Debates of 12 Jul 2018

PRAYERS 10:50 a.m.


Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Members, item listed 2 -- Correction of Votes and Proceedings and the Official Report -- The Votes and Proceedings of 11th July, 2018.
Page 1 … 12 --
Mr Asamoa 10:50 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. In yesterday's proceedings, after the current rendition on the Right to Information Bill's amendments have been made --
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Mr Asamoa 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is in pages 11 and 12 on the Right to Information Bill, 2018 at Consideration Stage. We were taken through clauses 1 and 2 by the Hon First Deputy Speaker who then left the Chair.
When the Second Deputy Speaker came into the Chair, after we resumed Sitting from suspension, we went back to clause 1 and a couple of amendments were remade.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Page 13 … 15
Mr Asamoa 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, by your leave, page 15, item 12, the amendment proposed under clause 3, subclause (2) was agreed to. In other words, we deleted “and the deposit required or the fee or charge” and also deleted “and” and finally deleted “as specified under section 69”.
The Question was put and amendment was agreed to.
Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, how could that be since the thing says was agreed to? I do not know how that could be. It is serious. The amendments that we have made --
This Bill has gone through a number of stages. I really cannot believe that would --
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Yes, Hon Member?
Alhaji Inusah A. B. Fuseini 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we could not have disagreed to it. It would have been rejected. To say we disagreed to it is another thing, but the deletion was agreed to.
We said we did not need a deposit, a fee and to refer it to section 69 because section 69 had no relevance.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Very well. Thank you.
Page 16 … 24.
Hon Members, the Votes and Proceed- ings of Wednesday, 11th July, 2018 as corrected is hereby adopted as the true record of Proceedings.
  • [No correction was made to the Official Report of Friday, 22nd June, 2018.]
  • Mr Eric Kwakye Darfour 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, please I am here, but I had instructions that the Statement would be made tomorrow.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    When is the French National Day?
    Mr Darfour 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, on the 14th of July, which is Saturday.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    It can be read today, it can be read tomorrow, so go ahead.
    Mr Darfour 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not have the Statement here with me now because I had indication that -- [Interruptions.]
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Hon Member, you may proceed.
    STATEMENTS 11 a.m.

    Minister for Eastern Region (Mr Eric Kwakye Darfour) (MP) 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for your indulgence.
    I am delighted to associate myself with the celebration of the French National Day, an important event in France, which marked the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789 and which was the first major event of the French Revolution. The revolution, which sought to establish freedom, equality and fraternity is exactly 229 years old today.
    As the French celebrate this historic event, we the people of Ghana, and particularly, the Ghana-France Parliamen- tary Friendship Association join to commemorate the day that saw a change in the French national history.
    Bastille Day is not a celebration limited to France and the others in the western world. Rather, it is celebrated all over the world; among francophones, Anglo- phones, Hispanics et cetera due to the contribution it made to democracy globally.
    It is therefore not surprising to see a host of Anglophones, including Hon Members of Parliament of Ghana enjoying with the French people; the ambiance, the French culture as well as the different French dishes. It is exciting to share this France in Ghana experience with the French.

    Being a peaceful country, Ghana shares these moments of peace and unity with France, as they celebrate their heroes who fell for France to rise, the over 40,000 who lost their lives.

    Ghana's relations with France was forged soon after Ghana's Independence, and have since been cordial and fruitful for both countries. The two countries are each endowed with strong cultural identities, and the uniqueness of these cultures enriches and beautifies our world.

    France has been more than a friendly country. France has supported Ghana in several areas of our national develop- ment.

    In recent times, the French presence and the fruitful co-operation between our countries have been extended to our Parliaments. The Parliament of Ghana has a Parliamentary French Club which promotes the teaching and learning of the French language in Parliament.

    A recent development is the restruc- turing and the reorganisation of the Ghana-France Parliamentary Friendship Association in the Parliament of Ghana, which was the result of the collaboration between the leadership of both Parliaments.

    Thanks to the collaboration through which we witnessed the inauguration of the revamped Ghana-France Parliamentary Friendship Association on 19th June, 2016, under the auspices of the then Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Edward Doe Adjaho and the Leadership of Parliament.

    Present to grace the occasion were H.E Mr Francois Pujolas, the French Ambassador to Ghana, the French Member of Parliament for the Overseas Citizens, Mr Alain Marsaud and the Deputy French Ambassador, Cecille Vignaud.

    Under my stewardship as Chairman of the Ghana-France Parliamentary Friend- ship Association, together with my colleagues, we are working harder to expand our interaction with France beyond the usual diplomatic exchanges.

    Through this, we hope to further deepen and consolidate our respective democracies through constant sharing of best practices for the mutual benefit of our people.

    Indeed, the formation of the Association at the Legislative level is therefore a commendable effort to bring the Parliaments of the two countries closer, in order to share best experiences in the areas of legislation and general parliamentary practices.

    I am confident that the nurturing and sustenance of this Association parti- cularly, will bring new energy and ideas to enhance our countries' cherished values.

    I urge the Members of Parliament to use the opportunity afforded them through the teaching and learning of French to upgrade their knowledge in the French language.

    It is our hope that bilateral and diplomatic relations between our countries will be strengthened and this relationship will also boost the dialogue and coopera- tion between the two countries.

    Vive le Ghana!

    Vive la France!

    Vive I'amitie Parlementaire Ghana- France!

    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity granted me.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Member, thank you very much. Shall we have one contribution from each Side of the House?
    Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh (NDC-- Wa West) 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
    Let me thank the Hon Chairman of the Ghana-France Parliamentary Friendship Association for his Statement on this memorable occasion.
    Ghana-France relationship is one that is cherished, and if you look at the cooperation between us, even those countries that originally had relations with the French people, and who speak the French language are envious of our new relationship and our membership of the Francophonie, the group that is organised under the auspices of France, as we also have in the Commonwealth.
    Mr Speaker, this particular day that they are celebrating on Saturday would be very memorable. It has changed a lot of things in the world. The French Revolution of 1789 brought about what we now see in their own slogan of Liberté, Égalité, Frantenité --
    Mr Speaker, some Hon Members say they do not understand. This is very clear that it affords ordinary people the opportunity to feel equal to anything so that the values that we have, and particularly, our Constitution -- If you look at it, it is a relationship between the old Westminster system, the United States Constitution and the French system, because every country borrows from another but our learning from the French is very important.
    As the Hon Chairman has already indicated, we have had a lot of support from France and many investment projects
    Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh (NDC-- Wa West) 11:10 a.m.

    Mr Speaker, some Hon Members are shouting as if when I speak French, they would understand. Je parle bien le Français. Je parle maintenant. Oui. [Interruption.] C'est ça. I speak very good French and I am speaking it right now but many of you are not listening. [Laughter.]

