Debates of 27 Feb 2009

PRAYERS 10:55 a.m.

Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Members, Order! Order!
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader?
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:55 a.m.
Speaker, yesterday was the first time you walked into this Chamber and occupied the Chair. It was the first time and thereafter we had wanted to have the opportunity to congratulate you. Unfortunately, we did not have the opportunity. But with respect, it being the first time you were taking the Chair in the absence of the Rt. Hon. Speaker, the House ought to have been informed about the reasons for the unavoidable absence of the Rt. Hon Speaker before your assumption of the Chair. And Mr. Speaker, I come under Standing Order 13(2) which provides, and with your permission I would quote:
“Whenever the House is informed by the Clerk at the Table of the unavoidable absence of Mr. Speaker, the First Deputy Speaker shall perform the duties and exercise the authority of Mr. Speaker in relation to all proceedings of the House until Mr. Speaker resumes the Chair, without any further communication to the House.”

Mr. Speaker, with respect, because of the unavoidable absence of Madam Speaker and you assuming the Chair, the Table Office ought to have informed the House of this. Unfortunately, it was not done. Today you have come again to assume the Chair and we still have no explanation.

With your indulgence if we may hear from the Clerk-at-Table the reason why you are in the Chair and the reason why the Rt. Hon Speaker may not be around -- just some formal communication so that we set the records straight. And I guess thereafter, this being your second time before the close of the day and before adjournment, we may have the opportunity to congratulate you for the diligent work you did yesterday which we hope you would carry out today as well.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Thank you very much, hon. Minority Leader. I know as a fact that Standing Order 13 (2), which you have quoted, is one of your favourite Standing Orders in this House, so the Clerk?
Clerk to Parliament (Mr. Emmanuel
Anyimadu): Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I wish to inform the House that Madam Speaker is not well and in her absence the First Deputy Speaker would take the Chair; I am informing the House in accordance with Standing Order 13 (2).
Thank you, Hon Members.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Mr. A. K. Agbesi 10:55 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the
Minority Leader raised the point for which you have given a direction. Mr. Speaker, the Minority Leader quoted Standing Order 13 (2). Mr. Speaker, I have also looked at Standing Order 13 (1) and with your permission I quote:
“Either of the Deputy Speakers shall take the Chair as Deputy Speaker
whenever requested to do so by Mr. Speaker during a Sitting of the House without any formal commu- nication to the House.”
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Member for Ashaiman, the 13(1) is talking about a situation where the Speaker is Sitting and invites one of her Deputies to come and take over the Chair.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:05 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to believe that the explanation given by Mr. Clerk holds good for today; because he has informed us that Madam Speaker is not well, that is why you are in the Chair today. I do not know whether the same reason held good for yesterday -- [Interruptions.] He did not say so. So we want to know whether the same reason held good for yesterday.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11:05 a.m.
You know
that points of order or reference to the breach of the rules are taken at the time when the event is taking place. Yesterday is past. So we are talking about today.
Votes and Proceedings and
the Official Report
  • [There were no corrections to the Votes and Proceedings of 25th February, 2009. The Official Report of 25th February, 2009 was corrected.]
  • BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE 11:05 a.m.

    Majority Leader/Chairman of the Business Committee (Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin) 11:05 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I beg to present the Business Statement for the Eighth Week ending Friday, 6th March,
    Rt. Hon Speaker, the Committee met yesterday, Thursday, 26th February 2009 and arranged Business of the House for
    Majority Leader/Chairman of the Business Committee (Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin) 11:05 a.m.
    Rt. Hon Speaker, the committee accordingly submits its report as follows:
    Arrangement of Business
    Papers and Reports
    Rt. Hon Speaker, papers may be laid during the week and committee reports may also be presented to the House for consideration.
    Statements and Motions
    Rt. Hon Speaker may allow Statements duly admitted to be made on the floor of the House. Motions would be debated and their consequential Resolutions, if any, may also be taken.
    Rt. Hon Speaker, the debate to thank H.E. the President for his Message on the State of the Nation which he delivered to this honourable House on Thursday, 19th February 2009, may be concluded during the week.
    Presentation of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government
    Rt. Hon Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 140, the hon. Minister for Finance would present to the House, the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the year 2009, next week.
    Public Holiday
    Mr. Speaker, Friday, 6th March 2009 is Independence Day. The day would be observed as statutory public holiday.
    Due to the Independence Day celebration, the Business Committee will meet on Wednesday, 4th March 2009 to

    determine Business of the House for the Ninth Week.


    Rt. Hon Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 160 (2) and subject to Standing Order 53, the Committee submits to this honourable House the order in which the Business of the House shall be taken during the week.


    Laying of Papers

    Motion --

    That this honourable House thanks H.E. the President for the Message on the State of the Nation which he delivered to this honourable House on Thursday, 19th February 2009.

    We have scheduled the debate to

    conclude on Tuesday. So as many hon. Members as possible will have to be given some time - and I would want to plead with hon. Members to take some aspects of the Address and not try to make comments on all the Address, from “A” to “Z”. I think that takes a lot of time and interruptions because hon. Members sometimes make statements that cannot be substantiated. If we are able to do that, many more hon. Members will be able to contribute to the debate.

    Committee Sittings


    Laying of Papers

    Motion --

    Adoption of the Report of the Committee of Selection on the Composition of the Standing and Select Committees.

    Committee Sittings.


    Laying of Papers

    Motion --

    That this honourable House approves the Financial Policy of the Government of Ghana for the Year ending 31st December 2009.

    Committee Sittings

    Public Holiday Independence Day Celebration

    We will try to celebrate our Indepen- dence Day with honour.

    Mr. Speaker, if there is any need to amend the Business Statement during the course of the week we will do so with your leave and the indulgence of the House. Thank you very much.
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11:15 a.m.
    Thank you, hon. Majority Leader.

    Any comment on the Business Statement presented by the hon. Majority Leader on behalf of the Business Committee? Hon Minority Leader?
    Minority Leader (Mr. Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu) 11:15 a.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I was just
    trying to confer with the Majority Leader whether he factored into the business for the week, the usual post-budget workshops that we have been having and I was asking whether -- I was late for the Business Committee meeting -- hon. Members may have to be informed so that accordingly they would programme themselves.
    I think that we have usually involved the Chairmen, Vice Chairmen, Ranking Members and Deputy Ranking Members plus Leadership in these post-budget workshops. I just want to know whether we have factored that one in, because Friday will be a holiday and that would mean that, if we are going to do that exercise, hon. Members may have to report in the evening of that Friday, that is, March 6.
    Mr. Bagbin 11:15 a.m.
    Mr. Speaker, that definite-
    ly would be included in the next Statement and that is why I said we are going to meet on Wednesday. So in the Business Statement on Thursday I will talk about the post-budget workshop. Because the 6th is a public holiday, we thought that we may have to report, maybe, on the 7th and take it up to Monday. So we are still to discuss it at the Business Committee meeting on Wednesday.
    I think also that participants are usually the Chairmen and Ranking Members; it does not include Vice Chairmen. The Chairmen and Ranking Members and Leadership and some resource persons. So we would discuss that on Wednesday and inform the House definitely on Thursday about the programme.
    Thank you very much.
    Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:15 a.m.
    Speaker, I may thank the Majority Leader for the information except that the business, as arranged next week will be for the ensuing week, which is why I thought that it should have been covered in this
    one. However, if my memory serves me right I think the last one that we had, we had Chairmen, Vice Chairmen, Ranking Members and Deputy Ranking Members and so we may have to look at that again.
    I am not too sure whether we had Deputy Ranking Members, but I do recollect that a decision was made that we should have Deputy Ranking Members included, that is the last one that we had -- Was it at Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) that we had it?
    So, at least, the Chairmen and the Vice Chairmen have always been present. The Deputy Ranking Members were the ones who were left out the last time and we pleaded that they be included next time around. So it has not been Chairmen and Ranking Members only. But I guess we can discuss that after this.
    Mr. Bagbin 11:15 a.m.
    Mr. Speaker, we do
    not need to debate this. This is the information I got from the Clerk's office which I just -- I knew that we advised that the Vice Chairmen and the Deputy Ranking Members be included because in the absence of the Chairman, the Vice Chairman could take -- and vice versa. But I think we have not implemented that, according to the Clerk's office; it is still the Ranking Members and the Chairmen. But we could discuss it and see the budget provision for it. And if it is available we would do that.
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11:15 a.m.
    I think the
    Leadership would put their heads together and then sort out those who would be attending the post-budget seminar.
    The Business Statement is duly adopted.
    MOTIONS 11:15 a.m.

