Debates of 4 Jan 2013

PRAYERS 10:05 a.m.


Madam Speaker 10:05 a.m.
Hon Members, may I now invite the Leaders of the House to accompany me to welcome His Excellency the President to the House?
10.30 a.m. -- Sitting suspended.

11.40 a.m. -- Sitting resumed.
Madam Speaker 10:05 a.m.
Hon Members, the House is privileged to have the presence of His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama of the Republic of Ghana and the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces in the House.
His Excellency the President is here in accordance with article 67 of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana to deliver a message on the State of the Nation of Ghana to this Honourable House.

On behalf of Leadership and Members of this august House, it is my privilege and singular honour to welcome His Excellency the President of the Republic to the House.

Hon Members, I have the greatest pleasure in inviting His Excellency, the President to deliver his Address.

ADDRESS 10:05 a.m.

Madam Speaker 10:05 a.m.
Hon Members, in accordance with Standing Order 58, I wish to convey to His Excellency the President, the gratitude of the House.
Mr President, we thank you.
Hon Members, I will invite the two Hon Leaders to accompany me to see the President off.
I suspend Sitting for about 30 minutes.
11.03 -- Sitting suspended.
12.25 p.m. -- Sitting resumed.
Madam Speaker 10:05 a.m.
Hon Members, let us continue from where we left off.
This is the last day, and before we close and adjourn and dissolve the House, let me call upon the Hon Minority Leader.
Hon Gifty Eugenia Kusi, where is your Hon Minority Leader? Is he coming? We will wait for him, unless we could spend this short time -- Is there anything that anybody wants to talk about before -- I become functus officio? Yes, I appreciate that one. We will ask the Hon Majority Leader, if he has some issues. But I suppose that is after we close from here.
Mr William O. Boafo 10:05 a.m.
Madam Speaker, thank you.
I have sighted the programme of activities for 7th January, 2013 and I saw that Members of Parliament are going to be sworn in on the 7th January, 2013. But if my memory serves me right, under the existing Presidential Transition Act, this