    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity.
    Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah (NPP -- Okaikwei) 11:10 a.m.
    Bonjour Monsieur Speaker Mike Oquaye. [Laughter.] Monsieur le professeur, bonjour. Ça va?
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    The French do not use “Speaker”. [Laughter.] They use Président -- Monsieur le Président. [Laughter.]
    Mr Boamah 11:10 a.m.
    Monsieur le Presdient.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Please go on.
    Mr Boamah 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the brilliant Statement made by the Eastern Regional Minister and the Chairman of the Ghana-French Parliament Association.
    Mr Speaker, the French have contri- buted a great deal to our democracy and I would want to commend them for supporting us. Even though we do not speak their language, we have a lot of things in common.
    Mr Speaker, it is in this light that I would like to commend the Hon Member who made the Statement on this very important day which falls on Saturday.
    Mr Speaker, our relationship with the French dates back many years ago, and you would recall that President Akufo- Addo has had countless interactions, at least, more than three, with the French President, Emmanuel Macron, since he assumed the presidency of Ghana. It is the same for President Kufour and President Hollande.
    Mr Speaker, there are a lot of French companies doing business in Ghana which is also helping the economy of this country, which on this day we must make mention of, for example, Bivac, which has helped in some of the road infrastructure in this country.
    Bollar'e is involved in the port expansion programme, which they invested over US$1.5 billion and this Parliament had to approve of a tax waiver of about US$700 million for that project. Sagem is also another French company that started with the national identity card.
    Mr Speaker, in the area of tourism, Air France has also started direct flight from Accra to Paris five times a week which is also commendable, and it also helps with the tourism sector of this economy.
    Mr Speaker, it is not for nothing that President Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana, who speaks fluent French, with the crises in Togo has been made the mediator because of this understanding of the French language and diplomacy.
    So, it is very important for this House to make such important Statement on this day to further deepen our relationship with the good people of France.
    On that note, I commend them and I wish them a happy anniversary.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    If there is any contribution by Leadership, otherwise we would proceed.
    Mr Ahmed Ibrahim (NDC -- Banda) 11:20 a.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity given me to make some few comments on the Statement that has just been made.
    Mr Speaker, Ghana-French parliamen- tary relationship has been very beneficial to this Parliament as a whole.
    In the last Parliament when we wanted to regulate the activities of Parliamentary Friendship Association in the Parliament of Ghana, to make sure that there are some guidelines to regulate those associations, give diplomatic ethics and training and to make sure that we are able to streamline parliamentary associations in this Parliament. One of the countries that was chosen to understudy from their Parliament was the Parliament of France.
    Mr Speaker, with that, one can go ahead to say that that relationship has been very cordial. Mr Speaker, if you would want to learn from somebody, France is one of the countries that is worthy of emulating. Going back as a political scientist, France's external relations towards other nations was the policy of assimilation.
    Mr Speaker, if somebody wants to train you to be like him, creating a white man with black skin, and somebody who wanted to just form an association and you are asked to choose from, I think you would choose from somebody who wants you to be like him. That was what the policy of assimilation was all about.
    Mr Speaker, going ahead, I believe that the Ghana-France Parliamentary Relation that has just been established is something that Hon Members must take very seriously.
    There is a lot we could learn from it, and I strongly believe that you need commendation for choosing France as one
    of the countries that Ghana's Parliament needs to engage with to do serious international relations.
    Mr Speaker, with these few words, I cannot conclude without giving high commendation to the team or the Leadership that went to France -- [Interruption]-- Mr Speaker, there are football fans here who are saying that I should commend the French team for qualifying to the World Cup Finals though we could not make it to satisfy those people. Mr Speaker, I believe I have done same.
    Thank you Mr Speaker for the opportunity.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Majority Leader- ship?
    Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh (NPP -- Sunyani East) 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thought once we are talking about the French National Day, probably, those who could speak French should be given the opportunity to speak, but unfortunately, most of us are challenged. But I am better than many of us in this Chamber.
    Mr Speaker, first of all, I would want to thank the Hon Member who made the Statement, for drawing our attention to the French National Day. It could not have come from any other person than the Hon Chairman of the Ghana-France Friendship Association in this Parliament.
    I see his chairmanship as one in the right direction, because he speaks impeccable French. That is the Hon Minister for the Eastern Region and probably, we could learn from him.
    The Hon Majority Leader may be better than him in the French language. I did French up to the Advanced Level (‘A Level').
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Thank you very much, Hon Majority Chief Whip. This has been very interesting discussion. And it is referred to the Committee on Education to see what could be done to promote the study of French in our schools, including possible compulsory study of French up to the Junior High School (JHS) level.
    In fact, it is a way of practically making ECOWAS meaningful and unfortunately, it is the Anglophones who are seriously lacking in bilingual practices. Our youth do not know and they will come to know too late.
    In the competition for international jobs, very brilliant, well-qualified Ghanaians are at a big disadvantage just because of lack of qualification of English and French. So no matter how well- qualified you are in your area, you are disqualified because you cannot speak French.
    And they come to know this when it is too late. I believe we have the responsibility to expose them to the French language so as to assist them in their careers.
    The Committee should kindly give us a Report, even including possible
    application of distance learning if you do not have enough French teachers in the schools, but something should be done in this instance so as to assist our young people.
    Thank you.
    The First Deputy Speaker has a Statement to make, Hon First Deputy Speaker?

