Debates of 22 Oct 2010


Mr First Deputy Speaker
of Votes and Proceedings of Thursday 21st October, 2010.
Page 1 . . . 7 -
Mr Joseph B. Aidoo
Mr Speaker,
item 10, Adjournment, “twenty-eight minute” should read, “twenty-eight minutes”.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
page are you referring to?
Mr J. B. Aidoo
Page 7. There is a
typographical error -- “minute” should be ‘minutes';
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Very well.
Page 8, 9 -- [Pause.] Hon Members , the Votes and
Proceedings of Thursday, 21st October, 2010 as corrected, be adopted as a true record of proceedings.
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Official Report of Thursday, 21st October, 2010.

Hon Members, in the absence of any correction, the Official Report of Thursday, 21st October, 2010 is hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.

Mr Speaker, the Committee accordingly submits its Report as follows
Arrangement of Business
Mr Speaker, the Committee has programmed the following Ministers to answer Questions asked of them during the week:
No. of
i. Minister for the Interior -- 5
ii. Minister for Roads and Highways -- 5
iii. Minister for Energy -- 6
iv. Minister for Education -- 5
Total Number of Questions -- 21
Mr Speaker, in all, four Ministers are expected to attend upon the House to respond
to twenty-one (21) Questions during the week. The questions are of the following types:
i. Urgent - 7
ii. Oral - 14
Mr Speaker may allow Statements duly admitted to be made in the House.
Bills, Papers and Reports
Mr Speaker, Bills may be presented to the House for consideration and those already before the House may be taken through the various stages. Papers and committee reports may also be laid.
Motions and Resolutions
Mr Speaker, Motions may be debated and their consequential Resolutions, if any, taken during the week.
Mr Speaker, the Business Committee urges committees with referrals to expedite work on them and submit their reports for consideration by the House.
This arrangement will enable the House to complete business programmed for the Meeting.
Mr Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 160 (2), the Committee submits to this Honourable House, the business of each Sitting of the week and the order in which it shall be taken during the week. Tuesday, 26th October 2010
Urgent Question --
Mr Samuel Kwaku Obodai (Agona West)
To ask the Minister for the Interior how the disaster caused by the flooding in the Agona West District is being managed.
Questions --
*518. Mr Ben Abdallah Banda (Offinso South): To ask the Minister for the Interior what steps the Ministry is taking to deal with the accommodation problem faced by the police personnel in the Offinso South Municipality.
*519. Ms Grace Addo (Amansie West): To ask the Minister for the Interior when the Amansie West Constituency in the Ashanti Region will be provided with a fire station.
*520. Mr Augustine Collins Ntim (Offinso North): To ask the Minister for the Interior what measures are being put in place by the Ministry to provide Asuosu and Afrancho communities in the Offinso North District with police stations.
*521. Mr Alfred Kwame Agbesi (Ashaiman): To ask the Minister for the Interior what immediate practical measures the Ministry has put in place to avoid the recurrence of death in the over crowded Ashaiman District Police cell which was constructed to accommodate not more than twelve (12) inmates at a time.
Consideration Stage of Bills --
Mr Samuel Kwaku Obodai (Agona West)

Students Loan Trust Fund Bill,


Committee Sittings.

Urgent Questions --
Mr Samuel Kwaku Obodai (Agona West)
To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the broken-down bridges that have disconnected the communities in the Swedru town, making vehicular movement across the town impossible, will be reconstructed.
Mr Ahmed Ibrahim (Tain)
To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways what measures are being taken to repair/replace the three bridges on the River Nyimpini in the Tain District, which have made it impossible to enter or travel out from Tain.
Mr Ahmed Ibrahim (Tain)
To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the bridge on River Nyimpini, the only bridge linking Tain District to Wenchi, will be repaired or replaced.
Mr Hennric David Yeboah (Afigya Sekyere East)
To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways whether the Ministry is aware that sections of the trunk road within the Mampong Scarp are generally caving in, and what plans are being put in place to ensure uninterrupted flow of traffic in case of such road blockage.
Mr George Kofi Arthur (Amenfi Central)
To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the Ankwawso bridge linking the
western north to the western south, which is at the verge of collapse will be rehabilitated.
Consideration Stage of Bills --
Students Loan Trust Fund Bill,
Committee Sittings.

