The next person is the Hon Member for Tema East, Hon Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover — [Pause.]
Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover (NPP — Tema East): Mr Speaker, I am so grateful to you for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion numbered 4(a), on the Order Paper -- the State of the Nation by H.E the President.
Mr Speaker, I would start by saying that, we need to congratulate H.E. the President for fulfilling his constitutional duty to come and brief the House on matters of the State. To borrow the words of H.E. the President, and I beg to quote: Nu veve la wo da ne, le eze veve me; to wit, “that which is important, we cook in an important pot”.
Mr Speaker, just this afternoon, I heard the Hon Minority Chief Whip say that politicians should fulfil when they promise. And the question I ask myself is that, going through the Address by the President on the Eastern Corridor Road — This is a region that is so dear to the heart of this country and very special to our Hon Colleagues opposite the aisle. This is a region that gives them a lot of vote, but for eight years, they have abandoned this road, and today, that is the situation we find ourselves in.
Mr Speaker, I drove on this road when I was coming from Yeji, through the river to Makango to Salaga to Krachi before I crossed to Dambai through to Akosombo, and I was sad, that for eight years, our Colleagues who had these votes from the Volta Region, have abandoned it.
But I would want to assure them that, has been is captured by H. E the President, that whatever it takes for him to fix that road, he is going to look for the financial resources to fix that road to make sure we have what we want.
Mr Speaker, I vividly remember when we were in opposition campaigning and the presidential candidate at that time conceptualised the idea — The best a country could have is about its human resource. So if we have a President who says that he would want to use part of the money from the oil revenue to develop the human capital of the children of this country, then we need to applaud him.
At that time, my Hon Colleagues opposite this aisle were spending money to advertise to say that Ghanaians should not vote for Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo because he was lying. I also remember a former Member of this House, Hon Lee Ocran even say that it would take Ghana 20 years implement Free SHS.
Mr Speaker, to God be the glory. Today, the Free SHS programme has been implemented and I believe some of my Hon Colleagues sitting here have family members who are benefiting from this free SHS and their pockets are intact. I would urge them to congratulate the President from that side, to make sure that whatever he says — He is a man of action and he should make sure he implements it.
Mr Speaker, notwithstanding that, he also told us that the Capitation Grant has been doubled. They were not paying at their time. Nurses and teachers training allowances have been restored. Today, if one has a constituent who would normally come to knock at one's door to appeal to us as Members of Parliament to support him or her — we have been cushioned. So, the President has done something and we need to commend him for what he has done.
Mr Speaker, when we go to page 8 of the Address, where H. E the President spoke about overcrowding on our roads, and for that matter we need to do something about it. And coming from the
Ministry of Transport, let me take this opportunity to thank the Ministries of Lands and Natural Resources and Works and Housing for allowing us to use the PWD yard which is now going to be the bus rapid terminal termination point.
This is because when drivers load from Adenta all the way to Accra central, we do not have a termination point. As I speak to you, demolition has gone on, the contractor is on site and we are going to turn it into a modern bus terminal so that people can board buses to that part of Accra and around the Achimota and Ofankor route to come and load and terminate from that area. In a way, it would help to ease the traffic we have on our roads.
Mr Speaker, again, the President's drive and initiative to make sure that we develop the road sector - when rail also comes on board, it would contribute immensely to ease traffic.
Mr Speaker, when we talk about the rail and road sectors, there is the need to also look at the ports. This is because when we have congestion on our waters, there is the need for us to create a space for the ships to come and dock safely, discharge their cargo and off they go. There is an expansion of the harbour that was started by the previous government and we commend them for that.
Mr Speaker, but the deeds of amendment on this Port expansion is so sad. It is so sad because when Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) started the international bidding process in 2013, over 56 companies bidded, they shortlisted to 20, and then up to seven companies.
They were in the process of awarding the contract when an instruction came
from H. E. the President at that time, that GPHA should stop and awarded the contract to Meridian Port Services (MPS).
Mr Speaker, I say it is unfortunate because under this deed of amendment, GPHA has contributed more than necessary. In the lifespan of this project of 35 years, we would cede US$3 billion, which GPHA could have used to do something else for the port.
Mr Speaker, again, in the first marriage of the concession agreement, which would last 20 years, they have spent 11 years and we are left with nine years. The MPS says under the new deed of amendment, that after they have left the first marriage into the new marriage, they still want to have concessionaire's survival rights, where they would want to hold on to 20 per cent of the revenue that would to be generated from that part, and we feel that is very unfortunate.
Mr Speaker, the contract sum of the project is US$1.5 billion. We were told in the Sixth Parliament and Parliament went ahead to give them a waiver of US$832 million. As I speak, the project cost has dwindled to US$1 billion. Out of this US$1 billion, US$687 would to be financed from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), then the remaining will be financed from the revenue of MPS.
Mr Speaker, there is a need for us to come back to this Chamber to review the waiver that we gave to this Arrangement. This is because the impression they gave to the government at that time was that they would come with their own money. Immediately the lease of the agreement was signed, then they came back and told us that they would want to go to IFC.
As I speak, in the terms of payment under the IFC arrangement, it would take us ten years to pay off. The 25 years that
is left is for them to remain in this country. As I speak, I chair a committee actioned by the Department for Transport (DFT), that the Ministry of Transport should go into this arrangement.
Mr Speaker, first of all, they have diluted our shares; the government's shares of 30 per cent under these deeds of amendment have been diluted from 30 per cent to 15 per cent. The government also has 12.9 per cent shares, which they need to give to the Government of Ghana.
When NPP left office, instead of the NDC Administration to effect that 12.9 per cent to the country, they could not do it. There is a revenue that has generated --