, I got to know that even though the hospital had modern mortuary equipment, the generating machine had broken down. I immediately, by telephone, gave instructions that they should have it repaired and I would pay from my Common Fund. So if the morgue is there and the MP is there and the District Assembly is there, I do not know the reason why we cannot collaborate to get the generating machine repaired to put the morgue to use.
Mr. Yakah 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that hopefully, this transformer will be installed before the end of the year. Would he please give me a specific date?
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Member, I hope you have also taken on board the advice he has given, that you have a role to play, and the District Assembly has a role to play. I hope you have taken that on board.
Mr. Owusu-Agyei 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it is not possible to give him a specific date; but I said by the end of the year.
Mr. S. M. E. K. Ackah 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister is talking about procurement procedures and at the same time saying that hopefully by the end of the year they would do the instalment. Have the transformers arrived, and if not, when does he expect the transformers to arrive?
Mr. Owusu-Agyei 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I will have to find out whether the transformers have arrived, but the fact is that they would have to go through the procurement procedures before they procure; and the indication given as to the time frame suggests that the transformers may arrive before the year ends.
Mr. A.W.G Abayateye 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the Minister's Answer he said he assisted the Winneba one by instruction to get the generator repaired. The New Edubiase area has a district hospital and I would like to find out from him whether the assistance of the hon. Member of Parliament can meet the procurement of a generator.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon. Member, I would disallow the question. The hon. Minister talked about the collaboration of the hon. Member of Parliament with the District Assembly. Let us encourage some initiative.
Mr. Gbediame 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the Answer, the hon. Minister mentioned Nkwanta Hospital together with Bimbilla and Juabeso. May I know from the hon. Minister whether the answer he has given

in relation to that of New Edubiase is applicable to all the other hospitals since they were all funded from the same source.
Mr. Owusu-Agyei 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think so. Unfortunately, I have not been there recently and so I do not know what the situation is. But it must be applicable to them because they were funded by the same OPEC Fund.
Mr. C. S. Hodogbey 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I believe before the procurement or before the OPEC Fund, the estimates that had been made included procurement of a transformer to ensure that the hospital functions effectively. What has happened since the hospital was built with the transformer not being part of its operating system?
Mr. Owusu-Agyei 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the fact is that there normally happens to be cost escalation in project implementation. So even though the transformer might have been budgeted for, as part of the cost of the project, cost escalation -- I know that it really occurred, might have led to certain components of the project not being computed at the time. So that may be the reason why the transformers were not procured at the time that the project was being undertaken.
Tanoso Health Centre (Upgrading)
Q. 1074. Mr. Simons Addai asked the Minister for Health what plans the Ministry had to upgrade the Tanoso Health Centre.
Mr. Owusu-Agyei 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Ministry has criteria that guide the upgrading of health facilities. It includes, among others, proximity to a bigger health facility, patient-attendant ratio and the population size. The Tanoso Health
Centre currently needs no upgrading because even though the town has about 15 communities with a population of about 21,544 people, daily attendance at the health centre is just about 35 out-patients.
This may be due to the fact that there is a mission hospital in Techiman, the district capital, which is only 10 km away from the Tanoso township. There is also a government polyclinic in Techiman which serves the populace.
The Tanoso Health Centre currently has 12 permanent staff including critical staff comprising a medical assistant, two midwives, and community health nurses. There is a five-bed recovery ward as well as a maternity ward of 10 beds complement.
The Ministry therefore has no plans to upgrade the health centre as it may not be necessary. However, the Municipal Health Directorate has plans in the immediate future to upgrade the diagnostic services by constructing and equipping a laboratory.
Mr. Addai 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, may I know from the hon. Minister whether the directive to acquire land for such upgrading as far back as 2003 came from the Ministry or it did not come from the Ministry.
Mr. Owusu-Agyei 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I do not know about that fact, I would have to find out and then provide the answer at the appropriate time.
Mr. Abayateye 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the Answer provided by the hon. Minister, he said daily attendance at the health centre is just about 35 out-patients. It is by God's grace that at this material time, the people do not fall sick. Are we using the sickness or the attendance of people at hospitals to call for upgrading?
Mr. Owusu-Agyei 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, we are not using that as a criterion though that happens to be one of the criteria, anyway. But the fact is that where you have daily attendance not so large in a particular health facility, the cost of expansion could have been used in spreading the facility to other places so that health service delivery would be made accessible to everybody.
That is better than concentrating on where the attendance is not so large; and that concentration or any further expansion would not necessarily increase attendance. It would be a bit more prudent to rather send additional facility to where the facility is not available at all. So I want to assure my hon. Colleague that the decline in the daily attendance is not the criterion for not upgrading that particular facility.

Wechiau Health Centre (Upgrading)

Q. 1086. Mr. Joseph Yieleh Chireh asked the Minister for Health what plans the Ministry had to upgrade the Wechiau Health Centre into a district hospital.
Mr. Owusu-Agyei 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Ministry is very much aware of the fact that Wechiau is a district capital and the Wechiau Health Centre needs to be upgraded in line with our policy to provide at least one district hospital in every district. However, due to financial constraints, such upgrading plans are being done in phases and therefore funds for the upgrade of the Wechiau Health Centre will be captured in the Ministry's 2009 budget.
Mr. Chireh 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has indicated that in the 2009 budget, money would be voted for
the start of the programme. I want to find out whether they have any designs on the project.
Mr. Owusu-Agyei 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to assure my hon. Colleague that we have stereotypes, that is standardised designs for health posts and health centres. So where the design already existing can fit into a particular topography, it is cheaper for Government to do that.
Mr. Chireh 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, my second
supplementation question is to ask the hon. Deputy Minister the source of funding for this project.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon. Member, the hon. Deputy Minister says it is from the Ministry's budget.
Mr. Chireh 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, even though he said “from the Ministry's budget”, many projects are undertaken by specific organizations, as you would see from the previous answers that he gave; one was OPEC. I want to know the source of the funding. Is it only the Ghana Government or some other donor agency is involved?
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon. Member, I disallow the question. You may ask the next supplementary.
Mr. Chireh 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, is it an assurance to this House that, indeed, when we are considering the budget next year, Wechiau Health Centre would be there to be upgraded to a hospital?
Mr. Owusu-Agyei 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I did not say next year; I said 2009, because the preparation of the 2008 budget is already in progress. Very soon, we should be asked to submit our draft budgets to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. That is why we are saying that that project would be considered in the 2009 budget.
Mr. Chireh 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, he is talking about 2009. With the current way we are preparing budgets, that budget has to be in next year, which is 2008, so that it has to be approved for implementation in 2009. Do I have that understanding from him?
Mr. Owusu-Agyei 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, what I meant was that preparation would be made next year, but it would be reflected in the 2009 budget. Normally, budget is prepared one year ahead. So when the budget is prepared in 2008, it would be reflected but the implementation would be in 2009.
Adabokrom Health Post (Completion)
Q. 1096. Mr. Michael C. Boampong asked the Minister for Health when the health post under construction at Adabokrom in the Bia constituency would be completed.
Mr. Owusu-Agyei 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, construction works on the Adabokrom Health Centre has slowed down because of lack of funds. A budgetary provision for its completion would be made in the 2008 Ministry of Health budget.
Mr. Boampong 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in his Answer he mentioned lack of funds. I want to know from the hon. Deputy Minister, whether this project was not budgeted sufficiently for, before it was awarded.
Mr. Owusu-Agyei 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the project was sufficiently budgeted for, but as I said, there are several factors which may lead to any project running out of funds. In the first place, price escalation could easily lead to running out of funds for a particular project. Secondly, changes in the design, the topography of the area could easily lead to cost escalation. The delays in implementation also would lead
to increasing cost. So there are several reasons why the project has not been completed.
Then also, I would tell the hon. Member that if a project is programmed to be completed within a certain time- frame, assuming that the project is to be completed in two years, a certain percentage of the funding is provided within the first year and then another component within the second year. So I have to find out the details as to what actually happened that we ran out of funds, and then I would let him know.
Mr. Boampong 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to know from the hon. Deputy Minister the percentage of work done so far.
Mr. Owusu-Agyei 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, we had this information at the regional level and at the time that I had this draft Answer, I did not have that information. I am sure it would be available at the Ghana Health Service headquarters and I can get that for him.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 11 a.m.
Thank you, hon. Minister, for attending upon the House to answer Questions. You are discharged.
Hon. Members, I have a couple of
Statements and owing to the volume of work, I would require only few comments on these Statements. The first would be made by the hon. Member for Tamale North and the Ranking Member for Defence and Interior Committee.

