Debates of 5 Feb 2008

PRAYERS 10 a.m.


Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Order! Order! Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 1st February, 2008. Pages 1. . .12. [No corrections were made to Votes and Proceedings.]
Hon. Members, we have the Official Report of Thursday, 13th December, 2007 [Pause] --
Hon. Majority Leader, is the hon. Minister for Lands, Forestry and Mines in the House?
Mr. A. O. Aidooh 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, may you permit the hon. Deputy Minister to act on behalf of the Minister.


AND MINES 10 a.m.

Mr. Afotey-Agbo 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to know from the hon. Deputy Minister if he is aware that the area in question falls within Government acquisition.
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am
Mr. Afotey-Agbo 10:10 a.m.
I am the Member of Parliament for the area and I am very much aware that the area falls within Government acquisition. So what is the hon. Deputy Minister going to do to regularize their documents for them?
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Hon. Member, the hon. Deputy Minister indicated that he is not aware. If you have other questions, please ask.
Mr. Chireh 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the hon. Deputy Minister's Answer, he gave us guidelines as to how to register land. But this particular question seeks to find out whether this institution or organization, particularly the police barrier which is a government service -- What steps is the hon. Deputy Minister taking to get them to register their land?
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, if the police property there is on the acquired land, as the hon. Member is making me to believe then naturally, the procedure for regularizing is in there as stated, and it can be done, as it were.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Question number 1045 -- hon. Paul Evans Aidoo, Member of Parliament for Sefwi Wiawso?
Mining Communities in the Western Region
Q. 1045. Mr. Evans Paul Aidoo asked the Minister for Lands, Forestry and Mines what plans the Ministry had put in place to mitigate poverty in mining communities in the Western Region.
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, poverty reduction has been one of the main policy areas of this Government. Sectoral policies (including those of my Ministry), have therefore been geared towards reducing poverty, especially in our communities.
The Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Mines considers poverty reduction in mining communities from two perspectives: what the Ministry is doing and what is being done by mining companies as a result of the Ministry's policies.
2.0 Development of Alternative Livelihood Projects (ALP) Otherwise K n o w n a s L o c a l E c o n o m i c Development Projects
(LED) in Mining Communities by the Ministry
The Ministry conducted a study that came out with possible alternative livelihood projects that can be undertaken in mining communities in Ghana in 2001. In all, 61 mining communities were covered under the study.
As part of the implementation of the recommendations of the study, the Ministry has established a project for the development of 10,000 acres or 4,000 hectares of oil palm estates within four mining communities in the Wassa West district in the Western Region.
2.1 Project Objectives
The project is intended to among others --
Galvanize existing farmers' groups in the target communities to establish producer-shareholding commercial entities to cultivate oil palm;
Strengthen the efforts at diversifying Ghana's export earnings by increasing the participation of private sector rural farmers in the production of oil palm;
Stem the tide of rural-urban migration;
Generate employment, both direct and indirect;
Reduce poverty; and
Contribute to the development of the rural catchment areas.
2.2 Target Groups
The target beneficiaries are illegal miners and poor farm facilities operating in the five (5) communities of Awudua, Bogoso, Huni Valley, Hemang, Mbease- Nsuta near Prestea in the Wassa West district of the Western Region.
They have been organized into recognized groups to enable them receive common services including the following:
Supply of improved quality oil palm seedlings and intercrops such as seed corn and plantain suckers;
Land preparation credit support to enable each participating farm family clear and prepare 10 acres (4 hectares) of land for the seedlings and inter crops;
Provision of basic farm tools and equipment;
Provision of agro input support including fertilizer, insecticide and fungicide; and
Technical assistance or capacity building through training on modern oil palm cultivation practices and basic farm record keeping.
2.3 Status of Implementation
An amount of GH¢500,000 has been released from the Poverty Alleviation Fund for the implementation of the project.
A Project Implementation Team
(PIT) has been appointed to oversee its implementation.
Participants/beneficiaries of the project have been organized into groups/ cooperatives to receive common support.
The first four communities have received their free oil palm seedlings and planted them on 8,000 acres of land.
3.0 Alternative Livelihood Projects of the Mining Companies
Mining companies in the country have been encouraged to establish alternative livelihood projects for their host communities. Many of these projects had been executed on ad hoc basis for a long time. However, through interaction with the Ministry, the mining companies have created funding sources to make the projects sustainable.
Most of the companies have established foundations or community development trusts into which specific contributions that are related to gold production are lodged and used specifically for the development of alternative livelihood projects for the communities.
Commercial oil palm plantations have been established, especially in the Western Region where the oil palm thrives well.
4.0 Promotion and Development of Small Scale Mining
Small scale mining continues to contribute significantly to the total production of gold and diamond in the country. This activity is also a major employer of the youth. However, a large army of these miners engage in illegal mining (galamsey) especially in areas that are already licensed to large scale mining companies.
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:10 a.m.

The following plans have therefore been put in place to address the problem of land unavailability.

4.1 Geological Investigation of Areas Identified for Small Scale Mining

Mr. Speaker, eight (8) areas have been identified nationwide covering a total area of 300sq. km as potential areas for small-scale mining. Areas that fall under the Western Region are: Japa, Awudua and Prestea. Should these areas, after geological investigations prove successful, small scale miners will be allocated viable plots to work on.

4.2 Assistance of Small Scale Mining Cooperatives/Groups

Government has made it a policy to assist small scale miners who form cooperatives and have acquired concessions to work on legally.

The assistance is to help these mining cooperatives to purchase durable mining and processing equipment which will help improve on their operations. Two of such mining cooperatives (Konongo and Bolgatanga Small Scale Mining Cooperatives) have already benefited from this assistance.

The application for the Tarkwa Small Scale Miners' Association is being evaluated by the Minerals Commission.
Mr. E. P. Aidoo 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has mentioned a lot of very interesting programmes here and there, but I would like to know from him whether poverty has been reduced in Awudua and Atoabo areas in the Wassa West district.
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned, the programme has taken off but addressing an issue of poverty
Mr. E. P. Aidoo 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to know from the hon. Deputy Minister why those interventions that he just mentioned are only targeted at the Wassa West district, leaving out the northern part of the Western Region where cocoa farms and forest reserves have been destroyed for the mining of gold and bauxite. Why has he left out those areas?
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned, it is a problem that all of us got to know of. We have set the thing in motion and I am saying that it is a pilot programme that we are running. So even as the success is seen in these areas, it can be duplicated and stipulated in all these other mining areas to help all of us to see that poverty is reduced.
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Question number 1156 -- hon. Enoch T. Mensah, Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram?

Development of Shai Hills Forest Reserves into Housing Estates

Q. 1156. Mr. David Tetteh Assumeng (on behalf of Mr. E. T. Mensah) asked the Minister for Lands, Forestry and Mines to explain why the Shai Hills Forest Reserves is being developed into housing estates.
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, Shai Hills Resource Reserve is located on the Accra-Akosombo Road.
It occupies an area of 51 square kilometres. The entire reserve is bounded by a 31km-long perimeter fence, the only fenced protected area in Ghana. Shai Hills Resource Reserve is presently

home to a fairly wide range of species of wild animals, including 31 species of mammals. These include seven species of antelope, three primate species, 10 rodent species, and four bat species. There are also 13 species of reptiles and 175 species of birds.

The long-term vision of Shai Hills Resource Reserve is to develop it as a major tourist attraction in partnership with the private sector.