is supposed to take place two days before the event that is scheduled for the 7th. I have not seen any amendment to that Act from the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice's Office. I have not also heard anything that a court of competent jurisdiction has pronounced on its unconstitutionality. So, I wanted to seek some guidance from Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker 10:05 a.m.
Guidance? If it is not a ruling but guidance, I can take it.
Mr Boafo 10:05 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I think it will be in the interest of this august House if the guidance could metaphorse into ruling.
Madam Speaker 10:05 a.m.
Oh no! Let us leave it at guidance and then we all discuss it. It should be guidance, not ruling, really.
Mr Boafo 10:05 a.m.
Madam Speaker, thank you.
Madam Speaker 10:05 a.m.
I thought that that section 11 of that Act conflicted with the Constitution. Is it article 116 which says that our term ends on the midnight of the 6th of January, 2013? If you go swearing in people before the 6th, after the midnight of the 6th, are you not creating another, Parliament in waiting? And after, you swear them in, you would say they should wait until another date?
Mr Boafo 10:05 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I think we have a situation in Ghana now. It may not be a true reflection. We have a President- elect and a sitting President but we are not saying that we have two Governments.
Madam Speaker 10:05 a.m.
But is he acting as— He is the President-elect, the Members of Parliament are Members of Parliament- elect. They have not been sworn-in and that is why they are not here. They have not taken their places, they are just elect. If you are elect, you will not act upon your duties. It is when you are sworn-in that you become the President or the Member of Parliament.
In any case, if there is a conflict between an Act and the Constitution, which one -- It is the Constitution.
Mr Boafo 10:05 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I respect your views, not today but from time past—
Madam Speaker 10:05 a.m.
That is why I do not want to make any rulings at all. I thought we should discuss it because if people are thinking of hereafter, hereafter --
First of all, I will not be here.
Secondly, I have not made any authoritative decisions. I thought you had a problem with it and I was telling you that I also thought that if you were in doubt, then err on the side of caution and go for the one that will not present any problem.
If the Constitution says it ends on the midnight of the 6th, why do you swear in people? When you swear in somebody, he is immediately a Member of Parliament, he is not a Member of Parliament-elect anymore. But we are here, Members of Parliament are here, so then we have two Members of Parliament, no more Members of Parliament-elect, but two Members of Parliament.
Yes, Hon Member, I think we are just passing time.
Papa OwusuAnkomah 10:05 a.m.
Madam Speaker, thank you very much for [Interruption.]
Madam Speaker 10:05 a.m.
Oh yes, I did beckon him.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 10:05 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I am just hoping that subsequently when such matters arise, the House itself will be apprised of it for discussion, even if it is not formally to arrive at a conclusion because this is enactment passed by the House and assented to by the President. This Parliament is still in session and I am saying this because we experienced one previously, in respect of the University of Ghana Act and a certain decision was taken.
It took another Member, actually, the same Hon Member for Akropong to raise it for us to talk about it. Since the House has the capacity to correct itself when it comes to certain matters, if we do it this way, it will help.
I am aware that the Supreme Court has given a decision that where on the face of it an enactment is in conflict with the Constitution, you do not even need a declaration by the Supreme Court to that effect. But there is always doubt —
Madam Speaker 10:05 a.m.
Papa Owusu- Ankomah 10:05 a.m.
Particularly, in respect of this Act, I recall that that point of law was canvassed. The point that you have made, that you may be having two sets of officers of the State at the same time.
So, Madam Speaker, I believe that we will take your guidance.
Madam Speaker 10:05 a.m.
That is not a ruling.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 10:05 a.m.
Madam Speaker, yes, I know. We will take your guidance but since you have a very big legal bosom which resides very, very-- I do not know the description — Yes, it is a judicial bosom. She is now not on the -- [Interruption.]
I said “legal bosom” because the law is in the bosom of Madam Speaker as far as — And depending on the level of expertise, it becomes big and bigger. So, Madam Speaker, that is all.
Before I sit down, I would wish to state that we have enjoyed having you in this Parliament; it is not my place but this personal —
Madam Speaker 12:35 p.m.
I think that when we go and have lunch, we are going to talk it -- I will expect Members of Parliament to air their emotions and whatever they feel; if something is wrong, they should say it.
But before I call upon the Hon Member who is standing --
Mrs Akosua Frema Osei-Opare 12:35 p.m.
Thank you, Madam Speaker, for seeing me and for me catching your eye. It might be the last of formal statement I will make in this House.
Madam Speaker, since we noticed that the dates that have been given were in conflict with the Constitution, I believe that we should use a certificate of urgency and do the right amendment. This is because we are still in session and we could easily do it within a short time, so that everything we are doing is in line.
So, I have wondered why after we noticed -- because the talk had been around, why do we not do it? We have the Attorney-General, he can come to us with an amendment, we can pass it, approve it and if it requires assent, it can be done by the President and we are in line.
So, I think this is a small matter. But as Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah said, we can correct ourselves and I think we should do the right thing to clear the air, so that everything is fine for the 7th of January, 2013 when new Members of Parliament are sworn-in.
I thank you, Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Yes, I agree, it will have to be done. If in future Parliament wants to rely on that Act rather than on the Constitution, then you have to do it. This is because if you do not do it, the Constitution will be used and the same process that was used before the passage of that Act like doing it on the 7th of January after this Parliament has ceased to exist.
So, it is true; you have to do it. I suppose it is the time but nevertheless, that has not been done -- You have to do it if you want to know what I think, which is really not important any more but like we are all discussing. It will have to be
done if in future you want to rely on that, that is the section 11, otherwise, the Constitution will rule.
Madam Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Yes, Hon Member, I was not taking Statements here --We will be talking when we go for the lunch.
Mr Opare-Ansah 12:35 p.m.
Madam Speaker, this is just a pre-lunch comment.
Madam Speaker 12:35 p.m.
All right.
Mr Opare-Ansah 12:35 p.m.
Madam Speaker, the worry some of us are carrying over this matter is the kind of doors and windows this action is going to create for various persons who have been mandated by various Acts of Parliament to exercise certain discretionary authority.
The Presidential Transition Act mandates the Clerk to Parliament to undertake certain actions and somehow the Clerk seems to be acting based on some advice different from what is contained in that Act.
Madam Speaker 12:35 p.m.
I think if I may inform you, it is upon advice from the Attorney- General. He did go to the Attorney- General.
Mr Opare-Ansah 12:35 p.m.
Precisely, I understand there is some advice from the Attorney-General but we are also clear in our minds that the Attorney-General is clearly not the competent authority in making a pronouncement on whether there is a conflict of law between an Act of Parliament and the Constitution.
Madam Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Who is?
Mr Opare-Ansah 12:35 p.m.
It lies with the Supreme Court.
Madam Speaker 12:35 p.m.
No! The Supreme Court has always said that it does not exist as an advisory body. So, when it is clear and the Constitution, article 1 (2) says that when there is a conflict, it does not even come to the Supreme Court to -- [Interruption] -- When you are interpreting words -- But is it not clear when you say swear-in a man when the other Parliament is still in existence?
Mr Opare-Ansah 12:35 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I am just leading to a point.
Madam Speaker 12:35 p.m.
No, no! All right, lead to the point.
Mr Opare-Ansah 12:35 p.m.
My point being that the same Attorney-General who advised the Clerk to Parliament actually did see this document when it was at Cabinet level and then when it was brought, he actually laid it in this House. When it went back to the President to assent to it, I am sure the President would have assented to it with the advice of the Attorney-General.
But Madam Speaker, that notwith- standing, my point is this, the Constitution in article 1 (2) talks about that law that is conflicting the Constitution being void only to the extent of that inconsistency.
Madam Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Oh, yes.
Mr Opare-Ansah 12:35 p.m.
When you look at section 11 of the Presidential Transitional Act, there are various provisions in there and section 1 (a) for instance, talks about the Election of a Speaker. How does that conflict the Constitution?
Madam Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Mr Opare-Ansah 12:35 p.m.
If you elect a Speaker before Parliament is dissolved and that Speaker has not taken oath of office, he is just a Speaker-elect, just as you have MPs-elect, we have a President-elect. How is that in conflict with any provision of
the Constitution? The only function that an MP-elect is allowed under the Constitution to perform, is the election of a Speaker.
Madam Speaker 12:35 p.m.
So, are you saying that when the MPs who are going to elect the Speaker are not MPs but MPs-elect, they can perform such duties?
Mr Opare-Ansah 12:35 p.m.
Precisely so, Madam Speaker. It is constitutional.
Madam Speaker 12:35 p.m.
I disagree.
Mr Opare-Ansah 12:35 p.m.
Madam Speaker, it is constitutional. The provision of the Constitution is that as an MP-elect, the only function you can execute is the election of a Speaker.
Madam Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Yes, but I am saying that you have your MPs-elect; when you elect the Speaker, the Speaker will swear them in. So, are you saying we should call another Parliament with the MPs-elect -- Is that what your understanding of section 11 says? Anyway, do not let us waste too much time. We were just throwing ideas about.
When I leave here and it goes to the Supreme Court, I will be very interested in what they say but to tell you that the Supreme Court does not sit as an advisory body.
So, if you cannot advise yourself but everybody goes there to say it is inconsistent or not, then the Supreme Court, we need ten or twenty of them. In any case, I thank you. We have exercised our minds -- I can see some lawyers laughing -- Maybe, here after, we can discuss it.
Let us move to the agenda of which I said today is the last day and we will hear short comments from the Leaders and then the Speaker will close with the final speech and then adjourn the House.
Mr Isaac K. Asiamah 12:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker, the same Act we have been discussing also talks about -- That is the Presidential Transition Act -- The full implementation of article 71 office holders. It talks about the full implementation.
Madam Speaker 12:45 p.m.
It did not say that.
Mr I. K. Asiamah 12:45 p.m.
It talks about that.
Madam Speaker 12:45 p.m.
It said as “quickly as possible”. Is it not it? The functions of the Board, that is what you are talking about -- Is it not the functions of the Board you are talking about? That they should as quickly as possible --
Mr I. K. Asiamah 12:45 p.m.
No! It is about entitlements of article 71 office holders, that it should be settled before --
Madam Speaker 12:45 p.m.
No! It did not say so. It says “as quickly as possible” -- [Laughter.] Look at it again.
Mr I. K. Asiamah 12:45 p.m.
It is captured there boldly that it should be settled. Madam Speaker, the spirit means that it should be done before people go home. That is the spirit. So, let us settle that before Hon Members go home and we believe that, that discussion should rather dominate us here, so that we settle Hon Members.
Madam Speaker, we are making the laws and we passed that law and we are saying that our spirits are also in that condition that it should be done before the 7th of January. That is my beef, Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker 12:45 p.m.
You are making a good point. You are making a very good point, but it is not on today's agenda and so --
