Debates of 20 Feb 2013

PRAYERS 10:55 a.m.


Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Member, which portion of the Standing Orders are you referring to?
Maj. Oduro (retd): Mr Speaker, I am not referring to any portion of the Standing Orders but that is an observation. Just using our eyes to look at it -- just -- and it is not from any book. I would want a situation where we can recognise the colour that we use. At times, we have yellow; at times, we have gold -- “Obuasi” gold. Which colour do we use for the Order Paper? We are not very consistent. This is what I am appealing to the Table Office.
Mr James K. Avedzi 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity.
Mr Speaker, I think you rightly pointed it out, if the Hon Member referred to any portion of the Standing Orders. But Mr Speaker, can you by your advice ask the Hon Member to prescribe the colour that he prefers to be used for this?
Dr Anthony A. Osei 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my good Friend, the Hon Chairman of the Finance Committee was trying to make reference to our Standing Orders.
Mr Speaker, let me refer him to Standing Order 6. It is very clear. If he has doubts, I would want to read it to him and Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to read:
“In all cases not provided for in these Orders, Mr Speaker shall make provisions as he deems fit.”
The Hon Member is asking the Speaker to ask him what he prefers. It says, “Mr Speaker shall.” It is not up to you to tell Mr Speaker to ask him what he wants. It is in Order 6.
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Member for Old Tafo, I thought you were going to refer to the Standing Orders that deal with Votes and Proceedings, to see whether they prescribed a particular colour?
Dr A. A. Osei 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, they do not and that is why I referred to both Standing Orders 5 and 6. Once they do not --
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Members, let us make progress.
Hon Members, Statements.
Hon First Deputy Speaker to take the Chair.
I call on the Hon Member for Dome/ Kwabenya to make a Statement, after that, it would be followed by the Hon Member for Asokwa. After that, comments would be taken on their Statements.
After, we expect a Statement to be made, paying tribute to our departed Colleague, the former Member of Parliament for Buem.
STATEMENTS 11:05 a.m.

Ms Sarah Adwoa Safo (NPP --Dome- Kwabenya) 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for the opportunity to make this Statement on the health hazards of waste disposal in Dome-Kwabenya.
Mr Speaker, unmanaged waste dumping and the increasing engulfment of my constituency in filth, is quite worrying. It has become a concern and an urgent issue of my constituents. However, I strongly believe that if waste is managed properly, it could be of immense benefit to my constituents and Ghanaians in general.
With the increase in urban population and the rising demand for food and other basic necessities required for human existence, there has been a rise in the amount of waste being generated daily by each household. This waste is ultimately managed by the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs). Unfortunately, in Ghana, waste management means, refuse and liquid waste being collected and dumped in open sites.
Records at the Waste Management Department of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) shows that Accra's municipal solid waste is estimated at 2,200 tonnes per day, with about 80 per cent, collected and disposed. This leaves about 20 per cent, which undergoes various methods, including burying, burning and disposal in open gutters, drains and unapproved corridors.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:15 a.m.
The second Statement will be made by Hon Patricia Appiagyei, Member of Parliament (MP) for Asokwa.

Waste Management Situation in Ghana
Ms Patricia Appiagyei (NPP -- Asokwa) 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to make this Statement on waste management situation in Ghana, where Asokwa Constituency is the worst affected. I would like to commend my constituents, especially those living around Kuwait and Dompoase for their tolerance.
Mr Speaker, environmental sanitation is one of the major challenges facing the MMDAs and it is about time that pragmatic and comprehensive decisions were taken and implemented to safeguard and protect the environment from fast deterioration.
While the growth of towns and cities has resulted in increased population, coupled with increased socioeconomic activities, there has not been a commensurate increase in essential logistics for effective and efficient waste management service delivery.

Mr Speaker, in recent times, the country has become saddled with the problems of lack of final disposal facilities, street littering, choked drains, offensive odour, indiscriminate open defecation, heaps of refuse at most of our sanitary sites, particularly lorry parks and markets. The least we talked about the intimately associated public health consequences with these conditions, the better.

Mr Speaker, admittedly, some systems have been put in place including public-private partnership and the introduction of user- fee in some of the MMDAs. However, the system must be refined and also given national support and colour, as a sustainable means of financing to stem the emerging challenges in the sector.

Mr Speaker, the major obstacles that militate against the efficient and effective delivery of waste management services in Ghana in a sustainable manner fall under the following:

Inadequate holding capacity.

Lack of disposal facilities.

Poor regulatory framework.

Bad public attitude.

Inadequate human resource capacity.

Lack of adequate National financing strategy.

Weak research support.

Poor planning versus rapid urbani- sation.

Mr Speaker, permit me to elaborate on the first two obstacles.

