Debates of 29 Jan 2014

PRAYERS 11:15 a.m.


Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings. We start with that of Monday, 6th January, 2014.
Mr Dahamani Alhassan 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, under “Members absent”, number 7 -- “Dahamani Alhassan”. I was present but my name has been put under “Members absent”.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Very well.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am sorry to bring us back to page 7. The item numbered 6.
Mr Speaker, what we have there reads 11:15 a.m.
“The Hon Majority Leader, Dr Benjamin Bewa-Nyog Kunbuor sought to arrest the Motion being moved by the Hon Deputy Minority Leader by raising a preliminary objection to the Motion on the grounds that the Motion was in breach of Order 93 (1) of the Standing Orders and therefore out of order.”
Mr Speaker, I am not too sure of what we have done there.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
How should it be captured -- how would you want it to be captured to reflect what transpired?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my worry is, technically, there was nothing before the House -- [Interruption. ] The Deputy Leader is asking. “Oh, how?”
Mr Speaker, the “howness” of it 11:15 a.m.

If I should say so, in a lighter vein, is in respect of our own Standing Orders and
Mr Speaker, may I read Standing Order 81 11:15 a.m.
“Unless otherwise provided in these Orders, every motion unless made at the Second Reading or Consideration Stage of a Bill, must be seconded, and if not seconded shall not be debated or entered in the Votes and Proceedings.”
So, it cannot be captured. But the matter of intervening to stop it, a matter that cannot be captured, is not right to be in the Votes and Proceedings. That is my difficulty. That is why I am seeking your guidance, Mr Speaker; I am not seeking your ruling. I am seeking your guidance on this because it is a technical difficulty.
Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the relevant Order the Hon Minority Leader has raised has a caveat that is subject to the rules, that “unless” and yet he knows that when one is coming on a point of order, there are particular circumstances under which one is permitted to come under the point of order, and those preconditions for raising the point of order were satisfied. So, that takes it out of the general requirement that, it ought not to reflect.
This is because “preliminary” matters are completely different from substantive matters. The use of the word “preliminary” here is to distinguish the process that took place from the substantive matter of a Motion that was found to be put before the House. So, I guess that perhaps, for any other technical niceties, I do not see how this offends the Standing Orders.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am not too sure of the direction that the Hon Majority Leader wants to take us. Not even being too sure, I resist the temptation of following him.
Mr Speaker, the provision is very clear, it is ambiguous and I am suggesting to him that, to the extent that the issue cannot be captured, technically, there was nothing before us. And if technically, there was nothing before us, can we capture how it was sought or arrested? That is the issue that I woud want to raise.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, I have carefully looked at the Standing Orders you referred me to. I have also looked at item number 6 at page 7 and the Motion standing in the name of the Hon Deputy Majority Leader has not been entered in the Votes and Proceedings, that is, the Motion is not there. So, it is not there -- that Motion has not been entered there.
What they raised was a preliminary objection or the preliminary issue raised by the Hon Majority Leader -- the Motion and if you look at the previous Votes and Proceedings where a particular Motion has been debated and entered, the Motion would be entered in the Votes and Proceedings. What we have there - - the Motion standing in the name of the Hon Deputy Minority Leader has not been entered in the Votes and Proceedings. Therefore, clearly, there is no breach of Standing Order 81.
So, that Motion standing in the name of the Hon Deputy Minority Leader has not been entered in the Votes and Proceedings.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, what constitutes the Votes and Proceedings? They are decisions that we arrive at, that are captured in the Votes and Proceedings. What would this point of intervention be?
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, you want my guidance, not my ruling. What we have there is that “Unless otherwise… every motion . . .” The question is whether the Motion standing in the name of the Hon Deputy Minority Leader has been entered in the Votes and Proceedings. It is not there. So, I would have wished that, instead of “the Motion”, we would have put “a Motion”.
So, clearly, that Motion there has not been entered. This is because, if it had been seconded and debated, the Motion would have been captured and we would have been put “Hon Dominic Nitiwul” under it and seconded by so, so and so in the Votes and Proceedings.
Dr Kunbuor 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we have been using the phrase “interruption” for arrest of matters. But I guess that this particular “arrest” was actually predicated under Order 92 (1).
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader, I would want you to look at the Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 18 th December, 2013. You can also look at any of those Motions that we took that day. For example, if you look at page 16, item number 22:
“(Moved by Hon Chairman of the Finance Committee, Mr James Klutse Avedzi and seconded by the Hon Member for Old Tafo, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei)”
Because it has been moved and seconded, that is why it has been entered -- “Question proposed: Debate arising --
Question put and Motion agreed to.”
So, that is what has been moved, seconded and had been entered. That is why I am saying that, because the Motion