Dr Anthony A. Osei 12:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker, when we left here yesterday, for some of us, it was clear in our minds that there was some missing information that the Hon Deputy Majority Leader was going to look for and bring back to us. When it was supposed to come to us, was not clear. I have sat through all day, the President has delivered his State of the Nation Address, the Leaders are going to speak and nobody is telling us when he is going to give that presentation.
The Speaker ruled yesterday -- and this is the last Sitting and this is why we rose yesterday. This criss cross, going back and forth, it is as if there is some information that somebody wants to hide from us. It is unacceptable.
Now, when you read the papers, what you will read is that Members of Parliament (MPs) are on strike. We are not on str ike; we are demanding our fundamental rights because of what happened four years ago.
Four years ago, those of us who were MPs saw what happened. We swore not to have that repeat itself. We are heading towards that, and I do not understand why nobody is talking about a request that was made yesterday. When we talk this way, they say we are going on strike. We are not on strike. Who in the world works and does not know his conditions of service and we are pretending it is a secret. He was requested to --
Madam Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Hon Member, I think there is information gap because I do know certain things that are happening. But you, I do not know whether you know. So, I do not know. I have seen certain things, I am not permitted to say them. But certain things are happening. Why do you not inform the House?
Alhaji Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo 12:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker -- [Interruptions.]
Madam Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Order! Order!
Alhaji Pelpuo 12:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I like the bit when the Hon Member said that there is a wrong impression that we are on strike. There is nothing called “strike” here. But we have found out the needed information; we will deliver the information as soon as we finish with business here and go into a joint caucus meeting. [Interruptions]
This is not the right time to disclose that kind of information. I am not afraid to give any information. The Hon Majority Leader is here, he can deliver it. But it is not the time and I would want to encourage Hon Members to wait and get the full information as to what is happening.
Alhaji Inusah A. B Fuseini 12:45 p.m.
Thank you, Madam Speaker --
Madam Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Hon Pelpuo, if you say it is not the time, I do not agree with you. When is the time?
Ahaji Fuseini: Madam Speaker, I was just wondering --
Madam Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Hon Pelpuo, you are saying this is not the time. This is the last time for some of us. When is the time?
Alhaji Pelpuo 12:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker, we are Sitting. Our Sitting is opened to the public. The issue that we want to discuss must be heard only by us, and that is why I am saying this is not the best opportunity --
Madam Speaker 12:45 p.m.
We go into Closed Sitting?
Alhaji Pelpuo 12:45 p.m.
Yes, Madam Speaker.
Dr A. A. Osei 12:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker, that is precisely the point. Until I raised the issue, we were pretending that there was no information gap. That is my worry. We have Hon Members here, if we want to go into a Closed Sitting, he should say so, but he should not say we should wait till after.
After Madam Speaker gets up, she is taking us to lunch, so before I eat my lunch, I want to know. So, I plead with you, let us go to the Closed Sitting before we hear the speeches. [Uproar.] The speeches should be the last thing we should take.
Madam Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Hon Members, let us rather hear the speeches and then go into Closed Sitting.
Dr A. A. Osei 12:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker, the speeches are supposed to make us excited about our lives, but the speeches cannot cure that deficit we have.
Madam Speaker 12:45 p.m.
What do the Leaders think?
Dr A. A. Osei 12:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker, unless the speeches are going to speak to the point.
Madam Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Let us hear from the Leaders. Leaders, at least, you could brief the House if you know something.
Mr Avoka 12:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker, we know that we have the benefit of the press and other people in the Gallery. So, let us take the speeches from the Leadership -- [Interruption] -- Then after that when we clear the Gallery, we can then have our Closed Sitting. If we have to clear the Gallery now and have the Closed Sitting and after that invite them for the closing ceremony, I think that is very cumbersome.
So, I would plead with Hon Members that, as we have them now, let us finish with our normal business and then have our Closed Sitting. You are already aware we are going to pass information to you;
it is not going to be a debate. We are just passing information how far we have gone and that does not require us clearing the Gallery, having a Closed Sitting and then inviting them to come back for this closing ceremony. I do not think that would inure to the benefit of everybody. We are going to unduly harass our Parliamentary Press Corps in the Gallery.
So, I would plead that we can use the next twenty or thirty minutes, have the business done and close and we can then have the Closed Sitting and sort out our personal matters. That is the advice I will give.
Madam Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, what do think? Now, the question is, do we have our speeches before the Closed Sitting? Do we have the Closed Sitting, then followed by speeches? We can do it together. We can close the Sitting but because we want the speeches to be recorded and that is why I think in good faith, let us make them.
We are all in this room, then we will have the Closed Sitting quickly and we are informed of what is happening. But if we close for everybody to go, nobody will hear what the Leaders are going to say.
Dr A. A. Osei 12:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker, on a point of information. What is closed about the Sitting? Because by the time we finish with the Closed Sitting, the information is out there. [Interruptions.] That is the fact. So what is closed about the Sitting? We should blame ourselves; we are all part of it. So there is nothing secret.
Dr Matthew O. Prempeh 12:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I sympathise with my beloved Leader that we should finish with the speeches. Madam Speaker, if the Leadership had done the work they were supposed to do long before we came
yesterday, and when we came yesterday, they had informed us, would this have arisen? No! So, Madam Speaker, last days are dangerous.
Ms Cecilia A. Dapaah 12:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute.
Madam Speaker, for some of us, this is our last day and the issue at stake is so important that we have a Closed Sitting and discuss what we are talking about. It is no secret. I believe those who misreported that we were on strike, they had it wrong.
But at least, what is as stake is so dear to our hearts on both sides that we cannot pretend not to agree with the suggestions being made, that there should be a Closed Sitting, we discuss the issue and then come back and beautifully listen to the speeches, Madam Speaker. This is because I have been reading my Bible and I would want to leave a quotation with my Hon Colleagues; Ezekiel 21 verse 27. I believe when we go home, we should read it and read Psalm 23 as well.
Alhaji Fuseini 12:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me an opportunity to add my voice.
Madam Speaker, on this occasion, I have to, with respect, disagree with Madam Speaker and my Leader. I think that the matters so raised yesterday and today are so critical; they are very critical.
Indeed, in 2009, we were given our End of Service Benefit (ESB) and letters were written to us and to the bank, telling us that we should not touch those moneys. It was an embarrassment for people who had already cashed those moneys. That is why it is critical that we know our fate before we take the speeches.
It is important that these matters be discussed and discussed thoroughly now before we take those speeches.
Madam Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Order! Let us hear -- [Interruption.] Yes, order!
Mr Charles S. Hodogbey 12:55 p.m.
Madam Speaker, much as I appreciate the concerns of our Hon Colleagues, if you look on the Order Paper for today, unless it is an Addendum, I do not see why we should be debating issues which are not on the Order Paper. [Uproar.] Committee sittings -- [Interruption]
Dr A. A. Osei 12:55 p.m.
Madam Speaker, on a point of order.
Mr Hodogbey 12:55 p.m.
Madam Speaker, the Order Paper says “Committee sittings” and what we are discussing is not on any Order Paper; that is what I am saying.
Dr A. A. Osei 12:55 p.m.
Committee of the Whole, Madam Speaker.
Mr Hodogbey 12:55 p.m.
Where is it, Madam Speaker? [Uproar.]
Madam Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Order! Order! Hon Leader, I think all they want to hear is the progress. It is not as if they wanted to be handed anything. Is it not? Progress, and I do not know whether the progress requires that we go into a Closed Sitting. Progress -- Where has it reached? Is it not? [Interruption.] The progress report. Is there any progress report you can give to the House before we start our --
Mr Avoka 12:55 p.m.
Madam Speaker, with the greatest respect, the progress report will include detailed information as to what is at stake for an Hon Member. We do not think that that should be done in plenary. So if it is the wish of Hon Members that we can go into the Closed Sitting now and then inform you and have the closing ceremony, fine.
My worry was whether we would be able to have the Parliamentary Press Corps in the Gallery back here after an hour or so, so that we can have a healthy closing; that is my worry.
The information is there, nobody is going to stifle it; nobody is changing the information. Whether it comes now or later, it is the same information which would be passed on to Hon Members. So I do not see what their fear is or what their anxiety is about. There is no need for any anxiety because we have all the information.
I think this information should be limited to Hon Members of Parliament and not to the general public.
Madam Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Hon Members, we still have lunch waiting. How do we marry all these things -- Closed Sitting, last speech and then the information which -- He says we need to hear it in Closed Sitting. Let us admit -- Yes, maybe, it makes sense.
Dr A. A. Osei 12:55 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I have a suggestion if it does not violate our Standing Orders. I think the speeches could be done at lunch because it is a Sitting of Parliament; there is no problem.
Madam Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Dr A. A. Osei 12:55 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I think prudence wise -- I think that no Hon Member is asking for any details here. That is why we have caucuses. The caucuses can meet, so that the Leadership would give detailed information.
I think yesterday, what the Hon Deputy Majority Leader said was that he does not have the information. The question is, what information? Processes must take place; where are we? Has the letter left your office to the Chief of Staff? [An Hon
Member: No!] Has that letter gone to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning? Is the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning aware of it? That information is no secret. [Some Hon Members: No!] Do we have that or not, so that we can be clear in our minds?
Madam Speaker, my Hon Sister is leaving. This is the last time. I have Hon Friends here; Hon Sumani Abukari (Member for Tamale North) who is leaving. Their families should know where they are headed. It is only decent that when they go home, they can say that “I can tell you that this is where we are.”
As he said, if we take what happened in 2008, it would be a disaster -- when cheques had gone into accounts and instructions went to them saying “Don't pay”. What kind of country are we headed to?
Madam Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Yes, I think you have a point.
Last points before we take a decision.
Mr Stephen K. B. Manu 12:55 p.m.
Madam Speaker, it is divine oriented that I should be the last Hon Member to speak on this matter and to announce to you, Madam Speaker, that after 16 years of service, Balado is now walking out of this House to go home.
We are talking about lunch. Balado knows at least, lunch is ready. He is assured of the lunch but Balado is not aware and he is not assured of the supper, the dinner. And the matter we are talking about is not the breakfast matter, it is not a lunch matter, it is dinner matter and that is why it goes to the core of every Hon Member sitting here.