The Ministry would like to state that the Shai Hill Resource Reserve is not being developed into housing estates but rather lands outside the boundaries of the reserve are being developed by private estate developers. And I believe if my hon. Friend had stopped to have a casual look, he might have appreciated it.
Mr. Assumeng 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the hon. Minister if he is aware that the project that we are talking about shares boundary with the reserve.
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Question seeks to know whether development is going on within the reserve. So if it is outside the fenced area, then it is somebody's property that he can develop. Inside the reserve, there is no development going on.
Mr. Assumeng 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister enumerated animals that are in the reserve and which need to be protected. What the Question sought to ask was why the project was being allowed to go on right at the boundary of the reserve which he thinks would disturb the effective running of the reserve. So I am asking why the project is going on just within the boundary of the reserve.
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon. Member, we do not understand your question. It is not within but on the boundary -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Assumeng 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, this is
a reserve that is being protected, and a project is going on right on the boundary of the reserve. So we are asking what steps he is taking to prevent the disturbance of the reserve as the project is going on just at the boundary of the reserve.
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, somebody is developing his own private land. We have fenced the protected area, and we are managing the resources within it, so the best that we can do, profes- sionally is to protect the animals with the fence. Therefore if the owner of the land adjacent to the fenced area is developing it there is little that we can do to prevent the person from developing his own property. I do not know if he has some other suggestion that he can help us with.
Maybe, he may bring it here to make a law so that we can be in a stronger position to do more than what we are doing now.
Maj. (Dr.) (Alhaji) Mustapha Ahmed (retd): Mr. Speaker, I would like to know from the hon. Minister whether he is aware that a portion of the reserve has been given out to a private developer to construct a hotel complex, and that work has actually begun.
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would so much like that when hon. Members want to ask questions about areas that are of professional nature, they spend a little bit of time to know -- There is nothing going on now within the reserve. This protected area calls for a lot of money to do the work in there.
So as a government strategy which is part of a Question that I am going to answer, we are trying to invite private individuals to come and buy into the protected areas and set up tourist attractions so that when individuals go there, apart from the natural animal habitat they will appreciate and watch, they can enjoy the quiet
atmosphere there. We have only signed the Memoran-dum of Understanding (MOU); the contract is yet to be signed. So there is no activity going on within the reserve as far as the construction of that tourist facility is concerned.
Mr. F. A. Agbotse 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, can the hon. Minister tell us what type of development is going on at the edge of the reserve and how it will affect the management of the reserve?
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon. Member for Ho West, this cannot be a Supplementary Question. Hon. Member for Sege?
Mr. A. W. G. Abayateye 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the hon. Minister's Answer, he said the reserve occupies an area of 51 square kilometres and that the entire reserve is bounded by a 31-kilometre long perimeter fence. I am not getting him. It is 51 square kilometres but the entire reserve is bounded by a 31-kilometre fence -- If he can explain what he meant by that -- 51 square kilometre and 31 kilometres.
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, this is a purely mathematical issue. When you measure the area in square kilometres we are not measuring the length, as it were. I believe if they used their compasses in taking points here and there in arriving at the total area. The perimeter fence starts from one end and then goes round the area. So it is not like a 51 square kilometre area that is punishing the 31 kilometre fence wall -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Please, you should not be distracted; go ahead.
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:20 a.m.
There are some areas that might not go in that way. The points that have been taken, that accounts for it.
Mr. Henry F. Kamel 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am aware that some tour operators have drawn the Ministry's attention to the fact that this housing programme could have a negative effect on this national asset -- this forest reserve. I want to know from the hon. Minister, apart from fencing the place, what other measures are being put in place such that this project would not affect the eco-system of the area.
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the issue being raised brings to the fore the question of land use planning, as it were. So professionally, even as it is coming to the core and the fore, we would ask the professionals who are managing the area to advise us to see how in terms of compatibility these developments that are being made can stay side-by-side with the protection of the animals that we have.
In one vein, it creates the impression that maybe, it will help us even restrain poachers from getting in there. But what about the lives of the very wild animals that are in there? They like very quiet atmosphere. If it would be a worry, then we will try to see how we can further advise in making sure that the animals' livelihood is not threatened.
Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I just want the hon. Minister to tell us which private estate developers are developing the land outside the forest reserve.
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it would be very difficult; I have to go back and check because I am only managing my land that is protected and fenced. So I have not really taken that particular notice and I would get the information for the hon. Minority Leader. It has not been a threat to my property; that is why I have not actually taken that interest. Now that the interest is becoming so much heightened, I would check and report back to him.
Mr. Bagbin 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister could ask for time to go and do his research and come back because he stated in his Answer that the land is being developed by private estate developers, which means that he is aware that private estate developers are developing the land there. So he should know those who are developing the land, especially as they share boundaries with the land that he is concerned about and protecting. He should know.
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Order! Order!
Mr. Bagbin 10:30 a.m.
He should be able to tell us who is developing it so that we accept that what he is saying is true.
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
That is not a question, anyway.
Extent of Depletion of Forest Reserves
Q. 1249. Mr. Evans Paul Aidoo asked the Minister for Lands, Forestry and Mines the extent of depletion of forest reserves and to find out whether this country could boast of forest reserves by 2020 if the trend of depletion continued.
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, according to Forest Resource Assessment (FRA) Report 2005, the total forest area as at 1990 declined from about 2,047,026 hectares to approximately 1,738,978 hectares in 2000, equivalent to an annual deforestation rate of about 1.5 per cent (that is, for a decade). For the period 2000 to 2005 (that is, half a decade) the forest cover reduced from 1,738,978 hectares
to 1,607,705 hectares also equivalent to an annual deforestation rate of about 1.5 per cent. This is with particular reference to timber production from permanent protection areas in forest reserves.
Mr. Speaker, wildfires, particularly in the transitional and savannah zones, have been the most important cause of deforestation and forest degradation in Ghana. Forest fires have caused an estimated annual loss of about 3 per cent of GDP during the last fifteen years.
Fortunately, there have been a number of Government of Ghana (GOG) and donor supported interventions that have helped to check further deforestation. The projects include the Wildfire Management Project funded by the Royal Netherlands Government, the Forest Resource Use Management Project (FORUM) and the Participatory Forest Resource Management (PAFORM) projects of the GTZ and JICA respectively and the Northern Savannah Biodiversity Project
Recent satellite imagery, covering forest zones has revealed improved vegetation cover in the forest areas where wildfire projects are operational.
In September 2001, His Excellency the President launched the National Forest Plantation Development Programme (NFPDP) as one of the President's Special Initiatives (PSI) aimed at encouraging the development of a sustainable forest resource base, one that will satisfy future demands for industrial timber and enhance environmental quality.
Additionally, the programme is to generate jobs and contribute to food production in the country, thereby help to create wealth and reduce poverty among the rural communities.
An annual planting target of 20,000 hectares has been set for the programme. An estimated 116,840 hectares of degraded forest reserve lands have been planted so far by various initiatives (including private plantations on-reserve), Modified Taungya System (MTS) since the commencement of the PSI between 2001 and 2007. The programme will continue in earnest this year and into the future.
Measures already put in place to increase the rate of planting include institutional strengthening to allow for a better focus on plantation establishment to meet international standards, incentives to attract more private sector investments in commercial plantations such as cost- sharing arrangements, tax exemptions, improved local infrastructure, grants and low interest loans.
The above measures coupled with conscious efforts to check, reduce and eliminate the casual factors of the forest degradation, it is possible to realize a reversal of the negative trends in forest cover by the year 2020 and a move towards significant improvement in forest cover to save the reserved forests.
Mr. E. P. Aidoo 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the last paragraph of the hon. Minister's Answer gave a very nice picture of checking the depletion of the forest reserves in the nation. But I just want to find out from the hon. Minister whether he is aware that the nation's forest reserves are being depleted for gold mining and why that is being allowed to go on.
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, mining in forest reserves has been a very thorny issue and it has attracted a lot of debate. The assurance that I can give to my hon. Colleague is that these activities in the reserves are well managed to the level that they cause very minimal disturbance
Mr. Hodogbey 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the Minister's Answer, he said “additional programme to generate jobs and contribute to food production in the country” -- So I would like to know how many jobs have been created under the programme and the total number of hectares of afforestation that has been covered by this programme.
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I wish my hon. Friend would come with a substantive Question so that we do the necessary research and then provide very cogent answers to the questions that he has posed.
Maj. (Dr.) (Alhaji) Mustapha Ahmed (retd.): Mr. Speaker, the Minister made reference to timber production from permanent protection areas in forest reserves. I would like to know from the Minister which of the two main methods of timber extraction, the contractors and the chainsaw operators is more harmful to our forest reserves.
M r. S p e a k e r : T h i s i s n o t a supplementary question.
Mr. Evans Paul Aidoo 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Minister, the last time he visited some forest reserves in Sefwi- Wiawso district for him to assess the rate of destruction by timber and chainsaw operators in the district.
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the last time that I went to Sefwi-Wiawso district, I wished I would not go there again. I went there under military protection, into Tano Forest Reserve and saw that the havoc that is being done in that Tano Reserve is not being done by timber extraction. It is being done by individuals who are farming as a result of confusion between two chieftaincy institutions with individuals going about selling some of the lands.
With those who are operating timber, they are guided by some principles of the Forestry Services Division. As for farming, a lot of us do not see that it is also a very serious threat to forests because all of us want to see food on our tables at the end of the day. So I have been there and I hope to go there this year as well. Thank you.
Mr. Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Question number 1269, hon. Albert Kwaku Obbin, Member of Parliament for Prestea-Huni Valley?
Golden Star Bogoso, Prestea Limited
Q. 1269. Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo (on behalf of Mr. Albert Kwaku Obbin) asked the Minister for Lands, Forestry and Mines when Golden Star Bogoso, Prestea Limited would re-open the Prestea underground mine which the company has put under care and maintenance since
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Prestea underground mine had been operated for over 120 years under different managements including the defunct State Gold Mining Corporation and the former Prestea Gold Resources. There was no significant investment in exploration and development since the 1960s and infrastructure had run down. Golden Star Bogoso/Prestea Limited took over the mine in 2002.
It has since invested more than 33 million United States dollars in care and maintenance and assessment of the Prestea underground with the biggest cost item being the dewatering of the mine. From the exploration carried out by the company, three possible targets have been identified with a total resource of 1.6 million ounces.
More resources need to be identified. It will also take time to put up fractures and will involve significant capital funding for the next four years. Estimated time for reopening the mine for operation is between four to six years.
Mr. J. B. Aidoo 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Minister, in his Answer, has indicated that the total resource of 1.6 million ounces have been identified. Mr. Speaker, in his own estimation what amount of resources does he consider to be reasonable before the company goes underground as he has already indicated that more resources needed to be identified?
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the company is still doing exploration. So the more they are able to see and identify more resources, I believe the more it will motivate them to put more money into it and start doing the mining.
Mr. J. B. Aidoo 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I will leave that question for now because it was not properly answered. But Mr. Speaker, one of the fundamental reasons why the company stayed out of the underground mine was the price of gold. In 2002, the price of gold was 280 dollars per ounce. Today the price of gold is 136.9 dollars per ounce. Looking at the price of gold now, which is more than three times what was pertaining in 2002, will the
Minister encourage the company to go underground?
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I believe that is the most prudent thing. If business men put their money somewhere, they look up to the fact that it will grow. So if there has been significant increase in the price of gold, naturally, those who are investors will be interested in doing it and we as a Ministry will encourage them to do it. Even as it is now, given the appre-ciable price of gold, I believe we can also team up with some investors as well as start doing some exploration and some mining.
Mr. Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Question number 1283 -- hon. Francis Yaw Osei-Sarfo, Member of Parliament for Krachi West?
Game and Wildlife Division of the Ministry (Development)
Q. 1283. Mr. Francis Y. Osei-Sarfo asked the Minister for Lands, Forestry and Mines what plans the Ministry had to develop the Game and Wildlife Division of the Ministry as a means of generating revenue for the country.
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, as a division of the Forestry Commission, the Wildlife Division is moving towards financial self-sufficiency, to be able to meet its financial commitments and also to sustainably manage the protected areas under its jurisdiction.
The division recognizes that the key to its viability lies mainly in the development and promotion of eco-tourism facilities. Measures have been put in place to entice private capital for the development of eco- tourism in its parks. A commercial unit to drive the process has been established. In this regard, the Wildlife Division has already awarded con-cessions for the development of eco-lodges at Mole
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:50 a.m.
National Park and Kakum National Park.
All being well, constructional works will commence by January 2008 at Mole and Kakum National Parks. The Wildlife Division has advertised for bids for the grant of concessions to develop tourism infrastructure at the Digya National Park and Shai Hills Resource Reserve.
The Wildlife Division has published investment portfolios as well as visitor brochures on all the protected areas with high eco-tourism potentials to market the protected areas.
Other strategies for enhancing revenue generation by the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission are as follows:

i) Review rates regularly to meet current economic realities;

ii) Determine impact and cost of Wildlife Division's operations in protect ing r iverbanks, watersheds and catchment areas for payment by beneficiary organizations such as the Ghana Water Company and the Volta River Authority;

iii) Monitor and facilitate trade in wildlife products such as those in arts and crafts industry; and

iv) Introduce environmental tax for carbon-sequestration impact by Pas.

It is expected that implementation of these strategies will generate substantial revenue for Wildlife Division and the fringing communities of these protected


The Ministry would like to state that the Shai Hills Resource Reserve is not being developed into housing estates. The estate development taking place is outside the boundaries of the Reserve.
Mr. Osei-Sarfo 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to know from the hon. Deputy Minister whether there are plans to collaborate with the communities within and those bordering the reserves.
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, under the new management system, we have formed what we call creamers in some areas where communities are educated to appreciate the fact that the more they help the Wildlife Division to protect the animals the more it gives them revenue as opposed to killing them for meat; so these communities are being involved. And the management units are headed by prominent opinion leaders in these areas so that they can see the importance of these protected areas in the socio-economic development of these communities.
And I believe if he has been following this very well, Tsabobo-Nkwanta where he comes from, very near there, we have established one of such communities there. I went there to inaugurate it and it is functioning very well.
Mr. Osei-Sarfo 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want the hon. Deputy Minister to tell us how he wants to reconcile the high degree of Ghanaians eating bush meat as against the development of the game and wildlife industry.
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the bush meat trade in the world is about a hundred billion dollars annually. The research figures are there and if he cares to know, I can provide it for my hon.
Friend. It has become a huge industry that individuals actually patronize and the meat is a delicacy, as it were. We are trying to educate those who consume and those who harvest and hunt them to know that it is better for us as a country to protect these animals and that they will give us more money than when we eat them.
In some areas where I have visited in East Africa, the Masais are benefiting from the protection of these animals and we are trying to bring that strategy here so that individuals who appreciate the eating of bush meat will know that it is a threat.
But let me use this medium to announce that even this period of the year, there was a ban in the consumption of bush meat except for rat and grasscutter. We are trying also to encourage individuals to domesticate and also rear some of these animals in their backyards so that they will be readily available on their table. Grasscutter has caught up with a lot of people and people are making a lot of money; and we are collaborating with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to do that. Hon. Akua Dansua, I know, eats a lot of bush meat; I do not eat bush meat.
Mr. Osei-Sarfo 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to know the status of Accra Zoo.
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Accra Zoo, as he is aware, needed to be moved out to Kumasi because of the construction of the Presidential Palace. There is a national committee which I am chairing that worked in making sure that the animals are safely in Kumasi. As at now, the Committee is working very hard and we have estimates for the construction of a new modern zoo for Accra. We will try to phase it, and if it followed the Budget for this year -- There was a budget line for the construction of the first phase of
the Accra Zoo.
Now, even as I speak, there are some of the animals which have been sent to the zoo; and you can go there and visit them. We are trying to develop some of these things and we have some monkeys there -- very rare -- only Ghana has got them and the whole world is counting on Ghana to breed them, so they are in there. We have some ostriches there, we have camels there in the Accra Zoo site in the Achimota forest. So the Accra Zoo is on course and I am sure he will see signs of it.
Ms. Akua Sena Dansua 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to know from the hon. Deputy Minister if he as a typical Ghanaian does not consume bush meat, especially since he mentioned my name as somebody who likes bush meat.
Mr. Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon. Member, this is a personal question.
Mr. Bradford D. K. Adu 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to know from the hon. Deputy Minister, the new site of the Accra Zoo. Where is the new site of the Accra Zoo?
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the new site for the Accra Zoo is within the Achimota forest. An area of 100 hectares has been earmarked for it and my hon. Friend can just drive in there, pay a token of 20 Gp and then he can see the animals in their natural settings.
Mr. Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Deputy Minister, thank you for appearing to answer these Questions. You are discharged.
Item 4 -- Statements.