Urgent Question --
Mr Ahmed Ibrahim (Tain)
To ask the Minister for Energy what measures have been instituted to control the black fly nuisance which is threatening the smooth implementa t ion o f the Bui Hydroelectric Project.
Questions --
*612. Mr George Kofi Arthur (Amenfi Central): To ask the Minister for Energy when the following communities will be connected to the national electricity grid:
(i) Koofiekrom
(ii) Nkwantanan
(iii) Bethlehem
(iv) Asarekrom
(v) Takyikrom
(vi) Fantekrom.
*648. Mr George Kofi Arthur (Amenfi Central): To ask the Minister for Energy when the following communities will be
connected to the national electricity grid:
(i) Agona Camp
(ii) Kyenkyen Nkwanta
(iii) Nuamakrom
(iv) Nyinahin
(v) Nsuta
(vi) Bredi
*701. Mr Ahmed Ibrahim (Tain): To ask the Minister for Energy what strategy is being used to sustain normal levels of hydroelectric power production in 2011 and 2012 from the Akosombo and Kpong stations when the Black Volta is dammed up to build the Bui reservoir.
*702. Mr Kobina T. Hammond (Adansi-Asokwa): To ask the Minister for Energy whether the Petroleum Agreement between the Government of Ghana and GNPC and AKER ASA has been abrogated and if so, the basis of the abrogation.
*703. Mr Kobina T. Hammond (Adansi-Asokwa): To ask the Minister for Energy whether GNPC has reached an agreement with KOSMOS Energy Ghana Ltd. on the disposal or sale of KOSMOS Energy's stake in the Jubilee Field.
Committee Sittings. Friday, 29th October, 2010
Questions --
*575. Mr Augustine Collins Ntim (Offinso North): To ask the Minister for Education when the Ministry will absorb Nkenkaasu Community Senior High School into the public school system.
*576. Mr John Agyabeng (Agona East): To ask the Minister for Education what is being done to provide adequate infrastructure for senior high schools in the country.
*577. Mr Asamoah Ofosu (Kade): To ask the Minister for Education what steps the Ministry is taking to provide Kade Senior High School with classrooms to enable them admit new students to first year of senior high school next academic year.
*578. Mr Asamoah Ofosu (Kade): To ask the Minister for Education why the contract to construct classroom blocks for Atobriso L/A School and Pramkuma L/A Junior High School in the Kwaebibirem District was stopped and when it will commence.
*579. Mr Stephen Yakubu (Binduri): To ask the Minister for Education the detail plans when Binduri will be given a senior high school.
Motion --
Third Reading of Bills
Students Loan Trust Fund Bill,
Committee Sittings.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Members, any comment on the Business
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Statement as presented?
Mr Albert K. Zigah
Mr Speaker, I
believe that Questions filed in this august House are not only in the interest of the Hon Members but also in the majority interest of the people that we represent.
Mr Speaker, I filed an Urgent Question well over six months ago. The Question was on AflaoDenu trunk road. That particular road is not a town road, it is a highway, and also a segment of the trans- ECOWAS trunk road and as of now, there is no indication. May I please, seek your indulgence for any direction.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Pelpuo 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, Questions appear on the Order Paper when they are duly admitted by Madam Speaker and it is regrettable that some Questions which were labelled “urgent” have not appeared. Perhaps, there is some irregularity somewhere and we would try to investigate it. He should kindly re-present it if he thinks it is still relevant so that we would ensure that it gets to the table of Madam Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:20 a.m.
There is a difficulty here but - The process of Questions involve a number of officials of this House - from the Table Office to the Hon Speaker, then to the Business Committee and at times we may have to be sure whether the Question has been processed and submitted to the Business Committee or not. So -
Mr Ambrose P. Dery 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think that when you do submit a Question as urgent, it is left to the discretion of the Hon Speaker to admit it either as urgent or otherwise. So the issue is whether it has been admitted by the Hon Speaker and if she has admitted it as urgent. Be that as it may, the important thing is that it has
not come to the Business Committee and probably, the Deputy Majority Leader should ask the Hon Member to follow up to see the status of the Question and then we can deal with it appropriately when it does come up to the Business Committee.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Very well.
Yes, Hon Member for Nkoranza North
- 10:20 a.m.

Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon Members, I think your concerns are legitimate but it will also be too much to put this burden on the Business Committee. As I indicated earlier, a lot of people are involved in the whole process. So we may even have to find out whether the Question has been admitted by Madam Speaker. So, what we would do is that we will try - I have directed the Table Office to follow up and verify the status of those Questions and inform the Hon Members affected accordingly.
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, as has already been indicated, I think the admissibility of Questions is the sole preserve of Madam Speaker. That is the first thing whether or not the Urgent Question has been admitted.
Second, as has been well articulated by the Hon Deputy Minority Leader, an Urgent Question which is admitted may be downgraded to an ordinary Question.
That is also something that must be taken into consideration.
Third, my Hon Colleague has said that this particular Question was filed over six months ago, which may mean that, perhaps, he filed the Question in the First Meeting of this Session. And that being the case, because the significance of some Questions are lost with the passage of time, normally, we advise that Questions that cannot be answered and if a person still has an interest to pursue it, then he will so indicate through his Leadership that the Question should still be in the system.
So, if my Hon Colleague has not done so and is still interested, should work through his Leadership to reinstate the Question and I believe that the Question would be answered.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of the consideration of Business Statement and therefore, the Business Statement is accordingly adopted for the Second Week, ending Friday, 29th October, 2010.
Hon Members, we have admitted one Statement in the form of a tribute to one of our departed Colleagues, a former Hon Member for Ho West.
STATEMENTS 10:20 a.m.

Mr Emmanuel K. Bedzrah (NDC - Ho West) 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to pay tribute to the former Member of Parliament for the Ho West Constituency in the First Parliament of the Fourth Republic.
Mr Speaker, I heard of the sudden death of Hon Lt-Col. Dalibianu Kofi Ebenezer Anku-Tsede (retd) from the family on 22nd August, 2010 at the 37 Military Hospital after a short illness.
As we celebrate the life of a man who passed through the length and breadth of this earth, fulfilling his divine purpose, permit me Mr Speaker, to quote from Psalm 9010
“Seventy is the sum of our years or eighty if we are strong and most of them are fruitless toil for they pass quickly and we drift away.”
Mr Speaker, at age 78, Hon Lt- Col. Dalibianu Kofi Ebenezer Anku-Tsede (retd) has passed the biblical age limit and has fully paid his dues to Ghana his motherland, the people of Ho West Constituency and to the chiefs and people of Avatime Traditional Area.
In the year 1993, Mr Speaker, Hon Lt- Col. Dalibianu Anku-Tsede (retd) was elected Member of Parliament for the Ho West Constituency on the ticket of National Democratic Congress (NDC), when this country returned to a constitutional rule.
He discharged his duty faithfully, first of all, as the representative of his people and as the first Chairman of Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence and Interior in the First Parliament of the Fourth Republic. Those were the days when others thought that Ghana's democratic journey will not run its full term after nearly 12 years of military rule.
Mr Speaker, during his term of office as a Member of Parliament, Members of Parliament did not have means of transport to move from their duty post in Accra to their various constituencies to transact their constitutionally mandated business. Neither did they have comfortable
Mr Emmanuel K. Bedzrah (NDC - Ho West) 10:20 a.m.

permanent debating Chamber, working tools, formal training in legislative worm, nor a mentor to look up to for direction in difficult situations.

