Debates of 8 Oct 2008

PRAYERS 10 a.m.

Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Order! Order!
Hon. Members, we shall take item 2
under item 5.

Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Hon. Members, correction of Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 7th October, 2008. Pages 1 . . . 20 -- [No corrections were made.] [Hon. Members, we have the Official Report for Tuesday, 7th October, 2008. [No corrections were made.]
Item 4 -- Questions -- Minister for Energy?


Mr. Osei-Sarfo 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
can the hon. Minister explain what he meant by electrification of 5+ (five plus) communities?
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the House may recall that somewhere in the last Meeting or thereabouts, we said that because of the problems we were facing with the SHEP 3 and 4 projects as regards the ability of communities to provide the low tension poles, the Ministry was working a programme which we will take upon ourselves to look at, with the co- operation of the District Chief Executives to ensure that whether they had the low tension poles or not, we will extend light to at least 5 communities in each district. That is what we call the 5+ (five plus).
Mr. Osei-Sarfo 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, at the moment, most of the poles have been sent to the communities and work has not begun. So, may I know from the hon. Minister when the programme is due to take off?
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Ministry is aware that in some cases District Chief Executives, and I am even told that some Members of Parliament, do
send these low tension poles without any reference to the Ministry. After sending them they then call on the Ministry that they have got poles.
We have to work within the budget provided by the honourable House and that is why we came out with the idea that we would make sure that to be fair to all districts, at least, we would pick five communities, usually recommended by the District Chief Executive where he wants to extend electricity to.
Occasionally, we add some when we realize that the communities they picked, maybe, there may be some intervening communities where the electric wires would be passing through, then we look at the cost and if we think we can accommodate it in the budget, we add it; that is why we have the 5 plus.
Then in some cases, it may be an institutional building, like a health centre, power to support water distribution -- those are considered as additional to it. So it is not likely that if the district has for instance, provided electricity poles to, say 20 communities, we would be able to take all of them at a go.
We would work on the 5 or something near that figure and that is just to be fair to all areas.
Mr. J. K. Gidisu 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the last quarter of this fiscal year has just begun and according to directives from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, the MOEs are to review their programmes and proposals that they made at the beginning of the year.
Is the Minister assuring us that the 5 plus communities per district programme, as he is intimating, is still on course?
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,

both the Government and the House have been a bit generous to the Ministry and we are working with various sources of funding. The EXIM Bank loan you approved for us may not be covered by this directive he is talking of. And then we sat down with the Ministry, drew their attention that because of procurement procedure, we may not be able to do all our procurements before the end of the third quarter.

So we have some general under- standing with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning on this programme and we always remind them that we would count on their support to ensure that at least, we achieve the 5 plus before the end of the year and we are working towards that.
Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, earlier on we had the opportunity from the Ministry to make recommendations to the Ministry on communities in our constituencies that we thought could be linked to the national grid.
The hon. Minister in his Answer referred to recommendations from the District Chief Executives (DCEs). I am wondering whether the recommendations of the Members of Parliament are no more relevant and he is now requesting for recommendations from DCEs.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I wanted to distinguish between official communications and friendly discussions I have had with a lot of hon. Members of Parliament. I know that in addition to whatever the DCEs have brought, I have had discussions with a number of hon. Members of Parliament on both sides of the divide and when we discussed, we began to realise that we can increase the number of communities from the five because of the explanation that they had given.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Question number 1194, hon. A. Umar Abdul-Razaq, Member of Parliament for Tolon?
Dr. A. Y. Alhassan 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member is in the constituency and has asked me to pose the Question on his behalf.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Permission granted.
Dr. A. Y. Alhassan 10:10 a.m.
Thank you.
Tolon Constituency Communities (Electricity)
Q. 1194. Dr. A. Y. Alhassan (on behalf of Mr. A. Umar Abdul-Razaq) asked the Minister for Energy when the following towns and villages in the Tolon Constituency would be connected to the national electricity grid:
(i) Wantungu
(ii) Tali (iii) Chirifoyili