    Research and Information Week by the Inter-Departmental Research and

    Information Group (IDRIG) and the Adoption of Evidence-Based Research

    and Information in Parliament
    Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu (NPP -- Bekwai) 11:30 a.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Mr Speaker, the week beginning 17th of July, 2018 is the week to mark research and information by the Inter-Departmental and Research Information Group (IDRIG) of Parliament and I read this Statement on their behalf.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to make this Statement.
    Mr Speaker, in recent times, Parliaments around the world are confronted with increasing public demand that outcomes of policy deliberations or legislations by their representatives be well informed and supported by time tested evidence.
    The essence of the observed demand by the public, Mr Speaker, is for legislations and State policies to be more aligned to the needs and aspirations of the populace.
    Indeed, a survey conducted by the Institute for Government, based in the United Kingdom in 2016, revealed that 85 per cent of the people in UK want
    Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah (NDC -- Ellembele) 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to thank the Hon First Deputy Speaker who made the Statement on the need for us to support the work of the Research and Information Department.
    Mr Speaker, I would also want to say that it is very critical. The issues that were raised in the Statement are issues that must be supported. I agree with the Hon First Deputy Speaker that first of all, the Parliamentary Service Board must do everything possible to support the work in terms of budgeting, and making sure that they have the right tools needed for these important departments to enhance their work.
    Mr Speaker, it is critically the back-bone of the work of Hon MPs, and I agree that we could only be good MPs who would use evidence-based information to do our work, if we are strongly supported by a strong Research Department.
    Mr Speaker, you can imagine on a daily basis the routine of an MP. On Fridays we are in the constituencies to deal with all sorts of issues from marriage issues to petty matters, infrastructure to resolving disputes and we come to Parliament and engage in committees.
    That is why it is so critical that our work must be supported. This is because we deal with legal matters, issues that require expert advice.
    So, the call for us to have research- based work, so that when we present issues, they are based on real facts that would go to the core of the issue which cannot be overemphasised.
    Mr Speaker, it is important that these Research Departments, as has been stated in the Statement must work closely with us. It should not be that it is only when
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Minority Chief Whip?
    Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka (NDC -- Asawase) 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, let me commend the Hon First Deputy Speaker on this Statement on Research and Information week celebration.
    Mr Speaker, it is sad that as a country, and as a Parliament, it is clearly manifested in most of the things that we do, that we do not view this issue of research and getting the right information as very important.
    Personally, I liken it to us majoring the minors and minoring the majors. Things that are very important, we make them less important; those that are of less importance, we hype them and make them look very important.
    Mr Speaker, I will not be surprised that many Members of Parliament (MPs) may not even know where our library is, not to talk about going there to sit and seek information.
    Even though not too many persons are there at the Research Department of Parliament, having used it a number of times, I can testify that it can be very useful.
    But many Hon Members are not even aware that when they have something to do and they would want to get facts, they could just contact the Directors of the Research and the ICT Departments.
    They have a number of persons who can assist Hon Members with very useful material.
    Mr Speaker, we would not be able to talk about the relevance of Research and Information in Parliament without talking about internet connectivity and how we use information in this House.
    Some of us are of the firm belief that ICT would definitely reduce the cost of running this House if we adopted and implemented it fully.
    Mr Speaker, I was part of the team that inspected these consoles that are in front of us, and they work just like the mobile phones that are in our hands.
    Yet, after they were installed and we started using them, we realised that they are not very convenient, considering the way they are positioned.
    If this House resolves to even get a mobile tablet for every Member of Parliament, the cost of buying A4 sheets and papers in this House would be able to pay for it.
    Mr Speaker, we may use them for four years, but the cost of buying the sheets of paper in this House for one year would be able to pay for all those gadgets, even if we should ask Hon Members to take them away and buy new ones for new Members.
    This is because when we have tablets dedicated to the work of Parliament, we may not need to print all committee reports and Statements among others.
    It would be done and sent to us on these gadgets. Hon Members would read them overnight and come to the Chamber prepared. When we talk about Votes and Proceedings, we could easily refer to it.
    They are even on the consoles but because of their positioning, we cannot make maximum use of them. If we take our time and get every Hon Member a mobile tablet, it would reduce cost.
    Mr Speaker, there is no internet access even in the Chamber. So when you are seated and you would want to crosscheck something, maybe, on the website of Parliament to see things that have been posted there, you would not be able to do so.
    These are things that we need to be able to do if we would want to draw attention to the importance of research and information.
    We sit here and almost everything that we do -- luckily the few ushers who sit behind us keep running to us and we keep sending them to go fetch this and that. Meanwhile, most of the information in this House are in soft copies.
    Mr Speaker, I believe it requires a holistic view to set the structures that would help Members of Parliament to be able to use them. I would also want to encourage MPs to make do with even the little that we have.
    Sometimes you go to the library and it is empty; there is virtually no MP there, apart from the few staff who manage the place.
    Mr Speaker, I believe the introduction of the Research and Information Week is very useful. Next week, we are going to have the Research and Information Week. I would want to entreat Hon Members that each and every one of us should try and spend just 15 to 20 minutes at the exhibition.
    Hon Members should just ask them for information around this House, because unfortunately, when we come as Hon Members of Parliament, orientation is sometimes just done once.
    There have been a lot of effort to see if it could be done every year, just to top up what we are taught. Doing it once or twice is not enough to make Hon Members conversant with what is happening in this House.
    Mr Speaker, if we take advantage of what would happen next week, go round in the exhibition and ask the staff things
    Minority Leader (Mr Haruna Iddrisu) 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to make some comments on the Statement ably made by the Hon First Deputy Speaker, Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu on the Inter Departmental Research and Information Group and the adoption of evidence-based research and information in Parliament.
    Mr Speaker, I commend him for doing this on your behalf and on behalf of the workers of IDRIG..
    Mr Speaker, I would want to assure them that you, as Chairman of the Parliamentary Service Board, you have given every strong indication for a more resourced Information and Communication Depart- ment, and more importantly, an Official Report Department that delivers timely, accurate report of the proceedings of Parliament. Therefore, Hon Colleagues should be assured.
    Mr Speaker, twenty-five years of parliamentary democracy -- the role of research and information. To quote the Rt Hon Speaker again, a few years ago, the Hansard was an authoritative reference. But today, Hon Members of Parliament do not do proper and adequate research.
    Mr Speaker, for instance, if this House was to discuss the level of poverty globally and limit it to poverty in Ghana, and appreciate its dynamics in terms of rural -- urban, that is, the Greater Accra Region versus Central Region; Northern Region versus Upper East Region, we would be speaking “they are poor here and poorer there” without any statistics just because we do not do much research. How many of us walk to this Parliament with the UNDP Report or UN Report on poverty status?
    Mr Speaker, I would just give one example. I commissioned a team to do research on Senior High Schools a few days ago.
    I would want to understand, between 1998 and yesterday, how many Ghanaian students graduated from Junior High School and transited to Senior High School and further went to the tertiary level? That would inform policy input and policy debate on the matter, relative to expenditure.
    Mr Speaker, if we were discussing agriculture on the Floor of Parliament, how many of us can share statistics? How about decline in public investment in the agricultural sector in the last decade or two? We would just rise and share what comes into our minds. That is not good enough.
    As Hon Members of Parliament, we would need to re-equip ourselves, that research outcomes and research results --
    Mr Speaker, when you ask Hon Members to lay Papers here, MPs must note that they are laying them here for purposes of credibility, that it could be authoritative and that we could discern from what we lay.
    Mr Speaker, we live in an information age. Fortunately, Ghana has not lagged behind. I know that we even laid fibre optics to Parliament, yet it is not being used adequately.
    We would need to improve broadband connectivity to the Chamber Block and all the precincts of Parliament, so that before we enter Parliament -- When the young people from school come here, they could log on to the Parliament's Wi-Fi and see, for instance, 7thParliament@Ghana. We do not have it.
    Even the Information Technology (IT) system for Leadership is usually on and off. That process of dumsor must end, we must have a reliable IT infrastructure. Again, Mr Speaker, you have ever been a Minister for Communications. In Ghana, we rely on one source; if that source has a problem, that ends it.
    We all would then say, the internet is down. It is not so and should not be so. When the internet is down, we should be
    able to have a reliable infrastructure to back it up for consistency and seamless transfer of information.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to commend the Hon First Deputy Speaker who made the Statement and appreciate that these Departments has served all of us well.
    But, Mr Speaker, I have one advice for them. Sometimes, one uses a word like, “inadvertently” and then along the line, one uses, “inadvertent” but then we could find a spelling mistake in “inadvertent”.
    It should not be so -- [Interruption] -- I am just using “inadvertent” as my basis. There has been times that the Hansard Department -- [Interruption.]

    Mr Speaker, kudos to the Hansard Department, but they need to improve. When they sit and watch us speak and sometimes, when they come back and ask us for the correct rendition of a certain word, it is not an encouragement to us.

    Then again, many of my Hon Colleagues do not read the Official Report. We should change; even if we would not read the whole Official Report, we should read “our column” and improve upon it. We all have these Official Reports.

    Finally, Mr Speaker, I know we would bring it to you. We have to digitise the archival records of Parliament.

    We must have a way of digitising it, so that we keep records of very important, commemorative and historical Statements that were made from the First Parliament to date.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    I thank you very much, Hon Minority Leader.
    Majority Leadership?
    Mr Yaw Buaben Asamoa (NPP-- Adentan) 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, let me also add my voice to the profuse congratulations made to the Hon First Deputy Speaker who made the Statement.
    Mr Speaker, the world is changing very fast and only research could help us to understand what is happening now, as we
    move forward. I am afraid that we do not have the luxury of complaining about what we do not have. We do not have internet, so we cannot engage; we are not digitised, so we cannot engage. We do not have this; we do not have that.
    The world is moving extremely fast. As the Parliament of Ghana, and as we sit here, America is dismantling all its trade agreements: the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) among others. It is even challenging its relationship with Northern Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).
    Mr Speaker, Bitcoin currency is changing the financial architecture of the world. Do we even appreciate what Bitcoin means?
    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank are under pressure; the Federal Reserve and the International Monetary System, including Central Banks all over the world are under pressure from Bitcoin. Do we understand what is happening?
    Mr Speaker, talk of Brexit; our former colonial master is undergoing traumatic change as we sit here. Do we appreciate the nuances of Brexit and its impact on our trade, considering the fact that we import everything from toothpicks and handkerchiefs to food?
    Mr Speaker, the Chinese have moved into the belt and rail processes, and connecting all the countries along the trade routes of Marco Polo to China's vast and very influential economic system. China is gradually and subtly taking over the world.
    Do we appreciate the role of China in Ghana's international trade and foreign relations?
    Mr Speaker, we have to make a move towards our society, assuming research as a matter of course, in order to influence and inform what we do. In that light, I would want to commend the Hon First Deputy Speaker for insisting that MPs have quality Research Assistants.
    That is the way an MP could influence, not only international matters which impact locally, but also exploit that knowledge to support the development of policy locally to help our communities which are wallowing in extreme poverty.
    How could we have a situation where the more we develop, the more we have floods? In my constituency, we never used to have floods of the scale we are seeing currently.
    Yet, as a people, believing that con- structing and expanding urbanised environments implies development, we rather create a problem because we are not researching into land usage and ways and means by which we could control our natural environment.
    So man-made disasters have become natural disasters regularly and yearly in our society. How can we operate like that?
    Mr Speaker, I believe it is important that this Statement galvanises us to begin to appreciate and use the little that we have.
    We cannot continue to remain an entitlement society where we wait for everything to be 100 per cent before we take off. We have to use the tools available in order to build and achieve bigger working tools.
    On that note, Mr Speaker, I would want to thank the Hon First Deputy Speaker who made the Statement and again ask
    that the process of putting in place Research Assistants and a resilient system to support the work of Parliament is quickly sorted out.
    I am most grateful, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    I thank you very much, Hon Member.
    That ends Statements time for today.
    At the Commencement of Public Business. Hon Majority Leader, any indication?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, before we migrate to commence Public Business, there has been a development this morning in respect of the transition of a former Hon Majority Leader of this House. I thought that we may want to -- [Pause.] I thought we may make some remarks to eulogise him.
    I do not know of any other arrange- ment. If there are some other arrange- ments that are unknown to me, I may want to accord respect to that. I thought before we began, we could say a word or two about the late Hon John Henry Mensah, whose sudden transition came to us this morning.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Members, item listed 4 on the Order Paper.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:50 a.m.
    Very well, Mr Speaker,
    I guess we could start with item numbered 7.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Item numbered 7, Motion -- Hon Chairman of the Committee?
    MOTIONS 11:50 a.m.

