Madam Speaker, I just want to observe that today is a family reunion day, in the sense that we are reconvening Parliament to do business. So I believe that today is a happy day and ceremonial speeches should not touch on controversy that would invoke debate. I think that is the principle of today's intervention by the Leadership of this House. [Hear! Hear!]
Madam Speaker, having said so, I want
to join my Colleague, the Hon Minority Leader in welcoming Madam Speaker and Hon Members, the Clerk and staff and our dedicated press and media men and women to the august House.
Madam Speaker, we thank the good Lord for bringing all of us safely back to this august House without any casualty. We are grateful to the Lord.
Madam Speaker, even though we were on break for about two to three months, I wish to put on record that many Members either on their own or with regard to their committee work, were busily engaged in the work of this august House during the break. I am aware of many committees touring the various regions of this country to sensitise stakeholders and the populace about certain matters that are before this House.
They sacrificed their time, energy and constituency work to be able to do this for mother Ghana. Some Members even had to travel outside the country at very short notice to be able to undertake responsibilities for and on behalf of this august House. To all Hon Members who have been involved in these tasks during the break, we are grateful to you all.
Madam Speaker, l e t me a l so congratulate you for being sworn-in as the first woman acting President of the Republic of Ghana on 1st October, 2010. [Hear! Hear!] No matter how short the period was, it was eventful, it was symbolic and you did your duty to the best for mother Ghana and more particularly, for Members of this august House.
Madam Speaker, this is going to be a short period between today and when we rise sometime in December, the 17th December. Maybe, if we have to extend
beyond that, it might not be more than two, three days before we rise. So, Hon Colleagues, we have a big schedule; we have a big task ahead of us; we have a large volume of work ahead of us but we have very little time.
This period calls for co-operation from all of us; a call for dedicated service to this country and a call for partriotism and commitment in our work. I want to appeal to Hon Members that we should be up to the task, like we have been in the past or before and that by the time that we rise in December, everybody in Ghana would know that yes, this is the Parliament of the people and for the people.
Madam Speaker, if I may recount some few events that we have before us, some important matters that we have before us, they include: one, Bills already presented to the House and pending at the committee level. There are twelve (12) Bills that are pending before the House now and the most important ones include the Freedom of Information Bill, the Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill, Petroleum Revenue Management Bill, just to name a few. They are very, very important matters that are pending before us.
There are thirty-six (36) Bills that are ready for presentation to this august House during the period. There are thirty-three (33) Instruments that are to be laid before this House for consideration. Other Papers and Reports to be laid are about thirty- eight (38) during the period. There would be seven hundred (700) plus Questions - over seven hundred Questions that Hon Members have asked of Hon Ministers to be answered before this august House. Out of that, ten (10) of them are Urgent Questions for Hon Ministers to answer.