It was indeed, trying moments for all Members of Parliament at that time, but Hon Anku-Tsede (retd) played his part for the success of the First Parliament of the Fourth Republic to run its full Session. A foundation he and others laid for us to continue today.

Mr Speaker, I stand here today on behalf of the chiefs and people of Ho West Constituency to salute him for making us proud in those trying moments. Yes, even though he did not make it in the subsequent elections as a Member of Parliament, the then Government led by H.E. Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings rewarded him as Ghana's High Commissioner to the Republic of Sierra Leone. We will dearly miss you, Hon Lt Col Dalibianu Anku- Tsede (retd).

You have contributed your quota in building democracy in Ghana. You have paid your dues to your constituency and you have made the people of Avatime proud.

Hede nyui na dzidzo le nutifafa me, To Woaga mo ... ... Amen.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon Member for Ho West, if you speak any other language apart from English Language, you must translate it to us. So, what are those Ewe words?
Mr Bedzrah 10:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am from
Ho West Constituency and we speak a dialect called Ewe; “Hede nyui” means ‘sleep well”.
Mr Alfred Kwame Agbesi (NDC
- Ashaiman): Mr Speaker, I rise to contribute to the tribute that has been paid
Mr Bedzrah 10:30 a.m.

Mr Speaker, as a Member of Parliament, he served his constituency and though he was not re-elected, he did what was expected of him as a representative of the people in that constituency.

Just after leaving Parliament, Mr Speaker, apart from becoming an Ambassador, not much was heard of him. But people from the constituency knew him and knew his contribution to the constituency after he ceased to be a Member of Parliament.

Mr Speaker, most of the time, people who served in public offices were soon forgotten but the late Lt Col Anku-Tsede (retd) lived with his people, contributed to the development of his constituency after ceasing to be a Member of Parliament.

Mr Speaker, we can do nothing apart from paying due respect to his arduous work that he did on this earth.

Mr Speaker, as an Ambassador, he represented this country and did what an Ambassador would do.

Mr Speaker, even though he has left us, I want to say, his work on this earth, his dues that he paid to Ghana and his constituency, will never be forgotten. We wish that he lived to impart more knowledge to we the young ones, particularly, we the current Members of Parliament and those who are craving to be in future. We have lost a great deal;

we only say that the Lord keeps him and that his footsteps that he left behind will never be forgotten.

May you rest in peace. As my brother has said, “Hede nyui na dzidzo”, fare the well.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Gershon K. B. Gbediame (NDC

-- Nkwanta): Mr Speaker, I also rise to join the people of Ho West in particular and Members of Parliament from the Volta Region to also express my deep condolence to the bereaved family of the late Lt-Col. Anku-Tsede (retd).