    Chairman of the Committee (Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah) 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80(1), which require that no Motion shall be debated until at least forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which the Motion is moved, the Motion for the adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee on the Financing Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the International Development Association (IDA), for an amount equivalent to one hundred and ten million , six hundred thousand Special Drawing Rights (SDR 110,600,000) [equivalent to US$150 million] to finance the proposed Transport Sector Improvement Project.
    Mr Cassiel Ato B. Forson 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Chairman, you may move the Motion numbered 8.
    Government of Ghana (GoG) and International Development Association
    (IDA) Financing Agreement for the Proposed Transport Sector
    Improvement Project
    Chairman of the Committee (Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah) 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Finance Committee on the Financing Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the International Development Associa- tion (IDA) for an amount equivalent to one hundred and ten million, six hundred thousand Special Drawing Rights (SDR 110,600,000) [equivalent to US$150 million] to finance the proposed Transport Sector Improvement Project.
    Mr Speaker, in so doing, I present the Committee's Report.
    The Financing Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the International Development Association (IDA) for an amount equivalent to one hundred and ten million, six hundred thousand Special Drawing Rights (SDR 110,600,000) [equivalent to US$150.0 million] to Finance the Proposed Transport Sector Improvement Project (TSIP) was presented to the House on Tuesday, 26th June, 2018 by the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, Mrs Abena Osei-Asare, on behalf of the Minister responsible for Finance.
    Pursuant to article 103 of the 1992 Constitution and Orders 169 and 171 of the Standing Orders of the House, the Agreement was referred to the Finance Committee for consideration and report.
    The Committee subsequently met and discussed the Agreement with the Leadership of the Committee on Roads and Transport, the Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways, Hon Kwabena Owusu Aduomi, Deputy Minister for Transport, Hon Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover, and Deputy Minister for Finance, Hon Abena Osei-Asare as well as officials from the Ministries of Finance, Transport and Roads and Highways. Also in attendance were the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and staff of the National Road Safety Commission
    The Committee hereby submits this Report to the House, pursuant to the Standing Orders of the House.
    The Committee is grateful to the above- mentioned Hon Deputy Ministers and
    officials for attending upon the Com- mittee.
    The Committee referred to and was guided by the following documents inter alia during its deliberations on the Agreement:
    The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
    The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
    The Public Financial Management Act of 2016 (Act 921); and
    The Budget Statement and Econo- mic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2018 Financial Year.
    Road transport is the predominant mode of transportation in Ghana and accounts for a huge proportion of the movement of cargo and passenger traffic.
    The road network in Ghana has grown considerably from 47,824km in 2002 to 78,401 km in 2016, of which about 26.2 per cent is paved. The network provides good national coverage with well-developed regional connections to neighbouring countries through the North-South and East-West main corridors.
    Nevertheless, only 39 per cent of the road network in the country is in good condition. Feeder and farm roads are particularly in very bad conditions, thereby constraining agriculture and rural development.
    Also, the East-West roads connecting Ghana to La Cote d'Ivoire in the West and Togo in the East are poorly developed, coupled with inadequate customs and immigration facilities at the borders; thus inhibiting trade across the borders and regional integration.
    The poor conditions of the roads, in addition to inadequate enforcement of road safety measures have among other things, led to a poor road safety record with high accident rates.
    In 2016, for instance, there were a reported 2,084 road crash fatalities, about 40 per cent being pedestrians, and 14 per cent of the total pedestrian deaths being children under 16 years of age.
    Various studies carried out in the transport sector suggest a weakness in the policy and oversight functions by the Ministry and its agencies, as well as inadequate reporting capacity within most of the departments and agencies.
    These weaknesses have contributed to the weak performance results experienced in the roads and transport sector in recent past. These findings are buttressed by the completed Transport Public Expenditure and Institutional Review (PEIR).
    In view of the above challenges and the rapidly increasing demand for reliable and safer road infrastructure, Government has envisioned to modernise the transport sector in general, while improving the management and efficiency of the road sub-sector in particular.
    The proposed Transport Sector Improvement Project (TSIP) has been developed to among others, support the development of road infrastructure, improve road safety, strengthen the capacity of the sector agencies and to foster regional integration.

    Project Objectives

    The objectives of the Project are to support the development of road infrastructure, improve road safety, strengthen the capacity of the sector agencies and to foster regional integration. The Project thus aims to

    the use of private garages to inspect vehicles, develop and implement an integrated software for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing System.

    The NRSC will be supported to operationalise the Road Accident Database Management Sysytem (RADMS) it recently purchased. RADMS is a state- of-the-art suite of crash database analysis, and reporting software; using Police crash reports as input data.

    The software will be upgraded to use smartphone applications and Geo- graphical Information System (GIS) for reporting. Also, the ongoing Lollipop- Programme will be implemented in about five hundred (500) schools to make pedestrian road crossings safer for the school children.

    iii.Component Three -- Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Building

    This component will support an institutional review of the agencies with the aim of restructuring the road and transport sector. It will also involve the implementation and operationalisation of a comprehensive nationwide transport sector monitoring and data management system. The capacity of staff would be developed through short and long term training programmes.

    ATTACHMENT: Please find attached as Appendix 1, a detailed breakdown of the cost of each component of the Project.


    Waiver of Commitment Charge

    The Committee was informed by officials from the Ministry of Finance that the maximum commitment charge of 0.5

    reduce travel time on selected parts of the classified road networks in northern Ghana; and to promote road safety; and strengthen the institutional management of the transport sector

    Terms and Conditions of the Loan

    The terms and conditions of the Loan are as follows:
    Chairman of the Committee (Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah) 11:50 a.m.

    Road Safety Activities

    The road safety activities under the Project will focus on achieving the national road safety target of halving road deaths between 2010 and 2020. There will be improved pedestrian crossing at schools and the use of a nationwide online vehicle crash data recording.

    The Project is also expected to increase the number of licensed private garages linked to vehicle inspection system by ten per cent.

    Taxes and Compensation Payments

    The Committee noted that the expenditure to be financed under the Project is inclusive of taxes. Thus the Government will be able to collect the relevant taxes and duties under the Project, unlike some other projects for which the government has had to waive the relevant taxes and duties.

    Payment of compensation to Project Affected Persons (PAPs) is a condition precedent to the commencement of works under the project, and will be financed through MRH's annual budgetary allocations.

    Road infrastructure and poverty levels

    The Ghana Poverty and Inequality Profile (June 2015) shows a high inverse correlation between the presence of road infrastructure and poverty rates. The Committee was informed that the northern parts of Ghana, compared to other areas in the country, have the worst road network.

    Poverty rates in the north are two to three times the national average, and chronic food insecurity remains a critical

    challenge. Ghana's recent medium term economic plans have focused on addressing these challenges, such as generating employment and improving living standards.

    Lack of preference for Ghanaian Bidders

    Section III of the Financing Agreement provides that the procurement of goods, works and non-consulting services under the project shall be in accordance with the requirements set forth in section 1 of the IDA Procurement Guidelines, while consultancy services are to be procured in accordance with sections I and IV of the Consultant Guidelines and the provisions of the Financing Agreement.

    It was also noted that goods, works and non-consulting services are to be procured under contracts awarded on the basis of International Competitive Bidding (ICB). Also, where NCB is used, foreign bidders are to be allowed to participate in NCB procedures without any restrictions.

    The Committee expressed concern about the lack of preference for Ghanaian bidders, especially given that most Ghanaian enterprises may find it difficult to compete with bidders across the globe.

    It was however, explained to the Committee that these conditions are part of the general conditions of the World Bank Group to ensure that bidders from member countries would have equal opportunity to bid for projects funded by the Group.

    The Committee was further informed that the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) of Ghana has approved the use of the World Bank Procurement Guidelines for the Project.