Please, we are sitting here, we experienced in 2009 and because we did not attach any serious observation to that incident, look at the way we are behaving here now! If I walk out of here tomorrow, even entering here would be a problem. The security will not allow me. So as an Hon Member said here, we are stake- holders, very important stakeholders. Why should we not discuss the matter now, Madam Speaker?

If it is the Gallery that they do not want them to be here, even when we take these things, we even share them with some of them. [Interruption.] Oh yes, we even share it with them. They enjoy the booty. So what is secret about it? Some of them are waiting there; they know we are closing today. [Interruption.] Please, I am not saying it is booty but when you give it to the person, it is booty to the person.

Please, Madam Speaker, what we are saying is very important. Before we can have good ears to listen to the speeches, we must be assured of our future.

Let me conclude by saying that --
Madam Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Yes, conclude.
Mr Manu 12:55 p.m.
Please, let me conclude by saying that those Hon Members who are here and think that we can postpone this issue, let me tell them that yesterday, we were like them, today, we are like this, tomorrow they will be like us.
Let us take the matter seriously because -- [Some Hon Members: French.] --If they want me to speak French, they should take me as a consultant. Now, I
Mr Manu 12:55 p.m.

have no job. I can be a very good consultant in French for Hon Members, so that when they travel outside, at least, they can communicate with their -- Mais à vrai dire -- La situation -- [Uproar.] Ecoutez, s'il vous plait.

A vrai dire, la situation est bien serieuse. Et on doit dû discuter aujourd'hui parce que pour nous demain nous ne serons pas ici. Nous ne serons pas ici demain. Alors, un doit dû discuter aujourd'hui; aujourd'hui même.
Madam Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Hon Member, I would not let you sit until you have translated for the benefit of --
Mr Manu 1:05 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I thought because I had been speaking French, they had picked pieces of it and they could understand me. [Laughter.] Well, if I am being directed by Madam Speaker --
Madam Speaker 1:05 p.m.
It has to go on record.
Mr Manu 1:05 p.m.
What I said is that, the issue at stake is a very serious matter. The “`avrai dire” to speak the truth, verily, verily, the matter at stake is very serious. We all here must discuss it because if I walk out here, I cannot even come back here to take part and I am a stakeholder. So, all must be discussed today, while I am here. So that when I walk out, I would have known what has taken place.
I thank you, Madam Speaker, and say God should bless you.
Madam Speaker 1:05 p.m.
I thank you. Now, we know.
Hon Majority Leader, the question is, they want to know something and you have suggested a Closed Sitting before you divulge what you know. What do you say? Do we have the Closed Sitting now and then our speeches? This is because the points that they are making -- and I must be very fair, some people are not coming back to this House after today, and if they do not even know how far we have got with their benefits, honestly, is it fair?
Mr Avoka 1:05 p.m.
Madam Speaker, nobody doubts that; we are talking about either giving that information now or taking the Statements and give the information after that. In view of the sentiments by Hon Members, I have told the Clerk to Parliament to inform you that, let us have the Closed Sitting for 10 to 15 minutes and inform Hon Members adequately about what is at stake. We can then have our plenary and wind up. I have already suggested this.
In the light of this, we can clear the Gallery and have 20 minutes meeting and after that come and close for the period. I was talking about the inconvenience of clearing the Gallery and then bringing them back, but Hon Members do not seem to appreciate that. They just pass information to you, it is either now or one hour's time or 30 minutes time. Hon Members do not seem to understand that. So let us clear the Gallery, pass information to them, and call them back, so that we close.
Madam Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Hon Members, I think the Hon Majority Leader has been very fair to all of us. The Closed Sitting, let us hear the progress report and thereafter, we make our speeches. Whether here or at lunch, I do not know; we are the same Members of Parliament going for lunch. Let us finish with the Closed Sitting and let us decide whether we should cmove for lunch. This is
because I agree we cannot leave without knowing how far you have got.
1.10 p.m. -- Closed sitting.
1.35 p.m. -- Sitting resumed.

Madam Speaker 1:05 p.m.
What I have seen does not appear in my view to be any big serious matter.
Hon Minority Leader, can we have a few words?
Hon Members, let us listen to the Hon Minority Leader.
Minority Leader (Mr Kyei-Mensah- Bonsu) 1:45 p.m.
Madam Speaker, thank you for this opportunity to make these few comments.
Madam Speaker, this marks the end of the Fourth Session of the tenure of this Parliament, the Fifth Parliament of the Fourth Republic.
I thank the Almighty God for granting His blessings to us throughout this Session and in these four years. It is not by the might of any individual or group but the mercies of the Almighty God that we find ourselves here.
Madam Speaker, in this Fifth Parliament, we passed quite a number of Bills, notable among them being the University of Professional Studies Bill, the Public Health Bill, the Presidential Transition Bill, the Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill, the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill which attracted over a 150 amendments, the University of Health and Allied Sciences Bill, University of Environment and Natural Resources Bill; the latter two which have given birth to two new universities in the country.
Madam Speaker, there have been many Loan Agreements, notably, in the area of road construction, the provision of potable water, the expansion of hydro-
electr ic power to communities, the construction of health facilities and the provision of facilities which some others may consider basic, such which are required to positively impact on our national development.
May I reiterate the fact that there have been many incidents which have also not advanced the course of our national development.
The STX Bill was one of them; the use of petroleum revenue as collateral to secure a loan was one matter which still requires sober reflection. Countries which have traversed that trajectory have ended up with bloodied noses. Concerning the Chinese CDB Loan, US$3 billion in all, do the component parts represent the best investments we could have had as a nation. Some of us have different opinions.
The matters relating to the payment of judgment debts are issues that registered strongly on the national radar. The Woyome payments, payments to Construction Pioneers, Waterville, chiefs who claimed not to have received payments at all. These are matters that cannot be wished away. In the fullness of time, the truth shall be established and that is regardless of attempts perceived or otherwise to cover up.
Madam Speaker, in line with Constitutional obligations, the President has presented his last State of the Nation Address a few moments ago and all of us must commend him for that. Article 67 of our Constitution obligates the President to come to Parliament to deliver his message on the state of the nation. Article 34(2) captures the ingredients that the President must be reporting on.
These include steps taken by Government to ensure the realisation of basic human rights, healthy economy, the right to work, the right to good healthcare and the right to education. These are the
benchmarks. How have we performed as a nation in these last four years? I thought that was what the nation was looking for.
The President spoke about attempts to eradicate schools under trees, what is being done in school feeding and capitation, evidence of investment in secondary school education, health insurance, upgrading of some hospitals, then matters relating to security agencies, energy.
Madam Speaker, noticeably, just after the President had spoken about advancement in energy, we experienced partial power outage in this House.
Madam Speaker, some of us disagree with some of the details given by the President but we have to wait to critic the message when we have the full complement of the text. The President read to us an abridged version of what was supposed to be a 32-page document.
Madam Speaker, for the first time in the history of the country, an incumbent President, Prof. J. E. A. Mills passed on to glory. It was a very devastating experience for the nation. In the course of our four- year term, we have witnessed the transition of some former Members of Parliament, notable among them being the Hon Theresa Tagoe and Hon Clend Sowu.
For this Parliament, we have lost five of our Members -- Hon Doris Seidu, Hon Akwasi Ankomah, the Hon Emmanuel Asamoah Owusu-Ansah, the Hon Alhaji Saani Iddi, Hon Edward Salia-- if my memory serves me right and just on Christmas Day, the Hon Henry Ford Kamel.
May God grant them eternal rest in perfect peace! Not to be forgotten is the former Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama who exited this stage rather unheralded. May Allah be merciful to him!

Madam Speaker, that the nation was able to rise to the occasion to quickly swear in the then Vice President as the President on the death of the substantive President, shows how far our democracy has travelled. This attracted so much commendation from the international community and indeed, established the country as a beacon of democracy in Africa.

Madam Speaker, works on the Job 600 Block which re-started in 2010 and which is still ongoing, and which would serve as offices for Members of Parliament in the Sixth Parliament, is programmed to be completed in a few months' time. This would put to bed the situation whereby Members of Parliament use their vehicle booths as their offices.