It is true that in this Parliament, about

five or so Members would have had the opportunity of working with him as a Member of Parliament, being that, he was a Member of Parliamenht during the First Parliament. And we have about five Members who are ‘fifth timers'. It is, therefore, not surprising that many of us here know very little about him, especially, when he was playing his role as a Member of Parliament. But be as it may -
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:30 a.m.
If you add
two returnees, the figure goes to seven.
Mr Gbediame 10:30 a.m.
So seven Members.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
One thing that is important is that, it is a great honour to actually serve your nation in the capacity of a Member of Parliament.
Mr Speaker, we all know the risks that are involved in our ups and downs, running between Parliament and our various constituencies. Mr Speaker, if I am not mistaking, three of our Hon Colleagues lost their lives in performing their duties as Members of Parliament, that is, lost their lives in accidents. I can remember the late John Achiluwor; I can remember the late Acheampong and some few others that I cannot easily recall.
The point I am making is that, the
task of a Member of Parliament is very daunting, especially -- if you really want to play your role effectively in the constituency, you have to be running up and down with its associated risks. Therefore, for somebody to have served a four-year term successfully, that person needs commendation.
However, Mr Speaker, I want to make
a point on the need actually to empower the Association of former Members of Parliament.
Mr Speaker, we all know the amount of courses, workshops and experiences that we are exposed to. So that having finished your term as a Member of Parliament, you have acquired a world of knowledge which should not be allowed to go waste. Therefore, I wish that the Association of former Members of Parliament can be strengthened to serve as a very strong body for consultation on various issues and I think even the Government in power can always also fall on them, one time or the other, to contribute to certain issues as far as the development of this nation is concerned.
Mr Speaker, finally, I think it is worthy that some form of package would be instituted so that as a former Member of Parliament, it is not only when you are a current or Sitting Member of Parliament that when you pass away, Parliament will play a very, very active role.
During this recess, I had the opportunity of being in Vienna, Austria and during an interaction with some Members of Parliament there, I got to know that their system is such that, if you are able to serve two successful terms, you will retire on your salary and throughout your life time, you will be paid something for having served your nation in that capacity.
Though I may not immediately suggest that we should retire on our salary, I think that some system must be put in place so that even after you have left Parliament, some recognition is given to you and to honour you for the service that you have also rendered to your constituents and to
Papa Owusu-Ankomah (NPP - Sekondi) 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, unfortunately, most of us, particularly those on this side of the House, never had the opportunity to work with the late Member of Parliament for Ho West. So certainly, in terms of the paying of tribute, if we do not hear from Members on this side, that is the reason.
However, the late Hon Member represents a certain group who pioneered the Fourth Parliament, and of course, the election that brought them into this House was not as competitive as it is today, neither did the process leading to their being selected as candidates by their parties that competitive. They came into this House and suffered a lot of indignities because I understand they were housed like students. They did not have vehicles; they came to the House in buses. I am sure almost all of us would wonder how they were able to do their job.
They had a fairly inexperienced parliamentary staff and of course, the influence of the Executive at that time was overwhelming. But they persevered. If we are here today, I believe that we can say that it is due to their tenacity that Parliament as an institution has survived over the years.
But now that we are paying tribute to a departed Member, it should also remind us that at one time or the other, we will also pass away. And as he was a former Member of Parliament, all of us are potential former Members of Parliament.
But it is important that we remember that in this life, the only thing that
you would be remembered for, is the legacy that you leave. So, as Members of Parliament, collectively, we should resolve that in everything that we do, we are promoting the institution and strengthening the institution. It is very important so that at any one time, when you look back, you can say that yes, we have left Parliament a better place than we came to meet it. Strengthening the institution does not necessarily mean strengthening or empowering the individuals who are within the institutions.
Individuals may pass away; institutions will survive. The impact of an individual on an institution after he has passed through the institution is what is important. And so for us also as Ghanaians, we should always bear in mind that each of us is special and has something positive to contribute to the development of this country.
On this note, I also wish to pay tribute -- tribute of last respect to the late Lt- Col. Anku-Tsede (retd). I personally have not known him but I have heard his name.