has not been moved and seconded, they have not entered it. That is why it is not there, otherwise, they would have entered what stands in the name -- If it had been moved and seconded, they would have entered Hon Nitiwul's Motion in the Votes and Proceedings. That is why it has not been entered in the Votes and Proceedings.
Mr Kyei Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, as you said, I only sought your guidance. So, this will just be my last intervention on this.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
That is my guidance. [Laughter.]
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Votes and Proceedings are supposed to capture the decisions. In this case, it was not a decision. The Votes and Proceedings -- that is why in respect of Motions, it is the determination that we come to that is captured. We are not talking about the Hansard. This is Votes and Proceedings.
Mr Speaker, I will not further litigate the matter.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, you might be advised again that, looking at the Votes and Proceedings you have to read item number 2 with item number 6. Anyway, let us proceed.

Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Monday, 6th January, 2014, as corrected, are hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.

Hon Members, we also have the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 28th January 2014, for correction.
Dr Anthony A. Osei 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I seek your guidance on the true interpretation of what the Votes and Proceedings capture. The reason I do that is, in item number (2), you said all these things including making a statement about the issue of the Plant Breeders Bill.
My understanding is that, it is supposed to capture the proceedings but it is not even mentioned here and I think it is an important directive that was given yesterday. We have not even recorded it, but the newspapers have recorded it and we are not capturing such an important thing. I find that strange.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
I direct that it should be captured.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:25 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Page 2 . . . 9 -- [Interruption.]
Dr A. A. Osei 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I seek your guidance here again.
I was in the House yesterday and I thought after item number 7 an event occurred. That event being that, the Hon Majority Chief Whip sought to seek the Speaker's permission to do something, which I thought was quite significant. But here again, it was not recorded and I do not know if it should not be because it happened before item number 8.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Actually, the Hon Member was not allowed to proceed -- the Hansard will fill the gaps.
Hon Member for Sekondi -- I know you have made a submission on this matter of Votes and Proceedings and the Hansard sometime ago.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, actually Standing Order 34(1) states and with your permission, I beg to quote:
(1) “The minutes of the proceedings of Parliament called Votes and Proceedings shall be a record of the attendance of Members at each sitting and all decisions of Parliament and shall be kept by the Clerk. The Votes and Pro- ceedings shall be printed and shall be the Journals of the House.
So, strictly speaking, the Votes and Proceedings are supposed to capture decisions. However, depending on what have transpired, if an important Statement is made by the Chair, it could be reflected in it even though it is not a decision.
So, strictly speaking, it is decisions of the House and the attendance that must be captured by the Votes and Proceedings.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am totally confused. Mr Speaker has just ruled that his statement should be properly captured, which is not the decision of --
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
That is why the Member for Sekondi added the words “strictly speaking.” If you want to go strictly by the Standing Orders, it is only decisions of the House and in that case, the point made by the Hon Minority Leader at first holds.
Strictly speaking, a lot of things we put in the Votes and Proceedings should not
be there at all and the Hon Member for Sekondi has made this point about a year ago on the floor of this very House.
We have developed some practices and conventions over the years and we have even made Statements which are not decisions of the House but we have captured them and all those things.
Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 28th January 2014, as corrected, are hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
Hon Members, the Hon Majority Chief Whip has drawn my attention to an issue of contempt of this House and I have asked that the transcript of what he was alleging, be made available to me to make a determination. The transcript was made available to me and -- it sought to attack the dignity and integrity of the Chair, and not the person. For the records, part of the transcript reads:
“. . . and you think somebody may have influenced that decision?” Talking about the Chair, and the response was that: “That is so.”
A lot of things happen and I believe that this is a matter that should be referred to the Privileges Committee. But I told the Hon Member that given the nature of this particular matter, it should be raised by me, so that it does not politicise the House, Majority, Minority, New Patriotic Party (NPP), National Democratic Congress (NDC) side of the House.
That is why under Standing Order 27, I thought that this was a matter that should be referred to the Privileges Committee for investigation and report.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, this matter has the potential of degenerating, and you speak about the authority of the House?
Mr Speaker, I believe that we should always bow to the Chair regardless of whatever.
In a lighter vein, Mr Speaker, you referred to the statement that is alleged to have been made, perhaps, going to dent the authority of the House. The authority -- powers of this House and indeed, the privileges of this House are vested in the Mace and that is captured in Order 46.
Mr Speaker, I have listened to you. I, with respect, this being the beginning of a Meeting, indeed, the beginning of the Second Meeting of this Session -- and I am happy it has been appropriately captured as being the Second Meeting of the Session. This is because what we had on 6th January, 2014, was a Sitting -- constituted a Meeting. Mr Speaker, it is the beginning of the regular Session of this Parliament.
Parliament thrives on consensus building and in particular, since this matter relates to a Member whom I am told on authority, is your own classmate at the University of Ghana and with whom you have very good personal relationship; Mr Speaker, I would plead that, instead of maybe, the referral to the Privileges Committee, we have a forum to be chaired by your goodself, at which would be present, the two Hon Deputy Speakers, the Leaders of the House and the Hon Member whose name has been mentioned, for us to discuss this matter behind the curtains.
Mr Speaker, I believe that would be a very good option for us, just so that we would be able to hold this House together as one entity. Mr Speaker, I would want to submit that we follow this path. I would not want us to go on the path of procedures and so on and so forth; they would not inure to the benefit of this House. So, I would plead after hearing you that we choose this path that I am proposing to deal with this matter.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity.
Dr Kunbuor 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in the scheme of things in relation to this matter, the saying from the wise men is normally that, as a father, you should be the last to start fire in your House.

