Debates of 29 Jan 2013

PRAYERS 11 a.m.


Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Members, communi- cations from His Excellency the President.

SPACE FOR 11 a.m.

Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Members, I must say that when these communications came, the House was not in Session. I have already referred them to the Hon Chairman of the Appointments Committee.
Votes and Proceedings and the Official Report.
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 11th January 2013.
Page 1, 2, 3, 4 - 7. --
Maj. Derek Yaw Oduro (retd): Mr Speaker, page 7, serial number 3. “The following Hon Members were absent: 1. Hon Alfred Agbesi was in the House on 11th January, 2013 and he has been marked absent.
Thank you.
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is true I was present.
Page 8 --
Mr Wahab W. Suhuyini 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, page 8, line 5, “portable” should read “potable”. There is no “r” and so the “r” should be removed.
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Thank you.

Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 11th January, 2013 as corrected are hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.

Hon Members, we also have a number of Official Reports for correction -- that of Tuesday, 8th January, 2013, Wednesday, 9th January, 2013, Thursday,10th January, 2013 and Friday, 11th January, 2013. We would start with that of Tuesday, 8th January, 2013.

Official Report of Tuesday, 8th January, 2013 for correction -- [Interruption] -- Do you not have it? -- [Pause] --

Hon Members, do you have the Official Report of Tuesday, 8th January, 2013? -- [Some Hon Members -- “No! ”] -- What about Thursday, 10th January, 2013? -- [Some Hon Members -- “Yes.”] -- Very well.

Hon Members, we would defer the correction of the Official Reports so that we would take all of them tomorrow -- 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th of January, 2013.

Hon Members, I have admitted one Statement today, standing in the name of Hon Isaac K. Asiamah, congratulating the Black Stars.
STATEMENTS 11:10 a.m.

Mr Isaac K. Asiamah (NPP -- Atwima- Mponua) 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for this unique opportunity to congratulate the Black Stars for their achievements so far.
Mr Speaker, I would like to send my heartiest congratulation to the senior national team and present a motivational and goodwill message to the gallant and talented representatives of Ghana at the ongoing 29th edition of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON 2013).
Mr Speaker, this tournament is christened “Orange Africa Cup of Nations South Africa 2013”. The tournament commenced on Saturday, 19th January, 2013 and will end on Sunday, 10th February,
Mr Speaker, I would want to first commend the tournament organiser, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for yet another wonderful soccer fiesta which would afford the winner of the tournament represent CAF in the 2013 edition of the FIFA Confederations Cup to be hosted by Brazil.
Mr Speaker, the facts of Ghana's presence in AFCON Competitions are as follows 11:10 a.m.
Ghana's participation in the 2013 tournament marks her 19th appearance of which she has won four times in 1963, 1965, 1978 and 1982. It has been 31 years since we last won the tournament and our thirst for yet another trophy is so overwhelming.
Mr Speaker, the senior national soccer team , the Black Stars were in Group B and played alongside countries like Mali, which are ranked 25th by FIFA, Niger, 97th and DR Congo, 101 respectfully.
Mr Speaker, it is very remarkable to note that this tournament is significantly witnessing quite an outstanding display of quality skills and talents from all participating countries. Soccer pundits, connoisseurs and fans on the continent and football commentators have predicted Ghana as the favourite winner of the tournament.
Mr Speaker, Ghana started the journey to recapture the trophy by drawing 2-2 with DR Congo and in the second game against Mali, Ghana picked all the three points, winning with a lone goal. In the last group match, victory came again when Ghana thrashed Niger 3-0, who at all times have suffered at the hands of the Black Stars at any major tournament. A mention can be made of the 6-0 whipping in 1969 in Accra and 9-1 humiliating defeat in the return match in Niamey, and a 5-1 win also in Niamey. So our record so far is great in terms of this weekend too.
Mr Speaker, the Ghana Black Stars have been able to secure qualification to the next stage of the competition and has once again uplifted the image of the country in the Republic of South Africa.
Mr Speaker, this team that has a number of debutant players has obviously proved how talented they are and demonstrated their outstanding poise, resilient and
intractability on the field of play, which I think is worth emulating to enhance the country's development.
Mr Speaker, commendation must also be extended to the technical team and the GFA for their unflinching support to the players. The technical manager has proved that, with support and encouragement, our local managers could be a force to reckon with.
I would like to give thumbs up to the wonderful and ever increasing supporters, who stand on their feet and tirelessly motivate the Stars by cheering throughout their games. To them, I say kudos.
Mr Speaker, I am more than convinced that, as a House, we must say a big thank you to the sponsoring companies, which over the years have shown continuing dedication and support to the national team.
My advice to the technical handlers is that, football is about three cardinal departments. First, a well determined, strong and focused defence; second, a committed and powerful midfield, as well as penetrative, swift and fearful attacking machinery. These three cardinal areas should be the team's guide as we proceed.
Mr Speaker, I would like to urge the playing body to hold their heads high as they represent themselves, their managers and the country at large. I know that this moment of great joy will move the team to across the hurdle of semifinals and press on, to ascertain the ultimate height This is because, as it stands now, Ghanaians are tired of being called four time champions. Indeed, we need to win this Cup for our morale to deepen.
Mr Speaker, it is the aspiration and hope of Ghanaians that the Black Stars would annex the trophy for the fifth time, which would end the over thirty years of trophy drought in the AFCON competition.
Mr Speaker, the facts of Ghana's presence in AFCON Competitions are as follows 11:10 a.m.