Madam Speaker, in many instances, when Parliament became sharply divided, the pivotal considerations have been that the Executive had crowded the latter days of Parliament's Meetings with many Bills and Loan Agreements, some of them quite controversial. Parliament has not had sufficient time to delve into the bolts and knots of these documents.

Members belonging to the ruling Party have often felt that it was their responsibility to ensure that Government business had smooth passage through Parliament, whereas the Members of the Minority benches had also felt the responsibility to ensure diligence and more importantly that the nation had value for money.

It is important for Parliament to live up to its functions of the power of the purse. Equally, the oversight responsibility of the Legislature must be pursued, otherwise, greed, avarice and irresponsibility may take centre stage. If that happens, the electorate may lose trust in the Legislature.

Madam Speaker, for the first time in the history of the conduct of elections in this country, we were able to vote via the biometric system. What recourse was expected to broaden our electoral horizon ended up with some hitches and we, in the New Patriotic Party (NPP), have demonstrated our non-recognition of the declaration of the results in the Presidential Elections.

The courts would decide who the real winner is. We are hopeful that our action would mark a watershed in the conduct of elections in this country, such that at the end of the process, losers would acclaim winners and winners would mag- nanimously embrace losers.

Madam Speaker, in the four years that you have been in the Chair, this House has by and large experienced tranquility. But we must admit that there had been moments of some major turbulence. Whether by design or accident, often times when storms had developed, Madam Speaker, you had not been in the Chair. Whether it had been sheer happenstance or contrivance, nobody could tell. But the chroniclers of the history of Ghana's Parliament would certainly have a story to tell.

And may I say that the Speaker in this case, includes the Deputy Speakers who did very well during the times that you

Madam Speaker were absent. Madam Speaker, there may be some notable exceptions but we would certainly not go into those exceptions. Today is certainly not the day for such observations.

My appreciation goes to the Clerk and members of the Service for their selfless attitudes towards ensuring the growth and progress of this noble institution in spite of the challenges that confront them. Without them, we all know, the conduct of parliamentary business would not have been successful as it has been.

May I extend warm gratitude to our friends in the Media. There are times that they had had to hang in there a bit longer in order to have fuller grasp of proceedings in the face of the rather crowded calendar that we had to work with in the Session in particular. But in all, they have been very good ambassadors of themselves and also need to be commended. It is my wish that in the next Parliament, they continue with their good reportage.

Madam Speaker, noteworthy, the Parliamentary Press Corps in the course of the discharge of their duties, lost three of their compatriots. May the departed have eternal peace in their sleep.

Madam Speaker, in winding up, may I use the opportunity to wish all of us good health and prosperity in all our endeavours. I wish also to wish all the MPs who would not be seen in the next Parliament success wherever they might find themselves.

Madam Speaker, I thank you very much as usual for your kind indulgence. I thank you once again.
Madam Speaker 1:45 p.m.
I thank you very much, Hon Minority Leader.
Hon Majority Leader, you have the floor now.
Madam Speaker 1:55 p.m.
Madam Speaker, the life of this Parliament was a wonderful and eventful one that ought to be celebrated. This Parliament made landmark decisions that would stand the test of time and would see its name inscribed in gold in the political history of this country.
This Parliament managed a very seemless transition of Executive authority to the admiration of the entire world following the death of the former President, H. E. Prof. J. E. A. Mills on the 24th of July this year. A few hours after the passing on of the former President, the House reconvened the same day for an emergency Sitting to swear in the then Vice President, H. E. John Dramani Mahama as President of the Republic of the unexpired term of the late President in accordance with article 16(6) of the Constitution.
Madam Speaker, a week after the swearing in of the new President, the House was once again called up to approve the President's nominee for the position of Vice President for the Republic. This call was also unprecedented as we did not have any precedent to guide us. But this House was able to sail through the processes successfully and established a procedure that would guide future Parliaments in similar circumstances.
The Appointments Committee sat in public and vetted the nominee, Mr Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur on Monday, 6th August, 2012 in line with the letter and spirit of the Constitution and the Standing Orders of the House, contrary to the views held by some members of the public that the nominee should be vetted in camera. The exercise was conducted smoothly and professionally and has helped in deepening democracy and enhancing good governance in our dear country Ghana.
Madam Speaker, on both occasions, Hon Members demonstrated their unflinching allegiance to the State and showed that there was and could always be unity in diversity.

Madam Speaker, this Parliament passed two important legislations to govern the management and utilisation of the country's petroleum resources. The Acts sought to provide a robust regulatory regime to protect the country from falling into the path of other countries where the discovery of oil had become a curse rather than a blessing. The two Acts, the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011, Act 815 and the Petroleum Commission Act, 2011, Act 821, generated a lot of enthusiasm among the citizenry and civil society during their consideration by Parliament.

I am glad that the two Acts largely met the aspirations of the public and the international community has particularly hailed Act 815 as one of the best laws

dealing with petroleum revenue management. It is equally a challenge to the Legislature to involve the public more in the legislative process in order that we can have good laws that are acceptable by the public and can stand the test of time as well.

Other important pieces of legislation passed by this Parliament include:

i. Presidential Transition Act, 2010 (Act 845);

ii. Local Government (Amendment) Act, 2012 (Act 834);

iii. Mental Health Act, 2010 (Act 846)

iv. Veterans Administration, Ghana, Act, 2010 (Act 844);

v. Education (Amendment) Act, 2010 (Act 802);

vi. Savanna Accelerated Develop- ment Authority Act, 2010 (Act


vii. Colleges of Education Act, 2011 (Act 847);

viii. University of Health and Allied Sciences Act, 2011(Act 828);

ix. University of Energy and Natural Resources Act, 2011(Act 830);

x. Renewable Energy Act, 2011 (Act


xi. Public Health Act, 2011 (Act 851);

xii. University of Professional Studies Act, 2011 (Act 850).

Just to mention a few.

A number of Legislative and Consti- tutional Instruments were laid before the Fifth Parliament most of which have since come into force. Among the list is the Representation of the People (Par- iamentary Constituencies) Instrument (C.I. 78) that created 45 additional constituencies. Notwithstanding our differences in opinion regarding the subject and the challenges encountered by the Electoral Commission (EC) in drafting the Instrument, the House reached a consensus on the matter including the recall of the House from recess in order that it could Sit for the statutory twenty-one (21) days for the Instrument to mature.

I am happy also to observe that those of us who were afraid that the passage of C.I. 78 would disenfranchise Ghanaians -- those fears have been put to rest as no Ghanaian was disenfranchised as a result of C.I. 78.

It is also refreshing to add that of the 45 constituencies, 23 were won by the Minority party and then 22 by the Majority party.

Related to C.I. 78 is the Public Elections Regulations, 2012, (C.I. 75), the Regulations that laid the framework for the conduct of the 2012 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections held in December. The Regulations introduced for the first time, biometric verification in the voting process as part of efforts towards enhancing the transparency and credibility of the elections.