    Mrs. Gifty E. Kusi 11:25 a.m.
    On a point of
    order. Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member is misleading this House and the whole country. He said this is the first time that Members of Parliament (MP) are going to get a Fund. It is not true. We have the Members of Parliament Common Fund; we have the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Fund; and we have the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund).
    The only difference is that it is separate -- So he is not to say this is the first time that Members of Parliament are going to get a Fund -- No, please. We have the Members of Parliament Common Fund already. This is not true. He has to set things straight so that Ghanaians will know that we have MPs Common Fund that we utilize for our constituency projects.
    Mr. Avedzi 11:25 a.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I think my hon. Friend opposite did not hear what I said. I said this is the first time that H.E. is establishing a Member of Parliament
    Constituency Development Fund. If there had been a development fund maybe, it was in her own constituency but not in mine. And even the MPs Common Fund that she is referring to was established by the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government. [Hear! Hear!] So again, this is the first time we are going to have Members of Parliament Constituency Development Fund. [Interruption.]
    Dr. M. O. Prempeh 11:25 a.m.
    On a point of
    order. Mr. Speaker, would you kindly advise our hon. Friend to speak in relation to the President's State of the Nation Address. The President never promised to establish anything or has not even established this Fund he is congratulating the President on and I quote from page 5:
    “Regarding Parliament and Parlia- mentarians, we will plan . . .”
    “We will plan . . . ”, that is it. So when he starts talking about congratulating the President for establishing MPs -- “We will Plan . . .” It is not, “we have decided to establish”; “We will Plan . . .”
    Mr. Avedzi 11:25 a.m.
    Mr. Speaker, for the avoidance of doubt let me read exactly what H.E. the President puts here. [An hon. Member: Which version? The original version or King James Version?]
    Mr. Speaker, page 5, H.E. the President said and with your permission, I quote 11:25 a.m.
    “Regard ing Par l iament and Parliamentarians, we will plan for the following:
    The establishment of a Member of Parliament Constituency Development Fund separate and apart from the District Assem-blies Common Fund in order to release the District Assemblies Common Fund for the exclusive use of the District
    Assemblies and to remove one of the sources of tensions between the District Chief Executives and the Members of Parliament;
    The assignment of National Service graduates to Members of Parliament as Research Assis- tants.”
    Mr. Speaker, for the intention of the President to establish that Fund, he cannot just go and say he has established the Fund; process must be gone through; Bills must be introduced in this House. That is why he said, “we will plan”. So if he does not understand, let me tell him that we have to go through some process, that is why he says “we will plan”.
    Dr. A. A. Osei 11:25 a.m.
    On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, our hon. good Friend here has just introduced a new dimension that we have to be careful about on this matter of the President planning for the assignment of National Service graduates to Members of Parliament as Research Assistants. Mr. Speaker, the Chinery-Hesse Report that the President is saying he might not implement -- Mr. Speaker, with your kind permission, I quote:
    “Staff Support -- Adequate number of staff support both at the Parliament House and the constituency office . . .”
    It goes on -- “The Committee recommends that eight Personal Assistants should be provided for each MP to be paid for by the Parliamentary Service.”
    Mr. Speaker, can he explain to us

    that the Chinery-Hesse Report that this President does not intend to implement, at the same time he is trying to implement something that is in the Report? Can he explain this contradiction to us?
    Mr. Avedzi 11:25 a.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I think the
    hon. Friend opposite is the only person who is holding the Chinery-Hesse Report. If he can make copies to hon. Members, we do not have copies. We do not have copies so he should make copies available to us as well. That document is a stranger in this House, we have not seen it, so if he can make copies available to us.
    Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:35 a.m.
    On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, I think in this House we should be careful of what we say. This House on the 6th of January gave an approval to the recommendations of the Chinery-Hesse Report. Mr. Speaker, article 71 of the Constitution provides that the approval that Parliament gives is in respect of the recommendations as they relate to the Executive. If hon. Members agree that they gave an approval. which approval and to what category of persons did they offer the approval?
    Mr. Speaker, I believe hon. Members should not, by anything that they say here, ridicule Parliament as an institution. If we agree that we offered some approval and the Constitution says we cannot approve of the recommendation in respect of Members of Parliament, and we agree that we gave some approval, then what approval did we give?
    But Mr. Speaker, moving away from that to make the distinction between a plan and execution, he says the President, because he has to go through a process,
    would have to say that he will plan to do something.

    Mr. Speaker, contrast that with the

    statement that the President gave with respect to ensuring equitable develop- ments, page 27, paragraph 2, under Ensuring Equitable Developments. “Specifically” -- and I am quoting:

    “Specifically, my administration will this year establish the Savannah Accelerated Development Au- thority (SADA).”

    Is there any plan? Or there he does not need any plan? The third paragraph under that same sub-heading:

    “In the Central Region we will revive CEDECOM . . .”

    Is there any “plan”? Mr. Speaker, he should be consistent with the argument.

    Thank you very much.
    Mr. Fuseini A. B. Inusah 11:35 a.m.
    Speaker, I thought that the objection that was raised by the Hon Member for Tafo was in connection with the approval of National Service Personnel being assigned as Research Assistants to hon. Members of Parliament. This House did not approve the Chinery-Hesse Report in connection with Members of Parliament, which was approved by the Executive. It was not approved by this Parliament. So if they say that that particular aspect of the Report was not available to this House then it is totally untrue.
    Secondly, I heard the Majority Leader say that we must be mindful of what we say in this House. We can only be mindful of what we say in this House subject to the Orders of this House. If you want to restrict a person from saying what he has to say in this House it must be based on
    directives of this House. And I do not think that what the Member said infringes any of the Orders of this House.
    We must not introduce words in this House to suggest that we by ourselves are restricting freedom of expression in this very House, that is established to express views and matters that affect the nation. So we must not introduce such contexts into this House.
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    I will
    call the hon. Minority Leader and then this matter, we will end it there. I do not want this debate to generate into the issues of Chinery-Hesse and all those things. We all have our views on that matter -- [Laughter] -- and for very good reasons.
    Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:35 a.m.
    Speaker, the import of what I said is in respect of article 71 (2) and my Hon Colleague, the Member for Tamale Central knows very well the principle that informed the submission that I made. He knows it and I do not know why he got up and said what he said. In respect of article 71 (2) the salaries - if I may quote:
    “The salaries and allowances payable, and the facilities available, to the President, the Vice-President, the chairman and the other members of the Council of State; Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers, being expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund, shall be determined by Parliament on the recommendations of the committee referred to in clause (1) of this article.”
    And the committee I refer to in this case is the Chinery-Hesse Committee; and the report in this case is the Report from the Chinery-Hesse Committee. So I was only situating the contribution from my Hon Colleague in this that he should be mindful of this. Absolutely. So the hon. Member knows I know. He has been nodding profusely to what I have been saying and
    I do not intend to go on.
    Mr. Avedzi 11:35 a.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I will just
    move ahead. I am not moving forward but I am moving ahead. If you look at page 16, paragraph 2 of His Excellency's State of the Nation Address, he states, on the road sector, how he is going to ensure that the Western, Central and then the Eastern corridors are opened. These will go a very long way to help the development of this nation, especially the Eastern corridor.
    This corridor has been the shortest route from the South to the North and therefore, if it is opened, our people from the northern sector of this country can have a very short journey to the South and this can speed up development of this country. I want to thank His Excellency the President very well for that idea of opening the Eastern corridor of this country.
    Again, looking at the economic down-
    turn that is going to affect this country -- Because we are not a nation in isolation, whatever is happening globally will definitely have some effects on this country. So what His Excellency the President said on pages 8 and 9 where he talked about the challenges of the global economic environment means that it will be difficult for this country to even go in for loans. Developed nations, donor countries will now think of how they can revive their economies let alone bringing their resources to support us, the less privileged ones.
    Mr. Ernest A. Debrah (NPP -- Tano North) 11:45 a.m.
    Mr. Speaker, thank you very much for this opportunity to support the motion that stands in the name of the Hon Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, Mr. Inusah Fuseini and seconded by the Hon Member for Okaikoi South, Hon. Nana Akomea.
    First of all, let me thank His Excellency the President for the very conciliatory manner in which the Address was delivered. I commend the President very highly for that. One sentence in the Address made my day on the 19th February. Permit me to quote that sentence and that is the first sentence on page 2 of the Address, that is the King James Version and I quote:
    “. . . to add to what is working, and to change course only when it is in the national interest to do so.”

    Mr. Speaker, these are great words, and they are words that underpin the building of great nations. I hope that His Excellency will support those words with deeds throughout his tenure of office as the President of this Republic.
    Mr. Ernest A. Debrah (NPP -- Tano North) 11:45 a.m.
    Now, to the main Address; I will limit myself to the agriculture sector of the Address, and that is page 13. The first paragraph, and Mr. Speaker, I quote:
    “The Government will address simultaneously the issues of food availability, access to food, response to crisis situations and malnutrition. The Government will invest adequately to maintain the production level of those crops for which we have surplus product and put in measures to increase significantly the production level of those crops for which we have deficit production. We will also put in place measures to increase significantly the production level of the staple crops for which consumption demand exceeds domestic production.
    Mr. Speaker, this calls for us to look at the current food situation in Ghana; and if you will permit me, I will just run through a few statistics for us.
    In the year 2008, we had a production of one million, two hundred and seven metric tonnes of maize; but we have a deficit consumption of one hundred and eighteen thousand metric tonnes for rice; we had a production of one hundred and twenty-four thousand metric tonnes and a deficit of one hundred and fifty-three thousand metric tonnes.
    Millet, we had a production of one hundred and nineteen thousand metric tonnes and a surplus of eighty thousand metric tonnes Sorghum, one hundred and
    sixty-three thousand metric tonnes, surplus of one hundred and thirty-nine thousand metric tonnes; Cassava, 10 million metric tonnes, deficit of 3.5 million tonnes; yam, 4.4 million metric tonnes and a surplus of two thousand, six hundred and twelve metric tonnes. On and on for the nine basic staples in this country.