Mr. Kojo Armah (CPP -- Evalue Gwira) 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to associate myself with the Statement made by my hon. Friend on the other side.
Crime has been part of mankind since the beginning of creation. What is important is how to deal with the crime to make society safe. All over the world, we have institutions established by the state that deal with crime, cases like murder, et cetera. The main focus institution that deals with crime is the police, which goes without saying that the police ought to be equipped both in terms of their human capacity and logistics to be able to deal with crime.
But the police alone cannot deal with crime, without the co-operation of society. It is in this vein that I think the congratulatory word given to those young men at the “washing bay” who reported the blood-stained car to the police must be endorsed.
Most of the time when such incidents happen -- murder, kidnappings and stealing -- we as a people stand by and think that by some magic, the police must be able to know where these criminals are hiding. It does not happen that way. If the society does not co-operate with the police, if tip-offs are not given, if leads are not given to the police and other related agencies, very little can be done to control crime in the society.
Sometimes, I feel a little embarrassed when anytime there is crime, but the next
day the whole media, especially radio start attacking the police for not arresting the criminals just 24 hours after the crime has been committed. Those who commit these heinous crimes like murder, target killing, as we are beginning to know, plan their acts very carefully; and at the time they are planning, the police would not be there.
So they plan and they execute it in a certain manner that it is only a post facto event; it is only after the crime has been committed that the police get to know and by that time, the perpetrators are so many miles away from the scene of crime.
It is at that point that people who saw the car, noticed the car number, noticed the car colour, noticed the height and description of the people could give such little, little leads; and investigations take time. Therefore I want to appeal to the media to be a little patient with the police and understand the nature of investigations so that they can give adequate accommodation to the police to be able to investigate their matters to their core.
We must congratulate the police; they are doing the best they can. Some arrests are made and when these are made, the same radio stations that castigated the police in the first place do not come back to thank them for what they have done. I am not saying that they are 100 per cent up to the task; but investigations take time and they need to be supported and encouraged to do the best they can in the current circumstances to track down these perpetrators.
As a country, all of us must know the implications of such crimes on our national psyche, on investment opportunities and indeed, on the safety of our people, whether we can go about our businesses even in the night as we did before. I remember a former Vice-President of
Nigeria was in this country and he was amazed that at 1.00 a.m. he could move from Golden Tulip Hotel to his residence because he said that in his country, one could not do that.
But if we are slipping down the line and even under broad daylight, say 6 a.m., people are brought out of their houses and shot, it becomes a very serious matter. My point is that, whatever it is, it takes the society and the police to bring down the crime rate and I think we need to let this one go to the public that we must all help.
The community policing concept must be perfected. It should be shifted from the current argument of political police, and things like that, and the people trained in the actual mechanics of detecting suspicious characters around residences, fast-moving vehicles in areas they should not be. Sometimes, even noticing car numbers is also part of the process that can be used in dealing with investigation and bringing down crime.
I believe the Statement is important and it calls on all of us to assist the police and other related agencies in combating crime.
Mr. J. K. Gidisu (NDC -- Central Tongu) 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am equally pleased to get associated with the Statement on floor this morning. I think if there is any agitation among the populace these days, it is first and foremost security -- security in the homes, streets and at the workplaces; everywhere. This is because the latest spate of killing people at very odd hours of the day undermines the Ghanaian spirit and for that matter the Ghanaian attitude towards life.
The value for life has been one of the fundamental ethics within the Ghanaian society. Everywhere in this country,
people value life. That was why since time immemorial, our great-grandfathers had very strong resentment for any type of killing within the society be it in the Northern sector, the Akan society or the Ewe areas.
For that matter, it behoves people in authority to take very serious measures to address the killing of one another by citizens or people from any community. However, it is a very bad signal from any society where people who perpetuate these heinous crimes go unarrested, undetected; it gives room to others to take advantage of the situation.
Mr. Kofi Frimpong 11:20 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, he is creating the impression that this crime started during the era of the NPP. Mr. Speaker, it is never true. The killing of women started during the NDC era. It was during the NDC era that women were killed and massacred. So these things have been going on for a period of time. It is not only within the past six years. So he is misleading the House, and Ghanaians. He is creating the impression that the NPP Government is not in control. But I want to point it out to him that during the NDC era, these things were happening -- women were being killed, and their perpetrators were not arrested. So he should correct himself and go ahead.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Order! Hon. Members, a Statement, you all know, according to our rules, should not
Mr. J. K. Gidisu 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it is most unfortunate for us to be drawing parallel references to situations which we should all expect to be moving forward with. If you look at the pattern of the killings, the hon. Colleague mentioned that before the 2000 election, it was women -- [Interruption] -- But as at now, the pattern has changed -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon. Member, I have given advice. I am sure you have important contribution to make; you can make that without veering into controversial areas that will provoke debate. Can you please go on and leave that aspect?
Mr. J. K. Gidisu 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the fun- damental point I am making is that there is the need for us as a country and for that matter, people in authority to take control with regard to the execution of Ghanaians under very mysterious circumstances. The fact that these people who commit these crimes have never been arrested and brought to book gives the same urge to others with similar intentions. And this is really multiplying in the society. Mr. Speaker, if there is anytime ever in this country where the security apparatus had been strengthened in a way either directly or indirectly, it is during this regime era and, for that reason, one expects more from our security agencies.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon. Member, you are not taking the caution. The maker of the Statement has addressed a national issue without making the Statement controversial as to provoke debate. In commenting on it, go along
with the same spirit because if you say one thing, somebody would say the other thing.
So please, just address the national issue so that as a nation we all see how we address the problem that confronts us. And as I said, I need very few comments, very brief ones because I am going to take a couple of Statements, and if we drag one on then the others would not have the opportunity. So you may please conclude.
Mr. J. K. Gidisu 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the point I want to stress is that there is the need for our security agencies to be more alert to the situation of crime prevention and crime detection so as to give solace to Ghanaians whose morale has suffered because of these untimely deaths. I want to say that as a country we need to sit up.
The National Security apparatus would have to be more pragmatic in addressing this situation than they have been; hoping that all of us will take the situation seriously and trying to urge whatever organs are at our disposal within our communities to live up to the challenges of the current time.
Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and NEPAD (Mr. Akwasi Osei-Adjei): Mr. Speaker, I want to associate myself with the Statement made by my hon. Friend opposite. Mr. Speaker, crime as has been said, did not start yesterday, it has been with us for quite a long time. But as society grows then we should take steps to address these problems.
Mr. Speaker, here in Ghana, we are not security conscious; it will take a small person to direct you to any person's place. All the person needs to do is to know the car you drive and the colour of your gate. And if anybody wants to see you or come to your place all the person needs to do is
to say, “go to the left, turn right and then go to the black gate and you will find him there”. In many countries, you can never get to a place without being identified -- who you are and what you are going to do.
Mr. Speaker, so I think we need to, as a country, introduce, maybe, crime education or security consciousness in our educational systems. School pupils cannot even identify people that they see in town or in the streets because they do not know what a photofit is all about. People should begin to look at faces and try to isolate or try to recognise the people that they have seen on the streets.
I think television too must play a part, to let people know - to look at faces and identify faces and memorise faces so that we will be able to help the police in curbing these crimes.
Mr. Speaker, again, we need technology. It is not good enough to ask policemen to go to houses or apprehend these criminals. We need to have technologies. Institutions like ours - secondary schools, universities must also have security systems so that you can identify people who go in and out. If we do this, then we can reduce the number of attacks that would come to various homes and in the cities.
Mr. Speaker, with these few words, I would want to associate myself with the maker of the Statement, and I thank him for that.
Mr. A. K. Agbesi (NDC -- Ashaiman) 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to associate myself with the Statement on the floor. Mr. Speaker, as my hon. Colleague said, crime did not start yesterday. People will continue to commit crime. To quote our President:
“Crime like corruption, is as old as Adam.”
And so we shall continue to have it. But the issue is when it is committed, we should be able to identify the culprits. Mr. Speaker, article 13 of the Constitution makes provision for the protection of life: nobody's life must be taken intentionally. But when it is so taken, it behoves us as a nation to do all in our power to get those who are concerned.
Mr. Speaker, it is very unfortunate that when a crime like taking a human being's life is committed, we cannot just find solution to it. As other hon. Members have said, to detect crime, we need the protection, we need the assistance of the police and the public. Nobody can say that the police alone should be able to do so.
Mr. Kofi Frimpong 11:20 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, references to such incidents in the country would not help when we are debating in the House. Yes, it is true but as hon. Kojo Armah said, it does not take only the police to get information about the perpetrators of those crimes. The public will also have to contribute to that.
Mr. Speaker, during the era of the NDC, about 50 women were massacred but nobody was able to arrest a single soul. It is therefore wrong for such references to be made in the House. It does not promote a healthy debate in the House. So he should stop that and as a nation we move ahead.
Mr. Agbesi 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I have made a point that nobody is saying the police alone should be made to find the killers. Public assistance is necessary. I believe that I did not say anything for which my hon. Colleague should come in. But it must be remembered that hon. Odoi Sykes somewhere in 1998 said that when they come to power, the killing of the women would stop.
Lo and behold, when they came to power, the whole thing stopped. What we are saying here toady is that if they were able to stop the killing of the women, then they should be able to find a solution to the killing of people today. I am not saying they did it. I am not alluding to that fact at all.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon. Member for Ashaiman, you should, as I cautioned, veer away from areas that will provoke controversy. The Speaker is sitting in the Chair and he will not be part of the debate but the Speaker was the Minister for the Interior and they have found a way to it. It does not mean the circumstances at the time are available for crimes committed thereafter. So please, just give your valid arguments without veering into controversial areas.
Mr. Agbesi 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, we need
peace to be able to develop. The State needs peace, every citizen needs peace. In fact, this trend is putting a lot of fear into Ghanaians. Mr. Speaker, what do we do? This matter, Mr. Speaker, should not be debated on party lines. It should not be talked about on party lines. It should be taken as a national issue, contributed to by everybody concerned with the safety of this nation so that the peace we are looking
for will prevail in this country.
Mr. Speaker, whether it is contract killing or not, human life is precious. Whether it is abduction, whether it is for profit or not, Mr. Speaker, human life is precious. It is in this regard that we are saying that please, let us have the authorities leading us as to how we can find solution to this problem. Mr. Speaker, any nation that wants to progress like Ghana, needs investment. But this trend, Mr. Speaker, may put some fear into those who want to come to this country and invest.
Mr. Akwasi Osei-Adjei 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Order! Order! Hon. Member, you may please go on to conclude.
Mr. Agbesi 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, crime rate and investment cannot be equal. But what we are saying is that life is necessary. If he thinks that the killing should continue, he should advocate that. I am not advocating that. I am saying that authorities must find a solution. But for somebody to get up and say that crime wave and investment are not equal, I do not know where he is coming from. People are being killed and we are not finding a solution to it.
What we are saying is that the State apparatus has a duty to lead us. That is what I am saying. The public will assist but that is the responsibility of the State apparatus to lead towards the solution.
Mr. Speaker, I will say that this is a very important Statement. All of us value life. We need to live in a peaceful environment to work. In fact, Members of Parliament (MPs) have made Statements on this floor asserting that where they live is not secure. We did not expect that any such thing will happen. Mr. Speaker, with these happenings, I think the case for the MPs -- their houses being provided with security -- is made stronger and we need to take a look at it as a House.
Mr. Speaker, everybody is at risk; everybody needs protection and the Minister for the Interior in particular must be up-and-doing.
Mr. Joe Baidoe-Ansah (NPP -- Effia- Kwesimintsim) 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to associate with the maker of the Statement. It is a very important Statement that needs to be looked at. Mr. Speaker, I believe that one of the most important things that should happen but is not happening in this country is educating people on crime. Mr. Speaker, it is very important because when you look at the situation when certain things happen, you realize that a lot of people go to the crime scene and mess up the crime scene.
People do not even appreciate the fact that we should protect crime scenes so that the police and the law enforcement people will come and based on what they find at the crime scene, it will help in their investigations. Whenever something happens, people rush to the place, touch the bodies and disrupt the scene. That is one of the reasons why it becomes very
difficult in our country to trace criminals.
Mr. Speaker, also because of this lack of education for us, even old people -- people who should even know, tend to use technical words like “contract killing”. Mr. Speaker, contract killing is something that can even make the investigators deviate from the pattern of the investigations. Because immediately you talk about contract killing, then you have excluded completely people who have scores to settle with other people -- as people who actively killed.
So what it means is that if somebody has a problem with me and I go personally to kill the person, immediately they talk about contract killing, I am excluded. Someone else would be suspected as the person who committed the offence although I might have been having problems with the person.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon. Member, do you have a point of order?
Mr. Hodogbey 11:30 a.m.
Exactly so, Mr. Speaker. I think the hon. Member is deceiving this House grossly. Associating certain terms with a crime does not necessarily mean investigations cannot be effective. The reason why crime in our society is not detected is a failure of the mechanisms which help authorities to detect crime. We do not have effective fingerprinting system. We do not have
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Order! Order! Hon. Member, I think you have good ideas. You seem to sound professional but he is giving his opinion. So please, let the hon. Member go on.
Mr. Baidoe-Ansah 11:40 a.m.
Thank you, Mr.
Speaker. Mr. Speaker, when you talk about DNA, you are talking about checking the fingerprints. You can use DNA to find it, but if many people go there and mess up the scene with many hands there, how do you do it?
Mr. Speaker, I think that it is important for us citizens to be knowledgeable on the use of terms when it comes to crime. At a point we were talking about serial killing at the time that it has not been established, that it was a particular person who was committing the crime. So we were pushing the police to look for one person instead of motivating them or encouraging them to look at a wider picture.

Mr. Speaker, the other thing that reflects on our education is that the young men who have helped the police to be able to see these vehicles have been exposed. If the criminals are in league with other people, they would become targets and this is being done by people who are supposed to be very knowledgeable. The people have been exposed. How does it encourage other people to report criminals?

These are some of the things that we need to learn as citizens of this country so that citizens can participate in the

detection of crime. This is because for me, if I am going to inform the police that this particular person has come to my station to clean his car, I would not want the police to tell the whole world that I am the one who reported it; and I would not want the press to report it.

Pressmen must also learn to be responsible citizens because some of these things reflect the attitude of the citizens of this country. I would do it if I am covered by security.