And not only was he a Member of Parliament, in his previous life, he was an Army Officer and he later became an Ambassador. Let us all hope that when we leave Parliament, we would have something to do.
Having said this, I have also noted that there is an advertisement by the Forum for Former Members of Parliament of which we are potential members, which seeks to organise a seminar to adequately equip Hon Members with the necessary tools and skills to plan for their retirement. I recommend this programme to all of us and I also appeal to Leadership to take up this matter because the state of some of our Colleagues is very bad.
The fact is that, if you work within
the Public Service, after you come to Parliament, and you go back, they look upon you with suspicion. Sometimes even in your social interaction, people consider you to be too big and your responsibilities as a Member of Parliament may never cease because people see you as a leader in your community.
So it is important that we equip ourselves because as I always say, seeking to hold an elective political position is always an application for trouble.
Mr Dominic A. Azumah (NDC - Garu/Tempane) 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to contribute to the Statement made by my Colleague.
Mr Speaker, I was privileged to be a Colleague of the late Lt-Col. Hon Anku- Tsede (retd) between 1993 and 1997, and I remember vividly his contribution to the Committee on Defence when he was a member of that select committee in the first Parliament.
Tsede (retd) was that kind of person, so humble, gentle and articulate when he was in this House
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon Members, we are paying tribute to a departed Colleague. The background noise is unbecoming.
Mr Azumah 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, at a point in the first Parliament, when we had just transited from the military rule into constitutional rule, the late Lt-Col. Anku-Tsede (retd) was the one who tried to explain to us in this House how the military could be orientated to accept democracy as the guiding principle for the rule of this country.
He, indeed, played a major role anytime there was a budget hearing, especially, when we invited the Defence
team to come and brief us on issues. He played a very major role.
Indeed, the last time I met the late Lt- Col. Anku-Tsede (retd) was somewhere in 2007 after a long period. And to a point, I was satisfied with the way I saw him because he was one of the lot who left Parliament and I could see that he was still himself.
It is a pity when you see our Colleagues who leave this House, after a few years, the state in which you will find them, you will not be very happy. He was one man who managed himself effectively and I thought that we could learn from him.
This calls to mind, Mr Speaker, that the State and for that matter, the system must do something about Members who leave this House. We are not calling for too much for them, but there must be a system to maintain these people as they transit. Because they come here to serve the nation, give their best and leave; we should not be seen to be beggars on the streets, that is not too good for the country.
So we must emulate examples of other countries on how they have handled former Members of Parliament after they have left the system. This applies to all of us Sitting here.
Indeed, he is gone; his good deeds are there and we pray that the good Almighty Lord would accept him in His bosom and may he rest in peace.
Mr Kwajo T. Likpalimor (NDC -- Kpandai ) 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I got to know Lt-Col. Anku-Tsede (retd) when we were sworn-in in 1993. He was one of the first persons that I got in contact with. And Mr Speaker, we had just transited from the military regime and that time, we had only Hon J. H. Owusu-Acheampong who had some parliamentary life before. So, we were all looking to people like -
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:40 a.m.
There were two people who had parliamentary life. Apart from J. H. Owusu-Acheampong,
Mr Likpalimor 10:50 a.m.
Thank you very much for the information.
So, Lt-Col. Anku Tsede (retd) was one of the people that tried to explain to us - because coming from the military to civilian rule, we had very bad misconceptions about the military. So, he tried as much as possible, when he was made the Chairman of the Committee of Defence and Interior, to explain to us some of the things that the military were doing and some of the things that we thought were not in the right direction.
Mr Speaker, it was upon some of these things and an improvement of these explanations that led to us today having a very stable Parliament and now, we have Open Days for the military and now, everybody thinks that our democracy is running very smoothly.
Mr Speaker, Lt Col Anku Tsede (retd) also contributed so much to Parliament. He contributed in debates and as much as possible, tried to encourage us - at that time, those of us who were very young -- to take our parliamentary duties very seriously and encourage us to “die” a little for our country. He did a lot.
Those days, as you know, we did not have means of transport; we did not have anything to go to our constituencies. He encouraged us to work hard and I can say that we have learnt a lot from people like Lt Col Anku Tsede(retd) and that has contributed a lot to some of us being in Parliament up to this time. I can say that Mr Speaker, your honourable self is not out of the lessons that Lt Col Anku Tsede (retd) gave us.
Now, he is gone but I want to suggest