    Mr. Speaker, no doubt, Ghana is the only country south of the Sahara that is likely to meet the Millennium Development Goals of halving hunger by 50 per cent by the year 2015. This is because by the year 2006, Ghana had reduced hunger by 58 per cent. [Some Hon Members: Source?] -- Go to the World Food Programme Report of 2007, and you will see it there. Mr. Speaker, we have been able to -- [Interruptions.]
    Mr. C. S. Hodogbey 11:45 a.m.
    On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, the Hon Member was a Minister for Food and Agriculture in the last Administration. Based upon his recommendation, there was a big import of rice. Today, he is telling us we have a surplus of food in tonnes. Based upon his recommendation, he was able to advise the Government and the rice importation into this country was over 400 million last year. Now, this very person is praising -- [Interruptions.]
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    Member, what is your point of order? [Laughter] -- No, I am not stopping you. I want to be with you as to the point of order that you are raising.
    Mr. Hodogbey 11:45 a.m.
    Mr. Speaker, he is
    misleading the House. Because based on their recommendation, the taxes that have been imposed on rice importation, livestock, especially, poultry had been lifted to enable those people who were supporting the NPP Government to import as many of those items into this country. Today, he is telling us we have a deficit and surplus tonnes of food. What is the correct thing he is telling us now?
    Mr. Debrah 11:45 a.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I would not have answered the question except to correct him that he must look at the statistics properly. Ghana has a net surplus of food production in this country.
    Mr. Speaker, this has been possible because of the programmes and policies that have been put in place at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture during the last Administration. [Hear! Hear!] And some of these are on account of farmers input supply credit system, fertilizer subsidy, subsidy for farm machinery and equipment.
    Hon Members of both sides here, I think, their constituents have all benefited from buying tractors at reduced rate from the Ministry and others. These have led us to get this situation: we have got food surpluses. And this is supported by the President himself in his State of the Nation Address. So this is an endorsement of the President of the policies and programmes of the NPP Administration in the agriculture sector -- [Hear! Hear!] And I thank the President so much for that.
    On irrigation, the President said that
    we will move beyond rhetoric -- [Inter- ruptions] -- page 13, King James Version, the last but two paragraphs, and it says:
    Mr. Debrah 11:45 a.m.

    “We will move beyond rhetoric and execute a programme to rehabilitate existing irrigation schemes to ensure their efficient utilization.”

    Mr. Speaker, I looked at the meaning of the word “rhetoric” from the Oxford Dictionary Current English, third edition; and the word “rhetoric” means:

    “Persuasive language that is empty or insincere.”
    Mr. Joe Gidisu 11:55 a.m.
    On a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, the former Minister for Food and Agriculture is trying to reinforce those rhetorics that the President talked about. We have three such irrigation projects in our district. The Aveyime, I am not talking of the Quality Grain, Aveyime Irrigation Project which was awarded, and up to date, not even 20 per cent of work is completed. You go to Dorfor Adidome, there is an irrigation project which he may be including in those that have been completed which have not yet been completed at Agoveme and there is also another one at Volo.

    These are projects which had been outstanding for the past eight years and contract had been awarded, money had

    been released and up to now not even 20 per cent of work had been completed on them.
    Mr. Joe Gidisu 11:55 a.m.
    Mr. Speaker, my
    point of order is that he is reinforcing the rhetoric that the President talked about and he is trying to disprove, and he is deceiving the House.
    Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:55 a.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I really do not see the point of order that my Colleague raised. He himself accepted or conceded the fact that some projects have been started or completed and he mentioned some, and according to him, he says and I am quoting him that “maybe you have included these in the projects that you are talking about”. He himself is not even sure and then he concludes that it is rhetoric because of his “may” conception and perception.
    Mr. Speaker, this is very strange and should not be encouraged and I think now that he has been elevated to a Minister, he should know better and not mislead himself and the House.
    Mr. Speaker, let my Hon Colleague continue because you yourself indicated, we intend to close earlier than 2 o'clock and so this intervention of my Colleague was outrightly uncalled for; and I will plead with you that you do not encourage such points of order.
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11:55 a.m.
    I agree
    with you and I have taken your advice but let me hear the Hon Majority Chief Whip and then I will call on the Hon Member to continue.
    Mr. E. T. Mensah 11:55 a.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I did
    not know what the Hon Minority Leader was trying to do. A point of order against a point of order or commenting -- on a point of order? I think that these are
    things which should not be tolerated. [Interruptions.] I have only drawn the Speaker's attention that the Minority Leader knows the rules very well, so I was at a loss as to what he was trying to do and in conclusion he advised that the Speaker should not tolerate such interventions from him and I believe that he should not tolerate us and such interventions waste our time.
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11:55 a.m.
    Hon Member, you know the Leadership of this House, to a very large extent, assists the Chair in managing affairs of this House. So when the Minority Leader gets up, I have to give him audience just as I have just done to you because you are the next senior person on the Front Bench now. That is why I also called you to hear your side.
    Hon Member, continue, please.
    Mr. Debrah 11:55 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
    I think Mr. Speaker can confirm to the Hon Member that one dam in his constituency has been completed.
    Mr. Speaker, thirty dams were destroyed by the flood that occurred in the northern sector in 2007. We found funding for all the thirty dams; the contracts have been awarded, they would have been started by now but for the fact that payment for advance mobilization was halted as a result of the directive that, apart from statutory payments, no payments should be made. So we are working in the northern sector of the country.
    For the first time, Mr. Speaker, in this country, we have a policy document called the Irrigation Policy Regulatory and Strategy Document in place to regulate how you strategize for the development of irrigation in this country. That is a blue
    print for us to move irrigation forward in this country. Hon. E. T. Mensah will confirm that as a result of that we surveyed his constituency to look at the irrigation requirements of his constituency.
    Mr. Speaker, the biggest irrigation
    Mr. Fuseini 11:55 a.m.
    On a point of order. Mr.
    Speaker, I am totally at a loss. I know the former Minister was a very effective Food and Agriculture Minister. He started his contribution by saying that they have twenty irrigation dams. I just heard him say that in the Northern Region alone the flood destroyed thirty. Can he reconcile these figures for us?
    Mr. Debrah 11:55 a.m.
    There is a difference
    between formal schemes, dug-outs, ponds and others. So formal are the big ones that have been done by Government itself. There are dug-outs, there are ponds and these are not irrigation dams; they are irrigation schemes.
    Mr. Speaker, the Accra Plains is a very
    good area for agricultural purposes that we have all forgotten about for a long time. We have given the feasibility study out to Study International of Tunisia which is preparing the feasibility report. They started last year and the final report would be ready by June this year.
    Mr. Speaker, if you look at all these, then you will see that what we have done in the past four years with regard to irrigation, is not rhetoric. Therefore, if the President says that we were going to have a programme to rehabilitate all dams, then I will say that he was going to continue with the programmes that we have begun and that is an endorsement of the irrigation programme and policy of the former Government and I thank the
    Mr. Debrah 11:55 a.m.

    President for that.
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11:55 a.m.
    Member, you should be winding up.
    Mr. Debrah 12:05 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, since you
    are asking me to wind up, I will talk on Aveyime which I think most people have also dwelt on.
    Mr. Speaker, around 1997, an entre- preneur came to this country to grow rice and she was guaranteed a loan to the tune of getting close to $20 million. Along the line, as the project was moving, the project encountered some problems and I learnt that around the year 20012002, I am not sure, the project ran into some problems and the lady was incarcerated in the United States of America.
    But since we guaranteed the assets that we will pay the money, the assets then became State assets. When I took over the Ministry in 2005, a shade had been made, the assets had been properly packed in places and I looked at the project and saw that it was a good project that was important for this country and we decided to have a closer look at it and see what we can do with it.

    We asked valuers to go and value it

    to let us know what was there, and what was the value. Then we put in place an advertisement in Ghanaian papers and in the international Market for people to show interest in partnering Government to run the project. We had six companies coming in which showed interest. We prepared TOR and sent the same TOR to all these six companies and only two of the companies replied. We put in place a team to look at the two proposals and the team was not only from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

    We had the Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture chairing the team, we had a representative from Data Bank, we had a financial analyst from Ghana Commercial Bank. They looked at the two and made proposals and we sent the proposals to Cabinet and Cabinet asked us to negotiate with the first one. So we again asked them to bring detailed financial proposals for running the Aveyime project.