Mr Speaker, the private waste collection contractors have a major challenge of low equipment holding capacity. The associated high cost of
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Member, I need to draw your attention to

the fact that, from the first page onwards, your presentation was different from what you submitted to the Speaker. Under such circumstances, I would advise that the amended version be made available to the Speaker, so that we know exactly where we are going.

Thank you.

We would now call for contributions from Hon Members.
Alhaji Amadu B. Sorogho (NDC -- Madina) 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much and let me take this opportunity to thank the two Hon Members who made the Statements, which invariably, touch on the very core of our existence.
In particular, to the Statement made by Hon Adwoa Safo, the name Abokobi kept on coming and Hon Members were watching my face because until just recently, Abokobi was part of my constituency.
Mr Speaker, I wished that my Hon Sister had contacted my goodself because I would have been in the position to help her in one way or the other because there were definitely certain steps that had already been taken, of which she was not aware. So, I would want to thank her and let the House be aware that, yes, the issue about the management -- And to say that, as we speak now, Mr Speaker, 77 acres of land have already been acquired in Otinibi.
A company by name Hanjer from India is ready and it is to take the form of Public- Private Partnership (PPP) as the Hon Member suggested. The area that the Hon Member is referring to is located on the border line between the Hon Member's constituency and my constituency, precisely Pantang.
Mr Speaker, if you would recollect, a Statement was made on this very issue and I am very happy that the Hon Member has come and the two of us would have to
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Member, in what capacity were you giving the assurance?
Alhaji Sorogho 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I made reference to the fact that I am a Member of Parliament where this canker is located. In fact, the Hon Member knows it very well. In fact, the boundary-- and it affects me even more-- is located near the Pantang Nurses Training College, near the Psychiatric Hospital and in the middle -- just on the border line. So, the Hon Member knows that this is something that we have been working on.
I am saying that so far, the amount of work which has been done by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development suggests that it is something that would be executed.
So, Mr Speaker, that is exactly what I meant.
Mr Justice J. Appiah (NPP -- Ablekuma North) 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity.
Mr Speaker, dumping of waste is increasing in all the communities in this country. Mr Speaker, it is very worrisome and it is indiscipline in the highest order -- indiscipline retards progress.
Mr Speaker, in 1988, when we were in the villages, we used to hear “Papa Tankas”, meaning sanitation officers. Mr Speaker, these sanitation officers were very serious and when they came to your house and you had waste in your house, they would take you to court. They had the chiefs' court and a whole lot of places.
Mr Speaker, waste disposal is causing grave concern in this country. For example, it gives us malaria, typhoid fever, hepatitis B and cholera.

