Debates of 5 Feb 2014

PRAYERS 11:05 a.m.


Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Members, correction of the Official Report of Wednesday 18th December, 2013.
Mr Isaac Osei 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, at column 3714, beginning from the middle where my name is, the first paragraph, fifth or sixth line: “And he struggled the whole political spectrum…” It should be “straddled . . .”; “. . . straddled the whole political spectrum”. This is talking about Harry Sawyerr. And the same word should be in place of “strutted” in 3715; the last but one line; first paragraph, instead of “struttered,” it should be “straddled”. “This is because, after all he himself straddled the whole political spectrum.”
Mr James K. Avedzi 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the cover-page under “Contents” under “Statements”, (iii): “Tribute to the late Prof. Anselem Kodzo Klutse”, The name should be “Kludze” and not “Klutse.”
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, and the full name is “Anselmus Kojo Paaku Kludze.” Anselmus, it is a Catholic name of Latin origin.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:05 a.m.
Yes, I made the Statement. I added Paaku Kludze. [Pause]
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Members, the Official Report of Wednesday, 18 th December, 2013 as corrected, be adopted as the true record of proceedings.
Mr Speaker, Hon Members, I have admitted a number of Statements. [Interruption.] Very well, let us proceed.
STATEMENTS 11:05 a.m.

Mr Samuel Atta Akyea (NPP -- Abuakwa South) 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, 49 years ago, exactly on 4th February 1965, which fell yesterday at 6.20 a.m., Dr J. B. Danquah, according to Dr R. Negovetic, the Medical Doctor attached to the Nsawam Prisons, died in a cell in Nsawam Medium Security Prison. He was 69 years old, having been born on 21st day of December, 1895 at Bepong in Kwahu. He died incarcerated under the Preventive Detention Act (PDA), an Act which many today consider a pernicious legal monster.
Article 24 of Ghana's Republican Constitution, 1960, empowered the President to nullify any Bill passed by Parliament without any let or hindrance. Under article 23 of the same erstwhile Constitution, the President could dissolve the very Parliament which had been elected by the good citizens of Ghana at any time.
Besides, article 35 gave the President the absolute power to enter into an agreement for the granting of a loan out of any public fund or public account, in the name of the Republic, if he thought it expedient and in the public interest to do so.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, under article 54 of that Constitution, had the power to order any
of the said Armed Forces to engage in operations for the defence of Ghana, for the preservation of public order, for relief in cases of emergency, or for any other purpose which he deemed expedient. By this, he the President, could by himself alone, declare war or make peace.
The Preventive Detention Act, Act 1958, rather unfortunately, gave expression to constitutional absolutism. This instrument was used twice by President Nkrumah to incarcerate Dr Danquah; the last detention being the Preventive Detention Order, 1961 (E.I. 171).
A strange dimension to Dr Danquah's political imprisonment was when he petitioned the Parliament of the day about the illegality of his incarceration. The then Speaker of Parliament, J. A. Asiedu, returned Danquah's petition to him on the pretext that Dr Danquah had not submitted it through a Member of Parliament.
Dr Danquah appeared before the Supreme Court of Ghana in the celebrated case of Re 11:05 a.m.
Akoto in June 1961. In that case, he challenged the constitutionality of the Preventive Detection Act, 1958, and urged the highest court of the land, to review that pernicious piece of legislation which curtailed the freedom of Ghanaians at the pleasure of the President.
The then Supreme Court, was either too ambivalent, or too diffident to declare the PDA unconstitutional. It gave its judicial blessing to the PDA and perpetuated imprisonment without trial in Ghana.
Dr Danquah was a condemned believer in the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, to the level that he did not spare the then Chief Justice, His Lordship, Sir Kobina Arku Korsah, KBE, when President Nkrumah nominated him the Chief Justice to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Ghana Graphic Company.
He wrote to suggest that the Chief Justice should decline any said invitation.
It is a chilling realisation that even in death, his mortal remains would not be permitted to be accorded any dignity and honour. His compatriot in the struggle for our independence, William Ofori-Atta, deceased, was compelled to give an undertaking to bury Dr Danquah within 48 hours after his death. That was how terrible it was.
As we commemorate the 49th year of your painful death, we are enlightened by the admonition of Jesus in Luke 12:4-5 that
“And I say to you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body. And after that they have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!”
We are aware that some innocent blood can never keep quiet. The echoes of his cry have already found expression in Chapter 5 of the Constitution which pronounces on fundamental human rights and freedom.
The blood of Dr Danquah is still speaking, that we should continue to resist the oppressors, rule under any guise, colour or form.
Indeed, the ideas he stood for have now become our democratic ethos, clearly defined in the directive principles of state policy in Chapter 6 of our Constitution.
Ghana fathodie faribae-Damirifa Due, which means an architect of our democracy.
Etire a eso dae - Due Due ene Prison Amanehunu.
Ghana da wase.
Mr Speaker, I am extremely grateful for indulging me.
Mr Murtala M. Ibrahim (NDC -- Nanton) 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Statement made -- I would not call it a Tweea Statement anyway -- I rise to support the Statement made by my senior Hon Colleague in memory of Dr J. B. Danquah.
As a young person who grew up and had key interest in the body politics of this country, I took time to read some of the writings of the likes of Dr J. B. Danquah.
And I must say that yes, we cannot discount the contribution of many people, including Dr J. B. Danquah in the body politics of this nation. And the fact that every single individual contributed their bit at that time in ensuring that this nation was liberated from the political bondage or servitude, under which we were governed as a people.
I wish to also state that yes, we might have had some experiences and the likes of which the great personality that Dr J. B. Danquah went through, with regard to the Preventive Detention Act, which I agree, is a law that indeed, was passed by Parliament and everybody is talking about. Even though there is absolutely nothing illegal about it, because this was passed by Parliament and people would still ask the moral question whether we could have done away with it.
But it is significant to state that yes, Dr J. B. Danquah died in prison. But even under Busia, a committee that was set up to look at the circumstances under which he lost his life, proved clearly that he did not die as a result of he being in prison. It was a natural death. And the history is there clearly for us all to see. But as young people who are into politics, we need to take into cognisance the contributions of all those people.
I have said time and again, that one cannot talk about the liberation of this great country without talking about the contributions of the likes of Yaa Asantewaa and many other leaders who also fought the colonial masters who took our land and resources. We need to give tributes to all those people.
It is significant also for us to lament that yes, when we have the likes of Dr J. B. Danquah, who, after losing his life, that 48 hours were given for his body to be buried, I think it reminds us of the circumstances under which several other leaders who fought for the liberation of this country lost their lives. The likes of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah -- in fact, his body was even prevented from coming to Ghana because he was denied the opportunity to even lose his life in his own land.
I think it serves a lesson that never again, as a people, should we go back to those dark ages. That under the guise of political dispensation and democratic governance, we come out with laws that please the political systems at that time.
We cannot forget also that even the pronunciation of the name “Nkrumah” was a State-crime. And this law was made under a democratic dispensation to the extent that the Convention People's Party (CPP) as a political party was banned. That nobody should have anything to do with something that had an association with Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah --
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Member, limit yourself to the Statement.
Mr Ibrahim 11:05 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. -- [Hon Members: Relevance.] -- The relevance is the lessons we are learning as it was amply demonstrated by my senior Hon Colleague, what the likes of Dr J. B. Danquah and others went through. I think it is equally significant
that inasmuch as we are talking about what they went through, that we all must condemn, we need to talk about what others also went through, to serve as a lesson to all of us, so that we should not chatter that path again as a people.
Mr Speaker, it is significant also that when we are discussing --
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Member, conclude.
Mr Ibrahim 11:05 a.m.
When we are discussing some of these issues, we need to remind ourselves about the political history, particularly when we are making such Statements in this great House.
We need to remind the young people about the political history of this nation and that every single political tradition has gone through attempts by the systems that ruled this nation at any point in time, to hide behind the cloak of democracy and parliamentary procedures, to initiate steps that would stifle the very democratic dispensation that we all agreed to nurture and help to grow.
With these, I support the Statement and I would not call it a ‘Tweea' Statement.
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Members, let me remind you that I am taking two Statements, so, as much as possible, let our comments be brief.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah (NPP -- Sekondi) 11:25 a.m.
Thank you, very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to comment briefly on the Statement which is a commemorative Statement under Standing Order 71.
On occasions like this, Mr Speaker, I would personally try as much as possible not to raise any matters that may provoke debate because, that is not the essence of Statements such as this.
But Mr Speaker, this Statement also demonstrates that as a country, we have been learning lessons from our past political history. And it is so with every nation.
Mr Speaker, you would recall that even in the United States of America at a time, they said they could have separated but equal, later a court pronounced that separation itself was discriminatory. So, as a country, we have moved ahead and we ought to learn from it.
Mr Speaker, the life of the late Dr J. B. Danquah also demonstrates something which I believe as a country, we may be losing sight of. Dr Danquah, was firm in his beliefs.
It seems these days we get carried away by what we think would be politically beneficial. Decisions that we ought to take -- we are afraid to take because we think that, we may suffer politically because it may be unpalatable. But we should learn that as we build a nation, we do not build a nation for today, we build a nation for the future. And whatever we do, even if during our life time, people may not appreciate it, later on when we are gone, in terms of nation- building, people would take a leave from the way we lived our lives and the beliefs we professed.
Mr Speaker, Dr Danquah decided to challenge the status quo through the courts -- it is important -- through the judicial system. And irrespective of the decision that was given, we should also learn that whatever decisions we give today, would be subject of commentary in the future. In some, Mr Speaker, we live our lives not for today but for the future. Every day, our lives should be seen as an investment into the future.
So, each and every one of us who has the benefit to play a leadership role, whether in our families, in our workplaces or in our nations, let us ask ourselves, to what extent are we living our lives to benefit the future. Let us always put our nation first.
Mr Richard M. Quashigah (NDC -- Keta) 11:25 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement.
Mr Speaker, it is obvious that we are commemorating a man who was a great mind, and whose contribution towards the formation of our nation cannot be wished away. The reason for which when we talk about the great people who actually left footprints in the sands of time, politically, the name J. B. Danquah would be mentioned.
Dr Anthony A. Osei 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order.
He said “Danquah-Busia,”and the correction is “Dombo-Danquah-Busia.”
Mr Quashigah 11:25 a.m.
Thank you very much. Mr Speaker, the correction is well noted -- the Dombo- Danquah-Busia Tradition.
As a result of the divergent political opinions at the time, which resulted in the first President of this country, Dr Kwame Nkrumah breaking away from the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) and proceeding to form his own political party, which won the election and therefore, formed the first Government of this country, I would say, resulted in a stalemate at the time.
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order.
My Hon Friend has just indicated that -- and I am quoting him: “Unfortunately, Dr J. B. Danquah had to be imprisoned”. He did not say that Dr J. B. Danquah was imprisoned, he said “unfortunately, he had to be imprisoned.”
Mr Speaker, how does he justify that, This is because he insists that willy- nilly he had to be imprisoned by that construction.
So, Mr Speaker, what justified that imprisonment when he said that “he had to be imprisoned?”
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Members, the essence of this Statement, one, is to commemorate the 49th anniversary of the death of Dr J. B. Danquah and two, the circumstances of his death; so that as a nation, never again shall we go back to those days. In my view, that is the essence of this Statement. Again, the maker of the Statement made the point that we have moved on since, and has found expression in the relevant chapters of the Constitution.
Hon Members, I would want you to limit your comments to these two issues; any other matter, I would have to stop the Member. This is because I do not want this debate to degenerate--
Mr Quashigah 11:25 a.m.
Thank you very much. Mr Speaker, I would as much as possible try to limit myself to the areas that you have so defined.
Mr Speaker, if I am permitted, I would not want to really proceed with explanations relating to the circumstances under which Dr J. B. Danquah died, as the Minority Leader would have wished me to make. This is because there were unpalatable circumstances that led to the incarceration. Unpalatable in the sense that, as human beings, we are not perfect and we engage in activities that sometimes may not be in sync with the national discourse and national interest and could result in some punishment being meted out to us.
Mr Speaker, obviously, the situations that happened at the time, which virtually polarised this nation along political lines, affected the unity of our people.
Mr Speaker, I think we have come so far as a nation, that the circumstances --
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Member, conclude.
Mr Quashigah 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the circumstances that led to such situations and the final demise of Dr J. B. Danquah are situations that we need not visit again as a nation. We need to learn from the past and move on as a people; and see ourselves, irrespective of our political divergence, as one people working together in consonance for the good of this nation, so that even in today's economic challenges --
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Member, I say your last sentence.
Mr Quashigah 11:25 a.m.
We must be seen to be working together to ensure that Ghana soars high.
Mr Isaac Osei (NPP -- Subin) 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for this singular opportunity to add my voice to that of the Hon Member for Abuakwa South and other Hon Members who have commented on the Statement.