Mr. Speaker, with these few words, I would want to say that I associate myself with the Statement. Thank you.
Mr. F. A. Agbotse (NDC -- Ho West) 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I take this opportunity to thank the hon. Member who made the Statement for bringing this to Parliament for discussion.
Mr. Speaker, what is happening is worrying, especially at the time that Ghana has been classified as user of drugs. It would mean that the drug situation and the killings are coming about the same time. This is very worrying and we must take appropriate steps to stop both.
Mr. Speaker, contract killing or killing of people is not new in Ghana. But the rate at which it is happening now is what is worrying the people. If we are not able to stop this as early as possible, it may degenerate into something else.
I would give you an example from the River State of Nigeria. There are the militants who think they are working for their people. They have been kidnapping people and generally having problems in the River State area. Recently, what is happening is that others who want money have taken the opportunity of the militants to kidnap school children as young as three years to demand ransom. If we are not careful, that is what would happen here. The contract killings would become
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon. Member, please do not digress.
Mr. Agbotse 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, what I am saying is that we must take time. I am surprised that the hon. Minister for Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and NEPAD is telling us that crime and investment are not linked. When people see everyday on the internet that there are crimes in Ghana, that you open your door and people come in and kill you, they would not like to come to Ghana to invest. That is where I disagree with my old friend, the hon. Minister for - [Interruption.]
Mr. Kwadjo Opare-Hammond 11:40 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, I have listened carefully to some of the comments that my hon. Colleague has been making on this floor and most of them seem to give the impression to the world that Ghana is no longer a safe country. It is never so and we should not let the world begin to think this way.
Mr. Speaker, let me on a point of order, even try to make this point that a recent survey by the economic intelligence unit of the Time magazine has ranked Ghana as one of the safest places in the world to do
business as a result of the fact that crime rate is very low here. The few killings do not make this country an unsafe place to do business and therefore we should not seek to give this impression to the world.
Mr. Osei-Adjei 11:40 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, the point I was trying to make is this: that investment decisions are not only based on crime rate. I am saying this because some countries whose crime rate is even higher than that of Ghana continue to receive investments. So there is no evidence to suggest that only crime is the deciding factor for people to invest or not to invest.
This is the point I am making and I am appealing to my hon. Friend to accept it that there is no empirical evidence to suggest that the higher your crime rate, the lower your investments, no. There are so many decisions that are taken within the investment. Therefore, he should take that into consideration.
Mr. Agbotse 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, nobody has said that crime is the only determinant of a lack of investment. What we are saying is that if it is one of the factors, we must try to remove that factor from our country so that we are not stigmatised as drug users and contract killers. That is all I am saying.
Mr. Speaker, with these few words, I support the hon. Member who made the Statement.
Dr. A. A. Osei 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I just want to seek clarification.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Very well.
Dr. A. A. Osei 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, earlier I thought I heard Mr. Speaker say that he would allow only two contributions to the Statement. I do not know if you have changed your mind or not; I just want to
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
I said that and I would still keep to the two. I thought the hon. Member for Kwadaso was rising but I sees she has lost interest so I call on the hon. Member for Ablekuma North to speak.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon. Minister, allow the lady to speak.
Ms. Josephine H. Addoh (NPP -- Kwadaso) 11:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I just want to make a brief comment. I congratulate the hon. Member who made the Statement and I think this is one of the most important Statements that have ever been made.
Mr. Speaker, killings started somewhere during my youthful days. In the Ashanti Region we had a saying -- During certain periods, parents would tell us -- and Mr. Speaker, with your indulgence, I would speak Twi. Atete nkrona foō aba krom, nti mo ntena fie. People were killing in the Ashanti Region. I do not know whether it was throughout the country because I was too young to know.
Then some years back, we witnessed women being killed. Mr. Speaker, we still do not know the people who are behind these killings though some have been arrested. Sometime ago the situation was against women; this time round, it is the men. Mr. Speaker, this is something the whole country should rather monitor. As the hon. Member said, we need to train even the children to know how to identify people when they see them.

I am sorry to say that even some

security personnel and some of our women find it difficult to identify and describe vehicles. Hilda cannot sometimes even differentiate between Mazda and a Toyota. I think this is something we must all take seriously and try to look at and look well. We should try to help the police to identify the people behind this because it has been here for so many years -- during those days, some twenty years back and this time round.

This is not a problem we should look to only the Government to solve. We are all at risk, as the hon. Member said, and we must all be involved. As Members of Parliament, we must even educate our constituents on how to look out for certain situations like this.

Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon. Minister for the Interior, you may please make your comments.
Minister for the Interior (Mr. A. Kan-Dapaah) 11:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, for most of us in this House, we have come to take very seriously Statements that are made by my hon. Friend from Tamale North and the Ranking Member of the Defence and Interior Committee.
But Mr. Speaker, I beg to submit that this is one Statement that ought not to have been made by my hon. Friend. Mr. Speaker, I say this because I think the Statement itself is full of inaccuracies. Comments that have been made by hon. Members have especially been full of inaccuracies.
They have sought to ridicule the security agencies, especially the Police Service. I think, Mr. Speaker, on the basis of this very incorrect statements and rather faulty analysis -- Mr. Speaker,
what is even worse is that we have tried this morning, surprisingly, to paint a very bad picture of our country to the outside world, trying to frighten visitors who are coming in as tourists, and even trying to discourage investors.
Mr. J. K. Gidisu 11:50 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, for the Minister for the Interior to be saying on the floor of this House that we are painting a wrong picture about the country -- You write your own testimonial. Concerning the social situation in the country in terms of the murders, is it somebody who should say it on this floor for him to term as painting a wrong picture? The picture is already in the streets of Ghana, so it is nobody who is painting it.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Order! Hon. Member, you should listen to why he is saying so before you rise on a point of order. He has not gone to where he wants to go yet to show what he is saying. So please, we should always have patience; listen to the hon. Member on the floor, let him get to a stage that a point of order has matured. But if you get up prematurely, you are unlikely to get the substance of what he is saying. Hon. Minister for the Interior, please continue.
Mr. Kan-Dapaah 11:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, as you rightly said, I will very soon prove that these are all very inaccurate statements. Mr. Speaker, our country has this very good image all over the world, that it is a very safe place to go to, that it is very peaceful. We have won honours over and over again, and I think, Mr. Speaker, it is important that we as the politicians, as the leaders of the country do not give any
contrary impression.
Mr. Speaker, not long ago, similar sentiments were expressed by His Excellency the former Vice-President, Prof. Mills; and again Mr. Speaker, I think when such statements come from people like us and like the former Vice-President, they tend to create problems for us.
Mr. Speaker, on issues that have the tendency to destroy the image, the hard- won image and good reputation of the country, I beg to caution that we avoid partisan politics; it does not help us at all. Mr. Speaker, I can say that such has not been the style of the former Vice-President and I respectively advise that this practice should stop.
Mr. Agbesi 11:50 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister is making a statement in reference to somebody who is not here and advising as to what that person should be doing. He has mentioned the name of Prof. Atta Mills having made a statement which to him painted a bad picture to the outside world.
Mr. Speaker, Prof. Atta Mills is not here to give any defence to whatever is being said. The hon. Minister is making reference to somebody who is not here and so that statement should not be allowed to go on the records.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Order! Order! Hon. Member for Ashaiman, please resume your seat. He is referring to a statement that is in the public domain attributed to the hon. Prof. Atta Mills. But hon. Minister, in view of the caution that we should avoid issues that provoke debate and although because the statement is in the public domain, you could refer to it. For the purpose of the nature of the statement, you may leave that out and go on with your contribution.
Mr. Kan-Dapaah noon
Mr. Speaker, I only made reference to Prof. Mills to illustrate the point that when such statements are made and depending upon the person who is making it, some amount of credibility is given to it and it is important that we as parliamentarians, former Presidents and Vice-Presidents, sitting Presidents and sitting Vice-Presidents, have to be a little bit cautious and I say that with lots of respect not in any way to attack the former Vice-President.
Mr. Speaker, the important point that I want to stress is with this perception that all these things are going on and the police is unable to do anything. Mr. Speaker, that is not true. In actual fact, Mr. Speaker, the nature of investigations require that we do not say too much at the wrong time. If the impression is being given that the police is not making any headway, I want to assure the House that it is totally untrue.
On the contrary, the police has a very proud record of accomplishment in some of these issues and with respect to the present ones, Mr. Speaker, we are doing very well although I would have wished that I do not do that for the purpose of getting the records right. Mr. Speaker, please allow me to refer to some of the resent killings and what we have done so far.

Mr. Speaker, you would recall that there was a Nana Bretuo who was a chief in Nankonase in Adansi and who was attacked and killed in his palace by some criminals on 31st May 2006. Mr. Speaker, three suspects have been arrested and they have been remanded by the courts and the court processes are ongoing. As far as the police is concerned at this stage, we know those who killed him; we have arrested

them and the matter is in court.

Mr. Speaker, again, in December 2006, one Nana Badu Boakye Dankwa of Achiase near Kumasi was having his bath in a detached bathroom by his house shortly after he returned from Tema, when he was shot and killed in cold blood. Mr. Speaker, all the five suspects involved have been arrested; they have confessed, in fact to the killing and the court is taking care of them.

Again, Mr. Speaker, there had been this rather unfortunate but famous one involving Mr. Samuel Anim of the Kumasi branch of the Ghana Journalists Association. Mr. Speaker, he was killed in a robbery incident, and in that particular case, a taxi cab was snatched by the robbers at a place called Ashanti New Town in Kumasi. These robbers then travelled in this taxi to the outskirts of Kumasi, to a town called Aburasu. At Aburasu, they abandoned the vehicle and snatched another vehicle -- a white VW Jetta saloon car. They then travelled in this car to Pankrono where they robbed a drinking spot and customers of the bar.

Mr. Speaker, the robbery first resulted in the firing of one Stephen Amoah who struggled with the robbers. It was the second firing that resulted in the death of Samuel Anim. Mobile phones were stolen and five million cedis was also stolen, all belonging to the owner of the drinking spot.

Mr. Speaker, two suspects have been arrested and they have been identified by the people who were there. Again, the court is taking care of them. Significant efforts have been made by the police and there is significant achievement in respect of this particular killing. The matter is now in court.

Again, Mr. Speaker, recently, in June

2007, there was the case of the Deputy Managing Director of Ghana Commercial Bank, Mr. Rokko Frimpong who was also attacked in his residence by some gunmen and was shot dead. Again, two mobile phones were stolen from the house.

Mr. Speaker, I can confirm that the police have made very, very significant in-roads into the investigations. We have arrested key people and they are also being taken care by the courts. We believe or the police strongly believes these people were involved in the killing, so even in the case of Mr. Rokko Frimpong very significant efforts have been made, very significant achievements have also been made.

Again, Mr. Speaker, recently there was a case of Nii Quartey, a retired officer of the Public Works Department (PWD) who also met his untimely death. I can simply say, Mr. Speaker, at this stage that very, very important arrests have been made and they are also going through the court processes even as investigations continue.

So Mr. Speaker, if you look at all the recent killings, you can only congratulate the police for the good work that they have done -- [Hear! Hear!] It is totally wrong to try to castigate them, to ridicule them the way that some hon. Members of the House were trying to do.

Mr. Speaker, the police has got two important things to do; we have got to be able to discourage people from carrying out such crimes; we have got to be able to create the situation where the criminals do not do it in the first place. But even more importantly, the people have another duty to ensure that when criminals do undertake such an activity, the police develop the capacity to apprehend them. And in all these instances, we have been able to make very good efforts and we have been able to arrest very key people

Nii Jonathan Tackie-Kome: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. Mr. Speaker, I beg to say that from what I have heard so far from the hon. Minister for the Interior and from the Statement made by the hon. Member for Tamale South and the contributions from other hon. Colleagues, I do not think that the Statement is meant to be against the Ministry of the Interior or the police.