Baba Jamal M. Ahmed -- rose --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Yes, Hon Baba Jamal.
Mr Baba Jamal M. Ahmed 11:25 a.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, we are supporting a Statement; are we going to start NDC, NPP arguments here? If the Hon Member wants to support the Statement, he is free to do so but if he starts NPP, NDC, then it is going to take us away from the otherwise very important Statements that our Hon Colleagues have made. So, I think that My Brother should be brought to order.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Member, could you just --
Mr Justice J. Appiah 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, he is out of order. What I am trying to say is that --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Member, I just want us to restrict ourselves to the Statements made.
Mr J. J. Appiah 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, what I am saying is that, the NPP Administration did very well by bringing in Zoomlion and they have done well in this country. I am not saying NDC have not also done anything, they have also done something; they should also bring in good companies that would be able to work alongside with Zoomlion --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Members, please, let us avoid debates. It is just contributions that are requested from Members.
Mr J. J. Appiah 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity.
Minister of State (Alhaji Abdul- Rashid Pelpuo) 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I also rise to contribute to the two Statements made on sanitation.
This country of late has suffered a lot of problems relating to sanitation and it is in order that these two Statements have made extensive reference to problems we are confronting with regarding keeping sanitation in this country.
We have spent and we continue to spend so much money on sanitation every single year and those who are in the various distr icts. Hon Members of Parliament can bear testimony to it, that anytime they receive information how much money is transferred to their various Assemblies, they know how much is deducted for sanitation.
I would want to specifically refer to the Statement made by the Hon Member for Asokwa, who said that there is the
Mr Frank Annoh Dompreh (NPP -- Nsawam- Adoagyiri) 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity.
I begin by congratulating the Hon Members on the well-thought-out Statements delivered on sanitation. I think we all need to support them because this is a problem that has been affecting this
country for some years now. For the Hon Members to have the confidence to come out with these well-thought-out Statements, is worthy of commendation.
Mr Speaker, with indulgence, more to my points, I have a few suggestions to corroborate the Statements made by the Hon Members.
My first suggestion is that the Government has to strengthen relevant State institutions to be able to ensure that solid waste is managed properly and also converted to other usable forms.
I am aware of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) initiative of converting solid waste on campus to various forms. What is most admirable about this is that, these forms are in biodegradable forms and as a result, come with huge benefits to the environment as well as the country as a whole. I heard the Hon Members also mention relevant Ministr ies and departments.
I am in total support of that. However, I think that what these Ministries have to do, is to merely facilitate the process where private sectors can invest in this area. This is because as a country, history has shown that anytime Government goes into such investment on full scale, the benefits have been quite questionable.
Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, let me also take this opportunity to congratulate Zoomlion for the good work they are doing. However, Zoomlion operates with a certain limitation and to that end, I recall the good old days where we had the Town Council staff where their sight sent shivers down the spines of citizens who were prospecting to indulge in wrongful waste disposal.
I think that a suggestion by the Hon Member for Dome/Kwabenya is wonderful, it is long overdue and it is
important that all these private sectors which may come in to invest are given the relevant legislative powers to be able to prosecute individuals who may undermine sanitation rules and regulations in this country.
On this note, I would want to thank you for the opportunity.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Thank you.
Two more contributions.
Mr Baba J. M. Ahmed (Akwatia -- NDC) 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you.
Let me also thank my Hon Colleagues for bringing such an important issue up. It is, in fact, a very crucial issue that we are discussing today. We all know the situation of our country when it comes to waste management. It is important that we, in this House, show enough concern and also to prop Government and all authorities that are involved in waste management to do more to make sure that our environment is clean.
That is why I would want to congratulate them once again and also say that the question of waste management brings up two issues: (1), The attitude of our own compatriots; and (2), the issue of legislation that my friends have already alluded to, but I would want to dwell on attitudes.
We, as a country, must educate our people to start changing their attitudes towards sanitation, how we all manage, even waste in our own homes. This is because, when you come to our environment, most of the time, you see these things by road sides, in houses, put in rubber bags and hidden somewhere.
Those ones, it is difficult for any Zoomlion or whoever to go to those corners and bring those things up. So, I think that we must change our attitude as a country and I would want to use this platform to advise all Ghanaians to change their attitude and let us all know that once
you do not manage waste well, it comes back to you in the future in the form of sickness.
Then, I will also say that the issue of legislation that we are talking about, one thing that Hon Adwoa Safo said was that some attention must be paid to the idea of management Fund. I think it is something that we need to discuss. If it becomes necessary that we create a Fund to ensure that our environment is clean, all of us must accept this idea, think about it and see how we bring it up. I think it is a good idea.
Thank you, very much, Mr Speaker.
Dr Matthew O. Prempeh (NPP -- Manhyia South) 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support both Statements made by the Hon Members for Asokwa and Dome/ Kwabenya and the contribution made by the Member for Madina bringing to the fore the waste management problems in this country.
Mr Speaker, I have had the benefit of travelling to well-managed waste sites both in the United Kingdom and in China and I found out that the benefit of properly waste management is enormous if this country is going to decide to do that.
Mr Speaker, the largest landfill site in the world was probably found in Mexico City, until recently when they closed the site, changed it and developed it into a proper managed site. The gas that it is producing -- the butane gas and things that are being produced from these well- managed waste sites is enormous. They use it to generate electricity and a host of other things. The residue of these well- managed sites are even used in road construction in certain other countries.
So Mr Speaker, whatever it takes, we, as a country, should decide that waste management cannot be properly done by the various municipalities and metro- politan areas. We should have a national policy for waste disposal.

Mr Speaker, the total waste output in the city of Tema -- if we build a waste management site for Tema, within three years, there would not be enough waste to even feed this site. So, there is the need for a comprehensive national policy where different parts of the country, say three or four areas, would have well- developed sites, so that we can even transport our waste for proper management. It would save us, apart from the health problems my Hon Friend talked about. It can even generate revenue for us.

