Debates of 28 Jun 2013

PRAYERS 11:30 a.m.


Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Members, Correc- tion of the Votes and Proceedings of Thursday, 27th June, 2013.
Page 1 - 2 --
Mr Bernard Ahiafor 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, page 2, number 32, “Ahiafor Benard”, the spelling is wrong. The spelling is “Bernard”.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Very well.
Page 3 … 7 --
Ms Freda A. O. Prempeh 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, page 7, number 47. Yesterday, I was present but I have been marked absent.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Very well.

Hon Members, the Votes and Proceed- ings of Thursday, 27th June, 2013 as corrected, are hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
  • [No correction was made to the Official Report of Tuesday, 25th June 2013.]
  • Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Business Statement for the Sixth Week-- Chairman of the Business Committee?
    BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE 11:30 a.m.

    Mr Speaker, the Committee accordingly submits its Report as follows 11:30 a.m.
    Arrangement of Business
    Mr Speaker, your goodself may admit Statements to be made in the House by Hon Members and Ministers of State.
    Bills, Papers and Reports
    Mr Speaker, Bills may be presented to the House for First Reading and those of urgent nature may be taken through the various stages in one day in accordance with Order 119 of the Standing Orders. Papers and committee reports may also be presented to the House.
    Motions and Resolutions
    Mr Speaker, Motions may be debated and their consequential Resolutions, if any, taken during the week.
    Committee of Selection
    Mr Speaker, the Committee of Selection is expected to meet on Tuesday, 2nd July, 2013 to consider changes in the membership of committees. Members of the Committee are hereby urged to avail themselves for the transaction of the Committee's business.
    Joint Caucus Meeting
    Mr Speaker, a joint Caucus meeting is expected to be held on Thursday, 4th July 2013. All Hon Members are being encouraged to be in attendance to contribute during the deliberations.
    ICT Training Programme for Members of Parliament (MPs)
    Mr Speaker, the Business Committee takes the opportunity to remind all Hon Members of the proposed ICT training programme. As mentioned during the presentation of the Business Statement last week, the training programme is scheduled to take place on Monday, 8th July, 2013 and Monday, 15th July, 2013 respectively.
    The training programme would be held at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA). Other details about the training session would be communicated to the Hon Members in due course.
    Mr Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 160 (2) and subject to Standing Order 53, the Committee submits to this Honourable House, the order in which the Business of the House shall be taken during the week.


    Presentation and First Reading of Bills --

    Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill,


    Consideration Stage of Bills --

    Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Bill, 2013.


    Committee sittings--

    Committee of Selection to meet to consider changes in the member- ship of Committees


    Presentation of Papers --

    Report of the Committee of Selection on changes in the membership of committees.

    Consideration Stage of Bills --

    Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Bill, 2013.


    Committee sittings.


    Motions --

    Third Reading of Bills --

    Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Bill, 2013.

    Committee sittings.


    Motion --

    Adoption of the Report of the Committee of Selection on changes in the membership of committees.

    Committee sittings.

    Respectively submitted.
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Any comments on the Business Statement presented by the Chairman of the Business Committee?
    Hon Majority Leader, in the course of the week, I did refer the issue of Parliament appointing an Auditor to audit the Office of the Auditor-General to the Leadership. What is the outcome?
    Dr Kunbuor 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, actually, I have been in contact with my counterpart but he had to travel for some urgent business in his constituency. Immediately he returns, we will hold the necessary consultations and would advise you accordingly.
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Members, the House has accordingly adopted the Business Statement for the Sixth Week ending Friday, 5th July, 2013.
    Dr Kunbuor 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I wanted to crave your indulgence on this matter because of the circumstances, if we could actually take the addendum by varying the Business and then come back to the Statement.
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minority Leader, he has made an application under Standing Order 53 for us to take the laying of Papers out of turn.
    Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I really do not have a problem with just the laying of Papers. We had an agreement about the process after the laying of Papers. So, there is no problem.
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Very well. [Pause.]
    Hon Members, we move to the Adden- dum Order Paper. Presentation of Papers -- by the Hon Minister for Finance?
    PAPERS 11:40 a.m.