(iv) Lingbunga

(v) Gbulahagu

(vi) Dimabi

(vii) Gburumani

(viii) Kpendua.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Wantungu, Tali, Chirifoyili, Dimabi, Gburumani and Kpendua communities formed part of the SHEP-3 Phase-3 project. High Voltage (HV) and Low Voltage (LV) works have been completed in these communities and customer services connections are ongoing.
The Lingbunga community also forms part of the SHEP-3 Phase-3 project. The project in this community has been scheduled for completion by the end of the year.
The Gbulahagu community forms part of the Electrification of 5+ (five plus) Communities per District Programme.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Question number 1202, hon. Evans Paul Aidoo, Member of Parliament for Sefwi-Wiawso?
Sefwi-Asafo, Sefwi-Boako, etc (Energy Distribution)
Q. 1202. Mr. Evans Paul Aidoo asked the Minister for Energy what plans the Ministry had put in place to expand the distribution network in the following communities in the Sefwi Wiawso Constituency that have outgrown the existing network:
(i) Sefwi-Asafo
(ii) Sefwi-Boako
(iii) Sefwi-Anyinabrim
(iv) Sefwi-Dwinase.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
the Ministry of Energy appreciates the
fact that the current electrical networks in the above-mentioned communities in the Sefwi-Wiawso Constituency have been stretched to their limits owing to growing economic activities.
For the Dwinase community, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) Limited has proposed in its 2009 budget to expand the distribution network by upgrading and expanding the Low Voltage (LV) network and also installing another transformer to cater for the load growth.
The ECG has further planned to commence system improvement activities at Sefwi-Asafo, Sefwi-Boako and Sefwi- Anyinabrim by the end of the year 2008. Installation works have been scheduled for completion by end of 2008.
Mr. E. A. Aidoo 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, from the hon. Minister's Answer, he indicated that the ECG has further plans to commence system improvement activities at Sefwi- Boako and Sefwi-Anyinabrim by the end of the year; we are already in October. May I know from the hon. Minister when specifically work will start.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I have said in this House that a day is in fact, too long for a lot of projects. So, let us not conclude that because we are left with three months, nothing can be done.
In fact, I have in mind that if things work before the House goes on the next recess, we will be having even more transactions as regards loan facilities and grants that we are working on to enable us get to ECG to continue with the improvement of the electricity system. So, let us rest assured that three months is not that short. What is important is that we should continue with the plan as it is.

Now, as regards a specific date, I do not think, standing here, I would be able to state a date. What I know is that they have a programme and if he wants us to go on that details, either he gives me notice or we meet at the office and I can check up and give him the information.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Question number 1204, hon. Kwadjo Opare-Hammond, Member of Parliament for Adenta?
Maledjor (Electricity)
Q. 1204. Mr. Kwadjo Opare- Hammond asked the Minister for Energy when electricity would be extended to Maledjor, a community along the Dodowa road.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Maledjor community forms part of the “Electrification of 5+ (five plus) Communities per District Programme. Installation works in the community are in progress.
Mr. Opare-Hammond 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, for the information of the hon. Minister, I understand that the project for extending electricity to this particular township has been completed over three months ago.
I want to find out from him why they have not put the power (current) through the lines so that the people can start enjoying electricity in their homes?
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in one breath, my hon. Colleague says it has been completed and in another breath he says things are in progress. So I would suggest that we rely on my Answer, that work is in progress.
The fact that one sees the poles there with lines does not mean that they have
Mr. Opare-Hammond 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I also want to find out from the hon. Minister when the meters will be supplied to the residents as they paid for these meters a couple of months ago.

