Debates of 20 Jun 2018

PRAYERS 10:50 a.m.


Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Members, correction of Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 19th June, 2018.
  • [No correction was made to the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 19th June, 2018.]
  • Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Members, item numbered 3 -- Questions.
    We would vary the Order Paper and take Questions relating to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration first, as she would have to attend to some urgent matters of State.
    Yes, Hon Minister, please?
    Question numbered 396, which stands in the name of Hon Ras Munbarak, Member of Parliament for Kumbungu.



    Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration (Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchway) 10:50 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, according to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 541, the creation of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on 15th November, 1983 is deemed incompatible with the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee which established the Republic of Cyprus.
    UNSC Resolution 541 “… deplores the declaration of the Turkish Cypriots authorities of the purported secession of part of the Republic of Cyprus and considers the declaration as legally invalid and called for its withdrawal”.
    Mr Speaker, the international community, with the exception of Turkey, does not recognise the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as a sovereign State. The international community considers Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as part of the Republic of Cyprus.
    Mr Speaker, since Ghana is a committed member of the UN, it upholds the decision of the UNSC and therefore has no diplomatic relations with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Mr Mubarak 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have just one follow-up question. There are approximately 153 Ghanaian students in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. For the purposes of sports, culture and education, would the Ministry consider harmonising relationship with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, especially when the existing conditions in 1983 are non-existent?
    Ms Botchway 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we would continue to abide by the UNSC Resolution until such time that it is reviewed.
    The students are there on their own and not through the Government in any shape or form. So I think it does not affect it or it does not warrant us to establish relations with that country.
    Mr Mubarak 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, no further follow-up questions.
    Thank you.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Hon Member, any further follow-up questions?
    Mr Mubarak 11 a.m.
    No further follow up questions, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Hon Mubarak, your next Question.
    Establishment of Embassy in the State of Palestine
    397. Mr Ras Mubarak asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration whether there are plans to establish an embassy in the State of Palestine.
    Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Ministry is currently undertaking a rationalisation exercise of all Ghana missions abroad, including an evaluation of the work of our various missions. Based on the report of the rationalisation exercise, the Government has not yet taken a decision to establish a mission in the State of Palestine.
    Mr Speaker, I must however state that in countries where there are no resident missions, our missions in neighbouring
    countries are concurrently accredited to those countries and mandated to strengthen and deepen relations with them.
    In that regard Mr Speaker, our mission in Cairo, Egypt, is concurrently accredited to the State of Palestine and actively oversees Ghana's relations with that State.
    Mr Speaker, Ghana has had diplomatic relations with the State of Palestine since 1986 and would continue to consolidate our bilateral cooperation with the State of Palestine for the mutual benefits of the two countries.
    Mr Speaker, regarding the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, Ghana believes in the two-state solution which envisages, inter alia, an independent State of Palestine living alongside the State of Israel in peace. In this regard, Ghana will continue to support all efforts by the international community to bring a lasting solution to the conflict and ensure a durable peace in the region.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Hon Member, any further question?
    Mr Mubarak 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am grateful. I do not have any further question except to thank her for making time to appear.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    You thank the Hon Minister. In Parliament you do not say “thank her or him.”
    Mr Mubarak 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am very grateful and I would want to thank the Hon Minister for appearing to answer the Question and indeed to thank you.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    You have no further question.
    Mr Mubarak 11 a.m.
    I have no further question. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to ask the Hon Minister if it is possible for her to make available to this House the RFeport of rationalisation that her Ministry has commissioned into the embassies or missions we have all over the world.
    Ms Botchwey 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Report is for internal consumption; it is for us to make some decisions if need be. Therefore at this point we cannot make it available. When it is finished and upon the report if we make some key decisions, then we can make that available to the House.
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, In her answer to an earlier Question, the Hon Minister referenced a UN Resolution on the specific subject. I believe there is a UN Resolution on the State of Palestine. Does she and her Government respect and uphold that?
    Ms Botchwey 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, may I say that it is the Government, not my Government.
    Yes, we are committed members of the UN and we abide by the Resolutions that are enacted by the UN. Mr Speaker, in my Answer I said that we support the two- state solution.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Hon Minister, thank you very much for attending to this House and answering our Questions. You are respectfully discharged.
    Hon Minister for Trade and Industry, you may please take the appropriate seat.
    Question 284 is in the name of the Hon Member for Keta.
    Mr Richard Mawuli Quashigah 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would humbly crave your indulgence that before I ask the Question I bring to your attention a matter of grave concern.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Hon Member, ask your Question.
    Mr Quashigah 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Question does not represent exactly what I asked. The Question I filed is different. I have a copy of it. There is a difference in the meaning of the Question on the Order Paper and what I originally filed.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Was your Question not properly represented?
    Mr Quashigah 11 a.m.
    No please. Mr Speaker, it was not properly represented.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    If so, it cannot be asked. You would have to go and do the administrative realignment so that the Hon Minister can answer the Question accordingly.
    Mr Quashigah 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if I am permitted, can I ask the original Question that I filed? [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    If the Question that you purported to ask is not what is listed -- Parliament is a House of record. We are going by what is before us. If there is some discrepancy somewhere, the relevant persons would correct it and then we would proceed.
    Mr Quashigah 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would proceed to ask the Question.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Which Question do you propose to ask?
    Mr Quashigah 11 a.m.
    Question 284.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Hon Member, do you propose to ask the Question as per what you say was your original Question or what is now in the House before all of us? That is where the difficulty is.
    Mr Quashigah 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I will ask what is before all of us, except to say that originally I had wanted the Hon Minister to bring a copy of the implementation plan.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    If you intend to ask the Question as listed on the Order Paper, kindly do so.
    Mr Quashigah 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I proceed to ask the Question as captured on the Order Paper.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, when a Question is asked by an Hon Member, you are the sole person clothed with the authority to admit it. You may admit a Question in the form in which it was transmitted or proffer some amendment.
    When the Rt Hon Speaker proffers an amendment, it is supposed to be transmitted to the Hon Member, and if he finds it convenient, he would then allow it and the Question then would be transmitted to the Hon Minister.
    The Question that was transmitted to the Hon Minister is the one that she came here to answer. So, if the Hon Member thinks that maybe, the original Question, as he started off by saying, is not the same and does not agree with this, he does not then get up to say that he would want to ask the Question as captured as if that is not his Question.
    If that is not his Question and he would want to withdraw, he should say same and then we would grant him same. He could file another Question, and if Mr Speaker admits it, then he comes here and asks it.
    For now, the Question that stands here is the one in his name.
    Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, what the Hon Majority Leader said is exactly the case, because if we look at Standing Order 67 (2) -- Mr Speaker, I would go ahead to read it --
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    What Standing Order?
    Alhaji Muntaka 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is Standing Order 67 (2) and with your permission I read:
    “If Mr. Speaker is of the opinion that any Question, of which a Member has given notice to the clerk or which a Member has sought leave to ask without notice, infringes any of the conditions set out in this Order, he may direct that it be printed or asked with such alterations as he shall direct, or that it be returned to the Member concerned as being inadmissible.”
    What the Hon Majority Leader said is the case. However, the practice has always been that the Hon Member would be notified, so that he knows. My Hon Colleague said that he was not notified of the alterations. I just asked him and he said there were some alterations.
    However, fundamentally, the Question is similar to what he would have asked. That is why he wanted to go ahead to ask the Question. Fundamentally, it is not different but it has been altered and that is within our rules. So, he would go ahead and ask the Question.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, as I stated, maybe, the Table Office ought to have communicated the form in which it was admitted to the Hon Member.
    Mr Quashigah 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I take serious exception --
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
    Mr Avedzi 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think the Hon Majority Leader has gone too far by saying that the Hon Member is not diligent. He said “a diligent Member would have done this”. If he did not do it, it means that he has not been diligent. That is the meaning.
    The Hon Member was able to look for the original Question he filed and made a copy of it. That alone tells us that he has been very diligent in doing his work. He kept a copy of the Question that he filed and because of what was advertised on the provisional Order Paper for yesterday, he went to look for that copy.
    He realised that there had been some alterations. He has been diligent. The Hon Majority Leader cannot say that he has
    not been diligent. So, he should withdraw those words for the Hon Member to be happy. It is not fair for him to go that way.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Diligent or not diligent? Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, everybody heard me in this House. I have not said the Hon Member is not diligent. [Interruption.] I have not said so. This is all inference.
    The statement I made is of generic effect. It applies to Hon Yieleh Chireh if he does not behave the same way. [Laughter.] It has universal application in this House.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Is there any difference between the Question as listed yesterday and that which is presented before this Honourable House today?
    Mr Avedzi 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, according to the Hon Member, when he saw the Question yesterday, he realised that it might not be the exact Question or words that he used. So, he went to look for the photocopy of the Question he filed.
    This morning he realised that the Question as captured yesterday on the provisional Order Paper is the same and it is different from his original Question. He says inspite of that he would go ahead and ask the Question. He is not happy about the description given by the Hon Majority Leader.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    So in effect, yesterday, he slept over that which he felt was not his Question and it was repeated?
    Mr Avedzi 11:10 a.m.
    He was not too certain. That made him to go and look for the photocopy.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    That was his problem for not being able to tackle the issue with certainty as of yesterday and purporting to tackle it this morning.
    Hon Member, you may ask your Question as listed or postpone it to another day.
    MINISTRY OF TRADE AND 11:10 a.m.