Mr Speaker, I believe the whole country would be thrilled and more united, to see this dream come into reality

Long live the Black Stars of Ghana.

Long live Africa Cup of Nations Competition (AFCON).

Thank you.
Mr Clement K. Humado (NDC -- Anlo) 11:20 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to support the Statement made by my Hon Colleague and Friend, Hon Asiamah.
Indeed, we all know that football has become the passion of the nation and anytime Ghana is engaged in international tournaments, the whole country gets behind the national team.
I would like to first of all, explain that the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2013 is coming back-to-back with the AFCON 2012. This is because of the need for realignment at the level of Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Fédération International de Football Association (FIFA). Mr Speaker, Hon Members would recall that we had the AFCON 2012 and normally, it should have been two years but just after a year, we are engaged in the
AFCON 2013.
This obviously has put tremendous pressure on the finances of Government, just coming after an election year and for AFCON to take place in the first quarter of the year when we have not really got our budget together.
So my first thank go to Government for being able to support the funding of the
national team and its officials, which has enabled us to participate in these games. The Ministry also has done its part by making sure that funds are available to the team for the pre-tournament preparation at Abu Dhabi and also constantly supporting the team in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
So far, the team has done very well; they have qualified at the group stages and we extend our congratulations to the team for the success so far achieved. We are very positive and sure that the team would go to the final stages. This is because of the effective preparation they have undertaken both in Ghana, Abu Dhabi and South Africa.
We would want to congratulate them for the success so far but we would also want to say that they should not rest on their oars. This is just the group stage and while we are appreciative of their success so far, we believe that there are more challenges ahead and we would like therefore, to advise our team, that they should not rest on their oars but put in more in order to get the gold cup back to Ghana after this long period of drought - - almost 31 years.
I would also like to thank the sponsors, particularly sponsors of the supporters unions. This is because Ghana has a very large presence of supporters at the AFCON 2013, if you watched the television. We would want to congratulate the supporters and wish them well and wish that they continue to support the Ghana Black Stars until victory becomes ours. At the same time, we also thank the key sponsors who have made all these things possible to enable Ghana participate in the 2013 AFCON games.
With these few comments and observations, I would like to support the Statement made by my Hon Colleague,
Hon Asiamah, who himself is a sports enthusiast and with whom I have travelled a number of times on similar tournaments outside Africa.
I thank you.
Ms Freda A. O. Prempeh (NPP -- Tano North) 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for this opportunity to also add my voice in congratulating the Black Stars for the wonderful performance and the splendid achievements they have chalked so far.
Mr Speaker, the Black Stars have indeed, made us all proud. Initially, when they drew 2-all with the Democratic Republic of Congo, we were all sitting on thorns. But when they won against Mali, I was particularly hopeful that definitely, we were going to proceed to the quarter- finals.
Indeed, yesterday, Mr Speaker, they made us all proud. They won 3-nil against Niger. Niger is also a good side but the Black Stars did their best.
On this note, Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate the team, the players, the technical bench and the supporters. Of course, the Women Supporters Union was not represented but I believe we would soon join the supporters in South Africa.
Mr Speaker, I would also like to say that the battle is still the Lord's and we are hopeful -- [Hear! Hear!] -- Mr Speaker, the “battle is still the Lord's”; they have got to where they are, by the grace of God. It is my hope and fervent prayer that they would proceed through the quarter-finals to the semifinals.
Mr Speaker, I have no doubt that with the level of achievements, the splendid performance they have exhibited so far, they will win against Cape Verde and proceed to the semifinals.
On this note, I would want to congratulate them once again, con- gratulate the supporters, the technical
bench and the players. I wish them all the best. I can only say “ayekoo” and more grease to their elbows. We are hoping that they would win and win 3-nil against Cape Verde and proceed to the semifinals.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Dr Hanna L. Bisiw (NDC -- Tano South) 11:20 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to support the Statement made by Hon Asiamah.
Mr Speaker, indeed, Ghana as a nation, football is a game that brings us together. Anytime our boys are out, a lot of us have our hearts in our hands. They have come this far. 2010 saw us through a World Cup and we wept. Today, by the grace of God, our boys have been able to qualify to the quarter-finals.
Mr Speaker, I would want to add my voice in congratulating them and in congratulating the Government for the support. This is because if the Government had not supported and encouraged them, we would not have seen them this far -- [Hear! Hear!] I would also want to congratulate the technical team; when you have a good technical team, you can always encourage them. Times when we know that their spirits were down, there, we encourage them and urge them on. That is why we saw the wonderful performance that they put up yesterday.
I would also want to congratulate the supporters, both at home and abroad, the sponsors and Mr Speaker, I would wish to state that we should all come together as a nation, we should encourage them, support them. And I am sure that with our good prayers, they would not only go to the semifinals, but they are going to come back home with the victory cup.
With this, Mr Speaker, I would want to thank you and say “ayekoo” to the Black Stars.
Dr Kwabena Twum-Nuamah (NPP -- Berekum East) 11:20 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity. I wish to add my voice to the Statement made by the Hon Member for Atwima-Mponua congratulating the Black Stars for the splendid performance yesterday.
Mr Speaker, I am particularly happy because the coach for the Black Stars at the moment is a Ghanaian and I think it goes to show that the black man can really manage the Black Stars.
Mr Speaker, it is refreshing to note that the four times that Ghana had won the Nations Cup, we were coached by Ghanaians. And I am happy that this year, we are on track to win the Cup for the fifth time -- and also we are coached by a Ghanaian.
I am hoping that the Ghana Football Association (GFA) would accord James Kwesi Appiah the needed support and encouragement for him to work harder and win the Cup for Ghana, particularly to win the Cup for the good people of Brong Ahafo Region (BA) where he comes from. And we are praying for him very much that he is going to win this Cup for BA.
With this, Mr Speaker, I support the Statement.
Mr Murtala M. Ibrahim (NDC -- Nanton) 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to also contribute in congratulating the gallant Black Stars.
I think that my Hon Colleague (Mr Isaac K. Asiamah) would be a very good Sports Journalist. Probably, he would consider that in 2016 when he is not found here, he does good work in sports journalism for the people of this country. Mr Speaker, I think it is a very good profession.

