Debates of 31 Jul 2007

PRAYERS 10:10 a.m.

Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Order! Order! Hon. Members, we do not have Votes and Proceedings, and we do not have any Official Report for today.
At the Commencement of Public Business, item 3 -- Business Statement for the first week of the Third Meeting, Chairman of Business Committee?
taken during the week.

Questions --

Minister for Finance and Economic Planning -- 944, 1043, 1084 and


Minister for Transportation -- 701, 702, 703, 704, 705, 706 and 707

Laying of Papers --

(a) Report of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on the Interpretation Bill.

(b) Report of the Committee on Mines and Energy on the Mining Leases between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the following:

i. AngloGold Ashanti,

ii. Ghana Bauxite Company Limited,

iii. Gulf Coast Resources Inc.

(c) Report of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parlia- mentary Affairs on the Data Capture (Registration), Pro- tection of Personal Information and Privacy Bill.

Committee Sittings

Questions --

Minister for the Interior --1019, 1022, 1039, 1068 and 1070 Minister for Energy - 780, 804, 805,

Majority Leader/Minister for Parliamentary Affairs (Mr. F. K. Owusu-Adjapong) 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Business Committee met on Thursday, 26th July 2007 and arranged Business of the House for the First Week of the Third Meeting ending Friday, 26th October
Mr. Speaker, the Committee presents its report to this honourable House as follows 10:10 a.m.
Arrangement of Business
Mr. Speaker, the Committee has invited six (6) Ministers to respond to various Questions.
The details are as follows:
i. Minister for Finance and Economic Planning
ii Minister for Transportation
iii. Minister for the Interior
iv. Minister for Energy
v. Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing
vi. Minister for Communications
No. of Question(s)
Total Number of Questions 33
Mr. Speaker, in all, thirty-three (33) Questions have been scheduled to be answered.
Mr. Speaker, you may allow Statements which have been duly admitted to be made in the House.
Bills, Papers and Reports
Mr. Speaker, Bills, Papers and Reports may be presented to the House for consideration and other businesses which have already been presented to the House would also be considered. Motions and Resolutions
Mr. Speaker, motions may be debated and the appropriate Resolutions would be taken where required.
Outstanding Parliamentary Business
Mr. Speaker, the Business Committee wishes to inform this august House that all outstanding business will be carried over to the Third Meeting.
The Business Committee however wishes to encourage Committees with referrals, particularly Bills, to work on them during the recess so that their reports may be submitted to the House for con- sideration when the House reconvenes. The following are some of the referrals at Committees:
i. The Interpretation Bill, 2005 (Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs).
ii. Anti-Terrorism Bill, 2005 (Joint Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and Defence and Interior).
iii. Statutory Instruments (Amend- ment) Bill (Committee on Consti- tutional, Legal and Parliamen-tary Affairs).
iv. Data Capture (Registration), Protection of Personal Information and Privacy Bill (Joint Committee on Finance and Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs).
Mr. Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 160 (2) and subject to Standing Order 53, the Committee submits to this honourable House the order in which the Business of the House shall be
Mr. Speaker, the Committee presents its report to this honourable House as follows 10:10 a.m.
806, 807, 808 and 809
Consideration Stage of Bills --
Anti-Money Laundering Bill.
Committee Sittings

Questions --

Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing -- 874, 875, 902, 903 and 940

Motions --

(a) Second Reading of Bills --

Interpretation Bill.

Data Capture (Registration), Protec t ion of Personal Information and Privacy.

(b) Adoption of the Report of the Committee on Mines and Energy on the Mining Leases between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the following:

i) AngloGold Ashanti,

i i ) G h a n a B a u x i t e Company Limited,

iii) Gulf Coast Resources Inc.

Committee Sittings

Questions --

Minister for Communications -- 1063, 1066, 1081, 1131 and 1171

Motion --

Third Reading of Bills --

Anti-Money Laundering Bill

Committee Sittings
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon. Members, as we come to the end of the Meeting I am calling on the Leadership of the House to give their closing remarks.

Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Majority Leader?
Majority Leader/Minister for
Parliamentary Affairs (Mr. F. K. Owusu- Adjapong): Mr. Speaker, firstly, let me welcome the New Presidential Aspirant, hon. Alban Bagbin -- [Laughter] -- When he addressed us as “my colleague presidential aspirants”, I was wondering whether it was for the 2008, or for the 2012. Whatever it is, I think there is still room for more people to become aspirants -- [Laughter.] After all, those who used to present single candidates have now been able to progress to four, five candidates. And therefore, those of us who used to present eight candidates, if it is simple arithmetic -- [Uproar]-- then we should be talking about 32-40.
Mr. Speaker, today ends the Second Meeting of the Third Session of the Fourth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana.We are gradually moving in our forward march towards a stable and sustainable democratic governance. The enthusiasm with which Members have executed the Agenda for this Meeting is a clear manifestation of my earlier predictions that Members rested enough during the last recess and were in a good shape and state of readiness to work exceptionally hard.
I thank the Almighty God for giving us the enabling environment for successfully ending this Meeting. It is my prayer that

He will continue to give us guidance, wisdom, strength and spirit of togetherness as we strive to deepen democracy in our dear country.

Mr. Speaker, at this time permit me to present to the House Business so far executed during this Meeting. A total of three (3) Bills were introduced in the House for its consideration during this Meeting. This includes, the Anti-Money Laundering Bill, Bui Power Authority Bill and Data Capture (Registration), Protection of Personal Information and Privacy Bill.

I am happy to say that by dint of hard work, the Bui Power Authority Bill, 2007 in addition to the National Accreditation Board Bill, 2007; the Statutory Instruments (Amendment) Bill; and the Transfer of Convicted Persons Bill which were already at the Consideration Stage before the House reconvened for this Meeting, have been passed into Law.

Three (3) Legislative Instruments -- Labour Regulations, 2007 (L.I. 1833), Free Zone (Exclusive and Concession) Regulations, 2007 (L.I. 1834) and Manufacture and Sale of Spirits Instrument, 2007 (L.I. 1835] were also laid and considered in the House at this Meeting. Twenty (20) Loan Agreements were considered and approved.

Mr. Speaker, the House also played host to several dignitaries during this Meeting. There were delegations from the Ogun State Legislature, Nigeria, the National Assembly of Kenya and the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly, on familiarization and study working visit to our Parliament. We had very fruitful and interactive discussions with them and it is my hope that greater collaboration would be forged between our Parliament and these respective Parliaments.

Mr. Speaker, I cannot be boastful of successes of this Meeting without expressing our sincere appreciation and gratitude to you and your Deputies for the able manner in which affairs of this Meeting have been steered. It is my hope that God will always give you such wisdom and exceptional qualities to direct us to discharge our duties to the best of our abilities.

The Committee Chairpersons, Ranking Members and indeed the entire members of the various committees also deserve gratitude for their effort and dedications towards matters placed before them. I hope that same level of commitment would be exhibited for subsequent Meetings in the life of this Parliament. I entreat them as well to endeavour to find time and meet during the recess to complete all unfinished referrals.

I would like to take this opportunity, Mr. Speaker, to also congratulate Mr. Emmanuel Anyimadu on his appointment as the Clerk to Parliament. It is my hope that he will emulate and continue the good works of his predecessors and perhaps work extra hard to provide the needed administrative and other necessary support to enable Parliament play its role effectively for nation building. I wish the former Clerk and his family a happy stay in retirement. Parliament and indeed, the entire nation will forever remember him for his meritorious and non-partisan service to the good people of Ghana.

The Staff of Parliament also deserve commendation for their tireless and continued efforts behind the scenes to ensure that the work of the House went on successfully and as scheduled.

Democratic governance, Mr. Speaker, relies heavily on the availability and accessibility of information to both the

Government and the governed. This cannot be achieved without the support of the media. I would therefore like to commend the Parliamentary Press Corps, for their immense role in disseminating information on Parliament.

Mr. Speaker, next Meeting will witness new faces on the floor of this august House to answer Ministerial questions. Congratulations to all colleague Members who have been appointed to Ministerial levels. I am particularly happy about the number of females who have been elevated or introduced into the Government. I believe that this is as a result of the relentless efforts of our female counterparts in fighting for women's right and empowerment.