M r. S p e a k e r : T h i s i s n o t a

supplementary question but hon. Minister, if you have the answer you may wish to give it to him.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
thank you for saving me; I would rather suggest that I meet my hon. Colleague and then we try and find out some of these details. The important thing is to get the problem solved and if he would not mind, we can meet later on and see what are the hindrances and get solutions to them.
Alhaji Muntaka M. Mubarak 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, from the Answer the hon. Minister gave and then the supplementary questions asked by my hon. Colleague from Adenta, hon. Opare-Hammond, there is a clear indication that this project started before the beginning of this year.
I want to find out the justification for the hon. Minister saying that this particular project is part of the 5 plus Community per District Programme because this 5 plus Community per District Programme is supposed to have started this year, but this project looked like it started last year. Can the hon. Minister give clear indication when this project really started?
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon. Member, I am sure you may have been late. This question on
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
when I assumed office, I realized that we had a number of projects hanging at various levels of completion. Then we realized that looking at the budgetary constraints we cannot do all of them. So I suggested to the House that we made sure that by the end of the year, five communities in each district could have been connected to the national grid. In some cases it is a question of adding some 20 or 10 per cent more to complete the job.
In some cases, it is a question of starting afresh to complete the job. So there is the likelihood that this project might have been started even two years ago but not completed. This is how we came by the 5 plus programme that whatever happens, by the end of the year each district must have at least five communities connected to the grid. That is what we are doing.
It would also mean that as we speak now, there would be some other communities that have reached various levels of completion but may not be completed this year because of the budgetary constraints.
Pusiga Township Street Lighting
Q. 1226. Mr. Simon A. Akunye asked the Minister for Energy when the street lighting project in the Pusiga township would be completed.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
we note that the Ministry of Energy undertook a street lighting project at Pusiga at the request of the District Assembly. The agreed scope is completed. Future phases of the project will be considered based on the availability of funds.
Mr. Akunye 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to know from the hon. Minister, the areas that have the street lights; whether they were earmarked by the District Assembly or by the Ministry of Energy, because I have realized that only the New Patriotic Party (NPP) areas had these street lights.
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Would you be kind to repeat your question, please?
Mr. Akunye 10:20 a.m.
I want to find out from
the hon. Minister whether the areas that have these street lights were earmarked by the District Assembly or the Ministry of Energy.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
I thought my answer was clear that at the request of the District Assembly, the Ministry undertook the project and if we undertook the project then the presumption is that the Ministry would have paid for it.
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon. Minister for Energy,
thank you very much for appearing to answer these Questions.
Item 5 -- Statements.
STATEMENTS 10:20 a.m.