I would want to caution that yes, we won yesterday's match by a victory of three goals to nil but we should be mindful of the fact that we played against a team that we are way, way ahead of both in FIFA and CAF rankings. So, we should not rest -- Like the outgoing Hon Minister for Youth and Sports said -- We should not just say that we have won and therefore, we stand a chance of losing the subsequent matches if we do not put in the needed effort.

It is also important for us to note that yesterday's match was the eleventh time that we met with the Nigeriens. And I guess we won ten of the eleven times we met. The other time was a one-one draw. Inasmuch as it was a tough match, I do not think that anybody expected that we were just going to walk over. They are considered as the weakest side of our group.

Yet the weakest side of our group conceded only one goal before our match. And they conceded a goal against a very strong team like Mali. So, I think that it is important we congratulate our boys.

I would also want to caution the people of this country that when you get into a tournament, you should have two things in mind; you either win or lose. Now, I have observed that in Ghana, you get a coach to get into a tournament and he does not win, people would start crying that the coach must be changed. Let us be mindful that, at least, Mr Kwesi Appiah has done so well.

Many people were not happy by the fact that certain players were not added. But as a coach, I think that we have given him that opportunity to choose the kind of players he would want to go into the tournament with. And indeed, we have made some progress.

It is also important for those of us who are young -- And I can see many of my Hon Colleagues here never had the opportunity to see the African Cup -- I guess the last time we took it was in 1982 or 1983. Even those of us who were born, I guess we were crawling. It is my desire, and I believe that many of other young people, that we also see the African Cup of Nations in this country and possibly kiss it.

It is significant again that the coach we have today was a player when the Cup was taken for the last time for this nation. And we are also told that anytime at all we are at the group stages with DR Congo, we end up taking the Cup. We were at the group stages with them, they have been eliminated -- I believe that if history is something to go by, we stand the chance of brinding the Cup home, to this country. And I think that I can only hope and pray.

What I would urge the people of this country is that, let us continue with the prayer, let us continue with the support but let us be mindful that we are in for two things -- we either win the Cup or we do not. And I do not think that we would pray that we lose the Cup. It is our prayer and desire that we win the Cup. The support that we have given to Coach Kwesi Appiah and his team must continue, so that we do not only win this Cup, possibly, we end up winning the World Cup that is just on our heels.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Frank Annor-Dompreh (NPP -- Nsawam-Adoagyiri) 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I have listened to the good words being said about the Black Stars and I am happy to also associate myself with them.
Mr Speaker, I would want to take a different angle. I think that as a country, we need to go beyond what we are seeing now and look at sports development in general in this country. Mr Speaker, I think that as a country, we have done so well but there is more to be done. I can talk on authority, particularly about my constituency, Nsawam-Adoagyiri where attempts by governments to develop sports facilities leave so much to be desired.
Parks where the youth can go and develop their talents are getting bushy. And I think that Government would have to put its act together and ensure that such facilities are developed.
I would also want to hasten to caution that the authorities concerned with the payment of bonuses to the players --
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Member, we are making Statements and we are not supposed to provoke debate. I am giving preference to people who are making their maiden Statements to help build their confidence on the floor of the House. That is why I do not want to encourage “Points of Order” and all those things.
So, we are congratulating the Black Stars and as much as possible, you should limit yourself to the Congratulatory Message -- The Statement made by the Hon Member. Another time, you may be offered the opportunity to make a Statement on sports development.
Mr Annor-Dompreh 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for your indulgence.
To end, what I would want to say is that, I think that as we celebrate our Black Stars, as a country, we should make a conscious effort to developing sports in our country.
Thank you.
[NII VANDERPUYE ]Mr Magnus Kofi Amoatey (NDC -- Yilo Krobo): Mr Speaker, I would like to associate myself with the Congratulatory Message that we are sending to our gallant Black Stars. Indeed, the Black Stars are making Ghana proud. And one lesson that we are taking in the victory of the Black Stars at this tournament is that, Ghana is at this particular time very united in supporting the Black Stars. We are supporting them in victory.
Mr Speaker, what I would want to urge Ghanaians to do is that -- Our boys are playing to make Ghana proud. They are winning and we are very happy. In the unlikely event that we should drop on the way, I would urge all Ghanaians to be united to support the Black Stars, to support the Ghana Football Association and to support especially Coach Kwesi Appiah, who is one of us.
Mr Speaker, once again, I support the Statement of the Hon Member and I also congratulate the Black Stars.
Nii Kwartei D. Titus-Glover (NPP -- Tema East): Mr Speaker, I equally beg to associate myself with the Statement made by the Hon Member for Atwima-Mponua (Mr Isaac K. Asiamah) to congratulate the Black Stars in far away South Africa.
In my view, victory was based on three points. First of all, I saw their tactical discipline in the field of play. They were motivated and emotionally sound. Based on this point, I can see that the sky is our limit.
Inasmuch as we are praising the Black Stars this morning in this House, Mr Speaker, we need not be complacent because as the game progresses, the competition becomes more difficult. And I would urge the technical handlers. And the playing body to be more careful and to focus on the ball.
On this point, Mr Speaker, I congratulate the Black Stars, the technical team, our sponsors, the media, the Ghanaian community based in South Africa and our supporters.
Thank you very much, for the opportunity.

