Debates of 3 Dec 2014

PRAYERS 10:30 a.m.


Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon Members, Correction of the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 2nd December, 2014.
Mr Isaac Osei 10:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, about five weeks ago, I raised the issue on paragraph 1 and said the sequencing was not correct.
Indeed, the Speaker took the Chair before Prayers were read. It appears that there is a template which we are using and therefore, we find it difficult to change this. You actually took the Chair and then Prayers were said. So, I thought we could change that.
Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
The taking of the Chair in relation to the beginning of the Business of the House-- So, taking the Chair to start proceedings, Prayers are said before proceedings commence. It is in that context I am advised that it has been arranged in that way. In fact, I could have come in without sitting down and I would start with Prayers.
Mr Isaac Osei 10:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for that explanation, except that you would have to call us to Prayers. Taking the Chair, I am not only thinking about
Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Well, you have a point there. This is not the first time this issue has cropped up on the floor of the House. I think that we would have to find a way; we keep on changing the arrangements. So, I will look at it again and see how we can go about it.
Mr Joseph Y. Chireh 10:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if you look at item number 1 --
“The House met at twenty-five minutes before eleven o'clock…” I think there is some typographical error there. It should be “at twenty- five minutes”
Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader? I saw you on your feet.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, really, it relates to the issue raised by the Hon Member for Subin and I think that indeed, he is right. This is because if you look at the order of business in Order 53
“The business for each Sitting day, as decided by the Business Committee shall be set out in the Order Paper, and shall whenever possible be transacted in the following order”.
The Speaker or the presiding person should be in charge to ensure the transaction of business, then the first item, it continues. So, I agree with him that the Speaker should assume the seat before he calls the transaction of business. That should be the logical sequence. But as you have said, you would want to have a relook at it. So, maybe, we can all discuss it and see.
Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Yes, you are right. The first business there is the Prayers, if you look at the Order 53 that the Hon Minority Leader just drew our attention to. But in
the same vein, you also see that taking the Chair is not there. So, that is why we may have to look at it and see what is convenient for this House and we adopt that one.
Mr Emmanuel Gyamfi 10:30 a.m.
Thank you very much Mr Speaker.
Page 7, item 22. Mr Speaker, the Committee on Local Government and Rural Development met the Ministry to consider the budget estimates and I see my name here marked as absent. There were other Colleague Hon Members who were at the meeting and they have also been marked absent. So, I would want the Table Office to --
Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Were you in the House yesterday?
Mr Gyamfi 10:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, this is a parliamentary job.
Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
No! Please, were you in the House yesterday?
Mr Gyamfi 10:30 a.m.
No, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.

Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 2nd December, 2014 as corrected are hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.

Question time-- Hon Deputy Majority Leader.
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 10:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Questions are to be answered by the Hon
Minister for Health. Unfortunately, the Hon Minister is outside the country on an official assignment and we would want to seek permission from you and with the indulgence of the House, for the Hon Deputy Minister to answer these Questions on behalf of his behalf.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe we can hear the Hon Deputy Minister.
Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Very well.
Hon Deputy Minister.
Hon Members, the first Question on the Order Paper, Question 153 stands in the name of the Hon Member for Tolon.
Hon Member, you have the floor if you are here.


Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon Member, do you have any supplementary questions?
Alhaji Suhuyini 10:40 a.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon Member, go ahead.
Alhaji Suhuyini 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in the Tolon District, we have nine health facilities, and for a year, the allocation is 20 ampoules of anti- snake serum. Quite recently, just a month ago, I donated --
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon Member, please ask your question.
Alhaji Suhuyini 10:40 a.m.
What I am going to say is that 20 ampoules for nine facilities for a year, is on the low side. What accounts for this?
Dr Bampoe 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, like I said in my Answer, the number of anti-snake serum that is given to Tolon District is 20, and the number of bites experienced in the district are 10. So, there is actually two times the amount of snake serum that is required for the Tolon District.
Thank you.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Very well.
We move to Question number 238.
Hon Member for Ablekuma North?
Construction of a modern hospital (Ablekuma North Constituency)
Q.238. Mr Justice Joe Appiah asked the Deputy Minister for Health whether the Ministry had plans to construct a modern hospital in the Ablekuma North Constituency.
Dr Bampoe 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is Government's policy to provide every district with a district hospital as a first referral point at the district level. In line with this policy, the Ministry of Health is currently negotiating for concessionary funding to provide a district hospital for the Ga Central Municipality as part of the four-year Capital Investment Plan (2015-
Ablekuma North Constituency falls within the Ga Central Municipality, which is also within the 20 kilometres radius catchment for a district hospital in the Ministry of Health's Capital Investment Policy.
Mr J. J. Appiah 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, though I share a boundary with Anyaa and Sowutuom, Ablekuma North does not fall within the Ga Central Municipality. The Ablekuma North Constituency falls under the Accra Metropolitan Assembly.
Does he agree to that?
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Are you aware, Hon Deputy Minister, that Ablekuma North is not in the Ga Central Municipality? That is the question he is asking.
Please, take your seat, Hon Joe Appiah for the Hon Deputy Minister to respond.
Dr Bampoe 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I crave your indulgence and the indulgence of the House to go back and do my research a bit more, so that I can answer this question more appropriately.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minister, we have Ablekuma as a settlement in the Ga Central Municipality, and we have Ablekuma North as a Constituency, which is part of Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA). That is the point the Hon Member is making. Your technical people, who responded to this Question, did not do their homework well.
Please, follow up, Hon Joe Appiah and ask any supplementary question.
Mr J. J. Appiah 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, Ablekuma South has Mamprobi Polyclinic and the Korle-bu Teaching Hospital is in Ablekuma South. Ablekuma West has the Dansoman Polyclinic and Ablekuma Central has a clinic, and a Community- (Based) Health Planning Services (CHPS) Compound. Ablekuma North does not have any clinic, or a CHPS Compound. In case of any emergency, there is not even a health post. What is the Ministry doing as a matter of urgency, to give us a health post? [Interruptions.]
Dr Bampoe 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would crave your indulgence to have the question repeated.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
The Hon Member thinks that you seem to be discriminating against Ablekuma North. This is because Ablekuma West and South, all have very good health facilities, but not Ablekuma North. So, what are you doing about it?
Dr Bampoe 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, like I said, it is Government's policy to provide every district with a district hospital. So, we are in the process of negotiating under the Capital Investment Plan 2015/2018 to provide the district hospitals for districts that do not still have hospitals.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Your last supplementary question, Hon Joe Appiah.
Mr J. J. Appiah 10:40 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minister, please, look at my face.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon Member, please address the Chair. [Laughter.]
Mr J. J. Appiah 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, please, I am sorry.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Kyei-Mensah- Bonsu 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, you see, the Hon Member has cause to complain.
The Deputy Minister's attention was really being distracted by the two front- benchers. That is why he did not hear the other question, and I was telling them to liberate him to listen to the question. That was why he was asking that he should, please -- [Laughter] -- look in his direction.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon Members, are you distracting the Hon Deputy Minister?
Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, with the greatest respect to the Hon Minority Leader, he knows that what he is saying cannot be the fact. What does he mean by “we are distracting him”? The gentleman is listening, ready to answer the question, and he is saying that we are distracting him. In which way?
Mr Kyei -Mensah- Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, today is Wednesday, tomorrow is Thursday, and the day after tomorrow is Friday, and our Colleague would be going to the Mosque.
Mr J. J. Appiah 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, two years ago, an estimate was forwarded to his Ministry to be given to the Ministry of Finance, for an allocation of a health post in Ablekuma North. Is the Hon Deputy Minister aware of this arrangement?
Dr Bampoe 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am not aware.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Question number 239.
Hon Member for Sunyani East?
Expansion of Infrastructural Facilities
(Sunyani NTC)
Q.239. Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh asked the Deputy Minister for Health what the plans of the Ministry were to expand infrastructural facilities of the Nurses' Training College in Sunyani.
Dr Victor Asare Bampoe 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Ministry has provided some infrastructural development for the
College in the past years, including classrooms, library and administration block.
The Ministry is aware of the infrastructural deficit in some of our schools. However, the Ministry is in discussion to consider the use of Public- Private Partnership approach to assist government with the accommodation on Build, Operate and Transfer basis.
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister, in his Answer, said that some infrastructure had been provided in the past years.
I live in the constituency, from the commencement of this College in 2004, no additional infrastructure has been provided by the Government. So, can he be specific about those additions, in terms of infrastructure that has been provided over the years that he talked about?
Dr A. Bampoe 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to crave your indulgence and that of the House to crosscheck these facts with my technical people and come back to the House.
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister also said that, the Ministry was aware of the infrastructural deficit. He does not limit it to the Question that I asked. He said, “in all our schools . . .”. He went on to say that there were discussions to consider the use of Public-Private Partnership.
Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister whether there is a policy for the private sector to participate in the provision of infrastructure or they are now in a process of fashioning out a policy.
Dr A Bampoe 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, there is a policy in place at the Ministry of Health, which invites private participation in our preparations.
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister, how soon the discussions would be finalised for the Nurses' Training College in Sunyani to benefit from the policy he talked about.
Dr A. Bampoe 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe that as soon as funds are available, and the negotiations are completed, this will happen. But I will provide more details to the House after I have crosschecked.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Question number 240,
Hon Member for Anyaa/Sowutuom.
Provision of hospital (Ga Central Municipality)
Q.240. Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey asked the Minister for Health when the Ga Central Municipality would be provided with a hospital.
Dr Bampoe 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is Government's policy to provide every district with a district hospital as a first referral point at the district level. In line with this policy, the Ministry of Health is currently negotiating for concessionary funding to provide a district hospital for the Ga Central Municipality as part of the four-year Capital Investment Plan (2015- 2018). The Anyaa/Sowutuom Constituency, falls within the Ga Central Municipality which is also within the 20 kilometres radius catchment for a district hospital in the Ministry of Health's Capital Investment Policy.
Ms Botchwey 10:50 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. From the Hon Deputy Minister 's
Answer, it is Government's policy -- that is correct -- to provide every district with a district hospital. From this, I can safely and confidently say that, it is the entitlement of the Ga Central Municipality to have a hospital. That was why I asked when the Ministry was going to provide us with a hospital.
May I have an answer, when? Even if he cannot give me a specific time, can he give me a most likely time of when he would be able to provide us with what we are entitled to?
Dr Bampoe 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I cannot give a definite date. As I indicated, negotiations are ongoing for the current capital plan. But I would provide the information when it becomes available, depending on the negotiations and how things go.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Ms Botchwey 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister, whether his Ministry will consider creating CHPS compounds for the municipality as a stop-gap measure until such time that they are able to provide us with our hospital.
Dr Bampoe 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, this is something that we can consider; all options are on the table. So, it is something we will consider and come back to the House.
Thank you.
Ms Botchwey 11 a.m.
My last question to the Hon Minister is whether his Ministry would support an initiative taken by myself, which is to set up a clinic in Sowutuom for the municipality supported by the Municipal Directorate -- whether his Ministry would support that initiative with equipment as well as any logistics that we may require until such time that they are able to do what is necessary.
Dr Bampoe 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, that would be a demonstration of what I mentioned earlier about Public Private Partnership. So, it is something that we can consider and actively work on.
Thank you.
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Members, the last question on today's Order Paper stands in the name of the Hon Member's for Wa East.
Yes, you have the floor.
Provision of hospital/clinic (Wa East District)
Q. 241. Mr Ameen Salifu asked the Deputy Minister for Health when the Wa East District would be provided with a hospital or polyclinic.
Dr Victor A. Bampoe 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is Government's policy to provide every district with a district hospital as a first referral point at the district level. In line with this policy, the Ministry of Health is currently negotiating for concessionary funding to provide every district with a hospital as part of the four-year Capital Investment Plan (2015-2018).
The Wa East District, which is a newly created district, would be prioritised in this process.
Mr Salifu 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Wa East District is not a newly created district. This district was created ten years ago -- in 2004. However, would the Hon Deputy Minister tell me the position of Wa East on the priority list?
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minister, did you get the question?
Hon Member, kindly repeat the question.
Mr Salifu 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, could he tell me the position of Wa East on the priority list?
Dr Bampoe 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would not be able to tell at the present time where Wa East is on the priority list. But it is certainly being prioritised.
Thank you.
Mr Salifu 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, does the Hon Deputy Minister know that the Wa East District capital, Funsi -- according to his Answer, the nearest referral hospital is Wa, which is about 65 miles away from Funsi. And Tumu is also the next one which is another 45 miles from Funsi. Would he consider upgrading the health centre to a polyclinic or a hospital and then post a doctor to us as well?
Dr Bampoe 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, all options are on the table. We would have a look at it. Currently, we are looking at prioritising Wa East, so that we give it a district hospital. But given this information, I will confer with my colleagues at the Ministry and supply an updated answer.
Thank you.
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of Question time.
Hon Deputy Minister, we thank you very much for attending upon the House to respond to Questions from Hon Members.
Hon Members, Statements.
Today is the International Day of Persons with Disability.
I have received a number of Statements from Hon Members to mark the day. What I suggest doing is that, I will take the Statement of the First Deputy Speaker and then, the Statement of the Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection.
I will call the Hon Member for Asokwa, and then the Hon Member for Krachi Nchumuru. Those were the other Hon Members from whom I received four Statements. But I will allow the first two to read their Statements, the other two, we will use their Statements as a guide.
Hon Members, I now call the First Deputy Speaker to make a Statement.
STATEMENTS 11:10 a.m.