    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Item 2 -- Presentation and First Reading of Bills.
    BILLS -- FIRST READING 11:40 a.m.

    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    In addition, the Committee is to determine whether all the Bills are of an urgent nature to be taken through all the stages in one day in accordance with Standing Order 119 or not.
    Hon Members, we go back to the original Order Paper.
    Item 4, Statements.
    I have admitted one Statement for today, and it stands in the name of the Hon Member for Afadzato South.
    Hon Member, you have the floor.
    STATEMENTS 11:40 a.m.

    Mr Joseph Z. Amenowode (NDC -- Afadzato South) 11:40 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to make a Statement on behalf of the Volta Caucus of the Parliament of Ghana on the Alavanyo/ Nkonya conflict and the need to find a lasting peace in the area.
    Alavanyo and Nkonya are two neighbouring traditional areas in the Volta Region. These traditional areas have been engulfed in a protracted land dispute which dates as far back as 1923. Since then, there had been violent clashes among them in 1983, 1990, 2003, 2004, 2012 and is currently ongoing.
    The peoples of these two areas are poor peasant farmers. The areas have many developmental challenges such as lack of potable water, poor educational infrastructure, lack of medical facilities and poor road infrastructure, among others.
    In 2005, the E.P. Church and the Catholic Church, with support from some NGOs started a peace initiative. Between 2005 and 2012, the efforts of the mediation team worked very well. Interactions among the people were encouraged; peace was restored and the two communities expressed their desire to maintain the peace. The chiefs of Nkonya and Alavanyo became very close friends and exchanged visits and farm products to indicate to their people that the war was over.
    Mr Speaker, I was privileged as the Regional Minister from 2009 to early 2012 to be part of the peace process. The process put in place involved the local people themselves dialoguing and espousing solutions admirably. The two chiefs at various fora declared their commitment to peace stating: “They have invented a vehicle ( a peace vehicle) that had no reverse gear”. This statement became the rallying cry of the peace process -- “Nkonya- Alavanyo vehicle -- NO REVERSE
    The cost of managing the peace of the Nkonya/Alavanyo conflict was borne by:
    1. Government of Ghana -- 60,000.00
    2.Volta Region Co-ordin- ating Council -- 14,000.00
    3. UNDP -- 16,570.00
    4. Catholic Diocese of Ho -- 8,400.00
    5. Hohoe Municipal Assembly bore the brunt of maintaining peacekeeping troops.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Members, just as we handled the Teshie conflict, we do not want any statement that will be made to inflame passion. To that extent, I would want to limit the comments to two, and these comments will come from -- one each from both sides.
    Deputy Minority Leader (Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to make a very brief contribution to the Statement made by the Hon Member for Hohoe on the situation regarding Alavanyo and Nkonya. It used to be Hohoe South, it is now called Afadjato Constituency.
    Mr Speaker, conflicts everywhere in this world, particularly in Ghana, are not desirable and we, as stakeholders, whether directly from the area or not, should be concerned, particularly with the fact that that enclave is being opened up to human traffic and goods and services that will go, not just only to the North of this nation but also to the northern countries that Ghana shares boundaries with.
    That is why the Statement is timely and is welcomed and the appeal for peace is something that everybody in Ghana should support.
    It is important that conflict resolution managers turn their attention to this particular area; NGOs turn their attention to this particular area; churches and religious elders, the Imams and everybody else should turn their attention to this particular area to solve this issue once and for all.
    But Mr Speaker, that issue cannot be solved unless the people themselves solve it. Peace is something that we all as a nation, particularly the people of that area must leave to their children's children. They can leave all the wealth to them; they can leave all the land to them; they can leave all the material things to them, Mr Speaker, but when there is no peace, their children and their children's children can never enjoy all these largesse.
    That is why I will support the Hon Member who said he has the support of the Volta Caucus to make this particular appeal, very passionate as it is, that we should allow peace to reign, so that investments can move. I have been using that route to Bimbilla. It is one of the shortest routes and it takes me less than six hours to get to Bimbilla. I enjoy using it because of the beautiful scenery that is there -- the mountains, the calm environ- ment, and I have been thinking that one day, I may relocate there.
    But Mr Speaker, people will not invest there unless there is peace and land is not worth living on unless there is peace. So, Mr Speaker, let us turn the Nkonya/ Alavanyo area into an attractive tourism investment, which can only happen by ensuring that the people live in peace.
    I am appealing to the elders of the area, that as they eat and drink, they must remember that the only legacy they can leave for their people is the peace of the
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.

    area and they should start finding a way of smoking the peace pipe.