Nii Lantey E. Vanderpuye (NDC -- Odododiodioo): Mr Speaker, I would want to support the Statement made by the Hon Member for Atwima-Mponua (Mr Isaac K. Asiamah) especially on the issue of giving maximum support to the Coach, Kwesi Appiah.

Many of us have talked about the need for us to encourage our local old footballers.

In parts of Europe where football has developed, a lot of coaches were those who had played the game before. Football pundits on television and football connoisseurs have been people who have been through the game before, so they speak with authority.

We have seen a situation where we have had importation of foreigners to handle our national teams in the past and even that has transferred to the domestic scene, where teams that are having difficulties paying salaries and wages of our players, are importing into the country foreigners to coach our local teams. This, I think, should be a thing of the past with the exploits of Kwesi Appiah at AFCON


It is our hope and prayer that we will continue to support our old footballers so that they will be encouraged to offer their services to our clubs and they will teach our boys our brand of football at the domestic level, at their local teams, so

that it becomes easier for them to be managed at the national level.

On this note, I will also add my voice to congratulate the Black Stars, the technical team, the supporters and especially the Government, which has given so much motivation to the team.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Members, I will take one from each side -- Two -- And then we bring the Statement to an end.
Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah (NPP -- New Juaben South) 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to take this opportunity to single out Asamoah Gyan for praise. Here is one player who has been vilified a lot in the media and across the country. Even when Ghana wins matches, we still criticise Asamoah Gyan for not scoring. In yesterday's game, not only did he score but he created two other chances for Ghana to score.
I was particularly disappointed when in our game against Mali, he did not step out to take the penalty. I think we should stop criticising players when the entire team does not perform well. I think football is a team game and players are part of the team. So just as he said his mum had advised him not to take penalty kicks again and he stayed away from the last penalty kick, I think he deserves our praise this time round and we should encourage him. Even great players miss penalty kicks and so when he misses, we should not vilify him.
In contributing to the Statement made by Hon Isaac Asiamah, I would want to particularly praise Asamoah Gyan for his exploits yesterday.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Last comment.
Dr Bernice Adiku Heloo (NDC -- Hohoe) 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would also want to add my voice in congratulating the team and especially the coach and all the other technical men for all that they have done to lift up the name of Ghana. We hope that at the end of it all, victory would be ours.

Generally, we the women feel very happy, and this observation I am making is across board. So our men should continue coming home even after the match, so that the social cohesion at home will be ongoing.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of Statements. At the commencement of Public Business -- Laying of Papers -- First Deputy Speaker and Chairman of the Appointments Committee?
Mr Ebo Barton-Odro 11:40 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker --
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Member, you are laying the Paper.
Mr Barton-Odro 11:40 a.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
PAPERS 11:40 a.m.

Dr Kunbuor 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we would like --
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
I hope that is the understanding.
Dr Kunbuor 11:40 a.m.
That is all, Mr Speaker.
Mr Nitiwul 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, that is right; that is the understanding.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
How many minutes of suspension?
Dr Kunbuor 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, one hour would be sufficient.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Very well.
Hon Members, the House is accordingly suspended for one hour.
We should ensure that Hon Members get copies of the Report, so that the Motion on the Report can be taken when we come back.
Hon Members, thank you.
11.48 a.m. -- Sitting suspended.
1.30 p.m. -- Sitting resumed.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader?
Dr Kunbuor 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you.
We will take item numbered 6 on the Order Paper.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Are the Reports ready and have they been distributed to Hon Members?
Dr Kunbuor 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, yes.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Very well.
Hon Members, item number 6 on the Order Paper.
MOTIONS 11:40 a.m.