Mr Ebo Barton-Odro (NDC -- Cape Coast North) 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, is set aside by the United Nations to raise awareness to disability issues round the world.
This is an opportunity for us as Hon Members of Parliament and repre- sentatives of the people to think about what we can do to make our communities more disability-friendly, accessible, inclusive and much better places for all to
live in. To take it a step further, we, must ensure that persons with disabilities (PWDs)work, live, learn, play and participate fully in the communities of their choice.
Mr Speaker, the international theme for this year's celebration is “Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology,” while the theme chosen by Ghana is “Making Ghana accessible to persons with disability, a concern for all.”
Today, technology enables our daily living in every sphere. The acceleration of ICT has spurred fast our connectivity as global citizens, access to goods and services, and raised further our living standards. Yet persons with disability not only face physical barriers but also social, economic and attitudinal barriers. Concerns raised by the UN Secretary General indicate that “disability is associated with twenty per cent of global poverty, of which the majority live in developing countries. In spite of being the world's largest minority group, persons with disability and the issue of disability has remained largely invisible in the mainstream development frameworks and its processes.”
As we conclude the period of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) in 2015 and launch the new development framework of sustainable development goals (SDGs), we must harness the power of technology to promote inclusion and accessibility to help realise the full and equal participation of persons with disability in society. This will shape the future of sustainable development for all. For this to happen, a secure and sustainable system of support must be in place.
Three sub-themes have been chosen to commemorate the Day, with focus on the promise of technology in:
Mr Ebo Barton-Odro (NDC -- Cape Coast North) 11:10 a.m.

i. Disability-Inclusive Sustainable Develop- ment Goals

The set of sustainable development goals (SDGs) that has been proposed to succeed the MDGs, will work to address all three dimensions of sustainable development — environmental, economic and social. Technology can greatly impact on the achievement and outcome of the goals for persons with disabilities, and in reality, for people everywhere through the use of assistive technology, accessible information and communications technology, technological adaptations and other policy and programmatic measures.

ii. Disaster Risk Reduction and Emer- gency Responses

Statistics indicate that the mortality rate of persons with disabilities in populations going through disaster situations is as high as 2 to 4 times, compared to the non- disabled population. The focus is to highlight available technologies to support inclusive disaster risk reduction and emergency response, as well as emphasise the importance of making such technology accessible to all. There is the need to provide Sign Language interpreters at health facilities. We need disability- friendly pedestrian crossings and transport system.

iii. Creating Enabling Work Environ- ments

The right to work is a fundamental human right. However, persons with disabilities are often not considered in employment due to negative perceptions and the high cost of accommodating their disability or inaccessible workplaces. There are available technologies and measures that can be adopted to create work environments that are open, inclusive

and accessible to allow persons with disability to fully participate and contribute to the workforce. Agriculture which is the mainstay of the economy must be mechanised in a disability- friendly manner.

Persons with disability in our country are faced with challenges which prevent them from making sufficient impact in society. It is in this vein that article 29 of the 1992 Constitution provides for the rights of disabled persons and mandates Parliament to enact laws which ensure the enforcement of the rights of persons with disability.

Article 29 provides the basis for the enactment of the Disability Act, Act 715 (2006). This Act provides for persons with disability, establishes a National Council on Persons with Disability, and provides for other related matters. The Council's main function is to evolve and implement policies and strategies to enable persons with disability enter and participate in the mainstream of the national development process.

Mr Speaker, Act 715 in it sixty (60) sections clearly indicates the rights of persons with disability some of which include:

Right to family life and participation in social, political, economic, creative and recreational activities

Non-discrimination against persons with disability.

Assistance to secure jobs, to the extent that a person who employs a disabled person is granted an annual tax rebate of the taxable income.

Access to public places and to public services

Access to education

The Act prescribes a time not exceeding fifty penalty units or a term of imprisonment not exceeding three (3) months or both summary conviction for anyone who contravenes any of its provisions.

Some individuals and institutions are however taking undue advantage of the transitional provision of the Act which states that:

“the owner or occupier of an existing building to which the public has access shall within ten years of the commencement of this Act make that building accessible to and available for use by persons with disability”.

Existing institutions and buildings to which the public has access are currently tasked to make alterations to provide for easy access by the disabled. This is the reason for which the ten year moratorium has been granted them.

It is therefore very worrying that new public buildings are springing up daily, without access for the disabled. Mr Speaker, I would want to use this forum to draw the attention of the Local Authorities and permit-issuing agencies to urgently remedy the situation and ensure that all new permits for public buildings are issued only when they are compliant with the dictates of Act 715.

We do not have to wait till 2016 before we set out to pull down buildings which have not provided access for the disabled. Facilities which do not create a user- friendly environment for persons with disability adversely reduce their capacity of engagement.

Mr Speaker, I would want to urge leaders of Groups or associations of persons with disability to organise enlightenment programmes on their rights and responsibilities. The law dictates

incentives that such persons should enjoy, including the right to reserved seats on buses, free education and access to designated schools purposely equipped for persons with disability. I know the Cape Coast Branch of the Ghana Federation of the Disabled (GFD) has made some giant strides and currently has representation at the Metropolitan Assembly through a joint forum, which constantly tracks the DACF to ensure that releases to persons with disability go through the proper channel.

The GFD Local Metropolitan Finance Secretary is a signatory to the DACF accounts for persons with disability. They have established the first public Cerebral Palsy Centre in Ghana at Aboom Special Needs School and the school benefits from the School Feeding Programme. I wish to recommend to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Deve- lopment and that of Gender, Children and Social Protection to collaborate in ensuring that the Cape Coast example is replicated nationwide to ensure that monies due to the disabled under the DACF get to them.

Mr Speaker, the disabled, if given the right push, can equally and effectively contribute to the development of society. Words are good but action speaks loudest. Let us continue to show the disabled our love and care and thus help bring out the best in them.

In wishing all PWDs a happy celebration, I invite you all to Cape Coast, which is hosting this year's celebration at the Victoria Park.

Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity.
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Is the Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection here? If she is not here, we move to the Hon Member for Asokwa.
APPENDIX 11:10 a.m.

O 11:10 a.m.