Mr. Kojo Armah (CPP -- Evalua- Gwira) 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to associate myself with the Statement so eloquently made by the hon. Minister of State.
Mr. Speaker, many of us did not have the good luck to work directly with the late Speaker of this honourable House. But many of us also studied from a distance, the very life of Mr. Peter Ala Adjetey. First as a politician, second as a statesman and
Mr. Kojo Armah (CPP -- Evalua- Gwira) 10:50 a.m.
I remember particularly when he was asked to provide a paper to form the basis for a possible review of the 1992 Constitution, he came within a short period with quite a big document almost fifteen pages long detailing areas of the Constitution which he thinks ought to be looked at for a possible review.
He also did a lot of work on the state funding of political parties, and all of us were richer for the knowledge that he provided. It is sad that as this dispensation of our political history progresses and strengthens as we go along, people who should live as guardians of the process, people who should give us the advice so that we can go through and make ourselves one of the best democracies that we can have in Africa, should be taken away so soon. But as we want them here, so are they also expected up there to perform similar duties. We can only wish his family condolence and hope that as we lay his mortal remains to the ground, the good Lord will take care of him.
May the soul rest in peace. Mr. Speaker, thank you for the time.
Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang
(NPP -- New Juaben North): Mr. Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity to say a few words regarding our departed colleague, colleague because he was a member of our party and also a member of our national executive. The man Peter Ala Adjetey was a man of many parts. I had the privilege of knowing him for well over two decades. And I appreciated his qualities both as a politician and as a legal icon, and indeed as a Speaker of this august House.
I have also not forgotten the fact that
as a traditional ruler he took his work seriously. He always brought a sense of purposefulness to any situation that he found himself in. I could say that as Chairman of our great party and as Speaker, he did the best that he could to make sure that the institution that he led indeed live up to expectation. Mr. Peter Ala Adjetey always had the presence in any gathering which stood him out. And when he made contributions indeed they were appreciated by all.
Discipline was his forte, although as a human being sometimes he also faltered. For a long while, we will remember him as the man who indeed tried to streamline the operations of this august House. He was concerned about the security of this House, of hon. Members and was always at pains to ensure that what was right was done. He was always determined to make a positive contri-bution to whatever situation he found himself.
Indeed, Mr. Speaker, I remember him endorsing my submission as an Interim Chairman of the Danquah Busia Club where I submitted that aspiring presidential candidates should pay ¢2 million before they did. One fine Saturday morning, he passed by my house, gave me an envelope of ¢2 million and at the same time gave me another envelope which said “I have withdrawn from the race”. So I asked, why are you then paying? And he said, “So that lest it be said that having endorsed the principle, I have run away from my responsibilities”. I appreciated this and thanked him most sincerely for that.
Mr. Speaker, he said, he had assessed
himself at that time and decided that maybe he could not make it to the number one position, and indeed it is good sometimes you have introspection and assess yourself. That is the advice which he gave to some of us, but which maybe

we did not heed. If we did, maybe we would not have had the number seventeen; either the famous or the infamous number, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, as Chairman for our great party the first day he attended party executive committee meeting, what he brought was a gavel. So I asked him, “Peter, why this”? And he replied: “So that I can hit the table and call everybody to order”. Maybe he was practising for his role as Speaker of this House by always shouting Order! Order! He was resourceful in helping us keep the party on course, sometimes finding the wherewithal to keep our party going.

Mr. Speaker, I remember very well Madam Ama Busia calling me many a time and telling me, “Hackman, you have to come because Peter is meeting the national officers, and if you do not come he will bully us with his long-winding academic and legal arguments and in any way have an intimidating influence on us. But at the end of the day, if one dared to challenge Peter on any issue he would give in if one had a point to make. Mr. Speaker, although he was austere and sometimes looked quite unfriendly, he had his lighter side also.

I remember this. Mr. Speaker, one day, when I was Foreign Minister, the President was obliged to travel out of the country as a matter of urgency and the Vice- President was also out of the country. So I was given a letter at the Airport -- I was not travelling myself -- to give to Peter. I went to his house and I was told he was at the clinic doing his normal check-up. I insisted on giving him the piece of paper because constitutionally, he needed to have it. So I walked into the room where he was being examined and I said “Mr. Acting President”. He asked: “Really, am I?”. And I said, “Yes, indeed, you are”. I gave the piece of paper to him and he was

full of huge laughter.

Mr. Speaker, I sincerely believe that this man contributed his lot to the advancement of democracy in this country, the advancement of parliamen- tary procedures, but above all in making sure that justice was carried to all. He never shied away from any battle and many a time, he took stances which though not popular he believed passionately were in the right direction and I need not remind dear Colleagues of those things.

Mr. Speaker, he facilitated my work as national treasurer of our party whenever he was called upon to do so. Everything he did, he did with a passion and with excellence including the occasional drink that he had. It was through him that I got to know that there was something called the blue label Johnny Walker whisky. So you can see Mr. Speaker, that when he occupied the seat that you now ably occupy, he brought to it also a sense of propriety, confidence and indeed respectability. It was always a delight to be with him on any situations where he was leading our delegation.

The shock of his passing away was such that quite a few of us were lost for words. We can only hope and pray that the good Lord would appreciate his contribution to this great country of ours and give him a lasting place. I will say that he has left us in grief and sorrow, especially his family, but the good Lord knows best.

