Debates of 11 Jun 2009

PRAYERS 10:30 a.m.


Madam Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 10th June, 2009. Pages 1 8 --
Mr. Justice Joe Appiah 10:30 a.m.
Speaker, page 8 (xi), it is “Mr. Justice Appiah”, not “Mr. Joe Justice Appiah”.
Mr. S. E. Asimah 10:30 a.m.
Madam Speaker,
page 8, item 3(iii), “Ing. Safurtu M. Andami”, it is “Ing. Safuratu M. Andani”. On the same page, item 3 (v), “Mrs. Esini Ama Abbey”, it is “Esinu Ama Abbey”. Then the 3 (vi), “Mr. Piyrick Adu- Agyeman”, it is “Patrick Adu-Agyeman”.
Madam Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Pages 9 14. --

The Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 10th June, 2009, as corrected be adopted as the true record of pro- ceedings.

There is the Official Report of Tuesday, 9th June, 2009. Correction of the Official Report.
Mr. D. T. Assumeng 10:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker, column 317, under beneficiary towns of the projects in the Greater Accra Region, the names of the towns were not correctly spelt out. The name Menyum should read
Madam Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Thank you -- [Pause.] Hon Members, the Official Report of Tuesday, 9th June, 2009 as corrected represents the true record of proceedings.
We move on to the Official Report of Wednesday, the 10th June, 2009.
Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I find myself in some difficulty and I just want to bring this to the attention of the House.
Madam Speaker, column 452, when I rose to ask a supplementary question of the Minister responsible for Defence -- the second paragraph reads:
“Is he aware of it that this letter from the Ghana Armed Forces indicated that the process was starting on 4th March 2008? And if he was aware, would he admit that the Answer he has provided here to the people of Ghana is wrong, would he agree?”
Madam Speaker that is what I said.
Later on, in the intervention of the Majority Leader, he imputed to me words that I had not said. He said I had said he had deceived the good people of Ghana. I never uttered those words.
Madam Speaker, then on that basis, your goodself went on and made a ruling based on what the Majority Leader imputed to me, which I had not said and that is captured on column 455. You said,
that is the first paragraph, and with respect I quote you:
“So the question was all right until we got to deceiving the good people of Ghana. That, I find is an imputation.”
Madam Speaker 10:40 a.m.
You left it there and I assumed because you had not objected -- [Interruptions.] What could I have done?
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I know that in the circumstance, it will be very difficult to resurrect the dead, I just want it to be put on record that I did not utter those words attributed to me, based upon which the ruling was made.
Madam Speaker, I thank you.
Mr. E. T. Mensah 10:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker,
I recall that the Majority Leader indicated that the two statements that the Hon Member made, he was imputing that the people of Ghana had been deceived. The discussion went on yesterday and I was here when you spoke about the two letters. So it was on the basis of that that we needed to look at the rendition again. The Majority Leader did not say that his intervention meant deceiving the people of this country.
Mr. Ambrose P. Dery 10:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I think that my Hon Friend on the other side of the House, the Majority Chief Whip, should read the first paragraph of column 453 where it is stated. But be that as it may, this is what transpired and therefore, as long as it is what transpired,
we can go ahead and confirm it even though we now recognize that there was this mistake of what the Minority Leader said.
Thank you.
Madam Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Thank you, Hon Members. I think you are right, we will go ahead and confirm it.
Any more corrections on the Official Report of 10th June, 2009?
Hon Members, the Official Report of Wednesday, 10th June, 2009, as corrected represents the true record of proceedings.
Now, we move to item (3) on the Order Paper which is an Urgent Question. There is an Urgent Question standing in the name of Hon Robert Sarfo-Mensah, Member for Asunafo North. Hon Sarfo-Mensah, can you ask your Question?
Mr. George Boakye 10:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I am standing in for Hon Sarfo-Mensah who is incidentally away. He has asked me to pose the Urgent Question on his behalf.
Madam Speaker, according to Hon Robert Sarfo-Mensah, the Urgent Question on the Order Paper does not reflect his real intentions. Indeed, he wanted to find out -- [Interruptions] -- the Urgent Question was not properly framed. [Interruptions] -- Madam Speaker, the Urgent Question you admitted is different from what is on the Order Paper -- [Interruptions.]
Madam Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Let us hear the Hon Member.
Mr. Boakye 10:50 a.m.
The original Urgent Question is - first of all, I want to find out from the Hon Minister if he is prepared to
Madam Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Order! Order!
Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei 10:50 a.m.
Speaker, when the Business Committee discussed the business for this week, I recalled vividly and the Hansard can capture it, the word “dismissal” was in the Question that was advertised to us but it is missing in this Urgent Question, and that is the problem.
An Hon Member 10:50 a.m.
Who changed it?
Dr. Osei 10:50 a.m.
Madam Speaker, the Urgent
Question was advertised to us earlier and there were the words “dismissal of the workers”; they are missing here, that is the problem. Somebody has either -- [Interruptions] -- you can go and check the Hansard, they gave it to us. Madam Speaker, the words “dismissal of the workers” -- [Interruption.]
Madam Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Dismissal from
Dr. Osei 10:50 a.m.
This Urgent Question as
we have it, is incorrect. The earlier one, which was brought to our attention, had “dismissal of the mass spraying workers”. That is the problem we are facing right now.
Madam Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Member, what
is the problem?
Dr. Osei 10:50 a.m.
This Urgent Question --
Madam Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Which Urgent
Dr. Osei 10:50 a.m.
The Urgent Question on
the current Order Paper is not what was advertised to us earlier and so somebody has changed it. Madam Speaker, you can ask the Clerk to check. I remember the original Urgent Question was “… dismissal of the mass spraying workers.”
Madam Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Member,
Dr. Osei 10:50 a.m.
Madam Speaker, with respect,
Madam Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Order! Order!
Dr. Osei 10:50 a.m.
Madam Speaker, with
Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang 10:50 a.m.
Madam Speaker, so that the integrity of the Clerk's desk and your high office would not be compromised or tainted in any way, maybe, we have to put it on hold and let the Clerk read to us, the original Urgent Question that your goodself admitted for debate for today. As it is, it looks as if a lot of people, at least, on our side, are saying this was not what was advertised.
Madam Speaker, it is very important that if the desk or somebody in the administration begins to fiddle round with Questions, then we have a problem. So we want to read precisely what the Urgent Question was and what was admitted and then we can move forward. I think it is very simple and straightforward. Let us know what was the original Urgent Question and then we move forward.
Madam Speaker 10:50 a.m.
I will ask the Clerk to bring me the original Urgent Question. [Hear! Hear!] We will stand this down and then move on.
Mr. E. T. Mensah 10:50 a.m.
Madam Speaker,
on a point of order. Madam Speaker, with the greatest respect, for the record,
in talking about the integrity of the Table Office and all that, we have the Agenda for the Second Meeting here -- [Interruptions.] Would you please keep quiet? [Inter-ruptions.]
Madam Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Order! Order!
Please, Hon Members, let me hear from Hon E. T. Mensah.
Mr. E. T. Mensah 10:50 a.m.
Madam Speaker,
the Urgent Question that is here, when you look at the Agenda for the Second Meeting of Parliament, commencing on Tuesday, 26th May, the last page, under Urgent Questions, and I beg to quote,
Madam Speaker 10:50 a.m.
“Mr. Robert Sarfo-Mensah (Asunafo North): To ask the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning when will the Govern- ment's mass spraying exercise begin this year, 2009?”
Madam Speaker, when you come to what is here, that is the Order Paper, the rendition here is:
“URGENT QUESTION” Mr. Robert Sarfo-Mensah (Asunafo North): To ask the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning when will the Government's mass spraying exercise begin this year,
What is the difference? That is the issue that we are talking about, and then we do not know whether it is mosquito mass spraying or whatever. But the issues are quite clear and that was what was captured.
Madam Speaker, also on the Business Statement, Thursday, 11th June, 2009 10:50 a.m.
“URGENT QUESTION” Mr. Robert Sarfo-Mensah (Asunafo