Ms Patricia Appiagyei (NPP -- Asokwa) 11:20 a.m.
I am grateful to Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to make a Statement to commemorate this year's International Day of Persons With Disability (PWDs) which falls on 3rd December every year.
Mr Speaker, as most of us may be aware, International Day of Persons With Disability is a day set aside specially by the United Nations in 1992 to be observed annually worldwide to create awareness internationally and also promote better understanding of disability issues. The day has also been earmarked to garner support for ensuring that the dignity, rights and wellbeing of persons with disability receive attention and support in the developmental programmes of nations.
Apart from the already stated reasons, the day is meant to serve as a means to increase awareness on the gains that would be made from the integration of persons with disability in every sphere of our national life, ranging from the political, social and economic to the cultural aspect of the country's development.
Mr Speaker, each year a theme is chosen to guide the celebration of the day. I find the theme chosen for this year “Sustainable Development: The promise of Technology” very apposite, in the sense that it would help focus on how best technology can enable us the achieve sustainable development if we can harness the strengths of every Ghanaian, including all persons with disability. It is my fervent belief that current developments in ICT would be properly applied to ensure that persons with
disability would derive maximum benefits from the gains thereof.
Mr Speaker, this also ties in with the theme chosen by the Ghana Federation of Disabled for national commemoration which is “Making Ghana Accessible to Persons with Disability: A concern for all.” It is my contention that the entire country would take a cue from the national theme and be challenged by it to do everything possible to ensure that the entire country is disability friendly and that issues concerning the disabled becomes the concern of everyone.
In fact, Mr Speaker, we should make a conscious and deliberate effort to bring all persons with disability into the developmental mainstream. This is one of the surest ways to reduce poverty by half, come 2015 as envisaged by the Millennium Development Goals.
Mr Speaker, as we celebrate the 22nd Anniversary of the observance of the International Day of Persons With Disability, it is critical that we all put our shoulders to the wheel to break the economic, socio-cultural, attitudinal and physical barriers that tend to inhibit the mainstreaming of issues relating to persons with disability for the advancement of the developmental process.
Mr Speaker, despite Ghana's current reputation as a hub of good governance and one that places utmost importance on respect for the human rights of its citizens, it is important that we move with great dispatch to formulate an all-embracing policy framework that would support the inclusion of disabled persons in every aspect of the nation's developmental process.
Mr Speaker, with only two years to the end of the ten years moratorium granted
for compliance with the Disability Act 715, some existing structures are still not disability compliant while some new buildings have also ignored the directives.
It is also important for us as a nation to ensure that the rights of people with disability with respect to life, property, accommodation, education, employment and healthcare are fully upheld.
With the establishment of the National Council on Persons with Disability, whose principal objective is to evolve policies that would allow for the participation of the disabled in the national development process, it is critical that the Council is properly resourced to carry effectively out its mandate.
Mr Speaker, let me also seize this opportunity to remind all State institutions about the 2016 deadline for compliance with the Act. All efforts should be made to ensure that the buildings occupied by public institutions are disability friendly, especially our washrooms, car parks, entrance and exit to buildings, foot bridges and courts, et cetera. All these have to be brought to the required standard of disability compliance, instead of waiting until 2016. Those putting up new buildings must also ensure that their buildings are disability friendly.
In order to ensure that persons with disability understand speeches and presentations at important functions such as the budget and the State of the Nation Address in Parliament, it is proposed that Sign Language interpreters be employed to interpret the presentations to persons with hearing impairment.
Mr Speaker, under the aegis of the National Council on Disability, we need,
as a matter of urgency, to mount an intensive and sustained education and awareness creation campaign to inform the populace about disability matters. In fact, every one of us is a potential disabled person. This may occur either through old age or injury from accidents and other causes which may either be natural or unnatural. We should therefore avoid taking disability issues for granted.
I also wish to make a passionate plea to my colleague Members of Parliament to urgently consider including disability related interventions in their develop- mental initiatives and support their constituents to disseminate information on the Ghana Disability Law and its implementation in our various constituen- cies. Hon Members should also do well to monitor the utilisation of the three (3) per cent share of the District Assembly Common Fund reserved for persons with disability.
Information on the modalities for access to the Fund should be widely disseminated in order for it to make the desired impact that would enable the disabled derive maximum benefit from it.
Mr Speaker, other suggestions that would inure to the benefit of the disabled, is the training of Sign Language interpreters, who would be deployed to assist our hospital staff communicate effectively with disabled patients. I would also propose training programmes for disabled persons to the highest level, so that they would be empowered to earn decent living for themselves. This training should be very extensive, so that even those on the streets begging for alms would find something worthwhile to do after receiving some form of training.
Mr Speaker, at this juncture, let me draw your attention to an exhibition that has been mounted on the first floor of the
Mr John Majisi (NDC -- Krachi Nchumuru) 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to make this Statement on the International Day of Persons with Disability.
Mr Speaker, the International Day of Persons with Disability celebrated on 3rd December each year is an international observance that was instituted by the United Nations in 1992. The day as
endorsed by United Nations is to promote an understanding of persons with disability and encourage support for their dignity, rights and wellbeing. Disability- focused organisations, businesses, governments and communi-ties are required to come together across the globe to mark the occasion and also celebrate the achievements of persons with disability. The observance of this year's International Day of Persons with Disability (IDPD) is today and the theme for the commemoration is: “Sustainable Development: The promise of technology”.
The 2014 commemoration of IDPD will focus on the power of technology to promote inclusion and accessibility to help realise the full and equal participation of persons with disability in society and shape the future of sustainable development for all. Three sub-themes have been chosen to give focus on the “promise of technology”. They are:
Disability-Inclusive Sustainable Development Goals.
Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Responses.
Creating Enabling Work Environ- ments.
Disability-Inclusive Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Technology, we know, can greatly impact the achievement and outcome of the goals for persons with disability, and in reality for people everywhere. As a nation therefore, we are to join the rest of the world to use the occasion to promote the impact and benefits of assistive technology, accessible information and communication technology as well as technological adaptations. Additionally, we are to use relevant policies and programmes to improve the wellbeing and
inclusion of persons with disability in society and development.
Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Responses
Mr Speaker, statistics and evidence show that the mortality rate of persons with disability in a population going through a situation characterised by disaster is as high as two to four times, compared to the non-disabled population. Persons with disability are dispro- portionately supported in disaster, emergency, and conflict situations due to inaccessible evacuation modes, including shelters, camps, and food distribution as well as recovery efforts.
Creating Enabling Work Environments
Mr Speaker, the right to work is a fundamental human right and constitutional right for that matter, persons with disabilities are often not considered in employment opportunities due to the inability of employers to create accessible workplaces for PWDs. Often, employers are unaware of the valuable contribution persons with disability can make, through the use of adaptive and assistive technologies. We should use the IDPD to draw attention to the availability of technologies and measures that can be adopted to create accessible work environments that are open, inclusive and accessible to allow persons with disability to fully participate and contribute to the economy.
The National Context
Mr Speaker, while we join the international community to celebrate the IDPD, we should acknowledge the challenges that have the potential to prevent Ghana from making any move
towards the emerging SDGs as they relate to disability. Mr Speaker, there is no accurate survey records that determine the disability rate in the country to guide the effective inclusion of PWDs.
Mr Speaker, the three most prevalent types of disability are those related to visual impairment, hearing impairment and physical disability. The disability rate is the same for males and females and the rate is higher in rural areas than in urban areas. The rate is lowest in the 0 to 5 years age group and highest in the 50 years and above age groups.
Carrying the Baggage
In celebrating this year 's day of persons with disability, Mr Speaker, I wish to say that some of the suggestions made on the floor of Parliament during last year's celebration, I still find relevant for this year's celebration. The suggestions are:
The need for closer interface with PWDs and their representative organisations to guarantee meaningful opportunities that promote their independence.
The need for public institutions to make their facilities and services easily accessible to all persons with disability.
The need for community leaders to support in eradicating negative cultural attitude, and help facilitate the process of mainstreaming PWDs in Ghana's growth agenda.
The need for both State and non- State actors to continue to improve the quality of services to PWDs and avoid discrimination against persons with disability.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection?

Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection (Mrs Della Sowah)(MP): Mr Speaker, thank you for the privilege to make this Statement, marking today's International Day of People with Disability.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), over a billion people are estimated to live with some form of disability. This corresponds to about 15 per cent of the world's population. An estimated 80 per cent of these persons with disability worldwide live in developing countries. Ghana with a population of 24 million has a disability population of three per cent.

Mr Speaker, today attests to the fact that as a society, we recognise the existence of people with disability. It is also encouraging that over the years, Government's efforts through legal and policy frameworks have yielded some results. These campaigns have resulted in creating awareness and revealing the negatives against persons with disability.

For the first time in the history Ghana, the sitting President, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama appointed Dr. Henry Seidu Daannaa, a visually impaired person as Minister for Chieftaincy and Traditional

Affairs. This shows the readiness of Government to include persons with disability in the development and administration of the country.

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection is an amalgam of the previous Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs, the Social Protection Department of the Ministry of Employ- ment and Labour Relations and the National Council on Persons with Disabilities. This has broadened the mandate of the Ministry to include promoting and protecting the rights of vulnerable groups and persons with disability.

The Ministry has engaged in various programmes to ensure a more effective appreciation of, and inclusion of disability issues in national discourse. As a result, the Ministry recently commissioned the Board of National Council on Persons with Disability (NCPD) to address the needs and challenges of Persons With Disability (PWDs) in the country.

Ghana's ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability affirmed Ghana's commitment to respect the human rights of all her citizens, including those with disability.

The National Council for Persons with Disability has received a grant approval from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), to improve access and inclusion for persons with disability.

The Council, in collaboration with the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) has organised a four-day training programme for 10 Social Welfare officers and 10 heads of the Social Services sub-committees of MMDAs. The training equipped them with

the required information and skills to supervise 10 employment facilities which have been designed for 10 persons with disability (PWDs) in the 10 regional capitals of Ghana.

The Ministry has also equipped 2,100 beneficiaries with hearing aids in conjunction with the Starkey Hearing Foundation. The Government is committed to supporting persons with disability.

Under the Ministry's LEAP programme, PWD is a category of eligible LEAP beneficiaries. The Ministry registered 288 people with disability to better target service delivery. Furthermore, the Ministry is facilitating for the allocation of two per cent of the District Assemblies Common Fund to persons with disability to reduce poverty and enhance PWD's social image through dignified labour.

Mr Speaker, despite the efforts of the Government to establish a conducive environment for participation of persons with disability in all spheres of life, there is a challenge with the implementation of section 6 of the Act, which requires owners of public structures to make their facilities disability friendly. As the period for compliance with this legal obligation will soon expire, it is our expectation that the Council will develop a plan to facilitate compliance, pending the expiration of the stipulated period.

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection is working hard to ensure that all Ghanaians are given equal opportunity to participate in its national development.

As we mark today's celebration, it is my hope that it may turn round, the state of affairs regarding persons with disability; to make good our promise to all citizens at the dawn of our Independence,
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Members, the last contribution.
Hon Anyimadu-Antwi?
Mr Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi (NPP -- Asante Akim Central) 11:40 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Statement on disability.
Mr Speaker, the Disability Act has been passed by Ghana but the unfortunate aspect of this is Act is that as most laws, the Disability Act is not being enforced. Instead, we hail ourselves to say that governments have rather appointed Ministers that are disabled. That this is not enough. We must do more to make sure that we achieve the objects in this Act.
We have a lot of people on the streets that are physically disabled. In most government establishments, we have not even taken cognisance of the fact that we need to even give access to people that are physically disabled. If a member of the public who is disabled has to come to Parliament here, how to even get to the public gallery or even ascend up here would be a problem, and this is so with most government establishments.
The irony of those on the streets, is that, apart from begging for alms, it is actually bringing a very serious social menace on us. These people tend to engage school-going children to actually lead them on the streets and in so doing,
we are piling up the poverty level in Ghana because this is going to be in multiples.
If they fail to go to school, the results or the effect of it is going to add to posterity. We need to make sure that this Act is enforced.
If you go to the various schools -- I am talking about the School for the Blind and the School for the Deaf-- these schools have been totally neglected. I happened to go to Okuapeman Senior High School and I took interest to visit their Braille Department. Instead of seeing machines, I rather saw blind students who were actually on their own without a single braille machine in this institution.
If you go to the various institutions for the blind, it is not different. It is about time that the Government, and I mean the Executive, took notice of this and made sure that we followed up and gave access and the necessary technological access to the people with disability.
This three per cent Fund that had been created in the District Assemblies Common Fund is a very good thing, wherever that has been introduced. But it is just not enough to cater for the people who are disabled. The problems are numerous; starting from the fact that releases are not given to the District Assemblies, to the fact that when the releases are given, the District Chief Executives do not use the monies for the intended purposes. In so doing, we do not get any good effect at correcting this social menace.
Most of the time too, we have turned attention to physical disability, ignoring mental disabilities --
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Member, wind up.
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi 11:40 a.m.
If one visits our various mental hospitals, it is disheartening to note that even the medical supplies, the drugs that are supposed to be given to the mental patients are not delivered, and this is equally a disability. If we should look at other things -- we have autism and people that are born with Down syndrome. These people have been totally neglected in the society and it is about time we gave them the necessary attention.
Mr Speaker, with these few words, I would want to support the Statements that were ably made by the various Hon Members.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Members, very brief comments from the Ranking Member of the Gender and Children Committee.
Mrs Eugenia Gifty Kusi (NPP-- Tarkwa-Nsuaem) 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, according to the United Nations (UN) statistics given by the Deputy Minister, it means that in Ghana, about 3.6 million people are disabled. Mr Speaker, if that be the case, then as a country, we should try as much as possible to tap the energies of these people. This is because, Mr Speaker, I know that if they are trained, they could constitute a very good labour force for the country. If we neglect them, it becomes very expensive for the country. But we do not know.
So, Mr Speaker, once the Bill has been passed into an Act, and we have ten years and two years more to go, we should all try as much as possible to ensure that institutions would put up lifts.
Mr Speaker, the lift in the Parliament House has broken down for the past two months since we came. Mr Speaker, even this morning, those who wanted to come
to the gallery were not able to do so. So, Mr Speaker, institutions should try as much as possible to ensure that we give access to persons with disability (PWDs) to access to places that they need to go to, and train and give them resources.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity.
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon Members, thank you very much.
That brings us to the end of Statements.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, is there any problem?
Mr Agbesi 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Deputy Minority Leader indicated that we --
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon Members, we are going to conclude the debate on the Financial Policy today. A lot has been said regarding this Budget Statement and we should make progress.
Hon Members, I have been informed that the people from the United Kingdom (UK) who came to fix the microphone system and the whole Information and Communication Technology (ICT) System came down to do some work yesterday after adjournment. It involved uploading some applications. That is what is interfering with the microphone and It would be rectified after adjournment today. That is the information that the Clerk's Office has just brought to my attention.
Hon Members, at the Commencement of Public Business.
Hon Majority Leader, are we taking item
Mr A. S. K. Bagbin 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is time for us to take item 5.
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Very well. Who is starting? Is it the Minority or the Majority Leader?
Mr Bagbin 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is the Minority Leader.
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader.?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought that because this was the President's Budget Statement, good parliamentary practice would mean that the person who presented it, who is the Hon Minister, would certainly wind up.
So, for the Majority Leader whom I would not be responding to, to speak first, and then I would speak after him and then the Hon Minister would wind up.
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, what has been the practice over the years?
Mr Bagbin 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we have been in this House for so many years, and the practice is that the Minority Leader speaks, then followed by the Majority Leader. In the debate of the Budget Statement, sometimes we allow the Minister for Finance to wind up, but it is not always.
Mr Speaker, I am ready to debate at any time. I have no problem at all. It is just that the convention is that the Minority Leader speaks first and then I follow. But if he is running away from me today, I am prepared to start.
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we are talking about good parliamentary practice. If what we have been doing is not the better way of doing things, we could do what is right; that is, beginning today or whenever.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the practice has been for the Majority Leader to have the last word. In the case of the Budget Statement, however, where the Minister for Finance has the last word, the Minority Leader has the last but one word.