Chairman of the Committee (Mr Ebo Barton-Odro) 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80 (1), which require that no Motion shall be debated until at least, forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which notice of the Motion is given and the date on which the Motion is moved, the Motion for the adoption of the First Report of the Appointments Committee on H.E. the President's nominations for ministerial appointments may be moved today.
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
First Report of the Appointments Committee for Ministerial
Mr Barton-Odro 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the First Report of the Appointments Committee on H. E. the President's nominations for ministerial appointments.
Mr Speaker, in doing so, I present the Committee's Report.
1.0 Introduction
His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama communicated to Parliament for prior approval of the nomination of the following persons, among others, for appointment as Ministers pursuant to article 78 (1) of the 1992 Constitution:
1. Mr Seth Emmanuel Terkpeh -- Minister-designate for Finance.
2. Hon Hannah Serwaah Tetteh -- Minister-designate for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.
3. Hon Alhaji Collins Dauda -- Minister-designate for Water Resources, Works and Housing.
4. Hon Amin Amidu Sulemani -- Minister-designate for Roads and Highways.
5. Hon Clement Kofi Humado -- Minister-Designate for Food and Agriculture.
6. Hon Inusah A. B. Fuseini -- Minister-designate for Lands and Natural Resources.
7. Hon Mahama Ayariga -- Minister- designate for Information and Media Relations.
In accordance with Order 172 (2) of the Standing Orders of the House, the nominations were on the 11th of January, 2013 referred to the Appointments Committee for consideration and report.
The names of the persons nominated were subsequently published in the media in accordance with Order 172 (3) and memoranda were invited from the public on the nominees.
2.0 Reference documents
The following served as reference documents to the Committee during deliberations and public hearing of the nominees:
1. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
2. Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
3. Curricula Vitae of the nominees.
3.0 Procedure
On appearing before the Committee, nominees subscribed to the oath of a witness and answered questions relating to their records of office, the positions to which they have been nominated and issues of general national concern.
4.0 Observations and recommendations

FINANCE 11:40 a.m.






AND HOUSING 11:40 a.m.


AND HIGHWAYS 11:40 a.m.







RELATIONS 11:40 a.m.

Mr Alfred K. Agbesi (NDC -- Ashaiman) 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to second the Motion and the Report.
Mr Speaker, the President's nominees, who were referred to the Committee were questioned at length. They answered questions that the Committee posed to them.
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi (NDC -- Ashaiman) 1:40 p.m.

Mr Speaker, indeed, the President could not have made better choices than these. [Hear! Hear!] Mr Speaker, all the seven (7) nominees whose names appeared here were not found wanting at all.

Mr Speaker, the person of Hon Alhaji Collins Dauda spoke on vital issues which concern everybody in this country -- the issue about housing, the issue about water and what it takes for every Ghanaian to get water into his or her home. Even though, as he said anybody who wants to put up a house must get a permit, so that at the end they can get water into their homes, this regulation is not being followed. Nevertheless, everybody who has a home will be connected with water.
Mr Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Hon Members, I refer you to Standing Order 40 (3) -- having regard to the state of business of the House, I direct that we Sit outside the prescribed period.
Hon Member, continue.
Mr Agbesi 1:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, at the end of the vetting, the Committee members were left in no doubt at all that this Government has got men and women who are actually going to deliver -- [Interruption.] We were so impressed by the Minister- designate for Finance and Economic Planning. One thing the Minister said was that judgement debts that have come, is worrying everybody in this country. He said the cause of these judgement debts is the cancellation of contracts, and most of the contracts were cancelled before 2009 when this present administration came into being.
Mr Speaker, it only means that with him at the helm of affairs, contracts must be
looked at well and there should be nothing like cancellation, so that judgement debts will not arise in future. I think that the Minister-designate is actually in for serious business and this country will not see what happened in the past before NDC came into power.
Mr Speaker, I would want to say that without going from one to seven, we are satisfied, we are convinced that there is nothing to show that these men and women, if we give them the opportunity to go and manage our economy, our systems, Ghana will go places. It is on this basis that I second the Motion and call on all Members of this House not to hesitate at all in approving them for them to take office as Ministers of State.
Again, I urge all Members in this House to approve the nomination of these persons to enable them take office and work for mother Ghana.

Question proposed.
Mr Dominic A.B. Nitiwul(NPP -- Bimbilla) 1:50 p.m.
Thank you Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Hon Members, the Hon Deputy Minority Leader is on the floor and I want to remind all Hon Members in this House that he is speaking for his side and he must be given audience to speak -- [Hear! Hear!]
Mr Nitiwul 1:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I said, I beg to put on record that the Members of the Minority side here will not and would abstain from the debate, first, the Motion and similar Motions about appointments. It would also abstain from the voting process itself, whether it is a voice vote or any other vote on this Motion and subsequent Motions that will have to do with appointments.
Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor 1:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I guess that I have heard the side of the Minority on this matter. I guess they are definitely entitled to take positions on matters of this nature inasmuch as it does not offend our Standing Orders to abstain and inasmuch as neither the Constitution nor any Act of Parliament is breached by that conduct, we would indicate that that will in no way diminish the processes that are taking place in this House. And that we know that the Minority might not be with us physically but they are definitely with us in spirit in getting the gallant men and women --
Mr Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Hon Majority Leader, while they are sitting down physically -- [Laughter] what do you say to that? [Laughter.]
Dr Kunbuor 1:50 p.m.
That is why I am saying that Mr Speaker, you know sometimes when you are in the state of the spiritual realm, you can get fixed to where you are sitting and because they do not intend to rise to contribute, I guess they are with us spiritually -- [Interruptions] -- to guide this particular process.

