Debates of 2 Feb 2010

PRAYERS 10:35 a.m.


Madam Speaker 10:35 a.m.
Hon Members,
Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 29th January, 2010.
Pages 1 9.
Hon Members, in the absence of any corrections, the Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 29th January, 2010 is adopted as the true record of proceedings.
We move to the correction of the
Official Report of Thursday, 28th January,
Hon Members, in the absence of
any corrections the Official Report of Thursday, 28th January 2010 is hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
We move to the Official Report of
Friday, 29th January 2010. Any corrections?
Madam Speaker 10:35 a.m.
Hon Members,
in the absence of any corrections the Official Report of Friday, 29th January, 2010 is hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
Hon Members, the order of proceedings will be varied and we will take the Statement before the Questions.
Hon Members, I have admitted a
Madam Speaker 10:35 a.m.

Statement by Hon Stephen Ackah, Chairman of the Committee, Youth, Sports and Culture to congratulate the Black Stars.
STATEMENTS 10:35 a.m.

Mr. I. K. Asiamah (NPP -- Atwima- Mponua) 10:45 a.m.
Madam Speaker, thank you for the opportunity. Madam Speaker, I should have been in my white attire to also share the joy of the whole country. But unfortunately, I just lost my biological father so as tradition demands, I am supposed to -- [Interruption.]
Madam Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Thank you, Hon
Member, yes.
Mr. I. K. Asiamah 10:45 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I
also join in congratulating the Black Stars for the wonderful achievement chalked at the 27th Edition of the African Cup of Nations held in Angola.
Madam Speaker, indeed, the whole nation is proud of the Black Stars, the fact that this is a blend of the young and the old, a very promising team indeed. Players who have been groomed for the past eight years; players I have associated myself with over the past years. I know, for example, when we travelled to Peru, I was there with some of the players. As I said, I was in South Korea with some of these young players. So clearly, it shows consistency in team-building, and that, for me, is very significant.
Madam Speaker, one other key point we must also stress is the fact that we have had a very stable, consistent management at the Football Association (FA) level. The Ghana Football Association (GFA) is very stable and consistent. The Leadership knows what it is about so the GFA must be well congratulated.
the beauty of this competition was almost marred by critics of the Government as regards the President's reshuffle, which is his prerogative. I am happy that the approach by the technical team and the players to the last two matches have proved the critics wrong and the outcome of the two matches have been fantastic.
Madam Speaker, the African Cup of Nations has provided a platform for us to assess ourselves in our home work towards South Africa in June. We should put behind us whatever has chanced, begin to plan towards the World Cup and ensure that we perform better than we did in our debut in Germany 2006.
Much as I want to refrain from who should form the squad, I suggest that a blend of the young blood and some experienced old hands can give us a formidable side.
Nothing but the best is what we expect from the handlers. They have our unflinching support as Ghanaians and I have every hope that Ghana will shine once more.
Madam Speaker, once again, I say welcome from Angola and congrats -- Black Stars.
Thank you for the opportunity, Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Thank you, Hon Member.
Hon Members, we have one hour to comment on the Statement, not more, it could be less. So, I have no doubt that a lot of people are interested and will be called. In which case, let us try and be brief -- to the point and comment on the Statement congratulating the Black Stars.
I thank you, Hon Members. Upon this

It was during his term that, indeed, there was the involvement of the private sector in sports. Corporate bodies came on board to provide incentive packages to the national team. The Black Stars have over the years enjoyed very mouth-watering, comfortable and generous bonuses since 2002, and that for me, is very significant.

Madam Speaker, that is why when we raise issues of national concern, we expect our counterparts or Ghanaians here to understand and appreciate the issues that we raise. When I stood here the other time and I even praised the then Minister for Youth and Sports, such a high mark of statesmanship, that a Ranking Member praises his Minister and he is misconstrued in certain quarters, some of us get a little bit worried because the statement I made here, Madam Speaker, was to fulfil the dream of millions of Ghanaians.

The dream of annexing the Cup of Nations for the fifth time, and that dream, maybe if they had listened to me well, we could have fulfilled that dream. Sincerely, Madam Speaker, I am happy that when I mentioned the reshuffle -- I was not going to touch on that, but the fact that the Chairman of the Committee on Youth, Sports and Culture spoke about the reshuffle, it is important I clarify the issue and put him right where he belongs.

The fact of the matter is that, whether we like it or not, when I made that statement, indeed, His Excellency listened to me and he responded positively. I would not say “begged the Hon Minister to go to Angola”, I would not say that. But indeed, the Hon Minister went to Angola -- if he was needed there -- somebody who was asked to come home and he was relieved of his position, the following day, he was asked to go back to Angola -- what kind of “causing financial loss to the state was that”? [Hear! Hear!] What is the logic in this? [Interruption.] Just listen to me.

What is logic in this? Somebody who has been asked to come back home to be removed and indeed he was removed. The following day, after I had made that statement here that attracted national attention, that very night the Hon Minister went back to Angola.
Mr. Ackah 10:55 a.m.
On a point of order. Madam Speaker, my Ranking Member is messing up a whole lot of issues. The mere fact that the Minister's name came up in the reshuffle list did not mean that his contribution to the Ministry was terminated. He is still acting as the Minister of that place, he has not handed over yet so he can still contribute to whatever he is doing. The mere fact that his name came up, does that mean that he cannot contribute to whatever he was doing? He was right in going back to Angola to continue to do whatever he
Mr. Ackah 10:55 a.m.

was doing. Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Mr. Ambrose P. Dery 10:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I think that this Honourable House is appropriate venue where the right thing should be said. We have different views on issues but the fact still remains that the Hon Minister for Youth and Sports was already a Minister of State and immediately the announcement was made, her appointment as the Minister for Youth and Sports became effective.
I think the Statement that the Hon Chairman for the Committee on Youth, Sports and Culture has just made -- fortunately, he is not the Chairman of Constitutional and Legal Committee, he is confused and should be put in context. So I would want to say, as a matter of law, that Hon Dansua is the Minister for Youth and Sports, period. He should not confuse people.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:55 a.m.
Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I believe that Ghanaians and in particular, Hon Members of Parliament should be very clear in our minds of the import of what the President did.
The communication to this House, regarding the Hon Akua Sena Dansua taking over the Ministry of Youth and Sports means that Hon Rashid Pelpuo who was, until then, the substantive Minister, had ceased.
He is no longer a Minister and cannot continue to hold that position as Acting Minister as the Hon Member said. He is not the Acting Minister, he cannot be the Minister, he is not a Minister, people should understand it as such.
Mr. John Tia Akologu 10:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I recall that this issue came up when the Hon Albert Abongo, outgoing Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing was to answer a Question on
the floor of the House. I also recall that the issue was not resolved because the interpretation was different by different people. Opinions were all canvassed and I recall also that, Madam Speaker, you did state that this was a constitutional matter and that we should go on with the Business of the House as arranged until this matter was resolved.
As far as the Chairman's statement is concerned, it is true that Hon Asiamah made a statement to the effect that if we lost the semi-final or the Cup, it would be as a result of the reshuffle and that the President should be blamed for it. And that is all that the Chairman has referred to, he has not made any different statement. So if Hon Asiamah is now backing out of it, he should state so and we should not go into this issue of whether a Minister's revocation of appointment takes effect from today or tomorrow following an announcement. We should not go to that point.
Let us stick to the issue. We are to thank the Black Stars, we are to commend them, we are to encourage them and show that all Ghanaians are appreciative of their efforts. Let us stick to the issue at stake.
Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Yes, I thought that was what you were doing, congratulating and thanking the Black Stars. Continue.
Mr. I. K. Asiamah 10:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, thank you. It is most unfortunate that the incoming Minister for Information has started on a very poor note by misinforming Ghanaians. [Interruptions.] It is most unfortunate. What I did say here on that day was this and please - I want the whole nation to capture what I said.
What I said, and it is captured in the Hansard was that because of the poor timing of the reshuffle of that Minister
who was engaged in that crucial national assignment, it was going to affect the psychological preparation of the Stars over there. I said that, and added, should the Black Stars fail to lift or win the Nations' Cup because of that removal -- the timing was poor, I would blame His Excellency the President, so the emphasis was to winning the Cup and not beating Nigeria at the semi-finals. The emphasis is captured there, “winning the ultimate” -- the Cup and not beating Nigeria at the semi-finals. It is clear and it is captured. Go to the record.
I did say that, if we should fail to win the ultimate prize, that is, the Cup, I would blame His Excellency the President for the poor timing of the removal and the reshuffle of the Minister for Youth and Sports. The time, for me, was ill conceived, that was what I said. In my opinion, the intervention of the Chairman has indeed devalued the essence of the Statement.
Mr. Akologu 11:05 a.m.
On a point of order. Madam Speaker, I think that my Hon Colleague opposite should do us a favour of being fair and truthful to himself and all Ghanaians. We are summarizing and interpreting what he said. The import of it was that, if we did not win the semi-finals and ultimately win the -- and that is what he said. [Interruptions.] The President should be blamed and held responsible and I stated it categorically.

I think that after my Statement, Madam Speaker endorsed it and told him that that was exactly what happened. If he is saying that I am starting on a poor note, I beg him, please, he should just stick to his problems; he has hurt himself and he should keep to it; he should not extend it to me. I think that I have evidence to