    Mr Speaker, they should start finding a way of letting everybody know that they can live in peace and that they will live in peace. We, as a Parliament, are appealing to each of them to give each other time lines. It may be the end of this year; it may be the end of this month but they should all decide that from that day, they want peace and that they will get peace.

    Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to make this short intervention.
    Majority Leader (Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor) 11:50 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to make a contribution to this all-important Statement made by the Hon Member and perhaps, to also extend our heartfelt condolences as a House to members of the family who have lost relatives in the incident that took place recently between the communities of Nkonya and Alavanyo.
    Mr Speaker, it was one Statesman who made the statement that war is as old as humanity but that peace is a very recent phenomena. That might indeed, be the historical case but no matter how long a wrong has been, it cannot ripen into the right and that is specifically why it is right that all our communities in Ghana including our brothers and sisters in Nkonya and Alavanyo should opt for peace because there are so many benefits as the Hon Deputy Minority Leader has said, to be reaped from a peaceful environment as against one that is at war.
    Mr Speaker, much has been said about this conflict but I would want to register one significant point which should also guide our mediators and peace builders in conflicts of this nature.
    Quite often, one side of the equation is addressed and this is always about the victims and one faction and another faction. But increasingly, all the research findings in conflict areas are beginning to point to a very significant player in conflicts. That is the segment that we referred to as the ethnic entrepreneurs.
    War has become a very, very rewarding enterprise and while lives are being lost, there are these ethnic entrepreneurs that stand to benefit. They are certainly the ones that will be asking for the secret donations; they are the ones that will be procuring the arms and weapons that are lethal and they are also the ones that cannot account for all these proceeds, and that has created a market environment for these entrepreneurs.
    It is important that peace builders must significantly identify these people and make them part of the equation of the peace building. If people are profiting from a type of activity, it will seem to be that will not matter how many lives are lost inasmuch as it remains a very lucrative business. And this, in my view, is an area that we should look at very, very closely.
    The common denominator between the majority of the people at Alavanyo and Nkonya by national statistics, will be poverty and the poverty can only be aggravated if they are not at peace.
    So, I would like on behalf of Hon Members in this House, to join the Hon Deputy Minority Leader to ask that our brothers and sisters at Alavanyo and Nkonya should give peace a chance.
    We are not prepared to look at what is happening to our brothers and sisters there as an isolated matter for only the people of the Volta Region. As a unitary country with one destiny, whatever happens to our brothers and sisters at any part of the country, should be of concern to all Ghanaians and particularly, Hon Members of this House.
    With these few words, Mr Speaker, we would ask that peace should be given a chance at Alavanyo and Nkonya.
    Thank you.
    Mr Speaker noon
    Hon Members, that brings us to the end of Statements.
    Hon Majority Leader, are we taking the Consideration Stage of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Bill today?
    Dr Kunbuor noon
    Mr Speaker, we have had some consultations on the matter and we would want that we defer to a subsequent time next when we can iron out a number of the remaining matters for winnowing and we can bring it back.
    Mr Nitiwul noon
    Mr Speaker, like the Majority Leader said, when we met in your Office, we had some preliminary discussions on even the addendum and this particular one, we think that we should defer it and then after that, we can quicken the pace on it next week.
    Mr Speaker noon
    Hon Members, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Bill is a very, very important Bill and I would want to plead to all Hon Members to pay special attention to this Bill; take it seriously, so that we could come out with a legislation that will stand the test of time. It is very, very important. Some issues have been cropping up since we started the Consideration Stage of this Bill.
    Dr Benjanin B. Kunbuor noon
    Mr Speaker, in the absence of any other business, I beg to move, that the House be adjourned to 10.00 a.m. on Tuesday, 2nd July, 2013.
    Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul noon
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.