that -- Lt-Col. Anku Tsede (retd) was a professional. He was an architect. We have a lot of Members of Parliament, people who have come as professionals and when they leave here, they do not get any job to do. If it is possible, we must get people like the professionals, we encourage them to set up companies or whatever, we can do to encourage them so that when they go out - they have learnt a lot in Parliament. Some of the things that we need, we can easily fall on them and that can help us run our institutions very smoothly.

Lt- Col. Anku Tsede (retd) is gone. We can only say that may the good Lord give him a good resting place.

To the people of Ho West, a big tree has fallen and we hope that they will not be too much worried because Lt-Col. Anku Tsede (retd) has paid his dues and it is left for us to play our part.

Minority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei-

Mensah-Bonsu): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for this opportunity to say a few words to the memory of the departed former Colleague and former Hon Member of Parliament.

Mr Speaker, the point has already been made by the Hon Member for Sekondi (Papa Owusu-Ankomah) that the non- contribution from the Minority is not to spite the memory of the former Member of Parliament but in recognition of the fact that when he was in Parliament, our side was not represented in Parliament, the First Parliament of the Fourth Republic.

We understand that he was a very diligent Member of this House. He took his work seriously. Mr. Speaker, for that reason, we should be congratulating him for the legacy that he left in this House.

The point has already been articulated that Members of Parliament, when they exit this House, are left more or less to

rot. Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that governments of the day have not given much recognition to the Members of Parliament who have left this House.

Mr Speaker, every now and then, we see situations where sitting Members of Parliament are overloaded with responsibilities. They are made members of various boards, some even chairmen of boards and they have to combine that with their job as full-time Members of Parliament. Meanwhile, those of them with tremendous experience are not recognized. That certainly cannot be the best and so we must be looking at this situation very well.

The point also is that when you are outside Parliament nobody speaks for you. You are not near the corridors of government. So it is important that those who have the ears of the Presidency, whose duty it is to constitute such boards whisper the names of such Colleagues to the powers that be so that appropriate recognition would be given.

Mr Speaker, people have been saying that when Hon Members leave, Parliament as an institution does not make use of the former Members of Parliament. That indeed, is true to some extent even though we have tried on occasions to the best of our ability here in Parliament, to give recognition to some of them by tapping their experiences when it matters.

But Mr Speaker, to be very honest with ourselves, many people leave this House and you cannot, or they themselves cannot say that they have become masters in the fields where they served, particularly the various committees that they have served.

Mr Speaker, that indeed, if we have to be blunt with ourselves, is the position and the reason is not far to find. Why,

because Mr Speaker, as per our current arrangements, an Hon Member serves on about three, sometimes even four committees. How do you expect such a person to find space and time to participate fully at meetings of such committees?

Elsewhere, an Hon Member serves on one committee and develops the capacity at that committee such that when he exits, he becomes an authority on that subject, and that is how we have to find relevance for such people.

Mr. Speaker, can we in all seriousness and in all honesty, say that about 80 per cent, 90 per cent of Hon Members have such competence? Clearly, not and that is why in having a second look at our Standing Orders, we may have to look at it.

Unfortunately, even before we get there, there is a groundswell of opinion to the effect that no, Hon Members should still have the three, four committees that they are serving on. It will be at their own peril. You will stay here for two, three, four terms and when you exit, you will not be competent in any field. It will not serve any purpose for you, and the nation and Parliament will not derive any benefit from your having been here for any long time. So we should recognize that.

Mr Speaker, in many jurisdictions there are schemes that are fashioned out to sustain Members of Parliament who exit. I do know that the usual time is, maybe, for a person who might have served two terms or more. In our own circumstances, we can propose that we have some scheme - a similar scheme. Maybe, we can even bring it forward. If you served more than two terms, then the pension scheme could affect you.

Mr Speaker, the Chinnery-Hesse Committee agreed with us, when we dialogued with them, to have this as part of their recommendations. Unfortunately, when members of the Committee came

under acid tongue, nobody spoke for them that they had done the right thing.

Now, we are saying that, well, that is the place to go. Happily for us, there is a new team that has been put together by the President. And I believe this should be a part of it, a serious part of it. When we come to talk about the benefits for Hon Members of Parliament, it should be part of our serious input into the work of that Committee.