    INDUSTRY 11:10 a.m.

    Mr Richard M. K. Quashigah 11:10 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity. I would ask the Question as a diligent Member of Parliament for the people of Keta, that I am with humility and not haughtiness. [Laughter.]
    284. Mr Richard Mawuli Kwaku Quashigah asked the Minister for Trade and Industry whether there was an implementation plan for the ‘One District, One Factory' policy initiative, and if so, whether the Ministry would furnish this august House with a copy.
    Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr Alan K. Kyerematen) 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, at the inception of the One District, One Factory (1D1F) initiative, the Ministry developed a Concept Paper and an Implementation Framework to guide the implementation of the programme. In summary, the implementation of the 1D1F initiative involves the following key tasks:
    1. The identification of the natural resource endowment of each district.
    2. The profiling of potential projects based on the natural resource endowment of each district.
    3. The selection of one or more projects to be designated as the District Enterprise Project (DEP).
    Two or more districts may coordinate their efforts and collaborate to establish one Enterprise Project based on their specific circumstances, including but not limited to the existence of a common natural resource endowment. This will not however prevent such districts from promoting any additional projects unique to their environment.
    The selection of a District Enterprise Project could involve the revitalisation of an existing government owned or privately sponsored project, which is deemed to be potentially viable.
    4. The identification of a Business Promoter(s) for each project and the development of a Business Plan or Investment Memorandum for the selected project.
    5. The incorporation of each District Enterprise Project as a private limited liability company under a public private partnership (PPP) arrangement, or as a wholly privately owned company.
    6. All PPP projects under the 1D1F are to be managed by the private sector with representation of Government, only at the level of the Board.
    7. A Technical Support Group (TSG) for the 1D1F has been esta- blished at the Ministry of Trade and Industry which provides technical backstopping for the implementation of the projects.
    Mr Speaker, with regards to the financing of projects under the 1D1F initiative, the following conditions apply:
    Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr Alan K. Kyerematen) 11:20 a.m.
    In the case of PPP projects, the financing of each project is based on the shareholding structure agreed between the Government (represented by the District Assembly) and the strategic private sector investors (both domestic and foreign), which may include institutional investors such as banks and other financial insti- tutions. Government's equity investment in any project however, shall not exceed 30 per cent.
    The cost of each project is determined on the basis of the business plan, but it is envisaged that on the average, it would range between USD1 million and USD10 million. The equity contributions of both Government and the private sector will be used to leverage additional debt financing from local or foreign banks.
    Additional government contribution is provided in the form of infrastructural support, including dedicated energy supply, tax incentives, subsidies, and facilitation of access to land.

    Mr Speaker, in this regard, the Ministry of Energy is making provision for the supply of two megawatts of power supply for each district to support the initiative.

    Since a significant number of 1D1F projects are agro industrial projects, government will provide incentives for the production and supply of quality, competitively priced agricultural raw materials as inputs into the processing activity of the district enterprise projects. This
    Mr Speaker, the performance of the DEPs will be tracked to 11:20 a.m.
    evaluate the progress of the implementation of the Business Plan targets against the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and make necessary mid-course corrections to help meet the goals.
    Identify specific problems for which the TSG at the Ministry of Trade and Industry and other government agencies can provide needed assistance.
    Measure the impact of the DEPs on the socio-economic development of the community.
    Programme Coordination and Oversight
    Inter-Sectoral Facilitation Committee
    Mr Speaker, an Inter-Sectoral Facilitation Committee has been set up as part of the programme implementation framework to ensure successful implementation of the initiative. The Inter-Sectoral Facilitation Committee is to facilitate and coordinate all the support interventions required from sector Ministries, Departments, and Agencies.
    The Committee includes representa- tives from the following institutions; Office of the President, Parliament, District Assemblies, Ghana Standards Authority, Food and Drugs Authority, Environmental Protection Agency, Community Water and Sanitation, among others.
    District Implementation Support Team
    All participating districts are required to set up a District Implementation Support Team to oversee and monitor the implementation of the project(s) in the districts. This team will liaise with the Inter- Sectoral Facilitation Committee, as well as the Technical Support Group at the Ministry of Trade and Industry in the implementation of the programme.
    Mr Speaker, a copy of the Concept Paper and the Implementation Plan for the 1D1F will be provided to this august House as requested.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Minister, I thank you very much for the Answer.
    Hon Member, any follow up question?
    Mr Quashigah 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister tells us that a copy of this document would be provided to this august House. I would want to know specifically when this copy would be provided? This is because this Question was filed eight months ago. One would have imagined that the Hon Minister would have come with a copy.
    Mr Speaker, so can the Hon Minister tell us specifically when he would furnish this House with a copy of the document?
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Member, your question was whether the Hon Minister would furnish this House with a copy. The Hon Minister says he would furnish --
    Mr Quashigah 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I said when?
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Member, please look at line 4 of your own Question; you asked whether the Hon Minister would furnish this august House with a copy and you are now saying — Where is it?
    Mr Quashigah 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I did not say ‘where', I said ‘when'. Timeline is what I was referring to, Mr Speaker. I am asking specifically when --
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Member, you preceded that with a query as if it should have been here. That is all I am trying to tell you. Hon Member, you have no reason to believe the copy should have been here. You may ask the Hon Minister how soon he can make a copy available.
    Mr Kyerematen 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the implementation plan would be submitted before the end of the day.
    Mr Speaker, be that as it may, the substance of what would be furnished to the House is what I have presented. But a formal copy would be brought to this august House by the end of the day.
    I thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Minister, the question is how soon? Time is also of essence to the Hon Member who asked the Question.
    Mr Kyerematen 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, by the end of today.
    I thank you.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    By the end of today?
    Mr Kyerematen 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, yes.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    I thank you, Hon Minister.
    Yes, Hon Quashigah?
    Mr Quashigah 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am holding in my hand a document that was prepared by Government, under the Ministry of Trade and Industry titled National Board for Small Scale Industries -- Five Year National SSDII Strategic Corporate Plan, 2014 - 2018. This document, which I downloaded from the website of the Ministry of Trade and Industry talks about One District, One Factory and captures vividly what would be done even in Keta District, that is brown sugar and all that.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Minister if he is aware of this document which I would tender?
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Member, would you kindly table this document of yours for it to be duly sighted by the Hon Minister?
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Members, Five Year National SSDII Corporate Plan, 2014 - 2018, dated June 2014; Ministry of Trade and Industry -- National Board for Small Scale Industries -- Republic of Ghana.
    Mr Kyerematen 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the document that has been tendered and has been submitted to me for verification is dated June, 2014. [Laughter.]
    Respectfully Mr Speaker, since this was also downloaded from the internet, I would like to ask permission to verify this
    document before I make any comments on it at a later time.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Hon Quashigah, your last question, if any.
    Mr Quashigah 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to ask the Hon Minister if he is aware that the 1D1F is not new and that whatever is being done is a continuum?
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Hon Member, that is really the expression of an opinion rather than a question.