This august House is the representative of the people of this country. Therefore, if such things are happening, it behoves us to come out and express sour misgivings about it. Therefore, I would like to say that all that my hon. Colleagues have said so far do not amount to the fact that the Ministry of the Interior or the police are not performing; they are just trying to encourage the police to go on and do more with what they are doing.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker noon
Hon. Member, you have not successfully made a point of order. When a Statement is made it also has the effect of extracting information which otherwise was not available. So by virtue of that Statement, we are getting information that reassures the House that something is being done. So he is on the right course. Hon. Minister, please, continue.
Mr. Kan-Dapaah noon
Mr. Speaker, so as I said, I think it is important that we recognize the very positive efforts that are being made by the security agencies.
But Mr. Speaker, let me also concede that I do share the concern and I think that we in government and those in other parties collectively have a duty to ensure that this excellent reputation and image that our country enjoys as a peaceful country, as a place where you can go and walk around at night even as a foreigner, is protected. It is something that other countries probably spend millions and millions of dollars to acquire and they may
Mr. Kan-Dapaah 12:10 p.m.
But I think in the process, we should not give the impression that things have gone out of control in the country and that the police is unable to do anything. The perceptions that the security agencies are unable to do anything is particularly damaging, and that is why I think that we as leaders of the country -- it does not matter which side of the House you belong to -- need to be careful with the statements that we make.
A statement coming from nobody -- and I used that advisedly -- which then ends up on the internet does not mean a thing but a concern by a prominent politician in this country that goes onto the internet is something that will cost this country greatly; and that is the point that I have been trying to make.
But Mr. Speaker, if there is any consolation, let me also assure my hon. Friend, the Ranking Member and my friends opposite that, yes, we are doing everything possible to arrest the situation. Even if it is not gone out of hand, it would be irresponsible for us to sit down and let things get out of hand before we take appropriate actions. Indeed, on a daily basis, we are trying to see how we can improve upon the situation.
Mr. Speaker, I can announce that the police has in fact revamped its community policing activities and we want to urge people in communities to come out with their peculiar problems in those communities so that we can take them on board. But we have realized that community policing needs to be strengthened and we are doing a lot in that direction.
In fact, these days, Mr. Speaker, you
will find a lot of patrols; you will find the policemen no longer policing in the offices. They are on the ground and you will find them in many places, many residential areas, many commercial areas; you will see the policemen on patrols and we intend to increase the number of policemen who go out there on the beat. We continue to search known criminal hideouts and we have been making a lot of successes in that area.

Again, Mr. Speaker, we have realized that in order to stop these crimes from being committed in the first place, there is a need to emphasise intelligence collection on criminal activities. Today, we do have a unit within the Ghana Police Service that is actively doing this. We are stopping and searching suspected vehicles and snap checks are being undertaken.

Mr. Speaker, I want to urge my Colleagues that when it comes to protecting this image, when it comes to protecting this reputation that our country enjoys all over the world, we must all come together and make sure that it happens. Very useful pieces of advice have come from some hon. Friends from the other side of the House, including the Ranking Member, and we have taken all these things very seriously and have taken them on board.

Let us continue to have our differences but let us unite in making sure that Ghana continues to enjoy that image, that reputation which is so valuable we cannot put any monetary value on, not even new Ghana cedi.

On this note, Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my hon. Friend for making the Statement even though I would have wished it was not made because of some of the comments that have been made. I urge all my hon. Friends, including the hon.

Member for Garu-Tempane to continue to assist us in this very important assignment.
MOTIONS 12:10 p.m.

Chairman of the Finance Committee (Nii Adu Daku Mante) 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, that this House adopts the Report of the Finance Committee on the Financing Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the International Development Associa- tion (IDA) of the World Bank Group, for an amount of SDR 59.1 million (US$90.00 million equivalent) to support the implementation of the Ghana Energy Development Access Project (GEDAP).
1.0 Introduction
Mr. Speaker, the SDR59.1 million Financing Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the International Development Asso- ciation to finance the Ghana Energy Development Access Project (GEDAP) was laid in the House on Friday, 13th July, 2007 and referred to the Finance Committee for consideration and report in accordance with article 181 (3) of the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of the House.
To consider the Agreement, the Committee met with the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, hon. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, hon. Dr. A. Akoto Osei and officials from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and reports as follows:
2.0 Background
A survey of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) in 2006 cites load shedding in the electric power sector as the most serious obstacle to doing business in Ghana.
The Global Competitiveness Report also shows that Ghana ranks very low in the quality of energy service, about 84th out of 104 countries.
This has necessitated the country embarking on major policy changes, operational improvements and invest- ments in the energy sector to enable the country realize its poverty reduction and economic development objectives. 3.0 Objectives of the Project
The project has two main objectives:
i. A Development Objective -- which is to improve the operational efficiency of the electricity dis- tribution system and increase the population's access to electricity.
ii. The Global Objective -- to support Ghana's transition to a low-carbon economy through the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
4.0 Terms and Conditions of the Credit
Loan Amount -- SDR 59.1 million (US$ 90 million Equivalent)
Grace Period (Moratorium) -- 10 years
Repayment Period -- 30 years
Commitment Charge
-- 12:10 p.m.

-- 12:10 p.m.

R 12:20 p.m.

Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
You second it. Is that not it?
Mr. H. Iddrisu 12:20 p.m.
Sorry, Mr. Speaker, rightly so, I second the motion.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
You see, you did not sound like somebody seconding the motion.
Question proopsed.
Mr. P. C. Appiah-Ofori (NPP -- Asikuma/Odoben/Brakwa) 12:20 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, one of the two main objectives of the project is to improve the operational efficiency of the distribution system and increase the population's access to electricity.
Mr. Speaker, in the second thematic area of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, precisely under the activities that should be prosecuted by the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry is required to extend electricity to rural areas to enable the rural dwellers, at least, to access this to facilitate their businesses thereby reducing their poverty. This programme started in 2003 and the Government has not been able to give it effect to date. It has not taken place; it has not happened because of inadequate financial resources available to the State.
This loan, if accessed, is going to assist the Government to prosecute its poverty reduction strategy in this energy area effectively so that when we talk about poverty reduction, we are not talking with our mouths, but we are supporting it with action.
You would see also that we have ten years' moratorium period and a repayment period of 30 years. It is very soft. Interest rate is very little, about 1 per cent or thereabouts. It would not adversely
affect the Government's cash flow; the Government will be able to raise money to prosecute programmes without this one adversely affecting it. Mr. Speaker, if we have this opportunity and we allow it to slip through our fingers, then we are not serious as a country. So all of us should support and give approval to this loan in order that poverty reduction would meaningfully be prosecuted.
Additionally, the tax waiver must also be considered positively. As I have said over and over again, a tax waiver does not constitute cost to the nation, so we do not have to make noise about it. It is in and out; so if it comes, we must give approval to it as a matter of course, so that we make progress in this country.
Mr. Speaker, I recommend this loan to everybody to support it.
Mr. E.K.D. Adjaho (NDC -- Avenor/ Ave) 12:20 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to support this motion. This is the kind of facility that this House must support -- a facility that would benefit the good people of Ghana -- [Hear! Hear!] -- rather than a loan for a Presidential palace. Mr. Speaker, I think that everybody should support this loan because it is going to benefit the country.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Hon. Deputy Finance and Ecoconomic Planning Minister, you want to contribute?
Dr. A. A. Osei 12:20 p.m.
To wind up the debate.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Let me hear from the hon. Member for Ashaiman.
Dr. A. A. Osei 12:20 p.m.
I thought the Deputy Minority Leader had spoken and so I should wind up.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
It would be very brief, hon. Member for Ashaiman, please be brief.
Mr. A. K. Agbesi (NDC -- Ashaiman) 12:30 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, as my leader said, these are the types of loans that we support and the people of Ghana want these things. Particularly, when you look at page three of the Report, it says that by the end of the project, it is expected that there would be improvement in ECG's technical and commercial performance.
Mr. Speaker, all of us cherish the good performance in ECG's work. But what do we see? Most of the time, ECG's performance to most households, to most consumers is not the best. If this loan is going to help them to better their performance, whether technical or commercial, we at this side of the House or the whole people of Ghana will support it; we want it.
Mr. Speaker, and for that matter, like my leader said, the Presidential palace loan should stay because we want something that can go and benefit the people. If you look at paragraph three, it is expected that household electrification rate would be increased. But even if we increase that rate, where is the light; do we have enough to satisfy everybody?
So as we are improving the performance of ECG, the production of electricity or energy must also be increased so that the two go together and Ghana would be better placed.
Dr. A. A. Osei 12:30 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank you for asking me to contribute to the debate on the floor. I want to thank all hon. Members who have spoken in favour of this motion.
Mr. Speaker, all has been said and I thank you for asking me to wind up.
Question put and motion agreed to.
RESOLUTIONS 12:30 p.m.


H E R E B Y R E S O LV E S A S 12:30 p.m.

Chairman of the Committee (Nii Adu Daku Mante) 12:30 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to second the motion.
Question put and motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Exemption of Tax Liability on Vehicles, Equipment and Materials in
Respect of GEDAP
Dr. A. Akoto Osei 12:30 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, that
WHEREAS by the provisions of article 174 of the Constitution, Parliament is empowered to confer power on any person or authority to waive or vary a tax imposed by an Act of Parliament;
THE EXERCISE of any power conferred on any person or authority to waive or vary a tax in favour of any person or authority is by the said provisions made subject to the prior approval of Parliament by resolution;
BY THE COMBINED operation of the provisions of section 26 (2) of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (Management) Law, 1993 (PNDCL 330), the Export and Import Act, 1995 (Act 503), the Export Development and Investment Fund Act, 2000 (Act 582), the Value
Added Tax Act, 1998 (Act 546), the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Act, 2000 (Act 579) and other existing Laws and Regulations applicable to the collection of customs duties and other taxes on the importation of goods into Ghana, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning may exempt any statutory corporation, institution or individual from the payment of duties and taxes otherwise payable under the said Laws and Regulations or waive or vary the requirement of such statutory corporation, institution or individual to pay such duties and taxes;
IN ACCORDANCE with the provisions of the Constitution and at the request of the Government of Ghana acting through the Minister responsible for Finance and Economic Planning, there has been laid before Parliament a request by the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning for the prior approval of Parliament to the exercise by him of his power under the Laws and Regulations relating to exemption of tax liability on vehicles, equipment and materials to be imported or purchased locally totalling US$26,366,634.00 to support the implementation of the Ghana Energy Development Access Project (GEDAP).
NOW THEREFORE, this honour- able House hereby approves the exercise by the Minister responsible for Finance of the power granted to him by Parliament by Statute to waive such tax liability on vehicles, equipment and materials to be imported or purchased locally totalling US$26,366,634.00 to support the implementation of the Ghana Energy Development Access
MOTIONS 12:30 p.m.

Chairman of the Committee (Mr. Kwadjo Opare-Ansah) 12:30 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, that this honourable House adopts the Report of the Committee on Communications on the National Communications Authority Annual Report for the year 2005.
In doing so, I present to this House your Committee's Report.
1.0 Introduction
The Annual Report of the National Communications Authority (NCA) was laid before the House on 22nd February 2007. The Speaker subsequently referred the report to the Committee on Communica-tions for consideration and report, pursuant to Standing Order 182.
In considering the referral, the Committee held one sitting on March 2, 2007 at the Ghana-India Kofi Annan ICT Centre to deliberate on the report. The Committee was briefed by the team from NCA on the contents of the report. In attendance were the Minister for Communications (MOC), hon. Professor Mike Oquaye, the Deputy Minister for Communications, hon. Dr. B. Aggrey- Ntim, the Ag. Chief Director (MOC), Mr. Ofosu Adarkwa, the Ag. Director- General of the National Communications
Authority, Major J.R.K. Tandoh (retd) and his team.
1.1 Reference Documents
In considering the referral, the Committee made reference to the following:
i. 1992 Constitution
ii. Standing Orders of Parliament
iii. NCA Act 524, 1996
1.2 Background
The National Communications Autho- rity (NCA) was established by an Act of Parliament, Act 524, 1996 with objectives which, among others are:
To ensure that there are provided throughout Ghana, as far as practicable, such communications services as are reasonably necessary to satisfy demand for the services;
To ensure that communication systems operators achieve the highest level of efficiency in the provision of communications services and are responsive to customers' and community needs;
To promote fair competition among persons engaged in the provision of communications services;
To protect operators and consumers from unfair conduct to other operators with regard to quality of communications services and payment of tariffs in respect of the services; To protect the interest of consumers;
To facilitate the availability of quality equipment to consumers
and operators.
2.0 Observations
The Committee observed the following:
Submission of 2005 Report
The Committee noted that there had been a delay in the submission of the NCA 2005 Annual Report. The NCA in explaining the rationale for the delay in completing the 2005 Annual Report said that, it was due to the request made by the Ministry of Communications for the NCA to change to a different reporting format. This was deemed necessary to enhance the information and data submissions to Parliament and other stakeholders.
Decentralization Policy
The Committee also noted the Authority's decentralization plan to place operating stations in all ten regions which would eventually foster greater proximity to the customer prospective applicants, operators, and the consuming public and also cut down the toll on the Authority's employees who at short notice had to respond to challenges around the country.
The decentralization effort will be in phases. Initially, an office will be opened in Kumasi to take care of activities in the Northern Zone of Ghana - Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Northern, Upper East and Upper West. The rest of the nation, dubbed Southern Zone will be catered for by the Accra Office.
Outcomes of Privatization of WESTEL and Ghana Telecom
The Committee observed that citizens of Ghana had not had the opportunity to acquire equity shares in entities like WESTEL and Ghana Telecom and as a result, huge amounts of funds were transferred out of the country by foreign
USD 12:30 p.m.