So, Mr Speaker, let us not talk about the job opportunities that we can get from these sites. So, a properly well-managed waste disposal policy in the country is something that we should advocate Parliament to debate and support Ghana to be on the right track as far as waste management is concerned. This patch- hole approach--Zoomlion, Zoom Alliance, Adentan Municipality, Kumasi Metropolitan -- Mr Speaker, it would not help anybody and it is high time we had a national policy that we can all aspire to and which can help in proper waste management in this country.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Members, we move on to the Tribute to the memory of the late Hon Kamel, former Member of Parliament for Buem and former Volta Regional Minister.
The Deputy Majority Leader would make the Statement.
Tribute to the late Hon Henry Ford Kamel (Former Member of
Parliament for Buem)
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi (NDC -- Ashaiman) 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker,
Now the labourer's task is o'er; Now the battle day is past;
Now upon the farther shore Lands the voyager at last...
There are days that will stay with us for the rest of our lives, residing in our memories; some are good and some are very sad. Today is one such sad day. News of the death of Hon Henry Ford Kamel came to us during a time when most of us were celebrating Christmas. It was also a time when Hon Kamel's party, the NDC had been declared winners of the 2012 December Elections. Indeed, Hon Kamel himself had won elections in his constituency (Buem) and most of us had called him to congratulate him on a battle well fought.
In fact, being a serving Member of Parliament, most of us were looking forward to continuing our cordial working relationship with him. But as the Good Book says: “Man proposes, and God disposes.” Our God had other plans for the Member and so, before he could be sworn in on the 7th of January, 2013 to continue with his good works, death laid its icy hands on him, snatching a precious jewel from us and depriving not just his constituents but the Volta Region and Ghana as a whole of his selfless services.
The Hon Member was born on the 21st of December 1962. Having completed his formal education, he worked as a teacher from 1982 to 1993 in the northern part of Ghana. He later worked as a banker in various capacities and rose through the ranks to become the Managing Director of North Volta Rural Bank. Having won elections in December 2004, Hon Kamel joined the Fourth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana in January, 2005, representing the people of the Buem Constituency.
He successfully defended the seat in subsequent elections, both in the 2008 and 2012 General Elections. In March, 2012,
Hon Kamel was appointed as the Volta Regional Minister by the late Prof J.E.A Mills having served in a previous, position as Deputy Minister for Lands and National Resource. Notable among his achievements during this period was ensuring that peace was returned to the Gbi Traditional Area between the indigenes of Hohoe and the Zongo community. But then again, this is not surprising as we all knew the Hon Member was not just a man of few words, but also as a peace loving man, who sought to get along with all.
During his stay in Parliament, the Hon Member always sought the interest of his people. He took keen interest in all aspects of the country's development and his contributions on the floor reflected same. On the 26 th of November, 2006, contributing to a Statement on road safety, he posited --
“Mr. Speaker.. 1 think the whole nation must take the issues arising out of this state of affairs seriously. Mr Speaker, last Saturday, I visited my constituency and between Afienya and Doryumu, I saw a very bad road accident. An urvan bus had skidded off the road apparently because one of its tyres had burst, because the tyres were completely worn out.”
On education, Hon Kamel argued on the realignment of polytechnic education in the country and the placement of polytechnic graduates in employment vis- a-vis their colleagues from the universities (Feb. 27, 2007).
On the 28th of October, 2008, the Hon Kamel showed concern for the health of his people when he questioned the sector
Minister on 11:45 a.m.
“Why an ambulance which was allocated to the Jasikan Hospital had been reallocated to the Worawora Hospital and if there were any plans to
reallocate another one to the hospital.” On the 14th of December 2006, the Hon Member spoke on the tourism industry and posited:
“Mr Speaker, we seem not to realise tourism as a very important component of the economy. In fact in terms of foreign exchange earnings, you will realise over the years that tourism has been the fourth largest source of foreign exchange to the country.”
On November 7, 2007, the Hon Member added his voice to the call for the provision of potable water when he enquired from the sector Minister about facilities available for ensuring the provision of potable water to the people of Kpeve.
Working with Hon Kamel was a pleasure. He was always very accommodating and would show his dedication and loyalty. As time went on, our professional relationship continued and it led to some very meaningful friendships as well. We talked about our families and shared stories of our children. You could see how much Hon Kamel loved his family. He was so devoted to them and you knew he was so happy. He was a man of few words but a very deep thinker, who always sought to give good, sincere advice when called upon to.
He was a very helpful man and went out of his way to do favours for his colleagues, constituents and friends. He had a laugh that was contagious. It was genuine and heartfelt and when you engaged the Hon Member in conversation, he listened. He truly listened and he was there as only a true friend could be.
When Parliament went on Christmas break in December, 2012, the Hon Member, as was his tradition, went to his hometown
Papa Owusu-Ankomah (NPP -- Sekondi) 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in paying tribute to the memory of our departed Colleague, one can say that as humans, we are not perfect but even in our imperfection, we may point to some people as being near perfect.
Mr Speaker, I was not too close to the former Hon Member for Buem, the late Henry Ford Kamel. However, in my relationship with him as Colleagues, I found him to be a gentleman, caring, and even as a politician, quite even-handed. Because I was not that close to him, I could never say that he never got angry. However, in my interactions with him, he had a pleasant and affable demeanour.
No wonder, during his tenure as the Hon Minister for the Volta Region, a region reputed not to be easy to handle politically, he seemed to be on top of the job and could build a consensus among the various interests and people of the region.
As a politician, he was not someone known to be stridently partisan even though he belonged to a political party and strongly advocated his party's position. But in his advocacy of the party's position, he tried as much as possible to be sensitive to the feelings and the views of others. A lesson that we ought to learn from his sudden demise is that one never knows when the bell would toll for us and that as persons, particularly, in leadership positions, wherever we find ourselves, even though we may not be able to change a situation or change the thinking, the little that we can do, let us do it.
For, it is based on the little that we have done that others will be inspired to give off their best.
To his wife, children and family, our hearts go to them. To his political party, I can confess that, that party has lost an asset -- someone who could reach out even in trying and difficult times to the opposite side. To our country, I say that we have lost a great Ghanaian.