North): To ask the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning when will the Government's mass spraying exercise begin this year,


Now, the Provisional Order Paper - Madam Speaker, the Provisional Order Paper, page 7, it has been captured as such. So the Table Office has done nothing wrong, your office has done nothing wrong, all the documentations that we have point to the fact that this Urgent Question must be stood down and reframed.
Madam Speaker 10:50 a.m.
I have sent for the
original in the handwriting of the Hon Member and I have stood this matter down. But I will hear you, Hon Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
Speaker, I believe that you were most succinct in your ruling that you will stand this down until maybe, you have the original rendition.
What I do recollect is that, the Hon Member filed an Urgent Question and then we had some discussions and the one that we agreed on was submitted to your office, that one related to the dismissals.
So, beyond that, you have also gone on to rule that we stand it down and I think that it is in order. Nobody is challenging the ruling and in fact, if anybody has to challenge the ruling, the person must come by a substantive motion.
On that note, I would agree with you that you discharge the Hon Minister responsible for Finance and Economic Planning for us to know the proper thing
and maybe, he comes back later.
For now, Madam Speaker, until and unless you reverse your ruling, nobody can challenge it.
Madam Speaker 11 a.m.
Thank you, Hon Member. I have ruled that I am standing it down. I will not discharge the Hon Minister. As soon as it comes, we will go on with it.
Thank you.
We are moving on to Statements -- item 4. I have admitted a Statement by the Hon Minister for Employment and Social Welfare, Mr. Stephen Amoanor Kwao. Yes, Hon Member, can you read your Statement?

Minister for Employment and Social Welfare (Mr. Stephen Amoanor Kwao) 11 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to make a Statement on an important issue which is dear to my heart, to the hearts of Legislators and indeed, that of many Ghanaians. The subject, Madam Speaker, is child labour, and the theme this year is “Give Girls a Chance, End Child Labour”.
Madam Speaker, 12th June every year is marked as the World Day Against Child Labour and celebrated around the world, including Ghana. Since the inception of the global event in 2001 by the International Labour Organization (ILO), Ghana has never been left out of the celebration.
Minister for Employment and Social Welfare (Mr. Stephen Amoanor Kwao) 11:10 a.m.
The choice of Agbogbloshie for this year's event is informed by the fact that many young girls who should be in school or undergoing vocational training, have found their way into this community and caught up in various forms of child labour activities. These girls are engaged in all kinds of work, including, porterage of heavy loads, commonly referred to as Kayayei, traditional restaurant attendants, domestic servitude, street hawking, among others.

It is believed that some of these young girls are also engaged in child prostitution during the night to complement their meagre earnings during the day.

Madam Speaker, this is unacceptable

and deserves all the attention that it requires, in order to eliminate the canker from our society.

Madam Speaker, this year's theme

comes at an opportune time when there is an increasing concern for parents and the nation to protect all children from exploitation and give an equal opportunity to all children by investing in the education of both boys and girls.

In line with the theme for this year's

event, it is important to note that a lot has been achieved in efforts to bridge the gap between boys and girls in the area of education. There is, however, more room for improvement to achieve the second and third Millennium Development Goals,

which call for the completion of full course of primary education and the elimination of gender disparity by 2015.

Madam Speaker, globally, some 75

million children are still not enrolled in primary school. For every 100 boys in school, there are only 94 girls, and girls in rural areas are particularly disadvantaged. Gross enrolment at secondary level in developing countries is 61 per cent for boys and 57 per cent for girls. In least developed countries, the figures are 32 per cent for boys and 26 per cent for girls. It is clear that in much of the developing world, huge numbers of girls are failing to access education at post primary level. (Source: ILO).

In Ghana, completion rate for girls is

consistently lower than boys. Gender parity is highest at the lowest levels, with the kindergarten level currently at 0.98, the primary level at 0.96 and the JHS at 0.92 (Source: 2008 Ghana Education Report). The gap is, however, decreasing. There is, therefore, the need to continue the current trend to achieve our targets for gender parity, universal basic education and education for all.

Madam Speaker, government together

with her social partners, in partnership with other stakeholders are not relenting on their efforts to find appropriate solutions to this problem.