    I said the question is too opinionated.
    Mr Quashigah 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, am I permitted to resituate it?
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Hon Member, you have asked three questions. Your last one is overruled.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Mr Sam Nartey George 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, in the response by the Hon Minister to the original Question, he made reference to funding of the 1D1F project. It has been reported that US$400 million has been secured for the 1D1F. Is it a loan or a grant and what are the terms and conditions?
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Where has it been reported?
    Mr George 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it has been reported by news portals that have credited his Ministry. If you would want me to state some of the news portals, I could but it was credited to the Ministry and there has been no disclaimer from them. In the event that it is not correct he
    could state that no funds have been secured; but the question is, it has been reported and attributed to the Ministry that US$400 million has been secured for the 1D1F.
    Is it a loan or a grant? And if so, have the terms and conditions been brought before this House?
    Mr Kyerematen 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, as part of the efforts by Government to arrange financing to support these District Enterprise Projects, we have been in negotiations with a number of Chinese banks and other institutions that would support the implementation of the programme.
    Mr Speaker, we have not finalised the negotiations on this particular facility and I am not therefore in a position to provide all the details before this House. At the appropriate time, I would do so by providing all the information to this Honourable House.
    Ms Joycelyn Tetteh 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to ask the Hon Minister; since the onset of this 1D1F, how many factories have been established so far?
    Mr Kyerematen 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, since the inception of the programme and consistent with the programme implementation framework, over 700 proposals have been received by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
    Out of this figure, 329 have been screened and recommended to financial institutions for support for the implementation of these projects; and out of these, 254 are currently being negotiated with the financial institutions.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Question numbered 300; the Hon Member for Buem.
    Mr Kwame Governs Agbodza 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not the Hon Member for Buem but I have his permission to ask a Question on his behalf with your indulgence.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Hon Member for Adaklu, you may go on.
    Standardised Structural Design
    Q.300. Mr Kwame Governs Agbodza (on behalf of Mr Daniel Kwesi Ashiamah) asked the Minister for Trade and Industry whether there was a standardised structural design for the “One District, One Factory” initiative and who would be responsible for providing it.
    Mr Kyerematen 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the One District One Factory initiative is designed to be private sector led with active support and facilitation by government. Therefore private sector investors and promoters who are interested in participating in this programme are setting up their own enterprises.
    In this regard Mr Speaker, the Structural design for each factory is determined by the business promoters themselves and of course, taking into consideration the nature of process technology that is required as well as the environmental conditions within the vicinity of the factory.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Thank you, Hon Minister; any follow up questions?
    Mr Agbodza 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, no further questions.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Thank you very much, Hon Member for Adaklu.
    Hon Member for Adaklu, you may continue with the next Question numbered
    Responsibility of the Government in the One District, One Factory Project
    Q. 364. Mr Governs Kwame Agbodza (on behalf of Mr Daniel Kwesi Ashiamah) asked the Minister for Trade and Industry the responsibility of the Government in the ‘One District, One Factory Project.'
    Mr Kyerematen 11:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, although the 1D1F programme is designed to be private sector led, the Government provides the enabling environment, and plays the following facilitation roles:
    Access to Finance; Government will --
    Identify both local and foreign financial institutions to provide financing support to entrepreneurs under the initiative.
    Facilitate negotiations with Par- ticipating Financial Institutions (PFIs) for medium and long term financial support.
    Invest not more than 30 per cent equity in District Enterprises where required.
    Ensure timely release of budget allocation meant to support the District Enterprises with infras- tructure such as power, water and access roads.
    Access to Market; Government will --
    Facilitate negotiations with both local and foreign off-takers.
    Facilitate negotiations with public sector organisations as anchor customers using the Local Content Policy.
    Use the Ghana Export Promotion Authority and Ghana missions abroad to support the development of export markets for companies established under the programme.
    Other Responsibilities
    Mr Speaker, in addition to the above responsibilities, the Government, through the Ministry, performs the following functions:
    Review the existing profiles of the natural resource endowments of each district.
    Identify business promoters and potential investors interested in participating in the 1D1F initiative.
    Review and select business Plans and proposals submitted by potential investors that respond to the eligibility criteria proposed under the initiative.
    Hold consultations with the District Assemblies, Hon Members of Parliament, business promoters and other relevant stakeholders in the districts to validate and endorse each project to be supported under the initiative.
    Establish District Implementation Support Teams, and initiate relevant activities assigned to the various teams, including rollout meetings and sensitisation of the public on projects approved for their communities.
    Facilitate the provision of technical support to business promoters for the acquisition of plant, equipment and machinery.
    Facilitate the provision of technical assistance in developing organisa- tion and management systems for District Enterprise Projects.
    Monitor the status of implemen- tation of each District Enterprise Project against Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
    Mr Speaker, although this is a private sector led initiative, the Government plays
    a very active role c as indicated above, in ensuring the success of this very important initiative.
    Mr Speaker 11:40 p.m.
    Hon Member, any further questions?
    Mr Agbodza 11:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to ask the Hon Minister whose responsibility it is to for instance, provide roads, electricity and water to the sites where these factories are supposed to be located? Is it the Government or the private sector investor?
    Mr Kyerematen 11:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is a joint responsibility. The Government believes that it is our responsibility to support the success of each of these initiatives. So as and when required or where possible, the Government, through the District Assemblies would provide support for access roads and other utilities.
    As I indicated in my Answer, we have set up District Implementation Support Teams to identify the infrastructural needs of these projects. When it is possible, the Government would play a lead role to provide these facilities.
    Mr Agbodza 11:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister referenced the establishment of District Implementation Support Teams as a major theme in his Answer.
    May I know the composition of the District Implementation Support Teams?
    Mr Kyerematen 11:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, as I indicated in my Answer to the first Question that was posed, it includes a number of Agencies that are represented at the district level.
    It includes representatives from the District Assemblies, the Ghana Standards Authority, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Community Water and
    Mr Agbodza 11:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my final question is, how did he communicate the composition of the committee to the District Assemblies?
    Hon Members of Parliament are ex- officio members of the Assemblies. My Assembly has not informed me that we are supposed to put up a District Implementation Support Team.
    Mr Kyerematen 11:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in actual fact, the Ministry does not dictate the composition of the Team; we provide guidance. The District Assembly is the coordinating institution for identifying the representatives of this particular committee.
    I am surprised that in the Hon Member's district or constituency, this has not come to his attention. I would try to look into it because we have had excellent cooperation from literally all the Districts, except a few communities in the three northern regions that are yet to be covered.
    Otherwise, the rollout of these committees have been completed in almost all Districts in the country. I would like to specifically look into his case, because I can see that he is interested in ensuring that his district's enterprise succeeds.
    Mr Ebenezer Okletey Terlabi 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, from the answers provided, they have not laid hands on any support yet. I would want to know how much they intend -- this Government has plans to invest in equity and provide some support -- the Hon Minister said “30 per cent”.
    How much does the Government plan to put in the One District, One Factory project?
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Member, does your question flow from the original Question or from the Hon Minister's Answer?
    Mr Terlabi 11:50 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Member, please draw the nexus.
    Mr Terlabi 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister was asked if some amount of money had been secured, to which he answered in the negative; he said that negotiations are in place.
    Mr Speaker, my question is, how much money does Government intend to spend on this project?
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Member, is it a follow-up to Question 364?
    Mr Terlabi 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, yes.
    Mr Kyerematen 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, in the 2018 Budget Statement, an appropriation was made and approved by this august House for an amount of GH¢400,000,000 to support the implementation of this project.
    So, based on the releases that come from the Ministry of Finance, as and when we are able to obtain these releases, we will provide support accordingly for these projects.
    In addition to that, Government working through the Ministry of Trade and Industry has been able to mobilise over GH¢2.5billion from participating financial institutions that are available to be accessed on a case by case basis for companies that qualify.
    So we have earmarked an amount GH¢2.5 billion from about five participating financial institutions for those who would qualify and go through the process of screening from these banks.
    Mr John Jinapor 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister did indicate that in the Budget Statement, and if you look at appendix 6 of the Budget Statement, indeed, GH¢400,000,000 was approved by this House for the Ministry and so, he is right.
    Mr Speaker, he also did indicate that they formed District Implementation Support Teams to ensure that the project is rolled out. May I know from the Hon Minister, sitting as an Hon Minister and having oversight responsibility in respect of all these very good programmes that he has enumerated, when does he -- ?
    Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Hon Minister, within the year, when does he anticipate, based on his projections, that actual physical works would start for the construction of the industries?
    Mr Kyerematen 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have indicated in my responses to the three Questions, that this is a private sector led initiative. The pace of implementation of this project is squarely in the hands of its business promoter; they dictate the pace of implementation.
    Government has already provided the incentive framework to support -- and
    each of these business promoters are responding based on their capacity to be able to provide the requirements that should come from the private sector.
    Mr Speaker, that is why I said that if they want exact details, there are various levels of implementation and I should not arrogate to myself the power to determine at what point and time each of these companies are going to finalise the establishment of -- But I can assure you that the interest that has been shown and the amount of work that is going on at the District and National Coordinating level is very significant.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Last question.
    Mr Mumuni Alhassan 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, listening to the Hon Minister, are we sure that we will at least, have one factory by the close of this year?
    Mr Kyerematen 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, even at the risk of sounding repetitive, I believe it should be re-enforced that this is a private sector led initiative and that we should not take up this responsibility of directing them as to when they finish constructing their factories.
    Be it as it may, respectfully, anyone who has been involved in the establishment of a factory will know that this is not an over-the-counter transaction, it takes time.
    So the lead time between finishing the designs, civil works, procuring machines and equipment are all dictated by a number of factors and that is why I believe we should allow the various promoters, supported by Government, to determine at what point they give us information about the completion of their projects.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Thank you very much Hon Minister. Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyerematen 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, one of the Questions that were filed by the Hon Member of Parliament, to which I have responded to specifically, indicated areas of responsibility of Government, and I went through extensively the areas of facilitation and support that Government provides.
    So the amount of money that has been appropriated by this august House is meant to support Government's facilitation role. In addition to that I have also indicated in my response that where it is required — it is not compulsory that where a business promoter requires Government's equity support, that Government can provide maximum threshold of 30 per cent equity investment in the company.
    So the appropriation covers both the facilitation and the equity investment when it is required but it is not compulsory.
    Mr Speaker, may I say that that underpins the reason the Ministry needs more resources to support the implementation of this programme.
    Mr Iddrisu 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I know the Hon Minister's capabilities, how much resources has he received? [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister in his Answer would be relying on State resources. In his own answer, there is this One District One Factory (1D1F) Secretariat working at the Flagstaff House, led by a former Hon Deputy of
    his, working in allied institutions of National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) and Local Government. In his answer, he gave us indications -- who is in charge?
    Mr Kyerematen 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, my Ministry has oversight responsibility for the management coordination of the 1D1F initiative.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu noon
    Mr Speaker, the 1D1F Project that the Hon Minister has alluded to and the processes of establishing the factory --
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister is saying that this is a private sector led operation. Is the Hon Minister saying that this enterprise is in conformity with article 36 (2) of the 1992 Constitution which provides that; which with your permission I beg to quote:
    “The State shall, in particular, take all necessary steps to establish a sound and healthy economy whose underlying principles shall include --
    (b) affording ample opportunity for individual initiative and creativity in economic activi- ties and fostering an enabling environment for a pro- nounced role of the private sector in the economy.”
    Mr Speaker, I would want to know from the Hon Minister if that is the case.
    Mr Kyerematen noon
    Mr Speaker, that is indeed the case.
    I must add that beyond the spirit and letter of the constitutional provision that the Hon Majority Leader has quoted, the
    only sustainable way of embarking on such a transformative agenda for industrialisation, and bringing industry to the door steps of every Ghanaian in every part of our country -- the only way we could have a sustainable module is not for the Government to be setting up these State enterprises but to get the private sector to lead this particular process.
    Mr Speaker, I believe the answer is yes, and it has to be led by the private sector, but actively supported by Government as the programme implementation plan reflects.
    Mr Speaker, thank you.
    Mr Speaker noon
    Hon Minister, thank you very much for attending to the House and answering our Questions. You are discharged.
    Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu noon
    Mr Speaker, our Hon Colleague, Mr Richard Mawuli Kwaku Quashigah who is the Hon Member for Keta Constituency, at the very outset before he asked Question numbered 284, indicated that the Question that he filed earlier had been more or less mutilated and it is not the original Question.
    Mr Speaker, it is important to state for the purposes of record the original Question that he asked. Mr Speaker, the original Question reads: “To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry whether there is an implementation plan for the ‘one district one factory policy initiative'? If there is any, is he able to furnish this august House with a copy?” This is the original Question.
    Mr Speaker, the Question that has been printed on the Order Paper reads noon
    To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry whether there is an implementation plan for the ‘one district one factory' policy initiative and if so, whether the Ministry will furnish this august House with a copy.”
    Mr Speaker, so it is about the same thing -- I am not saying that it is the same thing. The words that have been deleted are “if there is any, is he able” and what has been inserted is “and if so, whether the Ministry would furnish this august House with a copy.” Mr Speaker, that is the distinction, but the import is about the same.
    Alhaji Muntaka noon
    Mr Speaker, I thought that when this came up earlier, in my plea to you to allow him to answer, I stated that for the record, it was fundamentally the same, except that when the alterations happened, the Hon Member was not informed.
    Mr Speaker, thank you.
    Mr Speaker noon
    Hon Members, we would move to Question numbered 385.
    Hon Minister for Lands and Natural Resources?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu noon
    Mr Speaker, the substantive Hon Minister for the Ministry of Inner-City and Zongo Development is here and so if we could deal with his Question, then I would put in an application for the Hon Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources to answer his Questions.
    Mr Speaker, so, if the substantive Hon Minister for Inner-City and Zongo Development could answer his Question first.
    Mr Speaker noon
    Are you applying for the order to be varied?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu noon
    Mr Speaker, that is so.
    Mr Speaker noon
    Hon Member for Nabdam you may ask your Question.