As we prepare to bury him and celebrate his life, let us all remember that we are here for a purpose. Let us not think of today and let us also never forget that good name is better than riches.
Hon Ford Kamel, fare thee well.
Dr (Alhaji) Yakubu A. Alhassan (NDC -- Mion) 12:05 p.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker for the opportunity to eulogise a Colleague that we lost all of a sudden on Christmas day 2012.
I knew Hon Ford Kamel back in his young days as a student in Tamale. We met up here again the first time in Parliament in 2005 as Hon Members of Parliament. Indeed, Mr Ford Kamel was a gentleman, a very accessible leader, very humorous and very genuine in his interaction with his colleagues and family. He was a good man, full of life; vibrant life at that. Unfortunately, this vibrant life was cut short on Christmas day by the icy hands of death.
For many of us who are still alive and kicking, I believe we would have wished that Hon Ford Kamel was around for us to enjoy him some more. Unfortunately, in the eyes of God who brought him on earth in the first place for us to know him, he had paid his dues and it was time for him to be recalled.
Mr Speaker, he lived for just half a century and I believe he accomplished a lot that would serve as a legacy and an example for those of us who are still alive to emulate. It would have been good for him to have been around to accomplish more, particularly that the Buem Constituency still recognised the potential in him and voted for him to be in Parliament the third time to lead their constituency.
Sympathies to the family that I know very well and to the people of the Volta Region. I would urge the family to hold themselves together because these are very difficult times even for those of us who are not members of the family, because death moves only in one direction. It is a journey that has no return.
I believe this House has lost a dear Colleague, his family has lost a dear one and the people of the Volta Region have lost an illustrious leader. Personally, I have lost a confidante -- for there were many things that we talked about and I just pray that the Almighty Allah or God can find replacements for all these people whose lives Mr Ford Kamel had touched and to pray finally that he would rest comfortably in the bosom of his Lord.
I thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Thank you very much.
Mr James K. Avedzi (NDC -- Ketu North) 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the tributes paid to our late Colleague, Hon Henry Ford Kamel who I always called “Forday”.
I knew Hon Ford in 2004 when we were all campaigning for our various constituencies to come to Parliament, and having won the elections conducted in 2004, we met again in 2005 in this House.
Mr Speaker, he served the people of the Buem Constituency very well and therefore, it was not difficult for him to win again in 2008 to retain his seat. As we all know, he became the Hon Deputy Minister for Lands and National Resources in 2009. He again retained the seat in 2012 to serve another 4-year term but which today, we are paying this tribute because on the 25th of December, 2012, he was called to eternity.
I remember one thing that shocked me was that, on the 23rd of December, 2012, the late Hon Minister who was then the Minister of the Volta Region hosted a meeting in Ho, which I also attended. He was very healthy. He addressed the meeting on the 23rd of December and so, when the news of his death came on the 25th of December, it was a shock to most of us.
As a very humble and peace-loving person, the death was a great loss to the people of Buem Constituency, to the family, to the Volta Region and Ghana as a whole. “Forday” as I always called him, is no more.
Mr Speaker, the only thing I would want to say is that, we want to send our condolences first to the family for losing a very great son and also to the people of the Buem Constituency, the Volta Region and all of us as Ghanaians.
Mr Speaker, I also would want to use the opportunity to urge the people of Buem Constituency to pray that a very good replacement is found in the by- election, so that the good work that our Hon Colleague Member started to do for the people of Buem is continued.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity.
Dr Matthew O. Prempeh 12:05 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, 40 per cent of presidential votes is nearly three million votes. How many voters are on the Voters' Register in the whole of the Volta Region? [Interruption.] Of which party?
Mr J. K. Gidisu 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the NDC as a party.
Dr Prempeh 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, that is why I am saying that NDC as a party had a total of five million --
Mr J. K. Gidisu 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the total votes of the -- It is true.
Dr Prempeh 12:05 p.m.
Forty (40) per cent of five million is over two million. The total voter population in the Volta Region is how much?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Hon Members, I would want us to bring this debate to an end. We do not think we need to talk about the divisions within the House. I think let us concentrate on paying tribute to our dead Hon Colleague.
Mr J. K. Gidisu 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, perhaps, the statistics -- I would want to say that the region stands out as the greatest contributor to the votes of the party in terms of the presidential votes and the total number of seats --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Hon Member, could you please veer off that line of your tribute and concentrate on other aspects?
Mr J. K. Gidisu 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the total of seats to the party.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Hon Member, please, listen to the Chair. I am saying that you should veer off that line of your tribute and take up other aspects of the tribute.
Mr J. K. Gidisu 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you.
I would want to equally note that there is a very serious lesson from the death of the Hon Colleague for all of us as Members of the House. There is the need for us to take our health issues very seriously because Hon Ford Kamel woke up that morning, Christmas Day, very well and hearty, received visitors, but along the line, fell off and that resulted in his sudden death.
There is the need for us all to have very regular checks on our health and for that matter, I would want to call on the Parliamentary Service, that the regular health screening they conduct for Hon Members should be reactivated and made regular for us to at least, know the health status of Hon Members.
As we go to lay him to rest at the weekend, I cannot but to side with a poet who said that: “This life is but an empty drain.” However, we believe that our Hon Colleague has paid his due to his constituents and to the party and we wish to say that we would continue to remember him and wish the family, especially the nucleus family, the constituency and the region at large as well as the party, the best of condolences and hope that mother earth will lie gently on him.
May his soul rest in peace.
Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr Haruna Iddrisu) (MP) 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to pay tribute to a Friend, a Colleague and a Brother, Hon Ford Kamel who incidentally grew up in Tamale. His father was a very respected rice farmer, popularly referred to as “a syei gogli” meaning he did not like wearing a dress because of humidity in Tamale. For a good reason, he was celebrated as a very successful farmer.