Mr Speaker, I hear some shrill voices from the back; I do not know-- they are asking me who told me. I do not know when that shrill voice got into this Chamber.

In terms of debate Mr Speaker, one comes after the other. We cannot have two people having a bite of the cherry; no. So Mr Speaker, I am proposing that in line with the practice in this House, the Majority Leader starts, then the Minority Leader and the Minister for Finance would wind everything up. Indeed, that is the best parliamentary practice.
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon Members, this issue is about the Leaders of the House. This morning, I tried to get the two of them, so that we agree before coming to the floor of the House. Unfortunately, the Hon
Majority Leader was not available. He had some other engagements outside the House. So, we could not resolve it in my Lobby before coming.
I do not think it really matters now. The point that they are making is that, if you take one person from the Minority side, you would be taking two persons successively from the Majority side.
The Minority think that they are not comfortable with that arrangement. So, I would want the two Leaders to agree between themselves, then advise the Chair on this matter. They should consult and advise the Chair.
Hon Majority Leader and Hon Minority Leader, consult and advise the Chair.
Mr Bagbin 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, there is a good reason after the Motion is moved by the Minister for Finance, we start from Hon Members and we end up with Leadership -- the reason being that as elders, we should be the last to speak.
Mr Speaker, the eldest of the elders, is the Majority Leader. [Hear! Hear!]-- As the father of the House, I should be the last to speak. That is good parliamentary practice -- [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister moved the Motion, so, he would want to respond to some issues that have been raised for clarification. The Hon Minister can do it but the Hon Majority Leader should speak last.
In any case, Mr Speaker, this should not be an issue because we are ready. We are ready and I am prepared to speak now. [Interruption.] I am more than prepared.
Mr Speaker noon
Hon Member for Sekondi, I thought you would guide me with what happened last year.
Mr Bagbin noon
And clearly, Mr Speaker, he was Majority Leader --
Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah -- rose --
Mr Speaker noon
I thought you were going to guide me with a precedent, but nobody is drawing my attention to any particular precedent.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah noon
Mr Speaker, I have to be frank with you; I do not really recollect what happened last year or what has been happening in previous years, save and except to say that when Government moves a Motion, Government speaks last.
However, if the Hon Majority Leader is going to contribute and immediately thereafter the Hon Minister for Finance is going to speak, it is really not in sync with proper parliamentary practice in terms of debate. That is all.
The Hon Majority Leader said he speaks last; I do not have a problem with that. Ordinarily, that is what it should be but he is not speaking last. He is speaking last but one. It is the Hon Minister for Finance who is speaking last. So, he is not speaking last.
Mr Speaker noon
Hon Minister for Defence?
Dr Kunbuor noon
Mr Speaker, I am indicating that as the immediate past Majority Leader, we have gone through this before. I remember that in my own parliamentary lifetime, I have seen six of these circumstances and it has always been the tradition that the Hon Majority
Dr A. A. Osei noon
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
There is no doubt in my mind that under normal circumstances, if we are not debating, then the Hon Majority Leader
speaks last. [Interruption.] -- He speaks last; so I agree with him. But this is a debate on the Budget Statement; a debate that involves both sides.
He is speaking in his capacity as the Hon Majority Leader to debate the Motion and not as Leader of House. -- [Interruption.] not as leader of the House; he is making a contribution in his capacity as an Hon Member of Parliament for one place and as the Hon Majority Leader.
Mr Speaker noon
Last comment on this matter.
Hon Minister for Employment and Labour Relations?
Mr Haruna Iddrisu noon
Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
As you are well aware, in this august House, we are masters of our own procedure. In giving guidance on this matter, you must make a clear distinction between the notion of two is to one and hierarchical parliamentary practice, as it relates to debate on any subject before this House.
I am sure our Hon Colleagues on the opposite aisle are of the notion that, once the Hon Majority Leader, in addition to the Hon Minister for Finance is two and the Hon Minority Leader is one -- two is to one. That is not what should guide this decision and guidance, Mr Speaker. It is not the notion as to two people from the Majority would be speaking, therefore, the Hon Minority Leader must be positioned in the manner to be able to conclude.

Mr Speaker, we cannot change this just for the convenience of two to one. You need to be guided that in parliamentary practice, he is the leader of the Minority and he must be seen concluding the debate on their behalf as a Minority. Hierarchically, after him, the Hon Majority Leader would come in after which the Hon Minister for Finance would respond to the issues raised by Hon Members pertaining to the Motion that he moved.

So Mr Speaker, we should not change course just for the simple arithmetic that we are likely to have two here. So, let one of them speak before the other one.
Mr Speaker noon
Hon Members, we are not in doubt who should speak last. The rules are very clear, that the person to speak last is the person who moved the Motion; who in this case, is the Hon Minister for Finance. What is not clear is whether it should be the Hon Minority
Leader or the Hon Majority Leader to start first.
For now, this might not be the best, but I would want the House to fashion out how to resolve this matter in future. But I would go by what happened last year; there is a precedent.

I will go by this practice for last year. But it seems in future, we would have to look at it again since the Majority and the Hon Minister for Finance are from the same side. And yet, the Minority might not have the opportunity of coming in again. This practice that we have adopted might not necessarily be the best.

But given the situation on the floor of the House now, where there is no clear cut agreement, I will go by the precedent of the previous years, which was repeated last year and as captured in the Official Report of 15th March, 2013 for the Hon Minority Leader to start, followed by the Hon Majority Leader and then the Hon Minister for Finance will come in.
MOTIONS 12:10 p.m.

Minority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu) 12:10 p.m.
speaking on best practice. It had nothing to do with whoever was ready or not ready at the time. But I am happy that you have given an indication that as a House, we may have to look at this practice, the convention that perhaps, we have been following. If it is bad, we have to change it; if it is good, we go forward with it.
Mr. Speaker, I thank you very much for this opportunity to wind up for the NPP Minority group in Parliament on the Motion:
“That this House approves the Financial Policy of the Government for the year ending December 31,
The Budget Statement and Economic Policy for 2015 was brought to this House in accordance with article 179 of the Constitution. That is as it should be.
The President on behalf of the State is required under article 36(1) of the Constitution to --
“take all necessary action to ensure that the national economy is managed in such a manner as to maximize the rate of economic development and to ensure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every person in Ghana and to provide adequate means of livelihood and suitable employment and public assistance to the needy.”
And the needy are here with us today.
Clause 2 of that same article which deals with the steps to establish a sound and healthy economy strands out critical issues like:
i) guaranteeing fair and realistic remuneration to encourage higher productivity;
ii) fostering an enabling environ- ment to boost the private sector;
iii) undertaking even and balanced development of every part of all regions, especially improving
the living conditions in the rural areas; and
iv) promoting the robust develop- ment of agric and industry, among others.
Mr Speaker, these are the yardsticks that one must apply to assess the economic policy of the NDC Government as expressed in the 2015 Budget Statement.
It is important to state at the outset that in pursuit of the above that the Constitution obligates the President to Present to Parliament within two (2) years after assuming office, a coordinated programme of economic and social development policies that will drive his budgets. This is the demand of article 36(5). The second year of President Mahama's Administration ends on January 6, 2015.
On that sixth day of January, Parliament will not be in Session which is why all the Presidents in the Fourth Republic have served Parliament with this document in the Second and Third Meetings of the Second Session. But not unexpectedly, President John Mahama has failed this test, or he is about to fail this test.
Mr Speaker, the theme for the 2015 Budget Statement and Economic Policy is “Transformational Agenda: Securing the Bright Medium Term Prospects of the Economy”. The word “secure” means “to be free from danger, trouble, worry or uncertainty.” That is according to Chambers 21st Century Dictionary. The President has since 2013 been assuring all who care to listen to him that the “medium term prospects of the country's economy are bright”.
In the context of that declaration, “securing the Bright Medium Term Prospects of the Economy” which is the theme of the Budget Statement can only mean, that in the eyes of the President, the Budget seeks to “firmly fix” or “firmly
assure of the custody” of the bright medium term prospects of the economy.
The President indicated in his 2014 State of the Nation Address that “our economic fundamentals remain sound and the mid-term prospects are bright”. The President buttressed his bold declaration with statistics on economic growth. If one were to assume rather erroneously, as the President did, that economic growth rate alone makes up economic fundamentals, then it becomes relevant to interrogate the facts to enable one to properly judge the President's descriptions of the state of our economy, which this Budget Statement borrows a leaf from.
GDP Growth Index
The GDP growth rate which was inherited by former President Kufuor was 3.7 per cent. In 2001, the GDP grew at 4.2 per cent; in 2002, it grew at 4.5 per cent and rose to 5.2 per cent in 2003 and to 5.6 per cent in 2004.
It rose to 5.9 per cent in 2005; 6.4 per cent in 2006; 6.3 per cent in 2007 and to 7.3 per cent in 2008, which was later reviewed to 8.4 per cent after the rebasing of the economy. This is steady growth and this steady growth occurred without the benefit of crude oil exports.

Mr Bagbin — rose --
Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon Majority Leader, do you have a point of order?
Mr Bagbin 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, yes, I am on a point of order.
My Friend knows very well that by Standing Order 89 and with your permission, I beg to quote:
“A Member shall not read his speech, but may read extracts from written or printed documents in support of his argument and may refresh his memory by reference to notes.”
I see my Colleague just reading his books -- [Laughter] -- and that is, maybe, an alternative budget he is presenting. I am just drawing his attention to it. I will not object to him referring to the notes, but copiously reading, that definitely, is against Standing Order 89.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in all serious democracies and all serious Parliaments, when the Hon Minority Leader rises to respond to a present State of the Nation Address or a budget -- and check all the records in all serious democracies -- he reads. [Uproar.]
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Hon Members, you know the Hon Minority Leader is winding up for his side, and as much as possible, we should allow him to do so — You can take notes when it comes to your turn, you respond.
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Bagbin 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this is a wrong impression; I have never for my eight years as Majority Leader read a statement— [Uproar!]
Some Hon Members — Read! Read!
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, please, continue.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I can tolerate the exercise in his self- indulgence and move on.
It is important to underscore that the non oil sector in 2011, grew at 7.8 per cent. We are told that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at 7.6 per cent in 2013. The figure was later reviewed downwards to 5.8 per cent with non-oil sector registering 4.1 per cent.
In the 2015 Budget Statement, GDP growth rate of 2013 has been further revised to 7.6 per cent and the 2014 growth rate is 6.9 per cent. I refer us to page 11 of the 2015 Budget Statement. All these are rebased figures since 2011, have oil components.
Mr Speaker, what is crystal clear is that the non-oil sector of the economy has never managed since 2009 to grow at 8.4 per cent under the Mills-Mahama Administration. In spite of the pontifical high marks that they would want every year to celebrate what they deem as bright economic prospects.

