Debates of 16 Mar 2012



Madam Speaker
Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Thursday, 15th March
Page 1...17
Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang
Madam Speaker, I have been standing up for some time, thank you for recognizing me.
Madam Speaker, yesterday I was very present in this room, I even spoke but I have been recorded as being absent. I have been recorded on page 6, number 36 as being absent but I even spoke, not once but about twice or thrice in this House. I was very present.
Madam Speaker
What page are you referring to?
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang
Page 6, number
Madam Speaker
All right. So you were present.
Page 18...21.
Hon Members, Votes and Proceedings of Thursday, 15th March, 2012 as corrected are adopted as the true record of proceedings.

Let us move to the Official Report of Monday, 12th March, 2012.

Any corrections?
Dr. Anthony A. Osei
Madam Speaker, column 2396, the fourth paragraph, the filth line, it says, "the Speaker has talked to Madam Speaker". It should be "the Leader has talked to Madam Speaker".
Madam Speaker
Yes Hon Members, the Official Report of Monday, 12th March, 2012 as corrected represents the true record of proceedings.


Madam Speaker
Thank you, Hon Deputy Majority Leader. Any comments at this stage?
Dr. A.A. Osei
Madam Speaker, the Business Committee in item number 4 tells us that we would be meeting on Tuesday, the 20th of March, 2012 at 1.00 p.m. to discuss the mentioned formula. Then on the first page, they tell us that on Monday We would be meeting on Tuesday - But on Monday we are expected to present the Papers on those formula. We have not even met; we would be meeting on Tuesday - [Interruption.] To be laid- - But we would be meeting on Tuesday so I do not understand.
The first page, can he explain that? Presentation of Papers. [Interruption.] No, he said "Presentation". [Interruption] No, that is why I want him to explain that. On Monday, what would we be doing? [Interruptions]
Madam Speaker
Are you all right now?
Dr. A. A. Osei
Madam Speaker, I thought he might be able to tell me what he means by "Presentation of Papers".
Madam Speaker
Let us listen to the Hon Deputy Majority Leader.
Alhaji Pelpuo
Madam Speaker, the expectation is that, we would meet the officers who are coming to lay these Papers - We would meet the technical men to explain the Papers - either laid or to be laid - to us so hopefully - [Interruption.] Yes.
Dr. A. A. Osei
Madam Speaker, that is why - I thought I was confused but he is confusing me the more. If he wants to say that they would be laying the Papers then I would not be confused. That is why I wanted him to - [Interruption.] But he is saying - So let him tell me what he wants to do. He has read it.
Madam Speaker
Yes, do you understand?
Alhaji Pelpuo
Madam Speaker, I do not think there is a problem here. The Papers will be laid, we would have a meeting, and then in our usual way, explanations would be given and then we would be approving the formula after the Papers - [Interruption]
Dr. A. A. Osei
Madam Speaker, on Monday? He cannot do that. He should look at page one. The Papers would he presented and maybe laid. That one, I would not be confused. But if he says that we would have a discussion on Monday - [Interruption] But what does he mean by Paper Presentation? That is what I want to know.
Alhaji Pelpuo
Madam Speaker, if he looks at the first page he would realize that, at least, the District Assemblies Common Fund would be presented. It is going to be presented today so if nothing