The other things that matter are that we should be very active representatives of our constituents -- [Hear! Hear!] And more significantly, that we owe it to ourselves and our political parties to

deepen democracy and let it mature in this country.

After having said so Mr Speaker, if conscientious objectivism to issues that are very passionate to any political shade of opinion in this House is anything to go by, I believe it is legitimate for them to register that and I guess that is what the Minority have done. I will not say more.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Hon Members, I will now call the --
Mr Haruna Iddrisu (NDC -- Tamale South) 1:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to associate myself with the Motion ably made by the First Deputy Speaker and Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Hon Barton- Odro.
Mr Speaker, justifiably so, as just confirmed by the Hon Dominic B. A. Nitiwul, conspicuously lost in the work of this Appointments Committee was the Minority New Patriotic Party (NPP), for arguments they themselves have chosen to believe in. Mr Speaker, just to build my point, may I refer you to article 64 (2) of our Constitution, which reads and with your permission, I beg to quote. Maybe, I should start with article 64, so that they appreciate the issues better. However, I am interested in article 64 (2).
“(2) A declaration by the Supreme Court that the election of the President is not valid . . .”
Mr Speaker, these words for emphasis 1:50 p.m.

“. . . shall be without prejudice to anything done by the President before the declaration.”

Mr Speaker, we are aware that the Minority side of the House is contesting the outcome of the 2012 Presidential Elections in Court. But that argument is not legally tenable and it betrays the oath of office they swore as Members of Parliament.
Mr Speaker 2 p.m.
Hon Member for Tarkwa-Nsuaem -- Hon Majority Leader, do you have a point of order?
Dr Kunbuor 2 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
I think it is just a technical hitch that came up. The Hon Deputy Minority Leader did indicate in relation to this Motion, they do not intend to make any comment, and do not intend to take part in the voting. I guess that is why the point of order issue was raising this difficulty. So if we could clarify it, if it allows them to choose which part of the processes in this House that they want to take part in and which processes they do not want to take part in.
Mr Speaker 2 p.m.
Hon Members, every Member of this House who catches the Speaker's eye is entitled to speak.
Mr Speaker 2 p.m.
Yes, Hon Member for Sekondi.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 2 p.m.
Thank you very much Mr Speaker. I thank you for recognizing me. But this is just an appeal to all of us.
As Members of Parliament, as various caucuses within Parliament, we may take certain decisions that others may not find them comfortable. But I plead with Hon Members that as much as possible, we respect the positions taken in these matters, so that matters do not degenerate. It is important.
Mr Speaker -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, I believe the fact that the Minority
is sitting down and listening to the debate itself, conveys a certain message and respect for the views of the Majority. But if we go ahead with taunts and so forth, it may then lead to a degeneration of whatever we are doing.
I thank the Hon Majority Leader for making that statement, and I urge him as Leader of the Majority and also as Leader of the House to ensure that we proceed smoothly.
Thank you very much.
Mr Nitiwul 2 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I espoused the position of the Minority, that we would refrain from taking part in the debate and the actual vote itself on this Motion, and similar Motions that have to do with appointments.
Mr Speaker, we do know and we depend on your good judgement to ensure that no Hon Member here is denigrated of things that -- [Interruption]-- have nothing to do with this debate and the rules are very clear. We would not comment, we would abstain from it. [Interruptions.] Mr Speaker, you are in the Chair --
Mr Speaker 2 p.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, under our rules, I am not supposed to take part in the debate, so how am I going to do that?
Mr Nitiwul 2 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you.
When an Hon Member of Parliament in contributing says something about an individual that contravenes our rules, Mr Speaker, you have the right to intervene. That is what we are saying.
Mr Speaker 2 p.m.
Are you inviting me to do so on behalf of the Minority?
Mr Nitiwul 2 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am not inviting you to do so on behalf of the Minority. Mr Speaker, like you said, we should respect the decisions of other people.
Mr Speaker, we would not be dragged into responding; we would not be dragged into walkouts; we would stay here, we would listen but we would abstain from the vote and the debate.
Thank you very much.
Mr Speaker 2 p.m.
Hon Members, the point that the Minority side is making -- Before I call Hon Bagbin -- I saw him on his feet. Normally, when I see the former Leaders of this House on their feet, I give them preference. That was why I called the Hon Member for Sekondi -- is that, under Order 93(2), says that we should be guided by Order 93 (2) -- the fact that they are not taking part in the debate, we should not use offensive, abusive, insulting, blasphemous language, that is what they are asking the House not to indulge in.
But they are saying that they are Sitting in it and that shows that they have respect for the Majority.
Hon Majority Leader, before I hear you, let me hear Hon Alban Bagbin.
What is the name of your new constituency? I know it used to be Nadowli North and it became Nadowli West. So what is the new name?
Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin 2 p.m.
Thank you. Mr Speaker. It is now Nadowli-Kaleo Constituency and this is my first time of representing that constituency. [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, I just wanted your guidance. I have just been thinking; is abstinence not a form of voting? Abstention, you abstain from voting, is it not a form of voting? Just your guidance.
Mr Speaker 2 p.m.
I will give my guidance but let me hear from the Majority Leader.
Dr Kunbuor 2 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we have listened to Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah who was a former Leader of this House and I think we intend to take a cue from parliamentary practice; you experiment with difficult situations and you build up new precedents and practices. As the Leader of the House -- and for both sides
of the House, I think I will take a cue from the former Leader and make sure I protect adequately, using the Standing Orders to protect my disabled Members of the Minority. This is because I intend now to act as a guardian ad-litem by not suggesting that they do not have capacity. But I do know that with the current temporary disability, it would be my responsibility to make sure that I use the Standing Orders to protect them from unwarranted attacks.
As I indicated in my initial comment, history is a very useful lesson to learn; we have not even travelled beyond 12 hours and we are beginning to learn the lessons of our decisions.
Mr Speaker 2 p.m.
Hon Majority Leader, I am very grateful for taking that load off the Speaker. [Laughter.]
Mr H. Iddrisu 2:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, once again, thank you very much.
I certainly would uphold the Standing Orders and would be decorous as expected in ensuring that I demonstrate respect for Minority rights. But Mr Speaker, I have a right also to question the reasoning of the Minority when in my honest view and opinion, is palpably wrong and legally, is not tenable, to which I refer to article 64(2) of the Constitution.
Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, may I refer you to page 209 of the 1992 Constitution. And for our purposes, I am referring to the Oath of a Member of Parliament and I am particularly interested in the line beginning and I beg to quote:
“I will uphold, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.”
Mr Speaker, emphasis mine.