Madam Speaker, the elections themselves were generally free, fair and credible. [Interruption] The many observers, both local and international, who monitored the elections, attested to this fact. Ghana has once again cleared another huddle in our democratic effort to the admiration of the international community and our good-selves. But this
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:05 p.m.
Madam Speaker, there is a minor inadvertent error that I committed. Even though I said five Members of this current Parliament had transitioned, I mentioned six names. Indeed, the number is six and not five. I think the Hon Majority Leader also suffered the same affliction when he also mentioned five; however, he mentioned six names. For the record, we have lost six Members of Parliament.
Madam Speaker 2:05 p.m.
Thank you for the correction. Thank you, Hon Minority Leader.
Hon Members, it is now my turn.
Hon Members, barring any unforeseen recall of this House before the mid-night of 6th January, 2013, today's Sitting brings to an end, the Fifth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana.
Indeed, I speak with mixed emotions on this eventful occasion on which another chapter in the annals of our country's parliamentary history is about to be concluded. I first of all thank the Almighty God for offering me this unique
Madam Speaker 2:15 p.m.
opportunity to be called upon to serve my country at a time I thought my stint with the Public Service had ended.
Throughout my Speakership, I have turned to the Lord in prayer and He answered by giving me the courage, wisdom and direction to serve with humility and fairness. My recall to serve at a higher pedestal of State as the Speaker of the Fifth Parliament of the Fourth Republic has not only exposed me to new experiences beyond those acquired in my previous role as the Second Deputy Speaker of the Consultative Assembly that drafted the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, and my long span of service at the Attorney-General's Department and the Bench.
The parliamentary environment is unique and different from that of the Bench. Whereas on the Bench-- [Laughter] the Judge or Presiding Officer is solely clothed with authority to manage his or her Court, in Parliament, the Speaker, despite his or her name, ironically has “no tongue to speak -- to any question or engage in debates on the floor of the House, but rather listens and ensures that order prevails for the smooth running of business.
The Speaker, in fact, is the servant of the House not the master. He or she acts in accordance with the rules, procedures and the will of the House. Being a novice a few days after my election as Speaker of Parliament, I realised I had to master much about parliamentary practice and procedures. But before then, I experienced what can be called “baptism of fire” that taught me to be always alert, a lesson that I needed to be thoroughly conversant with the rules and procedures of the House in order to succeed.
Indeed, from outside Parliament, one may wrongly perceive Parliament as a casual meeting place but come inside it and witness the serious, fierce and robust debates and your perception would be changed.
Hon Members, I have been most privileged to have worked with you all, both front and backbenchers in rendering unstinting service to mother Ghana.
You all deserve my commendation and gratitude for showing patriotism and assiduously working with me in an orderly manner. Indeed, from time to time, I had little brush with a few combative Backbenchers, but as Abraham Lincoln once said,
“no matter how much cats fight, there always seem to be plenty kittens”.
These are normal jostles any Speaker is likely to encounter in the discharge of his or her duties.
Luckily, I have not witnessed physical encounters known in some jurisdictions and your attitude to one another and courtesy to the Chair had helped us in consensus building in the House, resulting in the making of sound and beneficial decisions.
Having been together for four years, I shall surely miss all of you but I am hopeful that we shall meet one another sometime. I believe we all have stories to tell of our work interactions within the setting of this august House. We have shared moments in happiness as well as sorrow. Moments of shared views with Colleagues across the political divide and enjoyed humorous and hilarious moments that contributed in easing pressures and tensions in the House.
We have equally endured together sad moments when we all closed ranks to mourn our departed Friends who succumbed to eternity, in particular, we
came together to mourn the demise of our then serving President and former Vice President respectively. May their souls rest in perfect peace! They shall long be remembered in this nation as heroes who loved their country and contributed in bringing peace to this land. Well done, Heroes!!

Significantly, Hon Members, the outcome of those moments and others shared together have brought us closely together to the extent that we have become one big family, although with diverse views and interests.

Hon Members, many of you played major roles in many international bodies to which the Parliament of Ghana affiliates and creditably distinguished yourselves. As a result, many Parliaments on the African Continent and outside of it struck a relationship with our Parliament, while many of those with an existing relationship with us had deepened it by either sending parliamentary delegations to visit our Parliament or sending their staff to understudy the structure and workings of our Parliamentary Service. This is a monumental credit to our Parliament.

I admit that a good foundation had been laid by my predecessors and that many of the facilities and services enjoyed by Members of Parliament and staff of the Parliamentary Service are the outcomes of those great men. I recognise their good works and give them credit for their respective contributions to the growth and development of our parliamentary institution and democracy.

My vision as Speaker was to build upon the foundation laid by my

predecessors. So far, together with the Parliamentary Service Board, we have been able to complete the three-storey administration block for Parliament as well as the high capacity underground water reservoir. Work is ongoing to complete the second phase of the conversion of the acquired GNTC Building into committee rooms and also for the proposed Institute of Parliamentary Studies.

The rehabilitation of the Tower Block (Job 600) on which serious work started under my Speakership is now almost completed, albeit a few works on the frontage and furnishing. I think those of you who will be in the Sixth Parliament will be the lucky ones to enjoy its use.

Under my watch, one of my cherished dreams was to build a modern parliamentary chamber complex. Dis- cussions on the proposed Chamber complex were completed with Leadership and formal communication was sent by the Board to the late President, His Excellency Prof. John Evans Atta Mills of blessed memory who unfortunately passed on to glory the day that we expected to be given formal audience with him to discuss the proposal. I hope my successor will initiate discussions on the matter to build the new Chamber complex befitting of our Parliament.

Hon Members, I deem it appropriate to place on record the enormous support Ghana's Parliament had received from our development partners in terms of funding projects and sponsoring training programmes for most of you and the staff of the Parliamentary Service. I must also mention that the common platform which had been established for engaging them had proved worthwhile.
Mr Avoka 2:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker, before I move the Motion, if you will indulge me, let me remind Hon Members about the luncheon. I hear the Diplomatic Corps has been waiting for us all along. From here, we should move to the Banquet Hall for the luncheon.
Let me also remind newly-elected Members of Parliament that they are meeting here on Sunday at twelve midnight for the purposes of electing a new Speaker, the two deputies and swearing in of Hon Members, so that Monday, 7th January, those matters would
have been off us and we would only concentrate on the swearing in of the President and the Vice President. So Sunday, midnight, we will be here. They should come at 11.30 p.m., so that at about midnight, we would have done this one.
Madam Speaker, I beg to move, that this House now be adjourned Sine die. It is even past two o'clock, so we --
Madam Speaker 2:25 p.m.
This Parliament is dissolved. We do not need any more Motions.
I thank you, Hon Leader.

APPENDIX 2:25 p.m.


ADDRESS 2:25 p.m.