Since 2000, Madam Speaker, when

Ghana ratified the ILO Convention 182 and signed onto the ILO/IPEC Programme, a lot of interventions have been implemented in specific sectors of the economy. This has resulted in the development of policy and legislation and the implementation of small-scale direct action in identifying, withdrawing and rehabilitating children in various Worst
Mr. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu (NPP - Dormaa West) 11:10 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I rise to congratulate my Hon Colleague who actually made the Statement.
Madam Speaker, my contribution to the Statement borders on what we Ghanaians, by our cultural practices, would want to describe as child labour in the first instance.
Madam Speaker, quite recently, there have been some new developments in the cocoa growing areas. I come from Dormaa West, a predominantly cocoa growing activity area, and I border Bia Constituency and Asunafo North and South. These are all cocoa growing areas. The last time I visited the area there were some NGO people who were going round and talking about the fact that Ghana had been identified as a country that was using child labour in cocoa production and therefore, there were likely sanctions against Ghana's cocoa in Europe and elsewhere.
Madam Speaker, I was very worried about this development and I was asked by my constituents whether these people who
Mr. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu (NPP - Dormaa West) 11:20 a.m.
were going round telling them this were Ghanaians. And the irony of this was that they were Ghanaians belonging to some NGOs, talking to farmers in this direction.
Madam Speaker, I was born and bred close to Sefwi. I started my primary education in a town we call Krakrom in the Dormaa District. Madam Speaker, the only activity there is cocoa farming. And when our parents got up and they were going to the farm on Saturdays, and even on holidays, those of us children had no option than to follow them to their farms, and in there we helped them. I know how to grow cocoa. I can carry about a three- quarter bag of cocoa to the weighing station for sale.
We did the drying in the open sun and we were made to try to put our hands through it. These were all cocoa activities that were done by some of us who lived with our parents on their farms. When I started school, the situation did not stop.
When I started reading economics in the university, Madam Speaker, I learnt that one way of parents offloading their skills, their expertise and their professions to children, is informal training through the way we do things on our cocoa farms.
Madam Speaker, today, we have a lot of schools in these villages that children attend. After school, on Saturdays and Sundays, for some who do not observe the Sabbath on Sundays, we had no option than to follow our parents to their farms and various work places.

So what do we want to describe as child labour in these areas? I think we would want to begin to tread a bit cautiously. Certain global developments, when you put them in the context of our culture,

Madam Speaker, they leave some of us to begin to think about whether we are doing the right thing or we are doing the wrong thing. Even Jesus Christ was trained by his father, Joseph when he was working in the carpentry workshop. [Hear! Hear!] Amen. Hallelujah.

Madam Speaker, so I do not see so much wrong with a young person in the primary school who follows his father or mother to the farm to help him or her do what he or she does as a profession.

As I contribute to the Statement on the floor, I would want to caution that those of us who are so serious in looking at child labour in its strictest sense should try to place the activity in the Ghanaian cultural context before we begin to talk about child labour to the extent some of us would want to go.
Minister of State (Mr. Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo) 11:20 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I rise to contribute to the Statement and to thank the maker of the Statement for bringing it up because our children are the future leaders of this country. They represent a segment of society that we need to take care of and ensure that as they grow, they imbibe societal norms and grow to become leaders of society who will change the generation as they come to see it.
Madam Speaker, in fact, the issue of child labour is becoming a thorn in the flesh of the Ghanaian society. The reason is that many, many young people who are pushed too earlier into life of work end up not pursuing enough education, not going through enough socialization and then they end up being a social nuisance.
And so child labour in all of its forms, whether it is because we have got so used to it that we can no longer see the difference between child labour and child upbringing, is not good.
Madam Speaker, it is important for us
to differentiate between helping a child to grow through training and capacity building at a young age and helping a child to develop a skill and therefore, in the event the young person dying through “overuse”, meaning dying not just because he is going to die off, but dying because his potentials are diminished, his capacity to develop into a full adult is diminished; he grows up like a flower.
Madam Speaker, I think now we
should begin to understand that what we have got used to in Ghana can equally be classified as child labour. Many, many children who are coming up and growing in homes and who are subjected to very hard labour conditions on our farms, in the mining industry and in the markets end up failing in school and therefore, are unable to make it.
It is important for us to know that the child is not a young adult; the child is a growing person who should be moulded. The child's primary responsibility is to be in school and to be trained to become somebody in future. Therefore, this year must inform Ghanaians, not just the Ministry, but all Ghanaians, of their primary responsibility in bringing up their children.
Many, many children are victims of parental irresponsibility because the parents try to shift their own responsibility onto them and the Ministry must take note of this that it has to have a comprehensive programme that touches the family level, that touches the community level and that has a national appeal.
In the event, we need to revive some of the training programmes we have for those in school and those out of school so that we do not have a situation where training only occurs in school; even training can occur out of school. So the Ministry must begin to have a policy that should affect all young people across
board, young people who want to learn a trade, who want to stay in school and learn.
We need to begin to punish parents, to bring them to book, those who are irresponsible and who do not want to bring up their children because of the fear or because of the pain of paying school fees; they push them into the streets to sell and to do work that otherwise, should have been done by adults.
Madam Speaker, the Ministry has that responsibility and we call on it to wake up to that responsibility to track children who are in the markets, who are in the gold mines working, who are on the farms working; track them down, find out why they are there and trace them to their families and let their families be responsible for what they are doing.
Madam Speaker, there are enough laws for this. Ghana is one of the first countries, if not the first country to ratify the Children's Act and so it is important to let this law work. Reinforcement is the catchword and the Ministry has that huge responsibility. We know that it is a multi-sectoral responsibility, that all other organs, other Ministries are equally responsible. But the lead Ministry must make sure that it does link with all these other Ministries to come out with a policy that is of a national appeal and that is going to tackle this problem so that our children can be spared what they should do when they are adults. They should not be subjected to too much work and they should not fall out because they cannot continue because they are burdened with work which would have otherwise been done by adults.
Thank you, Madam Speaker, for the opportunity.
Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang (NPP - New Juaben North) 11:30 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to add a few sentiments to those expressed

already. I believe that nobody in this modern age will want his or her child to stay out of school, knowing that we are trying to build a knowledge-based economy.

The difficulty sometimes has been the lack of resources of the parents and that is why Governments of both sides blessfully have said that the Free, Compulsory, Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) should operate and that facilities and social intervention programmes have been put in place to ensure that children go to school. So we have free education; now we are going to have free school uniforms and then free textbooks - we are growing, we are inching our way forward.