    Minister for Inner-City and Zongo Development (Alhaji Abu-Bakar Saddique Boniface) noon
    Mr Speaker, I will like to state that the strategic policy priorities of government in relation to the Ministry of Inner-City and Zongo Development (MICZD) are guided by the Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies (2017-2024). These are:
    i. Upgrading inner-cities, Zongos and slums (CPESDP, pp 93).
    ii. Establishment of the Zongo Development Fund (ZoDF) to support the provision of critical infrastructure in education and training, health and sanitation, local businesses and centres of culture, as well as improve security (CPESDP, pp116).
    Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to add some information to the Answer.
    Mr Speaker, we have also taken into consideration the African Union Agenda
    of 2063; a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development.
    We also took into consideration the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11; making cities and human settlements safe, resilient and sustainable, and of course, the 40-year National Long-term Development Plan Goal 3; build safe, well planned and sustainable communities.
    In line with these priorities, the mandate of the Ministry is to formulate and oversee implementation of policies, programmes and projects to alleviate poverty and ensure that inner-cities and zongo communities do not become areas of despair, difficulty and social conflict, but should rather be safe, resilient sustainably and inclusively developed and prosperous.
    Mr Speaker, the state of inner city and zongo communities reflect a major developmental challenge related to poor housing, weak local economic development, limited prosperity and high levels of social and economic vulnerability.
    Under the 2018 Action Plan and Budget of the Ministry, about 11 programmes and projects have been outlined under the Inner City and Zongo Infrastructure Programme and 23 under the Inner City and Zongo Economic and Social Development Programme.
    These programmes are expected to deliver a range of interventions related to community drains and access roads, bailey bridges, street lights, recreational parks, household and public toilets, institutional toilets, refuse management, water facilities, basic school rehabilitation, libraries and primary health infrastructure.
    Others include vocational skills training, business development training, culture and tourism promotion and ethno- religious dialogue interventions.
    These interventions are expected to improve basic community infrastructure, provide incentives for residents to undertake housing improvements and enhance the local economic development situation of the targeted areas.
    Mr Speaker, in line with governments bottom up approach to development, the MICZD is undertaking a nation-wide baseline and needs assessment in the various Zongo communities to determine their priority development needs and target its interventions appropriately.
    So far, 479 Zongos in five (5) regions have been visited, namely Brong Ahafo, Eastern, Central, Upper West and Upper East Regions, including the Nangodi Zongo Community for that matter.
    In focus group discussions held with opinion leaders in the Upper East Region, it emerged that the three priority development needs of people in Nangodi Zongo are: boreholes, neem oil extraction factory and English and Arabic Basic School.
    Mr Speaker, the Ministry is currently assessing these needs and will determine with the involvement of the Nangodi Zongo Community, which of these projects will have the highest impact and therefore a priority for implementation in the 2018 and 2019 fiscal year.
    In the second stage of this exercise, the Ministry will continue with the Zongo community needs assessment in the remaining five regions, namely Greater Accra, Ashanti, Western, Volta and Northern Region.
    Mr Speaker, I wish to inform you that H.E. the President, in May 2018, appointed the Chief Executive of the Zongo Development Fund and his two deputies, Baba Alhassan, Baba Saddique and Aisha Salifu Dagaati.
    Last week, specifically on the 11th June, 2018, H.E the President inaugurated an 11- member governing Board of the Zongo Development Fund. With this, work is expected to proceed in earnest to providing solutions to the myriad challenges facing the Zongo communities.
    Dr Nawaane noon
    Mr Speaker, from the Hon Minister's response, I can deduce that 18 months down the lane, no project or programme has been carried out.
    Now that a Chief Executive Officer has been appointed and the Board is in place, how soon should we expect the roll out of the programmes and projects under his Ministry such that the good people of Nabdam would begin to benefit from them?
    Alhaji Boniface noon
    Mr Speaker, right from the onset, I said we have gone out to carry out needs assessment. We do not want to decide the project to be given to them because we do not want a situation where a goat would be owned by two people.
    The fact is that, we have identified three priority areas, but we need to sit with them and by consensus agree which project would have much impact on the community because the Zongo communities are many. Therefore we must spread our portfolio and ensure that everybody gets what is needed immediately.
    Mr Speaker, I have already said that we have been to five regions; 479 Zongo communities have been assessed. We have identified the projects but based on
    Mr Speaker noon
    Thank you very much Hon Minister for attending to the House and answering our Question.
    You are discharged.
    Question numbered 385, which stands in the name of the Hon Member for Akatsi North.
    Hon Minister for Lands and Natural Resources.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu noon
    Mr Speaker, we had a meeting with the Hon Minister for Lands and Natural Resources and arising out of that meeting, the Minister had to contact the President for a very important matter for which reason he has asked the Deputy Minister, the Hon Member for Atwima-Nwabiagya North to stand in for him.
    Mr Iddrisu noon
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister is one of our Hon Colleagues and the Leader has attempted in his very usual self to justify that the Hon Minister has something to do now with the Presidency in the Flagstaff House.
    Mr Speaker noon
    Hon Deputy Minister, you may take the seat.