    The Committee finds the project to be immensely important towards improving road infrastructure and enhancing road safety in the country, while also strengthening the capacity of transport sector agencies for improved service delivery.

    The Committee, therefore, respectfully recommends to the House to adopt this Report and approve by resolution, the
    Chairman of the Committee (Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah) 11:50 a.m.
    SPACE FOR APPENDIX 1 -- PAGE 11 --12.00 P.M SPACE FOR APPENDIX 1 CONT. -- PAGE 12 --12.00 P.M


    12.00 P.M SPACE FOR APPENDIX 1 CONT. -- PAGE 14 --12.00 P.M
    Chairman of the Committee (Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah) 11:50 a.m.

    Chairman of the Committee (Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah) 11:50 a.m.

    SPACE FOR APPENDIX 1 CONT. -- PAGE 17 --12.00 P.M
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Member, thank you very much.
    Mr Cassiel Ato B. Forson (NDC -- Ajumako/Enyan/Essiam) 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion, and in doing so, say that the financing terms is indeed a standard financing one from the World Bank for lower-middle income countries that are in transition.
    Mr Speaker, I think that though it is not concessional, it is very competitive. Apart from that the Cabinet document, which is the Executive approval that was presented to us, said in paragraph 3 that;
    “Cabinet approved the SDR 110.60 million (US$150million) credit from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank Group to finance the proposed Transport Sector Improvement Project, subject to re-allocation of about 50 per cent of the funds for the capacity-building component of the Agreement for road infra- structure development.”
    Mr Speaker, at that point, we noticed that Cabinet was very concerned about the amount of money that was being allocated to capacity building. So, Cabinet directed that up to an amount of 50 per cent should be scaled down. Indeed, that made the Hon Minister for Roads and Highways to reallocate some of the funding and that was not good enough.
    I say so because if you look at the attachment to the document, the cost here shows something that I believe this Honourable House should be concerned about. A typical one is the Component two -- Asset Preservation.
    We have monitoring consultancy costing US$2 million and it goes ahead to say that monitoring consultant cost US$2.5 million.
    Mr Speaker, the question is, what is the difference between monitoring consultancy and monitoring consultant? In one breadth, we are monitoring the consultant and so who monitors the consultancy?
    And in another breadth, it says monitoring the consultancy costs another US$2 million. The US$4.5 million cannot be allowed to be spent this way.
    Again, another look at Component two and you would find, “Studies to prepare for the next Project”. The next project is yet to start, but I agree that the Government would have to do some work in preparing for the next project. They are allocating an amount of US$2.5 million for the purposes of preparing for the next project.
    Mr Speaker, if you look at Component one -- “Improved Road Safety”, I believe we should all be concerned about the cost of items. It says, “Roll-out Vehicle Inspections to Private Garages: Study” cost US$600,000. Again, we have “Training of Driving Instructors” costing
    I asked about how many instructors we were training and I was told they are about five. But my understanding is that if they are five, how could that be? We would need the Hon Minister's consent, to give us some answers because I believe that US$50,000 is a bit too much.
    Mr Speaker, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation --
    Mr Forson 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, US$450,000 for Research, Monitoring and Evaluation. Finally, Training/HR Capacity Building cost another US$360,000.
    I strongly believe that the capacity building component for this amount is a bit too much. In fact, I wish to say Cabinet flagged this matter and raised concerns that the amount was too much and so they should reallocate up to 50 per cent from US$16 million downwards.
    They only reallocated about 40 per cent and I do not think that is good enough.
    Mr Speaker, that is my concern about this matter. Inasmuch as the Cabinet of the Republic has raised concerns about this matter, as an Honourable House, we should also be concerned about the way public funds are being used as long as capacity building is concerned.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Member, thank you very much. Hon Chairman, I will call you at the appropriate time.
    Mr Fuseini Issah (NPP -- Okaikoi North) 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to --
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Chairman, you will have the opportunity, either by yourself or the Hon Minister to respond appropriately.
    Hon Member, please, go ahead.
    Mr Issah 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion ably moved by the Hon Chairman of the Committee on Finance.
    Mr Speaker, today, road transport is a predominant mode of transportation
    across the country, from Accra to Paga, for both passengers and cargo.
    The road transport network, as at the year 2002, was 47,824 km; by the year 2016, it was about 78,401km. The governance of this country is a continual process and so Government after Government has a duty to ensure that our road transport network is improved.
    This facility tends to give us a lot of benefits, including improvement of 370 km of road network for the country. This improvement includes the rehabilitation and upgrading of existing roads and additional 200 km of feeder roads which is going to help us in the agricultural sector as well as other sectors of the economy.
    Mr Speaker, one other component of this facility that we have to take note of is the component that goes towards the improvement of road safety. Road accidents and the carnage that we suffer on our roads could be put in one perspective.
    Annually, we suffer about 3,000 deaths through road accidents and this is equivalent to the national theatre being full with people actually dying within one year. What we do is that, when this carnage happens on the roads, we talk about it for a couple of days, forget about it and go back to our old ways.
    Mr Speaker, research has proven that road accidents are actually caused by bad human errors. This facility gives us the opportunity to build capacity in improving such sectors that actually cause these issues.
    One other thing that I would want us to note about this facility is that, unlike facilities that we have seen in the last couple of weeks, where we have tax waivers, which means Government would
    have to waive all taxes concerned with those projects, this is a unique one where there are no tax waivers.
    So based on this, I urge every one of us, as Hon Members, we know how we suffer when roads are mentioned in our constituencies.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    One more from each Side. Hon Member?
    Mr Alex Adomako-Mensah (NDC -- Sekyere Afram Plains) 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion and in doing so, make a few comments.
    Mr Speaker, this is a World Bank loan facility and it is supposed to provide support in anticipation of a proposed transport sector improvement project.
    Mr Speaker, it is in three components. The first has been structured in a way that has given an indication from Tamale to Yendi and Tatale, which is 103 km. This has been specified.
    Mr Speaker, when we go to the second phase, which is 200 km, we could see that we have cited the regions, but no district has been given out and we do not know the stretch of the road which is going to be constructed.
    Mr Speaker, Hon Members of Parlia- ment want to know where the roads would be located so that we could monitor as we have no idea which of the roads would be constructed.
    We have been given the regions without the districts and the other locations. Mr Speaker, this is our concern and so we would want the Hon Minister to give us the detailed information on where the roads would be constructed?
    Mr Speaker, when we look at the Improved Road Safety bid, it has been allocated US$160,000 for its awareness creation only. I believe that it is a huge figure and we must look at it, because we cannot give out the money without making a proper assessment.
    When we look at the Institutional Strengthening and Capacity item, it appears we are giving out money and only the project audit is US$800,000 and the project coordinator's office operating cost is US$250,000.
    Mr Speaker, all these need to be looked at before we see how we would adopt it because it is too much and we cannot be throwing money away.
    Mr Speaker, under Observation, there is Waiver of Commitment Charge and at the Committee meeting we were informed that the maximum Commitment Charge of 0.5 per cent had been waived for the first year, and given the authority, we had authorised the Board of IDA to review the waiver on year-on-year basis.
    This would be in line with the previous dealings with the IDA, but this had not been done before. So if we are giving the provider of the loan the chance to do their own waiver, then it would cause a lot of problems to the country.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Hon Member, thank you very much.
    Hon Ayeh-Paye.
    Mr Samuel Ayeh-Paye (NPP -- Ayensuano) 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for
    the opportunity. I rise to support the Motion moved by the Hon Chairman of the Finance Committee and seconded by the Hon Ranking Member of the Finance Committee.
    Mr Speaker, this is a very good facility that would support our transportation sector, not only roads but also other sectors like the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and the National Road Safety Commission
    Mr Speaker, nowadays, the rate of road accidents is an issue that worries all those in the transport industry and there is the need for us to find a solution. As we all agree, this project has three components and one component would support the
    Mr Speaker, at the Committee level, the Hon Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways, Hon Deputy Minister for Transport and the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance were all present and the Hon Minister for Roads and Highways made us to understand that the NRSC would work with them to introduce road furniture in replacement of those that have gone bad, and to also introduce speed cameras on some of the roads to reduce speed and road accidents.
    Mr Speaker, the DVLA made us to understand that this facility would help them to monitor the activities of the private garages that are monitoring and testing vehicles for them.
    As we speak, the DVLA has staff in all the private garages in the country and they made us to understand that they would use this facility to introduce a software, a system that would help DVLA to be in their offices and monitor the activities that go on in the private garages. They would also use the money to
    support the feasibility studies in areas where there are no private garages, especially the northern part of this country.
    Mr Speaker, the facility would also support roads in parts of the Northern Region. A typical example is the Tamale to Yendi and Tatale roads which are about 403 kilometres.
    At the Committee level, I suggested to the Ministry of Roads and Highways that they should try and consult the Ministry of Finance, to see how best they could get additional funding to seal the 67 kilometres which is not part of the total road that would be sealed by the project, so that it would help us to get a good road on that stretch.
    Mr Speaker, with the issues about the 200 kilometres, whose lot have not been named in the programme, we were made to understand that studies are still ongoing, and very soon we would be given names of roads that have been selected for the project.
    So in all, the 200 kilometres are for farm and village roads and when these are done, it would help us to move farm produce from the farm gate to the market. I am very sure that this would also help our One District One Factory Programme.
    Mr Speaker, when the raw materials are in the farms and we do not get them to the factories, then it would be difficult for us to add value to it and so getting good roads from the farm gate to the factories and markets would reduce stumps in the movement of farm produce to the market. It would also reduce the post-harvest loses.
    Mr Speaker, so it is a very good project and I would want Hon Members to support the Motion to get the project done.
    Mr Speaker, thank you.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Hon Ayeh-Paye, thank you very much.
    Minority Leadership?
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I may have to yield my opportunity to the Hon Ranking Member for the Committee on Roads and Highways, but probably to indulge you, that next time we would wish that, at least, Hon Members within the finance and road sectors speak to the subject.
    Mr Speaker, just to approve US$150 million -- we are exercising oversight, but for want of time today, I would yield to Hon Kwame Agbodza. But tomorrow we should allow for more debate on a subject like this.
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, you know why we must move in accordance with a programme we have all agreed on already, and that at 3.00 p.m. we are leaving this House to attend to something, and we are moving accordingly.
    Mr Iddrisu 12:30 p.m.
    I know, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Please, sometimes, I do not want Leaders to introduce things that others have ceded to.
    If you want us to explain, this is why we are going the way we are going. So you may either take your opportunity or cede it accordingly as stated.
    Yes, Hon Member, you may proceed.
    Mr Kwame Governs Agbodza (NDC -- Adaklu) 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion for the approval of the sum of about US$150 million for the improvement in the road sector.
    Mr Speaker, it is interesting we are in an era of “Ghana Beyond Aid” but we have to borrow money to build roads. [Hear! Hear!] It would have sounded better if we were in 2016. [Uproar.]
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Agbodza 12:30 p.m.
    I never thought I would wake up in 2018 and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government would be the one borrowing the US$150 million to build roads.
    Mr Speaker, at the Committee level, we were made to believe that only about US$90 million of this amount of money actually goes into building roads.
    The Ministry of Roads and Highways also failed to give us a breakdown of the specific roads that this money would be used to build. We were told they are now selecting. When we approve this, they would then apportion the various amounts of money for these.
    Mr Speaker, the Loan Agreement is for a road infrastructure development, road safety and institutional capacity building. It is surprising that if you look at one of the tables attached to the Report, we are spending about US$50,000.00 to train five people, just to improve their capacity. The Hon Chairman told us they are about 10 people.
    Some Hon Members 12:30 p.m.
    Are they going to space?
    Mr Agbodza 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the fact is that we need a lot of money to improve our road conditions in the country. It is very important for us to find out why we are still borrowing US$150 million to do road improvement project when this House actually improved on the collections that could accrue to the Ghana Road Fund from US$200 million to US$1.2 billion.
    Indeed, we have heard before, that we have not got enough money, and that is why we are borrowing money.
    When we have US$1.2 billion in the Ghana Road Fund, much was annexed to a loan that the Ministry took some time ago, but that money would have been able to clear that loan by August this year. However, the current Government has gone to borrow GH¢600 million on the back of the US$1.2 billion.
    So it is like they appropriate and reprobate. Sometimes it is not clear what we are up to. Today, Ghana Road Fund is no longer available for the Ministry to use.
    Mr Samuel Ayeh-Paye 12:30 p.m.
    On a point of order. Mr Speaker, the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government -- [Uproar] -- borrowed US$1.2 billion of the Road Fund. So when we took over in 2017, there was not even a penny in the Road Fund.
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Members, order!
    Mr Ayeh-Paye 12:30 p.m.
    We managed the Road Fund by giving the loan they took to a private bank and extended the period of
    payment. We have not added a penny to the loan that they took. We have managed the loan and kept more space so that we could continue to maintain the roads we have in the country.
    What the Minister for Roads and Highways did was to just give the loan they took to a commercial bank, and it has extended the period of payment. It is refinancing.
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Member, you are out of order. [Laughter.]
    Hon Agbodza, continue.
    Mr Agbodza 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my Hon Chairman who is a very good friend of mine is very much aware that even the US$1.2 billion that the previous Government borrowed, US$600 million of that was sitting in the account to be expended. [Uproar.]
    That is why I say we appropriate and reprobate. That is not what we do as politicians.
    Mr Speaker, the conditions on our roads are deteriorating simply because the current Government has failed to put in the necessary investment. I hold here in my hand a letter from Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD). You have heard before, that there is so much debt to COCOBOD. A letter dated 30th May, 2017.
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Member, whatever you seek to read must be duly authenticated before you do so. The letter is from where and to who and from whom? [Uproar.]
    Mr Agbodza 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the foundation I would want to lay is this, I said the reason the conditions on our roads have deteriorated significantly under this Government is because they are not putting in the necessary investments.
    They have decided to cut back the investments that have been put in even before they came. I was going to give you details of how one of those decisions is leading to one of the bad roads in the Volta Region, on the Eastern Corridor, where the President talked about the condition of the road.
    He has forgotten that the reason the road is like that is because the Chief Executive of COCOBOD has decided to suspend work on that road. So if the President went to the Eastern Corridor and saw a bad road, it was a decision taken by his Government.
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.