    Cabinet asked us to put up a team and the team comprised a representative of Data Bank, the Deputy Managing Director of National Investment Bank (NIB), the Chief Executive of Ghana Investment Project, the Deputy Minister and the Attorney-General -- [Interruptions] -- Yes, because I want people to understand it. So we went through all the processes -- [Interruptions.]
    Mr. E. T. Mensah 12:05 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I wonder what my Hon Friend is doing. We are debating the President's Address and he is giving us lectures on Aveyime project. There are loopholes, there are issues which are debatable, we do not want to debate him on what he is doing, so if he may - He is totally out of order. If he may refocus on what he wants to tell us about the import of the President's Address on Aveyime project.
    Thank you very much.
    Mr. Debrah 12:05 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I was coming to that because the President said he was going to restore it [Interruptions.] So a joint company was formed between Proly Texas of USA, Ghana Government and Finance and Development Holdings, a subsidiary of Ghana Commercial Bank. The project has now been revived, the company is working. Currently, they have prepared land for 700 acres, they have planted 80 acres, by March 2009 ending
    Mr. Hodogbey 12:05 p.m.
    I will not oblige to interrupt the former Minister but when he made mention of the President's word - rhetoric -- then he himself admitted that when he took over in 2005, he realized the Aveyime project was a good project and therefore, he took the initiative to revamp it. The question is, he was a member of the Cabinet of the previous Adminis- tration for eight years, until December of last year, before he saw the rationality to reactivate Aveyime. Why did it take him so long?
    Mr. Debrah 12:05 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, Aveyime has now been restored. It is now Prairie Volta Limited, it has a staff strength of 129. They have now started planting and anybody who wants to see the restored Aveyime, I am appealing to Leadership to arrange for Members of this House to go to Aveyime and see that the Aveyime rice, now Prairie Volta, has now been restored. [Hear! Hear!] So Mr. Speaker, the restoration has already been done and I thank the President for that.
    Mr. Speaker, if you look at the President's Address, the sections that deal with agriculture, you will realize that all that the President was saying was that we endorse what the Ministry of Food and Agriculture had done and we are going to continue with it and for that matter, what should the former Minister do but to support the motion to thank the President for endorsing the agricultural policies and programmes of the previous NPP Administration.
    Mr. Emmanuel K. Bandua (NDC -- Biakoye) 12:05 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the motion,
    that this honourable House thanks His Excellency the President for the Message on the State of the Nation which was delivered to this honourable House. We are indeed very grateful.
    Indeed, the least I can say about this Address is that it is very brilliant and well delivered and has very good intentions. And I believe strongly that if these intentions are implemented, it will go a long way to enhance democratic governance in the country and then improve upon the general economic situation. In fact, hon. Members have talked about many of the issues that have been raised.
    I intend to touch briefly on a few of them. I will look at the intention of the President to resource independent governance institutions at page 3 of the Address and I beg to quote that section before I comment on the King James Version.
    “Our 1992 Constitution established a number of institutions to foster effective balance of powers, provide ample expression for the representatives of people, guaran- tee access to Justice, Human Rights, Independence of the media and the right of the citizens to be empowered with knowledge about civic educa- tion. While these institutions have performed relatively well, they are underresourced, their leaders and staff poorly motivated and their institutions thinly spread, such that ordinary citizens in remote areas are unable to access many of their services.”
    I believe strongly that - indeed, it is very necessary for Ghanaians to know their rights and to be able to understand and know the institutions that are available for them to be able to access the services that these institutions can offer. So it is
    Mr. Emmanuel K. Bandua (NDC -- Biakoye) 12:15 p.m.

    very good and heart-warming that the President has decided in his wisdom, to resource these institutions so that they are able to perform.

    Mr. Speaker, I have got one suggestion to make. Although these institutions are available, many Ghanaians do not know which of them to go to when a particular service is required. I will therefore suggest that the Government tries to set up something like information centres or areas where people can get to and immediately seek assistance and advise as to which of the institutions to go to whenever the need arises.

    For instance, if a citizen needs legal services, he may have to go to the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ). But many of the people in the rural areas do not know the particular points of call to attend to whenever it becomes necessary. So when such points are established in the various areas as first points of call, they will easily go there as the institutions to seek the right advice.

    I also intend to look at the challenging global environment. In fact, the economic crunch has brought serious financial problems all over the world and the President has noticed that it is now very necessary for us to look inward instead of looking outward and has decided that in fact, he will improve on several sectors, for instance, agriculture. I believe that if we begin to look inward instead of trying to rely on donors, it will do us a lot of good.

    But we can only do this if we improve upon various sectors of the economy and the President has indicated this by mentioning the agricultural sector, in particular about several services that he is going to put in place to increase

    production, to increase other services. I believe that the time has come, that instead of our various governments depending upon donors and foreigners to assist and improve upon our economy, we rather turn to look inwards; and for the President to have noticed this, I think it is a very good and laudable idea.

    The President also mentioned his intention to develop the private sector. It is a very good idea. This idea of developing the private sector has been canvassed over the years but it looks like many governments have not been committed to the improvement of the private sector.

    I advise that there would be a need for the Government, if it intends to develop the private sector and create the enabling environment, first of all, to look at the Ghana Investments Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act, 1995 (Act 478). Sections of this Act will need to be reviewed, particularly sections on foreign capital, foreign equity participation in various industries, that is the capital that foreigners are expected to invest in Ghanaian businesses.

    For instance, the amount is so low such that most of the time I think it is not beneficial. They come, make a lot of profits and send the profits out in terms of capital flight without even passing it through the right channel.

    Secondly, there will be the need also to, for instance, enforce portions of the Act. There are some areas which are reserved solely for Ghanaians, for instance, petty trading, but these areas have been invaded by foreigners and it has not done us a lot of good. Recently, there were several complaints about our Ghanaian businessmen being thrown out of their jobs because such areas have been invaded by their foreign counterparts. In

    fact, there are provisions in the Act that protect Ghanaian businesses but these provisions have not been enforced.

    I will appeal urgently that our President would see to it that the institutions that are responsible for enforcing such laws be up and doing, so that indeed, the Ghanaian economy will benefit.

    The President has also spoken a lot about agriculture; I do not intend to dilate on it because other hon. Members have spoken about it. The only advice I want to give is that the problem of Fulani herdsmen has been a very serious one which has bedevilled this country for a long time and it looks like governments do not have the political will or courage to tackle this problem. Maybe, it is because of its national and international implications.

    I will urge that this time round, the Government should put its foot down and deal with this problem, either find a way of restraining the Fulani herdsmen so that they do not go in and destroy our farmlands and cause damage to various property in our system. I think it is very important.

    Last but not least, people have spoken about transportation. But there is one thing which is on my heart and I want to draw the President's attention to it, that is, transportation on the Volta Lake in particular.

    The previous Government has entered into an agreement with Large Sustainable Resources Development. I believe that there is the need for the Government to follow up on this agreement and ensure that its provisions are executed for the benefit of the economy. In fact, if this agreement is fully executed, I believe that the stumps in the Volta Lake would be
    Ms. Cecilia Abena Dapaah (NPP -- Bantama) 12:15 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the motion on the floor of the House which was moved and seconded by my hon. Colleagues.
    Mr. Speaker, I believe we all need to
    commend His Excellency the President for fulfilling his role as the Commander- in-Chief of this nation of ours and being able to stand on his feet for one long hour to deliver his Address. I think he needs to be commended because I can hardly stand on my feet and not fidget for one hour. So hon. Akua Dansua should not be worried.
    I also want to commend him for his grand entrance and we all saw the way he was content when he looked around and saw the glamour and the resplendent kente that people were wearing.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to comment on the institution of our great leader, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah's birthday as Founder's Day. Mr. Speaker, I believe, we would have all been witnesses of the various comments and submissions by Ghanaians on this issue. It is true; he is one of the greatest sons that this earth Ghana has ever produced. But I would have loved that other people were roped in for the celebration of this day.
    People have said elsewhere that the only legacy Dr. Nkrumah left was a flag and an anthem, but I want to differ on
    Ms. Cecilia Abena Dapaah (NPP -- Bantama) 12:15 p.m.

    this. He did a lot for this nation, so did others as well.

    Mr. Speaker, I want to place on record that the previous Government, which was the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government, also did a lot of work to rehabilitate the memory of this great leader. Right now, as I speak, Peduase Lodge has been rehabilitated and we can all go and have a look at the place as it is now.

    It is true also, that the Jubilee Complex which has been constructed is on the grounds of the old Flag Staff House and that also brings to memory where our great leader Dr. Nkrumah lived. In fact, one of the buildings has been rehabilitated and it is housing, I believe, the relics of Dr. Nkrumah. It is, indeed, a museum piece and I believe we will all have the opportunity to visit the grounds when the time comes.

    There is also the beautiful aspect of the fact that when his widow fell sick, the Government found it very necessary, through our former President, President J. A. Kufuor to visit our former First Lady, Madam Fathia, and her last wish, I believe, was that she should be laid alongside her dear husband and this was granted. As I speak she is lying in the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum with her dear husband. And the topping of the cake is that his daughter, our own dear little sister Samia, is now living in Ghana and now a formidable Member of Parliament, we must commend her for this.
    Mr. E. T. Mensah 12:15 p.m.
    On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, what is the relevance of what she is talking about in relation to the specific issue which was raised by the President? There can only be one founder -- there can be only one
    founder of a nation -- [Interruptions.] -- So she is questioning it; I do not see the relevance. Well, if she talks about rehabilitation of Dr. Nkrumah by the former Government, there is a lot that can be said but it is an area where she should just veer off because there are several contentious and debatable issues as to what she has raised.
    The Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, where the wife of Dr. Nkrumah was laid beside him, who created the Mausoleum, who created it? Let us not go into those areas, about what the Government has done, the rehabilitation - [Interruptions.] -- You rehabilitated Peduase Logde, have you named it after him? I am saying that my Hon Sister is totally out of order and she must refocus onto what she is talking about.
    Thank you.
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Hon Member, kindly continue.
    Ms. Dapaah 12:25 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker. I believe I am adding to the praises heaped on our great leader by His Excellency the President, Prof. Mills, so I have not veered off.
    Mr. Speaker, under promises in the Governance Reform Agenda on page 5, His Excellency, I think we have already talked about this, that he will plan to give Members of Parliament (MPs) assistance. I will humbly urge, as quickly as possible, His Excellency to make sure that we do have office spaces because if you are homeless, you do not entertain a guest; that is as simple as that.

