Debates of 26 May 2010

PRAYERS 10:55 a.m.

Madam Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Members, I have received communication from His Excellency the President. If I may read:
“10th May, 2010
Rt Hon Speaker,
Appointment of Administrator
District Assemblies Commond Fund
I have, in consultation with the Council of State, nominated Mr. David Adom for appointment as Administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund.
Pursuant to section 3 of the District Assemblies Common Fund Act 1993
Madam Speaker 10:55 a.m.

(Act 455) and article 252 (4) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, I hereby wish to seek the approval of Parliament for confirmation of the appointment.

Please accept the assurances of my best regards.


OF GHANA 10:55 a.m.



Madam Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Members, let
me welcome you to the Second Meeting of the Second Session of the Fifth Parliament of the Fourth Republic. It is certainly known that Hon Members did not have the opportunity to rest and invigorate themselves from the pressures of the Special Meeting and other engagements during the short recess. Those of you who were lucky enough to be in your constituencies, certainly, were busy with constituency surgeries and other important matters pertaining to the well-being and happiness of your constituents. Some of
you who were called to perform official duties for the House during the recess were also very busy and did not have much rest. But be that as it may, that is all about the call to national service and sacrifices associated with it.
I thank the Almighty God for seeing to your well-being while away and bringing you all safely to the House this morning. It is my prayer the Almighty God will continue to look upon us with favour and extend divine mercies during the course of this Meeting and the period thereafter.
The present Meeting may be short but the quite packed with legislative business. I hope Hon Members will continue to give the Chair maximum cooperation and improve upon their attendance to the business of the House. Hon Members are expected to go the extra mile so that the House completes its business on time and without much difficulty to any of us.
I also appeal to Ministries, Depart- ments and Agencies (MDAs) to respect the timetable of the House and submit businesses of theirs that require parliamentary approval or consideration on time. For prompt and satisfactory work to be done, we require the co-operation of all stakeholders including, of course, Hon Members.
Hopefully, the House will see some improvement in its long quest for decent office accommodation for Leadership and staff of the Parliamentary Service during the course of the Meeting. I do not intend to take the sail out of the wind now but will allow events to unfold in due course.
Let me also inform Hon Members that the Chamber Block is being re-roofed. Hon Members may have seen some scaffolding round parts of the building.I
1 2
assure them of their safety. Plenary Sittings of the House will continue to take place here in the Chamber without much disturbance.
However, in the unlikely event of any technical hitch, an alternative plan would be made known to you. My appeal to those concerned with the work, is to proceed speedily and do a good job and complete it on time.
It is my expectation that Hon Members are poised for a hectic Meeting, knowing well that much is expected of them.
On this note, I once again welcome Hon Members to the House and wish them an enjoyable and fruitful working Meeting.
Thank you.

Madam Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Members, I have the pleasure to introduce to you, a nine-member delegation from the Committee on Sports, Youth and Child Affairs of the Zambian Parliament, who are on a four-day study visit to the country and our Parliament.
The purpose of the visit is to afford the delegation the opportunity to learn at firsthand the strides we are making in our football administration and to also share in our parliamentary best practices.
The delegation comprises the follow- ing:
Hon L. J. Ngoma -- Chairman of the Committee
Hon Dr. B. E. Chishya
Madam Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Let us correct the relevant page.
Mr Abongo 10:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, on page 4, where we have “Hon Members who were absent” and number two on the list, I have been captured among those Hon Members. But I was, indeed, in the Chamber, Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker 10:55 a.m.
You were there but your name is not on page 4, is that what you are saying?
Mr Abongo 10:55 a.m.
I am sorry, Madam Speaker. I am referring to page 6, item 4.
Madam Speaker 10:55 a.m.
All right. And your name is what?
Mr Abongo 10:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, my name is “Abongo, Albert”, Hon Member of Parliament (MP) for Bongo.
Madam Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Thank you.
Hon Members , the Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 7th May, 2010 as corrected, is adopted as the true record of proceedings.
Hon Members, shall we now move on to the Correction of the Official Report of Thursday 5th May, 2010.
Any corrections?
Dr A. A. Osei 10:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, unless I am mistaken, I do not think Hon Members have copies of that with them today. Maybe, it was given to us before we left -- so I doubt if anybody has it.
Madam Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Then we cannot correct it today. And you do not have the Official Report for 7th May, I suppose? We will correct it when you have it.
Hon Members, we move on to item
4 --
Mr William O. Boafo 10:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, there is something of public importance, national interest and I would need Madam Speaker's direction.
Madam Speaker, we have read in the Papers and we have heard on the radio stations, that as of now, there are about 3,500 Ghanaians who are refugees in Togo. Madam Speaker, there are conflicting reports on this issue, even as to the number of Ghanaians who are refugees in Togo now. There are also conflicting reports whether they are communal conflict refugees, political refugees or economic refugees.
Madam Speaker, it is, therefore, important, and I seek your direction, that the Hon Minister for the Interior should be invited to this House to address the House for Ghanaians to know the actual facts regarding this situation and the steps which the Government is taking in this direction and provide us, as the representatives of the people, a forum to make an input to assist the Government.
Madam Speaker, I would need your direction and my invitation is that you equally extend an invitation to the Hon Minister for the Interior to address this House tomorrow because of the urgency.
Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Thank you, Hon Member.
Majority Leader, any reaction?
Mr Cletus A. Avoka 11:15 a.m.
Madam Speaker, in fairness to the Hon Member, Leadership of this House has discussed this issue this morning and we have agreed among ourselves that before we rise this
Official Report
Madam Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Members, now we move to Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 7th May, 2010.
Pages 1- 14 --
Prof. (Emeritus) S. K. Amoako 11:15 a.m.
Madam Speaker, page 14, item 26, second paragraph, it reads:
“Madam Speaker also extended her compliments to the Clerk, Staff of the Parliamentary Service and the Press Corps . . .”
Two words are missing there; it reads “. . . Press Corps House . . .” I think it should be “. . . Press Corps of the House . . .”
Madam Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Thank you.
Any other corrections on page 14?
Page 15 --
Dr A. A. Osei 11:15 a.m.
Madam Speaker, at one time, on page 8, a certain reference is made to “Dr Akoto Osei”, and on page 9,
reference is made to “Dr Anthony Akoto Osei.” I was just wondering if it was the same person.
Madam Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Is it? [Laughter.]
Dr A. A. Osei 11:15 a.m.
Madam Speaker, if it is meant to be the same person, then it should be properly captured as “Dr Anthony Akoto Osei” so that the same rendition will make it more appropriate.
Madam Speaker 11:15 a.m.
So we pu t “Anthony” in page 8?
Dr A. A. Osei 11:15 a.m.
Yes, Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker 11:15 a.m.
All right. Any other corrections?
Mr Albert Abongo 11:15 a.m.
Madam Speaker, on the Special Sitting day, I have been captured as being absent. I was, indeed, in the Chamber that day.
Mr Albert Abongo 11:15 a.m.