But by no means, Madam Speaker, with my experience, are we anywhere near what happens in the Far East, for example? That is why it is most distressing when some of our non-governmental organi- zations (NGOs) trumpet the fact that some of these children are all kept out of school deliberately. Yes, indeed, there are some infringements; but Madam Speaker, not that much, to the extent that aid delegation had to go to Washington, to the United States Congress, United States Senate to try and tell them that our cocoa production is not really child labour-based and that when they are off-duty, so to speak, they do this.

Madam Speaker, I would like to cite my own example. They put me in a school called Sarkodie Memorial School in Koforidua. We went to school at 8.00 o'clock but finished at 2.00 o'clock. My mother was working in the market; my father was a goldsmith. Now, between 2.00 o'clock and 6.00 o'clock when my mother came home or my father finished work at about 7.00 o'clock or 8.00 o'clock, what would I do?

Then it would mean that I would have had to go and, as they say, line with -- or these days they call it “chill out” with the other children and sort of be exposed to all manner of difficulties, all manner of things which a young child should not do. So my father said, when you finish at 2.00 o'clock, come to my workplace. And so between 2.00 o'clock and 6.00 o'clock everyday, I worked there.

By the time I went to secondary school, I was an accomplished goldsmith. I would not call that child labour because it kept me off the street; it kept me from peer pressure, either to play cards or gamble or even to go on drugs. And so that is what has sometimes informed some of these actions that some parents take.

But that notwithstanding, I have to concede that there are certain instances where parents have not been too responsible and have subjected their children to situations which are unacceptable.

So the enforcement is important; the Ministry or the Governmental agencies that are put in place should work. But I think that we as a people should all help - Legislators, civil society - all of us. And the issue is education, education, education -- Educating our parents that some of the things that we do should not be done.

But as I said, sometimes with the best of intentions, they want to keep the children off the street, especially in their spare time when they are on vacation -- we used to have three vacations in a year -- or at the time when cocoa season was on, they would go and help. Just as in America also, our ancestors who went there would help pick cotton.

Sometimes the children also help pick cotton. So it is a developmental pheno- menon that goes on that we should wean
Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang (NPP - New Juaben North) 11:30 a.m.

ourselves away from it; and I think that we as a people should not lend any credibility whatsoever to the fact that the majority of our children are put to child labour and for that matter, they do not work.

I am very happy that both sides of the

political divide are committed to the issue of ensuring that our children get unfettered access to education and then they will grow up to be good citizens. But I would urge the NGOs to please -- Sometimes when they go to solicit for funds, the picture that they paint outside is not the best for this nation and I do not think that is the way forward.

Honestly, because if somebody told me that I was undergoing child labour because I was a goldsmith, I would not accept it.

Right now, my own grandson has finished the junior secondary school. He has got three months of doing nothing and so I just said:

“Eh! Kwame, why do you not come and every morning be with me and I will then drop you at the office, sit down there, take papers and read, they can send you to take this thing from this office to that office?”

That is not child labour. My own grandson; it is not child labour. So people should not misinterpret this and then give Ghana a bad name.

I think we are doing fairly well. We can still do much better. But we are doing as well as we can. I just thought that I should underscore that point.

I thank you very much, Madam Speaker.
Mr. Isaac Osei (NPP - Subin) 11:30 a.m.
Thank you, Madam Speaker, for this opportunity. I want to commend the maker of the Statement, the Hon Minister.
Mr. Isaac Osei (NPP - Subin) 11:30 a.m.

But I recall that two years ago, I was at an international cocoa meeting in Indonesia when I was accosted by two Western journalists, one from the United States of America and the other from Great Britain. They asked why in Ghana we used child labour in the production of cocoa. I was taken aback. But I retorted by asking whether they were aware that every morning, in the cities of the United Kingdom and in the United States of America, children as young as eight years, between eight and twelve years, would go round in the morning dropping newspapers at homes of people they did not even know.

I asked them whether that was “child labour”. The response was that, “No, it is not child labour because our children go to school.” And I said in Ghana also our children go to school and therefore, ours cannot be child labour.

But I want to emphasize that even the ILO Convention distinguishes between child work and the worst forms of child labour. I think in reference to the worst forms of child labour, the conventions are talking about hazardous work; talking about the use of chemicals for spraying; talking about the prevention of children from normal development such as going to school, talking about the children's inability, because of work, to play with their peers. Those are the forms of child labour which the ILO Conventiions frown on. But I think in our country, we have come a long way.

As the Hon Minister himself is aware, the previous Government did put in place a national programme for the elimination of child labour and there is, indeed, an action plan which he referred to and I am very happy that his Ministry has taken this up and is continuing with the programme which was ably led by Mrs. Frema Akosua Osei-Opare, who was then the Deputy

we celebrate Child Labour Day. I know that Ghana has gone a long way and our country has indeed been commended in international fora for the work we have done in this particular area.

Indeed, in COCOBOD, we have child labour desks, all over the place, all over the cocoa growing areas and working in consultation with the International Cocoa Initiative, COCOBOD has undertaken a sensitization programme for all those who work at the senior levels in COCOBOD and for other collaborators in the industry. So Ghana has gone a long way and the incidence of child labour in cocoa is minimum. What he has done in cocoa is something which can be used as a model for the elimination of child labour in other sectors of the economy.

I thank you, Madam Speaker, for the opportunity.
Mr. T. T. Chaie (NDC - Ablekuma Central) 11:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement.
As a country, we are always ready to sign international protocols or conven- tions which at the end of the day we are not able to implement and this has been the bane of this country. As politicians, as parliamentarians, it is our duty to ensure that the various protocols that we sign, we are able to see to their implementation.
We always talk about child rights issues and as a country we have several organizations that are involved in the issue of child rights, especially the issue about child trafficking, child labour and so on and so forth. My point is, if we have a country where in terms of development we have slumps, definitely, we are going to create a society where there will be child labour and this is one area I urge Government to look into.
In fact, I am very, very glad that H.E.
the President of the Republic of Ghana in this year's State of the Nation Address made it clear that areas where we have slumps would be developed. And this is one area that I would urge Government to focus on in terms of development, if we want to eliminate child labour and all issues affecting children.
In fact, when we look at the theme for this year's celebration, “Give Girls a Chance; End Child Labour”, Madam Speaker, I want us to always consider the boys in gender issues because it looks as if we are always talking about girls, girls, girls. In about ten to twenty years to come, the boys are also going to suffer.