Mr Speaker, today, I believe that the focus of the Statement was on liberty, the freedom of the individual which actually underpins the whole democratic experience that we are now engaged in.

Mr Speaker, J. B. Danquah, in the 1930s, argued for the freedom of the black man and argued for the decolonisation of the colonies long before it became fas- hionable. J. B. Danquah continued along the path that he had chosen to fight for liberty. And in 1960, he was the only candidate who stood against the all- powerful, at that time, President, Kwame Nkrumah, in the presidential elections.

Mr Speaker, J. B. Danquah was unfortunately incarcerated without trial. He was denied his medications and died in prison. He had to suffer the indignity of being buried within 48 hours, contrary to the traditions and culture of his own ethnic group. His death, as you rightly pointed out, is an important lesson for us to say that never again should anybody be denied his freedom on the altar of political expediency and that never again, should anyone be imprisoned because he holds alternative political views. He died in prison and we would not want anybody else to suffer the same fate.
Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin (NDC -- Nadowli/Kaleo) 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe strongly that a Statement of this nature is very necessary for this country to try and relook at our history and rectify our records. In doing so, we would be setting a clear path for an understanding of what multi-party democracy is all about.
Mr Speaker, there is no doubt that Dr J. B. Danquah was an icon, not only of Ghana but of Africa. The records are there. His achievements are there; the performance and the struggle for us to achieve Independence are all in the books.
Mr Speaker, unfortunately, I am not sure we still, as a country, understand the concept of multi-party democracy. I am not sure because multi-party democracy is built under the principle of agreeing to disagree. That is the principle. If we accept that, there should be no need for bitterness because we are created different. We cannot be the same. We cannot reason the same. We cannot like the same things.
It is because of the collective good that we need to bring everybody on board to get this mixture as we keep on referring to the Kente cloth, to make, like more beautiful, more interesting, more complete, and more enjoyable. That is what life is all about and that is what multip-arty
democracy has been developed by humanity to guide us.
Mr Speaker, these days, I hear different voices, polarisation and we are tearing one another apart because of our differences. Why should that be so? It should not. Dr J. B. Danquah was unfortunately a victim of this kind of culture. The only way that we can learn lessons from the past is for us to agree to disagree.
The disagreement in Elmina between the Founding Fathers is what led to all this. It is because some people stood on principles after Dr Kwame Nkrumah won, that; “We are not going to be part of your Government”. People tried to get the opposition to join the Nkrumah regime. Even though Nkrumah offered appointments to them, they rejected them on principle; and that created the bitterness.
The records are there; but that disagreement should not go to the extent of us going behind the rules and incarcerating people. But it still happened. Even recent history abounds with instances of this. That is the Achilles' heels of democracy.
In fact, I get hurt when I hear people trying to discourage multi-party democracy by criticising the differences among NDC, NPP, PNC, CPP and the rest. That is why we opted for multi-party democracy. That is what we opted for-- if we want one-party State, let us say so. But once we say we want to practise multi- party democracy, these differences must be exhibited. The only thing is that there must be party positions.
When individuals make Statements, they ascribe them to parties. That is wrong. That is what is deepening what people call “polarisation” but that is not polarisation. I can express my idea that
does not mean that is the position of NDC. Serial callers phone in and call and they say that is the position of NPP, that is the position of NDC. That should not be so. Before we can succeed, we must strengthen our political parties. These are the pillars of democracy. We have not succeeded in doing that and we have left the ground.
So, I would want to emphasise that that Parliament should take up the task of supporting researchers to go to the history and right all the wrongs that others have done by looking at history with political lenses and blaming the historical records.
We all know where the name Ghana came from. It is there in the history books. We all know how it was proposed. It is there in the history books. That time, my place was not part of the colony. We were protected territories. So, when people say that Ghana is former Gold Coast, I think they are not clear what they are talking about. This is because we were protected territories. Me, I am a Ghanaian; I am not a Gold Coaster.
Mr Joe Ghartey (NPP -- Esikadu/ Ketan) 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe it was William Shakespeare who once said that,
“The evil that men do lives after them and the good often interred in their
Mr Isaac Osei 11:45 a.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I think William Shakespeare said
“...the good is oft interred”.
Mr Ghartey 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, well, I have just been advised by my Hon Friend, Hon Bagbin that it depends on the edition of William Shakespeare you are reading. I read the more ancient edition; my Friend who is younger than me, must have read the modern edition of Shakespeare. [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, if I may continue --
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Second Deputy Speaker, is that a statement of fact?
Mr Ghartey 11:45 a.m.
My Lord, I am sorry. [Laughter.]

Mr Speaker, just to say that when I listened to this Statement, as it was being read out by my very Hon Friend, Hon Atta Akyea, it seemed to me like a study in constitutional history. It showed me how far we have come as a nation. This is because, as he mentioned the various articles, I looked at our present day Constitution and saw that we have moved so far, that the only thing we can say together is “Ebenezer, look at how far the Lord has brought us”.
Mr Ghartey 11:45 a.m.

Mr Speaker, article 23 and 24 of the Constitution, at that time, made Parliament subservient to the President.

The President could dissolve Parliament. I looked at article 113; the President today has no power to dissolve Parliament.