I will say that Peter kept climbing, as hon. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu told us, from a humble beginning to become the number three person in this country. So then I say Mr. Speaker, as Khali Gibran said when he gets to the top of the mountain then will he begin to climb. And when death claims his icy lips then will he begin to dance. I know Peter is resting in the bosom of the good Lord and as we pay
Alhaji Malik Al-Hassan Yakubu (NPP -- Yendi) 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would also like to make a contribution to this Statement which pays tribute to our dear former Speaker, Peter Ala Adjetey. Mr. Speaker, all the fine words that have been said about the Rt. Hon. Peter Adjetey are deserving -- he deserves all the very positive words that have been attributed to him. Mr. Speaker, it has been indicated at page 3 of the Statement the excellence he wanted to make out of Parliament.
I must say that this excellence which he exhibited in relation to Parliament was part and parcel of his general life and in everything that he wanted to do he wanted excellence to permeate whatever he did.
I happen to have known him also like many of my hon. Colleagues, very well even before we got into party politics actively in the Fourth Republic. There were some cases that I was somehow connected to in the courts. I remember a famous case involving the E.P Church with Mr. J.B. da Rocha as the plaintiff's counsel and I as his junior.
The Rt. Hon. Peter Ala Adjetey was for the defendants and although we won the case, that is da Rocha and his junior me, we conceded that that was a very powerful lawyer in Peter Adjetey whose arguments were so persuasive that the case was almost 50-50 as to who would win. That is what I know of him that in every argument, in every matter that he was involved, he wanted the best sound
arguments to guide what he did.
I remember also that when he sought to become Chairman of our party, I worked closely with him in the heat of the election. And there was a point in time when some people tried to intimidate him to show him that he would lose and therefore he should withdraw. So he came to ask me - “They say I should withdraw, should I withdraw”? I said to him “This is not what I know of you Peter. You do not timorously pull out of any struggle and so go ahead”. And what made him win the chairmanship was his speech.
It was a speech of humility just as the maker of the Statement has said. He said that he did not have pretences about his humble background and after his speech, it was obvious that he had won the hearts of all those who were the delegates and he won that election to be Chairman.

And as the Chairman of our party, it was a pleasure to watch him preside over meetings of the national executive of the party. He was very, very impartial, very persuasive in his rulings and he was a success of a chairman.

I worked with him again in the Constitutional and Legal Committee of our party and until his demise, he was the chairman of that committee. After the last case we handled, he asked whether we wanted to delegate him to write the committee's decision. We were surprised because normally, in that position, he would delegate any of the younger lawyers to do that, and we were happy to say “please go ahead.”

When we summoned the meeting and delivered the decision of the committee, we were amazed. We all exclaimed: “This is like a supreme court ruling”. It was so thorough, so down-to-earth that nobody could dispute the decision of the committee.
Alhaji Malik Al-Hassan Yakubu (NPP -- Yendi) 11:10 a.m.
One of the things that I remember about
him came from an occasion when in 1992, I had the opportunity to speak at an NPP rally in Accra. Having travelled all the way from Cape Coast to the rally, I was shocked when Peter who was chairing the function that day whispered to me “You only have three minutes to speak.” And I said to myself, why have I travelled all this way and come for two or three minutes.
I spoke not for three minutes, not five minutes, not for seven minutes, not for 10 minutes but for 12 good minutes. When I walked back to my seat he called me and said “That was brilliant”. This was a man who will make you know that you can make it. A man who appreciated what you did if you did things right.

This was a man who had a baritone voice, they say. But for me his laughter was a booming one. I had the occasion and a few and far between, to visit him in his office. Mr. Speaker, looking at him in the Chamber, one would not believe that Peter could share jokes. But on the occasion I went to his office, he shared with me jokes and I still can hear in my ears his booming laughter; a laughter of authority.