    Again, under governance, Mr. Speaker, I will encourage the draft Presidential Transition Bill which will possibly come

    before us for enactment, in order to eliminate the acrimonious way in which we hand over power from one government to the other. We have been witnesses to all that has gone wrong with the transition period this time. There is no need to go into details. So when in 2012 the NDC is handing over to the NPP, we would have a very smooth handing over ceremony.
    Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:25 p.m.
    On a point of information. Mr. Speaker, I believe my Hon Colleague has yielded.
    We have been told in this House that
    Ghana has only one founder. On 28th February, 2007, a statement was made in this House and the then hon. Minority Leader, now Majority Leader, made a contribution, and I want to quote from the Hansard of 28th February, 2007. The hon. Majority Leader, then hon. Minority Leader had this to say, and very instruc- tive:
    “So Mr. Speaker, it is important that we should not allow emotions to becloud the gallant efforts of all our founding members . . .”

    And he had mentioned Ako Adjei, he had mentioned J. B. Danquah, he had mentioned Nkrumah, he had mentioned George Alfred Grant, and he said we should not allow emotions to becloud the judgements of the gallant efforts of our founding members.

    “We should relook our past, be guided by what happened so that we can shape our future together and get Ghana moving faster than we are doing.”

    Mr. Speaker, if you situate it in the context, my hon. Colleague was right in saying that Ghana has many founding members. It is the collective effort of all these people which resulted in the independence of this country. Yes, there was an arrow head and the arrow head was Osagyefo Dr. Nkrumah - [Hear! Hear!] That is well acknowledged. It does not mean that he is the only founding member of this nation. That is the point that we want to make, and the hon. Majority Leader acknowledges this in the 28th February, 2007 Hansard, column 898.

    Thank you very much.
    Mr. E. T. Mensah 12:25 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I was speaking to page 3, paragraph 5 of the Address, the issue of the Founder's Day. There can be founders but there would be only one founder, if you want to appreciate that. Founder's Day, when you declare a holiday, you cannot declare “Founders' Days”. When you want to talk about the history of the founding of this nation and the roles that various people played, both negative and positive, we would not leave here. What is here is that, if I may quote,
    Mr. Speaker, the President said 12:25 p.m.
    “Among others, we intend to honour Dr. Nkrumah's memory with a national holiday to be known as Founder's Day and we will be presenting legislation to Parliament to this effect.”
    Ms. Dapaah 12:25 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I believe I did not want to delve into this. I just stated my personal opinion as an hon. Member of Parliament for Bantama, that I would love it this way, that the President extends this holiday, the Founder's Day to cover

    founders with an apostrophe after the “s” (s'), not before.

    Mr. Speaker, under housing on page 15 of the State of the Nation Address, I want to make the following comments: The President stated that, there would be renewed efforts to improve the housing stock for workers and he talked about the affordable houses that had been started, I am sure, by the NPP Government.

    I want to place on record that there are almost 5,000 units that are under construction and at various stages of completion. I would urge the NDC Government to make sure they stay on course as the President has promised, finish these houses and distribute them equitably to retirees, the aged, market women, workers in both private and public sectors, security forces, our doctors and our nurses. I think I would make more comments on this when we get to the Budget.

    I would also want to remind His Excellency the President that Government, realising the need to increase the housing stock for civil servants, instituted a Fund which was jointly launched by my goodself and Hon Dr. Akoto Osei to augment the Public Servants' Loan Scheme which is being managed by the HFC Bank and I believe this can be continued and more funds can be put into this Fund to make sure workers do benefit from the housing scheme.

    On health, I would urge His Excellency the President to prioritise the water sector on his agenda because I believe that when we are able to achieve our Millennium Development Goal (MDG) in water we would solve most of our health problems, especially, the total elimination of the guinea-worm diseases which this Government has brought down from about 4,000 cases to under 400. So I will urge

    him to do that as well.

    We have borrowed a lot of money as

    well to do urban water and I believe they should continue on that good road.

    Mr. Speaker, I would end by touching a bit on personal security. I would have loved the President, once more, to have touched or to have admonished those who are demented in our society, the hard core evil minded people who have been raping elderly women, who have been killing little children and making lives unbearable for the populace, and I believe when he tells us that we should depart and I quote, Mr. Speaker,

    “. . . from the vilification, backbiting, political mischief making and divisiveness which have bedeviled politics in this country,”

    he really means it, because we do not want the President to be sitting on the apex for the rest of the spectrum to be undertaking actions and acts that will not augur well for this nation. This nation needs to be peaceful, this nation needs to be stable as they met it, and we will continue to demand that we are safe in our own land.

    Mr. Speaker, I will entreat all of us as the President did, to elevate Ghana's politics beyond pettiness, and aim for the more sublime in the interest of mother Ghana. Mother Ghana expects us to treat Her well.

    Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for giving me the opportunity.
    Ms. Samia Y. C. Nkrumah (CPP -- Jomoro) 12:35 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for allowing me to contribute to the debate on the State of the Nation Address. Particularly, I will focus on only one
    aspect. I wish to commend H.E. Prof. Mills for acknowledging the selfless service of our first President Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah; [Hear! Hear!] and for promising to present appropriate legislation to Parliament for us to honour our first President's memory in a befitting manner.
    Now, we know that the independence struggle began before Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and we know that it has continued and will continue after him.
    However, the whole world has acknowledged Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. He was popularly voted for in a BBC survey in the year 2000 as the African of the millennium, surpassing great living legends like Nelson Mandela and I think we owe it to Ghana and Africa to confer on him a singular honour.
    It is also true that there had been previous actions as my hon. Colleague mentioned previously to honour Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in various ways. And notably, the most recent is former President Kufour presiding over the state funeral of the widow of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, [Hear! Hear!] in June
    However, I believe H.E. the President's announcement this year is important because this is also the centenary of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah's birth. In the spirit of national unity and integration, I believe it would be appropriate to mark Founder's Day in such a manner that we unite rather than divide our nation. Particularly, as we have just come out of very close elections and in order to reflect the main purpose of our political independence; and that is to achieve our economic independence and self reliance and the ownership of our development.
    I believe it would be appropriate to hold, for example, a science and tech-
    Mr. D. T. Assumeng (NDC -- Shai Osudoku) 12:35 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, before I speak to support the motion, let me also remind the House that prior to the programme we had a planning committee that did the planning for the day, and I think that is also worth saying that we need to also thank the planning committee members who did the planning for the day.
    Mr. J. B. Aidoo 12:35 p.m.
    On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, the Hon Member is mentioning a day we are not aware of. Could he please, tell us what day he is talking about? What day? He is only saying “The Day, The Day”.
    Mr. Assumeng 12:35 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, all that we are saying here is towards the State of the Nation Address given by H.E. the President and so the planning committee that I am talking about is the planning committee that planned towards the State of the Nation Address day in this House. And that is what I am talking about. [Interruptions.]
    Dr. A. A. Osei 12:35 p.m.
    On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, I am confused a bit because he said all that we are doing is speaking towards the National Sessional Address Day. We are not speaking towards any Sessional Address Day, we do not speak towards it. We are debating on the State of the Nation Address given by H.E.
    Dr. A. A. Osei 12:35 p.m.