Mr. Alfred K. Agbesi (NDC - Ashaiman) 12:40 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to second the motion.
Question proposed.
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu (NDC -- Tamale
South): Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity given me to associate myself with the motion on the floor, on the Annual Report of the National Communications Authority (NCA) for the year 2005, which was laid in this House.
Mr. Speaker, in doing so, I would like to
refer you to section 33(1) of Act 524, and with your permission, I would like to read:
“The Board shall submit to the Minister as soon as practicable and in any event not more than three months after the end of each financial year, a report dealing generally with the activities of the Authority during the financial year to which the report relates including the Auditor-General's Report and a list of persons granted licences in the year.”
Mr. Speaker, this Report is without the Auditor-General's report and I think it is important that next time, it is attached.
This Report, Mr. Speaker, is also without a list of persons who have been licensed. Even though the general theme is given as to the number of people who have been licensed, the list is also not provided.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to refer you to page 5 of the Authority's report, which has something to do with membership of the Board. I regret to do this because of the late hon. Akwasi Afrifa (may his soul rest in perfect peace); I had enormous respect for him and we cooperated a number of times.
If you look at the composition of the Board, an hon. Member of Parliament is serving on the Board of a regulatory institution, and I do not think that that is good enough. Especially, it undermines the oversight responsibility of Parliament and I think it is something that this House must critically look at. Indeed, in other legislations, we have made room that where a matter arises and the person has an interest, he should stay aside.
But in Act 524, no such provision was made. I can imagine my hon. Chairman, who is now elevated to the position of a Deputy Minister, serving on the Board of the NCA if this House approves and presiding over a meeting to approve the financial report of the NCA. It is not good enough. I think that this House must insulate itself from such representation. I do not think that hon. Members of Parliament should serve on such regulatory institutions.
To support my point, Mr. Speaker, I would like to refer you to article 284 of the Constitution; and Mr. Speaker, with your permission, I quote --
“A public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts or is likely to conflict with the performance of the functions of his office.”
One cannot be a regulator and at the same time be the person who is reviewing it. Mr. Speaker, I think that the House must take a critical look at it.
Mr. Speaker, at page 3 of the Commit-
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Minister of State, are you rising on a point of order?
Mr. Adjei-Darko 12:40 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I just
want to give a piece of information to our hon. Colleague.
In mathematics, we do not say point eighty-three, point sixty-seven; there are no tens and units in mathematics. It should be point eight seven, point six five. Since people are listening to us, and the children are also learning, let us use the appropriate form.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Hon. Minister, lawyers easily forget mathematics. [Laughter.] But in actual fact, as soon as you get to a point, the rest is read by the single digit. So it is appropriately point one, two, three, and so on. Well, that is a consultancy; you may accept it.
Mr. H. Iddrisu 12:50 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, since he is only aiding my argument, I would without hesitation accept that it is $25.67 million.
But Mr. Speaker, I was referring you to a paragraph under column 34, where the hon. Prof. Mike Oquaye said and I would like to quote:
“Mr. Speaker, the whole amount for the various companies was 22.5 million allocated for Ghana Telecom (GT), Areeba and Millicom (Ghana) and 15 million for Kasapa.”
And this is where I have the interest. He said:
“Mr. Speaker, the whole amount of $88.5 million was discounted to Government, that the amount be paid directly to Government, within a period of six years.”

Mr. Speaker, the figure we are hearing here, in the Committee's Report, is $82.5 million and not $88.5 million as the hon. Prof. Mike Oquaye indicated in this House. There is still a discrepancy. And his discrepancy is captured in the Committee's Report, in particular, page 11 of the NCA's Report for 2005, titled “Contribution to the National Coffers”, and it reads as follows:

“The Authority contributed to the national coffers US$82.5 million payable over six years.”

Mr. Speaker, this is in the NCA's Report,US$82.5 million - yet your Committee's Report states that between 2004 and 2005 it was US$25.67 million. In another breath, the hon. Minister for Communications quoted US $88.5 million.

Mr. Speaker, we are demanding a parliamentary enquiry in order to reconcile these figures. The House should know how much indeed was realized from the sale of mobile spectrum to operators in the country. I am asking for such an investigation.

Mr. Speaker, may I now proceed to make a comment on the quality of mobile service in Ghana and conclude on the privatization of Westel and Ghana Telecom.

Mr. Speaker, the quality of mobile service is nothing to write home about in this country. The call drop rate is very high. And by call drop rate we are talking about a situation where one is on phone and is likely to lose the person he

is communicating with through no fault of his or through no fault of the person making the call. Yet the NCA has the institutional duty to ensure that Ghanaians get value for the tariffs they pay to access mobile telephony.

In fact, there are areas in Ghana -- my good Friend, the hon. Member for Fomena has given me indication that there is now an improvement in the Fomena area -- where you have to be under a tree in order to be able to access a particular mobile telephone service. We are calling on the NCA to strengthen their capacity to monitor and to seek an improvement in the quality.

We need to harmonise even the tariff regime. How much do callers in America or in Britain pay for mobile services? Some of them, they get it for free during weekends. In Ghana, they have introduced free midnight calls, but they can do more.

It is not for the NCA to say that we

are sanctioning Areeba, “pay two billion cedis”. When they pay the two billion cedis the customer or consumer does not benefit from it, and I think it is important that we demand answers and seek an improvement in the quality of mobile telephony.

Mr. Speaker, my final comment is on
Dr. A. A. Osei 12:50 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, my young
hon. Friend from Tamale is misleading this House. He just said that since 1982 the NPP has been advocating -- Mr.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
Deputy Minister, obviously the hon. Member for Tamale South does not look like somebody who was born in 1982; he definitely had been born and he was a grown-up.
Hon. Member for Tamale South, the
reference to 1982 when talking about the NPP Government does not arise.
Mr. H. Iddrisu 12:50 p.m.
Indeed, Mr. Speaker,
he is perfectly right. I was going to refer to a conference which was held in Canada and which gave a blueprint as to how telecommunications could be used as a mechanism for creating and generating wealth, using the private sector as a lead actor. I think he is right.
Mr. Speaker, I am saying that in Ghana
today, Westel is one hundred per cent government-owned; Ghana Telecom is also one hundred per cent government- owned; yet everyday, they say “we believe in the private sector, we believe in a liberalized economy”. That is not a reflection of people who profess to believe in liberalism. You cannot be monopolizing and say liberalism, you want private sector to lead. Mr. Speaker, may I make specific recommendations on Ghana Telecom.
Mr. Speaker, there has been an advertisement that Government wants to offload 66 per cent of its shares in Ghana Telecom to a strategic investor. This is not the first time we have heard this. Between 2001 and 2002, we were told that there would be a strategic investor and it ended up as a management contract agreement with Telenor. Thank God that Government took the right decision in getting that
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
Is the
hon. Attorney-General rising on a point of order? Hon. Members may resume their seats if they do not intend to talk, otherwise they may mislead the Chair.
Mr. H. Iddrisu 12:50 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, in respect
of Ghana Telecom, it is a strategic national asset. Yes, we need a strategic investor but my own view is that the Government can look forward to selling at least 49 per cent of the shares through the Ghana Stock Exchange or through a partnership with the strategic investor.
You can sell 29 per cent to the strategic investor, float 20 per cent on the Ghanaian Stock Exchange and still hold on to 51 per cent. Then you can give out management to those who are to invest, and enter into management contract with them in order that we may demand performance from them. That it is profitable, and it can be made profitable.
Mr. Speaker, if you have 66 per cent going to a strategic investor -- Many of us are complaining that Areeba is making so much. Why are they making so much? It is because Areeba is being managed efficiently with right principles and guidelines. Same can be repeated for Ghana Telecom. I have trust, absolutely, in the Ghanaian management now. I think, yes, Government should privatize but Government should rethink the share composition. I do not think 66 per cent should go to a foreign strategic investor. In any case, they may not give us a foreign investor; they may give us another management contract and we would be critical of it, if that happens, because that was what happened in 2002.
Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani 12:50 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, for the information of the hon. Member, the Government has not indicated that it is going to give sixty-six (two-thirds) to a strategic investor. Government is saying it is going to divest sixty-six per cent, two- thirds of the shares in Ghana Telecom. The divestiture could take the effect of combining strategic investor with going to the Stock Exchange. So Government has not indicated that it is going to divest sixty-six per cent (two-thirds) to a strategic investor. It is just going to divest sixty-six per cent (two-thirds).
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
Member, you may take that on board. It appears the Committee itself was talking about Ghanaians acquiring equity shares.
Mr. H. Iddrisu 12:50 p.m.
Yes, and I am streng-
thening the Committee's argument. The hon. Chief of Staff, I have no reason to argue with him, he coming from the Office of the President. But there was an advertisement in The Economist magazine of last month and I am sure that I read it well but I would proceed, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker, I am saying that for
Ghana Telecom, I still wonder, that 66 per cent to who? Let us take a decision. The hon. Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning is here. He would sooner accept that Ghana Commercial Bank, when they went to the stock Exchange, were surprised at the enthusiasm and investment that Ghanaians were ready to make. We can do so for GT.
Finally, Mr. Speaker, on the distribution
of frequencies countrywide, I am a strong advocate of equity and I still think that the NCA must relook at it. If you look at the concentration of FM Stations and television stations, Accra and Kumasi are still prominent and so it must be decentralized.
Mr. Mpiani 12:50 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, to help
the hon. Member, it is business so you cannot force anybody to go and locate in his constituency if that person thinks that by locating there he is not going to make any returns on his investment. So there is no restriction by Government as to where somebody would want to locate. If the hon. Member has some money and wants to locate in an area where he cannot make returns, he is at liberty to do that; there is no restriction.
But as he rightly pointed out, this Government is not in the habit of monopolizing things. Government wants to get out of business and so the location of FM stations is the responsibility of the person who is applying to the NCA to do that sort of business. It is not Government's responsibility to direct people to go to areas they do not want to go.
Mr. H. Iddrisu 12:50 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, rightly so but I am saying that if he counts the number of FM stations within Accra and Kumasi, he would only come to the irresistible conclusion that the concentration is high. I can understand that that is urban Ghana but I am saying that let us facilitate the emergence of that in other parts of the country.
I want to refer you to page 19 of the
NCA report. For 2004, 84 FM stations; 2005 the same 84, why? We must be expanding. Within a year you are not giving us a report or an indication that more FM stations are coming up. That is the best way to protect our democracy, that
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
thought you said you were on your last point and that you were almost concluding.
Mr. H. Iddrisu 12:50 p.m.
Rightly so, Mr.
Speaker, but I believe that since I am the Ranking Member you would give me one additional minute so that I can land.
My comment has to do with GIFTEL. Mr. Speaker, the Government set up GIFTEL in order that we could enhance the expansion and increase accessibility to telephony in rural Ghana. GIFTEL has since made at least not less than forty billion cedis from the returns of the generation that GIFTEL is supposed to make.
Not much has been achieved in terms of expansion in rural telephony, if you went to Tumu or you went to Hamile or you went through Bongo in the Upper East Region or Saboba-Chereponi; that was what the GIFTEL money was supposed to do. Over the years they have accumulated over forty billion cedis; what is the money sitting there doing? It must be put to work and we are calling on the Ministry of Communications to direct GIFTEL to ensure that in next year's report, at least, we have some encouraging results that the GIFTEL money is being used carefully.
Thank you for the opportunity, Mr. Speaker. But even the statement of account that appears in this Report does not meet accounting standards. I think next time due diligence would have to be conducted.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
I think that as a member of the Committee, you
may need to liaise with your Chairman. You were complaining about some contributions to the national treasury. You will see that the figure that you mentioned for 2004 to 2005 is $56.83 million; you will find it under 2006 to 2009. It is likely some of these figures are wrongly placed. So as a committee, you should be able to look at that and resolve it.
Mr. Henry Ford Kamel (NDC --
Buem): Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to associate myself with the motion and more especially with some of the concerns of hon. Haruna Iddrisu.
Mr. Speaker, my first area of concern will still border on the quality of service; and the Report specifically mentions it. Mr. Speaker, just two weeks ago, one of the national weeklies came out with a very interesting story. There was this man who had to divorce the wife because anytime he called the wife on phone, there was this background noise of a man's voice and he suspected the wife of infidelity and eventually the marriage collapsed.
But that was not the case; it was just simple interference with the system. It tells you how seriously the quality of service is being compromised. I think that we must insist on value-for-money and every now and then the concern throughout the country is that the cellular phone companies must really sit up and ensure that customers interests are protected so far as quality is concerned.
Mr. Speaker, in talking of quality I want to bring to mind the operations of some telecommunication companies in other countries. What happens in such instances is that there are serious salient benchmarks in operational efficiency in the way the companies operate. I know the NCA has serious benchmarks but it is important that these benchmarks are brought into the public domain. When they are brought into the public domain,
they achieve a certain purpose.
First of all, they also allow the consuming public to be able to measure the quality of service as against the benchmarks set by NCA and then that also leads on to consumers being able to make better choices insofar as the various networks are concerned. So it is important that we encourage the NCA to come up with serious benchmarks and that these benchmarks are put into the domain of the consuming public.
Mr. Speaker, it is also important that we encourage the NCA to be more open in some of its transactions; especially as hon. Haruna said, for a long time GIFTEL's operations have been a bit shrouded in obscurity. The way it disburses its funds and the way it allocates funds is a bit not transparent in the sense that the public needs to know more. I think it is important that some of its operations are brought into the public domain for people to know exactly what these funds are being used for.
I know that for now, some funds have been released to some of these companies to go about their roll-out plans. But that is not enough. Some of these things must regularly be brought into the fore for people to look at what moneys are being used for and to subject such disbursements to criticism. It all enhances the democracy that we are all yearning for.
Mr. Speaker, hon. Haruna also talked about the allocation of frequencies and the hon. Minister brought his attention to a few things. But I just want to say that it all boils down to transparency. If we can have the NCA coming out regularly to even tell us how many have applied and how many have been refused frequencies and the reasons thereof, then at least grapevine and rumour mongering as regards the
allocation of frequencies is downplayed. It does not let anybody suspect that some frequencies are allocated to certain areas to the detriment of others. For now, there is the strong indication that certain regions are being denied frequency allocation. This might not be true but that is the perception and so we call for more transparency in the allocation of frequencies.
With these few submissions, Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity.
Alhaji A. B. Sorogho (NDC -- Abokobi-Madina) 1:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I thank you very much for the opportunity. Mr. Speaker, I just want to draw the attention of the House to one particular problem which I think must be looked into so that subsequently we can address it. It has to do with the issue of seeing the FM stations as being only profit-making.
Mr. Speaker, when the Chief of Staff said one cannot force anybody to establish stations in areas because this is purely commercial. Mr. Speaker, I beg to disagree to some extent and Mr. Speaker, my disagreement is based on these premises. Mr. Speaker, we all know the role that education plays in our various endeavours. I know of the existence of the regional FM stations and the role that they are playing in terms of educating the students, the pupils, farmers and giving weather warnings and what have you.
Mr. Speaker, through no fault of certain people, they find themselves in certain areas in Ghana which commercially may not be attractive. But Mr. Speaker, these are people whose contributions go a long way to sustain us in the various cities.