stand by what I said.
Madam Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Member, can
we carry on with your comments on the Statement.
Mr. I. K. Asiamah 11:05 a.m.
Madam Speaker,
some people have tried so hard, especially when Nigeria won the match to say that Isaac Asiamah has been shamed but meanwhile they did not understand the import of what I said -- They did not even quote me, the fact is there, the Hansard Department is there, they should go to the Hansard Department and get the facts right.
What I said was that, if we fail to win the Cup -- now what has happened? We have failed to win the Cup -- [Interruptions] -- through no fault of the players but attributable to the instability you caused at the camp there -- [Interruptions] -- that last-minute reshuffle was uncalled for. It was unnecessary.
Madam Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Member, talk
to the Chair. Hon Member, that apart, I thought you were congratulating the Black Stars on their performance. Have you finished with that?
Mr. I. K. Asiamah 11:05 a.m.
Madam Speaker,
thank you. I think the House will be pleased to receive our gallant Stars here. We will be most grateful if Leadership could arrange for us to receive the Black Stars here for all of us to see them and interact with them. I remember when the Satellites won the gold at Egypt, we were expecting that one, it did not happen. And in 2006 when the Black Stars went to the World Cup, they brought all the players here, in fact, we dined with them, we had lunch and a nice time with them.
So it is important that we receive the gallant Stars here so that Madam Speaker, with your goodself we can have some photographs with them. That
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:05 a.m.
Speaker, I believe this is an august House and if people make attributions to people, they should be in a position to substantiate.
The Hon Asiamah made a statement, people imported other things into it which he did not say. Unfortunately, the Hon Deputy Majority Leader is repeating the importations from outside into this House. I am saying that Hon Asiamah said, “if they fail to beat Nigeria and win the cup”. He had said he did not say so and he is calling him to be truthful to himself. Indeed, the Deputy Majority Leader is proving that he rather is being untruthful.
Madam Speaker, let us listen to what he said. It is quoted in the Hansard of Tuesday, 26th January 2010, column 17. Madam Speaker, I quote him.
“Madam Speaker, I am saying this, we are praying that the Black Stars win this cup. Should they fail”,
and the emphasis is on ‘winning the Cup.'
“We are praying that the Black Stars win this Cup. Should they fail, some of us will not hesitate in blaming the appointing authority for this reshuffle.”
That is what he said. “Should they fail to win this cup”. That is what he said. And now people are saying that he said, if they fail to beat Nigeria and so on and so forth; when he insists and clear to himself, the Deputy Majority Leader is saying that he is not truthful. This certainly is not acceptable. Madam Speaker, what has been said is what should be quoted and I think we move on rather than importing motives from outside into what he said
which he did not say.
Madam Speaker, I thank you
Mr. Akologu 11:05 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I think
that if we are always patient to listen to one another, it will do us a lot of good; and if we will not try to defend the indefensible, it will do us a lot of good. I have not said anything different from what he has read. All I said was that -- [Interruptions] -- What I stated was that -- [Interruption.]
Madam Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Order! Order!
Mr. Akologu 11:05 a.m.
He said and I quote:
“if we did not win the cup, by failing to beat Nigeria, we are not going to win the cup.”
And if we do not win the cup, he would personally hold the Government and President Mills responsible. I was just stating exactly what he said. I was just reminding him that the Chairman did not say anything different. So we only recapped what he said and summarized it and told him that this is the import of it. I have not said anything different and I do not think I should be accused of importing messages from outside. No. We are talking about substantive issues here, that were said. I just quoted him and that is all.
Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Thank you, Hon Member. Actually, it means both sides are agreed as to what was said. Let us move on then. I think Hon Asiamah has made a good suggestion and I -- as we go on, we shall see -- [Hear! Hear!].
Madam Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Member, I
think you took enough time and your
conclusion cannot be anything better.
Mr. I. K. Asiamah 11:05 a.m.
Thank you,
Mr. Ahi 11:05 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I am very
happy to associate myself in congratulating the Black Stars for their performance.
Madam Speaker, I am particularly happy because any time you see the Black Stars or any national team playing as Ghanaians, we exhibit that spirit of oneness, that spirit of solidarity and unity among all Ghanaians. At that point, you do not see NPP, you do not see NDC, you do not see CPP but we all exhibit nationalism as Ghanaians. And football, Madam Speaker, is one particular thing that when we take seriously, will always unite us as Ghanaians so that we can develop our nation.
Madam Speaker, the President, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills did one major thing which all of us must note. When the President saw the need to send a delegation to Angola to beef up the supporting group. Madam Speaker, the President, even though belongs to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) which is the Majority in the country at the moment, was given 30 places and the NPP which the Minority Leader belongs, to, was given --
When Ghana was going to participate in the 2006 World Cup in Germany, delegations were sent to Germany, a lot of people went. It was even alleged, it was rumoured that some NPP Chairmen were recruiting people to participate in the World Cup in Germany but Madam Speaker, what did we see?
Mr. Joseph Osei-Owusu 11:15 a.m.
Madam Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Let us take a point of order.
Mr. Osei-Owusu 11:15 a.m.
On a point of order. Madam Speaker, Hon Sampson Ahi, the Hon Member for Juaboso, in his contribution, just said that it was rumoured that some NPP chairmen were recruiting people to go and participate in the World Cup. He needs to clarify whether they were recruiting people to join the team or to coach, or in what way were they to participate in the World Cup?
Mr. Ahi 11:15 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I said that it was alleged or rumoured that NPP chairmen were tasked to select delegations to participate in the cheering- up of the Black Stars in Germany in 2006. But what did we see this time? The President in the spirit of ensuring that he becomes a father for all of us -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Osei-Owusu 11:15 a.m.
On a point of order. Madam Speaker, I thought that my friend the Hon Member for Juaboso would take a cue and withdraw the allegation -- [Interruption.] In this House, rumours are not admissible. He has to either speak to facts or withdraw. So an Hon Member should not be permitted to get away with allegations and rumours and also continue to say that people are going to participate in the World Cup. I think he should withdraw that there were rumours.
Mr. Ahi 11:15 a.m.
Madam Speaker, the Hon Member is my friend and I do not know what he wants me to withdraw when I had
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:15 a.m.
Madam Speaker, on a point of order. That the Hon Member's repetition of an allegation in this House or a rumour discredits whoever was responsible for that process politically and he therefore ought to withdraw.
Madam Speaker, I happened to be the Minister responsible for Education, Science and Sports at that time. I never heard that rumour and I never heard that allegation. If we encourage repetitions of rumours and allegations it would be a sad day for this House because I have heard a lot of rumours and allegations against my friend, the Hon Member for Juaboso which ought not to be repeated anywhere. [Some Hon Members: No.] If people decide to repeat allegations it would not be right.
He can make his point without making reference to a supposed allegation. If you repeat an allegation or a rumour, you are responsible for peddling that allegation or rumour and I know my Hon Friend is neither a rumour peddler nor someone who sends out false information like the earthquake rumour. I do not know whether is the one.
Madam Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Yes, Hon Ahi, what your Hon Friend is saying is that rumours are not acceptable so if it is only a rumour that you heard, you should have said it was a rumour, then withdraw it because we do not deal with rumours here.
Mr. Ahi 11:15 a.m.
Madam Speaker, he is my senior colleague and I heard the allegation. But if he is not comfortable with that allegation, I withdraw it.
Madam Speaker 11:15 a.m.
It has been withdrawn.
Mr. Ahi 11:15 a.m.
Madam Speaker, yes; let me go on. Another important thing which we have to notice was the support that the Government gave to the technical team, the players and everybody who had anything to do with our success in Angola.
Mr. D. B. A. Nitiwul 11:15 a.m.
On a point of order. Madam Speaker, my Hon Good Friend opposite made a very infactual statement and if I allow it to stand, it would not be good for this House.
He says that on the delegation, there were 25 members from the NPP. I was on that delegation and I can say for a fact that probably that was the intention but there were not 25 members on the delegation. [Interruptions.] The members of the NPP that were on the NPP delegation were six (6). [Some Hon Members: Eh!] Yes, and if he does not have his facts, please, he should not come and misinform the nation.
Mr. Ahi 11:15 a.m.
Madam Speaker, allocation was made to the various political parties. The fact that NPP was not able to get 25 people to represent them does not mean that they were not given 25 places; that is what I am saying. I am saying it -- [Interruption.]
Madam Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Ahi, you have just been corrected that, it is only six NPP members who attended. Your Hon Friend said six NPP members attended; that is a fact. Yes, what do you have to say?
The idea about sending Ghanaians to Angola was to see people from Ghana go to Angola as Ghanaians not as New Patriotic Party (NPP), Convention People's Party (CPP) and People's National Convention (PNC) or whatever. Madam Speaker, I would request that we see this as such, so we do not begin to make political issue out of it.
It is not about NDC, NPP, PNC, it was about Ghanaians going to support -- [Interruptions.] Madam Speaker, this is not to say that my Hon Colleague was not making a point. But it is important for us to understand that none of us should try to make a political issue out of it. We need indeed to thank and praise the President for being a father of all in that direction. It should not come up here as an issue for us to debate on.
Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Thank you, Hon Pelpuo. I think that was what I was saying. Let us not move outside the Statement. Hon Ahi, wind up, you have taken a lot of time [Interruptions.] Hon Member, wind up.
Mr. Ahi 11:15 a.m.
Madam Speaker, the point I was trying to make is the same. [Interruptions.] The value is the same, the intention is the same - [Interruption.]
Madam Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Member, wind up.
Mr. Ahi 11:15 a.m.
Madam Speaker, before I sit down, let me, once again, say ayekoo to the Black Stars, the players, the technical team and the Government for the honor done to all Ghanaians.
Thank you, Madam Speaker, for the opportunity.
Mr. Ahi 11:15 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I was not referring to the number of people on the plane. I was talking about the allocation; the distribution list that was given to the various political parties, and I am saying that -- [Interruption.]
Dr. M. O. Prempeh 11:15 a.m.
On a point of order. Thank you, Madam Speaker -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Ahi 11:15 a.m.
He does not have the floor. You have not called him.
Dr. M.O. Prempeh 11:15 a.m.
Madam Speaker just called me. Madam Speaker, I think my Hon Colleagues in this House should be mindful of statements we make in this House. For the Member of Parliament for Juaboso, Hon Ahi Sampson, to tell this House that if NPP cannot get 25 members. I wanted my Hon Friend, the outgoing Hon Minister for Youth and Sports, Abdul- Rashid Pelpuo to stand up and tell us the criteria he used in selecting the people. This is because I personally requested to be in Angola. So it is not by any objective criteria that even the six members were chosen. So if he is making statements he would be indicted in the future for such an irresponsible statement.
Madam Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Members, I think the Statement made was “Congratulating the Black Stars” but now we are moving outside the parameters of the Statement. I will hear one last word on this point from Hon Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo, Member for Wa Central.
Mr. Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo (NDC -- Wa Central) 11:25 a.m.
Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I just want to say that the discussion on this issue should be put to rest.
Mr. Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo (NDC -- Wa Central) 11:25 a.m.

Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to add my voice in congratulating the gallant Black Stars.

I want to bring this to the attention of the House that there were millions and thousands of women who cheered on the Black Stars. The under estimation of how women understand sports has been brought to fore. All the statements coming out, all the congratulations coming out, we have not heard of the women who were by the stands cheering, who understand the tactical move of “Baby jet” Asamoah Gyan, the Dede Ayew's headings that brought us the goals and all the tactical moves that the defence were able to stand firm against the Eagles of Nigeria.