Mr Samuel O. Ablakwa (NDC -- North Tongu) 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the tribute made by the Hon Deputy Majority Leader.
Mr Speaker, the news of the passing on of Hon Ford Henry Kamel came to me as a very big shock. Indeed, in just about a week before his passing on, he had represented His Excellency the President at a festival in my constituency, the Bator- Hogbeza Festival where he looked so strong and hearty, made a wonderful speech during the festival and indeed, spoke at length in his speech about his passion for youth empowerment and for ensuring that the peace and serenity of the Volta Region would be maintained and also how he had put together a blueprint for the development of the Volta Region.
He did deliver a very inspirational speech that day in Bator in my constituency. That is why news of his passing on has sent the good people of North Tongu and indeed, the good people of this nation very much surprised and absolutely destabilised by this sad event.
Hon Ford Kamel, as we do know, was a very diligent man, very soft-spoken, very hardworking, very competent, he always
excelled at any task he was given. We remember how he managed the Hohoe crisis between the Moslem indigenes and the traditional leaders and ensured that all sides came together in the final analysis.
We also remember that during his tenure, he led the Volta Region to a very peaceful election. The people of the Volta Region are still in a state of shock about this sad event and about his passing on.
I also do recall that in his younger years, he was the President of the Ghana National Union of Polytechnic Students and as a former student leader myself, I can say that all student activists indeed, have lost a very great leader.
Mr Speaker, I would end by saying that one of the greatest tributes we can continue to pay to the Hon Ford Kamel, is to pursue very diligently, the vision that he had for youth empowerment, for seeing that there is continuous peace and development in Ghana and in particular, the Volta Region and his own constituency, the Buem Constituency.
I do hope that we would all support the effort of the Government and his successor Member of Parliament who would be elected to ensure that the vision and dream of Hon Ford Kamel is maintained.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Two more contributions.
Mr Simon E. Asimah (NDC -- South Dayi) 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I also would want to associate myself with the tribute that has been ably made by Hon Agbesi.
Mr Speaker, like the Hon Member said, the late Hon Ford Kamel was an astute politician. He was elected by his electoral
Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing (Alhaji Collins Dauda)(MP) 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to associate myself with the Statement ably made by the Hon Deputy Majority Leader (Mr Alfred K. Agbesi) and to say that, I received the news of the death of our Colleague with shock, surprise.
During the campaign, we talked on phone, shared ideas on what was happening in the Volta Region. I also shared mine with him. I had the privilege of working with the late Hon Ford Kamel as my Deputy Minister when I was the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources. I can say that this House has lost a politician. We have lost somebody who was very hardworking in politics; we have lost somebody who approached every thing he did with humility. His style of mixing with people was par excellence.
Mr Speaker, when I was called and told that Hon Kamel had died, I did not believe it. I had to make phone calls to check on the truth or otherwise of the news. When it was confirmed, I asked myself, “so what happened to this fine gentlemen who was not sick but was taken away by death?” He died as a politician because even just before his death, he was interacting with his constituents.
That was what the wife told us. While the wife was inside preparing something for him, he was outside engaging his constituents, clearly performing his duty as a Member of Parliament (MP) in the constituency.
Death, it is said, will come when it has to come. Death has visited our Colleague. The lessons that we need to learn from this, is that, we need to take good care of our health. The job that we are all in is so stressful that we need to ensure regular checks of our health. That way, we may be able to survive in this hectic political situation we find ourselves.
Ghana has lost a gentlemen, we have lost an astute politician, we have lost somebody who was humbled in whatever he did and he would forever be remembered for his hardwork to Ghana and to the Volta Region in particular. He would be remembered for his humility, he would be remembered for the way he mixed with all kinds of people.
Mr Speaker, with these few words, I associate myself with the Statement once again, and it is my prayer that this fine gentleman is offered Heaven by the Almighty Allah.
I thank you very much.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
I tought we were bringing it to a close -- but all right.
Mr John Gyetuah (NDC -- Amenfi West) 12:25 p.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the tribute paid to the late Hon Kamel by Hon Agbesi. Indeed, the late Hon Kamel was a very close Friend; we were living together in one block in Sakumono when we came in 2005. We were there for almost four years before we both left for different destinations.
Mr Speaker, the late Hon Ford Kamel was a very honest, humble and quiet and intelligent gentleman -- he was very intelligent. We were very shocked when we heard the information that death had laid its icy hands on this gentleman. Indeed, what can we say? What we can say is that, we pray that God Almighty would embrace him in His bosom, so that in the final automation, when we all meet, we would be rejoicing in the name of our Lord the saviour.
I would want to extend my condolences to the bereaved family, especially the nuclear family which has actually lost this gentleman.
I thank you very much for the opportunity.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Finally, the last one, Hon Muntaka?
Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka (NDC -- Asawase) 12:35 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to also contribute to the tribute of our late Colleague. In fact, there cannot be a better description of late Hon Kamel than what our Colleague, Hon Papa Owusu- Ankomah did.
He was a very nice gentleman, very unassuming and very humorous. When things were happening and tempers went so high and the late Hon Kamel was there, you could be rest assured that he would say something or create laughter just to ease the tensions. He was one Colleague that, frankly speaking, I knew from Sakumono when we were all in the MPs' Flat.
I have scanned my mind since Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah said that he had never seen him get angry -- to find out whether in the evening or in the Chamber here or in the morning before we left the MPs' Flat or at the Caucus meeting, I ever saw the late Hon Kamel fuming and I could not just recollect one in eight years.
Mr Speaker, this really shows that he was a very humble Member of Parliament and a very hardworking one.
Mr Speaker, my heart really goes out to his family and the constituents. To have fought such a huge battle, winning an election but not even getting to be sworn in, is indeed, a real loss not only to him but to his constituents; they may have to do it again.
Mr Speaker, I would want to draw the attention of this House to the rate at which Members of Parliament keep dropping dead. Mr Speaker, we were all in this