    RESOURCES noon

    Mr Nortsu-Kotoe noon
    Mr Speaker, in the Hon Deputy Minister's Answer, he quoted section 9, paragraph (b) (ii):
    “one representative nominated by, (ii) each District Assembly within the Region.”
    Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister whether he is aware that the representatives elected by the District Assemblies were replaced by a list of names alleged to have been submitted by the Hon Minister for Lands and Natural Resources and the Volta Regional Minister?
    Mr Owusu-Bio noon
    Mr Speaker, I am not aware of that issue.
    Mr Nortsu-Kotoe 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister whether he would investigate the allegation and report back to the House, because I know that at least, for Akatsi North and Akatsi South Districts, the representatives were not allowed to be sworn in as members of the Regional Lands Commission.
    Mr Owusu-Bio 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we do not investigate mere allegations, so the Hon Member could come appropriately.
    Mr Nortsu-Kotoe 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I did not say it was an allegation in the media. I said the allegation was that the list was replaced by another one, and those from some of the Districts, especially Akatsi North and Akatsi South were not sworn in as members of the Commission.
    That is why I am asking, whether he would investigate and report back to the House?
    Mr Owusu-Bio 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I never said media allegations. I said mere allegations. So the Hon Member should come appropriately.
    Mr Nortsu-Kotoe 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you. I do not want to go further.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    This is constituency specific, and the time does not allow any further questions.
    Mr Agbodza 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, on page 25 of yesterday's Order Paper, my Question was listed as Question 387. However, today's Order Paper does not even carry it at all.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Let it be handled later. We cannot deal with that which is not on the Order Paper for the day, so could you check from the Table Office soon after?
    Hon Deputy Minister, thank you for attending to the House and answering our Questions.
    We would end Questions time here. In fact, we are well past the time.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe a formal communication should have gone to the Hon Colleague who got up to pursue a Question that was advertised on yesterday's provisional Order Paper.
    We have communication from the Hon Attorney-General and Minister for Justice that she is not available for today, but she would be available tomorrow.
    They brought the communication, so perhaps we should have been told. It explains why the Question did not appear on the Order Paper for today.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Hon Members, that ends Question time.
    We would make a slight variation to the Order Paper and move to Commence- ment of Public Business.
    Item listed 5 -- Presentation of Papers.
    Hon Chairman of the Committee.
    PAPERS 12:20 p.m.

    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Hon Members, the indication is that item numbered 5 (v) is not ready.
    We would move on to item numbered 6 -- Motions, Hon Chairman of the Committee.
    Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, items listed 6, 7, 8 and 9 on the Order Paper are not ready; they would be ready by tomorrow.
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Members, item numbered 10 -- Hon Minister for Education?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister is here.
    BILLS -- SECOND READING 12:30 p.m.

    Minister for Education (Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh) (MP) 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that the Technical Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2017 be now read a Second time.
    Question proposed.
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr Stevens Siaka) 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion. In doing so, I present the Committee's Report.
    The Technical Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was presented and read the First time on Tuesday, 23rd January, 2018.
    In accordance with article 106 (4) and (5) of the 1992 Constitution and Order 140 (4) and 186 of the Standing Orders of the House, Mr Speaker referred the Bill to the Committee on Education for consideration and report.
    The Committee, in considering the Bill, met with the Hon Minister for Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah, the Executive Secretary to the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE), Professor Mohammed Salifu, officials of the
    Ministry of Education, the Attorney- General's Department and representatives of the following stakeholders:
    i. Conference of Vice Chancellors Rectors of Technical Universi- ties/Polytechnics (CORP)?
    ii.Technical Universities Teachers' Association of Ghana?
    iii. Technical Universities Workers' Association of Ghana;
    iv. Technical Universities Admini- strators' Association of Ghana;
    v.Ghana National Union of Technical Students;
    vi.Technical Universities Senior Administrators Association of Ghana; and
    vii.Teachers and Educational Workers Union of Trades Union Congress.
    The Committee expresses its appreciation to the Hon Minister, his technical team and the stakeholders for their input.
    Reference Documents
    The Committee referred to the following documents during its deliberations:
    i. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
    ii. The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
    iii.The Technical Universities Act, 2016 (Act 922).
    APPENDIX 12:30 p.m.