at all, we would meet on that- We would meet definitely on this one.
Dr. A.A. Osei
Madam Speaker, the Hon Deputy Majority Leader - On page one, item number (ii) - Presentation of Papers -[Interruption.] It is not laying. He has to present it before it is laid; that is what he has to do. That is why I am saying if that is what he means then I have no difficulty -[Interruption]
Papa Owusu-Ankomah
Madam Speaker, if you look at Order 74, it reads, and Madam Speaker, with your permission I read:
"A Paper may be presented to the House .. ."
And Order 75(1) says
"As soon as sufficient copies of a Paper for distribution to Members have been received in the Office of the Clerk, notice of the presentation, of that Paper may be placed on the Order Paper, and as soon as Mr. Speaker announces ‘Papers for Presentation', the Paper shall be deemed to have been laid ..."
So technically, We present a Paper. That is what we - then after that it is deemed to have been laid. So the proper expression has been rightly put in the Business Committee's Report - Papers to be presented.
Madam Speaker
Yes, does it end the concerns then?
Dr. A. A. Osei
Madam Speaker, I am satisfied.
Madam Speaker
Any other matter?
Dr. A.A. Osei
Madam Speaker, I am now satisfied. I was worried a bit.
Madam Speaker, on item number 5, the football match. I think it is of importance that we pay attention to this. I hope that Leadership will make available the necessary logistics for those of us who are anticipating playing to be preparing ourselves for it.
I have been told it would be at the Accra Sports Stadium so urge all Hon Members who have not been working on their treadmill to begin to do so because we intend to beat the Electoral Commission by not less than four goals to one.
I thank you, Madam Speaker.
Alhaji Pelpuo
Madam Speaker, I think that on that optimistic note, let me just draw the attention of the Hon Chairman of the Youth and Sports Committee and his Hon Ranking Member, they are supposed to be the managers of the team. The Hon Minority Leader whispered to me that he used to play a very good number seven and so they should please make sure the team is properly prepared so we can beat the Electoral Commission.
Dr. A.A. Osei
Madam Speaker, is the Hon Chairman going to play?
Mr. Isaac K. Asiamah
Madam Speaker, still on the football match, we are poised for action, yes. This time round, I think our intention, and that of the Hon Chairman is that, since it is going to be a peace match which starts the registration exercise, we are proposing that Madam Speaker should start as a goalie for the Parliament team.

Madam Speaker, I am told that everything is in place for you. We have your sports kit, your jersey is ready; you are going to wear the number one jersey for Parliament of Ghana.

This time round there is going to be an innovation. All female parliamentarians will also start the match. We have all their sports kits ready for them so it is going to be an eventful day and I urge all Hon Members of Parliament to be there.

Madam Speaker, the number one jersey is for you.

Thank you.
Madam Speaker
I thank you very much. I will think about it. [Laughter]
Mr. Ambrose P.Dery
Madam Speaker, I support everything that has been said about the match, but just to advise that in case of penalty kicks Hon John Tia Akologu and Hon Abongo should be kept very far away because they are going to miss it. [Laughter]
Mr. John Gyetuah
Madam Speaker, in addition to what Hon Colleagues have already said, we do not know the venue for the football match they are talking about -the Fun fair. Where is the venue? [Interruption.] Then it must be stated as such in the Report, so the Hon Deputy Majority Leader should let us know.
Alhaji Pelpuo
Madam Speaker, we would be booking the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium for that - or the Accra Sports Stadium - I think there is a - So hopefully, that is where we are going to play the match.
I remember Madam Speaker hinted me that the Hon Deputy Speaker might rather take the goalkeeper position, so let us prepare him for that.
Madam Speaker
That should not be difficult. This is because he is the Hon Second Deputy Speaker so if I am not there, he might take my place.
Mr. Raphael K. Ahaligah
Madam Speaker, just as the Hon Ranking Member has just told the House, we are ready but we have made some selection. Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah and Hon Hackman Owusu-Agyemang would be playing the wings therefore they should get ready. [Laughter]
Mr. James K. Avedzi
Madam Speaker, knowing the number of people who will be playing and their ages, I want to appeal to the organizers to make about 10 ambulances available - [Laughter]
Mr. John T. Akologu
Madam Speaker, my Colleague, Hon Ambrose Dery mentioned my name and that of Hon Albert Abongo and said we should be kept far away from the penalty spot, but I want to assure this House that as far back as 1978 I was the captain of the Ghana Institute of Journalism football team. [Hear! Hear!] And I played at the number five position. [Hear! Hear!]
When Parliament started in 1993, I was one-of the organisers of the parliamentary football team, and in 2007, I played against the British Parliament delegation that came here. So I want to assure Hon Ambrose Dery that I have always done better than him when it comes to soccer.
Madam Speaker
Yes, Hon Member, finish up then -
Mr. Dery
Madam Speaker, I think Hon John Tia has told us the number of games he has played but he has not told us the results of those games. [Laughter]
Madam Speaker
Well, all I can say is, Hon Balado Manu is not here but he did raise the matter about our health which the Hon Leaders were going to consider. I can just say, please, be careful, older Hon Members, so we do not have the casualty list too long.

Hon Members, the Business Statement for the Week as presented is adopted.

I have admitted a Statement from Hon Hackman Owusu-Agyemang. Hon Member, can you read your Statement.

Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang (NPP - New Juaben North)
Madam Speaker, I thank you for this recognition.
Madam Speaker, I thank you for allowing this Statement, coming a day after the World Consumer Day. I titled it "Ghanaian Consumers Need Protection" to underscore the concerns of the people of Ghana on the naked exploitation by enterprises and other institutions. .
All over the world, there is always an attempt by civil society or governments to ensure that the populace receive good value for money. Unfortunately, it is in the developing world that unashamed, naked exploitation takes place.
Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang (NPP - New Juaben North)
This is because there are no mechanisms to ensure that value for money is manifested. This may be, or is in fact due to the lack of proper competition. Many a time, enterprises have monopoly on the major items sold and where there are a couple of enterprises, these tum themselves into cartels and fix prices which are out of this world.
Madam Speaker, take the case of vehicles and cars, for example. In Ghana, most of these houses are sole distributors and thus fix prices which are most exploitative of the people of Ghana. Another example, some vehicles sold in the United State of America (USA) which have higher specifications compared to that of Ghana, sell for about 25 percent less than that in Ghana and for that matter in Africa.
The issue of spare parts sold by car dealers are also sometimes three (3) times the cost in the countries of manufacture. But the Customs duty is paid on the lower declared value.
Madam Speaker, the point being made here is that, a comparison of the import price and the selling price will clearly demonstrate the exploitative nature of the. sales of motor vehicles in this country and the servicing is equally disadvantageous to vehicle owners.
Madam Speaker, for example, air fares that are charged in Ghana compared to those paid in Europe are again out of this world. One can travel from London to New York, a seven-hour flight can cost as little as US$400. A flight from Accra to Freetown, a duration of two (2) hours cost US$850 (economy class). An air journey to Abidjan from Accra, of less than one (1) hour costs US$450 (economy class). If this is not exploitation I do not know what it is.

Madam Speaker, these are only two examples but they are not exclusive. These unfair practices are found in every field of human endeavor including the banks and financial services. For example, everybody knows that interest rates bear no meaningful relationship to the prime rates, and the profits of the banks are there for all to see.

Mobile telephone companies are even worse for services provided and the charges levied on poor Ghanaian consumers. But Madam Speaker, what is even more distressing is that most of these houses and enterprises are foreign owned or Ghanaian of conveniences. All the high gargantuan profits are taken out of this country. Even our retail trading is being captured by the foreigners and others. Under this circumstance, I believe there is the need to have an ombudsman for fair trade and practices.

Civil society must also rise to the occasion and make their voices heard. Our newspapers must constantly keep the interest of the average Ghanaian in their hearts. I would even advocate for Governmental intervention to rectify the situation and put an end to the exploitation of Ghanaians.

Madam Speaker, Ghanaians are being short-changed.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker
I thank you, Hon Hackman Owusu-Agyemang. Let us have interventions - two from each side.
Ms. Akua Sena Dansua (NDC-North Dayi)
Thank you very much, Madam Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement ably made by my Hon Colleague on the other side of the House. Madam Speaker, the issue about air fares is very real and it is a very big headache
Ms. Akua Sena Dansua (NDC-North Dayi)
for those of us in the tourism sector. This is because when you look at air fares from various destinations to Ghana, compared to air fares from those destinations to other countries in the world, you will realize that what tourists and Ghanaians as well pay to travel to Ghana is too much and this tends to affect the tourism industry in terms of visitation.
We on our part have been holding discussions with the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority and the Ghana Airports Company to get representatives of the various airlines to take a second look at the air fares. But what they are also saying is that, the cost of aviation fuel and also other aviation services that are rendered here makes it difficult for them to reduce their air fares.
Madam Speaker, we do not think that this is a good enough reason. Whatever it is, I believe that the air lines should be sensitive to the complaints of travelers so they should try and do something concrete about their air fares.
In the past also, we used to have charter flights being organized by these airlines especially during the long vacation.
Even in those days people who could afford it took the opportunity of the charter flights to travel abroad. We do not see why this cannot be done now. So in addition to supporting my Hon Colleague's call for the airlines to take a second look at their fares I also want to say that we should take a very serious step - In fact, we can summon them - Parliament can summon the representatives of the airlines to chat with them because it looks like when people make complaints from outside, they do not take us seriously.
So I want to urgently urge that we invite the airline representatives in Ghana

to a discussion to look at how we can resolve this problem.