I would want to congratulate the incoming Minister, Hon Akua Sena Dansua. Women too understand sports, we were there for the Black Stars and what they have done has made all Ghanaians proud -- not NDC, not NPP, but all Ghanaians proud. But I will be quick to add that, unfortunately, some Ghanaian women were added to the trip, not to cheer but for some other services that women of this age -- [Uproar.] Women will not permit themselves to be put in that category.
Madam Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Thank you, Hon Catherine Afeku. I do not want to stretch this matter. So shall I take it that it is also a rumor or could you remove that? Because if it is a rumour, then like we did before, that part we will withdraw. Yes, Hon Catherine Afeku, was it a rumour or can you provide us with the facts?
Mrs. C. A. Afeku 11:25 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I will expunge that part.
Madam Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Thank you very much. Thank you, Hon Member, for that statement about women, I think it was very important.
Mr. C. S. Hodogbey (NDC --North Tongu) 11:25 a.m.
Thank you, Madam Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to add my voice in congratulating the Black Stars upon their performance in Angola.
I know the team was assembled hurriedly, but they did a very great work. What is most important is the ability to retain this team and instill discipline into them so that when we need their services in future, they could be called upon to perform. Madam Speaker, what is most important here, even though we are congratulating the Black Stars is what happened in Angola, where members of Togolese team were killed in cold blood. That is something that as we are congratulating the Black Stars we should also address. Assuming that accident befell members of the Ghanaian team, we would have probably acted the same way the Togolese team did.
Some Hon Members 11:25 a.m.
Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Mr. C. S. Hodogbey 11:25 a.m.
CAF, sorry. They should not have organized a match in a separatist -- [Interruption.]
Mr. O. B. Amoah 11:25 a.m.
On a point of order. Madam Speaker, my Hon Colleague on the other side has his facts wrong. Indeed, when it comes to African
one should die a little more for mother Ghana and one should know at the back of one's mind that there will always be a substitute who could even perform better than oneself. That is the lesson these young boys have taught us, That at every stage we find ourselves, we should try to remember that Ghana first before any other thing.
Mr. Nitiwul 11:35 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I was on the trip to Angola and I got a call at 5.00 p.m. on Saturday that I was nominated to Angola. I originally felt that I did not have time but unfortunately if I did not go people could bring propaganda into it and connote it differently so I decided to go.
Madam Speaker, I arrived at the airport at 3 o'clock on Sunday morning. I saw a lot of very good looking Apuskeleke and I was like, “But what are these people coming to do here?” [Interruptions.] Madam Speaker, the intention of the organisers who carried the supporters there was very good. [Interruption.]
Mr. JosephYieleh Chireh 11:35 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I am rising on a point of order to state that, this House is a dignified place so the use of some words like Apuskeleke should not be allowed unless he withdraws it or he explains it to the satisfaction of the House; and he should do so knowing very well that this House is a dignified place.
Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Member, can you explain that word?
Mr. Nitiwul 11:35 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I do not
know the meaning he attributes to the word Apuskeleke. But Madam Speaker, I saw a lot of good looking people carrying Ghana Flags and that is what I mean. [Laughter.] If he has any other meaning he should tell
football and cup of nations, it is handled by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and not FIFA. So he should stop mentioning FIFA as having imposed sanctions on the Togolese national team.
Madam Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Yes, thank you. Hon Member, our time is running, a lot of people want to contribute.
Mr. C. S. Hodogbey 11:35 a.m.
Thank you, but I have already corrected myself. CAF, as a matter of fact, knowing very well that Angola has a history of separatist movement, should not have allowed such tournament to be performed in that country. It has happened before in some other countries, Madam Speaker. For that matter for CAF to punish the Togolese team is not fair. I therefore, want to call upon the other participating countries to show solidarity with Togo so that we do not have these kinds of things happening again. Besides, we should ensure that something like this should never be organized again in Angola as a punishment to them. They are supposed to give the necessary security to all participating countries, but they failed to do that.
Now a victim rather is being punished; it is very, very unfair. For that matter, Madam Speaker, again, I congratulate the Black Stars for the best job they have done.
Thank you very much.
Mr. Dominic B. A. Nitiwul (NPP -- Bimbilla) 11:35 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I wish to add my voice to that of the numerous Members of Parliament who have congratulated the Black Stars on their wonderful performance.
Madam Speaker, the performance of the Black Stars has added another dimension and taught all of us a lesson that whether one is a politician, a businessman or wherever one finds himself or herself,
Madam Speaker 11:35 a.m.
I shall take statements from the two Leaders and then we close.
Mr. E. T. Mensah (NDC -- Ningo/ Prampram) 11:35 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I would also like to thank the Hon Member who made the Statement and also congratulate the Black Stars for their exploits. We did
Madam Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Member, by that do you mean women? By saying “good looking”, were you referring to women?
Mr. Nitiwul 11:35 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I never used the word “women”; I said people.
Madam Speaker 11:35 a.m.
But you said “good looking”. Do you mean men too were good looking there, carrying flags? [Laughter.]
Mr. Nitiwul 11:35 a.m.
But Madam Speaker, if one is a good looking girl it is nice to comment on it.
Madam Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Mr. Nitiwul 11:35 a.m.
It is not a crime. But Madam Speaker, I just wanted to say that on reaching Angola the reception that the Ghanaian contingent got -- We were about 460 and I think officialdom was about 20 [Interruptions.] No, all together, we were about 460; that I remember. I know the number because when we were doing the ticket allocation some people originally did not have tickets and officials had to struggle to get them tickets, that is how I know the number.
But Madam Speaker, the reception that we got at the entrance to the stadium was wonderful. In fact, if only we had carried Ghanaian Flags a little more than what we carried, one would have seen the stadium festooned with only Ghana Flags. The whole of Angola was for us; the people of Angola were so receptive, so supportive that one would have thought Ghana was playing the finals. Added to that, Algeria was supporting Ghana, for whatever reason, I do not know.
But I do know that both Algeria and Angola, if one put the two flags together, we had Ghana here, Algeria here or Angola -- and they were cheering the Black Stars
not give them a dog chance but they got there.
Madam Speaker, on such occasions, we need to remind the country that there is the need to take sports seriously, and there is the need to put money into sports. Even in the advanced countries which did not have -- There was a time that Britain did not have a Sports Ministry but when they realized the impact of sports on the economy, they did the assessment and they realized that it was one tool, the most potent tool that they can use for investment promotion. For three weeks the whole world focused on Angola; millions of people watched Angolan culture and what have you through television and through the medium of sports. We criticised, we complained, but we do not do anything about sports.
What I think we need to do is that there should be a need for holistic approach. It used to happen in this country years back where sports were compulsory in all institutions. At Achimota, at that level, one needed to be a top sportsperson to be up there. We had inter-colleges which were played, we had several players coming out of the inter-colleges. We had the colts and the colts were so organized long before even people in Europe started having this nursery class. We have a problem and we do not have to celebrate when we get to where we got to.
There is need for us to do something about sports development. In the United States of America, people are given quotas, students are given quotas to relax some of the entry requirements in the colleges for sportsmen and women to attend the colleges on scholarship. If one goes to Cuba, about 95 per cent of the sportsmen who participate all over are from the universities. What do we
see today? It is important that we think about sports development around this time because once we do that we are going to create many jobs.
Sports is one industry where when we project to create about 1,000 jobs we end up creating about 5,000 jobs. A number of people who work in the hospitality industry thrives on sports if we organize sports very well. So Madam Speaker, yes, we got to where we got to; yes, we struggled to get to where we got to but there is a lot more to be done.
Madam Speaker, look at our league, our league is nothing to write home about. When we have a league where top clubs like Asante Kotoko, Hearts of Oak are trailing, we have a problem. The reason why the Egyptians have won the cup for three consecutive times is that they have 90 plus per cent of their players playing at home.
The league is very strong, people are paid well, people move from other places to participate and so their tactical discipline was what rolled them through to where they got to. We need to move as a country to take our sports development seriously from colts level, we need to encourage our people not only Government.
We got to a place where we said we should float shares, if shares are floated no single individual can support soccer development. We have to float shares and all of us who enjoy soccer, we have to put our moneys in it.
We should get involved at all levels and once we do that, we would have money to pay people well to play in this country and people would come and play and our league would be solid and then we would be chalking the successes that we are talking about. We should say the same thing for the other disciplines. How many


of us are interested in athletics? If it is so organized, we would find a lot of people who would be interested in this.

So Madam Speaker, I just want to cut

this long story short by reiterating the fact that there is the need for Ghanaians to be interested in the various sports that is supported in this country, there is need for them to push the idea of floating shares for people to put money into soccer.

Today, sports development is very expensive, a pair of boot -- sometimes a good boot is about GH¢500 and we cannot rely on Government alone. Those who are sponsoring us, Ashanti Gold Company and what have you, sponsorship will stop at a certain point but if we have developed the resources ourself we can be sure of developing sports to the levels that we are talking about.

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker, for the opportunity.
Prof. A. M. Oquaye (NPP -- Dome- Kwabenya) 11:45 a.m.
Thank you, Madam Speaker, for the opportunity to make a short contribution. Madam Speaker, I would want to refer to the fate of Togo, our fellow ECOWAS State and our neighbours, who have been suspended for four years for their failure to participate.
Madam Speaker, I believe it is something that concerns all of us. Togo prepared for the games, they went through all expenses, they did all in their power to participate, they actually reached the nation of Rwanda and then a mishap befell them.
Madam Speaker, this is something that was no fault whatsoever of theirs. And it is something that can happen to any other nation. In fact, we are told that we also
took a very similar route after getting down from our airport. What came over them was something beyond their power. It was what we sometimes call “an act of God”, something new that intervened.
Madam Speaker, I believe that justice is not being done to them and it can happen to any other nation. We as neighbours, and for that matter ECOWAS, I believe, should intervene strongly, because this kind of what I may describe as insensitivity is something that we West Africans do not take kindly to, nor subscribe to, and I believe that we should make our neighbours realize the seriousness of this exclusion. If we do not sympathise with them at all, at least, we should not punish them either. And as we all celebrate and congratulate ourselves in many ways we should spare a thought for Togo because it could be Togo today but some other country tomorrow.
Madam Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Thank you. Hon Samia, last contribution and then we will move to the Hon Minority Leader.
Ms. S. Y. C. Nkrumah (CPP --
Jomoro): Madam Speaker, I rise to congratulate our Black Stars and particularly because on Sunday -- [Interruptions.] [Some Hon Members -- Egyptian!-- Egypt or Ghana?] -- Madam Speaker, on Sunday I received so many calls asking me “Whom are you supporting? So I want to put it on record that this is my first home and indeed -- Indeed, even when we were living in Egypt after the 1966 coup whenever Egypt met Ghana we always supported Ghana -- [Hear! Hear!] Of course, that consciousness of where we belong has been engrained in us and has not left us.
Stars for the wonderful display of football artistry last Sunday. Madam Speaker, the Black Stars did not inspire much confidence by their admittedly jagged play in the initial stages of the tournament. To the followers of the game, the play of the team was unhurried, it was to be blunt, lackadaisical and most un-phased far from the close-knit technical and tactical play of the Stephen Appiah-led team that this country had grown to know. And indeed, the survival of the team through the initial stages came so much to hinge on luck rather than anything if we should be honest with ourselves.
Noteworthly, however, the game plan of the team kept improving with each ascent on the ladder. The win over Angola, the host nation, in the presence of the President of Angola was most significant, considering the fact that two years ago when we had a fuller or a near-complete team, we could not scale over Cameroun at the semi-final stage here in Ghana.
We all saw that the current Black Stars, which represented us in Angola, was indeed ,an under-strength conglomeration of players. They struggled through but they were extremely determined and committed to do their country proud and they succeeded in doing just that. Madam Speaker, we should highly commend them for their steadfastness.
Madam Speaker, all of us Ghanaians
should learn useful lessons in commitment and dedication from these young lads. The match against Egypt incidentally was our best performance. Before the match, Madam Speaker, I was not so sure. Indeed, I watched with my heart in my mouth, but the team on this occasion was the more purposeful one, the more enterprising, the more entertaining and indeed, they carried the match to the Egyptians against all expectations.

But Madam Speaker, I also want to revisit the origins of the African Cup of Nations. As many of us know, this initiative began with only four countries -- Egypt, Ghana, Sudan and Ethiopia, and it began as a very small thing but it has now grown into a successful championship. It was initiated as an instrument to bring together different African countries to work towards a common purpose. It was a way of familiarizing African teams with each other and a way of promoting solidarity and unity amongst the African people. At the same time, a few years after the African Cup of Nations came into being, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, our first President initiated the Championship League, at a time when even in Europe they had not yet developed their Championship League.

He even donated -- Ghana donated -- the first Cup and it was a solid gold cup I understand, it was donated to the League of Nations Championship and it was eventually won for keeps by a Guinean team. But the purpose also of these games is to mobilize our youth and to encourage them and build up on their capabilities. So it is a way of promoting our youth and showing that when they are properly supported and promoted they can perform very well.

So to the Black Stars who made us
Madam Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Thank you. Yes,
the last will go to the Hon Minority Leader.
Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu ( NPP
-- Suame): Thank you very, Madam Speaker, for the opportunity to also rise to add my voice to congratulate the Black

Madam Speaker, I am hopeful that if we strengthen the team with the addition of a few seasoned players in a few areas, they will rise to the occasion and do this nation proud at the World Cup.

The performance of the Black Stars, Madam Speaker, reminds me about the tournament that was held in Algeria about a decade and half ago. When they started the tournament, the host nation which engaged Nigeria trounced Nigeria by four goals to one. And that was the time Nigeria was under the management of Clemeus Westerhof.

Madam Speaker, eventually, the coach succeeded in piloting them to the final stage where they met Algeria again and Algeria had to struggle to beat Nigeria one nil. That was when Nigeria earned the accolade Super Eagles. Before then, they used to be called Green Eagles.