Let me make special mention of the appointment of hon. Abraham Ossei Aidooh, my able Deputy Majority Leader as the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs. I believe this is the reward for dedicated and selfless service to Parliament of Ghana, the New Patriotic Party, President Kufuor's Government, the people of Ghana, Africa and Humankind.

I have had fruitful discussions with the Leadership of our Party on his appointment as the Leader of the Majority in Parliament and consequently, Leader of the House. He will maintain residual powers in this House

I sincerely believe that my colleagues in the Majority Caucus will also endorse the Party's decision so that the next Meeting of Parliament will see a new Leader of the House. This naturally will free the “GREAT LEADER” to campaign for the Owners of the New Patriotic Party to elect him as the next Leader. I hope my hon. Friend, the Minority Leader and the entire Leadership would lend their support
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, our illustrious son, Busumuru Kofi Annan is here with us and will soon be addressing the House. I crave the indulgence of all of us to pay attention to him as he shares with us his rich experience and perhaps give us some clues as to how we can enhance democracy in our dear country further.
Mr. Speaker, I take this opportunity to thank him immensely for what he has done for our world and for Mother Ghana. I wish him and his family well in their endeavours.

Some hon. Members: Leader, do something before you go! Leader, do something before you go!
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:30 a.m.
It shall be done.
Mr. Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Order! Order! Hon. Members, today's Sitting marks the end of the Second Meeting of the Third Session of the Fourth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana. By the grace of God, this Meeting has seen the passage of very important Bills which the Majority Leader referred to in his closing remarks as well as having approved other loan agree-ments. It is pleasurable to put on record that notwithstanding the numerous challenges confronting Members, the House has conscientiously dealt with almost all the business presented to it for consideration. We are once again thankful to God for His guidance.
I also wish to place on record the high level of maturity and patriotism with which committees of the House
Mr. Speaker 11:05 a.m.
scrutinized the various issues referred to them. The Appointments Committee specially deserves lots of commendation for dispassionately vetting all the ministerial nominees by His Excellency the President within the short space of time.
I congratulate the Leadership of the House, Chairpersons and members of the committees for this achievement. I am hopeful that the House would continue to exhibit this level of commitment in the subsequent Meetings.

Members of the Parliamentary Press Corps have also done tremendously well by consistently and diligently carrying to the doorsteps of Ghanaians activities of the House.

Hon. Members, after such hectic hours of Sittings there is no doubt that we need to take good rest. I am hopeful, therefore, that you would return from the recess better refreshed to continue with the task ahead of us. May the Almighty God be with us all till we return to the House to resume our duties.

Hon. Members, I shall now proceed to the central lobby and receive His Excellency Dr. Busumuru Kofi Annan. May I have assistance from the Leadership of the House, please.

The Sitting was suspended at 10.50 a.m.

Sitting resumed.
Mr. Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Order! Chairmen and hon. Members of the Council of State, hon. Ministers of State, hon. Members of Parliament, Your Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, My Lords, both Spiritual and Temporal, Nananom, Niimei, Naamei, Members of the Media, Distinguished Guests, I am pleased to welcome you to this special Sitting which is being organised in honour of His Excellency Dr. Busumuru Kofi Annan [Hear! Hear!]

Hon. Members, pretty soon, I will

invite His Excellency Dr. Busumuru Kofi Annan to address the august House. But before that, let me emphasise that it is indeed a great privilege, honour and delight to have His Excellency who has distinguished himself as a two-term Secretary-General of the United Nations, a tenacious diplomat, conciliator, activist and patriotic Ghanaian in our midst today -- [Hear! Hear!] -- to share with us some of his experiences and his in-depth wisdom. I therefore have no doubt that the address which is soon to be delivered by His Excellency will provide a very useful hindsight in efforts at achieving good democratic governance in Ghana through the entrenchment of parliamentary democracy.

Hon. Members, it is my pleasurable

ANNAN 11:05 a.m.

Mr. Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Order! Order! Hon. Members, on behalf of Leadership and on my own behalf, I wish to express the appreciation of Parliament to His Excellency Dr. Busumuru Kofi Annan
[H.E. KOFI ANNAN] for finding time to come and address this House. I wish to assure him that the House will critically consider the vital issues raised in his address.
ADJOURNMENT 11:25 a.m.