Madam Speaker, I also want to comment briefly on the way food items are displayed in the sun before consumers buy them. I am not a bio-chemist but I know that sometimes when these food items are exposed to the rays of the sun certain chemical reactions take place which affect the quality of the food.

So when we consume them they tend to have some bad effect on our bodies and on our health. You will find" mineral water, what we call "sachet water" displayed openly in the sun without any protection. You find cooking oil, tinned foods, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks being displayed in the sun and I wonder what our Food and Drugs Board do about these things.

As my Hon Colleague said, it is high time civil society and all of us took a very strong interest in this matter and ensure that Ghanaians in this country are not short-changed because it looks like in the long run, people who offer these things for sale are just looking at their profit margins, but do not care about what ends up in our stomachs and on our tables.

So with these few words, I want to support the Hon Hackman Owusu-Agyemang for this very important Statement at this time.
Ms. Beatrice Bernice Boateng (NPP- New Juaben South)
Madam Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to add my voice to the Statement ably made by Hon Hackman Owusu-Agyemang and to say that this is a matter of concern to all of us. This is because, as consumers, we only know what we put in our stomachs but the effect these things have on us after it has got into our stomachs are something that we cannot tell.
Ms. Beatrice Bernice Boateng (NPP- New Juaben South)
Madam Speaker, I want to limit my contribution to drugs that are sold in the open market. Madam Speaker, very often we hear that it is dangerous to practice drug abuse. Drug abuse, what is it? It is drugs that have not been prescribed to us by doctors. But most often than not, we hear on our airwaves, in our vehicles and all over the country about people advertising various types of drugs. They could be medical drugs. They could be traditional drugs and the like.
Madam Speaker, at times on our radio we hear advertisements of drugs which says "if they take them for three days and it is not working, see your doctor". If they know there is the need for us to see our doctors, why do they advertise? Why do they advertise them for us to take and have complications before they advise us to see our doctors by which time it might be late?
Madam Speaker, as a result of this, I am just pleading that as a country, we should walk our talk. If we are against drug abuse, we should ensure that these things are not done publicly in our vehicles, on our airwaves and the like. Probably, I may not buy it but what about my grandmother who does not know much about this drug abuse? What about the little ones who do not know?
Madam Speaker, there was an example where a radio presenter advertised a drug so much so well that an old lady who was very ill called her people to buy the drugs for her, otherwise she would not take any other drug and they had to walk from their area over a very long distance to buy the drug in a gallon. The old lady took just a half full of glass and she collapsed. Intervention of doctors saved her. Later on when the radio presenter was accosted he said, "me gye me sika", which means

that I am taking my money and I was asked to advertise.

Madam Speaker, it is for these and others reasons, that we think if we want to protect the consumer for what we take, then we should, as a country and as Parliament take a very serious view of what are peddled outside. So far as drugs are concerned I think flat when we do that, we will be saving our lives forever.