Chairman of the Committee on Sports, Youth and Culture (Mr. I. K. Asiamah) 11 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the unique opportunity to say Ayekoo to the Black Stars for their splendid performance against the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
Mr. Speaker, once again I wish to offer a special message of congratulations to the senior national team, Black Stars for the overwhelming performance they put up to silence the Super Eagles of Nigeria. The impressive performance of the Black Stars against their Nigerian side in the quarter final stage of the 26th MTN Africa Cup of Nations' tournament demonstrates the enormous strength and the conque- ring spirit of the Black Stars. Indeed, it was an outstanding show of courage and conviction. As a people we need more of such refreshing and titillating performance from the Black Stars.
Mr. Speaker, even though the feisty, aggressive Black Stars were numerically disadvantaged, the team proved the point that perseverance conquers difficulties. Their tenacity, resilience, absolute commitment to save the souls of millions of Ghanaians both within and outside the borders of this country and the spirit of patriotism enabled the Stars to triumph over the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
Mr. Speaker, the Black Stars have so far put up extremely fantabulous and splendid performance and I urge them to continue to twinkle to win the two matches ahead of them to annex the ultimate Nations Cup. It is an undisputable fact that the task ahead is daunting and has to be faced with the spirit of agility, purposefulness and decisiveness.

Mr. Speaker, last Sunday's Ghana's encounter with the Nigerian squad marks the 60th game played since 28th May, 1950. It is interesting to note that Ghana has won 25 matches, drawn 19 and the Nigerians have won only 16 of the total matches. This is an indication that Ghana is tactically superior to our Nigerian counterparts. These encounters have produced 169 goals with Ghana scoring a whooping 100 goals, almost 60 per cent of the total goals scored.

Mr. Speaker, soccer connoisseurs have always predicted that matches involving Ghana and Nigeria have no form guide. It goes beyond the 90 minutes of field play. Deep emotions and high spirits manifest greatly. Therefore, the team with the highest psychological urge carries the day. Mr. Speaker, this 26th MTN Africa Cup of Nations tournament has so far witnessed quality display of football skills -- quality play and superb goals.

Mr. Speaker, I wish at this juncture to commend the Local Organising Committee and the Government for the effective organizational piece we have witnessed since the commencement of the tournament. The extensive preparations in terms of security arrangements, accommodation and other infrastructural support have been very impressive. The challenge of sanitation has been remarkably handled by the Zoom Lion Company Ghana Limited. However, one challenge facing the LOC is the issue of ticketing. And I call on the LOC to put up an effective administrative machinery to overcome this challenge so that the remaining matches will receive the necessary patronage.

Mr. Speaker, the Stars of Ghana could not have reached this far without the cumulative and accommodative support of

the fans. The incessant prayers by all and sundry have so far worked for Ghana and I believe that Ghanaians and well-wishers will continue to pray for the Black Stars to be free from injuries, unfair treatment from referees and their assistants and provide them with the energy necessary to grab the Cup for the 5th time.

God Bless Ghana, God Bless the Black Stars to win the Nations Cup for the 5th time.

Thank you Mr. Speaker, for once again giving me this unique opportunity.
Mr. Sampson Ahi (NDC -- Juabeso) 11 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to add my voice in congratulating the Black Stars and to urge them to put in much effort to win the Cup for Ghana.
Mr. Speaker, I think that last Sunday, 3rd February, 2008 was a great day for our motherland, Ghana. Our Black Stars performed creditably and excellently. What they did actually showed that as Ghanaians when we see ourselves as one people, when we come together, there is nothing on this earth that we cannot do. The performance of the Black Stars has shown us that when we remain united as a country all the economic, social, political and cultural problems that we are going through now we can solve them.
Mr. Speaker, when I was watching the match and the referee awarded a penalty to the Nigerians I almost cried. I became confused because my expectation from the Black Stars was that we were going to take a commanding lead throughout the 90 minutes. Unfortunately, the Nigerians scored the first goal. This created a lot of tension among Ghanaians but later on Michael Essien, the great illustrious son of Ghana, gave Ghanaians the equalizer and all of us became happy.
When I was viewing the television I saw the President of the Republic of Ghana smiling after Michael Essien had scored the goal. In the dying minutes Agogo gave us the winning goal and all Ghanaians became happy from that moment.
Mr. Speaker, there is one problem that has characterised this ongoing FIFA Cup of Nations, that is the selling of tickets. On Friday, it was reported that less than 4,000 tickets had been released to the agents who are responsible for the sale of tickets. By Saturday, this complaint was still in the public domain.
Meanwhile, by 10 o'clock on Sunday the whole stadium was full. So you ask yourself, when the Local Organising Committee (LOC) has released less than 4,000 tickets and the stadium with a capacity of 40,000 suddenly becomes occupied by people who have got tickets -- 40,000 minus 4,000 that is 36,000 where did the 36,000 tickets come from? We did not get tickets; most people did not get tickets, but at the end of the day the stadium was full. This is a great worry.
So I want to use this medium to call on members of the LOC to do all Ghanaians good by doing transparent work by making the tickets available to all Ghanaians. I wish to recommend that this time round the tickets are sent to the gates of the stadia so that people who want to watch a match can access the tickets at the gates. You buy your ticket and you enter, so that we can avoid these agents who condone and connive with the LOC to sell the tickets through the back door.
I thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I want to say that we wish the Black Stars well in the subsequent matches. All our souls, our prayers and everything are with them. They should do their best and get us the Cup. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Ms. Christine Churcher (NPP - Cape Coast) 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, as the hon. Member of Parliament for Cape Coast, the city which introduced soccer into this country more than one hundred years ago, I think I owe it a duty to add my voice to the very constructive Statement made on the floor of this House.
Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the Black Stars for a job well executed. Mr. Speaker, before the match with Nigeria, I had a discussion with hon. Yaw Osafo- Maafo and I did tell him with all emphasis that I was certain that the Black Stars were going to win.
Mr. Speaker, my problem is that from my understanding, football or soccer is played in a time of 90 minutes. How come that hon. Member can say that because Black Stars did not win in the first ten minutes - Even if you score in the first minute or the 90th minute or even with the three minutes of added time. What is important is that at the end of the day we became the winners.
Mr. Speaker, what baffles me and what I intend doing is to ask for re-briefing about this off-side rule. Mr. Speaker, sometimes I get a little worried when I hear pin pin pin peeen and they say, “off-side.” Sometimes it dazes me and I am not sure what it is. Mr. Speaker, they are saying that I should look at the rules, et cetera.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, what actually

baffled me about the Ghana-Nigerian match was the commitment. I know that in soccer when some people lose they give up, but the fact that even with ten men, that is with John Mensah already having been red-carded, our boys fought and they knew that it takes gallant men to win gladdens my heart.