So when we talk about gender issues, it should be about the male and female. Government should also focus on creating an environment that will allow most children to go to school. In fact, the essence of the FCUBE programme is to allow more children access to education. But the question is, is the school environment conducive for the child to attend school? When you look at some of the schools that surround us, even in the cities, a child goes to school, the first thing he has to do is to clear human excreta in the classroom because the schools are insecure. Some of our schools are in a dilapidated state and these are areas that we need to focus our attention on as a nation.

When we create those environments, a very serene environment for the children, they will also find attending school very, very comfortable. We need to do a lot for the youth of this country and it is about time that anytime we signed agreements, protocols, conven-tions, we should be ready to implement them without fear or

Minister in his Ministry.

I am also very pleased that he is doing

this in Agbobloshie because we tend to forget that the incidence of child labour may even be greater in the urban centres than perhaps, on the cocoa farms where people normally take their children so that they can learn because cocoa farming is an investment which we hope to pass on to succeeding generations. And this is how succeeding generations learn in their spare time away from school; they go to the farms to work.

I would also like us to think about

trafficking of children to work in places where their parents do not reside. This sort of thing happens especially in inland fishing where people move from the Central Region to certain parts of the Eastern and Volta Regions and Brong Ahafo Region along the Sene River and in the Volta Lake. Children from other parts of the country move in. I think on this day we should remember those children. I know a lot of them have been rescued. But I think this is an area where we should do much more work.

In my own view, the establishment of the Capitation Grant by the previous Government has been one way of putting children in school and therefore, denying others the opportunity to put them to work and I think this has been very good.

I think also that we have a legislative framework which protects children. As one of our Hon Colleagues said, it is a question of how we enforce the legislation that we have put in place to deal with this issue.

But all in all, I think all of us should join the maker of the Statement to think about the children of our country tomorrow as
Mr. T. T. Chaie (NDC - Ablekuma Central) 11:40 a.m.

favour. And as politicians, if we are able to do that, in the next ten to twenty years, there will be a change in this country.

Thank you, Madam Speaker, for the opportunity.
Mr. Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi (NPP -- Asante Akim North) 11:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me the chance to say a word to the Statement. I congratulate the Hon Minister and I am glad that this Statement came from no mean a person than the Minister responsible for Employment and Social Welfare. I would rather urge him not only to make this Statement on the floor but to take it up as the person responsible or in charge of government policy in respect of this area and take a further step in this direction.
I have been a witness to a very serious and alarming situation in the region where I live, Ashanti Region, specifically in Kumasi. With the greatest respect, there are a lot of young men and women, girls and boys who travel from the three northern regions to Kumasi to be involved in Kayayei. One wonders whether they come in on their own to fend for themselves -- some of them at the end of the day buy sewing machines and go back -- is part of child labour.
I am a witness to one woman who had seen a very little girl and adopted her home. The end result is that this woman had put this girl in school and the young girl is helping this lady with household chores. Again, one wonders whether the young girl, when she was on the streets, was rather part of this child labour or when this woman had adopted her into her home and is helping with the household chores.
What I would want to urge the Hon Minister to do is that in taking or forwarding a policy on these matters, he should be very cautious in distinguishing or in drawing a line between child help and child labour because most of us, if not all of us had already gone through this by
helping our parents one way or the other
But for the introduction to the weaving of kente cloth, probably, I could not have completed secondary school. And one wonders whether I was subjected of child labour when I assisted my elder brother in weaving kente cloth to pay my school fees.
Mr. Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah (NPP -- Takoradi) 11:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I am very happy the Hon Minister made a Statement on the floor about child labour.
In supporting the Statement, I would like to say that the root cause of child labour in this country has been poverty that has been fed by the way we have been developing our country over the last years. I strongly believe that the only way out of child labour is to ensure that parents are able to economically develop themselves and be able to use that to support their children.
Currently, as we speak, all over the country, one would realize how bad most of our library facilities are and therefore, in between the time children go to school and close and the time they go home, we realize that some people use that as an advantage to recruit young men and women to work for them either in selling in the streets or whatever that we may think of. I strongly believe that as a developing country, what we should do is to increase the growth of our economy such that the surplus can be used in supporting the hardworking women and men in this country to be able to support our children.
Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Thank you, Hon Member.
Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto (NPP - Kwadaso) 11:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I think the Statement on the floor made by the Hon Minister is very commendable and I crave your indulgence to add my voice to it.
The Good Book says “Children are a blessing” and it goes further to say that we should train parents should train up children the way they should go and when they grow, they will never depart from it. And I can see in this nation of ours God by His Grace has given us beautiful children, who are very respectful.
But I think children are not being well taken care of by parents. It is like children have been left alone to run their own lives and affairs. But you see, the Bible says that when Israel had no king, each one did whatever he liked to do. I believe we have all been children before and we know how children behave or how we had all behaved. We need care, I believe every child seated up there needs care, they need parental care, they need much attention and then they can grow up the way that they should go.
I think also that if parents, if some parents cannot be responsible, then I think it will be the responsibility of the nation to take these children up because they are the future leaders. They are the ones who are going to drive this nation in the future when the old ones are gone or have faded off.
So I believe that much must be done, the nation, the Government must take more responsibilities for these children. More recreational centres must be set up, more NGOs that are children centred must also be set up to train up these children, encourage them into daily activities and I believe that when some of these things are being done, they will limit a whole lot of canker or this problem that we are facing
as a nation. Because when one goes to some of these communities of ours, the constituencies, one can see that most of these children are practically doing nothing and we know that the devil will find job for an idle person.
So in a nutshell, I am pleading with the entire House and Hon Ministers that we should look into our constituencies as individual Ministers or Hon Members and take a good look at our children and bring them up the way they should go and I believe that Ghana will have a better nation with these beautiful children.
Ms. Beatrice Bernice Boateng (NPP - New Juaben) 11:50 a.m.
Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me the chance to contribute. I want to congratulate the maker of this Statement for the able manner he handled it.
Talking about children and for that matter child labour touches the heart of women because we happen to be the mothers of some of these children. The question to be asked is, why are most of these children out there? They are out there due to certain reasons, one of them could be single parenting. Why single parenting? Do we have a situation when just a woman can bring forth? Women bring forth with the support of men but most often than not, some of the men will not even accept that the children are theirs.
When it happens that the women who have been left-out for quite a long time cannot hold it all by themselves they are tempted to give the children out to some people to support.
I think that we are not performing so
badly as others have said but we still need to do things to bring all these to a halt. It is not only in the farming areas neither it is in the cities. But I believe that each one of us will have a sign of it in our constituencies.
My prayer is that when we leave here for our constituencies, we should find out these children; we should investigate their backgrounds and find out why they have been subjected to do such jobs. When it comes up that it is as a result of irresponsible parenting, be it the mother or father, we should find a way of sanctioning them to be responsible. And when we do that, as other Hon Members have said, we should find avenues to help them put them in schools to make them important people in future.
We have gathered here for the development of our nation. The success of our work will be assessed when the future leaders come in. If we do not have future leaders tomorrow, where can we be? So I think that this is a very serious issue that we should not play with. All of us should come on board, NGOs, parliamen-tarians, churches, government and the entire community so that we can to curb this menace. This is because if we want to see something like the future of Ghana then we cannot toy with the lives of our children.
I believe that we will take this as a
cue; go back to our constituencies and diligently work on this to ensure that come next year or next five years, this issue would be curbed. My prayer is that we should walk the talk. We should not just talk but we should walk our talk.
Madam Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity.
Mr. E. T. Mensah (NDC 11:50 a.m.