Thank you very much.
Madam Speaker
Thank you, Hon Member. Yes, Hon Dakura.
Dr. Francis B. Dakura (NDC - Jirapa)1 Thank you, Madam Speaker, for the opportunity to associate myself with the very important Statement by the Hon Member for New Juaben North.
Madam Speaker, I think the problem with the lack of standards in our consumer goods are two-pronged. The first is, I think and I believe, so many years of under investments in our standards authority in terms of equipment that should be used to detect what should be international standards of goods. .
Madam Speaker, the other problem, I believe, is linked to consumer ignorance which partly is caused by lack of education and the kind of goods that consumers should be aware of in terms of quality and standards.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang
On a point of Mr. Albert Kan-Dapaah (NPP - order. Madam Speaker, I have never and none of my family members had ever sold rice. Unfortunately, the company selling rice was called Shegelege and my family's company is called Sekelele. Shegelege was the one selling the rice, not Sekelele.
Dr. Dakura
Madam Speaker, that is very interesting, I did not know the difference. Thank you, Hon senior Member. What is important is that, we had entrepreneurs in this country who actually consider standards and quality as very important.
Madam Speaker, I think what we should be appealing to Government to do is to try to invest meaningfully in the Ghana Standard, Board. This is because that is the only way that poor quality can be regulated
Also, it is important that we invest in consumer awareness and consumer education to let people know their rights. It is obvious that many consumers do not even know that they have a right to reject, or to even take on somebody who has sold an item that is below standard or is supposed to have been misled in believing that kind of commodity is genuine when it is fake.
All these things are because of lack of investment in public education and also the Ghana Standard Boards to motivate the staff of the Board to be able to work and be committed to what they are doing.
Madam Speaker, with these few words, I will say I actually think that the Statement is timely and very important if we are to move forward in terms of the kind of goods and services that are provided for the people of this country.
Madam Speaker
Thank you. Yes, Hon Kan-Dapaah, last Hon Member to speak on this matter.
Mr. Albert Kan-Dapaah(NPP-) Afigya-Sekyere West)
Thank you, Madam Speaker, for this opportunity.
Madam Speaker, I just wanted to add my voice to the call for a reduction in the air fares in the country.
Madam Speaker, air fares in this country are just too high in relation to what we pay elsewhere and I am told even in relation to what countries like Nigeria pay. It is less expensive to travel from Nigeria to London than from London to Ghana.
Beyond that, Madam Speaker, we always have the worst airplanes. Most of the planes that come to this country should not be allowed to come here and I do not know why we allow them to have their way and bring all those old airplanes into the country.
Madam Speaker, there was a time when we did not have many airlines operating in Ghana. At that time, one could say, Well, they were taking advantage of the fact that there was no real competition.
Today, there are so many airlines that fly into Ghana Madam Speaker, all the airlines are full. Today, if you want to travel to the United Kingdom (UK), there are so many airlines that can take you there but this morning, if I just decide to go to UK, I will be told that all the planes are full. So the problem is not to do with shortage of passengers.
They talk about aviation fuel. Madam Speaker that cannot necessarily be true. I do not think the difference between the price of aviation fuel in Ghana and in Nigeria is so significant that Nigerians can afford to have such low air fares and Ghanaians cannot have it.
Madam Speaker
Thank you; Hon Leaders, if you want to come in. Hon Minority Leader?
Minority Leader (Mr. Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu)
Madam Speaker, let me also add my voice to congratulate the Hon Member who made the Statement, the Hon Owusu-Agyemang, Member of Parliament

for New Juaben North for this very important Statement.

Madam Speaker, my Hon Colleagues have all taken the angle of air fares but I heard the Hon Member talk about the local situation, what obtains in Ghana. In particular, he mentioned the abnormal profits that some of the banks are reaping from Ghanaians.

Madam Speaker, I think that is very, very important and it brings to the fore whether indeed the measurement of inflation is correct in this country.

Madam Speaker, if indeed it is correct, it should then inform the lowering of lending rates and indeed interest rates. But clearly, there are some discrepancies somewhere. If the rate of inflation is single digit, as we are being told, then necessarily, the first point of call should be the banks.

Lending rates should come down and interest should generally also come down commensurately. But that is .not happening. Madam Speaker, the reality of the situation - and that is why I spoke about whether or not what is happening is accurate, relating to the measure of inflation, What is going into the basket which is used for the computation.

Madam Speaker, I say so because, from the Statistical Services itself, 'food items, and that constitute a huge chunk of the input used for the measurement of inflation. From they themselves, the average rate of price increases is over 12.5 per cent; that is for food items.

Madam Speaker, as you are aware, yesterday, we were informed that for building materials the average increase, that is of inflation in the building items is
Madam Speaker
Is it a point of order?
Alhaji Sorogho
Yes, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I respect my Senior Brother very much but I think he started by bringing out his own figures and saying that it must be commensurate. Madam Speaker, we are all aware that the mere fact that inflation is coming down necessarily does not mean that interest rates and lending rates must fall at the same level; it does not follow that way. There are so many other points, which are taken into consideration before inflation rates are considered and computed.
Madam Speaker, I do not know whether he is challenging an institution which has been mandated by the people of Ghana, including him and myself, to work and bring it out. Whether he is challenging that and then saying that because food rates are 12.5 percent and building materials to him are 17.5 percent, so necessarily the rates that are given by the Statistical Services -
Madam Speaker
Are you correcting a point of information?
Alhaji Sorogho
Yes, Madam Speaker, I think what he is saying is not the correct picture; it is completely not the correct