Madam Speaker, that the team was trounced 4-1 caused a lot of agitation in Nigeria and people called for the head of Clemeus Westerhof. It was that very year that Clemeus Westerhof led Nigeria to the World Cup and they performed so wonderfully.

Today, we have seen what our coach

has done, he has risen to the occasion by saving his best for the finals. Madam Speaker, we should also learn useful lessons from what happened in Algeria and allow our coach to handle this young team that we have.

We must use this occasion to

congratulate the technical team and also call on the authorities to maintain that technical crew to enable them build a solid team for the impending World Cup and even tournaments beyond the World Cup.

M a d a m S p e a k e r , t h e y h a v e

demonstrated to us that if we leave

everything in their hands, without any interference, they are capable of building a very solid and a very competent team for this country.

On this happy occasion, I wish, once again, to commend all of those who went and cheered the Black Stars to the level that they got to. They won silver but I am proud of them as a team. I think that they have done tremendously well, given the fact that they were assembled in a very short time to represent this country.

Let us urge them on, let us motivate them, and I believe they can do very well at the World Cup that is before us.

Madam Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity.
Madam Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Thank you.
Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader, just a few words, time has run out.
Mr. J. T. Akologu (NDC -- Talensi) 11:55 a.m.
Thank you, Madam Speaker, just a short intervention.
I rise to also lend my support to the Statement to congratulate the Black Stars. But I do so referring to some perception out there that their performance was so sterling and that we should just continue to keep them and then they will do the utmost for us in the near future, especially as the World Cup Competition comes off soon. I want to use this opportunity to say that this feeling that the services of the older ones or experienced ones can be dispensed with at any point in time should be abandoned.
I do know that there is something good in old age and experience. And I strongly believe that apart from the injuries, those other senior members who were not called
Madam Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Thank you, Hon
This House has shown much interest in sports, especially soccer, because a lot of Statements have been made in this House concerning soccer and wishing the team well or congratulating them. I think Hon Asiamah's suggestion is welcome. I have a feeling that the House would want to invite the team here for us to mingle with them. If that is the wish, I would leave it to the Leaders to arrange such a meeting. That will be a culmination of our interest in sports. He had said the suggestion had come a number of times but had never led to anything. This time, if it is agreeable, I think I would leave it to the Leaders to arrange such a meeting.
Upon this note, Hon Members, I thank you.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, on the list is item 3, Questions. Is the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning here?
Mr. J. T. Akologu 11:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning is unable to attend upon the House today. But he has asked us to seek your permission and the indulgence of the House to allow one of his able Hon Deputy Ministers to stand in for him. And I want to beg your permission to allow Hon Fifi Kwetey, Hon Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to answer the Questions on behalf of the Hon Minister.
Madam Speaker 11:55 a.m.
The Hon Deputy Leader is asking permission that somebody else takes the Questions on behalf of the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:55 a.m.
Thank you very much.
Madam Speaker, ordinarily we would not have any problem with Hon Deputy Ministers answering Questions. Many Deputy Ministers have come to answer Questions on behalf of their substantive Ministers and this House has always indulged them.
Madam Speaker, but given the import of the Questions that have been asked, we believe that we would want the substantive Hon Minister to come and answer these Questions.
Madam Speaker, in the first place, we have not even been told any reason why the Hon Minister himself cannot avail himself of this House. We have not been told. We have not been given any reason for his absence from this House.
Madam Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Why is he not here? Another point was that --
Mr. Akologu 11:55 a.m.
Please, he is meeting the President with the representatives of the Millennium Challenge Corporation who are in the country to review the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA). So that is why he is not here and he thinks that the Deputy Minister is competent enough to handle these discussions.
It has been the practice and we have a whole workload on us and it is a very short period. If we want to be delaying business in this manner, we would be creating a problem for ourselves. But at least, what I am saying is that he is absent because he is attending upon other important issues; he is not saying that the business of this House is not important, but he thinks that the Hon Deputy Minister is capable of answering them.
In the event that they are not satisfied and they want further clarification, he can always come back here and then supply the information. So the Hon Deputy Minister is capable and we should stick to our convention, Madam Speaker.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, allowing a Deputy Minister to answers Questions on behalf of the substantive Minister is not a convention; it is upon the indulgence of your Chair, your goodself and that of the entire House. Madam Speaker, if for any good reason that could not be allowed to go on, we have every reason to voice it out. Nobody is talking about the competence or incompetence of the Hon Deputy Minister; that is not the issue at stake.
The issue at stake is that the Question goes to the very pith, the very core of Government economic policy and the Hon Deputy Leader is saying that if we get to the point where it become necessary for the Hon Minister to come with further clarifications, he could come.
Madam Speaker, we do not want to get there, we do not want to get to that
cross-road, let the Hon Minister come to respond.
Madam Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, I think the impression is -- [Interruptions.] You asked whether the House could indulge the Hon Minister and hear from the Hon Deputy Minister. We hear that they want the Hon Minister. [Interruptions.]
Mr. Akologu 11:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, that is the issue; the issue is, we are seeking your permission and the indulgence of the House --
Madam Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Yes, my permission and the indulgence of the House.
Mr. Akologu 11:55 a.m.
The position here is that the Hon Deputy Minister is capable of dealing with the issue. Their position is that it borders on policy and therefore the Hon Minister and we are saying that the Hon Minister has weighed the consequences, the situation and he thinks that the Hon Deputy Minister -- that is our point too -- is capable of dealing with the Questions and we get on. Because there is this convention here and if we tamper with it now we would be creating a whole lot of problems for ourselves.
So let us get on with the convention; they are not that controversial -- I am aware that even Ministers themselves have come here to answer Questions and they have had to ask for permission to go and come back to clarify things. So if I say that if we get to that point, it is nothing strange, it is nothing new.
Madam Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Hon Member, like you said, the indulgence of the House and my permission -- And before my permission comes I would like to look at the House, what the feeling of the House is.
Second, and more importantly, Madam Speaker, these Questions were advertised last Friday for the Hon Minister to come and answer them. The Hon Minister had provided the Answers in the Order Paper of last Friday. Today, we come and there has been a substantial amendment of the Answers that were supplied to this House.

Madam Speaker, we want the Hon

Minister himself to be here so that if we have to go into the depth, the reasons for altering even some figures, he can speak to the matter before us. So Madam Speaker, we would plead with you, these Questions touch the very root, the very kernel of Government policies and programmes for this country. We do not want any prevarication in Answers that are given and we would seek the indulgence of your goodself to request the Hon Minister to be here present and answer these Questions himself.

Madam Speaker, I thank you very much.

Madam Speaker, that is the view of the other side of the House, that the Hon Minister himself comes to answer these Questions.

Deputy Majority Leader (Mr. John T. Akologu): Madam Speaker, I think it is a very good point that they have made. But I also equally think that the Hon Minister has studied the Questions and has come to the conclusion -- if he had the opportunity to be here, he would have come --
Mr. E. K. D. Adjaho 12:05 p.m.
Madam Speaker, normally, when we have Deputy Ministers coming, we want to hear from the Leaders whether the reasons for the substantive Ministers not being here are reasonable -- to know whether they are treating this House with contempt or not. And the reason being given by the Hon Deputy Majority Leader is to the effect that people who are assisting this country for our developmental needs are in the country, that is the Millennium Challenge Corporation from the United States, and the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning has been invited to be with the President, to be with the people and that is the reason.
This House approved the Deputy Ministers and if in your view, it is reasonable -- the explanation given by the Hon Deputy Majority Leader is reasonable, then it is my considered opinion that he should be allowed to answer the Questions.
Madam Speaker, with regards to Questions and the Answers, even if a Minister is called to answer Questions can change the whole Answer and provide a new Answer. It is always allowed to correct your Answers when you get to the Dispatch Box and we have seen it several times where Ministers come and correct the Answers that have been printed on the Order Paper; it has happened several times.
So I would just want to plead with my Hon Colleagues that, yes, as much as possible, we want the Minister to be here. So we want to plead with them to allow the Deputy Minister to answer the Questions so that the work of this Honourable House can progress. We would want to plead with them.
Prof. A. M. Oquaye 12:05 p.m.
Madam Speaker, the work of this Honourable House would not only progress, it would progress
Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang 12:15 p.m.
Madam Speaker, it is most regrettable that this should be the cause for argument. We have done quite a lot of issues in this House by consensus and by understanding. If today the Minority Leader says that because of the importance of the issue, we must await the substantive Minister, I think that I am urging your good self, Madam Speaker, and the Deputy Majority Leader to agree so that, that in future -- [Interruptions] He has always agreed; our Leader has always agreed
to the substitution of the substantive Minister by a Deputy Minister. If today, he has difficulty in agreeing, I think that we should all be generous not to move forward so that we do not make this a contentious issue because if we do that, in future, it may create problems for us.

So if for today, only today, he cannot go along with it, I would urge the whole House, as a sign of reconciliation and singleness of purpose, to await for that Minister to come to do it.

But Madam Speaker, what is important is that even if you were to go to the United States and the United States Senate wants to meet a Minister or the House of Representatives wants to meet a Minister, there is no way the Minister will leave the House of Representatives or the Senate to go and attend to anybody else, not even a President. Not even a President, I can tell you that. I have been a Foreign Minister and I know.

That is why I said we should not stir any controversy over this and let us now do as is being required by the Leader of the Minority so that next time we would do that. He has not doubted the integrity, the competence of the Deputy Minister.

But he believes that once in a while, this House must be given the necessary recognition that it deserves and that is why he is saying that we should await the substantive Minister. We all know that the young man is very capable, very eloquent but he is saying that let us now wait for the substantive Minister because the Akans say that se wonsa akyi beye wo de a, ente se wo nsa yam. And therefore, I believe that we should not quarrel about this at all, let us move forward so that we can always have a singleness of purpose in the House. That is what I want to move, Madam Speaker. Just let us understand, I am sure he is agreeing now. Thank you

us carry on so that at least we will reduce the work for ourselves and not pile up work for ourselves at the end of the day and then we complain again. Madam Speaker, I think that you should give a ruling in favour of this side.
Madam Speaker 12:15 p.m.
I will take one last
from you and then if I am forced to rule, I will.
Mr. Ambrose P. Dery 12:15 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I think that as much as possible, we should continue the consensus building between both sides of the House and Leadership. We have been doing this. These Questions you would see clearly go to policy. They go to policy, nothing to do with competence of the Deputy. I have been a Deputy Minister before and I have been a Minister before and I know that in the Ministries, the Ministers assign specific roles to their Deputies. When something is to policy, it is always preferable to deal with the Minister.
Secondly, Madam Speaker, we have seen the special circumstances, we compared the Answers today to the -- [Interruptions] please you would not listen -- to the Answers that appeared on the Order Paper on Friday and there are difficulties with that. And Madam Speaker, it is not as if we did not give an indication, we gave an indication that this might not be possible so this public exchange could have been avoided for whatever reason contrary to what we have been doing has been brought to the plenary so that we argue about it.
I think this is most unfortunate. The issues relating to roads are constituency specific and with those ones we have no difficulty at all. But if you read these first three Questions, they are basic fundamental policy issues and if for once we have given an indication, prior indication that we would rather that the Minister attends and then in an attempted
very much, Hon John!
Madam Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Are you going to agree or you want a ruling?
Mr. Akologu 12:15 p.m.
I just want to respond. I want to just say a few words about what the senior Colleague across just talked about. I agree with him the situation in the Untied States and United Kingdom and other places. This is our local situation. We have operated in this atmosphere for a long time.
I agree with him also that, yes, it is one occasion that the Minority Leader is saying that oh please, let us wait for this. I agree but at the same time, we also want to plead with them. The Minority Leader is a Member of the Business Committee and he knows the kind of work load that is before this House.
And let me put it simply that what the Minister was coming to tell this House in answer to those Questions is not different from what has been printed here which the Deputy Minister is coming to read as the Answers. I do not see so much trouble out of it and that is why I intimated earlier that if we happen to have problems and we want further clarifications, the Minister will come because I anticipate that it is only the supplementary questions that we are thinking that, maybe, there will be issues. But we have not reached there.
I cannot imagine what type of questions we will ask that he will not answer or something. So that is why I intimated earlier that let us listen to the Deputy Minister and if the need arises that the Minister comes at a later time, we do so. So we are also appealing to them, we are pleading with our Colleagues across to let
Madam Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Yes, thank you, Honourable, Chief Whip now because he is not a Minister yet. Thank you. Yes, Hon Members, I have heard from the two sides. Questions are normally for Ministers. Question time is for Ministers to answer Questions and when they cannot do so upon good reason like I could foresee sickness, travel outside and the matter is pressing and their Deputies come, this side has always agreed.