Mr. Speaker, as a chairman of our

party, I respected him a lot. I remember I had occasion to come to him with a few complaints and I wanted advice on the way forward. He took his time, fatherly, like an uncle, like somebody who had journeyed

before I did, to tell me about the rudiments of politics.

I would remember him because of

his great confidence in democracy. He believed in the independence of Parliament; he worked for the independence of Parliament; he cherished Parliament; he respected Parliament and he gave all reason to believe that a very strong Parliament would check and make sure things are done right. I can never imagine Parliament and the re-writing of any history of democracy without Peter.

Mr. Speaker, as a man, one would ask, how intelligent, how could he also appreciate other brains? I remember one of the debates on the floor of the House, we were looking at a particular Bill and I had the occasion to say that the lawyers amongst us were arguing as if they thought that the law was only for lawyers. I said it. I looked at him and he looked back and then he said, ‘You are right, go ahead.' He gave me a reason to press on.

Mr. Speaker, the important thing is not that we die because we all would die but the important thing is to be able to translate life whether short or long, into something so memorable that long after we are dead and gone, some would say that there was such a man who once lived.

Mr. Speaker, as we mourn Peter we also rejoice that such a man lived as an example for all of us. Such a man lived to give strength to Parliament; such a man lived who believed that the Legislature by being independent would push this country forward.

The legacy that he has left, demands of us that all of us work together to make
Minority Leader (Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin) 11:10 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I also stand to pay tribute to the late Peter Ala Adjetey who I can say was a very accomplished man throughout his life. Peter was a fisherman, strong at heart, physically well-built and courageous. He was a father who was very disciplined and who insisted that all his children became lawyers to follow his footsteps. He achieved that by producing not less than six of his children as lawyers.
Mr. Speaker, the late Peter Ala Adjetey made sure that anywhere he entered he made a mark. As a lawyer, he became the President of the Ghana Bar Association, he became the President of the African Bar Association and in court, he towered above many. He presented his cases with clarity of thought and was admired by all.
Mr. Speaker, I met Peter in practice in the 1980s and in fact, had the opportunity of crossing path with him on just a few cases. But I got closer to Peter when his eldest son, my very good friend and colleague, Larry Ala Adjetey partnered me at the Law Trust Company. So Peter became a friend and we worked together until he met me in Parliament as The Right Hon. Speaker of this House.
Mr. Speaker, Peter was a man of wit; he was a man of great taste and a man of courage and stature. He was a man of many words and a man who loved to talk and listen to himself.
As the Speaker of this House, Peter resisted the temptation to always debate. But as the Hansard would show, he participated actively in whatever happened on the floor of the House. I had an occasion of having a serious altercation with the late Peter Ala Adjetey on the floor and when after that Sitting he got to know that he was misled into taking me on on the floor, Peter called me and said, ‘My son, sorry, I have now got the facts.' He said many people called him to ask why he allowed this small boy to take him on on the floor and he told them, that was the nature of our work.
Peter had a very large heart. Even though many feared approaching him because of his stature and the way he carried himself, Peter was very simple at heart and he was caring and loving.
Minority Leader (Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin) 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, when we got to Russia,
particularly the city of Saint Petersburg and listened to the history of that great man who founded Saint Petersburg, Peter was referred to then as ‘Peter the Great.' Yes, he was a great man.

He accomplished so many feats. He was not only the Speaker of the House, he also as we all know, became Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). And as mentioned earlier, because of his democratic credentials, his eldest son is a national executive member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), but they lived well, they loved each other and they moved on until his sudden departure.

Mr. Speaker, ‘Peter the Great' as he was

later called did a lot as Rt. Hon. Speaker of this House. Many of them have been mentioned, but I just want to add that he believed the role of the Speaker was to be impartial but not neutral and that, on any issue the Speaker, had a position but the Speaker was not to air his position but to try as much as possible to administer the process and procedure impartially. That was difficult to explain to many, but telling us that that is the truth of the situation. You have to be impartial but not neutral because you have a position on all issues.