picture. There are so many other factors that are taken into consideration before inflation rates are derived and not only the food and the building materials basket so he must take these into consideration.
Madam Speaker
But he did not say it must come down at the same rate; that it must come down.
Alhaji Sorogho
Madam Speaker, it has come down, but he is not satisfied with the down trend. He did not. It has come down, interest rates which were around 35, 30, 28 percent are now down to the point that, some of the base rates of the banks are 16.75 percent.
Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) 17 percent, 16.97 percent. So, definitely from 30 to that, means a significant reduction and so he must acknowledge that.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
Madam Speaker, clearly my Colleague is in another land, he was not listening to what I was saying and attributing a lot of things that he is conjuring from his own head.
Madam Speaker, first of all, he told me that I am coming out with my own figures. I do not know what he means by that. The figures that I gave out come from the Statistical Services; the 12.5 in respect of food items, it comes from the Statistical Services and the 17.01 percent in respect of building materials, again, it comes from the Statistical Services.
Yesterday, Madam Speaker will bear me out that we were dealing with these figures. So he should never think that I conjured anything from the top of my head. My source is the Statistical Services. He better be informed before he criticizes.
Madam Speaker
He has explained what he said.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
That the interest rates should be coming down immediately, I said commensurately, it should. I used the word "commensurate". Madam Speaker that is what I said. Then there is also a difference between the lending rate and interest rate and the base rate. The lending rate in 2008, Madam Speaker, was between 25 and 26 percent in all the banks. It is not true that it was 3 8 per cent anywhere.
Madam Speaker
Hon Member, you can raise the point of order by correcting the Hon Member contributing; interrupt a debate if you want to correct some statistics. You have tried and he has explained and even if you are right, if he does not accept it we leave it there. In fact, he has a right not to even sit down

for you to speak at all. So you have had your say and he has explained it; let us leave it like that.

Alhaji Sorogho Madam Speaker, I was coming from a different point of order. Madam Speaker, the point of order is that, it is like he is completely deviating and he is discussing about statistical services, about interest rate, about inflation. Madam Speaker, is that what the Statement is talking about? We are not discussing Statistical Services, interest rates and inflation.

I am surprised why he gets up, digresses and he is just talking of things he really wants to talk about- But I think there should be a time for him to talk about that not this -
Madam Speaker
Hon Member, I will not be able to judge because you did not let me finish hearing what he was saying at all to find whether it is within - he has not landed.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
Madam Speaker, with respect, if you are talking about consumer interest and the person makes a statement, he is talking about abnormal profits that banks are raking in and I am talking about interest rates, lending rates and indeed, inflation and he fails to see this connect, Madam Speaker, I will proceed no further - [Laughter] Madam Speaker, clearly and that is why I said my Brother is in some different world. If he cannot appreciate this connect, then God save Abraham.
Madam Speaker
Kindly hurry up because it is already 12.15 p.m.; we are only dealing with Statements.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
So, those are the things that I was talking about that one cannot just say that the banks are raking in super normal profits without
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
appreciating these realities. That is the point. That, however, is not to say that consumers are protected and that consumers have been ring-fenced. We are all in this country; in respect of telephone services for instance, Madam Speaker, three days ago, my Chief Whip was directed to send text messages to Colleagues for a meeting, we only had the messages this morning.
When some of them were telling me that they had not received it, whiles we were talking, some of them kept receiving their messages - messages sent three days ago. I mean these are matters that should concern all of us. Sometimes they are sent and they have never reached their destinations. These are critical matters that should concern all of us.
So, I agree with the maker of the Statement that, it should be a source of worry and perhaps the time has come to urge the Consumer Protection Association (CPA) to be more proactive than they have done. They have started well anyway, but there is still ample room for improvement.
Madam Speaker, I thank you.
Deputy Majority Leader (Alhaji Abdul- Rashid Pelpuo): Madam Speaker, I also rise to thank the maker of the Statement for bringing out this very important issue about our consumers and the need for us to protect them in the market of commerce.
Madam Speaker, for a market to be the quality market we want it to be, it is important that consumers are satisfied with the products. If not, consumers go to the market, spend hard-earned money and then they do not get the worth of it. So in most countries, very committed people have come together to form these associations so that they keep track of

events of the market. So it is important that members of the public would not just allow businesses to take money from them but also to ensure that the business provides the quality products they propose to provide for the consumer.