Some Hon Members — Eeeiiii!
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:20 p.m.
Since December 2013. As we speak now, the cedi has made some recovery from GH¢3.85, indeed, to GH¢3.20 to US$1, and that represents a real depreciation of 65 per
cent, even though we are officially told that the depreciation is about 31 per cent. We need the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) to really tell us where they are getting these calculations from, because as of December last year, when the Hon Minister presented the Budget Statement, the cedi to dollar rate was GH¢ 1.95 to US$1. Today, it is GH¢ 3.2 to US$1. How can the rate of depreciation be 31 per cent?

Dr Kunbuor — rose --
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Hon Minister for Defence, is it a point of order?
Dr Kunbuor 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am just asking —
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
No! Is it a point of order?
Dr Kunbuor 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, that is so.
The Hon Majority Leader raised a point of \order on the fact that the Hon Minority Leader was reading and the Hon Minority Leader did indicate that, indeed, as good parliamentary practice, the Minority Leader could read.
What I am indicating is that, if he is reading, he should apply that the Official Reports Department captures the document that he is reading— [Uproar!]— just like we would insist that the Minister for Finance does, so that for the purposes of the records, one day, we would know what he was saying extempore and what he was supposed to have been reading —
An Hon Member — Do you not trust the Hansard Department?
Dr Kunbuor 12:20 p.m.
It is just for normal record purposes, so that we know how to engage the issues that he has raised. Whether he reads or not, I do not have a problem with that.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I guess you are certainly not going to rule on this or give any directives on this, and that should tell whether there is value addition.
Mr Speaker, in the eight year period of the Kufuor Administration—[Hear! Hear!]—the cedi depreciated from GH¢ 0.72 to the US dollar to GH¢1.1 to the dollar and that means that over the entire eight years span, it depreciated by 53 per cent. Six years into the Administration of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the cedi has depreciated by 195. 5 per cent -- [Interruption.]
Some Hon Members 12:20 p.m.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker and we are still counting.
Interest rate today would hover around 30 per cent, our gross international reserves, we are told, have since August, 2014, recovered from the 2.2 months to 3.3 months, but the Net reserves - as the Hon Minister is here and would attest to this -- are far less than that.
Indeed, we are about three weeks— the Net reserves. Our trade deficits have escalated; the fiscal deficit and current account deficit have all escalated since 2008. Indeed, 2014 represents the third year in a row that we have the twin fiscal deficit and the current accounts deficit.
Mr Speaker, the public debt stock is over GH¢70 billion from the GH¢9.5 billion in December, 2008. There are recent loans that Parliament has approved, which are not included in this rather humongous debt stock. If all these are added, we would probably, be nearing GH¢80 billion.
Some Hon Members 12:20 p.m.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:30 p.m.
Last year, at the time the Hon Minister was presenting this Budget Statement, every Ghanaian owed GH¢2,000. One year on, the debt per capita has increased by 75 per cent - no thanks to the “yentie obiaa” politics.
Mr Speaker, the 2008 debt stock of GH¢ 9.5 billion represented 33 per cent of the GDP. Today, six years into the Mills- Mahama Administration, the GH¢70 billion debt stocks is almost 7.5 times or indeed, 636% increase in the debt stock. The debt stock has risen to over 60.8 per cent of GDP as at September, 2014. Meanwhile, inflation has risen to over 17 per cent.
Mr Speaker, the country is over borrowing and astronomically increasing our debt pile; which has crossed the 60 per cent threshold that developing countries, with limited access to capital inflows should worry about in terms of debt sustainability. If the current rate of borrowing continues, Ghana shall before long plunge into the league of countries with high risk of debt distress which would then disable us from further raising financing from the international capital market.
Mr Speaker, these represent the gory circumstances of our economic fun- damentals and if these represent bright prospects for the economy, the glory prospects of which must be secured, then we need God Almighty to indeed, rescue this country.
Mr Speaker, since 2009, the NDC Administration has borrowed over US$27 billion, that is, besides oil and tax revenues. No Government in the history of this country has been so lucky.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:30 p.m.
Unfortunately, while borrowing, revenue inflow has increased, capital expenditure, as a percentage of GDP has drastically declined. The evidence is that, over 90 per cent of the increase in Government spending has been for recurrent expenditure.
In the 2015 Budget Statement, the Hon Minister for Finance has enumerated some of his signature projects that have been financed by these borrowings since 2009.
Mr Speaker, these signature projects include -- Mr Speaker, let me recall; it includes, one, Ghana National Processing Plant to help solve the energy crises, and the cost of it is US$850 million, refurbishment and expansion of Ridge Hospital -- US$306 million, University of Ghana Hospital, expansion of Kpong Water Pumping Station, Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, the Sofo Line Interchange in Kumasi.
The rest are the Tetteh Quarshie- Madina Road Project, Achimota-Ofankor Road Project; the construction of affordable housing units by OS Construction; Kumasi Central Market; Kasoa Interchange; 200 buses for the Metro Mass Transit; and additional 295 Scania buses for the rapid transport system.

Mr Speaker, yes, I hear a chorus -- “investments,” “investments”. But Mr Speaker, the total expenditure of the signature project that the Hon Minister has given us, all amounts to US$3.5 billion

out of the US$27 billion borrowed. So, where is the rest of the money? They are shouting investment. Where is the rest of the money?

Mr Speaker, how is the Ministry accounting for the US$23.5 billion.

We on this side would immediately file an Urgent Question for the Hon Minister for Finance to provide the House and indeed, the people of this country with a comprehensive list of all the projects financed by domestic and external borrowing and the respective amount involved since 2009, to enable a proper accounting for the staggering increase in the debt stock.

Mr Speaker, the 2013 economic growth of the countries in the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) most of which are non-oil producing averaged 6.7 per cent. The countries in that league are the Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana and Nigeria.

In 2013, Ghana's non-oil sector grew to 5.8 per cent which was less than the average growth in the sub-region. In 2013, Ghana placed last in the West Africa Monetary Zone league as it was the only country to meet only three out of the ten primary and secondary criteria.

Indeed, by December 2013, the country had slipped on two of the criteria. One, exchange rate stability; and two, real interest rate. Hence, at the close of 2013, we met only one out of the ten criteria. The singular criterion was the Central Bank financing of the country's deficit of the 2013, which was less than 10 per cent of the previous year 's tax revenue. Ghana's abysmal record of fiscal year 2013 was the worst performance by the country in 20 years.

Accordingly, Mr Speaker, in debating that budget, we took Government to task. For 2014, the provisional GDP growth rate for the WAMZ countries in the sub- region is in the sails of 6.5 per cent - non- oil producing countries.

Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Finance, for the first time since I have been in this Parliament, has refused to present the table of performance of the country in the WAMZ league in the Budget Statement. That is the first time. The reason is simple. The picture will represent a bitter truth to Government and the country and hence, for them, it is better not to show it at all.

But Mr Speaker, truth is like cork and a responsible Government which is committed to transparency, probity and accountability must not hide anything from the citizens. The cardinal principle of good budgeting is transparency. All relevant information for sound budgeting should be available in an accessible format. Budget information must be accurate, reliable and comprehensive. And
Mr Speaker, the question to ask is 12:30 p.m.
“What is the Government afraid of, that they are not bringing the table of our performance in the budget for the first time?” What is Government afraid of?
Mr Speaker, we are told in paragraph 131 of the Budget Statement that the transformational agenda of Government rests on three strategic interventions, namely, strengthening and deepening the essential elements and institutions of good governance.
Mr Speaker, with respect to you, Parliament is the bastion of democratic governance. How has Parliament been strengthened in the budget? The Electoral Commission is an essential institution in
good governance. How has that institution been resourced in this budget? Charity, they say begins at home.
Parliamentary democracy is not strengthened if their request is decimated. I know the Electoral Commission has not been allocated resources to perform some critical activities which they need to do in 2015, preparatory to the 2016 general (Presidential and Parliamentary) elections. The sign posts are emerging and they are worrying. The Hon Minister for Finance should do what is right before December 2016. Nobody should have any cause to complain again. So, he must do what is right.
The second strategic intervention says that, we should be promoting export-led growth through products that build up on Ghana's comparative strength in agricultural raw materials. Mr Speaker, there has been a paradigm shift in international economy and geopolitics: the discourse now is on competitive advantage and no longer comparative advantage or strength.
The third is “anchoring industrial development through prudent use of natural resources based on locally- processed value addition.”
Mr Speaker, so, we address agriculture. The second strategic intervention that Government intends to make is in the area of agriculture, to promote export-led growth. The question to ask is, which agricultural product is Government piloting in this promotion? The Budget Statement mentions only one agricultural product, that is cotton. Mr Speaker, I refer us to paragraph 351 of the Budget Statement. If we want, as a country to stimulate growth in the cotton industry, then we need to be more scientific.
This is because, Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Finance knows that the yarns of cotton produced in Ghana are short and twining comes with additional expenditure.
Mr Speaker, the question to ask is 12:30 p.m.

Indeed, that explains why the Akosombo, Juapong and Tema Textile companies, even in the 1960s, had to import long- yarned cotton from Egypt and Sudan.

Mr Speaker, again, in agriculture, re- afforestation has almost collapsed while logging has gone into high gear, contributing 16.5 per cent in the overall agricultural growth of 5.3 per cent in 2014. It should tell us as a nation that we are fast depleting our forest cover. At the turn of the 20th Century, the forest cover of Ghana was 8.5 million hectares.

Today, the forest cover is less than 700,000 hectares and that is in spite of all the pretensions to the countrary.

In 2014, there were many reported cases of chainsaw activities and illegal lumbering. If that is what is feeding agricultural growth, we should be careful. I am not sure anybody heard of new acreages of degraded lands being re- afforested.

Mr Speaker, if we must admit it, agriculture is not doing well and I refer to page 12 of the Budget Statement. Agriculture is not doing well because of the paltry budgetary allocation to agriculture.