Mr President 2:25 p.m.
Madam Speaker, Hon Members of the House, Your Ladyship, the Chief Justice, Members of the Council of State, Ministers of State, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Service Commanders, Nananom, Nii Mei, Naa Mei, Fellow Ghanaians, in accordance with article 67 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, I appear before you to deliver a message on the state of our nation prior to the dissolution of the Fifth Parliament of the Fourth Republic.
I undertake this task with mixed feelings. The Fifth Parliament of the 4th Republic started with His Excellency Professor John Evans Atta Mills as President. Indeed, he took his oath of office
Mr President 2:25 p.m.
and employment for over 60 per cent of the working population, Government committed to accelerate agricultural modernization and the transformation of the rural economy. This was to quicken the pace towards full domestic food security, increased agricultural exports, improvement in farm incomes, production of raw materials for value addition through processing, generation of employment and alleviation of poverty.
This was to be achieved through a number of productivity enhancing strategies including timely availability of needed farm inputs, opening up marketing opportunities for farmers, fishermen and upscaling credit support for agricultural processing.
Madam Speaker, much has been achieved through the targetted programmes implemented in the last four years and consistent with the commitments made by Government. I will mention only some of the major achievements in this regard:
1. In 2009, the Government restored the levels of customs duties or tariffs on imported basic food and thereby, paving the way for the revival and effective protection of domestic food supply.
2. Flowing from the above, this policy contributed to Ghana becoming self-sufficient in some basic cereals in 2010 and 2011 as total cereal production exceeded national demand.
3. Consequently, domestic maize production recorded surpluses in 2010 and 2011 in spite of adverse weather conditions in 2011 and rice output doubled
from the 2008 level in 2011, resulting in a corresponding 50 per cent reduction in r ice imports.
4. Cocoa production exceeded one million tonnes for the first time in 2010/2011.
5. Cotton production which had reduced to an output of 5,000 tonnes in 2008 increased substantially by 900 per cent to 50,000 tonnes in 2011.
6. Total fish production including marine fisheries saw substantial increases due to the Government's support to subsidised premix fuel, outboard motors and technical backstopping to artisanal fishermen and through deliberate policies to promote aquaculture.
7. Agricultural productivity generally increased through uptake of fertilizers by farmers, the use of agrochemicals, pesticides and improved planting materials.
8. Ghana achieved the lowest annual food price inflation over a twenty- year period in 2011.
Madam Speaker, this Administration has also encouraged and created the platform for the increasing emergence of Public-Private Partnerships in agriculture. Under the tutelage of the Government, agricultural investors, both domestic and international, have found a friendly environment for creating farms that operate an out-grower system where thousands of small holders are gaining access to technology and markets, through nucleus farming.
Not only have we just concluded a multi-million dollar commercial agriculture facility involving the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and multiple donors, we also ensured that that initiative moved immediately into high gear with already encouraging returns.
In all of these, whether in the Youth in Agriculture Programme or in commercial agriculture, evidence shows that land acquisition is becoming a bottleneck for expanded access to the programme. In September last year, I, therefore, instructed the Minister for Food and Agriculture to review the Youth in Agriculture Programme for a possible inclusion of delivery of serviced agricultural plots for onward leasing to interested youth and commercial farmers who are willing to go into agriculture.
Madam Speaker, in the few years since its establishment, the Savannah Acce- lerated Development Authority (SADA) has facilitated partnerships to establish three agro processing factories -- a sheanut processing factory at Buipe, a rice mill at Nyankpala near Tamale and a vegetable oil mill at Tamale. The Produce Buying Company is currently raising the capital to begin sheanut purchases to feed the factory.
The benefit of these various initiatives to tens of thousands of poor women in the savannah zone of this country and the possibilities it opens up to the youth in these areas would only keep growing and continue to surpass all expectations.
Madam Speaker, in all this, we have not lost our commitment to the environment. For instance, SADA, through its greening the northern savannah ecological zone agenda, has partnered with a private sector group to grow and nurture five million trees in the next 12 months.
C. Energy Madam Speaker, I now turn my
attention to a very crucial sector, energy. Our major achievements in the energy sector have been in the following areas:
1. The Ghana National Gas Company has been established to ensure the sustainable development of the gas industry and related infrastructure.
2. The Tema Oil Refinery debt which incapacitated the company and threatened the operation of Ghana Commercial Bank has been substantially paid off and is being sustainably managed.
3. Government has supported VRA, NEDCo, GRIDCo and ECG to undertake the restructuring required to restore their finances.
4. With electricity, a 376 megawatt generation capacity was added to the base capacity in 2011; an additional 258 megawatt was added by the end of 2012 to bring the total national capacity to 2,443.5 megawatts, an increase of 35per cent since 2008.
5. Access to electricity has increased from 54 per cent in 2008 to 72 per cent in 2011.
6. 1,700 communities have been connected to the national electricity grid since 2008, with a larger proportion of this increase representing poorer households who would otherwise not have access to energy.
7. Since the inception of production at the Jubilee Field to 31 st December, 2012, a total of 51,728,261 bbls of oil have been

produced. Out of this, the Ghana Group has lifted a total of 8,861,223 bbls, which translate into USD985,196,046.

Madam Speaker, one of the first acts our Government did, was to negotiate and approve the plan of development for the Jubilee phase 1 and in the process ensured that Jubilee Phase 1 was developed optimally with an appreciable level of local content achieved.

Since January, 2009, there has been a significant increase in exploration activities in Ghana's sedimentary basins resulting in the discovery of 18 significant oil, gas and condensate accumulations. These discoveries are at various stages of appraisal and development. Prior to this and under the previous regime, 4 discoveries had been made. These are the Mahogany/Hyedua discoveries, which was later christened “Jubilee Field”, and other three marginal discoveries in 2008 namely, Ebony, Odum and Mahogany deep.

The new oil, gas and condensate discoveries made under Prof. Mill's Administration include:

1. The Tweneboa, Enyenra and Ntomme (TEN) discoveries of oil, gas and condensate made between March, 2009 and late 2010 by GNPC and Tullow Oil led consortium in the Deepwater Tano Block. Appraisal of these discoveries which began in late 2010, has been completed and the development plan has been submitted to the Energy Minister for his consideration and approval. Development of these fields, on approval, will begin in 2013 and the field is expected to come on stream in late 2016. The field which has oil

reserves of about 234-344 million barrels of oil is expected to produce about 80,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd).

2. In July, 2012, the Wawa-1 exploration well discovered oil and gas-condensate.

3. The Teak-1 and Teak-2, Akasa and Banda oil, gas and condensate discoveries made in close proximity to the Jubilee Field by GNPC and Kosmos Energy led consortium in the West Cape Three Points Block. Appraisal activities have confirmed and extended the productive area for the Teak discovery. The partnership has negotiated an integrated and synchronized appraisal programme with Government for all the discoveries in the WCTP block, whose implementation should be concluded in 2013. Thereafter, the optimal development option for these resources would be determined and a plan for that submitted for Government's consideration.

4. GNPC and the ENI led consortium discovered significant gas volumes and minor oil in the Sankofa-1 well located east of Jubilee in July, 2009 and in 2011, encountered gas and condensate in significant quantities in the Gye- Nyame well in the Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) block. Appraisal activities over the Sankofa discovery have confirmed the potential of the Sankofa oil and gas discovery, and have also established the block's potential in the development of non- associated gas resources in Ghana.

5. The first significant oil discovery in the Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) block came through the Sankofa-East exploratory well in September, 2012. Gas and condensate were discovered in the same well. The operator, ENI, is currently appraising this oil discovery and the results look promising so far.

6. Between June, 2011 and December, 2012, GNPC and its partner Hess made 5 discoveries of oil, gas and condensate in the Deepwater Tano/Cape Three Points block further south of the Jubilee Field. Appraisal drilling and pre-development activities are planned for 2013.

7. GNPC, Vanco and Lukoil made the Dzata-1 oil and gas discovery in February, 2010, located south east of the Jubilee Field in the Lukoil operated Deepwater Cape-Three-Points block. The discovery has opened new opportunities in the eastern part of the prolific Tano basin. The operator has planned a series of exploration and appraisal activities for 2013.

Madam Speaker, as at the end of 2012, Ghana's proved gas reserves (associated and non-associated) stood at 3.02 trillion cubic feet (tcf) (170 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBOE)). The net proved oil reserve is about 1.03 billion barrels of oil.

Madam Speaker, the economic activity engendered by about US$6 billion worth of investments associated with the Jubilee discovery over a 3-year period has been phenomenal. The next 4 to 6 years will see a strong focus on development activity leading to the investment of about US$20

billion worth of new investments in oilfield appraisal and development activity. Another US$10 billion is expected to be invested in developing associated and non-associated gas discoveries.

We have to focus on strengthening our local content and local participation laws and regulations, and their implementation to enable a significant portion of these investment benefits to be retained locally. Government is vigorously pursuing the necessary infrastructural and capacity developments that will enable the substantial portion of these developments to be done locally. For example, a portion of the Tema Shipyard and Drydock is being made available for the TEN Partners to upgrade the yard to a state which could be used to fabricate certain equipment for the TEN development.

The Takoradi Polytechnic has been upgraded to run courses that will supply the badly needed middle level manpower for the industry. A scheme to train SMEs about the various opportunities has also been established.

Oil revenues will be generated from a more diversified asset base with strong revenues over a much longer span of over 20 years. The new discoveries will resolve the challenge of dependence on Jubilee Field revenues alone. The broader revenue base will inject more sustainability into oil revenues as a significant additional source of revenue to support Ghana's annual budgeting and long-term developmental efforts.