    the President, so I do not know what he is talking about. I do not know who is speaking towards it. We are debating the Address given by H.E. the President; so if he has something else in mind at least he should come properly.
    Mr. Assumeng 12:35 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, and so in supporting the motion, I want to thank H. E. the President for the smart manner in which he came to this House to present the State of the Nation Address [Hear! Hear!] Mr. Speaker, the Address was one of inspiration, one of hope and one of a clear vision. [Interruptions.]
    Mr. Speaker, I am very grateful that H. E. the President mentioned in the Address that the four years senior high school division would be given a second look, for that matter reducing the period to three years and I think this is of a hope.
    Mr. Speaker, in my rounds in my constituency, I tried in my own way to find out the impression about this duration; and I had the feeling and the impression among my youth that the three years is of much relevance and I think that we all need to support this three-year duration mentioned by H.E. the President.
    Mr. Opare-Ansah 12:35 p.m.
    On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, the Hon Member is grossly misleading this House. Indeed, H.E. never gave an indication that he was going to reduce the length of secondary education or even review it downwards.
    In fact, I would have been surprised because just last November, this House including Members of the then Minority and now Majority led at the highest round by the current Minister for Education urged this House to quickly pass the
    Education Act which indeed contained the particular clause which extended secondary education from three years to four years.
    So I would have been surprised if H.E. the President had actually given the indication that the Hon Member is misleading us to believe is contained in his Address. So he should correct it and not attribute words to the President when the President has clearly no intention of altering.
    Mr. Assumeng 12:35 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to inform the Hon Member that that has been part of our manifesto and we want to implement that later; even though it is also said that it would be subject to some form of debate or some form of public view, we are saying that at the end of it all, we think that the three years will be relevant to our educational system.
    Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:45 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, my hon. Friend is making some statements which are very worrying. He tells us that the President has indicated that he is going to review downwards the duration of the senior high school system. Then he goes further to say that, that would be subjected to some kind of public debate but the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government is firm in
    implementing its manifesto to the effect that it would be reduced to three years.
    Mr. Speaker, are we to take it that indeed they have already committed themselves to doing that and are only going to organise some huhudious form of function to make it appear as if they are consulting the public? Because that is exactly what he has said. That is the import of the statement that he has made and I think it is very worrying and if that is not the impression, I guess the hon. Member may correct himself. But what he said really amounts to that.
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Hon Member, refer yourself to page 20, the second paragraph of the State of the Nation Address and be guided accordingly with what the President said at that page.
    Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:45 p.m.
    It is noted.
    Mr. Assumeng 12:45 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I said I had some interactions with the youth in my constituency and the idea there is that they would prefer the three years. That is what I am saying. [Interruptions.]
    In any case, Mr. Speaker, this consultation would not be like that of the Representation of Peoples Amendment Bill (ROPAB) consultation, this one would be truthful consultation.
    Nana Akomea 12:45 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. Mr. Speaker, my Hon Friend who just spoke says that the President is committed to implementing the National Youth Policy. I want to ask him, which youth policy is going to be implemented? Just for my education. He should tell us which youth policy is going to be implemented? Because Mr. Speaker, the
    last Cabinet, on the 15th of December, approved a National Youth Policy for this country -- in December last year.
    If it is that policy that is going to be implemented then he should let us know but the way he is talking, it is like there is some other youth policy somewhere that has not been implemented over eight years and that is now going to be implemented. That is not correct.
    Mr. Assumeng 12:45 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, apart from the 1999 National Youth Policy that was presented and promulgated under the leadership of Hon E. T. Mensah, there has not been any National Youth Policy in this country. So for the eight years that they came to power, they never brought any National Youth Policy to this House and I can attest to that. I am very much aware of that. Mr. Speaker, we would come out with a National Youth Policy and pro- mulgate it for the benefit of the youth of this country.
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Hon Member for Okaikoi South, the Hon Member on the floor is saying that the only youth policy that came to this House was the one that came when Hon E. T. Mensah was the Minister, maybe, but I do not know.
    Nana Akomea 12:45 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, he is saying that the youth policy came here in 1999 and was promulgated by this House. Mr. Speaker, you were here in 1999, did this House ever promulgate a National Youth Policy in this House? What is this? You were here in 1999, Mr. Speaker.
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Hon Member, do not draw me into the debate.
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.

    He mentioned Hon E. T. Mensah, he is there.
    Nana Akomea 12:45 p.m.
    But Mr. Speaker, I
    am saying to him through you for the record that on the 15th of December 2008, Cabinet approved the National Youth Policy for this country and that is on record, and if he goes to the Ministry, he would find that policy there. This Parliament has never promulgated any National Youth Policy in 1999 like he speaks.
    Mr. E. T. Mensah 12:45 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, in 1999 a National Youth Policy was inaugurated, we did not promulgate it. After it has been approved by Cabinet, we launched it, and made copies available to Hon Members on the Select Committee on Youth and Sports. [Interruption.]
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Hon Member, did you bring your policy to this House?
    Mr. E. T. Mensah 12:45 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, youth policies are not considered by the House. What I am talking about was considered by Cabinet and it was launched and copies were given to Hon Members of the Select Committee. That is what he was saying but then --
    Mr. Assumeng 12:45 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, finally on the Aveyime rice project, the Aveyime rice project is one of the viable projects that I think if we had implemented, would have brought some relief - [Interruption.]
    Mr. Opare-Ansah 12:45 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. Mr. Speaker, my Hon Colleague on the opposite side of the House made a very serious statement when he indicated that unlike the ROPAB consultations, the consultations he has indicated would be truthful. And this clearly gives the impression and indication that the ROPAB consultations were not truthful.
    In fact, the ROPAB consultations, he should not forget, were undertaken by a committee of Parliament and to give this indication is to impute wrong motives to Parliament and it is clearly against our Standing Orders. And I think he should be made to withdraw those words and apologise to Parliament as an institution, including himself.
    Mr. Assumeng 12:55 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I would leave the issue of ROPAB consultation to the people of Ghana to judge. So if the hon. Member thinks that it does not go well with him, I take it back.

    Mr. Speaker, finally, we all agree that deficit financing is good. But Mr. Speaker, going into deficit financing only to purchase gold ornaments to award oneself is bad -- [Laughter.] And so I am sending an information to the present Government that we should be mindful about how we go into our deficit financing.

    On this note, Mr. Speaker, I thank you.
    Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:55 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, even though my Colleague opposite has wound up, I believe that it is a very serious statement that he has
    made, “that the nation went into deficit financing only to buy gold ornaments -- [Interruptions.] He said, “only” -- please --
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    Order! Order! Let us listen to the Hon Minority Leader.
    Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:55 p.m.
    Exactly what he said, I am quoting him. Now people are trying to import other things onto it for him. Mr. Speaker, what he himself said is that “the nation went into deficit financing ‘only' to buy gold ornaments” and I think that is very serious. Mr. Speaker, that is a very serious statement and he must withdraw that statement.
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    Hon Member, what did you say with regard to -- [Interruptions.] Order! Order! Hon. Member, what did you say in connection with that?
    Mr. Assumeng 12:55 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I cannot remember what I said exactly - [Some Hon Members -- Ooh!] But I thought I said “among others”. But if that is the case that I used “only” then I think I want to substitute that with “among others”.
    Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:55 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, if we allow this to go I think it will be very dangerous a practice and setting a very bad precedent in this House. Mr. Speaker, a Member gets up, he makes a categorical statement, he is requested humbly to withdraw because what he said is incorrect, is untrue and he should withdraw. Then he now begins to qualify it. Mr. Speaker, that is not the standard practice of this House and I appeal to my Brother to, in his own words take it back.
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    What do you have to say?
    Mr. Assumeng 12:55 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, teacher Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu is my teacher and so whatever he says I would want to go by it, so that word is taken back and substituted with “among others”.
    Mr. D. B. A. Nitiwul (NPP -- Bimbilla) 12:55 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr. Speaker for the opportunity to thank H.E. the President for the Address he delivered on Thursday, 19th February, 2009 . But in so doing, Mr. Speaker, I would restrict myself to the Hansard of 19th February, 2009 and I want to quote briefly from column 472, the King James Version, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, H.E. said, and I quote:
    “Madam Speaker, last December, the people of Ghana sat in judgment and ruled in favour of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and our manifesto . . .”
    Mr. Speaker, I am stressing the word “manifesto” and so I decided to have a look at the manifesto and I picked the Overview duly signed by H.E. the President; and I want to just remind H.E. the President about some things he said in the manifesto. Mr. Speaker, and I quote a few things said there. On page 6, the NDC Manifesto states:
    “We will “Set up Medical Assistant Training Schools in the Volta Region, Western Region and Northern Regions”
    Mr. D. A. Azumah 12:55 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker,
    my good Friend who just spoke quoted a statement which is quite different, completely different from what I am holding and that is what I am going to refer
    Mr. D. A. Azumah 12:55 p.m.

    to -- [Interruptions.] The King James Version is not correct. Mr. Speaker, I beg to quote:

    “Last December the People of Ghana sat in judgment and ruled in favour of the NDC and our agenda for A Better Ghana.”