Mr Speaker, article 35 of the 1960 Constitution gave the President the power to enter into loans on behalf of Government. Today, article 181(5) does not give the President that power; all loans come to Parliament.
Mr Speaker, when you look at Re 11:45 a.m.
Akoto for example, and the decision given it clearly explains why today we have Chapter 5 of the Constitution which is enforceable; and Chapter 6 which some people argued that it was unenforceable until the Supreme Court said in the Ghana Lotto Operators' case that there is presumption of enforceability.
Mr Speaker, these remarkable advances that we have made, as I said before, must lead us to the conclusion that indeed, we have come a long way as a nation.
Mr Speaker, in thinking about that, that is why we celebrate the lives of people such as the late Dr J. B. Danquah. People who made sacrifices, so that some of us can reach the point that we have reached today.
Mr Speaker, I would not want to belabour the point, but only to say that one of the characteristics that the late Dr Danquah had was that clearly, he had courage of his conviction. He was convinced about something and he had the courage to stand up to it.
Mr Speaker, a friend of mine once said that 11:45 a.m.
“You must stand for something otherwise, you would be remembered for nothing”. The late Dr Danquah clearly stood for something and it is important as we go forward, to support some of my Hon Colleagues that have spoken early on, that
we should deepen democracy, but not be afraid of democracy.
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, do you want to say something?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, may I cede, if you will, my place to the Hon Member for Akwapim North.
Mr William O. Boafo (NPP -- Akwapim North) 11:45 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement made by the Hon Member for Abuakwa South (Mr Samuel A. Akyea).
Mr Speaker, the late Dr J. B. Danquah came from a family which was a warrior family; a family that featured those days in defending several communities, including my own community in Akwapim North. Mr Speaker, the late Dr J. B. Danquah took this mantle further by becoming a warrior to defend the liberties of individuals. He defined the stance of his family from a local royal to a national hero.
It is therefore, not surprising, Mr Speaker, that the late Dr Danquah became one of the founding members of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), which body started the intensification of our march towards independence.
Mr Speaker, if one looks through history, one would see that from the formation of the UGCC to his untimely death in the prisons, the late Dr Danquah relentlessly fought for independence, fought for democracy and fought for the wellbeing of the individual. He contributed immensely to the political
philosophy of this country and one can refer to one of the tenets of the New Patriotic Party's political philosophy of property ownership.
Mr Speaker, the late Dr Danquah, together with other people, courageously faced the dictatorship of this country and the way they stood as well as the way they fought, most of them now serve as models for some of us in politics. It is sad that, his life was terminated in a prison. It is not only the death in prison that is worrying, but it is the suffering in prison.
Mr Speaker, I believe some of us in this House have tasted a day or two, week or month or a year in political detention, either under military regime or civil regime. So, we can attest to the suffering and humiliation involved. It is gratifying to note that, nowadays, these are far away from the tenets of our politics in this country, that we enjoy better freedom and better human rights. The changes which have been taking place since then, have so far been enumerated by the Hon Second Deputy Speaker.
Mr Speaker, the late Dr Danquah's contribution during his life-time was not only in politics. He helped to develop the jurisprudence of this country. He has been mentioned in one of them, particularly in the celebrated cases of Re: Akoto.
Mr Speaker, his appearance in court, his personal decorum and so forth, which were emulated by some of our seniors at the Bar and which some of us are still emulating is a good legacy for members of the law profession.
Mr Speaker, his contribution to the land law, constitutional administrative law and
Majority Leader (Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor) 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, once the Hon Minority Leader has ceded his position to a senior member of the Bar, the temptation was for me to do the same, but given my own association with the legal profession and the works of J. B. Danquah, I guess that this is about the third time that a Statement has been made in honour of J.B. Danquah.
I intend just to make one or two comments to broaden the horizon in relation to the legacy of Dr J.B. Danquah which is wider than we have sought to do.
I am particularly happy that the maker of the Statement had focused on two very important attributes of Dr J.B. Danquah. The one on civil liberties and then the respect for the rule of law. These, in my view, have always represented the non- political side of what he had stood for, what he had sought for and as Mandela said, what he was prepared to die for, and perhaps, has eventually died for.
Mr Speaker, there is something very unique about the Preventive Detention Act (PDA); and when the constitutional history is being given, the impression is given, as if it was invented under the
Majority Leader (Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor) 11:55 a.m.

Convention Peoples Party (CPP). In fact, detention without trial started with our colonial administrators, and if one has read Geoffrey Bing who was then a very astute Attorney-General, one would see that the mechanics under which the PDA was a useful one and this is the irony of our democracy.

Mr Speaker, the very professional lawyers who are supposed to ensure and guarantee the rule of law and respect for fundamental human rights become the advisers of non-lawyers and showed them the appropriate laws to use to commit human wrongs in the field of human rights.

It is not for nothing that, what we call constitutional dictatorship, even becomes more dangerous than non-constitutional dictatorship and I think that this, for us, is significant. I say this because of the uniqueness of the PDA and its effect to my uncles who have time and time again, had a lot to do with Dr J.B. Danquah. The consequencies of it were not only a loss of civil liberties, but the inability of that group in the Northern Peoples Party (NPP) because of PDA, to reproduce themselves.

In fact, by 1965, it was only B.K. Adama who had escaped to the Ivory Coast, who was not under detention under PDA. We know, and I have had the occasion to tell a very senior leading NPP member that, because of PDA and the detention of this early politicians of the North, they got a lot of distortions in their own domestic arrangements and were not able to reproduce themselves.

So, it is not accidental that today, you cannot find the equivalent of the descendants of Dr J. B. Danquah politically active as those who were in the


This is the context in which I would want us to be able to locate J.B. Danquah as a wide legacy. The fact that J.B. Danquah lost his civil liberties, is not just because he is J.B. Danquah and a lawyer. It should never happen that any human being without the stature of J.B. Danquah, should go through that experience.

Thank you Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of the first Statement. I think that we have all learnt our lessons very well as a nation. I say so because some of those laws, the PDA and the Criminal Offences (Amendment) Act (COA) which incriminalised Nkrumah's ideas, those laws can never be introduced into this House again and so, we should say “never again shall we re-visit those dark days of our nation”.
Hon Members, the second Statement stands in the name of the Hon Member for Oforikrom.
Hon Member, you have the floor.
Plight of head potters (Kayayei) in Ghana
Ms Elizabeth Agyeman (NPP -- Oforikrom) 11:55 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker for the opportunity to read this Statement on head potters.
Not only are these girls exposed to mosquitoes they are also at the mercy of some unscrupulous, male harassers who rob them of their monies and rape them as well. Most of the rape cases result in teenage pregnancies and their related problems.
About three months ago, Mr Speaker, I visited Dagomba Line, a suburb of my constituency where most of these girls reside I was stunned to the point of tears when 1 saw the poor conditions under which they live.
I immediately organised a team of medical doctors, pharmacists, nurses and other supporting staff selected from three health facilities in Kumasi, to offer free medical screening for the girls. The head potters were screened of various health conditions, after which those found with critical health conditions were referred to the Kumasi South, Manhyia, Tafo and
Komfo Anokye Teaching hospitals. Those who were diagnosed with malaria, high blood pressure and other ailments were provided with drugs and advised to seek medical care at regular intervals.
The exercise, which lasted three days and over 6,000 female head potters were screened, was funded by philanthropists, with support from the District Assemblies Common Fund Administrator, the Ghana Health Service, the Chief Executive of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, Hon (Dr) Benjamin Kunbuor, Hon Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu, Hon Mahama Ayariga, Hon Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, Hon Isaac Osei, Hon Emmanuel Kyeremateng Agyarko and a number of pharmaceutical companies in Accra and Kumasi.
Permit me, Mr Speaker, to use this opportunity to thank all individuals and organisations who responded to my appeal and came to the aid of these girls.
Mr Speaker, we are all aware of the efforts of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) in developing the northern sector of the country. I believe that the efforts of SADA must be encouraged to enable them stem the tide on the migration of these young girls to the southern sector.
I also wish to suggest that the Ministries of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Education, Gender, Children and Social Protection and Local Government and Rural Development, form an emergency committee to look into the fundamental causes of the migration and put in urgent measures to arrest the situation.
On this note, Mr. Speaker, 1 thank you for the opportunity.
Alhaji Ibrahim D. Abubakari (NDC -- Salaga South) 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker., let me thank the Hon Member who made the Statement, and to say that this is one of the most important Statements she had made and I would like to congratulate her.
Mr Speaker, I thought of this Kayayei because my constituency, and for that matter, the East Gonja District may contribute not less than 60 per cent of these Kayayei in the South.
Mr Speaker, in fact, I can tell you that when you go there now, all the young girls have migrated to the South and it would be very difficult to even get a young girl to marry around that area.
Mr Benito Owusu-Bio 11:55 a.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague who just spoke made a comment that, because of this migration, men in his constituency cannot get women to marry. I would want to find out from him, what empirical evidence does he have to make such a statement, and if he does not have any fact to back this up, he has to withdraw that particular sentence.
Alhaji Abubakari 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think the Hon Member did not hear me very well. I said they are finding it very difficult to get young girls to marry. [Interruptions.] Mr Speaker, that is not the issue, the issue is, as I said earlier, the young girls have to choose between the “two devils” whether
Alhaji Abubakari 11:55 a.m.

to come to the South and face this deplorable situation or to stay in the North and face other equally bad situation.

When a young girl wakes up at 4.00 a.m., she has to walk for about seven miles to look for water. Immediately she gets the water and comes back, she has to go for firewood. These young girls would go through all these troubles, walk seven miles just to look for water for the family; when she succeeds in bringing the water, she has to go and look for firewood, after that, she has to go to the farm.

Mr Speaker, if one goes through this struggle and is offered to come to Accra or Kumasi to do Kayayei, where one can get tap water and other amenities, which one would she choose? The basic problem is lack of social amenities in those areas. For example, good water, road, infrastructure and jobs.

Let me say something from history. During the 1970's or 1980's, in Acheampong's regime, when Operation Feed Yourself was introduced, where these young girls could even go and farm and harvest rice, tell them to go to the South, they would never go. Go and find out, no young girl at that time would like to come from Tamale or my area to Accra. But these days, those amenities are not there. Go to our constituencies, how to get good drinking water, even water for bathing is a problem.

I went to campaign in an area -- when I visited there during my campaign -- we arrived there around 5 o'clock during fasting time -- Mr Speaker, the water that was brought to us, I can tell you that a big bath was better than that water. We slept in that village and I found out that early in the morning, these girls had to walk over four miles to get water for us. These are the issues that we should tackle.

When these issues are solved in the North, in other words, get them good roads, good drinking water, electricity and jobs for them to do, most of these girls will never migrate to the South.