Prampram): Madam Speaker, first of all, let me commend the Hon Minister for making this Statement on the occasion of
Mr. E. T. Mensah (NDC 11:50 a.m.

the “World Day Against Child Labour”. But I have a problem with the theme: “Give Girls a Chance; End Child Labour”.

It has been said by some of my Hon Colleagues -- we are talking about children whether boys or girls, they suffer the same fate as we do know.

Madam Speaker, I think that various international conventions have not addressed the core of the issues. One of my Hon Colleagues just said that at the bottom-line of this child labour is poverty. And all the interventions by the various international organizations with regard to poverty, either alleviation or eradication, they are just paying lip-service. The interventions do not go far enough. So in my view, it is important that those of us who have the privilege to attend these conventions draw the attention of these international organizations to what the problem really is.

The Hon Member who just spoke before me talked about parenting. It is also a problem. Parental care in this country is not the best; and she was calling for punishment. I believe that there is the need for the Hon Minister to take note and research into what pertains in the advanced country; that is child support. One cannot impregnate a woman in the United States of America and run away. They will close in on the person. And they will deduct whatever they have to deduct from his salary at base to take care of the child.

Madam Speaker, there are too many, excuse me, irresponsible fathers around. If we line ten people up, ask them how they were brought up -- single parent. Even if they are not single parents, their fathers do not care about their welfare. So it is important that year in year out, we make these Statements.

We need to take the first step. Let us research and come up with a Bill, send it through Cabinet, bring it here for us to pass it to deal with these people who are so irresponsible that they will not take care of their children -- At the end of the day, they are producing armed robbers and all manner of people in this country through no fault of the people who are armed robbers but because of lack of serious parenting.

I will agree with Hon Hackman Owusu- Agyemang when he cautioned the NGOs as to how they paint this country when they go out there soliciting for funds. Quite often 99 per cent of whatever they are able to get is not used for the purpose for which they went out there. At the end of the day, they take the pictures and paint this country so black just for their own benefits. It is something that we should not countenance.

Just as one of the contributors also said, during vacations in the United States of America and other places, one can find children under 18 working in McDonald's and many other places; that is not child labour. They do that to supplement whatever income they get. But on the other side of the coin is that, the laws are there; even though they are single parents, they still get the support that is needed.

Madam Speaker, with these few words,

I want to commend once again, the Hon Minister, and to encourage him to take up the issue of bringing forward a Bill to be passed to deal with irresponsible parents.

Thank you very much.
Madam Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Thank you, Hon
Member. One more. Yes, Hon Addo?
Mrs. Irene Naa Torshie Addo (NPP
- Tema West): Madam Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to
this Statement.
Madam Speaker, I want to commend the Hon Minister for the Statement on child labour, and to make a very short contribution.
I think that the theme, “Give Girls a Chance…”. Is a very, very good one. It is one that is commendable.
One of the things that I think should be done is that the entire country needs to be educated on problems of women and the girl-child so that they can understand how such themes come up. It does not mean that other children are not taken into consideration; all that it means is that more emphasis should be laid on the girl-child. This is because of the traditions that we have in this country. Madam Speaker, if you look in this room, you will see yourself that there are not many women Members of Parliament. Why is that? The men are checking us out “by force” - [Interruption] -- Madam Speaker, you would realize that if a real traditional man had just a little money, he will educate his son and not his girl-child.
Mr. Agyeman-Manu 11:50 a.m.
On a point of
order. Madam Speaker, my Hon Colleague was trying to ask you to look around to the fact that there are not very many women here. Madam Speaker, much as I would want to agree with her, I want to remind
her that there is only one very prime woman who outnumbers almost all of us -- [Laughter] -- in the person of Madam Speaker.
Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Thank you, Hon
Member, for the compliment.
Mrs. Addo noon
Madam Speaker, just
a little continuation. If children went to school and one got pregnant, the one who is likely to stop her education will be the one holding the pregnancy, that is, the girl-child and not the boy-child. She will have to go out of school, perhaps, for nine months and then on and on, taking care of her children.
Madam Speaker, when you go to the
market, you would find the women selling with their girl-children in there. I have gone round my constituency and I can tell you that even Tema, the Spintex Road, up to date, there are not very many girls there. And the markets are still filled with the girls in there.

Madam Speaker, I think that the theme is appropriate and the men should help us fight for the rights of women. We are not trying to say that we should be more than they are; all we are saying is, they should give us a chance to excel, a chance to be what God has asked us to be.

The theme is most appropriate and I commend them.

Thank you.
Madam Speaker noon
I thank you Hon Member. I think it is time to close the debate now. So Statements time is ended.
We now move back to Item 3 -- I have got the Question now, so we go back
Madam Speaker noon

to Item 3 - Question time.

And before we closed, an objection had been taken to the Question that was put on the Order Paper and I had sent for the original file dealing with the Questions. Hon Members, I have got it here. The Hon Robert Sarfo-Mensah asked two Questions -- I have got both Questions here -- all on the same day. And one of them is what is printed here and there is another one which we have not listed.