    [Interruptions.] Please, refer, this is the official document to this House “For A Better Ghana” Please, not “for a Mani- festo”.
    Mr. Nitiwul 12:55 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I am sure the Hon Member was here when the President delivered his Address and he was also here to realize that what the President said was different from the printed version. Again, he was here when we all agreed that we were going to use both and I do not expect the Hon Member to drag us back because I stated that I was going to use the Hansard. He should go and pick his Hansard and see whether what I have quoted is true or wrong. Anyway, I will continue -- [Inter-ruption.]
    Mr. Fuseini 12:55 p.m.
    On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, I heard the Hon Member and I believe he is entitled to use whichever document he wants to use. But the President said the people of Ghana approved of our manifesto and the manifesto is what I hold in my hand here. He is purporting to quote from page 6 of the manifesto. Page 6 of the manifesto deals with “Contents”. Mr. Speaker, I do not know which manifesto he is referring to.
    Mr. Nitiwul 12:55 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I will choose to ignore because again, he did not listen -- [Interruptions.] What I said is that I am quoting from the Overview of the Manifesto and the Overview which is to say that it is the highlights, and I said
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    Let us get this point clear so that we know what document we are quoting from, for purposes of the debate. It is important that we all know the document that we are using. Hon Member, what document are you referring to?
    Mr. Fuseini 12:55 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I have no problem with him quoting from the Overview of the manifesto. The problem I have with him, and I take objection to what he has said that I am running away from what he has said. Well, I am not running away from the manifesto.
    Mr. Speaker, what I am saying is that his quotation is that the people of Ghana approved of our manifesto. Mr. Speaker, if he is going to quote from any document, it must be from our manifesto. If he does not have our manifesto he is not entitled to quote from any document which is not our manifesto.
    So if he does not have the manifesto Mr. Speaker, and that is the manifesto that I hold in my hand here, and that is the manifesto that H.E. the President of the Republic of Ghana referred to. If he does not have these documents he cannot purport to quote from any other document that is not the manifesto of the NDC.
    Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:05 p.m.
    On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, on many occasions, our Presidents have come to this House to deliver the State of the Nation Addresses and sometimes they have indicated to us that they want to present the highlights.
    It does not, in any way, distract from the main document. We may have an agreement, agreements are brought to this House, maybe voluminous documents and they will present to us executive summaries. We consider them as such.
    So, if we have a manifesto and we have highlights of the manifesto which they themselves have published and a person is quoting from it and they are disagreeing, Mr. Speaker, I find it a bit ridiculous.
    The Hon Member for Tamale Central (Mr. Inusah A. B. Fuseini) is trying to re-launch the manifesto of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and market it here. I am afraid this is the wrong forum for it. In fact, we can use both just like we can use both Addresses that we have before us. The Address presented to us by His Excellency, as captured in the Hansard and the Address laid before us on behalf of the President, I presume by the Majority Leader, there are some contrasts, and we have decided to consider the two together.
    Mr. Speaker, so I do not understand why my hon. Colleague is trying to dispute this. Clearly, this exercise, Mr. Speaker, is an exercise in futility and he is trying to make a distinction without difference.
    So Mr. Speaker, I believe that you would call him to order and let us have a smooth running of the debate. I do not think the hon. Member for Tamale Central (Mr. Inusah Fuseini) has a point. Let the debate flow and I believe that, after moving his own motion, he would not want us to disrupt the contributions to the motion that he has so ably moved.
    Mr. E. T. Mensah 1:05 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, for the records, the Hon Minority Leader referred to highlights of the manifesto that we published. The highlights of the manifesto that was published, which was sold all
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
    Hon Member for Bimbilla, you know, I would allow you to continue but I saw that the hon. Member for Amenfi East was giving you the one that the hon. Member for Ningo/Prampram (Mr E. T. Mensah) is referring to. In order that we do not prolong this matter, just use the one that the hon. Member for Amenfi East has given you and that is the one that the hon. Member for Ningo/Prampram has.
    Mr. Nitiwul 1:05 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, if they still want me to quote from their manifesto, they should go to page 71, under “Teachers”.
    Mr. Speaker, it is said that we will pay 1:05 p.m.
    ‘licensed teachers a professional allowance of 15% of the basic salary;
    Pay technical and vocational teachers an additional 10%of basic salary;
    Mr. Speaker, it is said that we will pay 1:05 p.m.

    Pay teachers in deprived areas an allowance of 20% of the basic salary;

    Establish schools so that no child walks more than 3 km to school”.

    Remember that this can mean that they will establish over three thousand schools.

    “Abolish the shift system at the JSS level”; providing school uniform;
    Dr. Joseph Annan 1:05 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, on a point of order.
    Our Hon Friend purports to be quoting from page 71 of this manifesto -- [Shows a copy of the NDC's manifesto] - Where he is quoting from does not have any figures. He is misleading the House by quoting these figures. And if I may, quote with your indulgence. It says, under teachers here --
    “The teacher is central to every education reform process. Therefore, teacher education and teacher satisfaction should be of the utmost concern to policy makers, education providers and all stakeholders in education. For these reasons, the NDC Government shall pursue the following policy measures.”
    -- Please, listen carefully. It says:
    “. . . improve the general conditions of teachers through the payment of competitive salaries;
    provision of decent accommodation and enhanced retirement benefits among others;
    pay certificated teachers a pro- fessional allowance;
    pay hardship allowance to teachers in identified deprived areas;
    give incremental credit to specialist teachers in science and mathe- matics at the point of entry; provide access and support to teachers for training and profes- sional development.”
    Mr. Speaker, I would kindly ask the hon. Member from the other side of the House to withdraw the falsehood that he has put forward as something that is in the NDC manifesto.
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
    Hon Members, order! Order!
    Hon Member for Bimbilla, the point being made is that page 71 of the NDC's manifesto does not contain this infor- mation that you are churning out.
    Mr. Nitiwul 1:05 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I have not quoted anything that is not in the manifesto. [Uproar.]
    Mr. Speaker, he even read what I said. That they are going to pay teachers a professional allowance. In the summary, which is the overview, they quoted the figures. Mr. Speaker, let us stick to the point. And that is what I showed you before. It is the same thing here. [Shows a copy of a document.] Like my leader said, we agreed that there are fundamental differences between this document and that document. [Shows two different documents.]
    Mr. Speaker, but we agreed that we should use both. I do not see the difference that when one has an overview that is duly signed by the President of the Republic
    and we cannot quote from it, I do not understand. Am I quoting something that has not been duly signed?
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
    Hon. Member, there was a specific ruling from the Chair with regard to using the Hansard and using the official one. I do not think that there is any ruling that there is some other manifesto somewhere and the other one they are referring to should be used together. There is no ruling to that effect. Once you have the document that the hon. Members have, it will be better, and easier for the House if you use the other document which I saw the hon. Member for Amenfi East give you.
    I would take the hon. Majority Chief
    Whip on this matter so that we can proceed.
    Mr. E. T. Mensah 1:15 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, we take strong objection to people making references to a document which is not ours. I am an elected Vice Chairman of the NDC and I am telling the hon. Member that this is our manifesto -- [Interruptions.] You have the right to use what we have here. [Interruptions.]
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Member for Bimbilla, the figures that you are quoting -- You referred to a document and said that they are the highlights; are they in the main document? If they are not then you have to ignore the other one and use the authorized version. I am saying this -- [Interruptions.] I do not want to be drawn into the debate. The NDC hon. Members here are saying that there is only one authorized manifesto and that is the one they are referring to. I would suggest that you quote from that document to support the contribution you want to make.
    Mr. Nitiwul 1:15 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, you would bear with me that the things I have mentioned are not new to any Ghanaian and I would leave them for Ghanaians to judge. I would no more quote from the document that was duly signed by the President because the Majority Chief Whip says it is no more their document. But I would quote from the manifesto that has been given to me. Mr. Speaker, page -- [Interruptions.]
    Mr. Fuseini 1:15 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, there is
    something fundamentally wrong in this House. The Hon Member for Bimbilla started by drawing the attention of this House to page 71 of the NDC manifesto. Mr. Speaker, he sought your leave to read page 71 of the manifesto of the NDC. He got the House to understand that the manifesto that he was reading was the manifesto that was openly displayed by the Majority Chief Whip.

    The Hon Member has grossly misconducted himself in this House because he has sought to deceive the House and deceive the people of Ghana and I think his conduct must be a matter of comment in this House. Mr. Speaker, he cannot start by getting the whole country, the whole House to believe that he is quoting from a document when he is quoting from other sources. Mr. Speaker, this is totally unacceptable.
    Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:15 p.m.
    Speaker, I thought that you have given some direction in this. But if this matter should be litigated further or debated

    Mr. Speaker, in this House, as per our rules, our Standing Order -- And I would refer to Standing Order 7 --

    “official publication” means any publication produced by or under the authority or with the sanction of any Ministry, department, organisation, agency, association, society or club;”
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
    Order! Hon Members, resume your seats. I have advised -- [Interruptions.] Order! Order! Hon Members, I have ordered the Hon Member for Bimbilla to use only one document. That document, the one he has been quoting from is being contested by one side and I know as a fact -- I am sorry to say this from the Chair, I should not have -- that when that publication came, the running mate to the President, now the Vice President issued a statement to the effect that that document was not the document of the NDC.
    And moreover, when the Hon Member made the point that it is a highlight, it presupposed that the highlight can only come from the main document itself. So if that highlight does not have a place in the main document then it raises a lot of controversy and this debate will not end on that matter. Therefore, once he has got the official document that the other side is insisting on, the best course of action for the hon. Member for Bimbilla to take is to use that official document.

    Hon Members are suggesting, even want to suggest that the signature there must be of the President but that has not been sanctioned, it could be forgery. That is why a whole lot of issues would not -- Once the hon. Member has the official one, the main document, he should quote from that.