With these contributions Mr Speaker, I thank you and the Hon Member who first made the Statement.
Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu (NPP -- Dormaa Central) 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to associate myself with the Statement and to bring out to the fore, that I am particularly surprised at the type of figures the Hon Member who made the Statement is coming out with. I was thinking all along that, this Kayayei challenge could only be found in Accra, not knowing the situation in Kumasi seems to be worse. That actually brings out again to the fore, Mr Speaker, that all efforts we have been making as a nation to stop this phenomenon has not yielded any serious fruits at all.
I remember when President Kufuor and his Government created the then Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs the first Minister, Mrs Gladys Asmah actually got involved with some civil society organisations, they tried to take back some of these Kayayei ladies back to the North, with sewing machines and some support to help them re-integrate into where they came from.
But if we are still, after all these efforts getting these types of figures, not only in Accra, but in Kumasi and I am not surprised if it will be so in Koforidua and Sunyani and possibly, in Tamale as well, then we have a big task or challenge ahead of us.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member who made the Statement, made some efforts and she mentioned the exercise she undertook with support from some Colleague Members of Parliament (MP's)
and some pharmacists without mentioning my very good friend, Hon Akoto's name. Your contribution is not too late; you can still help here.
Dr Anthony A. Osei 11:55 a.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I do not know who the Hon Member is referring to as Hon Akoto. My name is not Hon Akoto. Hon Owusu Afriyie Akoto is not here, so I do not know who the Hon Member is referring to.
Mr Agyeman-Manu 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am surprised, I am not referring to Hon Anthony Akoto Osei and he wants to take the claim for it. Why? [Laughter.] I was mentioning my Colleague from Kwadaso, not the one from Old Tafo and the capital is Abuakwa.
Mr Speaker, the kayayei phenomenon does not even get only girls coming down, but also takes some chunk of young men also coming down.
These days you even meet some of these young men carrying yams on their hands selling in traffic. And I tell myself, the weight alone does not augur well for these young men's profession or business that they are getting into.
All the NGO's interventions in the North do not seem to have yielded any serious fruits. Therefore, Mr Speaker, we, as Members of Parliament and who, by our constitution, have a role to play in stopping some of these things, I think Mr Speaker, we have to sit up.
The ad hoc solutions, one Hon Member of Parliament soliciting for
Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Hon Members, the maker of the Statement has proposed some way out. I would take one comment from each side, then I will give some directive, so that we could do a follow-up on this matter. Because this is not the first time
that this Statement has been made on the floor of this House and we need to explore the matter effectively. So, I will take one contribution from each side of the House; Hon Bagbin and Hon Gifty Kusi.
Mr A. S. K. Bagbin (NDC -- Nadowli/ Kaleo) 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is true that the issue of kayayei has caught the attention of this House on several occasions, starting from the First Parliament when the issue was not as serious as it is now, which meant, as one Hon Member stated earlier, we have not been able to turn the tide of the rural- urban migration, particularly of the young unemployed and vulnerable youth.
Mr Speaker, the main issue is that of development. It is a development issue. We have the rural areas which are seen as development deserts, therefore, people have to move from the desert to greener pastures. That is a natural inclination, and we need to attend to it. But we have to look at the issue also of parental care, parental responsibility.
It looks like our parents, not now, long before, decided, excuse me to say, to behave like rabbits, where they go littering all over the country and not being responsible. They have so many wives and so many children all over the place and they expect the society to take care of them. That is an issue -- the issue of responsibility.
If you bring forth a child, you must be prepared to take care of the child. That is something that seems to be lacking these days and you can see the ages that are expected to fend for themselves -- between 7 and 12 years -- that definitely, the Ministry should be called upon to look for the parents and take them to task. They have no business to start shifting the responsibility to the society; they have a role to play.
Mr Speaker, the other thing is our value system. Everything coming from the white man is the best, everything coming from the city is the best, everything coming from the South is the best; other people's cultures are primitive. I am proud that I am from the village, and I know the values and principles that have made me Hon Bagbin. I do not shy away from them. But now, people even do not want to be referred to as coming from the North.
Mr Bagbin 12:15 p.m.
So, it is true that the SADA intervention is a serious one and it should be taken serious by the country.
Mr Agyeman-Manu 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order.
My Hon Senior Colleague is making reference to budgets and alluding to the fact that only one per cent of budgetary allocations for development goes to the North. Mr Speaker, I beg to differ that that statement cannot be correct --
Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
What is your figure?
Mr Agyeman-Manu 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, let us look at the District Assembly Common Fund alone, that is a development Fund;
where does it go? Should we give the three northern regions one per cent? If you look at capital allocation through decentralisation --
Mr Speaker, I do not have the figure as of now, but all I know is that, that figure is not correct and that should be corrected.
Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
But you see, it would be difficult for me to call on him -- This is because I do not have the figure -- so, Hon Member, I will now give the chance to Hon Akoto Osei and the Hon Member for Wenchi --
Prof Gyan-Baffour 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think the essence of the Hon Member 's statement is that, the amount that goes there is not sufficient, it is very low. I would rather, he says so, that it is a very low figure, and not to be exact about one per cent, because that certainly, could not be true.
Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Member, what is the source of your figure?
Mr Bagbin 12:25 p.m.
It is from a research document written by Prof Jacob Songsori and Co. I thought my Hon Colleagues would have referred to maybe, the year of the figure. But I did not even talk about budgetary allocation; I said development Fund. All right, it is right to refer to the District Assemblies Common Fund, but that was the research figure; he is a Professor in Legon; he did the research. There are a lot of research documents on Kayayei and the rest; they are there. That is what I am referring to -- [Interruption]
Mr Agyeman-Manu 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, just for a point of information.
About five years back, when we were in government, donor partners prompted the attention of Government to the fact that, inflows to the North were not very significant, therefore, we should scale up allocations to ensure that we were giving a chunk to the North. That is what actually provoked the creation of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority
Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
I think that there is a consensus that development to the North is rather low. At least, there is a consensus around that.
Mr Bagbin 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am very clear in my mind about my percentage and I have referred him to the research document; the only issue he could have raised is the year, that it is not now, it is some years ago. That, he could have stated, but he should not doubt my figure; it is there. Mr Speaker, I referred him to the research document by Prof Jacob Songsori and Co. Go and read it.
Mr Speaker, the other issue that we need to look at is, is Ghana a State or a nation? If Ghana is a nation, then anybody is allowed to leave anywhere in Ghana, and this idea about belonging to tribes and the rest, will all disappear and we will see one another as brothers and sisters of the same nation. Ghana is Still a State and so, people can talk about others migrating to other areas.
Definitely, Mr Speaker, when you refer to Dagomba Line, there is a long history about it, and that has to do with the relationship between the Dagombas and the Ashantis; and this is a long history of relationship even during the wars. No doubt, that we have Yaa Asantewaa wearing that smock. There is a tradition even in the installation of chiefs in Ashanti, where there is a northern custom that is performed before the chiefs are installed.
So, that is a long relationship. So, when you see the numbers in Kumasi, do not be surprised. This is because there have been a brotherly fr iendship relationship between Dagombas and Ashantis. So Dagomba Line is for a good reason.
But as I said, we need to go beyond being a State to being a nation. I recalled that, there is a debate as to the name Bantama. While the Dagombas say that Bantama is from the word Mbantima -- [Interruption.] -- the Ashantis say no, it is not from that. But it is because there was that relationship, and the earlier chiefs gave some portions of the land in Kumasi to the Dagombas. That is history and people should read and see why.
Mrs Eugenia Kusi (NPP -- Tarkwa/ Nsueam) 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement ably made by my Hon Colleague, Hon Elizabeth Agyeman. Mr Speaker, this problem, as my Hon Colleagues who have spoken it said, is a very serious one.
Mr Speaker, it looks like there is some vicious cycle going on in this problem. The girls come and some of them give birth under dangerous circumstances and their children are left unattended to while they do their job.
The children are untrained, the children also grow up and then they also become porters and goro boys and so on and so forth. And the cycle continues to go on.
Mr Speaker, as a nation, we cannot look on as my Hon Colleagues have said, for this to happen; there should be some intervention somewhere. Mr Speaker, I want would to commend my Hon Colleague who has used part of her Distr ict Assemblies Common Fund to screen these
girls. But as I have said, everybody can put a hand to it. We as Members of Parliament, everybody should look at Kayayei or head porters in his or her constituency and try to solve the problem in his or her own way. Mr Speaker, even though, our efforts may not be enough, it would be something that would help to ease the hardships that these people are going through.
Mr Speaker, there is a new phenomenon with these head porters which is happening in the galamsey areas. These girls follow those men who do this galamsey and they sleep under conditions which Mr Speaker, we do not even want to mention here. Mr Speaker, it is something like they do not have anybody to protect them. So Mr Speaker, I think that the institutions that are there for the youth -- [Interruption.] the Department of Social Welfare, the National Youth Authority and the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Authority (GYEEDA), it is a very good endeavour, which should be improved.
And I think that whatever problems is bedevilling GYEEDA should be looked into for it to work, as we all want it to work for the youth. Because the youth are being left, and one day, if we do not train them to our satisfaction, as to where they should be, we would get a lot of problems. We do not even know where this nation would be heading to.
Mr M. M. Ibrahim 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order.
The President never made such a statement anywhere. So, I think that for the purposes of records, if you make that statement, excuse me to say, is not accurate. It is important the President never said anywhere that he was going to build youth centres across all the districts. I think that the Hansard must correct it. I can understand the passion, but she must correct that, he never said that.
Mrs Kusi 12:25 p.m.
But you were not in Tarkwa; I heard it in Tarkwa. [Interrup- tion.]
Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Members, let us have order.
Mr Joe K. Gidisu 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I was in Tarkwa with the President -- [Interrup- tion.] I was in Tarkwa and in almost all the communities, the President never on any platform talked about building youth centres. I went round with the President to all the communities, nowhere did he say that he was going to build youth centres.
Mrs Kusi 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, so, in their manifesto, they do not have anything for the youth? [Uproar!]
Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Kusi, that is a different matter that you are raising.
Mrs Kusi 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think that the present Administration says that they are social democrats. They should demonstrate this for us to see. The head porters are suffering; we need to do something for the youth of this country and I know you are capable. I am not saying you cannot do it; you can do it, so do it for us, so that these problems would go.
Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Members, if you look at the Statement from the Hon Member for Oforikrom, she came with a suggestion that we should set up an inter- ministerial committee. It is a bit complicated. I would suggest that as a first step, of course, I want to suggest that the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection should come and brief the House as a Committee of the Whole and then we can interrogate the issues.
After that, if the House feels that we move forward to set up a committee, then we set up a committee and then we would decide who and who, which agencies should constitute that committee.