Mr. Speaker, I am talking about farmers
Alhaji A. B. Sorogho (NDC -- Abokobi-Madina) 1:10 p.m.

who have to find themselves in very rural areas so that they can farm, till the land so that they can get us food here in the various cities Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi and others. Mr. Speaker, what stops the Government from getting the various regional GBC FM stations to try as much as possible to reach them so that when it comes to weather, rainfall pattern and what have you, education, guinea-worm infestation, this kind of education can get to the people?

Mr. Speaker, I do not agree to the attestation that definitely, the whole thing must be left in the private hands and that these things can be concentrated -- Definitely, the man is looking for profit and he would not want to establish a station in a rural area when he knows that he cannot maximise his profits. I think we have to be very conscious of this and try as much as possible to be guided by equity.

When I talk about equity, I am referring to certain social services which, whether we like it or not, we have to provide to our people. It is not because they are in Accra, Kumasi or Takoradi but because they are Ghanaians and wherever they are, their services also go to help us in the various cities. So Mr. Speaker, I wish that we make conscious, even if it is a deliberate policy -- efforts to ensure that certain areas within the country have FM stations.

We can use them even to propagate government policies, to educate the people to know what Government is doing. For example, boiling of water and what have you -- You cannot just say that because once people go there they cannot make money, it is only in the capital cities and you cannot force anybody to establish radio stations there.
Mr. Mpiani 1:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, the State
has a responsibility to inform its citizens and that is why we have the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) which covers the whole country. That is the responsibility of the State and the State would continue to do that. Apart from that, if any person wants to set up an FM station anywhere in this country, it is the responsibility of that person to decide where he wants to site his FM station. The State would continue to use GBC to inform the citizens of this country and the State is not going to ask anybody to pay for that. But as to who sets up an FM station wherever, that is the responsibility of that person.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Member, it may be desirable for a spread so that the rural areas would be served. But the point that is being made by the Chief of Staff is that where you liberalise and individuals go in there, not for philanthropic purposes, but to make profit, it is not going to be easy for Government to force them. But if there are other alternatives by which they could encourage them, obviously as an hon. Member of Parliament you can raise them.
Alhaji. Sorogho 1:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I
wanted to find our whether it was on a point of order or on a point of information, because he did not find out whether I was
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
It does
not lie with you to decide that. So you just go on.
Alhaji. Sorogho 1:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I agree,
I respect you for that. What I want to say is that he mentioned GBC and GBC -- I do not know whether that is correct or not -- is even being slated for divestiture. I do not know whether it is the same GBC that my hon. Senior Brother is referring to.
If that is what he is referring to, then I think it is a call that if they intend to do that then they should stop because immediately that thing happens, the purpose for which he is telling us may even be defeated. I am only saying that we need information to be able to strive as a nation. And GBC, even though he says it covers everywhere, Mr. Speaker, it is not easy. Their programmes are done in such a way that it is not always local- specific.

Attorney-General and Minister for

Justice (Mr. Joe Ghartey): Mr. Speaker, apart from the GBC radio station that broadcasts throughout the whole country every region also has an FM station. I know as a fact that the State has an FM station in the Western Region; I know that
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Member, you may conclude.
Alhaji Sorogho 1:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I just
Mr. Ghartey 1:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, my very
dear colleague and friend just talked about the fact that you can be in the region and you can do business by advertising; that misses the whole point. State news organs are not profit-making; they should not be ordinary profit-making stations.
He himself said that the purpose of the State station is to give out information and so the advertisement bit that he brought in unfortunately does not apply to this particular situation. It is not for profit, it should not be for profit; it is a responsibility that the State has; it should

come from the taxpayer's money.
Alhaji. Sorogho 1:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want
to rest my case, but I want to say that “it must not” and “it is not” are not the same. On this note, I thank you very much.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
wanted to put the Question, but you want to intervene; very, very short.
Mr. E. K. D. Adjaho (NDC -- Avenor/
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Hon. Deputy Minority Leader, the hon. Ranking Member has ably and adequately raised these issues which have gone down well and you are virtually repeating the issues that he raised. You were missed at the Front Bench; you should have been around to follow the debate. So I would suggest that you do not go back to issues that have been raised by the Ranking Member on Communications.
Mr. Adjaho 1:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, yes, he
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Deputy Minority Leader, listen to the Chair. The point I was making was about repetition, and I named his position because he has delved deep into the matter.
Mr. Adjaho 1:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, you might
be wondering why I am raising this point. It is the Ranking Member who says he has raised the matter and he is not satisfied, if that is what I have to put on record. He is not satisfied with the response on this matter and this is a matter that ought to be resolved.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
have not got his response.
Mr. Adjaho 1:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, the point
Mr. A. O. Aidooh 1:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, he
was not in the Chamber, but I think after his submission, you made a ruling, you advised the Committee to take some steps. Maybe, if he were here he would not raise the issue again. So for his information, there has been a ruling by the Chair on the matter.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
am going to ask the Chairman of the Committee after you have finished your presentation to wind up. But if it is response from the Chair, I did acknowledge that there could be certain discrepancies and that as an hon. Member of that Committee, he should liaise with his Chairman so that they address those inconsistencies. So I do not know what he was not satisfied with.
Mr. Adjaho 1:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I believe
that this is a very serious matter. This discrepancy of a difference of millions of
Mr. A. O. Aidooh 1:20 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, his opinion about the gravity of the matter does not matter. His opinion about the matter's gravity is irrelevant. You have given a direction, almost a ruling, and we are bound by it. The situation's gravity is irrelevant.
Mr. Adjaho 1:20 p.m.
Unless the Majority's position is that we do not have a right to express our opinion or view of the matter -- unless, they are taking that position, I am saying that this is the annual report of a public board. There are pieces of information that are contradictory on this same floor of the House - contradicting the information that is in the annual report. There is no way we can accept this report without resolving that problem. Nobody at this stage is imputing any improper motive. Nobody is saying anybody is wrong at this stage but this thing is important, it is good for the House. So all that I want to say is that in order for all these doubts to be cleared, let the Committee go back and reconcile these figures and come back to the House without debate, and we will approve it, rather than leaving these doubts in our mind as we go back. That is the point I am making.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
Hon. Deputy Minority Leader, your problem is that, you were not in the House and that is why you are treading on the ground that you are treading on. But as I indicated, the Ranking Member did raise this point very ably, and he has agreed that as an hon. Member of the Committee and a Ranking Member as such, he should liaise with his Chairman and resolve -- Definitely, if it is a question of the annual report which you refer to, you cannot have it instantly.
So when these directives are made, do not wade into areas that are not brought into the picture. It is not a question of the Majority not wanting you to talk. In fact, most of the contributions have come from the Minority, and they are good contributions. Accepted. So just limit it to the fact that the Chair was drawing your attention to repetition of something that has been dealt with already. So the matter has been brought before the House, and it is being looked at.
Mr. Adjaho 1:20 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, if that is your direction, I bow to the Chair. But I want to put it on record that the Ranking Member told me that the Committee met and they could not resolve this matter. But I bow to the Chair.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
Hon. Ranking Member, you had all the time; you said all you wanted to say, and nobody stopped you from raising that issue.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
Let us have the Chairman of the Committee, or do you want to -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Y. Osafo-Maafo (NPP -- Akim Oda) 1:20 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to make a small comment on the objects and mission of public broadcasting and a private one. The two are not the same; and indeed, the two need not be the same. I am aware that a number of those putting up various broadcasting stations go to banks to seek loans to do so. Therefore, the whole exercise must be profitable.
The State has a function to inform its nationals and therefore there is always the need to have a public broadcasting station. Not only the broadcasting station should inform the national, the whole of the Ministry of Information has a duty to also inform the nation as a support. I think we should distinguish between the

objects of public broadcasting and private broadcasting because one is purely to do a civic responsibility of informing its nationals. The other has a private motivation, and both are necessary for our development.