Mr Speaker, I would like to put it on record just as a matter of procedure, based on what the Hon Minority Leader has said, in terms of the provision of the Mace being the authority. The impression I have is that, this matter was certainly not made on the floor of the House. But for our records and procedure, I would like Mr Speaker to draw his attention to standing Order 30(h), and with your permission, it states circumstances that are contemptuous to this House:

“...publication of false, perverted, misleading, distorted, fabricated or scandalous reports, books or libels reflecting on the proceedings in Parliament;”

The Hon Member was actually publishing on Joy FM proceedings of this House and as the Speaker has rightly indicated, the red line was crossed in terms of both style and choice of words.

But be that as it may, I have also known the personal relationship between Mr Speaker and the Hon Member in question and I guess that it also gives us a useful lesson as a House.

I do know that, in trying to score some political point, there is always the temptation to be over zealous and one can be carried away; it is human and, it is a human weakness. It is possible that, all of us at one time or another, have fallen into it.
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Let me get the Hon Leaders very clear; what are you suggesting?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, for the avoidance of doubt, I propose -- you suggested that the matter be referred to the Privileges Committee and I was pleading with the Chair that instead of referring this matter to the Privileges Committee, it be referred to Leadership of the House for us to deal with it. And I thought that would be --
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
I would want to find out, at the end of the day, how would the record be corrected whether the Chair has been influenced by the message that the Clerk brought to me. This is because at the end of the day, I am not interested in crucifying anybody and I made the point that I am not interested in criminalisation of speech.
In my meeting with the Leadership, a lot of comments were made by many people. Some, I took as personal, in spite of the occupational hazard as a Speaker; but those that affect the Chair of this House, those ones are serious ones.
Papa Owusu-Ankromah 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minority Leader has made a representation; the Hon Majority Leader has also made a statement.
At this particular point in time, Mr Speaker, you appear to want further assistance. Having regard to this matter, I would suggest that in the light of the question that is put, the matter be discussed further with Leadership. Thereafter, I am sure, Mr Speaker would have captured the essence of his concern and then follow up on whatever orders he has made.
Mr Speaker has made a specific order; representations have been made by the Hon Minority Leader, representing the Minority side of the House. The Majority Leader has also made a statement. Mr Speaker really is asking himself: “This is my major concern, what do I do?”
I believe that, under the circumstances, further contributions from the House may not adequately assist Mr Speaker. So Mr Speaker may then defer the matter and thereafter decide whether the Hon Minority Leader 's request is worth considering.
That is my humble view, Mr Speaker.
I thank you.
Several Hon Members -- rose --
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Please, Hon Members, after the Hon Minister, I will --
Mr Mahama Ayariga 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I recall that --
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Minister, take on board the views expressed by the two Hon Leaders. This is because the Hon Leaders speak for each side of the House.
Mr Ayariga 11:45 a.m.
That is so, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, I recall that yesterday, the Hon Majority Chief Whip made an attempt to bring a matter before you and this morning, your goodself gave indications about a publication that has been made. The Leadership of both sides of the House are giving some indications about a mode of handling the matter that will not unnecessarily divide this House and provide the foundation for co-operation.
Mr Speaker, the problem that those of us sitting behind Leadership have is that, what is being discussed is not put before the House -- the record is not put before the House. The transcript of what was said is not before the House. So, I think that it would be appropriate if the transcript of what was said is before us. Otherwise, you are discussing something that we do not know; you are assuming that we all listen to Joy FM; maybe, we did not listen to Joy FM.
Therefore, if you make available to us, the transcript and it is part of the records and we know what was said. But as a House, we have taken a decision, that Leadership finds a way of managing it; then at least, the records would be there. Otherwise, we would be speaking without records and I really do not know what it is that we are discussing as a House at this stage.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think instructively, when the Hon Minister got up, you reminded him of the path that the Leaders were beating and Mr Speaker, I would want to believe that he has taken a cue. This is because he referred to what efforts that were began