Hon Members, I so direct.

Business Committee to arrange for the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to come and brief the Committee of the Whole on the steps that they are taking to deal with the Kayayei issue.
Dr Kunbuor 12:25 p.m.
Very well, Mr Speaker.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe that the directive should be specifically to the Hon Minister and not the Ministry.
Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Very well.
Therefore, I direct that a copy of the Statement and the comments thereon be forwarded to the Hon Minister accordingly.
I so direct.
Ms Agyemang 12:25 p.m.
Thank you, very much, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Members, at the Commencement of Public Business, the following Papers to be presented.
PAPERS 12:25 p.m.

Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Members, we move to item number 5 on the Order Paper.
Hon First Deputy Speaker to take the Chair.
Yes, Hon Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.
MOTIONS 12:25 p.m.

Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu) 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Performance Audit Report of the Auditor-General on the management and distribution of anti- retroviral drugs in Ghana.
Mr Speaker, in moving the Motion, I beg to present the Report of the Committee, which has already been circulated.
The Performance Audit Report of the Auditor-General on the management and distribution of anti-retroviral drugs in Ghana was presented to Parliament on Thursday, 18th July 2013 in accordance with article 187 (2) and (5) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
In fulfillment of Order 165 (2) of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana, the Report was referred to the Public Accounts Committee for examination and report.
To assist the Committee in its deliberations, the Hon. Deputy Minister for Health, Dr. Alfred Sugri Tia, the Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr. George Blankson and representatives of the underlisted organisations appeared before the Committee as witnesses to testify on behalf of their respective organisations.
i. Ministry of Health.
ii. National AIDS Control Pro- gramme.
iii. Ghana Health Service.
iv. Ghana AIDS Commission.
v. Ghana Revenue Authority.
vi. Central Medical Stores.
vii. Regional Medical Stores.
viii Sandema Hospital.
viii. KNUST Hospital.
ix. Yendi Hospital.
x. Holy Family Hospital, Nkawkaw.
xi. Ghana Supply Company Limited.
xiii. Danadams Pharmaceuticals.
On appearing before the Committee, the witnesses subscribed to the oath of a witness and answered questions relating
to issues raised in the Auditor-General's Report, the object and functioning of their respective organisations and issues of general public interest.
The Deputy Auditor-General, Mr. Yaw Sifah and a technical team from the Audit Service were also present at the Committee's sittings to assist in the examination of the Report.
The Committee is grateful to the Hon Deputy Minister for Health, the Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority and all witnesses who appeared before the Committee and assisted in its deliberations. It also expresses its profound appreciation to the Deputy Auditor-General and his technical team for their immense assistance throughout the Committee's deliberations on the Report.
The Committee further extends its appreciation to STAR-Ghana and the German International Cooperation (GIZ) for supporting its activities.
Finally, the Committee extends its appreciation to the media (print and electronic) for broadcasting its proceedings.
Reference documents
The Committee was guided in its deliberations by the following documents:
i. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
ii. The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
iii. The Financial Administration Act, 2003 (Act 654).
iv. The Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663).
v. The Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act
vi. The Internal Audit Agency Act, 2003 (Act 658).
vii.The Financial Administration Regulations, 2004 (L.I. 1802).
PLHIV 12:25 p.m.

Alhaji Dey I Abukakari (NDC -- Salaga South) 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion and in doing so, I would want to submit these observations.
Mr Speaker, unlike financial audit, performance audit seems to address any inefficiency in operations. In fact, it seeks to look for value for money; in other words, the efficient economic and effectiveness of running any organisation. Sometimes this may lead to financial loss or not.
Looking at this Report, I would want to highlight two issues that were raised. First, when you look at the system, you would find out that there is a lot of inefficiency in the operation of the Anti- Retroviral Drugs (ARVs), right down from initiation; that is when you put order to the time of taking delivery and supplying it to the people living with HIV. And therefore, I am urging the House to support this Report and the recom-

mendations made to ensure that those inefficiencies that are highlighted in the operation of this system are corrected. And also, those people who in one way or the other, have hindered the progress of the system, must be brought to book.

Mr Speaker, when you look at page 6 of the Report, and with your permission, I beg to quote:

“That notwithstanding, the Com- mittee is of the opinion that supplying inadequate ARVs to PLHIV defeats the purpose of which the NACP was established.”

In other words, if we cannot supply these drugs sufficient enough to cater for PLHIV, then we must as well not establish the National AIDS Control Programme.

As a result, we recommended on page 7 that, those two people who did not submit their documents concerning the delivery of those drugs should be rebuked by the Minister for Health in accordance with the law. And also, those people found wanting in the collection of the money of the PLHIV -- In fact, these are people who should not even have paid, and the little money they paid -- the GH¢5.00 is not even accounted for, and therefore, as recommended by the Report, these people should be brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others.

With this contribution, I beg to second the Motion on the floor.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Thank you very much. We would take two contributions from either side and then I will put the Question. I think it is straightforward, except that because of its sensitive nature, we will take some contributions.

Question proposed.
Mr Isaac K. Asiamah (NPP -- Atwima- Mponua) 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this is a Report by the Public Accounts Committee. Mr Speaker, this is a House of accountability and therefore, reports emanating from this Committee should be taken more serious.
Mr Speaker, even the timing for this Report; look at the number of Members in this House now. Mr Speaker, let us attach much more importance to reports emanating from this very important Committee. After giving money to MDAs to spend, this is where they come and render accounts for us to know that there is efficiency, effectiveness and value for money. This is a Report we are considering and look at the number of MPs here, just because of sometimes the timing.
Mr Speaker, we have said it time and over again that we should be given good time for this Committee to present its reports. This is because sometimes when the time comes for us to present our reports, you will see that Members, either through fatigue or something else, have left this House. Let us look at the timing for this Report --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Hon Member, your point is well taken. But I believe that other Hon Members are involved in committee meetings and things like that. That is the reason. There is also a wellness programme taking place at this time for staff and so on. Your point is well taken. No doubt about that but let us make some progress.
Mr J. K. Asiamah 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, so the Business Committee and Leadership should take note.

Mr Speaker, HIV/AIDS is a threat to our development, a serious one of course, especially, affecting the most active segment of our society -- economic active segment.

Mr Speaker, as a country, we commit ourselves to fighting this menace. We give out resources, money to officials who are paid by the poor taxpayer to deliver certain essential services. When you go through the Report and what we went through -- this is a Performance Audit Report -- it shows lack of concern by certain officials in this essential service, failure to supply drugs purchased. When we asked them, the answers they provided were not convincing at all.

The Manager appeared before the Committee; we were not convinced about how they have handled the poor taxpayer's money and it is an area we need to look at. The supply of these drugs to people living with HIV/AIDS is something we have to look at critically.

Mr Speaker, other issue of concern is about building the capacity of local manufacturing companies, that, in my view, is a major concern.

With all these huge sums of money, then we go and contract foreign companies for services that can be rendered by our local companies and they are there. Some, over the years, have demonstrated enough capacity to deliver and they are there but we bypass them and then we go and give it to foreign companies.

We urge the Ministry of Health to take this matter serious, so that we can build the capacity of our local manufacturing companies. It is critical. We have to look at it.