Madam Speaker, beginning 2017, oil production is expected to double from the current 100,000 barrels per day to about 200,000 barrels per day, contributed to by the additional phases of Jubilee and the Tweneboa, Enyenra and Ntomme Field developments. The additional Mahogany, Teak and Akasa (MTA) discoveries will add another 25,000 barrels per day in 2017. By 2020, the integrated development of 5
Madam Speaker, some of our major achievements in the transport sector are as follows 2:25 p.m.
1. The enactment of several pieces of legislation to boost activity in the sector.
2. The construction and reha- bilitation of major roads and highways throughout the country.
3. The addition of 350 buses to the fleet of Metro Mass buses at a cost of US$11 million.
4. The establishment of the National Drivers Academy to train and retrain drivers.
5. Major improvements in maritime and inland water transport.
6. Extensive rehabilitation works in the railway sub-sector.
7. A more than 80 per cent increase in airlines from 17 airlines in 2008 to over 30 in 2012.
In respect of our commitment to improving Science and Technology and Communication infrastructure as a tool for development, two major achievements stand out:
i. The Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology has been revived and a Science, Technology and Innovation Fund of GH¢2 million has been established.
ii. In the past two months, the Ministry of Communications has taken commendable steps to expedite work on completing the eastern corridor rural fibre optic backbone link to provide national data centre facilities that connect all public institutions to a single shared communication and computing infrastructure; and the installation of capacities for a reliable energy efficient digital terrestrial television system.
Madam Speaker, to grasp the full prospects of our economy, we must reach beyond our own ambitions and borders to shape the revolution that is tearing down barriers and building new networks among nations and individuals and economies and cultures. This is the
central reality of our time. Of course, technological changes and advancements, this profound are liberating to our people and our open, creative society stands to benefit more than any other if we understand and act on the realities of scientific interdependence. We have to be at the centre of every vital global network, as a good neighbour and a good partner.
We have to recognize that we cannot build our future without redefining our engagement and appreciation of the power of science, research and innovation.
Madam Speaker, global historical vicissitudes, which have defined this past decade, show us that innovations in science and technology will be key, not only to the health of the environment but to miraculous improvements in the quality of our lives and advances in the economy.
Much of Ghana's competitiveness challenges can be traced to the fact that the current stock of economic and social infrastructure is both inadequate and generally not of the right quality. Serious efforts have been made to redress this situation but we are yet to achieve the critical mass of improvement required.
Madam Speaker, it has been appro- ximately four months since I stated in my Policy Statement that our country continues to be bedeviled by significant infrastructural deficits which has in many ways impeded our national development.
The focus over those 4 months on the broader infrastructure front, was to identify priority projects among all ongoing projects and bring the weight of the Presidency to bear on managing an agreed plan to guarantee that percentage completion, is visibly increased over the period. This has been done.
G. Public Sector Performance
Madam Speaker, in my critical policy speech, I invited us as public servants to do a soul searching and in all honesty, ask ourselves the sobering question whether the public was getting value for money.
I said then and I reiterate now a message to our public servants and public services, the public does not believe that it is receiving value for the money it uses to remunerate us. The positions we occupy are meant to serve the public and not to Lord it over them. That is why we are called “public servants”.
Madam Speaker, as I noted then, ordinary citizens are now paying over GH¢6 billion to public servants every month, but they continue to be mistreated in hospitals; they continue to get poor or no water supply services; when they try to access services in the Ministries, they are sometimes met with a very hostile, unfriendly and unkind services outlook.
Madam Speaker, in that critical policy speech, I tasked the Public Services Commission to provide my office with a revised framework for quarterly performance assessment management in all public service institutions. So far, the Public Services Commission has developed:
1. a new performance management framework to guide the reform effort;
2. a handbook for performance planning- review, appraisal and decision-making, and discussed it with stakeholders;
3. new staff performance planning, review and appraisal forms; and
Madam Speaker, some of our major achievements in the transport sector are as follows 2:25 p.m.
planned, and for which resources had been allocated.
Madam Speaker, let me use this forum to reiterate and clarify my vision. I believe, as does most Ghanaians, that education is a right, and must be free. Millions of Ghanaians, especially from deprived families got the benefit of fee-free education during the First Republic and, today, they are contributing meaningfully to the development of this nation.
The modalities of expressing this shared-national vision of free education must first, ensure that we improve efficiencies and grant access to those who are in the system. In 2009, we had a huge unfulfilled backlog of students who needed to move from basic to secondary, to tertiary education; and falling standards at the basic level.
Madam Speaker, our fidelity and commitment to deep reaching institutional reforms in our approach to education goes beyond mere talk and political posturing. During the four years of this Admi- nistration, the following achievements and success chalked in the area of education and educational reforms, as well as the positive feedback we have received from the vast majority of the people of Ghana only spur as on. These successes include:
1. The initiation of a national strategic plan to ensure that kindergarten education becomes an integral part of basic education delivery in Ghana.
2. The provision of 3 million school uniforms to children in needy and deprived communities across the country, with a total population of 5.2 million school

children. This means that 3 out of every 5 school children have been supplied with school uniforms.

3. Provision of over 40 million exercise books per year to about 4.8 million pupils in basic schools nationwide as part of our commitment to investing in our people.

4. The elimination of 40 per cent of the “schools under trees'' in less than 4 years with the construction of over 1,700 new basic school buildings out of a total of about 4,300.

5. In the Greater-Accra Region in particular, we are on track to completing the construction of 48 three-storey 18-unit class- room blocks to end the shift system in the Metropolis.

6. The provision of 66,000 laptop computers to basic schools under the Basic Education Computerization Programme.

7. Under the School Feeding Programme, the doubling of the number of beneficiary school children from about 600,000 pupils in 2008/2009 to over 1.4 million in 2011/2012.

8. An increase since 2009 of the Capitation Grant by 50 per cent.

9. The provision of additional facilities for schools in deprived communities with a US$75 million Schools and districts grant facility.

10. Refurbishment of 59 out of the 110 science resources centres nationwide.

11. Provision of scholarships under the Mathematics, Science and Technology Scholarship Scheme (MASTESS) to 1,000 students of mathematics and science from second cycle and tertiary institutions.

12. The construction of 300 emergency classroom blocks to cater for the un-planned infrastructure and logistics for the Fourth year senior high school students.

13. The introduction of a National Apprenticeship Programme, which is expected to enrol over 13,000 apprentices annually in 25 different skills areas for junior high school students who are unable to access senior high schools.

14. With the introduction of the Local Enterprises and Skills Development Programme (LESDEP), the provision of short- term training and employment programmes for the youth as part of the out-of-school technical and vocational education and training activities.

15. Institution of study leave facilities for over 9,000 teachers as part of our commitment to quality human capital deve- lopment and for improving the quality of teaching and learning in our schools.

16. To enhance the quality of teachers and provide incentives for their career progression, the transition of 38 training colleges to the tertiary level of education under an Act of Parliament.

17. The recruitment as a stop-gap measure of 24,000 trained and untrained teachers to cover for the shortage of teachers in mostly deprived areas and the provision of additional training to them to enhance their pedagogical skills.

18. Some 8,000 additional untrained teachers out of an intended 16,000 are currently enrolled in selected colleges of education for the Untrained Teachers Diploma in Basic Education (UTDBE).

19. Two new public universities in the Brong Ahafo and Volta Regions have been established -- the University of Energy and Natural Resources and the University of Health and Allied Sciences have commenced enrollment and are expected to admit students for the 2012/2013 academic year.

20. As part of the commitment of Government to improve academic work at the University for Development Studies (UDS), a housing facility for House Officers at the Tamale Teaching Hospital has been constructed.

21. A four-storey lecture theatre has also been completed at the Wa campus of UDS.

22. GETFund resources have generally been used to provide residential facilities, classrooms, laboratories, libraries and administration blocks in every region and at every level of education towards the improve- ment of education delivery.