Mr. Speaker, Thursday is another important day - and I am talking because Cape Coast introduced soccer. It does not matter whether Abusua Dwarfs and Cape Coast Vipers are not doing well as they should; but I believe that when the President's promise of a new stadium for Cape Coast has been completed and has been accomplished, Cape Coast Abusua Dwarfs and Vipers would come tops again.

Nii Amasa Namoale (NDC - Dade Kotopon): Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the Black Stars for beating the Super Eagles. Mr. Speaker, I was at the popular stand in the stadium and when the match started I had all the confidence the Black Stars would come on top, looking at the strategy our coach put in place. Mr. Speaker, I was shocked when the first penalty was

awarded and people sitting around me were saying that it was not a penalty.

Mr. Speaker, I think some of them should be abreast with the rules and regulations of football. The first man obstructed the Nigerian player and the second one - so the referee should have awarded a penalty earlier on. He gave an advantage and the second man who was also supposed to score also was obstructed, so it was a clear penalty. Our goalkeeper tried to catch it but unfortunately he could not, and Mr. Speaker, they had a goal.

But I am so happy with the Black Stars that they never lost hope. They did their best and Michael Essien was able to equalize 27 seconds to the end of the first half. Mr. Speaker, the most important thing is that we won the game no matter how the goal came on or no matter what happened on the field.
Mr. Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon. Member for Atwima-Mponua, do you have a point of order?
Mr. Asiamah 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think my hon. Colleague is misleading this House. Mr. Speaker, this is an august House so the
impression should not be created as if he deliberately brought down the player. No, it was football match and it happened so let us leave it as such - [Interruption] - yes, this is the august House of this country; it was very accidental and that is it; it was not deliberate.
Nii Amasah Namoale: Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate John Mensah for obstructing that player outside the “18” so that we would not get a penalty. But to prevent him from scoring, Mr. Speaker, John Mensah did the right thing. I am happy our own Junior Agogo was able to give us the victory. One thing which I would like all Ghanaian supporters at the stadium and outside to know is that we played Nigeria.
Nigeria is our friend so we should not harass the Nigerians over here and the Nigerians also should not harass us over there. This is just a football game; it is a friendship game. I am begging the press not to incite Ghanaians against Nigerians in Ghana and not incite Nigerians against Ghanaians in Nigeria. We are brothers, we are friends and we support them when we are not playing and they support us whenever they are not playing.
I was watching the Big Brother Africa programme and when the Ghanaian was voted out by a Nigerian he said, “Oh! West Africa.” That means we West Africans see ourselves as one. So Mr. Speaker, I congratulate everybody including myself for supporting the Black Stars even when we were down.
Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu (NPP - Suame) 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to associate myself with the Statement made by the Chairman of the Committee on Youth and Sports.
Mr. Speaker, I think it is important at this hour to congratulate the players, the
Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu (NPP - Suame) 11:20 a.m.
technical bench, the medical staff and indeed all other boardroom personnel whose contribution culminated in the victory of the Black Stars.

Mr. Speaker, it is most important to congratulate the technical team because indeed if we had lost, we would all have descended on the technical team particularly, for failing to act the way a lot of people thought they should have acted.

Mr. Speaker, one actually admires the compactness of our game play. The teamwork, playing for each other was really in full flow and the good thing is that the players were not intimidated by the bullying tactics of our brothers from Nigeria. Mr. Speaker, some of us really anticipated that they were going to apply these bullying tactics.

Mr. Speaker, it is important to know that for about 15 years, we have not been able to beat Nigeria in any competitive football match aside the 4-1 thrashing we administered to them last year in the United Kingdom. But that was not competitive, even though of course, in ranking football nations FIFA applies the results of even non-competitive matches. Mr. Speaker, let us be mindful that there are greater and more difficult matches lying ahead of us on Thursday, and if God willing we scale over that hurdle, on Sunday.

Mr. Speaker, in that regard, may I caution that we should not be carried away by the victory over Nigeria. The unity of the nation behind the team is commendable, particularly, the support base.

Mr. Speaker, what we are witnessing these days is unprecedented in the annals

[NII NAMOALE] of organized football support in this country; and the manner that it is being done this time around is so infectious and accelerating. Hon. John Mahama joined the fray the other day when I saw him conspicuously waving a one yard handkerchief, I do not even know.

Mr. Speaker, on Thursday, the Black Stars are going to face another Herculean task. We hope that as they exhibited on Sunday, they are not going to be wrought by the size and intimidatory tactics of Cameroun. We have a very difficult game on hand and as we all do know, the boys are now being separated from the men. Mr. Speaker, Cameroun started this tournament on the 4-2 note but they are rising up, and it is important to be confronted by the reality of the game play for Cameroun.

They are also bullies; they could adopt intimidatory tactics, particularly by their back lying and we should at this point gird our loins and psych our boys up to be as resilient and as tenacious as they were in the game against Nigeria. Let us band together as one nation behind the Black Stars and I believe that in unity lies the strength of our team. Let us come together to support them.