I admitted both of them but I chose this one because the rainy season was coming and I thought the spraying exercise was very urgent. [Uproar.] He himself had indicated the urgency of the matter. He had underlined the urgency, so we admitted it as an Urgent Question for today and that is what we sent to the Minister who has brought the Answer. [Inter-ruptions.]

The other Question will be heard on 7th July, 2009. -- The other Question has also been programmed for 7th July.

So Hon Members, both sides must listen to this; both sides are right. The two days have always - [Interruption.] Two Questions came from the same person -- two Questions. And the objection was taken without knowing that there were two Questions standing in his name.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu noon
Madam Speaker, with respect, I knew that there were two Questions and I related to the two Questions. Indeed, the second one was to - The first one was to be withdrawn and to be replaced by the second one. That was the indication that was given. Unfortunately, it does appear that for whatever reason that one was not withdrawn but indeed, the second one was to replace the first one. That indeed - [Interruption.]
Madam Speaker noon
I have got both
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu noon
Madam Speaker, just so that we get it right, may I get the indication from you about the language and tenure of the Question before you, the second one, so that we will be clear in our minds? Because you have read the first one, we do not know the second one which is before you.
Madam Speaker noon
Do you want to hear the first one again and then the second one? Because you want the tenure, let us read both. The first one which is listed for today is to ask the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning when the Government's Mass Spraying Exercise begins this year, 2009. Then the second Question was to ask the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning what is going to be the status of the existing spraying gangs. [Interruptions.]
The first one was, when; the second one was, status of the gangs. So the first one was listed and is properly captured.
Having answered the query, shall we move on?
Madam Speaker noon
Yes, Hon Member, have you got something?
Mr. Ahi noon
Madam Speaker, I am very surprised about the way my Hon Colleagues opposite wrote their own Question and some of them were trying to say that -- some of them even questioned the integrity of your Office and for that matter, the Clerk's Office to the extent that they have manipulated the Question and reframed it.
I think that Hon Hackman Owusu-
Agyemang made this specific question and he should be made to apologize and withdraw that statement. According to what Madam Speaker has read, it is now clear that the “dismissal” component that they introduced into the Question does not form part of the official Question that the Hon Colleague asked. And so they should apologize and withdraw.
Thank you very much.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang noon
Madam Speaker, I believe that I am not surprised at the intervention of the Hon Member because he is one guy - [Interruptions.] He is one Hon Member who sometimes mixes up things by saying that - [Interruptions] for example, he thinks that the cedi -- [Interruptions.] Madam Speaker, for somebody who says that the cedi appreciates the dollar - [Laughter.] I do not expect him to understand my English.
Madam Speaker noon
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 12:10 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I believe that, such mischief should not be encouraged in this House because I was very clear to say that to avoid the impression, lest the integrity of the Table Office and your high office people -- so that did not say that I questioned the integrity and that is why I think that he did not understand the English Language. The next time, I shall come a bit lower and then he will understand what I mean. But he did not understand. That is all that I said and that
is mischievous.
Mr. Ahi 12:10 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I want
my senior Hon Colleague to know that I wrote my examinations and passed. I wrote the O' Level and passed, I wrote A' Level and passed. Did my first Degree and passed and I have done my Masters Degree and have also passed. [Uproar].
And Madam Speaker, I wrote them all in modern English not Gold Coast English -- [Uproar.] So maybe, my senior Hon Colleague, when I speak because I am using modern words, he does not understand me. He was taught in Gold Coast English. So I have a modern English book, maybe, if he demands, I will give it to him so that he will abreast himself with the modern English.
Thank you Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Thank you, Hon
Members. I think at this point, let us go back to the Urgent Question. On behalf of the Hon Sarfo-Mensah who was going to ask the Urgent Question -- kindly ask the Urgent Question listed here in the Order Paper. [Interruptions].
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:10 p.m.
Speaker, as I indicated to you, this Urgent Question was supposed to be withdrawn for the second one to replace or to substitute this one, which ought or be deemed to be withdrawn. Madam Speaker, in the circumstance, I got in touch with the Hon Member who filed the Urgent Question and he has expressed disinterest in having it asked on his behalf. But it is within the domain of this House and we need the indulgence of your goodself to withdraw it.
Madam Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon Majority
Leader, he has made an application to withdraw.
Mr. Bagbin 12:10 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I think
my Hon Colleague should put across his
Mr. Bagbin 12:10 p.m.

case well because he stated clearly that even though he wants it, not the Member, [Interrruption] -- That is what I heard. If it is the Member's intention to withdraw and the Member has given his mandate to another Member, even though he has discussed it with his leader, we expect that that Member should communicate that mandate by withdrawing it. But it did not look like that was what happened and that is why all this developed up to this stage.

But also in trying to put across the case -- [Interruption] -- I think it is a slip of tongue. He did not come clearly that the Hon Member wants the Urgent Question withdrawn. He said the Hon Member wanted to ask the Urgent Question but he as the leader discussed with him - [Interruption.] I am saying what he stated and that is what I heard.

So I think that the proper thing is for the Hon Member having his mandate to state categorically that he wants the Urgent Question withdrawn and then we could look at it and indulge him to withdraw it. I think that is not what is happening.