    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member? You have five minutes.
    Mr Peter Nortsu-Kotoe (NDC -- Akatsi North) 12:30 p.m.
    Thank you Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the proposed amendment on the Technical Universities Act, Amendment 2016 (Act 922) Bill.
    Mr Speaker, in 2016, this House passed a law converting polytechnics to technical universities. At the time of the passage of the Act, only six (6) of the polytechnics met the criteria. Two met the criteria later on and needed to be converted. These were Cape Coast and Tamale Polytechnics, and that required an amendment to the Act.
    Mr Speaker, some people were of the view that the Act had come into effect barely a year, and that amendments were not very necessary. The amendment should only take care of the conversion criteria, that is amending the Schedule, so that the other universities would be brought on board.
    But the Hon Minister explained that there was the need for some aspects of the Act to be amended. The provisions were laid before this House and referred to the Committee.
    Mr Speaker, the technical universities have some challenges, and we expect the Hon Minister to look at them critically. They are not given the recognition as universities.
    This is because the other universities are referred to as traditional universities and refer to the technical universities as technical universities; they are not addressed as public universities or traditional universities. That is creating a lot of challenges.
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    One more from each Side of the House then the Hon Leaders.
    Mr William Agyapong Quaittoo (NPP -- Akim Oda) 12:30 p.m.
    Thank you Mr Speaker, for granting me the permission to add my voice to the Motion on the Floor.
    Mr Speaker, we met about eight times with various stakeholders on this particular Bill. Initially, when the Bill was brought to this House, a number of the stakeholders, particularly, the staff of these technical universities were not too pleased with the amendments that were proposed.
    So, the Committee had to meet all of them on different occasions. Sometimes we had to meet them together for them to bring out their views for consideration.
    Mr Speaker, in a number of these meetings, in fact, there had been heated arguments, but then when we had the opportunity to meet the Hon Minister and his team, we understood why they wanted to have these amendments done.
    Mr Speaker, a key point that I would want to mention is the fact that the Finance Directors and the Vice Chancellors were not given a specific term of office. Act 922 proposes how they should be appointed, but it does not give them any specific term of office. So they could stay there as Vice Chancellors forever.
    Mr Speaker, we have had reports of Finance Directors particularly, who stay in various universities and become tin gods. They manage the university funds any how they want. We are told and we also know that some universities have as many as about 25 accounts; some escrow, some internal. They have all kinds of accounts and they manage them anyhow.
    Sometimes Finance Directors stay in office for over 15 or 20 years and they become tin gods. They get to know whatever goes on in the university more than an appointed Vice Chancellor because in the traditional universities, their Vice Chancellors have terms of office. When they come for two terms and leave, their Finance Directors still stay in office.
    Mr Speaker, these Vice Chancellors in the technical universities were not given any term of office, so we thought that it was important that we gave them terms of office so that they come and leave, so that they do not do anything they want in the universities.
    Mr Speaker, after meeting about eight times, all the disagreements were settled and all the amendments proposed here have now been agreed to by all the stakeholders within the technical university fraternity.
    So I believe strongly that when we come to do these amendments, we would not get any group of people coming to fight these amendments that have been proposed because we deliberately dealt with the amendments thoroughly before bringing up this Report.
    Thank you so much, Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity.
    Minority Leader (Mr Haruna Iddrisu) 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to speak to the Motion on the Technical Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2017 which was moved by the Hon Minister for Education and seconded by the Hon Chairman of the Committee.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to make a few remarks. Mr Speaker, may I respectively refer you to the Long Title of the Bill. The Hansard may quote verbatim:
    “An Act to amend the Technical Universities Act, 2016 (Act 922) to convert Cape Coast Polytechnic and Tamale Polytechnic to Technical Universities …”
    Mr Speaker, my interest is to provide for a fixed tenure for the Registrar and the Director of Finance. As I listened to the last Hon Member who spoke I had no difficulty with the university or a technical institution having a permanent Director for Finance.
    Mr Speaker, I have difficulty with the Vice Chancellor not having a fixed term of mandatory two terms as it pertains in other legislations. But for the position of a Director for Finance, I do not understand why we would want to legislate that if one is a Director for Finance of a university, he or she must be limited or restricted to one or two terms.
    It is not the best practice in this country and in our laws. But for the Vice Chancellor and probably the Registrar, as it pertains in the traditional universities, we can give them one or two terms renewable.
    Mr Speaker, it is also noteworthy that Tamale Polytechnic and Cape Coast Polytechnic are being upgraded into technical universities. It is commendable.
    Minority Leader (Mr Haruna Iddrisu) 12:50 p.m.
    However, the Hon Minister for Education must come back here with a road map on Bolgatanga Polytechnic and Wa Poly- technic.
    When should we expect that they would equally be upgraded to technical universities? We expect that this should be done within a year and whatever they require -- They must meet the criteria, because much of it has to do with physical infrastructure, faculty and pedagogy.
    Mr Speaker, we would appreciate that the Hon Minister for Education comes up with a road map on what he intends to do for the upgrade of Wa Polytechnic and Bolgatanga Polytechnic within a year, subject to them meeting the minimum criteria.
    Whatever has to do with infrastructure and faculty, we expect the Hon Minister for Education to assure us that he would take the appropriate steps so that all the 10 polytechnics would qualify as technical universities.
    Mr Speaker, my other comment is a matter of national concern. Since the Hon Minister is the principal advisor to the President on tertiary education policy, maybe, it is about time that we convened another national tertiary education forum.
    I recall the Hon Akoto Osei, then working in 1997/98 -- We needed to meet with the private sector to take monumental decisions which has cured the future of tertiary education in this country based on the Private Enterprise Foundation's (PEF) national forum on education.
    Mr Speaker, our nation is at the crossroads as far as tertiary education is concerned. Every university is interested only in the arts and the applied arts. That
    cannot be. We cannot get the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology drift from science, mathe- mathematics and technology which is the future of our country into applied arts. We cannot have the University of Ghana drift from its core mandate.
    Mr Speaker, even in the Committee's Report, some references were made on page 5. There is a tertiary education policy in this country. The universities on their mandates -- The University of Cape Coast today has moved into areas such that in the establishment of the university they did not anticipate it like what they are doing today. So Hon Minister, we need a national dialogue on the future of higher education.
    Mr Speaker, we all complain about unemployment. A function of it may be underperformance and non-growth of the economy.

    Much of it has to do with the pedagogy of our training; the curricular of the universities. We keep training persons, who cannot be employed. The opportunities are limited and restricted. So Hon Minister, you are encouraged to have a national dialogue on it.

    I could go to each of the universities; each of them has drifted from their core mandates.

    Mr Speaker, I would round up, but I see on page 4 of the Committee's Report - just a caution so that the Hon Minister is guided. I share this because of my previous experience as Minister for Employment and Labour Relations.

    Mr Speaker, what is the role of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission vis-à-vis what the Constitution imposes on the Public Services Commission?

    Mr Speaker, the last time— Hon Minister, you are aware of it because the record is at the Ministry.

    The last time government negotiated with the Councils over the conditions of service for university teachers, we were stagnated because the argument of the university professors and teachers said that their conditions of service are determined and negotiated by the Council, not the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission


    Mr Speaker, given that we had made progress with FWSC, which is established to deal with it, we had to hold our hands at our backs because at that point -- Mr Speaker, yourself, a reputed academician. The university council negotiated that. What then becomes the role of the FWSC? So we should work gingerly on this because it may affect outcomes.

    Mr Speaker, the universities today are asking for their research and book allowances. As we elevate them, we must know that it comes with a financial consequence. We must prepare to make budgetary allocations and provisions to pay for the traditional Research Fund or something else.

    Mr Speaker, with the Director of Finance, as I have said, we do not need to limit the tenure. We could do that for Vice Chancellors.

    Mr Speaker, let me conclude by referring you to article 187 (2) of the Constitution:

    “The public accounts of Ghana and of all public offices, including the courts, the central and local government administrations, of the Universities and public institutions

    of like nature, of any public corporation or other body or organisation established by an Act of Parliament shall be audited and reported on by the Auditor- General.”

    The Hon Minister and the Auditor- General in particular, must take interest in the accounts of the universities. When they sell admission forms, they make enormous amounts of money. Who do they account to for the use of the fees and charges that they take?

    Mr Speaker, this is because it is one of complementality, and not supplementality. They expect central Government to offload part of the burdens. We should understand taking responsibility for that burden, vis-à-vis their financial muscle against what they demand from students and parents to pay.

    Mr Speaker, today, the public universities are charging fees like the private universities. Let them be reminded that the Government of Ghana still takes responsibility for tuition, therefore, they cannot be offsetting that onto ordinary poor parents and students.

    Mr Speaker, the Auditor-General must take particular interest in getting the audited accounts of all the universities, so that we could go into it. And Hon Minister, you would be surprised what savings the State would make —

    Mr Speaker, so in principle, we support this amendment; we would need a road map for Wa and Bolgatanga Polytechnics to be upgraded.