    Where is it from?
    Mr Agbodza 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am grateful for the opportunity.
    This letter is from COCOBOD, dated 30th April, 2017, signed by the Chief Executive and addressed to the Ghana Highways Authority and the Chief Executive.
    Mr Agbodza 12:30 p.m.
    It was signed by the Chief Executive of the COCOBOD, Hon Joseph Boahen Adu and copied to the Chief Executive of many agencies, including the Director of Finance, Director of Admini- stration and many other agencies. [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hold on, Hon Member. That is not the procedure.
    Some Hon Members 12:30 p.m.
    Bow. [Uproar.]
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if an Hon Member is making a
    Mr Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Hon Member, you have the letter. You may read it, and you may table it.
    Mr Agbodza 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, this letter is from COCOBOD, and signed by the current Chief Executive Officer, dated 30th April, 2017, and it says;
    SPACE FOR LETTER -- PAGE 1 -- 12.40 P.M

    Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to read this letter. My view on this is very simple.

    We are aware that since this letter was written, COCOBOD announced to the whole country that they are conducting a review of all the cocoa roads in this country. Indeed, the Chief Executive Officer is on record to have said that there were cocoa roads that could not be traced. He called them ghost roads. There were cocoa roads that had been inflated in terms of cost.

    Mr Speaker, it is in the interest of Ghana that COCOBOD published the report of the review, so that we would know whether, indeed, there are missing cocoa roads, or there are contracts that have been inflated.

    Mr Speaker, if it turns out that COCOBOD cannot prove that there is any cocoa road that is missing or a cocoa road contract has been inflated, it would be appropriate to sanction those people who spoke as such.

    My conclusion on cocoa roads is that technically, if a contractor starts building a road and it reaches a stage like primer seal, primer seal should not last for more than six months, and a decision has been taken by a government official to suspend that project. By the time we go back to do the road it would deteriorate and government has to pay more.

    As far as I am concerned, that is a deliberate decision to make this country pay more money than we ought to pay.