At least, at this time nobody is talking about acrimonious politics. That is good for the nation. Let us carry on this way and I believe the sky would be out limit. Mr. Speaker, thank you for your indulgence.
Mr. D. A. Azumah (NDC - Garu/ Tempane) 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I also rise to associate myself with the Statement made by the Chairman of Youth and Sports Committee and also to congratulate the Black Stars for this splendid achievement last Sunday. Mr. Speaker, if we can use words to describe the Black Stars I would only say that it was real determination and the will power to die a little bit for
one's country that made the Black Stars to succeed.
Mr. Speaker, we are ahead of the Nigerians and the next critical game is against Cameroun. And I want to make a very fervent appeal to our coach to look at our striking ability. Of course, there have been difficulties in scoring goals; with Asamoah Gyan and all the rest there, I pray and hope that the coach will find an antidote to this difficult situation.
We have played four matches so far; we have put in seven goals; we have conceded two. Cameroun, which we are meeting, is a free flowing scoring team, but their defence is not as good as other teams and I believe if we can get a very good striking machinery, we are likely to be ahead of the Camerounians.
I can stick my neck out here and say that we will run away with a one-nil victory over the Camerounians. [Hear! Hear!] There is no doubt about it.
Mr. Speaker, my concern is the casualty rate we are recording after the games. It is beginning to look very bad the way we celebrate and jubilate after the victory which has resulted already in three deaths and five injuries.
I think the sports authorities and everyone of us here needs to make a very fervent appeal to the supporters to take it cool after victory; we must be cautious of what is ahead of us. If you saw Accra on Sunday after the match, especially around Nima towards Kokomlemle, the kind of motor riding that was going on, Mr. Speaker, it was hard to talk about. And I hope and pray that the police would prevail on these people to control their emotions after our victory.
With these few words, Mr. Speaker, I wish the Black Stars the best in their next match and I can see us challenging
Cameroun in our finals and lifting the cup ultimately.
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
I shall call as many contributors as possible but each one is given only two minutes.
Ashanti Regional Minister (Mr. E.A. Owusu-Ansah): Mr. Speaker, to say that the Black Stars have done well so far in the competition is probably an under-statement. They have made all of us very proud.
Mr. Speaker, last Sunday the Black Stars repeated history. On 23rd January, 1992 in Senegal during the African Cup of Nations, the Black Stars met the Super Eagles in the semi-finals. The Super Eagles scored the first goal and nearly every Ghanaian thought that we could not redeem the goal. At the end of the match, we had beaten the Super Eagles by two goals to one. That happened in Senegal on 23rd January 1992. So we have done well; the Black Stars have made the nation proud.
But having jumped over the quarter final hurdle, a greater assignment awaits us and that one is the match involving the Black Stars and the Indomitable Lions. By all means, Cameroun is a great football nation and therefore complacency should be done away with if we are to beat Cameroun.
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon. Minister, watch your time.
Mr. Owusu-Ansah 11:20 a.m.
Very well. Mr. Speaker, so I hope that the Black Stars with the same commitment that they
Mr. Abdul- Rashid Pelpuo (NDC - Wa Central) 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to add my voice to the many congratulatory messages sent from hon. Members of Parliament to the Black Stars. Mr. Speaker, the cycle has come around. We last won the cup in 1982 and every indication is showing that that cycle of victory has come around and Ghana once again is going to win the cup. But it is important that we inform the Black Stars not to be swollen-headed and not to be complacent; they should be focused and be determined to bring victory to Ghana.
This time is a time that is critical to Ghana and this is the time also that we are finding soccer to be uniting us and bridging all the gaps among us. So I want to make a simple statement that in this endeavour of fighting to win victory for Ghana, the Black Stars must know the herculian task ahead of them and what exactly they are going to do for the Ghanaian, the young person and for generations to come.
Minister for Women and Children's Affairs (Hajia Alima Mahama) 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the Statement and to also congratulate our players, the Black Stars. They are really true stars and they did actually show us that they can shine at any level. I also want to congratulate our tactical coach and the entire technical team as well as the Ghana Football Association (GFA).
It shows that the management of the GFA has put in their best and they have continued to urge them on. And all those behind the scenes, including Mr. Stephen Appiah who we are told is always with them behind the scenes and those who are all supporting them.
Indeed, football is a great passion of Ghana and it has been demonstrated in the last few weeks and the boys have contributed in making every single Ghanaian happy. We can learn something
from the boys, that with determination, Ghanaians or Ghana can get to the top and be wherever we want to be. And I want to congratulate them and tell them that we are also learning lessons from them.
Mr. Speaker, on Sunday I was at the stadium and I realized that majority of the supporters at the stadium were women [Hear! Hear!] Women were out there championing the cause, cheering them and the boys shone. And I want to believe that it was because the women were on the field that the boys showed more determination and more courage and were resilient and were able to give us victory.
Dr. A. A. Osei 11:30 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, it is true that there were a lot of women there. Mr. Speaker, it may be true but when the going got tough, the hon. Member of Parliament was so afraid of the game that she ran away. [Laughter.] This is a fact. It is true that there were a lot of women there, but she could not stand the heat and so she asked permission and exited. So I do not know how - [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
That is not a point of order; please continue.

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the statement by His Excellency, President J.A. Kufuor that there would be a stadium in every

region in Ghana. Indeed, football is our passion and to commit resources to put stadium in every region of Ghana, I think is a worthwhile investment.

But I would say that our architects and our architectural designers should know that now more women than men go to the stadium and so we need to have rest places for women in our stadia. It was demonstrated at the last match that a lot of women had to queue because there were fewer places for them whereas the men had a lot of places. So in the future, we should have more rest places for our women because more women come to the stadium.
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Please, conclude.
Hajia Mahama: Mr. Speaker, on the red card showed to John Mensah, I believe that the GFA should appeal. After watching the replay on television, we saw that obviously two Nigerian players were offside and if the referee did not blow a whistle on them and decided not to - at least, he should have also given a punishment commensurate to his inability to blow a whistle for the two Nigerian players who were offside.

To conclude, I would continue to encourage our girls to wear their black, red, yellow and white dresses. It is going to be victory for us and so they should add the white. They should wear their red, black and yellow and white and come out and cheer the boys. They need us. The Black Stars need our girls and our women; they need them. When they look at them they would make sure they give Cameroun

Mr. Haruna Iddrisu (NDC - Tamale South) 11:40 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to associate myself with the Statement and to congratulate hon. Isaac Asiamah for bringing this matter to the floor of Parliament. As important as we congratulate our Black Stars and our technical team, it is also important that we raise some other concerns.
I personally could not imagine how the President of the Republic and the entire Ghanaian population could afford a defeat against Nigeria. I am sure that would have resulted in some overwhelming boycott not only of food but other pleasures of life in protest. Thankfully, we prevailed over Nigeria.
Mr. Speaker, I am told that the Nigerian Government, even before the match against the Black Stars enhanced the motivation package of the Nigerian players from nine thousand dollars to fifteen thousand dollars. It would be significant for us to know what kind of motivational packages the Government of Ghana has offered and is offering the Black Stars in order to motivate them the more. I am sure we may double or triple the amount particularly so when ours was not of defeat but one of victory against the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
Mr. Speaker, another issue is the capacity of the stadium. There is no doubt that Government has done well in getting Tamale, Essipon, and Accra fixed. But for a forty thousand capacity there were problems over tickets. Even Members of Parliament had to go and hustle at popular stands, otherwise referred to as the Agbogbloshie section of the Sports Stadium.

Mr. Speaker, I think that in future

[HAJIA MAHAMA] we should work towards expanding the capacity of seats. I think that each of our future stadia should target 60,000 to 100,000 capacity so that in the foreseeable future, we even can venture into hosting the FIFA World Cup Tournament in Ghana.

Indeed, Mr. Speaker, it is also worth commending the Ghanaian public for the enormous show of patriotism and nationalism in the support of the Black Stars.

My final comment, Mr. Speaker, has to do with the technical team. Our next match on Thursday is against Cameroun. Fortunately or unfortunately, our former coach, Mr. Otto Pfister is at their technical bench. I presume that he has some knowledge and understanding of the technical style and behaviour of the Ghanaian team and so it would be important that coach Le Roy sits right and ensures that we prevail over Cameroun.

I personally foresee a Ghana-La Cote d'Ivoire final of finals. That is my own personal prediction. So far, what this tournament has done is a showcase of young African potential in football which is being watched throughout the world. Yesterday, I was listening to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) news and they described the Ghana-Nigeria football match as one full of drama partly because of the poor officiating style of the referee, especially for ignoring many other issues. Nonetheless, Mr. Speaker, we have to prevail over Cameroun.

The Black Stars can be assured of our national support but the technical team must ensure that we get the goals quickly and we prevail over Cameroun. We must host to win, particularly so that this will be the Black Stars' contribution to Ghana's independence celebration. We want a climax with the trophy of the African Cup

of Nations, at least for the 5th time so that we can equal Egypt's record.

Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity.
Ms. Cecilia A. Dapaah (NPP - Bantama) 11:40 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to add my voice of support to the ‘timeous' -- to quote the hon. Deputy Majority Leader - Statement on the floor of the House.
Indeed, it would be a very serious omission if we do not publicly acknowledge that all glory goes to God. The Muslims prayed, the Christians prayed and I am sure every Ghanaian, including children prayed for the success of the Black Stars; and indeed victory has been ours.
I also wish to comment on the visits of encouragement by His Excellency the President, both the first visit and the second visit. Indeed, he had to break his journey to come back to Ghana to encourage the Black Stars and I believe these words of wisdom and encouragement, went a long way to give us the victory as well.
I also wish to comment on the special messages sent by our flagbearers, Prof. Mills and hon. Nana Akufo-Addo, our own flagbearer. They sent messages of encouragement to our young men. He also went there personally to encourage them. What also surprised me was that he cut short his journey to make sure he came to give them physical support at the stadium in his blazer-gear.
Mr. Speaker, I believe that Ghana has come a full cycle in our maturity with regard to football. As Stephen Appiah says, ‘Let them come'. No matter how many they are, we will indeed put them down.
I also wish to comment on the support the rank and file gave to our dear young men, the Black Stars. The hon. Member of Parliament for Nalerigu has already spoken about the special support of our women including us. In fact, this tournament has turned even older women into young girls like me because of the tonic that football is giving to this whole nation. I believe that this special support will help the Black Stars sail through to victory and lift the Cup for us come next Sunday.
I also wish to comment, Mr. Speaker, on the level of tourism that has gone on. This might be secondary to the football fiesta but I believe the hon. Minister for Tourism and Diasporan Relations did well in encouraging all visitors to visit our tourist sites and he and his team need to be commended.
I again want to comment on the ingenuity of Ghanaians with regard to paraphernalia that have come forth as a result of this football tournament. People have made money and this is what we mean by development in freedom. People have gotten money in their pockets. Indeed, I hear people are even doing business with the tickets. As much as we condemn it, it is happening.
Mr. Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon. Member, your time is up.
Ms. Dapaah 11:40 a.m.
We have the goalkeeper, Richard Kingston, we have Sammy Adjei, and we also have Laryea Kingston who come from there. We need to commend
Mr. Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon. Member for Wa West, two minutes.
Mr. J. Yieleh Chireh (NDC - Wa West) 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I add my voice to this congratulatory message that we are sending to the Black Stars but I want to add a little bit of what has happened unfortunately, to some people in the celebrations.
We hear people have lost their lives whilst celebrating. I would urge that apart from the police ensuring that these celebrations are governed by good order, we should also go a little further to really identify where, in genuine cases, people have died needlessly, if their families can be supported, at least, with the burial arrangements when they are still young to also take care of their families.
When we celebrate we should not forget those who are also grieving as a result of the celebration. And I would urge that wherever these incidents have happened, care should be taken to do a proper investigation so that we take care of those people who out of joy and who out of the celebration suffered these unfortunate deaths and injuries to their bodies.
Again, I pray that the Black Stars should always use bad officiating as an impetus to go forward and stop complaining and doing things that would further reduce our numbers.
All of us condemned the bad officiating but I think that it was a sign that when you have adversity in front of you, you make
extra effort to fight harder; and that is the message we should send to our players.
On this note, Mr. Speaker, I thank you.
Mr. Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Two minutes, please.
Mr. Ghartey 11:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would add my voice to all the encouragement that is being given but I want to follow up from where my Colleague, hon. Iddrisu made his point; and the point he made was that next time, we should have stadia with 60,000 and 100,000 capacity. I could not agree with him the more. But we must recognize where we came from and we cannot but say Ebenezer, thus far the Lord has brought us.
Indeed, the last time stadia were built in this country was before independence. In 1978 when we were hosting the Afrian Cup we built just one stand, the Osu Stand at the Accra Sports Stadium. When we co-hosted with Nigeria we built another stand near the Race Course. Indeed, I do not consider it that we have built two new stadia. I think we built four new stadia because those who knew the Accra Sports Stadium would agree that it had been transformed completely.
In Tamale, the first international flight has landed. We are told by CAF officials that they approved the hostel facilities that were made for the four teams in Tamale.

Mr. Speaker, the infrastructural development that this African Cup of
Mr. Ghartey 11:50 a.m.

Nations has brought is unprecedented, and indeed, it has been brought throughout the country. I will end by saying my own constituency, the Essikado/Ketan has benefited from one stadium, and when Nigeria played la Cote d'Ivoire on that day, all roads in the world led to the constituency of your hon. Member of Parliament.
Mr. Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon. Member for Bole/ Bamboi, two minutes.
Mr. John Mahama (NDC - Bole/ Bamboi) 11:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, indeed, I will not use two minutes. I will use less than that. Mr. Speaker, all has been said and I will just concentrate on the foreign aspects of it. There have been rumours coming from Nigeria that Ghanaians have been attacked and killed - all kinds of rumour mongering. Our High Commission in Nigeria has issued a release and said that there is no confirmation of any such deaths or injuries, and so I just want to use this opportunity to call on our countrymen that they should disregard these rumours.
We do not want a situation to occur where they go and attack Nigerians here based on these false rumours, and create any diplomatic incident between Nigerians and us. Nigeria is a sister country; we are happy we won the match; we have celebrated; let us look forward and ignore the rumours about attacks on Ghanaians.
Prof. Mike Oquaye (NPP - Dome- Kwabenya) 11:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to make this contribution.
Mr. Speaker, last Sunday was a very difficult day - a penalty and the captain himself sent off. Mr. Speaker, what happened that day should be a lesson for the youth because I believe the days of protests, violence, throwing things
onto the pitch, fighting the whole system because something that you did not like had happened should be a thing of the past. Luckily this was exactly what happened.
Mr. Speaker, when some people started at one end to throw some plastic water bottles on the pitch, they were stopped by people among themselves, and that was a very, very good example, as a people. Mr. Speaker, we cannot do anything without discipline, and I think we showed patience, tolerance, commitment and discipline on that occasion. And we could see that the team regrouped, changed tactics, and worked hard towards victory.
I think this is something that we must all do, whether it is society, politics, economy or football. And I think that all those responsible should be given a lot of credit for it, and it should be a national example, especially for the youth in that direction.
Mr. Speaker, in the 1960s there was a song, “The bigger the battle, the sweeter the victory”, and I think that was exactly what happened on this day. I believe that if we should face challenges as a nation, and rise to the occasion and play by the rules of the game, in every aspect of our national endeavour, we shall be a better nation.
Mr. Speaker, with these few comments, I congratulate all those involved and would look forward to even a sweeter victory.
Mr. Inusah A. B. Fuseini (NDC - Tamale Central) 11:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement made congratulating the Black Stars on their victory just last Sunday. Indeed, it brought to the realization that when the happiness of the whole nation depends on the team, and the
Mr. Fuseini 11:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, and so if the reports are true, we only pray that our Nigerian counterparts - [Interruption.]
Nana Akufo-Addo 11:50 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, the Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, has just spoken in this House and told us that it is not true. How does the hon. Member immediately rise and begin a submission that says “if it is true” -- His frontbench spokesperson has just told us that there is no iota of truth in the statement that Ghanaians are being harassed in Nigeria.
I think it is not correct that an hon. Member of this House, a lawyer to booth, a young lawyer - I am aware he is a young
lawyer -- [Laughter] -- a junior lawyer, but a lawyer nevertheless - will get up and begin a whole submission on the premise that has already been cleared and struck down. Mr. Speaker, I think really you need to have a look at what is going on with this statement. [Uproar.]
Mr. Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Order! Order! Hon. Member for Tamale Central, I do not think you were here. Were you here?
Mr. Fuseini 11:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I was not here but if there is anything I learnt from my senior, I learnt from his most famous statement in court that he acts on instructions and belief. In this matter, I act on information and even though I was not there, it is that information that I have received from the media and my ability to believe in the Statement that is making me contribute. In any case, if the Ranking Member has said that, I can only hope that never happened.
I can only hope because people in Tamale responded to that; they responded to the news that was available in the media that Ghanaians were being attacked in Nigeria. Indeed, shops had to be closed. So we only hope - and if the Ranking Member has said that it never occurred, I think this is a reassurance to the people of Tamale that they let matters lie and ensure that nothing will happen. Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity.
Minority Leader (Mr. A.S.K. Bagbin) 11:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, just a few words. Mr. Speaker, I love football; I love the Black Stars; and we just have to add our voice of commendations to what they are doing so far. It is really an enjoyable moment, and I think that Ghanaians are enjoying everything that is happening on the field. In fact, this has been one of the best tournaments in Africa, and we are seeing spectacular goals that are being scored by brilliant footballers. We are really enjoying the game.
I think that my very good friend, hon. Nana Akufo-Addo is aware that the hon. Member for Tamale Central, Fuseini Inusah is ten years old at the Bar and therefore he cannot be called a junior lawyer. [Interruption] - He said “junior lawyer” but he cannot be called junior lawyer. He can be a junior to him but not a junior lawyer.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu noon
Mr. Speaker, I did not hear the hon. Member for Abuakwa South, Nana Akufo-Addo refer to him as a junior lawyer, he said “ a young lawyer”. Those were the words he used. He said “his junior”.
Mr. Bagbin noon
Mr. Speaker, he can choose to hear or not to hear, but am telling him what he said which is captured and he can read it from the Hansard. He said, “young lawyer” and he also said, “junior lawyer” - [Interruptions.]
Mr. Speaker noon
Order! Order!
Mr. Bagbin noon
Mr. Speaker, it is important for us to organize to meet the Black Stars ourselves and I think that under your auspices, the Leadership would proceed to get in touch with the management of the Black Stars so that we can also meet them to encourage them to make sure that the next match just becomes a matter of course. We know the Camerounians are a tough side and we know which style they play and we know we can neutralize that style.
We know that we can win the match and we are sure that we can win the match. We are hosting to win; and this we want to emphasize, that we are hosting to win and we are going to win.
Minister for Education, Science and Sports (Prof. Dominic Fobih) noon