In December 2013, we lamented the fact that only 1.07 per cent of total budgetary allocation went to agriculture in 2014, that is, excluding the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) from the Petroleum Fund. This explains why in 2014, US$1.5 billion of foodstuffs was imported into the country against a food import bill of US$600 million in 2008. The importation of fish, poultry, tomatoes and cooking oil have all almost doubled between 2008 and


The Accra Plains and Afram Plains irrigation projects which have the potential of positively impacting food security have remained on the books. The 2009 - 2013
Mr Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Do you have a point of order?
Hon Minister, it must be strictly a point of order, if it is not on a point of order, I am not going to --
Yes, let me hear you.
Mr Emmanuel A. K. Buah 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I was very clear in my presentation when I talked about generation that had been added. I think that what he is saying is true; there were projects that were initiated. But in the eight years, I was saying specifically, the generation that was added to the extent that we are talking about generation that was ready, giving it to the grid, that was then. But in terms of some of the things that were started, that was right. I was talking about generation for that period and so, I wanted to make sure that is clarified.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if the Hon Minister is changing course and is now dwelling on generation, I will be with him on that. But he must know that the current issue relating to the use of gas, that we are now following, was again initiated by the NPP Administration and he will not decline that.
Mr Speaker, I was talking about the retrofitting of the Akosombo Plant. The generation at the time -- and I am surprised the Minister disowned this -- was 920 megawatts. The retrofitting added another 100 megawatts to it -- Go and ask the experts. Yet the Hon Minister declined that such a thing had happened. Please, go -- [Interruptions] -- Well, he is exiting the place. But before he exits, please, he should go and ask and they will tell him that 100 megawatts was added to it in the retrofitting exercise. They are matters that should concern us as a country. Energy conservation is something that I would recommend to the Hon Minister to pursue.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:50 p.m.

Mr Speaker, the energy conservation which occurred in the purchase, procurement and distribution of six (6) million Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) to replace the high energy consuming incandescent bulbs which were distributed in 2007, liberated 124 megawatts. The Hon Minister is looking at me with a stance; let him go and check with the experts and they will tell him.

For now, I would suggest that what the Energy Commission by way of introducing the replacement of the high energy consuming old fridges be pursued and I believe that we would be able to make some savings, and maybe, the combined effort would help us to liberate some energy to, at least, offset the rampant dum- sor dumsor that is afflicting the country.

While we are at this, Mr Speaker, it may be important for the nation to know why in spite of the fall in the price of brent crude and light crude , as we speak, US$66 and US$62 per barrel respectively as of this morning, while the prices of petroleum products locally have not commensurately responded -- Has the automatic Price Adjustment Formula been abandoned by the Ministry? If that is so, they should tell Ghanaians.

Mr Speaker, by way of emphasis, let me also strongly indicate to GNPC that they cannot take the law unto themselves. A fully subvented State enterprise cannot use revenues due to the State as collateral to secure loans.

The Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) allows only the State to use our oil revenues as collateral. That privilege is not extended to any corporation, regardless of its status. We will stand up against any such misadventure.

Mr Speaker, we need to strenuously work to achieve the Millennium Development Goal 2 (MDG2). Beyond that, one would have thought that having established the three strategic nodal areas of intervention, the budget for transformation was going to provide the connect between how education would feed into the strategic needs of the economy. In other words, how would education positively impact efficiency of labour force in both agriculture and industry?

Mr Speaker, while the budget for the education sector has increased by about 15.9 per cent over the 2014 allocation, inflation over the same period was 16.9 per cent while the depreciation of the cedi was in excess of 60 per cent as already related to.

In real terms, therefore, there is negative increase in funding education. In the event, investment in education may suffer as personal emolument cannot be touched.

Mr Speaker, the Chairman of the Committee on Education made some noteworthy observations in his own presentation. He said to us that 25 per cent of the entire budgetary allocation of this country goes to education, that is, GH¢5.8 billion in 2014 and GH¢6.74 billion in 2015, yet these do not reflect in the performance of pupils in public schools, due in particular to poor management and administration as well as poor supervision of and output from teachers.

That explains why when gross enrolment rate is rising at the level of basic education, the dropout rate at the JHS and SHS level is getting rather alarming.

The Ranking Member on Education has related to this. He also related to arrears in Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), School Feeding Programme, Capitation Grant and the salaries of new teacher recruits. The combined effect is

the lowering of morale. He also alluded to the many strikes: Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG), University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU), et cetera. These will negatively impact the performance of pupils and students; Government must show concern.

Mr Speaker, Hon Colleagues who have spoken before me have been most eloquent about difficulties in almost all the sectors -- roads, and highways, health, works and housing, local government and rural development, trade and industry, defence and interior, youth and sports, tourism, culture and creative arts, communications, et cetera. I guess we shall have some more time to deal with the sectors in the consideration of their estimates.

But Mr Speaker, let me conclude, on issues of corruption that have lately befuddled our governance system. Y

Yesterday, the Ghana Integrity Initiative, the local chapter of Transparency International launched their report on 175 countries. Ghana placed high on the list of corrupt countries, scoring less than 50 points.

The issues they related to include, recovering so-called judgment debts that have been wrongfully paid; gathering the political will to prosecute cases of corruption in high places -- SADA, GYEEDA, SUBA, among others.

Mr Speaker, one could only have been sorely disappointed when the President, through the Ministry of Finance, plaintively declared that Government will introduce new rules and deploy systems to strengthen expenditure management which would reduce waste and corrupt practice I refer to paragraph 886.

How, when, where we are not told! Again, empty rhetorics! Yet corruption has become a canker.

Mr Speaker, we are told in paragraph 196 that the National Security Council provides 24 hour protection to the Executive and other bodies. The Judiciary is not mentioned; the Legislature is not mentioned… That is how National Security understands “protection”. No wonder, the Judges and Members of Parliament (MP), including our arrow head, Mr Speaker, are not accorded the best of treatments.


Mr Speaker, on the way forward in fighting trade in narcotics, we in the New Patriotic Party Minority have proffered suggestions:

1. Narcotics Board (NACOB) must be overhauled.

2. The Bill to turn NACOB into a Commission prepared in 2008 must come to Parliament as soon as possible.

3. The position of the Executive Secretary of NACOB must be taken from the hands of politicians and revert to profes- sional intelligence operatives.

4. Cooperation in the operation West Bridge must be deepened.

Mr Speaker, now, the Eurobond. Government has not missed any occasion in announcing the success it has chalked in procuring the Eurobond.

Issues have been raised about what has become of it. Can the Minister let us know where the amount procured is located, and what is intended to be done with it and what is happening to it, wherever it is?
Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, you have used 47 minutes.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I guess you were dealing with the interruptions --
Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
Hon Majority Leader, you have the floor.
Majority Leader (Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin) 1 p.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, I stand to support the Motion, that this House approves the Financial Policy of the Government of Ghana for the year ending 31st December,
Mr Speaker, in doing so, I would make reference in passing to the number of budgets this House has received, debated and approved. I will also try and give an indication of what a budget seeks to do.
Mr Speaker, in doing that, I would give some objectives that as a country, we seek to attain. Mr Speaker, I may refer to some important governance institutions that we need as a country to focus on. This is because, it is those institutions that are going to support us to continue to enjoy the freedom, opportunity and the things
that we are doing today. In the absence of those institutions, the system we are trying to put in place will collapse.
Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am indeed, listening and we listen with our ears. In any event, he is the same person, who has sent some communica- tion to me through his Chief Whip. So, I only turned to receive it and he is complaining. When I was speaking, he was stunned, and got out. I am staying and he can assure himself of that.
Mr Bagbin 1 p.m.
Mr Speaker, when the Hon Minister for Finance read the Budget Statement, it was laid for the attention of the House because he read it. In the same vein, I request that my Hon Colleague who read his statement should lay it for us to refer to, to make sure that he actually read a statement -- [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, this House has received, debated and approved 22 budgets from 1993. Since 1993, as a House, we are all aware that a budget is a plan. We know that it is a plan for the future. In our case, we are using them annually.
Mr Speaker, I must say, and this is for the consideration of the whole country, that we should consider preparing a budget for more than a year. The reason being that, we are permitted by our
Constitution to do so. Again, if you look at the laws that we pass, including the Public Procurement Act, it takes between 4 to 6 months to be able to process a contract.
Again, by the way, we generate revenue; it takes between January to March before we can get some money to start spending on a project. By the time one finishes, the year is so short for one to have been able to implement most of the things that you state in the budget. This is an experience that we have gone through and I am proposing that we should consider preparing a budget for more than a year.
Mr Speaker, a budget definitely plans to build and grow the economy. Again, from the Direct Principles of State Policy, we are enjoined to try to establish a just and free society. We are called upon to ensure that the national economy is managed in such a manner as to maximise the rate of economic development and secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every person in Ghana. This is from the Constitution and which you can read from article 36 (1).
Mr Speaker, the various budgets have attempted to take this country along that path. The bone of contention is that, you need money to be able to do this. And where we have always debated, is how Government will raise that money and how Government will spend it. That has been the bone of contention. If not, we both agree that we need to raise the money, spend, invest and grow the economy, so that we can raise more money.
Mr Speaker, I have been in this House longer than my Colleagues from the other side. I can tell you that in 2003, our Colleagues opposite had, because of the challenges they were facing did two main things.
Mr Bagbin 1 p.m.

First, they had to start selling national assets -- 2003 [Interruption]Mr Speaker, we all recall that that was the time Ghana Airways was given out to raise money to move the budget.

Secondly, they redenominated the cedi in 2003 --[Interruption]. At that time, the highest currency note was ¢5,000. Then they said that the denominations were too many, so they introduced ¢10,000 and ¢20,000 notes. That was in 2003.

Mr Speaker, I am raising this for us to -- [Interruption.] It is correct.
Dr Anthony A. Osei 1:10 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
Mr Speaker, under normal circum- stances, I would not want to interrupt the Majority Leader who is also the Leader of the House.
Mr Speaker, if we are talking in this House, we must be factual. Mr Speaker, I do not know the Majority Leader 's understanding of redenomination, redenomination did not occur in 2003. There was no redenomination in 2003. But that is what he just said. Mr Speaker, it occurred in 2007. And as the Leader of the House, who has been around since 1993, he is trumpeting that to the House.
Mr Speaker, I think he should withdraw that and continue.
Mr Bagbin 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I even provided particulars of what I meant. I said the highest denomination at that time was ¢5,000.00. The then Government added GH¢20,000 and ¢10,000 notes. Why was that done? The issue I am raising is for us to understand that it was a matter of challenges for our Colleagues when they were in power. This country has had challenges with inflation and the other issues that the Hon Minority Leader was mentioning.
In 2007, redenomination was done, where four zeros were cancelled. What was the reason? Inflation! Mr Speaker, apart from that, that was the time Government lands were sold -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, at that time the Government under the guise of the policy of in-filling -- There are records; these are records. The policy of in-filling, a lot of Government lands were sold to support the budget in 2007.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:10 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I do not really want to go to the Hon Majority Leader on the lines of relevance. But if we are talking about the sale of State enterprises, certainly, it did not begin with NPP. It began with the PNDC and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) continued it. So, the Hon Majority Leader should be truthful to himself.
In any event, Mr Speaker, the sale and purchase of State lands did not begin with NPP; it began with NDC.
Again, why this untruth? It does not help anybody. Mr Speaker, the relevant thing for the Hon Majority Leader to do
is, we are debating the budget, let him find relevance in the budget debate. This is because so far, I do not see any value addition.
Mr Bagbin 1:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am raising these issues for two reasons --
First, that the challenges we are meeting today, we met them when NPP was in power.
Second, is that the background of the borrowing; is what I am establishing? Even with all that, at the end of 2008, salaries could not be paid to some public servants. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, even Parliament of Ghana had to rely on its resources to pay salaries. [Interruption.] They have forgotten. I have a copy of the letter. [Interruption.]
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe the Hon Majority Leader has elected to go on a wild expedition. Mr Speaker, he says that Parliament relied on its own resources. Do we generate any revenues internally? I do not know of that But indeed, if anybody did that, that. person, perhaps, would have broken the relevant statute. This is because Parliament does not have the authority. So, let him come out and tell us who and where Parliament got the resources internally -- the internally generated funds, (IGFs). The Majority Leader has been trumpeting to us that he has been here that he has been the Omar Bongo of our time. Please, he should tell us where he is getting his facts from?
Mr Bagbin 1:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in the Budgets that we have had, we had an item for compensation, goods and services and carpets, alright. Now Mr Speaker, at the

Mr Speaker, I decided to say all these because my Friends are aware that even before the end of 2008, they embarked on the construction of six major road projects without source of funding. [Uproar] -- Mr Speaker, I can mention the roads, and the amounts involved. [Uproar.]