House two days before the death of the late Owusu-Ansah. He was in the Chamber, he attended Parliament, went home, only for us to hear in the morning that an ambulanace from Parliament had to be rushed to try to salvage him, but lo and behold, he went dead.

Hon Kamel woke up in the morning, even met constituents, held a lot of interactions, only to drop before they could get to the nearest hospital. Mr Speaker, it shows clearly the risk every day that we put ourselves through. Mr Speaker, it is on this note that I would want to believe that we need to task the medical team that we have here in Parliament.

Mr Speaker, our number has now increased but if I can remember very well, we have only one medical doctor that I know of with some few nurses. Our number has now increased from 230 to 275.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Chireh, is it a point of order?
Mr Chireh 12:35 p.m.
Yes. Mr Speaker, I have a point of order and my point of order is that this order of relevance -- [Interruption] -- the issue is about paying tr ibute to our late Friend. Incidentally, the Majority Chief Whip is in the leadership and he is now telling all of us what we should do about the health of Members of Parliament. I think that he should pay tribute to the man whom we have lost and then do the other things that we have assigned him to do -- [laughter.]
Thank you very much.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Member, since you said you have taken it in good faith, let us proceed.
Alhaji Muntaka 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
Mr Speaker, I believe that as individual Members of Parliament, we should try to also pay more attention to our health. Sometimes we are engulfed with so much work that we tend to forget that the body needs rest, the body needs to be well taken care of and we overstretch ourselves, sometimes to the point where even when we are to be salvaged, it is difficult.
I hope that the death of not only Hon Kamel but many of our Colleagues that we have lost, should serve as a guide to all of us, that in all that we do, definitely, one day, whether impromptu or otherwise, we would be no more. But we should remember that when we are dead and gone, the important question is, what are we going to be remembered for?
On this note, Mr Speaker, I say damirifa due to the family, damirifa due to his wife and children and damirifa due to his constituents.
I thank you for the opportunity.
Minority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu) 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I wish to add my voice to the tribute paid in respect of our Colleague and compatriot, Hon Ford Kamel.
Mr Speaker, news about the sudden transition of Hon Ford Kamel, until then

the Volta Regional Minister, came to me as a shock. I immediately got in touch with Hon Doe Adjaho, at the time, the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, to enquire whether or not what I heard was the truth.