Madam Speaker, two issues have come out very strongly. One is the fact that we are paying much more than we benefit from our air travels and l think this matter cannot just be mentioned and left hanging. We would urge the Minister for Tourism, who was here quite a few minutes ago, and the Minister for Transport as well, to sit together to come to terms on how to tackle this issue. Businesses might be frightened if Parliament issues a statement and says that we want to have a sitting with them.

They might think that we are interfering too much in their affairs. But to take it from that angle is important. Again, the Consumer Protection Association itself should be able to be proactive in questioning the airline operators why they would charge much more in Ghana than in other countries. This matter has become a sing-song with most business people.

If you travel in any aircraft leaving Ghana, most people complain, especially the ones going to continental Europe. It is important that they know that we are aware of what is happening and that we seek to correct the wrongs.

Madam Speaker, a few minutes ago, there were also exchanges about this question of interest rates and the need for interest rates to come down. If inflation is coming down, especially food prices, which is very key in driving the visionary trends in our country, Madam Speaker, the truth is that, inflation is a critical component of our economic outlook and anytime we have an inflation that is galloping and out of control. The
Madam Speaker
Hon Member, Wind up, I think one hour has already passed.
Alhaji Pelpuo
So we want to urge the banks which are still keeping their interest rates high, for the sake of the consumers and for the sake of the producers, the effects on the economy is so much and that We want to see a situation where a combination of - the manufacturing industry is an example. It is important that they benefit out of the falling interest rates and so the banks should work towards a situation where we can have an equilibrium in which where the inflation is coming down, interest rates would also come down.
Thank you, Madam Speaker, for the opportunity and let me again thank the maker of the Statement. Let me urge members of the public to be more proactive in questioning the producers why they produce less quality goods for money that is paid for quality goods.
Until members of the public are more conscious and more determined to question it, Madam Speaker, politicians cannot do much. So we urge members of the public to continue to work towards questioning producers and asking for more quality for what they buy.
Madam Speaker
Hon Members, Statement time is ended.
Yes, let us move on to item 5 then - Commencement of Public Business. Can we present the Papers today on item 5(a)?
Alhaji Pelpuo
Madam Speaker, I would apply to lay item 5(a) on behalf of

the Majority Leader. The Deputy Attorney-General and Deputy Minister for Justice is also here to move the Motion for the Third Reading of the Presidential (Transition) Bill.
Madam Speaker
What is the application? I thought you said you were laying the Paper in item 5 (41)-
Alhaji Pelpuo
Yes, Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker
Let us do that, Are the Papers ready?
Alhaji Pelpuo
Madam Speaker, I applied for that but I also - just not to rise again to apply for the Third Reading in Motion number 6.I mentioned that the Deputy Attorney-General and Minister for Justice is also here to do it.


Madam Speaker
Yes, Hon Leader, are we moving to item 7, then?
Alhaji Pelpuo
Madam Speaker, under normal circumstances, We could have moved to item 7, but it looks like today is a very busy day. Hon Members are getting ready for some other duties outside Parliament which are also parliamentary duties.
I would want to move that we adjourn until Monday, 10 o'clock in the forenoon.
Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Mr. William O.Boafo
Madam Speaker, the Hon Deputy Majority Leader gave some reasons for us to have the Sitting adjourned. Madam Speaker, if we look round, we could see that the Hon Minister for Education, his Deputies, the Hon Chairman of the Committee on Education - none of them is in the House. So, the reason that he gave - we could not go on, that is why he is asking for us to adjourn. We cannot go on.
But all the same, Madam Speaker, I second the Motion.
Madam Speaker
I thought you were going to second the Motion, because I do know that once a Motion has been

moved it follows immediately with seconding it.

Yes, they are not here. The relevant people are not here and the time is far
Mr. Gershon K. B. Gbediame
Madam Speaker, I do not want the impression to be carried that because the Hon Minister is not here, that is why we are not taking the Motion. We agreed at the conference with you earlier that we could not proceed to item number 7 because, one, we said a team of the Hon Members of Parliament will be going on a trip at 12.45 p.m. There are a lot of Committee meetings that are also taking place.
So, We are just moving the Motion for adjournment but not to create the impression that because the Hon Ministers are not here that is Why We cannot take that Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.

  • The House was accordingly adjourned at 12.32 p.m. till Monday, 19th March, 2012 at 10.00 a.m.