Peter suddenly left us when we least expected that it would happen. We take solace in what Isaiah 57: 1-2 says, “Good people die, and no one understands or even cares. But when they die, no calamity can hurt them. Those who live good lives find peace and rest in death”. May his soul rest in perfect peace.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Majority Leader (Mr. A. O. Aidooh) 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I first of all, would want to congratulate my hon. Colleague on the very nice Statement that he has made by way of tribute to the Late Rt. Hon. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker, I met the Late Rt. Hon. Speaker, in about 1975, 1976 when we were both members of the People's Movement for Freedom and Justice which opposed former Head of State, Mr. Acheampong's Union Government. I was then in the Law School and he was a big time Lawyer in Accra. I have known him for over 30 years to date before he died.
Mr. Speaker, from the first time I met him till the day he died, I saw him as very courageous, bold, principled and a man who took a position on any matter that came before him. As we have been told, no matter what others said, once he was convinced he was right, he made sure he took a position, articulated it and defended it at all times.
Mr. Speaker, beyond that, he was a principled gentleman who was an ardent believer in the rule of law and also believed in the supremacy of civil authority over all forms of power or authority in the society. Our law reports for instance are replete with cases that he did as a lawyer, and most of the ground breaking constitutional cases under this Constitution were in fact done by him and with others together and these have all helped to enhance and entrench democracy in this country.
Mr. Speaker, his vision for Parliament and i ts role in a democracy was unparalleled. As we have been told by two of our hon. Colleagues he worked conscientiously towards enhancing parliamentary democracy.
Mr. Speaker, I also found Mr. Ala Adjetey as somebody who was indepen- dently minded, steadfast, forthright and had an enduring passion for excellence.
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
At the Commencement of Public Business, item (6) -- Presentation and First Reading of Bills. (i) Minister for Finance and Economic Planning?

Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Item (7), Laying of Papers.
PAPERS 11:20 a.m.

Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Item (b), Chairman of the Committee?
[Pause.] Deferred.

  • [Resumption of debate from 17th July, 2008]
  • Dr. A. A. Osei 11:30 a.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank all my Colleagues in this House who graciously contributed to this Bill. Mr. Speaker, if you would recall, the original Commission was set up in July 2004 and after over four (4) years of work, the Commission is finally at the stage of implementation. Mr. Speaker, this is perhaps the deepest reform in pension that is being conducted by this Commission and by this August House. Let me remind hon. Colleagues about some of the key issues that the Bill seeks to address.

    1. Inadequacy of wages and retirement benefits.

    2. Supplementary pension schemes.

    3. Retirement age.

    4. Pensions increase policy.

    5. Management administration.

    6. The legal and regulatory framework; and

    7. Pension schemes for the informal sector.

    Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Ministry, we want to thank the Implementation Committee and also the Committee on Finance and Manpower and Welfare, which will spend inordinate amount of time working on this Bill.

    Mr. Speaker, with those few words, I move that the National Reform Pension Bill be read a Second time.

    Alhaji M. M. Mubarak (NDC --

    Asawase): Mr. Speaker, I rise to second the motion.

    Question put and motion agreed to.

    The National Pension Reform Bill was accordingly read a Second time.
    Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Item 9 - Committee Sittings; Leadership?
    Mr. A. O. Aidooh 11:30 a.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I beg move, that we adjourn proceedings, but before I do that, I want to inform Members of the House that the body of our late hon. Colleague would be flown to Ghana at about 9 o'clock p.m. to the Kotoka International Airport, and I urge hon. Members who can make time to meet at the airport, at the VIP Lounge, to help us receive the body of our very illustrious Colleague at 9 o'clock p.m.
    With that Mr. Speaker, I beg to move
    Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin 11:30 a.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I beg to second the motion.
    Question put and motion agreed to.
    ADJOURNMENT 11:30 a.m.