    Mr Speaker, going back to the Report, I believe it is a good decision for the Ministry of Transport to train our children on road safety; the lollipop stands are
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Hon Member, it has been duly taken, but reviews can be made and they have been made by succeeding Governments, and in the process, works are suspended.
    If you want to ask a Question on the situation as of now, as to what has happened with regard to the suspension of works and other matters, you may ask a Question addressed to an appropriate person.
    So we do not need that at that particular time.
    Mr Moses Anim (NPP -- Trobu) 12:50 p.m.
    Thank you Mr Speaker, for the oppor- tunity to support the Motion, and also urge Hon members to support this laudable loan that is supposed to improve on the transport sector of the country.
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, do you want to conclude now? When we finish, I would ask either your good self or the Hon Deputy Minister to respond. [Interruption.]
    Mr Anim 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
    Mr Speaker, just last week, the Hon Minister for Roads and Highways was here to answer 16 Questions on roads put by the Minority.
    For the previous --
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    By an Hon Member from the Minority?
    Mr Anim 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, during the previous weeks, every Friday, the Hon Minister for Roads and Highways comes here to answer Questions put to him by the Minority, mostly about eight
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Order! Order!
    Mr Anim 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we are told that roads were constructed in their time, and if they are saying they used our money to do all those roads, why is it that every Friday they come to ask Questions on their roads?
    Mr Speaker, Hon Agbodza, who is also a consultant, has filed a Question in this House, asking the extent to which roads were constructed in 2017.
    The Hon Minister for Roads and Highways was here to answer the Question, and in the Question the Hon Minister for Roads and Highways justified and answered all those Questions and the amount that had been used in constructing the roads.

    Mr Speaker, coming back to the Report, you would realise that for the first time we have a grant element of 30.4 per cent that is giving us about US$45.6 million.

    Mr Speaker, when you look at the maximum commitment charge, it is 0.5 per cent. In 2018, there is the element of waive which is also an incentive for taking this loan.

    Mr Speaker, it bothers my mind that when we speak in this House -- It is a House of record and we must be very factual. If somebody says that at the end of the day, the Hon Minister did not
    Mr Speaker, in the Report, it is indicated on page 4 12:50 p.m.
    “The road stretch from Tamale to Yendi and Tatale (about 103 km of paved and 67km of unpaved road) will be rehabilitated to improve the road network integral part of the Central East-West corridor.”
    Mr Speaker, it is an identification that an aspect of this loan is going to be used to construct this particular stretch of road. So, if the Hon Member says that nothing has been indicated, he is not being factual.
    Mr Speaker, because we are not constructing more of the service roads, the axle load on our roads has led to the early deplorable state of our roads.
    If we take such facilities to improve on service roads so as to reduce the axle load on the main roads, especially the rural roads which are called feeder roads, and they are becoming bypass roads, where transport owners and vehicles would exit very early from the main roads, it is going to improve the shelf life of our roads and we are going to save money out of that.
    Mr Speaker, these days, man hour losses in terms of traffic is also a huge challenge and therefore, if we are able to construct roads that are going to facilitate our citizens coming to work early for this country, it would improve productivity.
    Mr Speaker, at times when you stand by the roadside and you see our children commute to school, the hours that they spend to come back from school and the early hours that they have to move from home to school -- At times, at 4.30 a.m.
    you would see our children standing by the roadside going to school all because the traffic situation is such that the vehicles do not come early for them to board and go to school.
    Mr Speaker, constructing roads in this manner is going to help us, and for that matter, we should all support this facility. I believe strongly that at the end of the day, if we continue to construct roads like this, it is going to help us.
    Secondly, we are talking about the accident rate in our country. We lose lives, and if we are going to educate our people and build capacity to make sure that our children know when to cross the road and when not to, it would reduce the death rate and I believe that our records would improve.
    Mr Speaker, I believe strongly that decisions that have been taken previously, especially when my Hon Colleague cited this Road Fund, we were here when the Hon Minister came to answer the Questions. Even among the banks that were selected, when UBA decided that we should even take it at 30.2 per cent, not on the reducing balance, the Government then took it.
    Mr Speaker, when the other banks also put in as 28 per cent at reducing balance, they went in for the one without the reducing balance.
    So please, let us be factual on these matters and make sure that the Road Fund that was mortgaged -- The essence of the Road Fund was for the routine maintenance and rehabilitation of our roads.
    Mr Speaker, they mortgaged their own routine maintenance, and at the end of the day, when they even wanted to pay the arrears, they did not pay the arrears. When
    the loan was meant to pay the total arrears, they did not. The Hon Minister was here to answer the Questions and I believe the Hansard is there for all of us to read.
    Mr Anim 12:50 p.m.
    Therefore, if this facility is going to improve the road network in northern Ghana, then we believe that it is also going to reduce poverty. [Hear! Hear!]
    Alhaji I. A. B. Fuseni 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to support the --
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Hon Member, I thought you rose on a point of order.
    Alhaji I. A. B. Fuseni 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise On a Point of Order.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is my good Friend and my Hon Member of Parliament (MP) I live in his constituency now.
    I heard him make some very serious allegations against the Road Fund. Mr Speaker, he is totally misleading this House. The loan against the Road Fund, standing in the name of contractors, was GH¢332 million. When the enhancement happened, that was totally retired.
    The loan against the Road Fund coming from the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) was
    GH¢347 million. Mr Speaker, at the time that the loan was contracted, Road Fund had no legal capacity to contract the loans, so it was negotiated for Road Fund by the Ministry of Finance.
    The Ministry of Finance renegotiated the GH¢347 million standing against the Road Fund and brought it down to GH¢329 million. That amount was paid off. The point is, to say that we took the loan without paying the arrears is a gross mis- statement.
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Hon Members, order!
    Alhaji I. A. B. Fuseni 12:50 p.m.
    When you take GH¢1.2 billion, you would continue paying interest on GH¢1.2 billion until the loan is retired. There is no financial arrangement like that. You pay interest on reducing balance basis. What you have not spent -- So, on any loan that you take --
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Please conclude.
    Mr Anim 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member was here. The answers were given when the Hon Minister was here so he can go back and read.
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Hon First Deputy Speaker first. After that you would conclude.
    Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu (NPP-- Bekwai) 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I must say at the outset that I support that the House should approve the Loan Agreement.
    Mr Speaker, I wish to suggest that going through the planned disbursement of the loan, we should review what we intend to use the loan for.
    I have looked particularly, at the component dealing with Road Safety, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), National Road Safety Com- mission, and the Department of Urban Roads. They are a huge chunk but from my experience, Ghana would not get any value for those expenditures.
    Mr Speaker, the reason is simple; all those things they call consultancies, first, if it is not given to a company that is Ghanaian, you would never get the
    approval to spend it. And the companies that are coming from outside— I do not want to make allegations, but they are coming from, practically, the lenders, and if they come, they would not give us value.
    Mr Speaker, I had the occasion to work on the vehicle testing system and I am surprised that it is back here. What is left to be learned? We designed what is there ourselves.
    Under the previous Transport Sector Programme, they refused us the money because we were not willing to use consultants from the United Kingdom and other people; we said we would do it ourselves and we did it.
    Let us not agree to take a loan for the same thing which would make us bring some people here, who would not add any value.
    I recall there was somebody who was coming from Norway. They would come and sit in hotels for three days and would write a report and say, I should approve for them to go and take the money. I did one, two and refused to sign the rest.
    And he said, the money is from his country and I said, to hell, if it is not giving me value, I would not approve it. It is the same thing that we are seeing here.
    Mr Speaker, Hon Colleagues in the Committee on Roads and Transport would recall the problem we had with DVLA regarding software from their budget.
    We had raised issues with how much money we had spent over the years purporting to be installing softwares. And they could not show us at the Committee level what value they were giving Ghanaians for all the softwares they said they had installed.
    Now, they have programmed to install another software. What value would this give Ghanaians for inspecting the vehicle testing companies? They are private; DVLA charges them.
    If the fees they are charging is not enough, they should increase the fees because DVLA is giving them a business. And if we should supervise them, that cost should be borne by the companies.
    Mr Speaker, all those moneys that are programmed for consultancies and studies, I propose that they should be turned into building road infrastructure. This is because at the end of the tenure, we would pay the loan and we would have nothing to show to Ghanaians what we used the money for.
    Ghanaians would not know if there are manoeuvring to take part of the money back to the lenders without giving any value. We should take the loan but we should invest not less than 80 per cent of that loan into road infrastructure and not the consultancies that have been put here.
    So I urge the Committee to go back, review the arrangements and take the money for road infrastructure and not for consultancies which we cannot justify.
    I thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 1 p.m.
    Thank you Mr Speaker—
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, please, be brief; time is not on our side.
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would attempt to respond to the issues that have been raised.
    Mr Speaker, we are called upon to approve a loan for US$150 million. US$133.78 million of this loan is going into infrastructure. That is 89.1 per cent. So, respectfully, the 80 per cent threshold has been crossed.
    Mr Speaker, I know Mr First Deputy Speaker has worked with the DVLA—
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, speak to the principles and the generalities of the matters.
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if we look at component one, I do not see anywhere that the DVLA is going to purchase a software; the software is going to the National Road Safety Commission.
    Mr Speaker, again, the Hon Ranking Member said, Cabinet asked for about 50 per cent of the amount going to institutional strengthening and capacity building.
    Mr Speaker, we have a project appraisal document from the World Bank. It is not the World Bank that recommended that that be scaled down. It is the Cabinet of President Akufo-Addo that said that US$16 million cannot go to institutional strengthening and capacity building so, the Ministry should scale it down and it came down to US$9 million; a reduction of 46.1 per cent.
    Mr Speaker, they mentioned monitor- ing consultant; monitoring consultancy. If we look critically, for US$133 million project, monitoring consultancy is US$2 million; that is going to Ghana Highways Authority.
    The other bit, US$ 2.5million is going to the Department of Feeder Roads. So, if we just stand in the Chamber and say monitoring consultancy -- US$2 million and another US$2.5 million here, are you