Yes, in which case, we come to the Questions for the Minister for Roads and Highways. Is he here?
Mr. Akologu 12:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker, the Hon Minister for Roads and Highways is not here for the same reasons and I want to ask your permission and the indulgence of the House to allow one of his Deputy
end of the day, what we should realize is that if the Majority says “no, no, no”, in most times you can never get the Questions answered. You can never get their business go on, you can never lay their Papers, you can never do anything. So if they say no, next time we would not even agree to the laying of Papers by other Ministers.
So, please, we are in a collaborative mood, let us go on. But the caveat by the Deputy Majority Leader that we cannot hold the Minister responsible is unacceptable to this House. You cannot dictate to the House. You the Deputy Leader, cannot dictate to the House what we should do he should remove the caveat. That caveat, the proviso is absolutely unheard of in the annals of this House and it cannot be allowed to go on that a Deputy Minister answering a Question cannot be held responsible for what he said? What do you think we are here for?
We are here to come and play dice or something? No. We are here to do serious work and the Deputy Majority Leader should know that he cannot put a caveat or proviso on a situation like that. When the Hon Minister answers the Question, he is responsible because he is in loco his boss -- he is in the place of his boss. So we hold the Minister and the Ministry responsible. But that caveat is absolutely unacceptable to this House. We cannot accept that.
Madam Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Leader, the caveat was not necessary and that is what probably generated the “no, no”, from this side and you are asked to withdraw the caveat because the Speaker relies on the feeling of the House and the rules. The rule is, the Minister comes, the feeling of the House is they will agree to the Deputy. So you have been asked -- the caveat on it was uncalled for and I think so too. Can
defence of the Minister's absence, the Deputy Majority Leader tells us that the Minister calculated that his Deputy was capable so that means that he consciously absented himself for his Deputy to come.
Madam Speaker, these would open the can of worms and we should not let this thing fester. I think that let us continue with the consensus approach and I think that this is the first time we are saying that let us defer it to when the substantive Minister would be present. And please, we cannot force the questioner to ask the question. Why are we proceeding along this line.
Madam Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Yes, I would not take any except that I hear from the Deputy Majority Leader -- last word and I will rule. This side is opposed to granting the -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Akologu 12:25 p.m.
I just want to clarify a position. I did not state here and I do not think you should impute that the Minister consciously thought that he should send his Deputy here because -- Please, I did not say that. And I think that the Minister acted in good faith and with respect to this Parliament by not saying that because I have this thing I will not come and then he sends the Deputy. So we should get things straight. He did not consciously do it to spite this House, no.
Madam Speaker 12:25 p.m.
I do not think the impression is that the Minister did not act in good faith. Was it the impression?
Madam Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Yes, Honourable, I was going to -- are you going to have a sentence for me to help me to rule?
Mr. E. T. Mensah 12:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker,
Ministers to stand in for him.
Madam Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Yes, Hon Member, they want to ask Questions of the Minister for Roads and Highways.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker, clearly, these are different sets of Questions, they are not policy issues, they are constituency specific Questions and as we have always done, we will allow the Deputy Minister to hold the fort for the Deputy Minister to Answer those Questions.
Madam Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Yes, the Hon Member will indulge you and take the Deputy Minister. [Some Hon Members: No! No!]
Mr. Akologu 12:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I think that this is the issue we wanted to avoid. [Interruptions.]
Madam Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Order! Order!
Mr. Akologu 12:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I hope that the Hon Members who are asking these Questions that the Deputy Minister is about to Answer would not hold the Deputy Minister responsible for any lapses in dealing with this situation. We will go on.
Madam Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Leader, that is not the point. The point is that they are prepared to indulge the Deputy Minister and I cannot rule otherwise and that is why I say if the Hon Minister is here, can he take his chair? [Some Hon Members: No! No!]
Can we have order from the right side, please? Order, please!
Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang 12:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker, the Deputy Majority Leader did give a caveat, put a proviso on the answer which is completely out of place and out of order because at the