But Mr Speaker, if the transcript that the Hon Colleagues are referring to should be served on the House, at this moment, when the discussion is that, let us have another forum to discuss this matter, then that may raise other matters.

We have a convention and a practice in this House, that if a person is not present in the Chamber, he may not even be mentioned in a debate, especially when he may not be given the opportunity to affirm or disclaim whatever is being attributed to him. But that is not to doubt what Mr Speaker is saying. Which is why some of us are suggesting another recourse, that is, to this “special” if you like “Committee of leadership” to deal with the matter. And I think that the question which Mr Speaker posed -- “How is it to be reported back?”

It depends, Mr Speaker, on the terms that we give to Leadership and once we deal with it, in accordance with the terms that would be given to that group, whatever form and shape of report may come, depend on how we agree to move forward.

So, I would urge that we follow the path that I have suggested and thought that what the Hon Majority Leader said, in principle, adds to what I have said. If that is the case, Mr Speaker, you can apprise yourself of that resort and move on.
Dr Kunbuor 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think the sense of the House that I get also raises a further issue that we need to register, that particularly, the Hon Member in question is not here. By our traditional wisdom, normally, when you want to intercede for a relative or a younger brother, you would always carry the person there to at least, hear how you are making the intercession.
I see that once he is not present on the floor and to engage these issues; one is not even sure whether he agrees to the fact that he has crossed the red light. The basic rules of natural justice require that people too ought to be heard.
Mr Speaker, I am saying this because, in relation to this brief period, a number of things have happened in the media in relation to these matters, and that is why when you take this as an isolated case, it creates a challenge.
Mr Speaker, I can register here openly that I have heard of US$5,000 and US$10,000 being paid to Members of the Minority. What I am saying is that, I would want it to go on record here that, I have not taken any US$5,000 or US$10,000 -- [Uproar!] -- neither has anybody from the Minority to the best of my knowledge taken that type of amount..
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader, I thought that if you have another issue too, that is another matter.
Let us deal with the issues one at a time.
Dr Kunbuor 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am putting this in the broader context of issues that would go to the Privileges Committee and why we should handle these matters in a holistic manner. [Interruption.]. So that as we move to deal with this reconciliatory approach, people must also take responsibility for not scandalising their Colleagues outside this House. That is the basis on which it becomes acceptable for us to find a way outside the rules to
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Members, I have listened -- [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Members, well, two minutes, because you brought the matter to my attention. So, it is only fair to give him the floor.
Alhaji Muntaka 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe that in your wisdom, you asked the Leaders to make contributions how best this could be dealt with. Mr Speaker, my only concern is that, the Chair, an Hon Colleague and a Clerk to this House were mentioned. In all we want to do, the most important thing is that, I would be happy for us to chart a path that would come back and tell the general public what truly happened. If you choose or the Leaders are giving suggestions as to the best way to handle this in a manner that may not degenerate, I do not have any objection.
But the concern should be that, whatever method that we choose to adopt, should be such that the in- volvement of the Clerk, the Hon Colleague, Ms Hannah Tetteh and the Chair, must be known to the public. That is important. I think Mr Speaker, I would be happy that in all our deliberations, this is taken serious.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought we seemed to be going round circles because we are articulating in the same issue. But because the Majority Leader introduced another matter, Mr Speaker, may I also state for the record