With these few words, I support the Motion on the floor.
Mr Joseph Y. Chireh (NDC -- Wa West) 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this debate. In contributing, I would like to emphasise the need for all of us to critically look at this Report. This is because it is one that deals with people living with AIDS. But if you look at all the recommendations, I have looked at them and if you look at page 7, we have --
“To this end, the Committee recommends that the Hon Minister for Health should ensure that officers who willingly or unwillingly refused to make the documents available to the Auditors be sanctioned to serve as a deterrent to others. The Committee urges heads of all institutions to attach utmost importance to audit activities
This is a recommendation, but how will this Parliament know what sanctions have been given to the officers? The Committee's work is to find out whether some people willingly refused to provide the documents. Those who willingly did so, have to be sanctioned.
Now, you go to page 8. You will also find that they are asking for another sanction. Everywhere you ask for sanction, but I think that the Committee should go beyond sanctions and specify what type of sanction should be given. Are they to be talked to? Warned or asked to do something or be prosecuted? When you say sanction, we have to be clear what sanctions you want the Ministry to undertake.
Alhaji Ibrahim D. Abubakari 12:55 p.m.
On a point of order.
When we ask the Minister to sanction the people concerned, he will sanction them in accordance with the law. For example, the Audit Service Act or according to the law he has breached. We would not sit here to do that, but the Minister should be able to know that this is the law he has breached and the appropriate sanction would be given the person.
Mr Chireh 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Ranking Member is just saying something to satisfy something. But I am saying that if you ask somebody to sanction somebody, you yourself should look at, the rules in the Civil Service or the Ministry vis-à-vis this and this is why you called the Ministers to come and appear before you. If you do not have the sanction, you ask them, what is the sanction regime in the face of what you have found out? But if you found somebody to have stolen some money or funds, what do you recommend?
Mr Richard M.Quashigah 12:55 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I think that clearly, like it was mentioned by the Hon Ranking Member, there are sanctions within the institutions that are being referred to and so, we are actually making reference to the appropriate sanctions that ought to be meted out for the kind of errors that have been committed or the mistakes that have been made by the various officers.
So, it is not, as if we did not, as it were, delve into finding out what sanctions ought to be applied. But then we are recommending that the appropriate sanction ought to be applied; we do not need necessarily to go to the nitty-gritties of the sanctions.
Mr Boafo 12:55 p.m.
On a point of order!
Mr Speaker, as the available Minority Leader, I have to comment.
I think what the Hon Ranking Member said should be taken serious. This is because when such a recommendation is made to the Minister, the Minister is expected to take advice from the Attorney-General's Office on the appropriate sanctions. We cannot sit here -- They have to submit a detailed report for the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice to study and advise in accordance with the Civil Service laws as well as the general laws of the land. We do not have to take that burden on us and misdirect the Minister.
Mr Chireh 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am saying that this is a House of debates. This is my view that I am expressing. If they have contrary views, when it comes to their turn, they should say so. But to come on a point of order, as if I am not following the procedures of this House. This is not acceptable. They do not quote any point of order. If it is also information, I have worked in the Public Service for a long time and I know. What I am saying is that, we are recommending something to the Ministries; we should be specific.
In case of page 11, if you look at the second paragraph, the Committee is referring to a Legislative Instrument (L.I.). If you refer to an L.I. and it is a breach of that L.I., obviously, it is already clear in the L.I. what the sanction should be. But if somebody, wilfully refuses to submit a document, what punishment do you think should be given? Should he be cautioned, or arrested and imprisoned? We have to look at that to get the advice and tell them “this is the case”.
Otherwise, if they come back a year later to say that they have sanctioned the officer, and you ask what the sanction was, will they say “I called him and talked to him or I sent him a warning or caution note”? That is not sufficient for this House. They themselves are saying it is a critical area -- and it is important. If people breach and you do not sanction them appropriately, and by specifying what the sanction should be, in my view, it makes your work less important. I think that in future, you should go through.
If it is a law that they have breached; you will refer to the specific law and the advice that you may need from the Attorney-General's Department and you will get it. Once again, I think that the whole exercise of the procurement and the timeliness of getting the things in, are so critical that the Ministry of Health should look at it.
The Committee made a recommen- dation how the drugs should be delivered through the airport and cleared quickly. It is important because the moment you stop taking the medicine, your situation deteriorates. I think that it is important that that portion of the recommendation should be taken serious by the Ministry.
On this note, I thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity.
Dr Richard W. Anane (NPP -- Nhyiaeso) 1:05 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to associate with the Report and to also add my voice in support of the Report by the House.
Mr Speaker, this country has gone a long way from 2000/2001 when the National AIDS Commission was formed through to the formation of the National AIDS Control Programme and others. We
have gone through so many Motions and today, we can even say that we have done so well that we have been able to bring AIDS prevalence rate to as low as 1.7 per cent. That should be something for us to pat our backs, but when we make these observations as shown in the Report, it should be a great source of worry.
A great source of worry because in spite of the fact that we have over the period been doing so much to be able to have brought down our prevalence rate to that low. If we permit such lapses, Mr Speaker, what is going to happen is that, we are going to have a resurgence. The worry for some of us with respect to this resurgence is the fact that, especially, and when you look at the Report and you talk about the inadequate supply, such that instead of monthly supplies, some of the victims or patients receive as low as two weeks, supplies of the Anti-Retroviral (ARV) Drugs. It means that we are going to have resistance to some of these drugs.
Mr Speaker, if we are going to have resistance organisms in our locality which could easily be spread to other countries then there would be a very big problem . . . “ The problem would be that, we would not be able to help our countrymen who have contracted HIV to make use of ARVs when they are supplied.
Mr Speaker, I believe that this Report needs to be taken serious and the Hon Minister should be urged to take it serious.
Mr Speaker, from experience, I would want to have the House take a very deep look at the submission of the Hon Yieleh Chireh.
I am saying so because some of us have also seen some of these things when it comes to the law with respect to the
Civil Servant. When the Civil Service rules are applied, they are patted on the back, whereas if you and I were involved in anything, it would be the real law of the land.
Mr Speaker, when he is talking, I believe it is from experience and we have to take particular note of that and see how and what we can do to support the Hon Minister for the right things to be done.
Mr Speaker, the inadequate supply, that is, piecemeal supply, two weeks -- the worry about the possible emergence of resistance organisms, especially the failure or question marks about the delivery to the areas where they are supposed to be, is it because along the way there was a diversion?
We have to have a deeper look and know what is happening. This is because the State has spent so much money. We must know that we have depended so much on our external sources. Today, there is fatigue and we may have to look at ourselves and see how we can also mobilise resources to buy this.
When the external sources have been supplying us funding for the procurement of these drugs, when they are giving even some constraining regulations by way of “you cannot buy from here but from there”, these are all. This is because they are giving us the funding. Today, we may have to start thinking about us also finding sources for our own funding; This is because where we are today is different from where we were yesterday. That is going to be a big problem because we always lack funds.
If with the lack of funds, we are able to make a small amount available to be able to procure some drugs and we face the problems of question marks on delivery, Mr Speaker, that would be a great worry to all of us.
Mr David T. Assumeng (NDC -- Shai- Osudoku) 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Report.
Mr Speaker, I am worried that neither the Hon Minister for Health nor the Deputy is here. This is because this Report, as has been said, must be taken serious. Nonetheless, since the Chairman of the Committee on Health is here, I believe he would do the yeoman's work to send the concerns in the Report to the Hon Minister.
Mr Speaker, I would want to urge the Chairman of the Committee to begin to implement his innovation to address the recommendations of the Committee's Report. This is because most at times, Reports of the Public Accounts Com-
Alhaji Ibrahim D. Abubakari 1:05 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague on the floor is saying that he is urging the Chairman to address the recom- mendations. When the Report comes here and the House adopts it, I do not think it is the duty of the Chairman to see to the recommendations. The Report becomes the property of the House when it is adopted.
So, let us get the appropriate channel that has to see to it that the recommendations are carried out and not the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Hon Member, go ahead.
Mr Assumeng 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, what I am saying is that, most at times, the recom- mendations of the Committee end on the floor and the Hon Member and I know that we are trying to come out with some innovations to carry out the Report. So, having addressed that to the Chairman, does not mean that he is going to come out with it. I am just urging that since he is leading that crusade to fashion a way to draw out the recommendations, he should speed up that approach.
So, the Hon Member is equally involved since he is the Ranking Member.
Mr Speaker, the Report is com- prehensive and I think I have to commend the Committee for good work done. I would want to add that the recom- mendation to encourage local manu- facturers to go into the production and distr ibution of the drugs must be encouraged, so that we can have our local manufacturers or manufacturing com-
panies participating in this important area for Ghana to become a production country in terms of anti-retroviral drugs. I think this must be encouraged, so that we can make a way forward in terms of this menace.
So, I would want to thank the Committee for this good job done.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Hon Members, I believe it is about time we put the -- [Pause.]
Hon Members, I think it is about time to put the Question. But before then, because of the nature of the contributions made on the floor regarding the issue of sanctions, I think it would be appropriate that the Chairman of the Committee, together with Leadership, as well as the Speaker meet on the issue with regard to sanctions; so that we see to it that the right steps are taken by way of sanctions. That is what I would want to direct.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Mr Ahmed Ibrahim 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am not challenging your ruling but I would want to be guided well, so that I may report appropriately.
I heard the serious concerns that were raised from the Report and this is an Auditor-General's Report. When you go to the Constitution, article 187 (6) states, and with your permission, I beg to quote:
“Parliament shall debate the report of the Auditor-General and appoint where necessary, in the public interest, a committee to deal with any matters arising from it.”
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
Well, a committee was set up to deal with the matter. It has come out with its report and we think that from the nature of the debate that arose, the Chairman of the Committee, together with Leadership and the Speaker will have a look at it, especially with regard to sanctions.
We would want to make sure that the recommendations made with regard to sanctions are carried out to the letter, with advice from the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice. Of course, it is obvious but we should make sure that sanctions are carried out.
Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this has been the nature of reports of various Parliaments before this time. When we talk about sanctions to be applied, the Minister uses her discretion based on what type of sanctions she may want to adopt and the severity of the offence or the misdemeanour that has occurred.
On what we do after this Report, we would ensure that the PAC actually communicates whatever is contained in the Report to those who will take certain actions and we will do a follow- up to ensure that certain actions have been taken. I believe the matter should end there instead of going back to look at what sanctions regime to use and all that.
The Ministers are well aware, that we have the Audit Report Implementation Committees (ARICs) in the various Ministr ies. So, when they get the Speaker's communication through the Clerk, they will act appropriately, and at our various Sittings, we will ask about what has actually happened on these recommendations. I believe that can end the matter.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:15 p.m.
Thank you very much.
Mr Agyeman-Manu 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, point of information.
I think I have intimated in this House sometime last year, that the Committee itself was thinking about setting up a sub- committee within the Committee to do the follow-up -- [Interruption]-- Please, let me finish with my submission -- even at public hearings and if this matter has that constitutional backing, maybe, what I will suggest is that, Mr Speaker, please use your good offices to probably set up that Parliamentary committee now.
That committee will go beyond the Public Accounts Committee to just do follow-ups, but to invite those who are supposed to take certain actions recommended by the Reports that have been adopted by the House. Then we ask whether this or that has been done and if not, where do we go? The appropriate action should be taken.
If Mr Speaker, at your discretion, you would want to charge the Public Accounts Committee again to go by the suggestion of the sub-committee to do that, we will so do -- [Interruption.] So, the House will take that decision.
Mr Ahmed Ibrahim 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think I raised article 187 (6) for a purpose and I strongly disagree with the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.
The PAC is a Committee of Parliament and when you read our Standing Orders, that is Order 161 (1), it says and with your permission, I beg to quote:
“The recommendations of a Committee shall be presented to the House in the form of a report.”
The PAC has brought its Report to Parliament and it has been debated. Article 187 (1) says that, Parliament shall debate the report of the Auditor-General and where necessary, in the interest of the public appoint a committee… And that was why I needed your guidance. This is because we have not gone that extra
step before. I wanted to know whether that was the step Mr Speaker was taking by setting up a committee or constituting some form of leadership together with Mr Speaker to meet and look into it.
I do not think that was the imple- mentation of article l87 (6) and that was why I posed the question. Is the PAC itself a watchman, appointed to watch itself? I do not think Mr Speaker can turn himself into an ARIC to set up a sub- committee in PAC to follow up the Report of the PAC.
Mr Speaker, I do not think we shall go that way. We shall strongly go by article 187, clause (6).
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to associate myself with the comments made by Hon Papa Owusu Ankomah.
Mr Speaker, the Constitution imposes an obligation on this House. The Constitution says that when the PAC presents its Report, in the public interest, Parliament as it considers, may appoint a committee.
The only addition to his, is where it is evidently clear that a judicial action ought to proceed, then that will be additional to what he has said. But administratively, this House needs your guidance, This House must constitute a bi-partisan committee, which will look at the recommendations of the PAC and their observations.
Mr Speaker, we take for granted many of these recommendations -- 3,200 loss, 1,000 loss, 1,200 loss, 3,600 loss, et cetera
If you do a quantification of all these numbers, we are informed that in a year, the State loses close to one billion United States dollars, if not one billion Ghana cedis in terms of misappropriation or embezzlement, all fraud. So, I would still maintain US$1 billion, so, that is, GH¢2 billion. We need to begin to recover and public officers must be held accountable for many of these avoidable lapses.
I think that Mr Speaker, you should get a Committee going and we should not just look at this Committee. That Committee must follow up on every other recommendation which will come in future from the PAC to see whether a particular person who was billed to be sanctioned has been sanctioned or not. Whether a person who was billed to make a payment back to the State has done that, whether a person recommended for Judicial action has been subjected to that Judicial process.
I think we will be saving this House in “performing”, to borrow the word from Hon Isaac Asiamah. This House has an oversight responsibility and we should not weaken the exercise of that oversight at all times and we must strengthen our demand on accountability.
Why is it that it says one must come to Parliament to get approval before one can touch the State purse? It is because we are the watchdogs of the public purse and dissipation of resources of that magnitude must be of concern.
Mr Speaker, with these comments, let me end. I know I can indulge you on just paragraph 6.6 of your Committee's Report -- “Local Manufacturing of ARV's” -- and to assure you that Government has taken some giant steps to build the capacity and competitiveness of a number of our local pharmaceutical firms.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
Well, thank you very much, Hon Members.
At this stage, I would want to add that the reference to the Chairman of the Committee and Leadership, as well as the Speaker, is in that ultimately setting up a committee in line with what you have suggested. But we cannot sit here and constitute that committee. That is why we are going this way.
Thank you very much for your contributions.
Hon Members, now, we move onto Motion number 6, I believe, on the Order Paper.
Mr Boafo 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe the Majority side's leadership is here and they may have some different thing to tell us. I am not challenging your direction; but I do not know what they intend. You called on the Chairman to directly present the Report but maybe, the leadership has something else to say.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
Anyway, let us hear from the Leadership.
Mr Ahmed Ibrahim 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think it is not 2.00 o'clock yet, and we
have a lot of business to transact. So, we may move to Motion numbered 6 on the Order Paper.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
So, you are not saying anything different from what I directed?
Very well, Hon Chairman.
MOTIONS 1:25 p.m.

Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu) 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Performance Audit Report of the Auditor-General on the management of claims by the National Health Insurance Authority.
The Performance Audit Report of the Auditor-General on the management of claims by the National Health Insurance Authority was presented to Parliament on Thursday, 18th July, 2013 in fulfilment of article 187 (2) and (5) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
In accordance with Order 165 (2) of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana, the Report was referred to the Public Accounts Committee for exami- nation and report.
To consider the Report, the Committee invited representatives of the underlisted organisations to appear before it as witnesses to testify on behalf of their respective organisations:
i. Ministry of Health
ii. Ghana Health Service
ii. National Health Insurance Authority
iii. Christian Health Association of Ghana.
Upon the invitation of the Committee therefore, the Hon Deputy Minister for Health, Dr Alfred Sugri Tia and officials of the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service, the National Health Insurance Authority and the Christian Health Association of Ghana attended upon the Committee to assist in its deliberations.
On appearing before the Committee, the witnesses subscribed to the oath of a witness and answered questions relating to issues raised in the Auditor-General's Report, the object and functioning of their respective organisations and on issues of general public interest.
The Deputy Auditor-General and Deputy Minister for Justice, Mr Yaw Sifah and a technical team from the Audit Service were also present at the Committee's sittings to offer clarifications on the queries/issues raised in the Auditor-General's Report.
The Committee is grateful to the Hon Deputy Minister for Health, and all witnesses who appeared before the Committee to assist in its deliberations.
The Committee also expresses its profound appreciation to the Deputy Auditor-General and Deputy Minister for Justice and his technical team for availing themselves to assist the Committee in its deliberations.
The Committee further extends its appreciation to STAR-Ghana and the German International Cooperation (GIZ) for supporting the activities of the Committee.
Finally, the Committee extends its appreciation to the media (print and
electronic) for broadcasting its proceedings.
Reference documents
The Committee made reference to the following documents during its delibe- rations:
i. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana
ii. The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana
iii. The Financial Administration Act, 2003 (Act 654)
iv. The Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663)
v. The Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act
vi. The National Health Insurance Act, 2003 (Act 650)
vii.The National Health Insurance Regulations, 2004 (L.I.1809)
viii. The Internal Audit Agency Act, 2003 (Act 658)
ix. The Financial Administration Regulations, 2004 (L.I. 1802).
The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was introduced by Government in 2003 to ensure that basic healthcare services are accessible by all Ghanaians.
To this end, the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) was established to manage the Health Insurance Fund and to supervise and regulate the activities of the District Mutual Health Insurance Scheme (DMHIS) and accredited Health Service Providers (HSPs).
Alhaji Ibrahim D. Abubakari (NDC -- Salaga South) 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, before I move to second the Motion, I would want to appeal to you --
My Hon Colleague earlier made a statement about the importance of this Report in line with the oversight responsibility of Parliament. We could see that even on the frontbench, most members of Leadership are not there and these are very important issues that are raised here, which --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Hon Member, I informed this House that there is an Employee Wellbeing Programme taking place right now and Hon Members of the Leadership are supposed to be there with the members of staff. That is why they are not here.
Alhaji Abubakari 1:35 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
I beg to second the Motion and as I stated earlier, this is a performance audit which is different from a financial audit.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Hon Members, with regard to the time factor, I would take one contribution each from either side and then we would go along the same line that we did with regard to the earlier Report, so that a Committee would be set up to do the follow-up. But let us take contributions.
Dr Richard W. Anane (NPP -- Nhyiaeso) 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Motion for the adoption of the Committee's Report.
Mr Speaker, I have a little difficulty but I think it is understandable. This is the Report of the Auditor-General for the year 2010 and we do know that we passed Act 852, the National Health Insurance Authority Law 842 in 2012, and therefore, some of the structures which may have been referred to in this Report because of the new law, may not be as they are. Be that as it may, we may still want to take note, so that we amend whatever we have done here to suit the new law.
I specifically want us to take note of the presence of the district health mutual schemes. Even though they still seem to be partly functioning, by law, they are not supposed to be in place. I know that efforts are being made to phase them out, so that when we make reference to them now, it may appear as if we are late in taking note of what is happening.
Mr Speaker, again, in the references, we are talking about Act 650 but I think it is all because of the Report being a 2010 Report.
Mr Speaker, much has been said and a lot has been noted, especially with over- payments and so to speak also, malpractices that have been happening with respect to some providers trying to tweak their reports in order to make them, so to speak, take advantage in the system. And the efforts that are being made to correct them.
Mr Speaker, what worries some of us specifically, in spite of the fact that the Health Insurance Authority is confounded with the problems, which is not specific to Ghana -- it is the same all over the world -- is the fact that in spite of the problems of funding, the Ministry of Finance still does not appear to appreciate what ought to be done.
The Ministry of Finance is still holding on to their funds, so that when there is shortage of funds to meet the claims made by providers, we still have long periods when the National Health Insurance Authority has not been able to meet the claims by law. This is because by law, as it is stipulated in the Report, they ought to have paid them, at least, within six weeks or so, even though they have space to make their reports within 60 days.
So, Mr Speaker, one of the things that I would also wish the House to take note of and to urge the Hon Minister for Finance to appreciate, is the need for the Ministry of Finance to make the requisite transfers as quickly as possible. As we speak now, the last transfer to the National Health Insurance Authority hit their accounts yesterday, the 4th of February, 2014 -- Some GH¢102 million, which even then, added up to make about 66 per cent of transfers for the year 2013.
So, they are still left with about 33 per cent of required transfers even though these monies are supposed to have been accumulating by the Ministry of Finance. So, why is the Ministry of Finance holding on to these funds, thus making it difficult for the National Health Insurance Authority to meet up to the claims of the providers?
One of the problems is that when these providers are meeting these, even though nobody would want to support it, is that they would also want to find means of tweaking systems in order to take advantage of whatever there is. We should all frown upon any tweaks but we should not look at the Ministry of Finance making it difficult for the Insurance Authority to make the necessary transfers to records of the institutions.
Mr Speaker, why I say so is that, the Government had a very good opportunity of increasing the Health Insurance Fund by adding one per cent of the two and a half per cent increase in the VAT, which we had been calling forth since the past three years for an increase -- 1 per cent increase in National Health Insurance Levy.
Dr Anane 1:35 p.m.
But Mr Speaker, the worry is that we still have problems with health insurance and its funding; we do know that sometime back we were able to get aid by way of about 32 million Pounds Sterling --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Hon Member, is it a point of order?
Mr Ahmed Ibrahim 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, just to inform my Hon Senior Colleague that the infrastructure Fund includes health infrastructure. Just to allay his fears -- [Laughter.]
Dr Anane 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I hope I understood him but I do not think I still understand him. This is because he does not see where I am coming from.
Mr Speaker, I still maintain what I have said and I think we have lost a very good opportunity of making up for the shortfall.
As I was saying, way back, we were able to get some 42 million pounds sterling to support maternal health care, to support healthcare for children.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
The last contribution and a brief one.
Mr Joseph Y. Chireh (NDC-- Wa West) 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this Report as you would notice, made very important recommendations and on these recommendations, the National Health Insurance Authority is already taking steps, particularly in establishing the claims processes centres, and where they have difficulty, even of space, they are improvising.
So with these claims processes, the fraud and the other things would be minimised; it would benefit them.
My Hon Colleague talked about the two and a half per cent for infrastructure development, and Government policy was very clear.
In many cases, you would notice that even though we have health insurance, it cost people more in terms of transport to where they are going than paying for the medicines and the things that have been insured. So, it is a critical part. Of course, we missed the opportunity when we were of the National Health Insurance Act, the recent one, where we were looking at key sectors, for instance, the mining and the timber companies.
Those are corporate bodies that have now decided that their members should enrol on National Health Insurance. They used to provide their own private health insurance for their workers. These are the people that we are looking at the opportunity of making them pay some levy to support the National Health Insurance Authority, particularly to enable it pay claims speedily.
We need to think about it as a nation and we need to look at it squarely and come back to it. This is because what he said is indeed, true. If you make people appreciate the efforts for risk protection for their treatment and then you do not have the money to pay providers, it is a big problem.
I invite all Hon Members for us to debate this issue of adding more money to the NHIS, not necessarily just yet, we should find a way in insuring that we do this.
It is important that we do so because as he is saying, if everybody believes that they can get health insurance and then you cannot readily pay the providers -- Some of them are saying they will stop the services. But I would also appeal to their patriotic sense to continue; we are all going through difficult situations and
for them, they would eventually be paid. But like he is saying, if we make a tax today, he will be the first person to ask, why are you over-taxing the people? But I think we need to tax and make the people healthy, and I believe if you look at this Report, the way it has been presented, indeed, he made reference to some of the things.
Mr Richard Quashigah 1:45 p.m.
On a point of Order.
Mr Speaker, he said that if we should decide to increase VAT in order to raise money for the National Health Insurance, he would be the first person to cry that we are over-taxing the people. The “he” I do not know. If he can be kind enough to tell us exactly who “he” is talking about.
Mr Chireh 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am talking about the Ranking Member on the Committee on Health. He was very strong on this. But I also know that behind all that, he would have a political statement, and that was what I meant. But I know he does not mean that --
Mr Speaker 1:45 p.m.
Hon Member, I believe that portion should be deleted, so that we can make progress.
Mr Chireh 1:45 p.m.
All right.
Mr Speaker, I think that the district mutual schemes were too many; they were staffed with people who did not look at
the insurance aspect of this NHIS. They were only looking at it as an employment facility and did not even have to work on; and I know between 2005 and 2008, we visited some of the places and looked at the things --
But with this particular law that we passed recently, it would take care of these concerns and make sure that officers at various levels can be dealt with effectively for people to benefit from the National Health Insurance Scheme. I commend the Committee for their recommendations and we should follow-up to make sure that the things are done.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
Hon Members, I will put the Question. But before then, I direct that having regard to time, we Sit beyond the stipulated time, but not more than 30 minutes beyond the stipulated time, so that we can finish with the last Report and then adjourn.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
The Report is adopted by this House with a similar rider as the earlier one, to the effect that Leadership and the Chairman of the Committee would meet and look at the possibility of getting a committee put in place to do the follow-up process.
Yes, Hon Chairman, can we look at the next Motion?
Report of the PAC on the Report of the Auditor-General on the Statements
of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments of the Bank of Ghana PAC for the year ended 30th June, 2012
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu) 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Report of the Auditor- General on the Statements of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments of the Bank of Ghana for the half year ended 30th June, 2012.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu) 1:45 p.m.