you remove that caveat and then we can carry on with the Deputy Minister?
Mr. Akologu 12:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker, if my opinion has been interpreted as a caveat, I withdraw it. But Madam Speaker, in requesting that it is withdrawn, he also placed some caveat on our side that Hon Members cannot say “no, no, no”. But I want to even correct that. I was speaking on behalf of all of us here on this side and I did say that we will go on. I spoke as Leader and I think my Hon Colleagues are aware that when these things happen they defer to Leadership. So we will go on. But my Hon Colleague too should withdraw the caveat that this side does not have an opinion to express like this.
Madam Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Member, he said you said that this side should not say “no, no, no”. But they can say no, no.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 12:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I did not put the caveat. I do not know whether he is linguistically challenged. But I did not put the caveat on it. I said if what is being done will become the norm, then we would not be able to transact business here because most times your Ministers are not here and we always indulged. I did not say that. I did not put the caveat at all. Maybe it is the language, but there was no caveat put on that statement. I did not do that.
Mr. Akologu 12:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I thank you very much for this opportunity. My Senior Colleague across knows very well that he cannot beat me to it when it comes to English language and therefore I am not linguistically challenged at all. But when I made the statement he referred to it as a caveat. I had not written a letter, I had not issued -- I made it as an opinion and that we should go on and then he read it as a caveat. So if I also interpreted his intervention in saying that this side has
no right to say “no, no” and that it is also a caveat he should withdraw it, I do not think --
Madam Speaker 12:25 p.m.
He said he did not say this side cannot say “no, no”.
Mr. Akologu 12:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker, he did. It is in the Hansard. He said it. So Madam Speaker, let us go on. I think we have agreed and he should also withdraw that statement -- [Interruption.]
Madam Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Hackman, of course, this House can say “no, no”, is that not it?
Mr. Akologu 12:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker, he should withdraw that statement that I am linguistically challenged. He should withdraw it.
Madam Speaker 12:25 p.m.
They say you had said and I think I heard you -- they cannot say “no, no, no”. But they can, can they not? This is a small point.
Mr. Ambrose Dery 12:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I think the principle should be clear. The Deputy Majority Leader makes an application and then we agree and you rule. It is certainly out of place for the same Deputy Majority Leader to make any comments contrary to the position. He could have decided not to make the application. He made the application that we should permit the Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways to answer the Questions on behalf of the Hon Minister. Minority Leader agrees and you accordingly ruled that the Deputy Minister can come and answer Questions. Further comments from him to the contrary are completely out of place and that is what we are talking about. He then gets up and tries to insinuate, generating the no, “no no”. I think, Madam Speaker, that we should make sure we respect the procedures here. The application is from
you, we have agreed, there has been a ruling and I think we should respect the Speaker and continue with the process. So Madam Speaker, I think the exchanges are unnecessary and we should allow the Deputy Minister to proceed as you have ruled.
Madam Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, are you prepared to go on?
Mr. Akologu 12:35 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I think that we should not belabour the point. We have come to a situation where we think that the best thing to do now is to stand down all the Questions for today and take them another day. Let us proceed with the other business of the day.
Thank you.
Madam Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Well , Hon
Members, he is the Leader now, and he guides me about matters to take. If he says we defer the Questions and move on, is there anything wrong with that?
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 12:35 p.m.
Speaker, yes. You have made a ruling saying that we should go ahead -- [Interruption] --so if by -- [Interruption] -- that is why Hon Mettle-Nunoo got up. Madam Speaker said that we have indulged so we stand it down, this one should go on. And he is coming up and then he stands. Then he feels that you ruled that he must be heard. If he wants to challenge it then he must go by way of a substantive motion. By the rules of this House, he cannot challenge the ruling of the Speaker. The Speaker has already
ruled, you cannot challenge it; but he has to come by a substantive motion, and that is what the rules are.
Madam Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Member, he
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 12:35 p.m.
Madam Speaker 12:35 p.m.
To be fair, do you
want to? Maybe it is just to stand it down; we do not know. So let us move on and see what happens.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 12:35 p.m.
Madam Speaker, but he cannot do that. If by a substantive motion, yes; but not by saying that we stand it down.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:35 p.m.
Speaker, thank you very much. Madam Speaker, the Hon Deputy Majority Leader made an application for this House to indulge the Hon Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways in response to the Questions listed from 203 up to 209. Madam Speaker, when an application is made, we ask for your indulgence and that of the House.
We indulge him; we say these Questions do not relate to policy, they are constituency specific so we will allow him to answer the Questions. Before the Hon Minister comes, the same Hon Deputy Majority Leader rises up and says that where we are now, I am pleading that we step the item down. What has happened between the time he made the application and the time he is saying that “where we are now”. Madam Speaker, what has happened? He needs to inform this House about what has happened before you may grant it. Madam Speaker, you are not
Madam Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Member, the House wants to know the reason.
Mr. Akologu 12:35 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I think
that I have a strong skin to withstand this thing because these kind of gestures and things are not going to help us. I do not think that immediately after making the application, I changed and substituted another application. I think that when I made the application, you sought his view and he made a statement. And when you were about to rule, I stood up and caught your eyes, and said that as things are going, I do not think that it is proper, but we should go on. He even intervened; there was a gap -- so it was as a result of the exchanges that followed my application that I came back. It is not just immediate.
So the Hon Minority Leader should not create the impression that I just applied and there was no room for discussion, he indulged and then I made another application. No, even the Hon Member for New Juaben North had the opportunity to speak, so it was upon his intervention and consultation with my Hon colleagues here -- Then I made another application, and Madam Speaker is yet to rule. Madam Speaker, has not ruled on any of them, so there is nothing wrong, let us listen to Madam Speaker; what her ruling is on the second application.
Prof. Oquaye 12:35 p.m.
Madam Speaker, in parliamentary language a Question is said to ‘belong', that is the word used, ‘belong” to an Hon Member'. Madam Speaker, having stated upon application and upon acceptance that the Hon Deputy Minister,
the Rt. Hon Madam Speaker, having then asked the Hon Deputy Minister to take the seat -- [Interruption] -- and having been called by Madam Speaker. Please, it will be brought out by the Hansard, at that moment; no other person is seized with intervention save the person in whose name the Question stands. And that person will simply now ask the Question and the Hon Deputy Minister would answer the Question.
Madam Speaker, the intervention is palpably out of order, misplaced, misfounded and it should not be allowed. The work of this Honourable House must proceed.
Thank you Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Tia, any reasons for making that second application? You made the first application which was accepted, but you are not prevented from making another application. It will be considered but they say what reason do you have to defer it when the Hon Deputy Minister is here -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Akologu 12:35 p.m.
Madam Speaker, the only reason I can adduce to the second application is the fact that the Hon Member for New Juaben North made a statement here that this side had no right to say “no, no”; and it was degenerating into something. And I thought that to sort of calm the situation, we should not take any of these things, and I conferred with my Hon Colleagues here, and even pleaded with them to be calm whilst I make this application to you. So, at least, the reason is because of the tension that was growing between these two sides, and as has been indicated, we have moved on in this House on consensus and so on and we must continue, so that is it. It should not be winner take all affairs; so I think that, that is what guided me to make the second application.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 12:35 p.m.
Speaker, I did not say that they cannot
say no. I did not say that. I said this “no, no”, will not help us because if it is no, the next time round, it will not help. How can I stop them not to say -- I have been in this House long enough to know that we make a lot of noise, we do a lot -- I did not say they cannot say no. There is a difference between telling somebody you cannot say no and somebody saying that this “no, no” -- as your Leader is fond of saying, these shouting, these body language will not change me; that does not mean -- I said this “no” will not help the situation. I did not say they cannot say -- there is a world of difference. I cannot take that prerogative away from anybody.
So Madam Speaker, he has accepted. I did not say that. I said this “no, no”, would not help us in our future work in the House. This is all that I said, so I think that the Hansard has captured it well, and the Hon Deputy Majority Leader, now that you are -- [Interruption] -- Thank you for agreeing that I did not say that.
Madam Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Chief Whip, he
has given the reason why he asked.
Mr. E.T. Mensah 12:35 p.m.
Yes, Madam
Speaker, the intervention by the Gold Coaster -- [Laughter] -- the Hon Hackman Owusu-Agyemang confirmed the concerns of -- [Interruption] -- the Hon Deputy Majority Leader. [Interruption.] We heard “no, no”, Hon Members were incensed here that if you do not take one then do not take the other. And based on the submission that was made by Hon Ambrose Dery that there is a need for us to keep the spirit of consensus, he consulted and he was given the go- ahead and ask Madam Speaker to stand down these Questions for the reasons that we have attributed here. And for another Gold Coaster here (Prof. Mike Oquaye) to question why we have changed our mind, there is a saying which is popular that: “It is only a fool who does not change his mind.”
One can change his mind at any given moment when the need arises. So on this occasion we think that we have to change our mind and we fully support the submission by the Hon Deputy Majority Leader that the other Questions should be stood down.
Thank you very much.
Madam Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Minority
Leader, time has gone; it is almost a few minutes to 1.00 p.m. and we have a lot of work. So if he applies -- now that we have clarified the reason for his asking to cool tempers down, we are back to a situation ante. So, what do we do with the application? You see, time is gone, we have other matters, motions; should we stand that down, the whole Question time and we take it tomorrow?
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I think we must understand each other to do business in this House. It is true that after the application by the Deputy Majority Leader and I responded by conceding that the Deputy Minister should be allowed to come and respond to the Questions, there was a chorus of no, no from the Majority side. The Hon Member for New Juaben North said that they cannot say “no, no”.
In the context of the usage, it was that the application has been laid on behalf of the Majority by the Deputy Leader. How could the Majority that he is representing turn round to say no to the application? Madam Speaker, that was the import of the intervention of the Hon Member for New Juaben. That notwithstanding, if they say they do not want any business transacted in this House, Government's business is to be seen to by the Majority side. If they are determined and purposed not to work and stall Government's business, it is their business.
Mr. Akologu 12:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I think
Madam Speaker 12:45 p.m.
We can put an end to this amicably.
Mr. Akologu 12:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker, yes,
we have made an application, the onus is on you to decide. But my Hon Colleague opposite should not say that we are not determined to carry on Government's business.
When we pressed on for the Deputy Finance Minister to do business they gave certain reasons and so on. So if we have also upon realizing some kind of tension in the House also apply that we can for today do without these Questions being answered, there is nothing wrong, it does not mean that we will not or we are not serious with Government's business.
We want to go on in the same spirit of consensus so please I think that Madam Speaker, it is left to you now to break the ice.
Thank you.
Mr. E. T. Mensah 12:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker, the Hon Deputy Majority Leader put Hon Hackman's “no, no” in a certain context. I want to put our “no, no” in the right context. The context in which we shouted the “no, no” was that we came with two Deputy Ministers and one was prevented from answering Questions and so our people are saying that then the other one too should not be allowed to answer those Questions. That was the context in which they shouted the “no, no”. I thank you very much. [Interruptions.]
Prof. Oquaye 12:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker, is this tit for tat approach? Is this - Does
what Hon E. T. Mensah just said amount to tit for tat? And we would want to ask whether it is good for the business of the House? If one would not be allowed, then the other will not be allowed, this is what he said. Fine. But Madam Speaker, I am submitting, it will not help this Honourable House nor help Government Business.
Madam Speaker 12:45 p.m.
One from this side
and then I will rule.
Mr. Pelpuo 12:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker, this
issue bothers on two issues; one of principle, the other of discretion. When a third issue of convention was brought up, it was defeated with the fact that we are doing this based on the discretion and the consensus of this House.
Madam Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Hon Pelpuo, what was the reason? What reason were they giving for not consenting?
Mr. Pelpuo 12:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker, the idea is that it is important to allow us to stand this thing down to look for consensus and to come back to this House so we can have the way forward in this direction.
Madam Speaker 12:45 p.m.
The Speaker has an
interest and has a function in this. Apart from the consensus, we will look at the reason. The Speaker will also look at the reason whether the orders allow it. So you are discounting the Speaker's rule if you say that whatever they say -- in any case, it was just a shout of “no, no”. It was not
a reason. So I will stop you here and take a last intervention from the First Deputy Speaker and then I will rule on it.
Mr. E. D. K. Adjaho 12:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker,
to be very honest with you, part of the problem we are facing this morning has to do with our Standing Orders. I will refer you to Standing Order 60 (1) which deals with Ministers to attend the House to answer Questions and with your permission -- Standing Order 60 (1):
“Ministers shall, by the order of the House, be requested to attend Sittings of the House to answer Questions asked of them.”
And you go to the definition column of Minister, “‘Minister' means a Minister of State”. And clearly, the truth of the matter based on the strict interpretation of our Standing Orders, Deputy Ministers are not Ministers of State by the definition of our Constitution.
Madam Speaker 12:45 p.m.
That is what I said.
Mr. Adjaho 12:45 p.m.
So clearly, if you look
at the strict interpretation of our Standing Orders, Deputy Ministers cannot be; but over the years, by precedence, by consensus, by convention over the years, we have always allowed them. I think that given the mood in the House now, that is why I thought that we should move to the other businesses. Probably, we should move to Public Business so that the Leadership of both sides will go and develop situations where together with Madam Speaker, we will determine situations where Deputy Ministers can come. To be very honest with you, Madam Speaker, this is the first time. All the years I have been in this House, I have never heard a submission made on this floor that as matters of policy, Deputy Ministers cannot answer Questions.
In all my years in this House, this is the first time I have heard this submission made on the floor of the House which is good. It is good for the House, because as our democracy grows, we start to draw distinctions but when it comes for the first time, then you are surprised which way it will go and you have ruled in a certain direction which both sides of the House must accept.
I will suggest, with the greatest respect Madam Speaker, that given this difficulty and our own Standing Orders, who should come and answer Questions and who is a Minister to answer Questions. What is the definition of a Minister both by the Constitution, by the Standing Orders? I think that this matter must be stepped down.
Let us go back, Leadership together with you should try and then tell us what to do in the future so that we are all clear. So that when a Minister is coming or when a Minister will have to come himself, the Minister comes by himself. When you have to send a Deputy, then he knows when to send a Deputy, then we will all be very clear in this House. So I think that it will be in the collective interest of this House to defer this matter while further consultation is done with you and the Leadership of the House.
Thank you very much.
Prof. Ocquaye 12:55 p.m.
Madam Speaker, respectfully, I disagree with my Hon Colleague when the impression is given that -- so that we should all be clear. Madam Speaker, I have no doubt in my mind that the ruling of the Speakership has got clarity. It took into account even the reason for the Hon Minister's unavailability. Why is the Hon Minister not here?
Madam Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Yes, I think I am trying to rule and I will do so now. I do not think it will be necessary for us to go into a meeting to decide this issue.
The matter, as I said earlier, is that it is Hon Ministers who are asked Questions and the Hon First Deputy Speaker has also reinforced that view that it is the Hon Minister -- But the Hon Minister is not the Hon Deputy Minister. The convention in this House has been that when the Hon Minister is not here, and the House approves or agrees to the request, then the Speaker will agree and have the Hon Deputy Minister so that work does not suffer.
I take the opposite view where the House does not approve but will want the Hon Minister; I think that is a feather in the cap of the Hon Minister. They say the Hon Minister should come and answer the Question himself. I do not think there is anything wrong with asking for the Hon Minister, because like the Hon Akologu said, even if an Hon Deputy Minister is allowed and there is a Question that they want from the Hon Minister himself, they will ask him to appear. So that is the impression I get from the House -- I do not just rule, I rule taking into account, the
Constitution, the Standing Orders and the feeling of the House. And I do so when a good reason has been given; I will do so when there is no attempt to waste the time of the House, and a good reason with support of the House. So we do not have to meet and decide this.
The convention is that, it is normally agreed upon. Where it is not agreed upon, we schedule it for the Hon Minister. I have already ruled on that, but that does not affect your application to take the whole Question time later -- and that was what -- That is the application we are dealing with now, because I think in the first part, I decided that where it is agreed, he will come. Where the House agrees that a deputy Minister should come, a deputy Minister will come even though he is not a Minister; that is the convention.
I think the present difficulty is that we should stand the whole of item 3 down. He was asked to give a reason and he said the reason was just that he thought the House was so heated that we could do it another time. We have other works. If we have no other work before 2 o'clock then that will also be considered but we have other works and we can answer the Questions another time. I do not see much reason to disagree with him except the Hon Minority Leader wants to.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah- Bonsu 12:55 p.m.
Speaker, I will not disagree with what you have said. Ultimately you have to make a ruling and this House would abide by that. Madam Speaker, however, it is important to set the record straight.
It is indeed true that more often than not, you have allowed Hon Deputy Ministers to Answer Questions on behalf of substantive Ministers. That is what this House has normally done. But in a few cases this House has insisted that Hon Ministers attempt to Answer Questions.
I remember the Hon First Deputy Speaker who has left his assigned seat and is squatting on a different seat -- Madam Speaker, clearly when Deputy Speakers leave their allocated seats for other seats, you cannot be too sure what they are up to.
Mr. E.K. D. Adjaho 12:55 p.m.
I think the Hon Minority Leader is not being fair to me. I came closer to you because you sent a certain signal to me. That is why I left my chair and drew closer to you. It is not for any other purpose.
Madam Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Yes, he may not have known. I think now he knows.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:55 p.m.
Well, Madam Speaker, I now understand the reason for the gravitation.
All the same, Madam Speaker, facts are facts. He as a former Hon Deputy Leader once insisted that the Hon Minister for Health should come to Answer -- the late Quashigah - should come and Answer the Questions. He insisted and the House indulged him, and the Speaker ruled in favour that indeed the Questions be stood down for the then Minister for Health to come to this House and Answer the Questions. So it does not lie in his mouth to say that it has never happened in this House. It has happened at least on his insistence - [Laughter.] Well done. You know what I am saying is the truth.
Madam Speaker 12:55 p.m.
So should we stand down item 3? Hon Akologu, your application to stand down item 3 has been agreed to and so I stand it down.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Hon Members, at the commencement of Public Business -- Laying of Papers, item 5 -- (i) by the Chairman of the Committee? [Interruptions.]
Mr. Frederick Opare-Ansah 12:55 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I believe the normal practice and per the Orders, is for you to have finished speaking and then the Chairman or the person in whose name the laying of the Papers stands, would have risen at his place and bowed.
Mr. Speaker, you were not even half
way through in making your statement, and I saw the Chairman doing some acrobatics. I do not know what he was doing. But Mr. Speaker, if it was the Chairman's intention to dodge the fact that we do not have quorum in this Chamber to proceed with Public Business, then he has not succeeded. Indeed, we do not have quorum to continue with Public Business. It is my contention that we have less than one-third of all the Members of Parliament in this Chamber at this time.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Very well, you are raising two issues at the same time. One is with regard to the manner of laying Papers; the other one is with regard to quorum. So I do not know whether I also have to give two rulings at the same time. I do not know; so let us continue for now. But in terms of laying of Papers, you are right.
Chairman of the Committee, (i)?
PAPERS 12:55 p.m.

Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, which item do we take? Are all the Reports ready?
Mr. Akologu 12:55 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Reports are all ready but I was looking for the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee to confirm whether he was ready to take his motions today but I did not see him. But he is here so he can speak to it.
Mr. Albert Kan-Dapaah 12:55 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I will be comfortable with whatever you decide.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Do we take one of the Reports for today? Looking at the time, do we take one? Does it raise any controversial issues, Chairman of the Committee?
Mr. Kan-Dapaah 12:55 p.m.
Not really.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Very well, item 6 -- Hon Members, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee?
MOTIONS 12:55 p.m.

Chairman of the Committee (Mr. Albert Kan-Dapaah) 12:55 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Performance Audit Report of the Auditor-General on Management of Ghana Police Residential Accommodation.
Mr. Speaker, the Report has been circulated and I will just highlight a few issues and leave the Report at the Table Office.
1.0 Introduction
The Performance Audit Report of the Auditor-General on the Management of Ghana Police Residential Accommodation was laid before the House on 22nd June, 2009. The Rt. Hon Speaker in pursuance of Standing Order 165 (2) referred the Performance Audit Report to the Public Accounts Committee for consideration and report.
The Committee, pursuant to the referral met on Wednesday, 19th August, 2009, and considered the Performance Audit
Report of the Auditor-General on the Management of Ghana Police Residential Accommodation and accordingly reports as follows:
2.0 Acknowledgement
The Committee wishes to express its gratitude and appreciation to the Minister for the Interior, Hon Cletus Avoka, the Inspector-General of Ghana Police Service, Paul Tawia Quaye, and other officers of the Ghana Police Service, for attending upon the Committee to respond to and clarify issues during the consideration of the audit Report.
3.0 Reference Documents
The Committee was guided in its deliberations by the following documents:
i. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana
ii. The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana
iii. The Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584).
4.0 Performance Audit
Performance Audit refers to an examination of a programme, function, operation, management system or procedure of an entity to assess whether the entity is achieving efficiency, economy and effectiveness in the employment of available resources.
Performance audit is focused on assessing whether organizations are doing the right things and in the right way. It also seeks to ensure that MDAs are conducting their operations with a minimum wastage and duplication and are achieving desired results in a more cost- effective way.
Traditionally, the Auditor-General has
been undertaking financial audit. However, in line with current develop-ments within the audit profession, other types of audit including Performance Audit have emerged. In Performance Audit, the Auditor-General identifies a particular activity or programme undertaken by an institution and assesses whether the activity or programme was undertaken in the most economical, efficient and effective manner.
An effective Performance Audit can lead to judicious use of resources by public bodies and bring support to democratic governance by bringing about accountability, transparency, improved operations and better decision-making.
5.0 Background
The Ghana Police Service is responsible for the maintenance of law and order in the country. With personnel strength of 22,610 to 20 million population, and a current police ratio of one police officer to 900 people, the Ghana Police Service falls short of the number of personnel required for an effective policing as recommended by the United Nations.
The Police Administration proposes to increase its personnel strengthen to 40,000 by the year 2010 to achieve the UN standard ratio of one police officer to 500 people. This decision requires a corresponding increase in the provision of adequate, decent and well-maintained residential accommodation to house the personnel. Provision of houses for police officers is part of their condition of service and to facilitate the rallying of police officers in times of emergencies.
Currently, there is overcrowding in existing police barracks because the rate of expansion of police residential accommodation does not commensurate with the rate of recruitment into the Service. This has resulted in inadequate residential accommodation for the police.
Mr. John Tia Akologu (NDC -- Talensi) 1:15 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to second the motion but in doing so, I want to observe, referring to paragraph 9.3, the award of one project to two contractors.
In fact, at the Committee's deliberations this proved a very serious puzzle because we could not imagine how one project had two documents showing that two contractors were working on the same project and we sought to find the answers. Indeed, it took the Police Administration some length of time to be able to come up
with records to show that they were two separate projects.
But indeed, even those records are still doubtful to some of us but they were considered under the situation that we did not have any other evidence to the contrary. But in dealing with the issue on the face of it, it was a real problem that such a situation should have been allowed to arise. So I think that we should admonish the Police Administration to really take a serious look at the department that handles these police projects and really review the situation there for the benefit of the country.
Mr. Speaker, it is also clear that the
way police residential accommodation is being handled is not the best, and we see that police personnel are just quiet about the situation.
Indeed, when you go into it seriously, it has demoralized them so much that they are not putting out their best and most of them are not seeing the benefit of even serving there because they are not given the necessary attention. I think that I want to use this opportunity to call on the sector Minister and his superior officers to take a second look at the conditions of service for the police, particularly regarding accommodation. It motivates them to put out their best, but if a policeman would come back home and he does not even know where to lay his head, it is not the best.
Apart from these few observations, I think that the Report should be accepted and approved by this House. I thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Question proposed.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah (NPP
Mr. Frederick Opare-Ansah 1:15 p.m.
Speaker, I come under Order 48(2). It is over fifteen minutes since I raised the issue of quorum.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
Hon Minority Chief Whip, you raised two points so I asked you which one were you pursuing and you did not get back to me. I asked if you were raising two issues at the same time, I did not know that you were asking for ruling or direction. Are you insisting on raising the issue of quorum?
Mr. Opare-Ansah 1:15 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I
believe I heard you say that I have raised two issues and so you would have to give two rulings and you proceeded to give the first ruling. My thinking had been that since we needed ten minutes for you to be able to give a ruling on the second one, that is precisely what you were doing, but it has been almost twenty minutes.
In fact, the situation has worsened. I thought it was going to improve but it is gone from bad to worse, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
Hon Minority Chief Whip, yes, it is true that you raised the matter, but I did not know that you were actually pressing it, so when I raised the issue I should have mentioned it that we should allow for ten minutes. But when I raised the issue you did not get up, that was why I did not mention the ten minutes. We need ten minutes in our ruling and that is why I want to find out from you whether you are insisting, as the Hon Minority Chief Whip of this House. I want to find out from you whether you are insisting? Very well, you are not, so the Hon Member for Sekondi should continue.
Mr. J. T. Akologu 1:15 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, it
is good that he is not insisting but I think that there was a certain sense of agreement when you indicated that let us take at least the first one from the Public Accounts
Committee. And you had indicated that he made two points or motions and you did not know which one to rule on, but you proceeded to say that we should take the one from there and therefore you gave a time. So please, I think that we should allow the debate on this motion to complete and we would then decide on whether to continue or not.
Mr. Opare-Ansah 1:15 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I
do insist and I take a cue in knowing that when we raise issues on the floor now we actually have to follow it up with insistence. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
Minority Chief Whip, you know that there is no need for insistence when you raise an issue for ruling. But when you made the point and you sat down laughing and I asked you and you made two points at the same time, I thought that I did not get any feedback from you. So let us make progress.
Mr. P. C. Appiah-Ofori 1:15 p.m.
Mr. Speaker,
on a point of order. Mr. Speaker, the issue we are discussing is very, very important and therefore we need a larger house to do it. So I am of the opinion that since we have no quorum, we should call it off and then start again tomorrow.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
Members, the rule is that when a quorum is raised, ten minutes is allowed. I will therefore allow the ten minutes and after the ten minutes, if we look at the situation and it is the same, then we can take a formal decision on the matter. You have made the point now so the Hon Member for Sekondi should continue.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:25 p.m.
Speaker, as I was saying, I commend the Public Accounts Committee for a good work done and also note that probably this is an innovation from the Auditor-General.
We normally have a financial audit and not a performance audit, but the Report also raises important matters of policy.
I know that the practice in this House is for the Auditor-General's Report to be referred to the Public Accounts Committee for consideration and report, but in the case of performance audit, I believe that some of them raised major policy issues. So depending on the circumstance, it may even be necessary for the relevant Committee with oversight responsibility on that particular institution to be part of the audit.
Mr. Speaker, looking through this Report, there are major policy issues that are raised -- the nature of policing, strategies to be used by the police to provide accommodation, and even the third, how the police should go about it. These are important policy issues. Fortunately for this House, the three Hon Members lined up here have had the opportunity to serve as Ministers of the Interior and it would appear as if these matters in respect of which decisions have been made by the previous Government do not seem to be making much progress. We are seeing a repetition. I recall that during our period a policy decision was taken, inviting public sector participation in the provision of police accommodation, because having regard to the needs of the police and the resources at the disposal of the State, it was practically impossible to raise enough funds to provide adequate provision of accommodation for the police.

I recall that one time when an estimate was made of the accommodation needs of the agencies under the Ministry of the Interior, that is the Ghana Police Service,

Ghana National Fire Service, Ghana Immigration Service and Ghana Prisons Service, it was noted that the amount needed was almost equivalent to $500 million.

So it is important that while accepting this Report we let the Hon Minister responsible for the Interior and the Police Council, which is responsible for the governing or administration of the Police, bring before this House a programme of action in respect of meeting the accommodation needs of the Police. It has been a problem over the past 30 years and if they do not have an action plan repeatedly we would be having this problem.

Number two, having regard to the

nature of crime these days, whether barracking of the police these days is the proper approach to adopt toward effective policing, that is also another policy matter. We, and this is something that we need the Police Service Council and the Minister for the Interior to be able to brief this House as to whether or not there is no alternative way towards effective policing in this country.

Three, that we should stop new projects and complete the existing ones. That is also something relevant. So whiles supporting this motion I am urging the House, in respect of the particular recommendations made to ensure that the Select Committee on Defence and Interior follows up on these three matters, let the relevant authorities brief them on it, so that they can report to this House.