Mr Speaker, let it go on record that nobody did that; nobody from the Minority side, then on the Majority side did that.
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Members, I want to give my directive. [Interruption.] Hon Majority Leader, I want to give my directive.
Hon Members, let us have order in the House.
I want to give my directive taking into account the views of our Leaders. [Interruption.] Let us have order in the House.
Hon Members, I work with the Leadership of this House; I speak for the House, but I do not know who speaks for me. But I think the Leaders speak for me; and on this occasion, I would defer the referral -- Which words should I use; am I suspending? I am putting the referral in abeyance. I want the Leadership of the House to look into this matter and make proposals how to go about it within a week. [Interruption.] Fortunately for us, the truth or otherwise of this matter, can be arrived at by talking to only three people.
The Clerk to Parliament who allegedly whispered into my ears, the Hon Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration who whispered into the Clerk's -- [Interruption.] -- and the Clerk who came to whisper into the ears of the Speaker.
So, this should actually be a one-day assignment. Hon Members, I would give the chance to the Leadership of the House to explore a reconciliatory means of publishing the truth of this matter. Not only to this House, not only to the people of Ghana, but to the whole world.
Dr Kunbuor 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to register the point that was raised by the Hon Minority Leader. Just, if it is not taken in its context, it might be misunderstood. In my comments, I never, never referred to any Hon Member, present or past, taking US$5,000 from Vodafone. I have never made a reference to that. But he raised the matter in relation to my matter and I would want to say that they are completely different and separate matters. [Uproar!]
Mr Speaker 12:05 p.m.
The Hon Member for Nadowli/Kaleo. Have I got it right?
Mr A. S. K. Bagbin 12:05 p.m.
Yes, that is so Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, I just did not want to be part of this doubt that is being exhibited by the House, whether to refer the matte r to the Privileges Committee. And you have already taken a position on it. But just on another issue, which during the discourse, was raised on the authority of the Speaker, which my good Friend the Minority Leader referred to in Standing Order 46 and said it was in the Mace. It is just that issue I would want to address, because I think that is incorrect.
The Mace, I am just going to read it. Standing Order 46 (1) says:
“During the existence of Parliament, the Mace shall be the symbol of the powers, privileges and authority of Parliament entrusted by it to Mr Speaker”.
That is it. So, clearly, the authority of Parliament is in the Speaker. But the Mace is the symbol of that authority and that is why in the issues of privileges and immunity, when the Mace is carried and

placed anywhere, that is the authority of the House which the speaker takes there. So, if any Hon Member is arrested and Mr Speaker sends the Mace there, it represents the authority of the House and the intervention of the House and the Hon Member is released -- [Hear! Hear!] It means, immunity has been exercised there. So, the authority is in the Speaker but the symbol of that authority is the Mace. I would want us to explain this.

Mr Speaker, Erskine May explains this extensively and practices of various Parliaments have expatiated on this further. So, it is not in doubt. I do not want that authority of Mr Speaker to be whittled away by application of our Standing Order, which in my view, is clear enough to guide us. That is the issue I would want to raise for clarification.
Mr. E. T. Mensah 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to speak to the issue that the Hon Majority Leader just raised. The issue about Vodafone, the allegation was not made by any of us on the Majority side but one of their own on the Minority side. This one, the allegation is from their side and it is important that it is dealt with.
Mr Speaker, furthermore, when the Judiciary was accused of corruption, they investigated it. So, this needs to be investigated. If the man knew what he was talking about and he has nothing to hide, I think he has to be referred to the Privileges Committee for investigation to take place. It is very important. We need to clear ourselves and it is your authority which is being toyed with.
Mr Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Hon Members, I have already referred the matter to the Leadership. And I have given them the time period within which to resolve this matter. If there are any challenges arising out of that, then the House would know what to do -- I would know what to do after that.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of this matter.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, just for the avoidance of doubt, I know the repository of authority of this House. My own intervention was situated in the context of what the Speaker said; and I said that it should be taken in a lighter vein. I am clear in my mind who the repository of authority is in this House. And I said it should be considered in the lighter vein.
So, Mr Speaker, for anybody to choose to do a long-distance running on that, in my view, I do not know what the intendment is.
Mr Speaker, what the Hon E. T. Mensah said, if one person, regardless of which side the person is coming from, makes an allegation, should that be considered as the gospel truth for people to be chewing on it? An allegation by one person, that is the truth? Mr Speaker, I do not know where we want to go with this? But I take a cue from what you have said and I would not proceed further.
Mr Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of this matter. Let us make progress.
Hon Members, I have admitted one Statement. Where is Hon Stephen Kunsu? You may make your Statement.
STATEMENTS 12:05 p.m.