Mr Speaker, when the Hon Minority Leader was raising the issues, they were not listening. This is because he raised the issue of borrowing by the current Government. I am saying that these were projects that were initiated and started in 2008. In fact, some were started in 2007 without budgetary resources.

Mr Speaker, I hope my Hon Colleagues will sit down and listen, and get to know how come a lot of monies would have to
Mr Bagbin 1:20 a.m.

Mr Speaker, in 2008, we all know that workers must be properly compensated, and so, when our Friends started the single spine scheme, it was something that by tenets of the Constitution, we had to continue.

Mr Speaker, in 2009, salaries -- [Interruption] -- in 2009, compensa- tions, that is wages and salaries used to take about GH¢ 3 billion. By 2012, the Government had to pay about GH¢ 9 billion on that item alone. Mr Speaker, when people talk about borrowing, and even mention Takoradi International Company (TICo) 3, this loan was approved in this House in 2010, and that is part of the loans -- It is the debts that they are referring to. [Interruption]

Mr Speaker, this Government could have also decided to sell assets of the country to do this, but we said: “No!” It is better to invest than to sell. [Hear! Hear!] Mr Speaker, Ghanaians are definitely concerned about budget deficits. They are very concerned about budget deficits, and Government debts, and definitely, Government shares in those concerns and is committed to making sure we have a reasonable budget, and a balanced budget.

Mr Speaker, from paragraph -- Mr Speaker, I hope my Colleagues opposite would listen, and do not lose one word.

I said Government is concerned, and would make sure that we get a balanced budget. I am not saying that Government has put in place a balanced budget. But it is important for us to know that they also have to invest for the future of all of us, and that is why going through the budget, we see Government policies towards investments.

Mr Speaker, because we have problems in generating revenue, we definitely have to borrow money to invest. [Interruption] As a country, we are very concerned about the “dumsor, dumsor” phenomena. But Mr Speaker, we all are aware that during the time that my Hon Colleagues were organising the People's Assembly, even at one of the assemblies, the lights went off at the time that His Excellency President Kufuor was addressing them.

Again Mr Speaker, we are aware that during the celebration of Ghana @ 50, we had to move Presidents from place to place because of “dumsor, dumsor” -- [Laughter] -- So Mr Speaker - [Interruption] -- It does not lie in the mouth of Hon Colleagues opposite to be raising those issues. This is because they know those issues confronted them during their regime, and they could not solve them.

Mr Speaker, we are making efforts to solve the problems and I hope and pray that our Colleagues will support us in doing so. If not, I know in the next foreseeable future, if our Colleagues ever come to power, they will meet the same problems.
Some Hon Members 1:30 p.m.
“Bagbin paa nie! Bagbin paa nie! To wit “Is this Bagbin?.
Mr Bagbin 1:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is important for us to prepare as a House to listen to one another. I understand why the Hon Minority Leader was requesting that I should present mine before his.
Mr Speaker, as Hon Minority Leader for eight years, I usually spoke first.
Whether it was Hon J. H. Mensah, Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah, Hon Felix Owusu - Agyapong or Hon Abraham Osei Aidoo? Now Mr Speaker, if we had the patience to listen to them, it is important that the Minority listens to the Majority --
Mr Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have always reminded Hon Colleagues that the tiling arrangement on the Floor and the high sensitivity of the appliances that we have now, cause a lot of disruptions if Hon Members are shouting when an Hon Member is on his feet. So, we should all take a cue from that.
Mr Speaker, as for being raucous, his own people at the back were shouting “fire, fire” but he did not hear that.
Mr Speaker, it is not good that we interrupt, much more, if the Leader of the House and the Minority Leader, are on their feet. We should learn to be decorous to one another. But it should never be said that, it is my side that is causing the noise. He is aware --
Mr Speaker 1:30 p.m.
It is both sides of the House.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Hon Majority Leader, both sides are guilty with regard to the noise.
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Bagbin 1:30 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
When my Hon Colleague was on the floor, there was no occasion that his name was used to compose a song from my side -- [Laughter] -- No occasion.
Now, they have used my name to compose a song -- [Interruption]-- That definitely --
Mr Speaker 1:40 p.m.
That song is unparliamentary.
Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader really is the one who has been composing songs and singing in plenary and at committees. He introduced singing; he composes songs and sings.
One time, it was about birds, another time it was about reptiles. And today, he is complaining as the Hon Majority Leader. But I think we can make progress.
Mr Speaker 1:40 p.m.
Hon Members, please, your Leaders have spoken. If anybody continues to make noise, I will name the person. I will call the Marshall -- [Interruption] -- to walk him out of the Chamber.
Mr Bagbin 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is important to set the record straight. Anytime I sung on the floor, I did so as part of my contribution -- [Laughter] -- in trying to emphasise a point. I never did that as part of heckling. There is a vast difference between the two.
So, it is important for Hon Members -- [Interruption] -- Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleagues are unprepared to listen to their records. So, we will move to the independent Government institutions.
Mr Speaker, as the Chairman of the Special Budget Committee, I would want to draw our attention to a very important institution that we established as part of the pillars of our democracy.
Mr Speaker, number one, is the institution that processes all of us to come to this House -- the Electoral Commission. It must be given priority or place.
Mr Bagbin 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we have had meetings with the Electoral Commission because the Budget Statement definitely did not capture some aspects of their budget. The Ministry gladly listened -- [Interruption] -- Well my Hon Colleague, if I am to repeat his statement -- [Laughter] --
The Ministry of Finance, after listening to the concerns raised by the Commission, has gladly agreed to make up for the difference, so that the Commission can start processing the 2016 election from the 2015 Budget. It is an issue which is critical for the sustenance of democracy in this country.
Mr Speaker, the second one is the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) -- [Interruption] -- We are trying as much as possible to make sure that the Ministry of Finance also gives the Commission some propriety attention. We know that there are constraints. But the Commission performs very important functions and we all know them. And in our deliberations with the Commission, our attention was drawn to a few areas that we have passed on to the Ministry of Finance.
Mr Speaker, we have totally, I must say, marginalised the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE). If the NCCE was strengthened, most of the issues, if sensitisation education, the underpin- nings of democracy, the values, principles and norms of democracy would have reached our people for them to appreciate clearly what we do in this House, and what Government is doing for and on their behalf.
Unfortunately, that Commission is not getting the necessary attention, to the extent that they wrote to Leadership that the Annual Report is in arrears and they would only be able to print enough copies for committee members and not all Hon Members of Parliament.
Mr Speaker, definitely, this is unlawful, and so, we have informed them that they should print copies for all Hon Members of Parliament, and I am calling on the Minister for Finance to take a look at that and try to support them to do so.
Mr Speaker, I would like to end by looking at the institution of Parliament, the arm of Government that is not just a symbol of democracy but the bulwark of democracy. It is Parliament that should defend the rights, the freedoms and the liberties of our people. Without Par- liament, definitely, democracy suffers. Without Parliament, we would not have this opportunity of a Minister for Finance presenting a budget for debate.
But I think we have to reposition Parliament, because the public perception of Parliament is very bad. We must take all measures, including Members of Parliament themselves, the institution of Parliament, supported by the Ministry to be able to erase that perception and build the credibility of the House.
If the Parliament of Ghana collapses, the freedoms and rights of the people would also follow suit, and therefore, everybody should do everything to support the House.

So Mr Speaker, the people of Ghana are looking forward to the House to be able to deliver the dividends of democracy. In the absence of that, we are likely to suffer the consequences. It is

important that as a House, we move away from trying to paint a picture as to which Government or party committed more or less offences.

Mr Speaker, you would realise that throughout my submission, I had to respond to issues that were raised by the Minority Leader. Initially, my submission was to deal strictly with some challenges that we as a House, could help the Ministry to deal with. So Mr Speaker, I would like to urge Hon Members, in fact, plead with Hon Members that we should move away from that type of politics.

I will end by saying that the debt of this country is the culmination of the record of performance of all governments from independence till today. It is not the making of any government.

Mr Speaker, I decided to leave the policy initiatives for the Minister for Finance to deal with in his winding up, and clarify some of the issues that have been raised. It is one of the areas that I had noted, but the Minister would focus on that area because some of the policies are very exciting and we expect the co- operation and support of the House to implement them.
Mr Speaker 1:40 p.m.
Hon Members, let us have order in the House.
Hon Majority Leader, you took forty five minutes.
I now call on the Hon Minister for Finance.
Mr Seth E. Terkpeh 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker --
Mr Speaker 1:40 p.m.
You may use the Dispatch Box if you would like to. Would you like to do it from there?
Very well.
Mr Speaker 1:40 p.m.
Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:40 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, first of all, the Minister moved the Motion from the Dispatch Box, and then on this occasion, he is also speaking for and on behalf of the President. It is important that he comes to the Dispatch Box. That is good parliamentary practice.
Mr Seth E. Terkpeh 1:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I wish to start my summing up by expressing gratitude to yourself, Leadership and the entire Members of this august House for the very lively and insightful debate over the Government's Financial Policy, which I proposed for approval by the House.
Mr Speaker, as the Hon Majority Leader clearly stated, the importance of this year's policy initiatives are in the major paradigm shifts, and indeed, this has been the case since the 2013 Budget was presented. I presented the first budget in 2013 and we continue to highlight some of these.
Mr Speaker, a lot has been said about our public debts, and especially the debt to GDP ratio has been used. We did concede that the debt to GDP ratio has risen. But the figures immediately after Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) was granted also speak for themselves.
The debt to GDP ratio started increasing back then and the important thing is that, in both deliveries, we have pointed to major capital projects that this country has embarked upon with the space that we got. The Minority Leader asked if I had more projects for the paradigm shift and my answer is a clear yes.
Mr Seth E. Terkpeh 1:50 p.m.

Mr Speaker, I can envisage the Ghana- Togo-Benin gridline being put on self- financing projects. I can envisage others like the West African Toll Road Projects, which we started in segments. We have been talking about power and I can envisage even the West African Gas Pipeline which we service as being put on the self-financing project.

Furthermore, I can envisage our backbone projects as well as even the e- Ghana project which is providing enormous services on such projects. Indeed, on behalf of the President, I can envisage, and let me give examples, several water projects which were approved by this very House: Accra-Tema Water Project, the Gezhouba Water Project, the Koforidua Water Project, the Sekondi-Takoradi Water Project [Hear! Hear!] I can also talk about several other water projects.

Mr Speaker, we are on record to have paid for the Akosombo Dam, the Tema Harbour, and the first phase of the Ghana Water Projects under the first Republican regime through these mechanisms. We all have fond memories of these major infrastructural projects that were set up.

Mr Speaker, self-financing is a very important principle. We cannot take these facilities, embark on these major commercial projects and then allow the taxpayer to pay for the facilities, allow the

taxpayer as we did recently for some water projects, to pay for the rehabilitation of those facilities. Indeed, allow the tax- payer to pay for even the supplies that are needed to run these projects. Mr Speaker, that is definitely not the way to go. And if we were to recover even US$5 billion, it is still important to know that it reduces the debt burden on the taxpayer.