Mr. Speaker, I want to acknowledge the impressive performance of our national stars in winning all their matches so far and also to express our gratitude to the Government for its unflinching support both financially and psychologically, enabling the Stars to win all these successes so far. Indeed, the President's visits to the Stars must have done all the tricks so far than even money can do. His Excellency had the time to visit them twice and to have tete-a-tete with them by chatting and encouraging them to win the last but one match so far.

I also want to thank the Ghanaian public for the massive support they have demonstrated so far, especially what we are hearing from my hon. Colleagues of the House. Indeed, the success of the Black Stars over their Nigerian counterparts can best be demonstrated by the level of motivation that the Government gave them. If there is any doubt, it should be measured or evaluated in terms of the victory that they won. If the Nigerians gave more than we did, or we gave less than the Nigerians did, I think the results showed clearly who won the day.

Mr. Speaker, I have personally visited the Stars at their hotel several times. We have had lunch with them, had chats and we had discussions with the technical team after every match so far and even this afternoon a number of Ministers are joining me to have lunch with them and also chat with them. [Interruptions.] The plan is to show our appreciation by even serving them at table as an honour for the victory so far.

I think all these are efforts being made to motivate and raise the high hopes that we all have for the Stars. I have no doubt they will deliver on the day when the Cameroun match comes on. The Government and the Ministry would do everything in our power to make sure that success is on our side.
Mr. Speaker noon
At the Commencement of Public Business, item 5 - Motion -- and the motion stands in the names of hon. Member for Wulensi, hon. Member for Mion and hon. Member for Sissala West.
MOTIONS -- noon

Alhaji Kofi Karim Wumbei (NDC - Wulensi) 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to move this very important motion before the House. But before I do that I would like to make an amendment to the motion on the Order Paper and I read the new motion:
“That this honourable House urges Government to institute an enquiry by setting up a committee of enquiry into the perennial problems associated with the organization of the Hajj and make recommendations as appropriate.”

Mr. Speaker, I am doing this in pursuance of article 278 (1) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana; and Mr. Speaker, with your permission, I would like to quote

“Subject to article 5 of this Constitution, the President shall, by constitutional instrument, appoint a commission of inquiry into any matter of public interest where --

(c) Parliament by a resolution requests that a commission of inquiry be appointed to inquire into any matter, specified in the resolution as being a matter of public importance.”

Mr. Speaker, in doing so, I would like to make some very few comments. Mr. Speaker, Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca is one of the pillars of Islam and in fact it is the fifth of the five pillars of Islam and Hajj is incumbent on every Moslem who is of sound mind and can afford the bill to make it. Mr. Speaker, the benefit or reward derived from Hajj is ultimate paradise and that is why every Moslem wants in his or her lifetime to undertake this very important religious faith.

Mr. Speaker, you will agree with me that the organization of such an important religious pilgrimage cannot be without any problems. But Mr. Speaker, the traumatic experiences would-be pilgrims underwent before they embarked on the
Mr. A. O. Aidooh 12:10 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr. Speaker, I was a bit late, doing some other things but I came to meet my hon. Colleague referring to article 278 (1) that is on Commissions of Enquiry.

Mr. Speaker, if that was done, I oppose it. I do not know whether the House has accepted it. But Mr. Speaker, he may have to amend the motion and the amendment must be accepted by the House. You just do not get up and say I have amended it and proceed to move the motion.
Mr. Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Are you taking over from
the hon. Member for Wulensi?
Alhaji Wumbei 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I yield
to hon. Ayariga.
Mr. Mahama Ayariga 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I
recall that the hon. Member for Wulensi, realizing the defect in the original motion, sought to cure it by asking for your permission to amend the original motion by inserting after “inquiry” -- It now reads:
“…this House urges Government to institute an inquiry by setting up a committee of inquiry. . .”
Mr. Speaker, the belief is that by the
Mr. A. O. Aidooh 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker,
my hon. Colleague is getting us more confused. Mr. Speaker, article 278 deals with commissions of inquiry and not committees of inquiry. Mr. Speaker, I had a word with my hon. Colleague in the morning. If he intends to seek Parliament to put up a committee of inquiry of a sort, he can come under Order 191 of the Standing Orders.
Order 191 deals with ad hoc committees and that is under the Standing Orders. If he wants a committee of the House it comes under Order 191 of the Standing Orders and if it is a commission of inquiry, it comes under the Constitution. So what hon. Ayariga said does not do the mover of the motion any favour. He is getting him more confused.
Mr. Ayariga 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, with all due
Mr. Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Have you been called
upon? [Laughter.] I am wondering whether this matter should be adjourned so that you put your house in order. Hon. Majority Leader, what do you say to that?
Mr. A. O. Aidooh 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think so too because now we do not know under what Order or rule they are coming.
Mr. Ayariga 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, the
gravamen of his argument is that a committee of inquiry is different from a commission of inquiry. If that is what his argument is standing on, Mr. Speaker, then 295 (1) addresses that and it defines a commission of inquiry to include a committee of inquiry. So if that is the basis of his objection then there is really no ground because article 295 (1) addresses this. A committee of inquiry is the same as a commission of inquiry under this Constitution.
Mr. Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon. Member, what
about an ordinary inquiry which is really stated here in the motion? Is it different from that of a committee of inquiry and commission of inquiry? The original motion, as it stands, talks about an inquiry, not committee or commission.
Mr. Ayariga 12:10 p.m.
That is so. Mr. Speaker,
indeed, I have just come in to help address the motion of the hon. Member for Wulensi. I am actually going to propose an amendment to that motion under Order 191 of our Standing Orders. Mr. Speaker, it is to address the motion of the hon. Member for Wulensi.
Mr. Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon. Member, you

Leadership, at this stage what do you

Mr. A. O. Aidooh 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg
to move, that we adjourn proceedings to tomorrow morning at ten o'clock.
Ms. Akua Sena Dansua 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker,
I second the motion for adjournment.
Ms. Akua Sena Dansua 12:10 p.m.

Question put and motion agreed to
ADJOURNMENT 12:10 p.m.