It is also important to note that more often than not, the private broadcasting stations do some public education; and we all see it on all the FM stations: they carry news, and the news are of general importance; they inform people what is going on. Sometimes they even provide weather information because they also want people to tune in to their stations. There is competition, and this helps with the general information.

So I think we need both of them, and we should encourage both of them. We can never, indeed legislate on the locations because of the private motivation we may have in some of them. We can restrict the quantity, that we will not have more than “X” in Accra because of interference. But you cannot insist that a particular private man should locate his station at “A” or “B”. He is after money, and he should be encourage to have his money.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
Hon. Member Tamale South, do you have something to say?
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu 1:20 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of information. I have no problem with any ruling or direction that you may give. But if you recall, during my contribution, I was asking for a parliamentary enquiry in order to reconcile the figures. You subsequently asked the Committee but at that time I was already seated and could not raise any issue. Indeed, when the Committee met, I personally raised these issues at the meeting in the presence of the hon. Minister and NCA. I brought copies of
Mr. Frederick Opare-Ansah 1:20 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind all of us that what we are looking at here is the approving or otherwise of the Annual Report for 2005 for the NCA.
Mr. Speaker, your Committee, in considering this Report, just as the hon. Ranking Member said, raised the issue of a discrepancy he had noted in an answer to a question that he asked of the hon. Minister for Communications regarding a figure that has been quoted in the annual report. According to him, at the meeting, the hon. Minister in his answer mentioned $56.83 which was inconsistent with the $82.5 stated in the Report.
Subsequent to the Committee's meeting we contacted the Ministry of Communica- tions as well as the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to seek recon- ciliation. And that has been captured in the Committee's Report with the explanation
that the total amount is, indeed, $82.5 million and it has a breakdown of $25.67, covering the period of 2004 2005 (on page 3 of the Report, you will find that) and for 2006 2009, the figure is $56.83.
It was their opinion that that is the amount to which the hon. Minister, in an answer to a question must have been referring to. The total of these two amounts is $82.5. So I do not really see the discrepancy the Ranking Member has been referring to. The $25.67 covering 2004 2005 thus sums up to $82.5 million. So I believe your Committee did do due diligence to the task assigned it in ensuring that whatever figure has been stated in the Report does tallies with the information that was already available to this House.
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu 1:30 p.m.
Mr. Speaker,
I rise on a point of order; and my point of order is that the information that the Chairman and Deputy Minister-to-be is giving to this House is most unreliable and factually inaccurate. The Report in his hands refers to page 3 -- He stated that between 2004 and 2005, US$ 25.67million was realized.
The Minister for the same Ministry says that US$56.83 million was realized and the Minister has accordingly given him a letter stating the US$56.83 million. So what is he talking about? For 2005, he is saying it is US$25.67. For the same 2005, in a letter addressed to him as Chairman, the Minister says it is US$56.83 million. Mr. Speaker, that clearly means that there is a discrepancy. So he should not mislead
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Members, on this matter, I think the Leadership should confer and let us see the way forward. We cannot let it absorb all our time.
Mr. A. O. Aidooh 1:30 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I was
going to make the same suggestion. The Leadership and the Committee will meet tomorrow morning and look at it.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Mr. Adjaho 1:30 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, we are not
against the report. We just want to get the right figure at the back of our minds.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
We want the best information to be available to the House. Hon. Majority Leader, which item do we take next?
Mr. A. O. Aidooh 1:30 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, we can move to motion number 12.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
number 12 -- Chairman of the Committee on Poverty Reduction Strategy, can you please move motion number 12 on the Order Paper?
2004 and 2005 Annual Progress Reports (Poverty Reduction Implementation Strategy)
Chairman of the Committee (Hon. Josephine Hilda Addoh) 1:30 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, that this honourable House adopts the report of the Committee on Poverty Reduction Strategy on the 2004 and 2005 Annual Progress Reports on the implementation of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS).
In doing so, Mr. Speaker, I would like

to present your Committee's Report. Mr. Speaker, with your permission, I would like to read just the introduction and the conclusion and with your indulgence ask the Hansard Department to capture the Report as having been read in its entirety.

1.0 Introduction

The 2004 and 2005 Annual Progress Reports of the Implementation of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy were laid on Thursday, 22nd February 2007 and referred to the Committee for its consideration and report in accordance with article 103 of the Constitution and Order 190 of the Standing Orders of the House.

The Committee in its deliberations received presentations from the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), the Poverty Forum, the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) and the Parliamentary Centre.

2.0 Reference Documents

The Committee made reference to the following materials:

i. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana

ii. The Standing Orders of the House

iii. Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (2003-2005) - An Agenda for Growth and Poverty (Vol. 1 Analysis and Policy Statement).

iv. Joint IDA-IMF Staff Advisory Note of the Growth and Poverty Re- duction Strategy and 2004 Annual Progress Report, April 21, 2006.
Chairman of the Committee (Hon. Josephine Hilda Addoh) 1:30 p.m.
5.1.4 Growth in domestic revenue had been significant since 2000 exceeding the 40 per cent target in 2001 and 56.2 per cent in 2003. As a percentage of GDP, growth in domestic revenue rose to 21.2 per cent in 2004 from 18 per cent in 2002. In 2005, it was 24.9 per cent of GDP.
5.1.5 The cedi was fairly stable in nominal terms against the major currencies. In 2005, the cedi depreciated by 0.88 per cent against the dollar, 12.1 per cent against the Euro and 10.02 per cent against the pound. The relative strengths of the pound and other convertible currencies on the inter-national markets, and the fact that Ghanaian traders use more of those currencies for importation from Europe resulted in higher depreciation of the cedi against those currencies.
5.1.6. Substantial progress was made in enhancing public expenditure and financial management, revenue adminis- tration, as well as increasing domestic resources mobilization. These, together with the enhanced growth, led to a marked reduction in the domestic debt-to-GDP ratio from the 2004 actual of 15.2 per cent to 11.5 per cent, lower than the budget target of 13.5 per cent. The reduction in the domestic debt resulted in improved access to credit by the private sector.
The performance of the macro economic stability thematic area is attached as Appendix 1.
5.2.0 Production and Gainful Employment
5.2.1 The policy objectives under this thematic area amongst others included

ensuring food security, rehabilitating the Fisheries sub-sector, provision of irrigation facilities, improving farm and non-farm growth in the rural sector and increased mechanization of agriculture.

5.2.2 The second focus area was increasing access to land and increased Hectare of Forest. The policy objectives of achieving these included increased environmental protection through Re-afforestation and improved Land Administration.

5.2.3 The third focus area in the second thematic area was Enhanced Infras-tructural Development. Policy objectives towards achieving the above included increased access to information and communication technology, ensuring reliable supply of energy and improved feeder roads.

5.2.4 The last focus area was the strengthening of the Private Sector. Policy objectives towards the achievement of the private sector strengthening included facilitating private sector access to long term finance, promoting entrepreneurial skills and facilitating reduction of bottlenecks in private sector develop- ment.

5.2.5 A total of forty-six selected indictors were monitored over the implementation period of the GPRS. These included 16 under the policy area of modernization of agriculture; 11 for sustained environmental protection; 10 for enhanced infrastructure development; and 9 for creating an enabling environ-ment for private sector and development.

The performance indicators of this thematic area are attached as Appendix 2.

5.3.0 Human Resource Development
Chairman of the Committee (Hon. Josephine Hilda Addoh) 1:30 p.m.

implementation of programmes targeted at reducing corruption by increasing budgetary allocation to the Serious Fraud Office, Commission for Human Rights and Administration Justice and the Office of Accountability in the Presidency. Progress was also made in ensuring compliance with the provisions of the Financial Administration Act, 2003 (Act 654), Internal Audit Agency Act, 2003 (Act 653), and the Public Procurement Act 2003, (Act 663), which were enacted to support the objective of transparency, especially in economic governance.

5.4.7 In deepening the process of decentralization, programmes and activities implemented during the period were geared towards operationalising the Local Government Service Act and the implementation of the National Decentralization Action Plan. Govern- ment vigorously implemented the fiscal decentralization agenda in the area of decentralized district budgeting within the medium term.

5.4.8 On public sector reforms, a major stimulus for public sector reforms was provided by the creation of the Ministry of Public Sector Reforms in May 2005.

5.5.0 Special Programmes for the Vulnerable and the Excluded

5.5.1 Policy Objectives underlying the programmes and activities in the last thematic area were the attainment of social justice by increasing resources for the protection of the rights of women and children and the utilization of Legal Aid services. The other policy objectives were the prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS and the recognition of the rights of persons with disability.

5.5.2 These objectives were to be achieved by the provision of information and counselling on HIV/AIDS, support
Chairman of the Committee (Hon. Josephine Hilda Addoh) 1:30 p.m.
6.1.7 The Committee observed the increase of basic school enrolment with the introduction of the Capitation Grants in public schools and the School Feeding Programme. The Gross Enrolment Ration of the beneficiary districts increased from 76.06 per cent in 2003/2004 to 80.12 per cent in 2004/2005. The capitation grant which was piloted with 53 deprived districts has now been expanded to cover all public basic school.
6.1.8 It is observed that the District Sponsorship Scheme for Teacher Trainees instituted to meet the teacher requirement needs of especially distressed districts would help address the teacher-pupil ratio especially in the deprived areas of the country. In 2004/2005, the districts sponsored 96 per cent of teacher trainees nationwide compared with 94.5 per cent in 2003/2004. The deprived districts also sponsored 48 per cent new teacher trainees under the scheme in 2004/2005.
6.1.9 Finally, the Committee noted the serious commitment on the part of Government to strengthening the Police and the Ministry of Justice as institutions by carrying out recruitments, training of officers and men of the Service both locally and overseas, provision of logistics such as physical infrastructure, new vehicles and repairing of broken- down vehicles.
This positively affected the ability of the Police Service and the Ministry in the discharge of their responsibilities. Efforts should be made to repair broken- down vehicles of the Security Agencies to enhance their movement.

7.0 Recommendations

7.1.0 The Committee recommends that agricultural modernization efforts should be directed at appropriate technologies to support majority of the small land-owning farming population. Majority of the farmers need dug-out irrigation schemes for cultivation. More efforts should therefore be made to provide them with these schemes to ensure all- year-round cultivation.

7.1.1 The Committee also recommends that greater emphasis should be placed on preventable diseases which are still afflicting our population. Educational campaigns should be stepped up and greater attention given to preventive medicine rather than curative medicine. This would reduce the pressure on the NHIS and make it sustainable.

7.1.2 Government must scale up financial support to existing training schemes for the disabled to improve their productive capabilities. Funds should also be made available to them to start their own businesses after the training.

7.1.3 It is also the recommendation of the Committee that emphasis be placed on the development of rail transport to reduce traffic congestion, travel time, cost of doing business and for the promotion of economic growth.