Finally, Mr Speaker, on empanelment of the forum, I think that is an in-House thing that we could think about and see how, maybe, to provide some resources, except that we should, perhaps, have some dialogue with them. Expectations, really, are very high from them. But are we in a position to do what they are requesting? But of course, that is something that we can sit on, dialogue with our former Colleagues and see the best way forward.

Mr Speaker, on this occasion of

mourning, first of all, let us express our deepest sympathies and empathies to the bereaved family in particular. These days when the relevance of the extended family is about evaporating into a thin air, the relevance of the nuclear family is what we should, maybe, be talking about now. And if the legacy that is left behind is not anything to go by, then of course, the children and the widow may have some problem.

Mr Speaker, let us hope that they will not be imperilled by the transition of our former Colleague.
Mr Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo (NDC - Wa Central) 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, can I call my Hon Colleagues to order?
Mr Speaker, I also rise to support my Hon Colleagues who have already paid glowing tribute to this distinguished personality who had been an Hon Member of Parliament and had fulfilled a responsibility to our nation Ghana and distinguished himself in so doing in three spheres of life.
Mr Speaker, he served as an Hon
Member of Parliament. He served as a military man; he served as a diplomat. And in all these, he showed class and distinction. And it tells us that in the life of a man, it is true, as Shakespeare says, that the world is a stage and the men and women who are in the world play several parts. They have their entrance and they have their exit. And his entrance was as soon as he was born and the exit which we all have to pass through is death.
Mr Speaker, as I sat listening to
contributions, I could see lots of wisdom coming out of them because it showed that this was a great man. It also showed that as an Hon Member of Parliament, he had admirers and we have to harness the goodness that he had left behind.
Mr Speaker, in most instances, it is only
through tragedies of death, calamities that goodness often come out. When people die and we recount their deeds, we are informed about the many changes we can make in our lives to make life better for us.
That is why when I was listening to the many contributors, I noticed that even his death is a blessing because it is bringing to question some aspects of our Standing Orders; it is bringing to question the very role of Hon Members of Parliament, which is to create a condition that in future can be respected and admired rather than
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11 a.m.
Members, may we kindly rise and observe a minutes silence in memory of our Hon departed Colleague.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11 a.m.
May his
soul, the soul of the departed rest in peace.
Hon Members: Amen.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11 a.m.
Deputy Majority Leader, what are the indications?
Mr Pelpuo 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, this is a very - [Interruption.]
Mr Joe Ghartey 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I will
not mention that other matter. But I was just wondering, before the House rises, that in the spirit of what was said by Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah and Hon Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, another Paper has been laid under the Presidential Offices Act; I believe it was laid on Wednesday. But we still have not got copies. I just wanted to bring it to the attention of Leadership.
Mr Speaker, this is a very important
document and it should be laid, in fact, before 31st March every year, I believe. So, we would be very grateful if we could get copies as soon as possible.
Thank you, very much, Mr Speaker.
Mr Abdul-Rushid Pelpuo 11 a.m.
Speaker, we have been speaking about and the Hon Member is perfectly right in his observation. And we believe that it will not take too long for the Papers to be made ready.
Mr Abdul-Rushid Pelpuo 11 a.m.

Mr Speaker, on that note, I beg to move, that we adjourn for today till Tuesday at ten o'clock in the forenoon.
Mr Kyei -Mensah-Bonsu 11 a.m.
Speaker, before seconding the Motion for adjournment, I want to inform our Hon Colleagues that the L.I. 1983 on the Local Government - the Creation of new District Electoral Areas and the designation of Units Instrument, 2010 has just come to the House. Unfortunately, we do not have many copies - just about ten copies.
So, we have five to the Majority, five to the Minority. But since it affects all of us, may I plead that we all begin looking at the Instrument so that if there are any areas of concern, we could appropriately bring them to the notice of the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation.
Mr Speaker, on that note, I beg to
second the Motion for adjournment.
Question put and Motion agreed to.

  • The House was accordingly adjourned at 11.12 a.m. till Tuesday, 26th October, 2010 at 10.00 a.m.