Mr Stephen Kunsu (NDC -- Kintampo North) 12:05 p.m.
Thank you Mr Speaker, for giving
me the opportunity to congratulate the Kintampo College of Health and Well- being on the occasion of the prestigious Gold Award bestowed on the College by the Beatton Magazine published by a Spanish Communication Organisation called Imagen Arte Imparpress.
The award known as The International Star for Leadership in Quality (Gold Category) was received in Paris on July 1, 2013 in the presence of Diplomatic representatives, communication and the media. The award serves to promote local, national and international leaders in recognition of their growth, innovation, technological development and leadership in quality and excellence.
Mr Speaker, it is gratifying to note that many countries competed for the award and if by dint of hardwork and dedication, an institution located in Kintampo has won the Gold Category, it is an honour, not only to the College in Kintampo but to the whole nation.
Mr Speaker, the College of Health, which began as the Rural Health Training School, was fully established in 1969 by the Ministry of Health, with the mandate to turn out quality multi-purpose health- care throughout the country. So far, this institution which serves the whole of West Africa, is the only school of its kind in the country and in West Africa.
The motto of the school, “Educating for Service” is a true reflection of its guiding principle of producing human resource capable of providing health services that is simple in operation, extensive in scope, economic in cost and yet efficient in quality.
Since its inception, the school has lived with this principle and turned out hundreds of physician assistants (medical and dental), community nutritionists,
disease- control officers, field technicians, medical laboratory technologists, registered dental surgery assistants, mental health and clinical psychiatry who have strived to make immense contributions to the reduction of disability and suffering, morbidity and mortality, particularly among marginalised population groups in Ghana.
Mr Speaker, the secret of the success of the school finds expression in the following;-
The ubiquity of its products. products of the college are located everywhere in the country
Gradual increase in programmes offered from 1 in 1969 to 20 currently
The availability of dedicated teaching and non-teaching staff
Annual increase in student population from 16 in 1969 to about 1,800 currently
Judicious use of limited internal generated funds to expand infrastructure and other facilities such as office accommodation, conference hall, guest houses, library and psycho-social centre
Acquisition of 3,000 acres of land towards the attainment of university status, re-structuring into faculties, departments and schools
Expansion of ICT facilities and collaboration with external universities and organisations
Mr Speaker, despite these strengths, the school has some challenges that negate its efforts.
The challenges include inadequate staff and hostel accommodation, inadequate classrooms, lack of auditorium, inadequate teaching and non-teaching staff, inadequate institutional funding, inadequate transport and encroachment on the College's land.
Mr Speaker, in order for the college to achieve its mission to educate and train well-motivated, knowledgeable and skillful health professionals who are capable of providing quality services to all people in all settings, especially in remote and under-served communities, the Government must address the challenges enumerated. The completion of the hostel accommodation, which was halted, should engage the attention of Government.
Finally, Government should translate its intention to turning the school into a university a reality, and this should be in consonance with its vision of becoming a world class health university that responds to the health needs of communities.
In conclusion, Mr Speaker, I would once again congratulate the hardworking Dr. E. T. Adjase, the Director of the College of Health and Well-being, and his staff on their splendid performance and urge them not to rest on their oars.
This achievement should galvanise them to work harder to continue to enhance the pedigree of the College in particular and Ghana in general. They should be well-motivated to enable them improve upon their performance for other institutions to emulate.
Thank you Mr Speaker, for the opportunity.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Hon Members, we will take contributions from the floor.
Any contributions?
Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin (NDC -- Nadowli/Kaleo) 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to take this opportunity to commend highly the Principal and Tutors of the College of Health at Kintampo for making Ghana proud by winning this laurel.
Mr Speaker, the College of Health, Kintampo has gone through a lot of transformation, from a rural health centre to a college now affiliated to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). As a country, we are not making good use of this gem.
We produce a lot of health professionals in many health areas but more importantly, in the area of health promotion and prevention. But on completion, many of these health professionals are left to fend on their own.
We are not able as a country to absorb them into the main stream of the health sector and that has been a serious challenge. But if we had been able to recruit some of the nutritionists that are trained to the various health facilities to educate our people on what to eat-- because what goes in determines what comes out of your body and that determines the health status. So, that is a good wellness centre but it is not being given that recognition.