7.1.4 The Committee recommends that the sub-structures of the Metropolitan/ Municipal/District Assemblies be well developed to enhance participation in governance at the local level.
Mr. Alex N. Tettey-Enyo (NDC - Ada) 1:30 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to second the motion calling upon this House to adopt the Report of the Committee on Poverty Reduction Strategy on the 2004 and 2005 Annual Progress Reports on the Implementation of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy.
Mr. Speaker, while doing so, I want to make a few observations about the importance of placing this report before this House and the significance of making the Annual Progress Reports (APRs) serve a useful purpose in empowering Govern- ment to meet its targets relating to poverty reduction. I am saying so because the final recommendation made by your Committee on poverty reduction is very significant and we need to take note of that if we want the Committee's work in relation to the APR to serve a useful purpose in this House.
The final recommendation says the Committee recommends that the Annual Progress Reports of the Implementation of the GPRS be laid in Parliament early enough to allow for suggestions or recommendations made in the House to be incorporated into the implementation or programmes of the succeeding year and I will even like to add that for the implementation of programmes of Government of the succeeding years.
We are looking at the APRs reports for 2004 and 2005 in the year 2007 and as you know, the purpose of the APR as stated in paragraphs 4 (1) and 4 (2) on page 3 indicates that the annual progress report was the output of a systematic and comprehensive review and evaluation of


Mr. David Oppon 1:40 p.m.

Ofoase-Ayirebi): Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the motion on the floor.

The report is about the Annual Progress Report of the implementation of the GPRS documents. The GPRS document is a document that is supposed to drive our developmental activities and it is heartening to note that consistently, the budget has positively correlated with the policies in that report. The document which is the Annual Progress Report not only seeks to give a report of what has happened but at the same time it looks at policy gaps and then seeks to address those policy gaps so that we can make progress as a nation.

Contrary to what my hon. Friend said about the impact of these policies, we do not really need to wait for the Annual Progress Report to realize the impact of the policies we are making. Daily in our papers and in our news,we see reports that indicate that progress is being made on the implementation of our GPRS.

Everyday in the newspapers, at least, you find two or three news items which either state that increase in enrolment in schools is due to the capitation grant, or that the increase in enrolment in schools is due to the building of new school blocks. And everyday we have something to the effect that these things are happening on the ground.

We all must, as hon. Members of Parliament, try to monitor what happens on poverty reduction in our communities. If we see a new school block, if we see a reshaped feeder road, if we see something coming up, these are all parts of the practical impact on our poverty reduction process.

Our GPRS is not different from our budget. So whatever is in our budget which is implemented is a result of the GPRS document that we are trying to implement on the ground. Contrary to what others might say, it is not really the APRs document which is the official document but on the daily basis we have proof on the ground that we are implementing our policies.

Let me speak on one thematic area; and

that is the modernization of agriculture. It is an area which is almost my pet subject. If you look at the modernization of agriculture, almost all the requirements and inputs have been given, leaving one very important thing. When you look at the modernization of agriculture, we see dams being built. Other inputs like tractors are being provided to help modernize agriculture just as things like fertilizers, improved seeds and improved technology.

One important ingredient or input that has not been properly addressed and which I think is a policy gap that we should all seek to address is the human factor -- the farmer -- who constitute 70 per cent of our labour force. While we spend money in building dams, we spend money in bringing in equipment, we need also to focus on the farmer, the person who is going to put these equipment and these facilities to use so that we can get a truly modernized agriculture.

In the past when most of our farmers

were illiterate, we used to have or we still do have mostly extension officers to disseminate knowledge on improved agriculture, improved methods, the use of fertilizers, crop management, soil management and all these things -- We have come a long way, 50 years down the line. Most of our farmers are literate to some extent.

The time has therefore come for us to put in place measures not only to bring in extension officers who will prove inadequate these days but also directly educate those who farm. Some attempts were made in the sixties to build farming institutes and up to date, about three or four of the ones that were established are still those that are serving the nation.

If indeed, you want to modernize agri- culture, if indeed, agriculture is the driving force of our economy, then the time has come that in addition to the good things that the Government is doing in terms of providing infrastructure, it also expands these schools and then through the Youth Employment Programme push our young boys to go and study agriculture, practical agriculture so that they will have the knowledge to properly utilize and optimize the use of the various facilities we are providing.

If you travel up north, you can see dams, you can see irrigation facilities and I am quite sure that very soon we will be expanding all these facilities. With the coming into force of the MCA, a lot of districts are going to have improved agriculture but we still have not solved the human resource problem. I am not talking of agricultural engineers, I am talking about our people, farmers who have been trained formally to manage our farms, to use modern agricultural tools and other things.

This is something that we should turn our attention to. If we are able to do this, if we are able to get most of our farmers educated in the right use of technology, we will then be moving towards the proper modernization of agriculture.

Mr. Speaker, with these few words, I

support the motion.
Mr. E.K.D. Adjaho (NDC -- Avenor- Ave) 1:50 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I support the motion ably moved by the Chairperson. I have looked at the Report and this is a very good Report.
Mr. Speaker, there is one concern of
mine and I am happy that the Committee has captured it at page 16, paragraph 7.1.7 its Report; and that is the timely submission of the annual progress report. The annual budgets that we pass every year are supposed to be in conformity with the GPRS.
The annual progress report is to find out and see where we are making progress and where we are not making progress so that annual budgets can capture those areas and deal with them in the succeeding budgets. But when you delay with the presentation of the annual progress report, then what figures do you capture into the succeeding budget? And for me, it is a very fundamental problem.
Mr. Speaker, I had the opportunity of
being outside this country on our GPRS, and realised that as at May, when you go to the World Bank website, it is the 2004 annual progress report that has been posted there. Now, we are doing 2004/2005 and there is a time schedule; I think it is about six months or so. If that is so, we are in arrears and what we would be doing and what the budget would be doing would not be ad idem.
I think that the recommendation of this Committee should be taken seriously so that the annual progress reports should be submitted in good time for us to look at them and make recommendations so that when the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning is preparing the following year's budget they can capture
the concerns of the House and capture areas where we are not making progress.
We approved the 2005 Budget; we approved the 2006 Budget; we approved the 2007 Budget, and at the time we approved these three budgets we did not have access to the annual progress reports to know where allocations should go to address the concerns in the annual progress reports. I am very, very happy that this concern has been captured by the Committee and it must be taken on board so that in future, we are able to submit the annual progress reports on time.
Mr. I. K. Asiamah (NPP -- Atwima- Mponua) 1:50 p.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the motion on the floor.
Mr. Speaker, I think one very interesting thing about this thing is that it enables Parliament, as an oversight body, to monitor the programmes and activities of the various MDAs.
One striking thing about a thematic area in the GPRS document is production and gainful employment. I am happy, as a young hon. Member of Parliament, that at least this vision is being realised by the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) that is being embarked upon. When you go round the country, at least for the first time, there is that conscious effort to engage the youth in meaningful employment programmes. That, to me, is very significant, particularly those with regard to agriculture. It is important that we concentrate on this NYEP.
Mr. Speaker, the shortfall I have realised is the fact that we seem to be concentrating on the national models. Every district is unique in this country. We must have district-based models so that those potentials within a particular
district can be harnessed to achieve the vision of the NYEP. So districts must have their own particular models that would suit their peculiar circumstances.
Mr. Speaker, another issue I want to raise is about good governance. Hon. Members of Parliament basically are supposed to have frequent interactions with their constituents. To me, that promotes effective participation in our democracy. It is important that we constantly interact with our people.
When you go out there, hon. Members of Parliament in our various consti- tuencies, do not have offices. When you go out there to the Constituency they come to your home for you to interact with them. This is a serious gap in our local government structure. For me, if you are talking of hon. Members of Parliament articulating effectively the concerns of the constituents, you do not expect the hon. Member of Parliament to only go to the nook and cranny of the constituency; no.
The Member of Parliament must have a constituency office where members can frequently come and lodge their complaints and their problems. As we sit in Accra here, somebody would always be in the office there interacting with us, communicating with us on daily basis.
Mr. Speaker, I was happy when the hon. Minister introduced the 2.5 per cent increase in the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), and this House has approved of it. Nothing stops this House from mandating the Local Government, Rural Development and Environment Ministry or instructing the Ministry to begin constructing constituency offices for Members of Parliament. It is important that we do that project.
We approve of budgets here, sums of money are approved here but we Members of Parliament (MPs) cripple ourselves; handicap ourselves; we cannot even function. This is a very serious handicap. You go out there, you build residences for District Chief Executives (DCEs), you build offices for DCEs and MPs who are supposed to come here and articulate their concerns are left out. What is this?
This is a serious handicap and this House should, as a matter of urgency, instruct the Local Government, Rural Development and Environment Ministry to instruct the DCEs to put up offices for MPs. That, to me, is important. Not only that; MPs, as a matter of urgency, must have guest houses in their various constituencies. This is a serious handicap in our democracy.
Some of us who do not come from the main constituency capital go to the constituency and have to put up in our villages. I have about 400 communities. How do they come to my small village? I must have an office where I can be reached at any point in time.
Mr. Speaker, we talk of enhancing our work even in this House. Let us place some urgency on the Job 600 issue. We must see that construction is going on there. I have always been saying that we are our own enemies; we in Parliament are our own enemies. Why can we not empower ourselves? We have whatever it takes to empower ourselves. We should begin to think critically about how to empower this House, empower Parliament so that we can work, and work well.
Another hon. Member was talking about an elevation. Yes, we sit in this House here and when an hon. Member gets a ministerial appointment we see it as an elevation. That in itself undermines this House. Why should a ministerial position be an elevation? For me, Isaac Asiamah, I am against it. We should see this as the various arms of government complementing each other. That to me, is the crux of our problem; that an MP is
Mr. I. K. Asiamah (NPP -- Atwima- Mponua) 1:50 p.m.

appointed as a Minister and we see it as an elevation.

Straightaway, you are undermining this august House. These are the people's representatives. Let us make this House what it should be. We are supposed to make here a very powerful House so that this institution can stand the test of time. Mr. Speaker, we must look critically at how we empower this august House because that is the only way that as MPs we can assert ourselves, make sure this House too can do its oversight work well. It is important.

Mr. Speaker, my last issue on this GPRS document is on the timeliness of reports. Sometimes we come here, and we have officers in the various MDAs who are supposed to work judiciously on these reports and they would delay. They would tell you, yes, problems left and right. As a country, we must be seen to be beating our deadlines and schedules. It is important we ask them to do so because almost every time politicians take the blame -- the MP is not doing anything.

Mr. Speaker, go to my constituency, and you would realise that for every blame, they mention Isaac Asiamah's name. Yet we come here and we defend civil servants and bureaucrats who are supposed to do their work. People who are paid to do their work sit down there and they accuse and lambast MPs because we sometimes seem to be protecting and defending them. Those out there who are empowered and who are asked to do this job must make sure that they produce the report on time so that Parliament can provide its oversight work, and work well.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
is a very spirited contribution. Majority Leader, let me hear from the Leadership, have you made any provision for extended Sitting?
Mr. A. O. Aidooh 1:50 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, No.
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
well. So I will give one minute to hon.
Member for Ashaiman, then I will put the Question and we close.
Mr. Alfred K. Agbesi (NDC --
Ashaiman): Mr. Speaker, the GPRS focuses on providing an enabling environment whereby all of us as Ghanaians, would be able to live decently.
Page 2 of the Report gives us the background information on the GPRS. It is necessary that whilst we are living as a country we should always note that all Ghanaians, irrespective of their socio- economic status or where they reside, have access to basic social services such as health, quality education, safe drinking water, decent housing, security against crime and violence and ability to participate in decisions that affect their lives.
It talks about ability to take part in wealth creation; after the creation of wealth we should also be part of the enjoyment of that wealth. This is a laudable project and I believe people in authority must take this as their foremost responsibility to the people we preside over, to the people we rule and to the people we make provision for.
Mr. Speaker, I am grateful for the
Mr. Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
have done well; you have kept within the time. The Chairperson would want to say one or two words?
Ms. Addoh 1:50 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, the
contributions were very good. I have nothing more to add, only to say thank you to hon. Members.
Question put and motion agreed to.