Hon Adjaho reiterated the point that he had also just heard it and that he was doubly checking. Not too long after, he called to confirm that indeed, it had happened. It was a really traumatising experience, in particular when it happened on Christmas Day.

Mr Speaker, I first encountered the Hon Ford Kamel in the Committee on Lands and Forestry in 2005 when he first entered Parliament. At the personal level, here was a person who was very calm, controlled, measured and one who was not given to flippancy. Mr Speaker, he was a consensus builder and one who bowed to superior arguments if he saw one. He was always prepared to learn and was very consultative.

I remember very well not too long after he entered Parliament and we had both been posted to that committee, he engaged me on one occasion and took my cell- phone numbers. Mr Speaker, thereafter, when Parliament had adjourned, he would normally call and we would discuss very relevant matters pertaining to Parliament and even Bills relating to the Committee on which both of us served.

Mr Speaker, undoubtedly, 50 years is too early a date for any product, in particular , a person to expire. So rightfully, we should be mourning the transition of such a person. While we are mourning his transition, especially with his family, both immediate and extended and celebrate his life, may we counsel all and sundry that the greatest tribute that we could pay to the late Colleague is to ensure that there is peace in his household first, peace in his family and constituency and in the region.

Mr Speaker, beyond the attributes already alluded to by Hon Colleagues who have spoken earlier before me, clearly, it is emerging that the Hon Colleague must have been a very smooth operator; testimonies have been given about how he upped the levels for the NDC in the most recent presidential and general elections. That certainly, must be commendable. After all, that should have been the culmination of events under his own stewardship.

Notwithstanding, Mr Speaker, the frightening statistics given in this House about what the Hon Ford Kamel succeeded in achieving for the NDC is something that must be investigated, especially when the Member, Hon Joe Gidisu is insistent at the percentage, that is 40 per cent of presidential votes raked in from the Volta Region --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Member, I thought I admonished him and asked him to veer off that line.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he did not veer off. I thought the natural thing, if indeed, the statistics he gave were incorrect was for him to retract it. He never did but he repeated, which in my view is what I call frightening. Mr Speaker, somebody has added that it is terrifying -- I have not added that part.
Mr Speaker, notwithstanding this, I think it is important that we pray for peace for him, for his soul and pray that the Almighty God would grant his soul rest in absolute peace.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Hon Members, at this point in time, I would pray that we rise and observe a minute's silence in memory of Hon Ford Kamel.
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, as many as six committees are scheduled to meet after adjournment and the House is actually seriously preparing and readying to receive the President tomorrow.
At this stage, I beg to move, that this House do adjourn until tomorrow morning at 10' o'clock.
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, just before I second the Motion, I know that there has been some bit of discussion about a joint caucus meeting of the House. Some circumstances took me away from Parliament yesterday and I know that it was supposed to have come on yesterday but it did not come on. We thought we would be hearing something from the Deputy Majority Leader, but we are not still hearing anything. So, I would be glad if we could hear something before I second the Motion.
Mr Alfred Agbesi 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think this matter has been taken care of at Leadership level and this morning, with the Minority Leader. So apparently, by next week, a meeting would be held between us. This one is known to Leadership. So to inform you, the matter is being taken care of.
Mr Nitiwul 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am aware that it is being discussed at Leadership level but it is also important to let Members know. As a Leader, that is the most important thing that Members are asking. That was why I wanted to find out exactly when that meeting would take place, so that we work towards that date. But the Majority Leader himself is not there. Mr Speaker, it looks like my Hon Colleague is unable to give -- [Interruption.]
Mr Alfred Agbesi 12:45 p.m.
-- rose --
Mr Nitiwul 12:45 p.m.
All right, maybe, he has an answer to it.
Mr Agbesi Mr Speaker, tomorrow, at 8.30 a.m., there will be Business Committee meeting at which this matter would be scheduled for your information. So, after tomorrow, or even tomorrow, you would hear when the next meeting would take place.
Mr Nitiwul 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
ADJOURNMENT 12:45 p.m.

  • The House was accordingly adjourned at 1.35 p.m. till Thursday, 21st February, 2012 at 10.00 a.m.