    Hon Member for Bimbilla, you referred to page 71; the information that you gave is not on that page 71. So I will suggest that you avoid that other document and proceed with the official manifesto of the party.
    Mr. Nitiwul 1:25 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, on page
    78 of the NDC manifesto, and with your permission, I quote:
    “With regard to the spor ts infrastructure, our long-term objective remains that every regional capital should have a 50,000 seat capacity stadium and every district capital should have a 7,000 seat capacity stadium.”
    Mr. Speaker, even though this manifesto
    Mr. E.T. Mensah 1:25 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, the problem that those of us on this side of the House have is that he quoted certain figures which we cannot find on page 71. We want him to withdraw those figures because those figures will be captured in the Hansard. He must withdraw those figures and also display that document. He must withdraw those figures that he churned out.
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
    Members, my view on this matter is that if those figures are in a certain document and those documents have the signature of the President then you could quote them. But now that you have drawn his attention to it -- At least, the time he quoted it he might have quoted it in good faith. But now that you have corrected him he cannot use that document again for purposes of his submission.
    The time that he quoted it he thought and presumed that it was a legitimate document. But from now onwards if he quotes that document again he is not allowed and he is not permitted. Now that his attention has been drawn to it he is not permitted to quote that document again.
    Mr. E. T. Mensah 1:25 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, it is said that written material outlives the writer. What he churned out will be captured in the Hansard and those of us here might not even be privy to what the content is. So we are saying that the figures that he quoted should be withdrawn so that the Hansard does not -- Mr. Speaker -- [Interruption.]
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
    Member, nobody reading that Hansard would read it out of context; they have to read the whole document. From the explanation, it is clear that that document
    is not the official document of the party. But there is a document like that and you know as you rightly pointed out.
    This i ssue cropped up a t the Appointments Committee and it was pointed out that, that is not the official document. At the time that he quoted it he believed sincerely that it was a genuine document. Now his attention has been drawn to it. You have corrected that that is not the official document and anybody reading that Hansard will read the whole thing altogether and that will show that, that is not the official manifesto of the party.
    In fact, it would have been a different thing if the document that he is quoting -- If it turned out that those figures are not even in that other document he is quoting, that would be a different matter. But my information is that it is there. So let us make progress. You also know about the fifty thousand that he is quoting, so if you want to respond to that you can do so.
    Mr. E. T. Mensah 1:25 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, we
    are all politicians here. We have seen manifestoes after manifestoes. The point that I want to raise is that we should take note that no figures are put in manifestoes. Nobody costs manifestoes. We do not put it in a manifesto; it can be a document somewhere because we are now going to the masses and we do not know what is in the budget, what is in the kitty and we cannot be going on quoting figures in the manifesto.
    Mr. Speaker, the point that he has raised
    with page 78, these figures happen to be typographical errors -- [Uproar.] These issues were raised at the Appointments Committee and attention was drawn to the fact that they were typographical errors. If we want to be talking about this, I have their mani-festoes. All the NPP manifestoes from Agenda 2000 --
    Mr. E. T. Mensah 1:25 p.m.

    If we want to discuss manifestoes and typographical errors and wrong quota- tions, let us create a platform for them. These are human errors, typographical errors and they have been corrected. I am just trying to draw his attention to the fact that these issues have come up and they have been addressed.
    Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:25 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I thought that in this matter you had given a clear ruling and the House was going to take a cue. Mr. Speaker, indeed, Standing Order 98 and with your indulgence I may want to read:
    “Mr. Speaker shall be responsible for the observance of order in the House and of the rules of the debate and his decision upon any point of order shall not open to appeal and shall not be reviewed by the House, except upon the substantive motion made after notice.”
    Mr. Speaker, you have given a clear
    ruling on this and this laborious argument from my hon. Colleague on the other side, I do not really know the effect of it. If we are talking about documents that have been authenticated and documents that have not been authenticated, Mr. Speaker, which one would you in all sincerity believe in? Mr. Speaker, I do not intend to seek a response from you. And Mr. Speaker, yes, I agree with hon. E.T. Mensah when he says that even in the manifesto, he is displaying there are supposed mistakes.
    Mr. Speaker, the capacity of the
    stadia, it came up at the Appointments Committee. It is ridiculous as expressed in the manifesto which he is now brandishing as the true copy of the manifesto. Mr. Speaker, the figures stated there are quite ridiculous and so I believe that having listened to your ruling we should please let the House take a cue and move on. I
    think that is the better thing to do.
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
    Majority Chief Whip, let us make progress and let us listen to the hon. Member for Bimbilla. I have directed that he should use the manifesto that you are holding and only that one.
    Mr. E. T. Mensah 1:25 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, what
    we are saying is that we are not running away from these genuine typographical errors but the figures imported, we will “not accept them” That is the point we are making, quote anything from this and move on in your manifesto and you will know exactly what we are talking about. We are not running away from this.
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    Hon Member for Bimbilla, you have the floor.
    Mr. Nitiwul 1:35 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
    I can see my Leader standing and by the rules of the House I defer to him.
    Mr. Ambrose P. Dery 1:35 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I think that we all should make progress in this House and we are referred rightly to Order 98. If you give a ruling and anybody is dissatisfied, he should come up with a substantial motion; but he is continuing. You cannot approbate and reprobate at the same time. A document is quoted; you say it is not authentic; we accept that. Then the one you declare as authentic document is quoted without prejudice to the fact that it has not been signed.

    Mr. Speaker, all I am saying is this, we

    know that these are publications -- by Order 7. Let us go by the rules; let the ruling stay. Please, Mr. Speaker, we should not allow disorder just because we think you are familiar. I do not want to believe that, that is the thing. So we are making it clear that we should go by the official one that you have declared and there should be no more additions and passionate interventions. Let us go through.
    Mr. Nitiwul 1:35 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I will not even quote from the manifesto because I am afraid I do not know how many mistakes that are there. So I will put it aside. [Laughter.] I will then proceed to quote only from the printed version of what the President gave us and on page 16 -- [Interruption.]
    Dr. Joseph Annan 1:35 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, if I can crave your indulgence for a couple of minutes. What our Hon Friend from Bimbilla said that he was quoting from page 71, he did not quote from page 71. There was a deliberate attempt to deceive us. It is not the contents of what he said. It was his intention -- when he said he was quoting and he did not quote, he -- [Interruption.]
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    Member, I have given clear indication with regard to this matter. I have directed that the Hon Member, if he wants to quote, should quote from the one that the Majority Chief Whip said is the official document of the party. I have seen that other document too in circulation; I also know that a statement has been issued but that is not the official one of the party.
    And I am also saying that after his attention had been drawn to it he did
    not persist to quote from that other one. So let us make progress on this matter. Let the hon. Member continue with his submission on the State of the Nation Address.
    Mr. Nitiwul 1:35 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I am so much grateful. Like I said, on page 16 the President in his State of the Nation Address said -- and I will cite just a portion of it, that he will fast-track the Eastern corridor project and the Eastern corridor project of the road network of Ghana will be improved from Tema through Bawku via Bimbilla and Nkwanta as well as complete the Western corridor which is from Axim to Hamile and the Tamale-Wa- Sawla-Kofosu road.
    Again, on page 19 the President said that in the course of the year they will establish Medical Assistant Training Schools in the Northern, Western and Volta Regions. That is the first thing, with a lot other things which I do not want to say. But if you cost what the President has said in the manifesto even with the State of the Nation Address one will get something in excess of three billion. A manifesto is a document for four years because they have been given the mandate for four years by the people of Ghana.
    In his State of the Nation Address, I did not really see the President come out with revenue mobilization strategies that he is going to raise money for the people of Ghana. He dealt with cost cutting, I do not see revenue mobilization strategies that will raise money for Ghana to enable him to finance the projects and the promises that he made.
    Mr. E. T. Mensah 1:35 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, the Hon Member is treading on dangerous
    Mr. Nitiwul 1:35 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I was also -- I would not use the word disappointed but I also wanted to see more of very unique or new social intervention strategies. As a social democratic government, that is what I really wanted to see in the President's State of the Nation Address.
    Mr. Speaker, I will say that I fear for my pocket, reading this State of the Nation Address, to be able to survive -- [Uproar.] That is my problem and so I will not say I am giving the President and the nation free advice but I will try to suggest a few things that the President can have a look at.
    Mr. E. T. Mensah 1:35 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, the Hon Member is totally out of order. He has no right - We have our manifesto; he has no right to come here and suggest anything. What did he suggest to his Government? Was he in this country when they went out there and promised that even though fuel was selling at six thousand, four hundred cedis they were going to reduce it? What was he able to do?
    Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
    Hon Member, conclude your statement. I think that you have been on the floor for a while.
    Mr. Nitiwul 1:45 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I will conclude but I thought that the inputs of Hon Members of Parliament will be taken into consideration because that was what the Leader of the House promised us here. And so I do not think I will be out of order in trying to suggest things that will be good for this nation.
    Mr. Speaker, the Government's attention could also be directed at debt guarantees for the poor who are in the majority. This is because 80 per cent of Ghanaians are self-employed, so debt guarantee could be good for them.
    Mr. Speaker, thank you.
    Mr. E. T. Mensah 1:45 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, it is almost two o'clock, and today is Friday, Hon Members would want to go out and look for money, to be specific. So I move that this House do adjourn to Tuesday, 3rd March 2009 at ten o'clock in the forenoon.
    Mr. Speaker, thank you.
    Mr. Opare-Ansah 1:45 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise to second the motion, and in doing so to note that indeed, the debate has been clearly saved by time -- [Laughter.] As you can see, the mood of Hon Members would have been to continue the debate. Unfortunately, as we all know, today being Friday, hon. Members need to prepare and probably head for their constituencies.
    Mr. Speaker, so with these words, I beg to second the motion.
    Question put and motion agreed to.
    ADJOURNMENT 1:45 p.m.

    PRIVILEGES 10 a.m.




    AND TECHNOLOGY 10 a.m.

    W E L - FA R E A N D S TAT E 10 a.m.

    ENTERPRISES 10 a.m.