Mr Speaker, this is the essence of the on-lending policy which was approved by Cabinet and under your direction, approved by this august House. It is a policy which we are keen to pursue and know would result in a change for this economy.

Mr Speaker, I do recall fondly when we debated the China Development Bank (CDB) facility which did not end very well because of a walkout. We had to go and defend the CDB facility before the IMF and the World Bank because we were then on a programme. Some very important institutions at the time which described the CDB facility as an elephant --
Mr Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Hon Members, having regard to the state of business of the House, I direct that the Sitting be held outside the prescribed period.
Hon Minister, kindly continue.
Mr Terkpeh 1:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, indeed, at the time, we had to go all the way to Washington to defend the US$3 billion CDB facility. The point I was making was that, institutions that rubbished that loan as elephant projects had to concede that the gas processing plant alone is capable of paying for the entire US$3 billion. [Hear! Hear!]
Yes, the facility is US$1billion but I am saying that at that time, they conceded that the gas processing plant was capable of paying for the entire loan.
Mr Speaker, I am saying now that the gas processing plant has come on stream. If we, as a nation, did not derive the maximum benefit and make the gas processing plant pay for itself, we would not be able to construct more gas processing plants.
Mr Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, I thought he was winding up.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I know he is winding up. But I would want to draw his attention.
He is talking about Phase 1 of the gas processing plant and it would move to phase II and phase III. Even the phase I is not known to this House.
Where is the contract?
Mr Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Hon Minister, continue.
Mr Terkpeh 2 p.m.
Mr Speaker, may I remind the House that we brought the Subsidiary Agreement to this House and I am talking about the facility.
Mr Speaker, I am also talking about the expansion that would be required for the Eni-VITOL Project. My point is that, these projects, like the Akosombo Dam, and like the Bui Dam, we would want to put on on-lending and similar to the gridlines, should be made to pay for the facilities that we take for them.
Mr Speaker, may I move on to our debt to our growth ratio? It is important for us as a nation not to belittle growth rate of about 5 per cent of GDP. We did envisage that we would want GDP to grow at 8 per cent. The point I would want to make is a very important one. In the year 2008, our GDP in nominal terms was about GH¢30 billion. Today, we are talking about a GDP that is in excess of a GH¢100 billion.
Mr Speaker, we are talking in today's terms. If we are to divide it, we are about US$10 billion against about US$ 40 billion.
Mr Speaker, the important point I am making is that, if you were to calculate a growth rate of 10 per cent on US$10 billion, if I may use that, it is not the same as growing at five per cent of US$40 billion. Mr Speaker, our GDP base has increased on account of the rebasing and it has increased the account of oil and gas in particular, on account of the services sector.
Therefore, we ought to be proud of ourselves to have GDP rates that are above five per cent at a time when GDP growth rates in the sub region is around three per cent and globally, also around three per cent.
Mr Speaker, we need to make a very important point. There are other elements of our on-lending policy. Mr Speaker, this august House approved the Petroleum Revenue Management Act and this august House in its wisdom, also approved the use of those petroleum funds for infrastructural development. The Hon Majority Leader has already spoken about putting major projects such as the gang of four or gang of six on the budget without a definite source of financing.
Mr Speaker, we have been feeling the outcome today in terms of the bonds that were issued to pay for these facilities. Mr Speaker, this requires a definite paradigm
Mr Terkpeh 2 p.m.
shift. What we are saying is that, if we have GH¢100 million for example, coming in, we could consider using GH¢100 million on an annual basis for our major capital projects. On the other hand, Mr Speaker, and what many other countries have done, is to look at the GH¢100 million in terms of resource flows for the future and borrow to pay for major projects that can help finance other projects in addition to the repayment of the facility.

Mr Speaker, it is also in this context that I wish to express gratitude to this House for the approval of the Ghana Infrastructure Fund because it concretises and tells the market that when we say that we are borrowing, we have a definite source approved by law that is saying that we are going to use 25 per cent of the amount that is flowing into the ABFA for debt service.

Mr Speaker, deriving out of this and also deriving out of the principle that we are asking this House to approve, in terms of the use of the essence of the Stabilisation Fund, we are telling the markets that we can establish a Sinking Fund. Mr Speaker, this is a very important point, which I wish to stress because I wish this House to give the idea of a Sinking Fund, a ringing endorsement.

Mr Speaker, the Sinking Fund is in our Financial Administration Act and similar to the Contingency Fund, which I know the Hon Minority Leader is very passionate about. We are saying that concurrently, we should use a moving average to make sure that instead of putting a definite cap on the Stabilisation Fund, we should allocate percentage amounts to the Contingency Fund,

percentage amounts to the excess for debt management and continue to grow the Stabilidation Fund along the same line. The idea of a Sinking Fund, which we would want to use for the debt management, is that when we floated the 2017 bulk, is this: In the year 2007, we did not have a repayment mechanism enshrined in our budget, as a result of which by last year, we had to begin refinancing that 2017 bulk.

Mr Speaker, what we are saying is that, we are going to use the excess Stabilisation Fund to assume we are going to be repaying our sovereign bonds on an annual basis, so that we can create a Fund.

Mr Speaker, we do not have to wait another six, seven or eight years to begin refinancing. There are countries which are doing this -- Botswana, Trinidad and Tobago and Gabon are doing it, while Nigeria and Angola have started. Many of these countries, especially those in sub- Saharan Africa started after our Petroleum Revenue Management Act and our initiatives -- Mr Speaker, this is the way forward for the country -- [Hear! Hear!] -- These are the principles and policies that are embodied in this budget, which we are debating and which I am seeking a ringing endorsement for.

Mr Speaker, our public debt will begin to be different because currently, as we speak, even when Volta River Authority is servicing its debt, the debt is still treated as a public debt and it is one of the reasons that our debt ratio is high. Mr Speaker, by re-fencing through the on-lending facility, we shall move to a regime that is called a contingent liability regime.

Mr Speaker, I have been clearly informed by Hon Members on both sides who understand the principles of what I am saying. Let us make bold to make this major paradigm shift through the approval of the principles which I have just

illustrated. When we do these, it is our expectation that the Ghana Infrastructure Fund, through the funds that would be flowing to it, would be able to borrow on its own, prove its method and be rated. [Interruption.] That rating would also go alongside that of the sovereign --

Mr Speaker, but more importantly, just as in the past, even when the State borrowed, we saw the Volta River Authority (VRA), the Ghana GRID Company Limited (GRIDCo) and others of this world pay for loan facilities. Mr Speaker, we are saying that going forward, through this principle, the projects would be able to pay for themselves. And we are going to extend this principle.

Mr Speaker, the point was made about recoveries and it is very important. It is not only commercial projects that should be paying for some of the facilities. Even when you take social infrastructure and you go to our hospitals and you go to educational institutions and others which have benefited from loans, Mr Speaker, we all pay hospital fees.

We face a situation where none of these fees are used to even maintain the facilities for which we all pay fees. Rather, sometimes, these fees are regarded as internally generated funds (IGFs) and they are used by the hospitals, and then come back to the House or to Cabinet and seek new loans to maintain those facilities.

Even if we cannot recover 100 per cent of the facilities that go into these equipment and facilities, I believe that a contribution of even 30 per cent would help relieve the taxpayer. This is because after all, whether the patient is rich or poor, when they go to the hospital or to these facilities, they do pay the fees; they are not exempted. It is not in all cases.

Mr Speaker, this is the path which middle income countries are following and this is the lesson. I am glad therefore, to inform the House that both the African Development Bank and the World Bank have agreed to help us to fashion out these policies, so that they can be entrenched as part of our economic management.

Mr Speaker, let me state that one of the marks of economic management is to face challenges, adopt policies and move the nation forward. We did face a lot of challenges, Mr Speaker. But in presenting the Budget, I also mentioned the successes that we achieved. I did mention however, that we also faced further setbacks, particularly the continued disruption of gas supply, the decline in gold and cocoa prices. But Mr Speaker, the future prospects which we painted of the nation, as bright, is real.

Mr Speaker, as I mentioned, whereas we do not say that the Gas Processing Plant is the absolute solution to our problems, it is a major change. The tying in and the inauguration that has occurred is a major shift for us.

Mr Speaker, I would also state that we have initialled the Eni-VITOL or Sankofa Field and we would be bringing elements of this to this House. In doing this, we worked with the World Bank to adopt the partial risk guarantee that was used for the West African Gas Pipeline. We mentioned in the budget and we shall bring it to this House.

Mr Speaker, when these projects come on stream, we are going to have more than triple of the capacity of the Jubilee Gas Field. As we speak, the second Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel is under construction for the tenth field. Therefore, within the three year period of our consolidation, whether
Mr Terkpeh 2 p.m.

under our home grown policy or under an envisaged International Monetary Fund (IMF) policy, we are also going to see the flow of resources that is going to definitely change the fortunes of the country. It is for this reason that we came out with these deep policies, the policies which I have illustrated.

Mr Speaker, let me end on two notes, first to express gratitude to the House for helping us to revamp all of our tax laws; they have been ten to fifteen years old. We are also going to be bringing out financial administration laws to the House for similar revamp, Mr Speaker, we are going to continue diligently to implement the public financial management reforms that we are implementing.

Mr Speaker, these are very important. They are important because often when we talk of corruption, it is important to talk about sanctions. Mr Speaker, a broken system would always produce corruption, and it is for this reason that we are putting in place the GIFMIS system that would revamp our accounting system, which would revamp our budget systems. And for the first time, we are putting the 2015 Budget on the programme based budget approach.

Mr Speaker, let me end with one example. As a nation, we have chased ghost workers for a long time. But as I am fond of saying, the Controller and Accountant-General is not the Human Resources Manager for Government. The Human Resources Managers for Government are the Public Services Commission and the Office of the Head of the Civil Service. It is for this reason that we are working with these institutions to put a Human Resources Management system in place for Government.

The reason is simple; it is not the Controller and Accountant-General which recruits, transfers and promotes or terminates. The institutions that are responsible for these are these two institutions together with the Ghana Education Service, the Ghana Health Service and the Local Government Service.

Mr Speaker, by putting these systems in place, we would be tackling the issue of abuse or corruption at its roots. Let me therefore, end by entreating the House through your leadership to give a ringing endorsement to the very deep policies that we have put before the House.

Question put and Motion agreed to.


That this Honourable House approves the Financial Policy of the Government of Ghana for the year ending 31st December, 2015.
Dr A. A. Osei 2:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think everybody is ready for the vote but there is an important matter that needs to happen before we approve. The Minority Leader brought the matter up.
Mr Speaker 2:10 p.m.
Hon Members, please, any other matter is under the rules. He has finished with his winding up. It is for me to put the Question. Concerning any other issue, the House or a Member of the House is entitled to pursue. But that brings us to the end of the debate, and the Ayes have it.
Hon Members, I thank you very much.
Hon Majority Leader, it is after 2.00 p.m. So there should be no Motion for Adjournment. I want to find out whether we should continue or we should adjourn the House.
Mr Bagbin 2:10 p.m.
Well, Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
The work that we have done and the mood of the House, I think it is proper we
take an adjournment to continue tomorrow. As you rightly said, it is after 2.00 p.m. So that definitely, is at your mercy.
Mr Speaker 2:10 p.m.
Hon Members, I thank you very much.

  • The House was adjourned at 2:16 p.m. till Thursday, 4th November, 2014 at 10.00 a.m.