Otherwise, as has been the practice for many, many years, these important recommendations would be accepted by this House but the House may not have any means of ensuring that the recommendations are implemented. I therefore urge Hon Members to support this motion and I thank Mr. Speaker for the opportunity.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
Thank you very much, Hon Member for Sekondi.
Mr. A. W. G. Abayateye 1:25 p.m.
A point of order on the statement he made, but and I did not catch your eye.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
Very well. Yes, Hon Member for Garu/Tempane?
Mr. D. A. Azumah (NDC -- Garu/
Tempane): Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak in support of the motion and to add, following what my Hon Colleague, Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah just said that we need to commend the Auditor- General for introducing Performance Audit in the country identifying the Ghana Police Service as a critical government institution, and the accommodation challenges facing them and probing into them and giving us their views on them. I think the Auditor-General did extremely well and he must be commended.
Mr. Speaker, from the brief that the
Committee got from the Ministry it was made clear to us that it is the intention of government to beef up the Police Service to almost 40,000 in 2010 but the issue was accommodation challenges and what can be done about it. Immediately following that, Mr. Speaker, sometime last two weeks, we were privileged to hear His Excellency the Vice President addressing senior personnel of the Police Service at the Police College and he mentioned that almost 200,000 houses were going to be built in the country and a number would be given to the Police Service. I listened to it and I thought that, yes, it was in the right direction and it was attempting to address these challenges that have been identified by the Auditor-General.
But Mr. Speaker, three critical issues came up. The issue of the inability of the Police to pay promptly rent due landowners or landlords when they rent out their accommodation for use by the Police Service. That was a very critical matter and the explanation from the Inspector General of Police was that certainly sometimes inadequate budgetary allocations to the Service created these kinds of challenges.
Again, on the issue of the culture of maintenance of police residential accommodation, Individuals provide the accommodation to assist the Police. They rent it out, and if you were a landlord to give your accommodation to the Police Service, I bet you, ten years down the line if you go back to see that accom-modation you would regret for having rented it out to the Police Service. That was a clear issue that came up.
So while accepting some of these recommendations from the Auditor- General we want to urge the Police Service that while we are hoping to have some support from government to provide accommodation, the few houses they have for now must be properly taken care of. Indeed, a Landlord in Tamale almost ejected them when he insisted that the house he had rented to them just five years was completely run down and I think that it was not the best.
Again, Mr. Speaker, the third issue that came up, was whether we should house the Police at rented quarters or we let them be part of the community. That was the issue that came up and that was a very critical matter. Whiles others agreed that, yes, for the purpose of prompt reaction to emergencies there was the need to put the police together for them to be quick to respond to issues, others thought that we have come of age.
In the developed world, we do not
Mr. Frederick Opare-Ansah 1:25 p.m.
On a
point of order. Mr. Speaker, this is the third time I have had to be on my feet today on this issue of the absence of a quorum. Mr. Speaker, it is exactly 12 minutes since you asked that the bell be rang. I have been monitoring by the clock up there, unless my Hon Colleagues are telling me that, that clock is no longer valid in this Chamber.
Mr. Speaker, as you are very well aware, during the discussions of the Standing Committee on Standing Orders in Koforidua two weeks ago, the import of article 102 was thoroughly discussed as to exactly what we would be doing during that ten minutes when the issue of an illegality has been raised and we continue to indulge in it. Mr. Speaker, it is my contention, once again, that the situation keeps getting worse and it is even worse than the second time when I raised it.
So without further ado, I call on you to implement the force of Order 48(2).
Mr. Akologu 1:35 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, we agree that he has the right in this House to move

Please, it is a plea that I am making to the Hon Minority Chief Whip -- [An Hon Member: That?] -- That the application is not just in respect of what is being discussed, it is in respect of the rest of the business of the House.

So, I am pleading with him to let us just finish this one and then come back to that issue of the quorum.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Yes, Hon
Minority Chief Whip? Mr. Speaker, to refresh the memory of
the Hon Deputy Majority Leader, I would like to quote Order 48(2). It says:
“If at the time of Sitting a Member takes notice of objection that there are present in the House, besides the person presiding, less than one-third of the number of all the Members of Parliament, and after an interval of ten minutes a quorum is not present, the person presiding shall adjourn the House without Question put until the next Sitting day.”
Mr. Speaker, it says “shall” and I do not know where the Hon Deputy Majority Leader found space in this Order to come with his plea. There is no room for plea. It is twelve minutes, as I have indicated
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.

Thank you.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Very well. I think that you have raised the right Standing Order. I do not know, based on my time, I am left with about four minutes. -- [Laughter]-- So, you allow that minutes to expire; then, after four minutes then I would have the House adjourn accordingly in line with your objection.
So, Hon Member, kindly wind up your contribution.
Mr. D. A. Azumah 1:35 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, the issue was about the idea of allowing the police to live with communities. It was the feeling of the Committee that, well, both proposals could be adopted where it is necessary to house police in barracks for quick response to be handled and where it is possible to allow police to live with the community, the Police Administration should consider it.
Mr. Speaker, the Auditor-General invited the Metropolitan/Municipal/ District Assemblies to be actively involved in the provision of police residential accommodation. And this came to the Committee for discussion.
Indeed, we did share the concerns or the sentiments raised by the Auditor- General and we even went further to request the Hon Minister for the Interior who was present that day to take up the matter with Government. Whether it is possible for this House, in approving the formula for the disbursement of the District Assemblies Common Fund and to even increase the percentage of the Fund for now to make room for a certain amount to go to the District Assemblies for them to be able to provide police
residential accommodation in all the 170 districts in the country.
It was a proposal that was put and I hope that this House will consider it favourably. That is the way, because as long as we want to rely on purely budgetary allocation to the Ministry of the Interior, for the provision of police accommodation, it is not going to be this year, it is not going to be next year, it will take us several years before we can achieve results.
Mr. Speaker, the police are faced with challenges including accommodation and the fact that the Auditor-General targeted that issue and raised it, I am inviting my Hon Colleagues all here to try and see how best - in some areas, they even requested Hon Members of the House to see how they can help them in their constituencies or districts for the provision of temporal accommodation to keep them going. I think that it is a matter we can all consider and look at and see where we can support.
On that note, Mr. Speaker, I support the motion and I thank you so much.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Hon Members, I would want to take the last contribution on this matter from the former Hon Minister for the Interior, Hon Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, and then we adjourn the House.
Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang (NPP -- New Juaben North) 1:35 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to add my voice in congra-tulating the Auditor-General for taking this bold step to do a performance audit.
I have always said, that for any smart guy in the Civil Service, financial audit
should never catch you with the pants down. Because they tell you when the auditor is coming and you have to get three receipts -- do this and do that. So, if you are smart, you should not be caught with the pants down.
But what is important, Mr. Speaker, is what the money is used for and the quality of work that we get out of it. That is why the performance audit is much more important to me then even the financial audit. Because as I said, with financial audit, they bring receipt, you bring receipt -- case close. When you go to some places, I know, they say na this receipt for you, na this for oga. But when you give me money and I am supposed to put up a two-bedroom facility and I am able to do it, you see the quality.
In this country, we still rely on the crown agents and some people to do value for money audit for us. We should be developing the capacity within the system to do this for us. We have brilliant engineers, brilliant quantity surveyors, and brilliant architects. Why can we not do this? And that is what has been highlighted in this report. We cannot wait as a people to put up accommodation before we increase the police force.
If you go to India, at every traffic junction, there is a policeman. And here we are told by the United Nations, that it should one to five hundred. But now, we are almost one to one thousand, one to nine hundred and something. So, Mr. Speaker, the issue of accommodation for the police is of prime importance.
Now, we could look at the possibility, like they have in the United Kingdom, of saying that let the police go and rent the accommodation and then we have a
core of them in the barracks. So that in an emergency we can organise them together quickly and the rest will stay in their own premises and come to work as necessary.
Here again, budgetary consideration, we do not have the budget. But when you visit the police accommodation, Mr. Speaker, it is nothing to write home about. It makes you sad. It makes you very sad to see a policeman with the wife and four children all in one room. So it is about time, we as a nation, decided to take some kind of loans or grants to build houses for the police. This initiative, started by some of my Hon Colleagues here whereby police who have prime property could be, sort of, traded in for some funds to build accommodation for them was in the right order.
Again, I would like to lend my voice to what the Hon Member for Sekondi said, that the Committee on Interior and Defence -- fortunately, my good friend, the Ambassador and the Hon Chairman of the Committee is here -- they should be seized with all these facts. Not that we do not know. We know of them but when it is being discussed and if our voice -- I say “our” because I belong to that Committee --then it is well done.
Mr. Speaker, having said that, I would also ask the police to improve upon their culture of maintenance and neatness and the rest. Sometimes you go to some places and the wives are quarrelling over who sweeps where and who does not sweep where, and then the facility is degenerating.
But the only thing that I find and I wanted to ask is about the issue of the award of two contracts which were explained to me as Projects A and B for which GH¢137 million -- I do not know whether it is old cedis, Hon Chairman? [Mr. Albert Kan-Dapaah: Old cedis.] Oh, okay. 137 million old cedis, then it is not too bad -- [Laughter] -- ¢137 million is not even one billion cedis. So it is not too bad. But I read this, because
Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang (NPP -- New Juaben North) 1:45 p.m.
I am in modern times -- people think I am growing old -- but I want to say that I am modern --[Laughter] -- I have been looking at it in Ghana cedis -- ¢137 million, which is about $130 million was quite a bit.

Whatever it is, in that case, I think that they should look at it, but it is not such a big deal. So I would like to congratulate the Chairman of the Committee, his Ranking Members and all for doing a thorough job, but above all, to congratulate the Auditor- General, and to also insist, that the police should look at more innovative ways of finding funds to address the issue of accommodation -- just as we did for the clothing and transportation which is now improving. We must do that. We cannot ask for security and we cannot ask them to let us sleep soundly if we do not also give them place to sleep soundly when they are off-duty.

The police is working under very difficult conditions, facing major challenges, which I believe that we, as lawmakers, should put our voice to it. And Mr. Speaker, I would like to end by recommending to your goodself, with the utmost of humility, that this House conveys the salient points of this debate to the yet-to-be-confirmed Hon Minister for the Interior and to the Executive so that they can see their way clear -- Empowered by Parliament, empowered by a resolution or recommendation of Parliament to make more funds available to the police for accommodation and other logistics.

Mr. Speaker, on this note I support the report and say, well done to the Public Accounts Committee.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
Chairman of the Committee, wind up, while we defer the Vote to tomorrow.
Mr. Kan-Dapaah 1:45 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to use the opportunity to thank
Hon Members for the very constructive comments that they have made. I also want to add my voice to what other Hon Members have said and congratulate the Audit Service for starting the performance audit as part of their day-to-day activities.
I think it is a most useful addition to the financial audits that they have been doing and I think it is appropriate that we conveyed to them our commendation for this new move by the Audit Service.
With this I want to thank Hon. Members for the comments made.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
Thank you very much. As I said earlier on the vote on the motion, the Question would be put tomorrow. But Hon Member for New Juaben North, Mr. Hackman Owusu- Agyemang said that I should make some order. Once the vote has not been taken, I do not know whether I have the capacity to make that order. That is the difficulty I have now. But I would convey this to whoever would be presiding at the time when the vote is taken.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 1:45 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I used the wrong expression. Not order, but at least, convey our sentiments -- [Interruption.]
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
Normally, it is done after the motion is carried.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 1:45 p.m.
Tomorrow, then?
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
Absolutely, the Chair would take note and whoever would be presiding tomorrow at the time when the vote is taken, I would confer the sense of the House to the Chair.
Hon Members, thank very much. Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr. Akologu 1:45 p.m.
There is a motion on the floor, it is for you to -- [Interruption.]
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
Which motion?
Mr. Akologu 1:45 p.m.
About the quorum. We just pleaded with him for this thing to be -- [Interruption.]
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
Oh, I think that the effect is the same, the value is the same. Kindly move for adjournment.
Mr. Akologu 1:45 p.m.
You see, he is not disposed to that.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
No, he is disposed, he has agreed to -- He says you should move the motion. [Interruptions.] Hon Deputy Majority Leader, I saw you shaking your head. [Laughter.]
Mr. Ambrose Dery 1:45 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think that there is no need for a motion; so just adjourn till tomorrow without Question.

  • The House was adjourned at 1.50 p.m. till 3rd January, 2010 at 10.00 a.m.