morning, we will respectfully invite the Hon Minister for the Interior to make a Statement in this House either tomorrow or next tomorrow. This will be done before we close the week.

I was mandated to talk to the Hon Minister before Sitting. But as soon as I left Madam Speaker's Office, we came in here and I have not been able to contact him to find out which day is suitable to him.

So, the Hon Member's concern is

well founded. Many other Hon Members have this concern. In fact, the issue was raised this morning by the Hon Deputy Minority Leader and we discussed it exhaustively and we have agreed to invite the Hon Minister for the Interior to make a Statement and to clarify the issues whether it is true or not, how many Ghanaians are involved and what really happened.

So, Madam Speaker, the matter is on course and before the close of the day, I would indicate to the House when the Hon Minister will be available to make the Statement; either tomorrow or Friday.

Thank you.
Madam Speaker 11:15 a.m.
I thank you, Hon Leader. I think that is the best course of action. So, between tomorrow and Friday, if you can tell us when the Hon Minister will come, we will make room for him to make a Statement.
Now, we move to item 4 -- At the Commencement of Public Business. We have Presentation and First Reading of Bills.
Criminal Offences (Amendments) Bill, 2010

An Act to amend the Criminal Offences Act, 1960, Act 29, to include a new offence of enforced disappearance.

Presented by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice. Read the First time; referred to the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

Education (Amendment) Bill, 2010

An Act to amend the Education Act 2008, Act 778, to review the duration of the senior high school from four to three years.

Presented by the Minister for Education. Read the First time; referred to the Committee on Education.

Students Loan Trust Fund Bill, 2010

An Act to establish a Fund to provide financial resources for the benefit of students of tertiary institutions to promote and facilitate the national ideals enshrined in articles 28 and 38 of the 1992 Constitution and for elated matters.

Presented by the Minister for Education. Read the First time; referred to the Committee on Education.
Madam Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Now, item 5 -- Laying of Papers -- Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr David T. Assumeng 11:15 a.m.
Madam Speaker, the Report is not ready. We want to meet after this Sitting to fine-tune it and lay it tomorrow.
Madam Speaker 11:15 a.m.
All right, Hon Majority Leader, the Report is not ready, so tomorrow -- item 5.
Mr Avoka 11:15 a.m.
Yes, it will be ready
Madam Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader, any matters before we adjourn? [Pause.]
Mr Cletus A. Avoka 11:15 a.m.
Madam Speaker, you can see from the Order Paper that there is a lot of unfinished business pending before the various committees for deliberation. I want to appeal to the Hon Chairmen, Hon Ranking Members and Hon Members on various committees to try to expedite action with respect of matters that are pending before them. That is the only way we can be busy in this House.
So, Madam Speaker, in view of the
fact that we have scheduled various committees to meet and deliberate on issues, I beg to move, that we adjourn till tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.
Mr Ambrose P. Dery 11:15 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I beg to second the motion.
Question put and motion agreed to.
ADJOURNMENT 11:15 a.m.