Observations and recommendations

Misclassification of Contractual Payments

The Committee noted that a renovation work at Ghana's Embassy in Washington amounting to US$471,938.00 was wrongly classified under Management and Technical Services instead of Contractual Payment. This was attributed to an ineffective internal control system to discover the error of misclassification in the Statement.

Officials of BoG informed the Committee that the error arose due to

manual extraction of data for the preparation of the Statement of Forex Receipts and Payments. In order to forestall a recurrence, the Bank has replaced manual extraction of data with a computerised system. Again, classifi- cation guidelines have been issued to departments where data are extracted to ensure that the error does not recur.

Inasmuch as steps have been taken by Management of BoG to ensure that the anomaly does not recur, the Committee urges BoG to strengthen its internal and supervisory control systems over the preparation of the Statement of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments.

Gold Earnings Surrendered to BoG by Gold Exporters

Gold inflows represent portions of proceeds that were remitted to the country through BoG by licensed gold exporters. The Committee observed that these inflows represented 18.3 per cent of total foreign exchange receipts of US$2,168, 434,943 for the period under review.

The Committee also observed that total gold earnings surrendered to BoG by goldSPACE FOR TABLE 3 - PAGE7 - 1.45P.M.

exporters for the period, amounted to US$396,819,112 -- Representing between 20 per cent and 30 per cent of total gold exports. This figure for the first half of 2012 was higher by US$18,065,113 over the total amount of US$378,753,999 received during the first half of 2011.

The Committee further observed that total quantity of gold exported during the period was 1,937,886 ounces as against 1,672,624 ounces for the corresponding period of 2011. Table 4 shows the list of Gold Companies operating in Ghana and their percentages surrendered to the BoG for the half year under review:


9 - 1.45P.M.
Alhaji Ibrahim D. Abubakari (NDC -- Salaga South) 1:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion and in doing so, I would want to give some two observations.
Mr Speaker, the management of foreign exchange is very important for our economy. If we have to ensure that the value of the cedi value does not fall, it is part of foreign exchange management and other factors.
Mr Speaker, from the Audit Report, we found out that the period that we are talking about, foreign exchange receipts declined by 13.17 per cent while payment rose by 42.6 per cent. This resulted in a huge deficit. In fact, if one takes it that receipts have declined by 13.17 per cent while payments have risen by 42.6 per cent, that is a gap of 70 per cent of almost 80 per cent. That shows the huge deficit that we needed a lot of foreign exchange for our transactions.
When one finds out the reason for the rising of these foreign exchange payments, as stated by the Report, most of them are oil and non-oil commodities. As for the oil commodities, the prices are dictated by the world market; so, we cannot talk much about it. But I think in the economy, we can look at the non-oil commodities, whether most of our imports are very necessary. Excuse me to say that.
But I think if one looks at the imports in the country, it will help to curb the falling cedi payment we are doing.
Mr Speaker, another issue raised, that in my view, is very important, is the percentage of foreign exchange surrendered by the mining companies, the Report talked about. On fact, during the public hearing, this generated a lot of debate and the media took it on. On one occasion, we have a company like Newmont, which has got zero surrendered,
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
Hon Members, if Hon Members would agree with me, I could just put the Question and then we take the rider in addition. If you feel something to contribute-- I am all open up for contributions. But it is up to Hon Members.
Mr Boafo 2:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am worried about the rider. It seems that it is now becoming automatic that after the debate of the Auditor-General's Report --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:05 p.m.
It is becoming automatic because we are yet to set up the committee. That is the reason. Just to make sure that there is a follow-up after the Report has been adopted by the House.
At the end of it all, if Leadership meets with the Chairman of the Committee and they set up a committee, we will not need to be adding this rider every now and again.
Mr Boafo 2:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, what I am referring to is the specific provision in the Constitution, which is predicated on the fact that it should be necessary and in the interest of the public, before a committee is appointed by the House. That is why I am worried about the rider.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:05 p.m.
Yes, you see, when we decide that we need to have a committee like that in place, as and when the reports come, after adoption, if we
think the Committee would have to deal with follow-up issues, then the directives would be given. But in the meantime, because it is not in place and a lot of issues have been raised in these three Reports that would need the follow-up process for the avoidance of doubt, we provide this rider after each one. That is all.
Mr Boafo 2:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this direction, is it not making the existence of the Committee on Standing Orders redun- dant? If there is the need to amend the Standing Orders of this House to have such a committee, then I think the reference should be to the Committee on Standing Orders.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:05 p.m.
Well, Hon Member, you are part of the technical committee; we are still working on it; we are meeting on Monday. So, at that meeting, we can look at this possibility.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 2:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think we need that committee to think through it properly. This is because when you read the Constitution, it does not state that the members of that committee
should necessarily be Members of Parliament. It can be Members of Parliament and other people outside Parliament, for the national interest and purpose of the whole thing.
So, I think it is alright now to wait and set up that Committee. Let the Committee investigate it and see whether there is the need to have anybody from the House.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:05 p.m.
Thank you very much.
The Chairman of the Committee, together with Leadership, will meet and consider the possibility of setting up a committee to follow-up the process.
Hon Members, I would want to thank you so much. At this point, the House would stand adjourned till tomorrow at 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon.
Question put and Motion agreed to.

  • The House was accordingly adjourned at 2.30 p.m. till Thursday, 6th February, 2014 at 10.00 a.m.