“. . . And that I will faithfully and conscientiously discharge the duties of a Member of Parliament.”

My honest view is that the Minority is failing the good people of Ghana in participating in this important shared responsibility. Mr Speaker, may I paraphrase and borrow the words of Justice Ampiah and Hayfron Benjamin in the lucid case of J. H. Mensah versus Attorney-General. They said prior approval is not a term of art required, that you must get the consent of the authority, which authority refers to the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana.

Therefore, a nomination from the Executive must necessarily have the consent of this august House, which they are a part of, and they are running away from that shared obligation to discharge their duties conscientiously.

Mr Speaker, arguments we have heard publicly are to the effect that there is a matter pending before the Supreme Court and the decision will affect some actions or inactions. Mr Speaker, I beg to say, only for want of words, I will refrain from using, that they are even in contempt of the Court and their action is an affront to justice in this country, that they think and reason that the Supreme Court can only rule in one way in their favour and to their satisfaction.

That is not a person seeking justice; you must be open. The opportunity is that, the Supreme Court may or may not uphold the values of justice their wish or what they are crying for. But whatever it is, article 64 teaches us a lesson that any actions done -- and Mr Speaker, in this House, there are very brilliant Hon Members from the Minority. Why? Transitional Provisions and Savings

clauses. My Friend “Asparo” as he is known somewhere -- Hon Asamoah Ofosu knows that we always have saved issues in terms of actions that have been purportedly done with authority or without authority under that Act.

Mr Speaker, the Minority has abandoned a critical national assignment, which allows this august House to participate in an important national exercise for the scrutiny of persons nominated by His Excellency the President to play roles as Ministers of State or Deputy Ministers of State. But they are entitled to it, to abandon the ship half way, because of their legally and palpable wrong argument, because they are in the Supreme Court questioning the legitimacy of His Excellency the President.

As far as we are concerned, Ghana has gone through peaceful, transparent elections, hailed by the international community as one of the best -- [Uproar.] I have read reports of the European Union and the Commonwealth and I am satisfied to be a Ghanaian, that we have a legitimate President, duly elected, duly sworn in.

Mr Speaker, with or without their participation, the wheels of Government will run and will run effectively. [Uproar.] But they must come and assist us discharge this onerous responsibility. This is because His Excellency the President does not run with angels, he runs with human beings and they would have held a critical assessment.

Mr Speaker, let me quote this in my conclusion. In the ruling of J. H. Mensah versus Attorney-General, Justice Ampiah used these words, that “. . . to assess whether the candidate so nominated was good, was satisfactory or unacceptable.”

That is the obligation the Majority is running away from and they owe the Ghanaian people an explanation.

Mr Speaker, may I now conclude by saying that, I have faith and confidence in the men and women who have been named, whether it is Alhaji Collins Dauda who assures us of better housing ahead or it is Hon Hannah Tetteh, who assures us of good neighbourliness or whether it is Alhaji Sulemani, who jokingly said that contracts are not shared like groundnuts, they are capable men and women who will assist His Excellency, President John Dramani Mahama to advance his “Better Ghana Agenda.”
Mr Speaker 2:10 p.m.
Hon Members, I have a list from your Leadership which is guiding the Chair.
Mr George Loh (NDC -- North Dayi) 2:10 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity and I wish to support the Motion moved by the Hon First Deputy Speaker and ably supported by the Hon Deputy Majority Leader.
Mr Speaker, I am elated that once again, the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama has demonstrated that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government knows exactly what it is about.