As a former Minister for Health, I visited the College and discussed with the leadership how we could surmount some of the challenges that have just been enumerated by the Hon Member who made the Statement. It is important that we are innovative in what we do. The State might be facing problems in meeting the infrastructural needs and logistical
support of the College but with a bit of ingenuity, the College could go places.
First, they have large space of land and what we need to do is to motivate the private sector to invest in that area. This is because there are very good returns from that investment but that environment has not yet been created and we discussed and we started an initiative to try and surmount those challenges.
I hope and pray that my colleagues in the Ministry are still going on with that and in the not too distant future, the College is proposed to be transformed into a university; that is why the initial affiliation to the KNUST. So, there is hope for the College, there is hope for the students, but we have to get things right.
I would want to add my voice by commending both the leadership and students of the College for making Ghana proud.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Dr Matthew O. Prempeh (NPP -- Manhyia South) 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to commend the Hon Member who made the Statement for such a brilliant contribution to the discourse of this country.
Mr Speaker, I have but a few things to say. The College that my Hon Member is talking about probably, has more facilities -- infrastructure-wise, curricular-wise than some of the recently established universities. What we need is that the Government will bite the bullet and upgrade the College to a university status.
If you go there and you look at the infrastructure, and look at the training that they have provided for a long time, actually, that should have been the University for Health Sciences, probably, in this country, not where we are struggling to build structures. The structures are there.
The depth of research they do there is first class. So, Mr Speaker, I would commend the Hon Member for bringing this to light. The Ministry of Education should make it a point to transform -- Bring legislation into the House to transform the Kintampo Rural Health College to a university. It is more than appropriate now for that College to be awarded a university charter.
Prof. George Y. Gyan-Baffour (NPP - - Wenchi) 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I also beg to commend the Hon Member who made this Statement.
Mr Speaker, Kintampo as we all know, is the epicentre of this country. It joins the North and the South. Mr Speaker, we are all aware of the developmental deficit in the northern part of this country and therefore, any effort to try to bridge that gap is highly commendable.
Mr Speaker, Kintampo has been historically the centre of health services in the Brong-Ahafo Region and indeed, in this country. During the colonial era, that was where the military had their health services located. I remember very well that the brother of the Wenchihene, Abrefamore Bedietuo was actually working there as a Medical Assistant as far back as about 1920.
This thing has gone on over the years and therefore, any attempt to be able to actually bring up the place in terms of health services is something that we need to commend.
Mr Speaker, I have been told that, that health service institution there is the one that actually trained a lot of the Medical Assistants that we have in the various rural communities. Locating it there is strategically very important because at the villages, some towns and rural
communities around the area would have access to these Medical Assistants who in lieu of doctors can actually take over the administration of health services.
I, therefore, think that if anything at all, upgrading it to the level that would actually let them train new people more qualified than Medical Assistants would be something that would be of some great help to the people in the rural communities of this country.
Mr Speaker, decentralisation is very crucial in this country. As long as you train the people there, the likelihood that most of them would be left there, a lot of them would stay there is higher than if they are trained here in Accra or for that matter, in Kumasi.
So, I would urge that in view of that issue, the Government should really look at it carefully and convert that institution to a medical school that would help us train our people in the rural communities, so that we can retain people in that area of the country which is so depressed.
Mr Speaker, with this little contribution, I think I would encourage the Hon Member who made the Statement, who is also the Member of Parliament for Kintampo North to take this matter up beyond the confines of Parliament.
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi (NDC -- Ashaiman) 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I also beg to support this Statement and to congratulate the school for what they have achieved so far.
Mr Speaker, I am so gratified to say that the College, we are told, has managed its internally generated funds judiciously, to the extent that they have acquired (3,000) three thousand acres of land to move the College further to a university status.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Thank you very much.
Hon Members, this brings us to the end of this segment, that is, Statements.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, we are in your hands.
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, at this stage, I would want to move, that the House do adjourn to tomorrow, Thursday, at 10 o'clock in the forenoon.
Mr Daniel Botwe 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
ADJOURNMENT 12:25 p.m.