    And Mr Speaker, our universities need to re-think and re-define what it is that established them with their mandates and mission against responding to the needs of industry and commerce.
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Thank you very much, Hon Minority Leader for this very useful contribution.
    Majority Leadership?
    Majority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu) 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to add my voice in support of the Motion moved by the Hon Minister in respect of the amendment to the Technical Universities Act.
    Mr Speaker, as the Hon Minority Leader just said, we need to define for ourselves a clearly stated national development agenda. Then, within that context, we would be able to situate where to direct our training of tertiary students. We have not done that.
    Mr Speaker, if we have to define that, we need to first of all, establish the basis; what is the need of the country? That need would be predicated on the population of this country. Even we are not too certain of the population of this country.
    Today, less than one and half years after the conduct of the Presidential and General Elections, we are being told that the population of this country is thirty million. Mr Speaker, I dispute that figure. I dispute that figure because in 2016, we were told that the population was 27.5 million.
    Mr Speaker, I believe it is unacceptable, that less than one and half years, we are telling ourselves that the population has grown by 2.5 million. That certainly cannot be right. It cannot be true.
    Mr Speaker, even in 2016, when we were told the population was 27.5 million, there was this dispute about that. That was when the Electoral Commission told us that they were going to have 15.7 million on the voters' register. Some of us disputed it. So it is like we are progressing on false premises.
    Mr Speaker, fortunately for us, the population census is in two years and when we do, we should be able to tell ourselves what the real figures are. Even with housing stock, what are the real figures? We do not even know.
    Mr Speaker, we are being told that the housing deficit today is about 1.7 million yet the last census, we were told the housing stock was 3.7 million. Assuming that is true, between that time and this time, how has the housing stock grown?
    Mr Speaker, going by the figures, it means that of the 3.5 million, 1.7 million is in excess of five million. The average
    occupancy in this country is more than six per house.
    So who is saying that we are right? It is like we are engaged in guess work. I believe that we need to do what is right to be able to establish the basic fundamentals of this country.
    Mr Speaker, the Constitution enjoins us to establish universities in all regions. That is in article 38; that we should endeavour to establish universities in every region.
    Mr Speaker, that is the truth. However, we should not be in a rush just to provide the university in every region because the Constitution enjoins us to do that.
    Mr Speaker, I said so because about thirty years ago, Nigeria decided to establish a university per State. They ended up as glorified secondary schools, and many of them collapsed. We should be careful!
    Mr Speaker, in fact, yesterday, I was told one of the private universities here in Ghana, Wisconsin University College, about close to seventy per cent of the students are Nigerians. -- [Interruptions]. And it is because many of the universities in Nigeria are non-functional.
    Mr Speaker, we should be careful. First, if we want to establish universities, we should ensure that the facilities are up to scratch; the facilities and the quality of lecturers.
    We tell ourselves that these universities we are creating should be in the position to award even PhDs. Who are teaching there? First degree holders and second degree holders to award PhDs? How would they do it?
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Before I put the Question, I would like the Hon Minister to make a couple of remarks, particularly, to address this fundamental issue. Are they going to be technical universities? Is the word “technical” redundant? Is it an euphemism for all manner of courses?
    We know the history of polytechnics in this country and how we deviated virtually from it. They have moved from the intended pathway in a manner which has made us go backwards, compared with other countries that have made strides in science and technology.
    We all know that it is the future. Information Communication Technology (ICT) related courses that by themselves provide employment for the youth, and also for middle level personnel training which is a very important issue for national development.
    When we talk about local content, in particular, the oil industry, today, we do not have the men and women to even fix bolts and nuts. Those of you who care should go and make a serious scientific enquiry on them. Yet, we have other nationals coming from all over the world, doing very simple technical things for us.
    This is so much so that we virtually give up on local content. Are we going to make it all a Bachelor of Science (BSc.) thing? What about the diplomas that we did in the middle level?
    These are matters which I think Parliament must seriously scrutinise in this regard and make it impossible for people to drift from the mandate. Which also means that we ourselves must make the mandate clear and tight.
    It should be sought such that under no circumstances could any person turn these into other liberal studies which are secondary in modern day national development. We must face the bullet and do the right thing from the word go, because it is getting really bad.
    Yes, Hon Minister?
    Minister for Education (Dr Matthew O. Prempeh) 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my heart is gladdened to hear the Minority Leader, Majority Leader and your good self, hype on an issue that is dear to this Government's heart.
    Everybody who is concerned about the development of this country must be concerned about the issue the Hon Minority Leader, Majority Leader and your good self have raised. Technical Universities are supposed to stay technical universities.
    Mr Speaker, I would quote a part of the Memorandum of this Bill 1:10 p.m.
    “The Technical Universities Act, 2016 (Act 922) came into force in 2016 to convert qualified polytechnics to Technical Universities to provide higher education in engineering, science and technology based disciplines, technical and vocational education and training, applied arts and related disciplines.”
    That was the thrust of the Technical University Bill. We have realised in this country that we make fine laws. Every Statute of every university guides and has a Vision and Mission. It is interesting that we the representatives of the people of Ghana have allowed the universities to drift and do what they like.
    Mr Speaker, drifting and doing what they like have also been put in their various Acts by this same Parliament. Interestingly, Cabinet has mandated me and my Ministry to come up with the Technical Tertiary Education Policy. In this policy, we would ensure that the universities stick to their core mandates.
    Before we can succeed in doing that, we have to create a regulator of which we now have two, that is the National Accreditation Board and the National Council for Tertiary Education, to form a unified regulator with the necessary powers to make sure of what the Hon Minority Leader said concerning accountability of the universities to the missions for which they were set up.
    As of now, we do not have clear guidance on that issue. I hope that when the Tertiary Education Reform Policy eventually gets here, Parliament would contribute to that debate and enrich that document for the purposes of helping to develop the economic wellbeing of this country.
    Mr Speaker, there exists a roadmap for the conversion of polytechnics to technical universities, a roadmap which this Government has re emphasised. So, when it was time for Cape Coast Polytechnic and Tamale Polytechnic to be converted, we had to revisit the roadmap and we ensured that a technical team went to do a reassessment of both poly- technics.
    Interestingly, I was shown a document that Tamale and Cape Coast Polytechnics had been made technical universities on paper, forgetting that the law mandates Parliament to be involved. Even sections of the community did not understand.
    They said this current Government was trying to take a technical university back to a polytechnic state.
    Mr Speaker, nobody wanted to make reference to the law. We seemed to live a life of our own without guidance of what we have decided as a country. The only time Cape Coast and Tamale Polytechnics would become technical universities is when this House says so. That is the reason we are here.
    So let not anybody think that one Government took Cape Coast and Tamale Polytechnics to technical university status and it is being reverted, no! In law, it is only the people's representatives, this House, that can convert a polytechnic to a technical university.
    Mr Speaker, that is the reason we want to be sure. But the road map is ongoing and as we speak, Wa and Bolgatanga Polytechnics are being retooled under a programme started by the previous government, to make sure that when the reassessments are done and it is time for them to be upgraded, it would be worth what it is.
    Mr Speaker, another leg is what the Hon Majority Leader spoke about; that when we have the facilities, we would need to have the human resource to manage those facilities to be able to do what the university is asked to do. These technical universities are said on paper to award Doctor of Philosophy (PhDs) but only few of their lecturers have PhDs.
    So, there is a programme under the guidance of the National Council for Tertiary Education to ensure the lecturers in these universities are upgraded, and they are training these polytechnics and universities with other polytechnics and universities outside to ensure that the human resource itself is upgraded to enable them do what they have to do.
    Mr Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    I thank you, Hon Minister.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    The Technical Universi t ies (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was accor- dingly read a Second time.
    Mr Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Hon Members, for the last item for today, we have a Statement which is time bound.
    Statement by the Hon Sam George on the theme “WithRefugees To Mark World Refugee Day”. There would be two contributions after that and then we would conclude.
    Hon Member?
    STATEMENTS 1:20 p.m.

    Mr Samuel Nartey George (NDC -- Ningo-Prampram) 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, today we live in a world in which uncertainty abounds; economic instability, political upheavals and violence close to home can make us want to shut our eyes or close our doors. But fear and exclusion will not lead us to a better place - they can only lead to barriers, alienation and despair.
    It's time to change this trajectory for the better.
    To do this, the UN Refugee Agency launched the WithRefugees petition in June 2016 to send a message to governments that they must work together and do their fair share for refugees.
    In countless communities around the world, including the poorest countries that host the vast majority of the world's refugees, business people, faith communities,
    Mr Samuel Nartey George (NDC -- Ningo-Prampram) 1:20 p.m.

    teachers, journalists and many more are joining together to provide refuge to the displaced and foster their inclusion in their societies.

    In this regard, Ghana has been a gracious host to a protracted refugee population of approximately 13,000 from various nationalities, with the majority coming from neighbouring Cote d'Ivoire, Togo and Liberia.

    Mr Speaker, the Ghana Refugee Board (GRB) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), continuously work together to ensure that this population and the host communities live together in peace, dignity and in safety.

    Refugees around the world face multifaceted challenges, including obstacles to access national social protection, justice and security systems and face inadequate policies which contribute to statelessness.

    To overcome these challenges in Ghana, a ‘Multi-Year, Multi-Partner Protection and Solutions Strategy' (MYMP) has been developed to advocate for durable solutions for the protracted refugee caseload in Ghana by 2020. Refugees who are unable to return to their countries of origin, and are appropriate candidates for local integration will need an effective legal pathway to do so.

    Refugees who have fled conflict and persecution are not always burdens on the societies in which they find themselves nor are they security threats as some may perceive. Experience has shown that in fact, they greatly contribute to their host communities by bringing their skills, economic contributions and diversity.

    These can only be realised however, by lifting the barriers to inclusion, and in the case of Ghana, through the Government's approval to formalise the locally integration process for the most protracted refugees.

    Mr Speaker, by removing the barriers to inclusion, it additionally reduces the risks of statelessness. Statelessness is estimated to affect at least one million people in West Africa today. A stateless person is someone who is not recognised as a national of any State.

    This can occur through discrimination and arbitrary deprivation of nationality; situations of State successions; inade- quate civil registration practices; problems in acquiring documents proving nationality and or through gaps in nationality laws. This global challenge is what necessitated the adoption in 1954 and 1961 respectively of the United Nations Statelessness Conventions.

    Mr Speaker, sadly, Ghana is yet to accede to the two United Nations Conventions on Statelessness and it is one of the only two (2) countries within the West African sub-region which has yet to accede to either of the two conventions.