Mr Speaker, the President's nominee for Finance and Economic Planning comes

with a very elaborate and experienced background. A reading of his curriculum vitae (CV) will tell us all that he is a man who has demonstrated beyond doubt, his capacity and capability of handling the finances of this country. Mr Speaker, I am also excited that the President's nominee for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture is also a man who comes with immense knowledge in the field of agriculture and experience.

Mr Speaker, it is clear therefore, that at all material times, we have men and women who are capable of assisting His Excellency the President move Ghana forward and the result will only be a better Ghana.

Before I sit down, Mr Speaker, I would also wish to associate myself with the views of my Brother and Hon Senior Member of Parliament for Tamale South, Hon Haruna Iddrisu and say that for some of us, we believe that the Minority side are doing Ghanaians a lot of disservice.

Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity and hope that we all at all material times know that we have only one country and that is Ghana.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Joseph Y. Chireh (NDC -- Wa West) 2:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
The opportunity has been given to me to say that at the Appointments Committee, we looked thoroughly into the backgrounds of the nominees. We also asked critical questions and what we have done on behalf of all of you, was to make sure that the nominees satisfied all the constitutional requirements, the issues of morality and integrity of their persons and that they are fit.
Indeed, in terms of -- they are fit and proper to be Ministers of State for the sectors that have been designated.
Dr (Mrs) Bernice Adiku Heloo (NDC -- Hohoe) 2:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion, that this Honourable House adopts the First Report of the Appointments Committee on His Excellency the President's nomination for ministerial appointments.
The nominees, to say the least, are men and a woman of substance, experience and expertise.
As a woman, let me just comment on the expertise of Hon Hannah Sewaah Tetteh. As you all know, she had already proved to be a very strong woman, a learned woman, a woman who can leave up to any expectation. [Hear! Hear!] She is very affable, knowledgeable and the list can continue. I can also say the same about the other nominees.
May I associate myself with the Motion and ask that the House approves the nominees.
Thank you.
Mr Speaker 2:20 p.m.
Last contribution, Hon Sampson Ahi.
Mr Sampson Ahi (NDC -- Bodi) 2:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, after vetting the nominees, one can conclude that we are most grateful to His Excellency the President for his wisdom in selecting the men and woman -- that is among the seven -- we have only one female -- to hold the various portfolios to assist him discharge his duties conferred on him by Ghanaians.
Let me go straight to the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing and talk about the affordable housing.
Hon Collins Dauda, the Minister- designate for Water Resources, Works and Housing, after listening to him, it became clear that the Affordable Housing Scheme, which was commenced by the erstwhile Kufuor Administration was not properly thought through. [Interruptions] Mr Speaker, after several years of spending so much on the Affordable Housing Scheme, as we speak, Ghana needs GH¢241 million before we can complete the project.
So if — I do not know what seems to me was that, it was just to score political points, cheap political points and just to satisfy Ghanaians -- the erstwhile administration under President Kufuor just rushed and they initiated the so-called Affordable Housing Project as we have at the moment.
If every government would come, and because of scoring political points, would initiate projects and programmes that are not thought through, Ghana would be the one that would suffer.

Mr Speaker, the Hon nominee convinced the Appointments Committee that as soon as he takes office, he would make sure that the GH¢241 million needed to complete the affordable housing initiated by the former President, Mr Kufuor, would be sought for and then completed.

Before I conclude, on roads, the Hon Minister assured the good people of the Western Region, particularly those from the Sefwi area, Wassa and Aowin Suaman, where everybody knows is the basket of our resources in the country, be it cocoa, timber, bauxite — [Interruptions.] I thought you people said you would not participate -- [Laughter]-- so, sit down; do not talk.

Mr Speaker, he assured the people from the Western Region that on assuming office, he would ensure that the Western Region receives its fair share of the national cake with regard to tarring of the various roads.

I can go on and on and speak about all the nominees. But what I can say is that, all of them acquitted themselves creditably and I have no doubt in my mind that, when given the nod by this House, they will help the President to lead Ghana into the next paradise that all Ghanaians are yearning for.

On this note, Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for giving me the opportunity.
Mr Speaker 2:20 p.m.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of the debate.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Mr Speaker 2:20 p.m.
The House has accordingly approved the following nominees for appointment as Ministers of State in accordance with article 78 (1) of the Constitution:
Mr Seth Emmanuel Terkpeh
Hon Hannah Sewaah Tetteh
Hon Alhaji Collins Dauda v
Hon (Dr) Amin Amidu Sulemani
Hon Clement Kofi Humado
Hon Inusah A. B. Fuseini
Hon Mahama Ayariga.
Hon Members, on behalf of the House and on my own behalf, I congratulate all the nominees for receiving the approval of this Honourable House.

Hon Members, it is past 2.00 o'clock. Hon Majority Leader—
Dr Kunbuor 2:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to move that—
Mr Speaker 2:20 p.m.
Hon Member, it is past 2.00 o'clock. The adjournment of the House is at the discretion of the Hon Speaker. But if you have any announcement to make before I adjourn the House -- that is why I called you.
Dr Kunbuor 2:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, there are some housekeeping matters that have not been concretised. So, we should be able to do that in the coming days.
Mr Speaker 2:20 p.m.
Thank you very much for your support and co-operation.