So my Colleague could maybe, convey the authority to the Hon Member who is standing up to ask the Urgent Question on behalf of his Colleague to do so. And I think that will be the proper thing.
Madam Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon Member, I
think you are putting a burden on the Minority Leader. If you were asked to come here and ask the Urgent Question, let us know what instructions you got.
Mr. George Boakye 12:10 p.m.
Madam Speaker,
I have just conferred with the Hon Member -- [Interruptions] -- and he has asked me to withdraw the Urgent Question until he comes.
Thank you.
Madam Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon Member, I was going to rule -- permit him to withdraw. Were you making a point of order or something?
Mr. Fuseini 12:10 p.m.
Yes, Madam Speaker. My difficulty has been with the way this matter has been brought up.
Madam Speaker, you will recall that when this Question was asked, it was advertised in the Agenda for this term. It was subsequently repeated for the Hon Minister to answer today. Now, the Hon Member for Old Tafo rose and drew your attention to the fact that these Urgent Questions as so advertised did not contain the words that were used by the Hon Member in asking this Urgent Question.
Madam Speaker, he said so without adducing evidence, it was just a mere assertion. Madam Speaker, that mere assertion has taken us one hour to resolve. One good hour to resolve an assertion that the original Urgent Question that was asked is not the Urgent Question as appeared on the Order Paper.
Madam Speaker, I need your guidance on this matter. Is it proper in this House to rise up - [Interruptions] - Madam Speaker, I need your guidance in this matter. That, is it proper to rise up and make an assertion without more to matters that go to the root of the business of this House?
My humble opinion is that indeed, if the Hon Member for Old Tafo (Dr. Osei) had reason to believe that this Urgent Question as asked was not the original Urgent Question that was asked by the Hon Member, he needed to demonstrate that by evidence and not by mere assertion.
It is that assertion that has got this House to embark on the voyage of discovery and the discovery has led to the conclusion that the two Urgent Questions asked by the Hon Member did not contain the words that the Hon Member for Old
Tafo sought to have this House believe were the words that were contained in the Urgent Questions that were asked by the Hon Member.
Madam Speaker, I believe that this matter ought to be settled in this House, such that a person who rises on a matter as important as this must demonstrate that what he is talking about is based on verifiable evidence and facts.
Madam Speaker, that is my concern this morning.
Thank you.
Madam Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon Member, he
asked me to make a ruling and I was ready to do so. I was ready to make a ruling. However, let us hear you.
Dr. Osei 12:10 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I think you
will recall when you brought this matter up again and I will like to quote you - “both sides are right”. This is what you said and he is trying to say that your statement is incorrect because you said ‘both sides are right'.
Madam Speaker, with respect, you have already ruled. This is why you said there were two letters - that evidence was introduced by your goodself, Madam Speaker. That is why you concluded that both sides were right and for a lawyer of this standing to say that I have not produced the evidence, I think the evidence was provided by you. So I am surprised that he wants to take us back after you have ruled.
Thank you Madam Speaker.
Mr. Bagbin 12:20 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I thank you very much for the opportunity. I just want to draw the attention of Hon Members to the Agenda. We are given copies of the Agenda, these Questions
have been itemized there in detail. So if there is any issue with any of the Questions, kindly draw our attention.
Apart from that, usually we come out with a Business Statement of the week and in that Business Statement, we state the Questions and items. Please, if they have a problem, they should kindly draw our attention. They should not wait for us to bring for example, the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning and sit here the whole day just for the Questions to be withdrawn. [Interruptions.] That constitutes, as my Hon Friend opposite would attest to, a lot of cost to the nation and we have to be conscious of these things.
Madam Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Thank you, Hon Leader. Once again, both sides are right [Hear! Hear!] The reason is that, it is better to take time to unravel a difficulty or a situation where people are not clear than to rush it for lack of time. So I still rely on my former ruling that both sides are right and that they were right in bringing it up and I was right in investigating it because we should work and make sure there is transparency. So even if it takes time, I think it is well worth it. So I will permit the withdrawal of that Urgent Question.
But like the Hon Leader said, the Business Committee is always ready and that is why they serve us with things that are going to be listed for the next day and if anybody finds anything wrong, they could always go to the Committee, the Hon Majority or Minority Leader to withdraw it before we come to the House. But if it is not done, it is perfectly well and correct to do it here.
Hon Minister, it is not a waste of your time. [Interruptions.] We thank you for honouring our invitation like you normally do and we commend you for that. You are discharged for today.

So Hon Members, we move to Public Business now - The Laying of Papers.
PAPERS 12:20 p.m.

Madam Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Laying of Papers
- item 5(a) - Chairman of the Committee.
Chairman of the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation (Mr. Kwame Osei-Prempeh) 12:20 p.m.
Madam Speaker, the Report is not ready yet.
Madam Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Item 5(b) - Chair- man of the Committee on Environment, Science and Technology.
By the Chairman of the Committee on Environment, Science and Technology -
Report of the Committee on E n v i r o n m e n t , S c i e n c e a n d Technology on the Annual Report of Ghana Environmental Protection Agency 2003.
Madam Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Item 5(c) - [Pause.] Hon Leader, item 5(c).
Mr. Bagbin 12:20 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I am aware the Chairman of the Committee has travelled and I have no intimation from the Committee as to the readiness of the Report, so I think that this is a matter we cannot lay.
Madam Speaker 12:20 p.m.
We move to item 5(d) then. Chairman of the Committee.
Mr. Fuseini 12:20 p.m.
Madam Speaker, the Report on (d) is not ready. Indeed, we were scheduled to meet yesterday but for the meeting of the Committee on Privileges, we could not meet to produce the Report. We will be meeting tomorrow and hopefully next week, we would
produce the Report. [Interruptions] --
Yes, the (d).
Madam Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Item 5 (e).
Mr. Albert Kan-Dapaah 12:20 p.m.
Madam Speaker, the Leadership has already been informed that the Report is not yet ready.
Madam Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Item 5 (f).
Mr. J. K. Avedzi 12:20 p.m.
Madam Speaker, before the Paper is laid, I need to make some corrections. The figure and words do not tally. The words should read: one hundred and ninety-four million, three hundred thousand United States dollars. So that correction should be made by the Table Office.
Madam Speaker 12:20 p.m.
What is the correction?
Mr. Avedzi 12:20 p.m.
The correction is that the amount in words and figures do not tally, so the words should be corrected to read as the figures.
By the Chairman of the Finance Committee --
Report of the Joint Committee on Finance and Mines and Energy on the Credit Agreement between the Republ ic of Ghana and Societe Generale (Canada) (with Insurance Guarantee from Export Develop-ment Canada (EDC) for an amount of one hundred and ninety-four million, three hundred thousand United States dollars (US$194,300,000.00) to finance the construction of a 132-megawatt combined-cycle thermal power plant at Aboadze.
Madam Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Now, we are on item 6. Hon Majority Leader, any indications?
Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin 12:20 p.m.
Madam Speaker,
it is time for committees to sit and I beg to move, that this House do adjourn till tomorrow at 10.00 a.m. where we shall reconvene.
I urge members of the committees to strive to do their work and present their reports on time. It is very, very important. We have a tall order; we have a lot of work to do for this Meeting.
Madam Speaker, I beg to move.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:20 p.m.
Speaker, I rise to second the motion.
Question put and motion agreed to.
ADJOURNMENT 12:20 p.m.