    In May 2017, ECOWAS Ministers responsible for nationality, including Ghana, adopted the ECOWAS Plan of Action on Eradication of Statelessness between 2017-2024.

    This regional Plan of Action is based on the commitments and recommendations made in the Abidjan Declaration, and the conclusions and Recommendations therein, and therefore it strictly follows the spirit of the Abidjan Declaration.

    As part of this commitment, a focal point for statelessness was appointed by Ghana and tasked with the responsibility of developing a national Action Plan to end statelessness.

    In taking action in these issues, Ghana would be internationally recognised as progressive and responsible, in relation to finding durable solutions for the refugees hosted on its soil.

    In view of the role our President occupies as a Co-Chair of the Eminent Advocates on the Sustainable Develop- ment Goals (SDGs) whose central theme is to “leave no one behind”, it is imperative for Ghana to take steps to provide a legal pathway for the local integration of its most protracted refugee population and become a party to the statelessness conventions.

    Mr Speaker, inclusion requires opening our minds, hearts and communities to refugees. It requires a whole of society approach-joining up students, business leaders, athletes, activists, religious leaders, politicians and artists to share responsibility.

    For this reason, and the recent funding shortfalls experienced by UNHCR especially for refugees in Africa caused by the escalation of the Syrian crisis, the UN-Refugee Agency is looking for new partnerships from Africa's influencers, philanthropists and individuals to bring lasting solutions to the plight of refugees and other affected persons, while encouraging the spirit of communism and giving a doctrine that is not alien to us as Africans and Ghanaians for that matter.

    This has given rise to an Africa-wide social fundraising and awareness campaign -- LuQuLuQu -- to provide avenues for everyday persons touched by the plight of the displaced to give, and in so doing, help change the narrative of Africans and the African refugee.

    The theme WithRefugees has been kept till now thus emphasising the need to stand with the displaced now more than ever.

    Today, as we mark World Refugee Day, I ask this august House to join me honour the resilience and courage of more than 65 million people who have been forced to flee war, persecution and violence.

    But it's also a moment to recognise those communities and people around the world who receive refugees and the internally displaced in their midst, offering them a safe place, and welcoming them in their schools, their workplaces and their societies.

    So today, as we pause to contemplate the fate of the millions of people who cannot return to their homes tonight because of war or persecution, it is also a moment to ask ourselves what each of us can do to overcome indifference or fear, and embrace the idea of inclusion, to welcome refugees to our own communities, and to counter narratives that would seek to exclude and marginalise refugees and other uprooted people.

    Mr Speaker, I urge you and Honourable Colleagues to use our positions to act as ambassadors in this movement to end statelessness and encourage our Government to commence, as a matter of urgency, steps towards ensuring that the refugees on Ghana's soil have an effective pathway for local integration and to advocate for the ratification of the two United Nations Conventions on Statelessness, because when we stand together WithRefugees, we also stand for respect and diversity for all.

    I thank you Mr Speaker for the opportunity given me.
    Mr Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    I thank you very much. As we have agreed, there would be one contribution from each Side in the circumstances.
    Hon Muntaka, who --
    Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, our Hon Colleague from the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Hon Dr Apaak, would speak on our behalf.
    Mr Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Dr Apaak?
    Dr Clement A. Apaak (NDC-- Builsa South) 1:20 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to comment on this very important Statement ably presented by Hon Sam George.
    Mr Speaker, we all agree that it is not common for anyone to leave their home, their family and abandon their culture. This only happens when that person feels threatened, genuinely so, as a result of persecution, be it on the basis of creed, dogma, religion or the belonging to a particular ethno-linguistic group or social class.
    Mr Speaker, you would agree that while Ghana has done well in being a host to refugees from many parts of the world, we could still do more in helping those who still find themselves in these circumstances to get a better reception, and to make their contributions not only to their adopted nation, in this case, Ghana for however short they may be here, but to also serve the cause of humanity.
    Mr Speaker, as a student at the University of Ghana, I was privileged to make an acquaintance and became a long- term friend of a number of refugee students who came from war-torn Liberia in our day.
    Today as I speak, three of them have since gone on to obtain Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees; one is currently a lecturer in the Physics Department of the University of Ghana; another is a renowned author and philanthropist based in Germany; and a third one, also a PhD holder, works for the United Nation Organisation (UNO). They certainly have now come to call Ghana their home.
    So on this day, as the Hon Member who made the Statement expressed, it is important that we open our arms and homes to welcome them. At the end of the day, whether we like it or not, they are members of the human family and definitely, they would be able to make a contribution if we give them a place to feel secured and contribute their quota.
    Mr Speaker, I cannot conclude my comments without making reference to another category of refugees that we tend to forget. These are the group we could term as economic refugees and are persons who would usually leave their home-nations in search of better employment or job opportunities.
    As I speak today, it is reported that several citizens of Ghana currently pursuing greener pastures in different parts of the world are locked up in Libya in anguish. So while we talk about our role in helping others who come to us to seek sanctuary, we must also look at what we could do to prevent our citizens from going to foreign lands where they may be maltreated.
    On this note and with these few words, I would want to again commend the Hon Member who made the Statement for drawing attention to this very important subject.
    Mr Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    I thank you very much. Hon K. T. Hammond would conclude the debate on behalf of the Majority.
    Mr Kobina Tahir Hammond (NPP -- Adansi Asokwa) 1:30 p.m.
    I thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the debate.
    I know as a matter of fact that the UNO has the United Nations Convention on Refugees of 1951 and the corresponding protocol of 1967.
    In my practice as a barrister in England, I had the occasion to interact with many refugees from many countries who had applied under the appropriate and proper conventions for recognition of refugees' status in the United Kingdom.
    Mr Speaker, it is heart wrenching to hear the stories of these refugees. It is so painful to see the trauma and agony that they go through.
    The UN Convention on Refugees provides for recognition of refugee status for political, social, religious and, in recent developments, other reasons. These days, gays are asking for refugee status all over the place; a whole lot of people are coming together to form social groupings and are applying for status or recognition of their status.
    Market women are now asking for their recognition under the United Nations Convention on Refugees.
    Mr Speaker, it is a very serious subject. In Ghana and many parts of Africa, we take these things for granted because there is so much peace. It should not be taken for granted because the question of refugee status is so fundamental and important.
    In recent months, those of us who watched international television stations saw the plight of the Rohingya Muslims who had been forcibly cleansed from their country, Myanmar then called Burma.
    They were forced to migrate to Bangladesh. When we watch the pictures, we just ask ourselves, what on earth is going on? The world should rise up to this matter.
    It is an occasion -- Indeed, I heard this morning that the United States of America (USA) has decided to leave the United Nations Human Rights Council; it is quitting. It says that it is not worth it; they used the term “subscript of hypocrisy”, so they have left.
    The United Nations as an organi- sation, is not making sure that the human rights of some individuals, groups or organisations are properly respected in the various countries, which then leads to the influx of people all over the place.
    Mr Speaker, just this morning, I guess it was because of this occasion, we heard the background to people like Mr Albert Einstein, who apparently had to migrate from Germany to USA. We know the contributions that Mr Einstein made to the development of the world. A lot of people might not know about Mr Freddie Mercury; he was a world renowned musician, who died in some mysterious circumstance.
    He had to migrate as well. Quite a few people of prominence -- the very famous Mr Kissinger was apparently a German refugee who migrated, first, to Britain and then to USA. We have these serious individuals of historical origin who have laid their -- they all had, at one time or the other, been refugees. It is important that we recognise it for what it is worth.
    Mr Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    And in conclusion? [Laughter.]
    Mr Hammond 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in conclusion, it is a very important occasion for this message to go out to our colleagues, brothers and sisters; they
    should come back home. They should not destroy their lives in Europe or Libya all in the hope that they would seek for greener pastures out there.
    They are sinking and drowning on the seas. Let us remember the occasion for all that it has represented. Again, we should -- [Interruption.] I have not gotten to “few words yet”.
    Mr Speaker, I am being forced, so with these few words -- [Laughter] -- I thank you very much for the opportunity. [Hear! Hear!]
    Mr Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    That brings us to the end of Statements.
    Hon Majority Leader, any indication as earlier discussed?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we have transacted some Business. Unfortunately, those to assist you are not here with us for various reasons.
    That being the case, I move that we adjourn proceedings until 10.00 o'clock tomorrow in the forenoon.
    Mr Avedzi 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    ADJOURNMENT 1:30 p.m.

  • The House was accordingly adjourned at 1.40 p.m. till Thursday, 21st June, 2018 at 10.00 a.m.