    suggesting that the consultants working on highways are doing the same thing as those working on feeder roads?

    Mr Speaker, there was a thorough job done at Committee; we had the Ministry of Roads and Highways and the Ministry of Transport.

    This is a World Bank facility; the terms are generous and for anybody to suggest that we are approving money — maybe, sometime, some Norwegian funds came, which did not go to do what was expected. But this one the funds are coming from the World Bank. This is the project appraisal document detailed.

    So I do not see why Parliament at this point should not approve this facility. Mr Speaker, I do not find anything wrong with this facility and I believe Parliament should give its full blessing to this facility.

    I thank you, Mr Speaker.

    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, you may please move the Resolution.
    RESOLUTIONS 1 p.m.

    Minister for Finance) 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move,
    WHEREAS by the provisions of article 181 of the Constitution and sections 55 and 56 of the
    Public Financial Management Act of 2016 (Act 921), the terms and conditions of all government borrowings shall be laid before Parliament and shall not come into operation unless the terms and conditions are approved by a resolution of Parliament in accordance with article 181 of the Constitution;
    PURSUANT TO the provisions of the said article 181 of the Constitution and sections 55 and 56 of the Public Financial Management Act of 2016 (Act 921), at the request of the Government of the Republic of Ghana, acting through the Minister responsible for Finance, there has been laid before Parliament the terms and conditions of the Financing Agreement between the Govern- ment of the Republic of Ghana and the International Develop- ment Association (IDA) for an amount equivalent to one hundred and ten million, six hundred thousand Special Drawing Rights (SDR 110,600,000) [equivalent to US$150 million] to finance the proposed Transport Sector Improvement Project.


    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    Any seconder?
    Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly.
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    Hon Members, this morning, we heard from the news that Hon J. H. Mensah, the veteran politician had passed on. We sent a small delegation led by our Director of Protocol, Mr Richard Acheampong to verify and report back. Custom demands that you must know, especially for this august House, we must be assured of what is being said before we start sending delegations. We cannot send the delegation only for them to be embarrassed by being told that nothing has happened over here.
    But the delegation has come back and reported; confirming that the famous economist, politician, former Minority Leader and statesman has indeed, joined his ancestors at the age of 90 years. Parliament would formally proceed to the House at 3.00 p.m. to greet the family as custom demands.
    Majority and Minority Leaders would make Statements in this connection.
    Hon Minority Leader?
    STATEMENTS 1:10 p.m.

    Minority Leader (Mr Haruna Iddrisu) 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, certainly, these are not good times in our country. It was this morning that you shared with me, before you opened the Parliamentary Service Board meeting, the sudden departure of one of our political icons; Mr J. H. Mensah.
    Mr Speaker, I do know we would have the opportunity to eulogise him as a House, not just as a former Minority Leader, but one who has paid his dues to the country.
    He was an exceptionally and pro- foundly brilliant economist, one of few gifted with God's gift of thinking on his feet momentarily at all times. He has made significant contribution to the economic and political development of our country, and we are justified as a nation to be in grief and to celebrate his departure -- not mourn his death.
    Mr Speaker, at his age, as I have indicated, he served this country in very diverse capacities and I do know that Leadership and Hon Colleagues would join you. We have lost a father, a political colossus -- our sympathy and condo- lences to the immediate family, to the President and members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the nation at large.
    Mr Speaker, we lost an opportunity to visit him. Someday, when I got some information that he was at the 37 Military Hospital, we were taking steps to visit him when we were alerted that he had been taken home again and that denied us the opportunity. Countless Ghanaians would
    Mr Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader?
    Majority Leader (Mr Kyei-Mensah- Bonsu) 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, as you are aware, we had programmed a Parliamentary Service Board Meeting for 8.00 a.m. today. I could not make it the time because I left Parliament this morning around 12.30 a.m. and getting home at 1.15 a.m. it became difficult for me to wake up at 4.30 a.m. which is the routine time that I normally wake up.
    Mr Speaker, the spirit was willing, but the flesh could not adequately respond. Waking up to recharge my cell phone this morning which had gone dead in the night, at 6.00 a.m., I was met with the shock of my life -- the unheralded transition to the greater beyond of the very venerable Mr Joseph Henry Mensah, who was affectionately called J. H. Mensah.
    Mr Speaker, growing up in the elementary school of those times, we got to hear of a certain redoubtable J. H. Mensah who had helped former President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, to craft a seven-year Development Plan for the new Republic of Ghana. That was an innovation that was unknown in the newly independent countries in Africa.
    We did not know the person, but we heard of his prowess and our teachers spoke most eloquently about the prowess of that multi-talented and acclaimed young-tech of an economist, who had made it within the realm of the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank.
    Mr Speaker, former President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah the socialist, knew J. H. Mensah as a liberal economist, but knowing what brain power J.H. Mensah had to positively affect the development and agenda of the country, invited him from the UN.
    Mr J. H. Mensah knew he could have earned much more within the enclave of UN, but selfless as he was, he responded to his patriotic instincts and migrated back to Ghana to help in constructing the edifice called ‘‘Ghana''.
    Mr Speaker, J. H. Mensah entered Parliament in 1969 with Professor Kofi Abrefa Busia in whose Government he served as an Hon Minister for Finance.
    The major land marks of the brand of economic management that J. H. Mensah introduced included face lifting the decayed urban centres and road developments and the shift from controlled economy to a liberalised economy.
    He introduced the first Structural Adjustment Programme in Ghana, which included a devaluation of the cedi to
    stimulate agricultural industrial produc- tion. The latter unfortunately, agitated many uninitiated people at the time, and resulted in some restlessness, especially within the ranks of the labour unions.
    Colonel Kutu Acheampong at the time was to cite the devaluation of the cedi as one of the justifications for ousting the Second Republic on January 13th, 1972.
    Mr Speaker, J. H. Mensah was incar- cerated for a very long time after the overthrow of the Second Republic and indeed, after the December 31st coup that ousted the Third Republic, he was a prime target.
    It was alleged by the regime that he was a perennial persistent unrepentant potential counter coup maker. He had to be in self imposed exile for a very long time.
    Mr Speaker, I count myself as very fortunate to have been in Parliament in 1997, with a genius of a character called J. H. Mensah. He was an intellectual par excellence, he was hugely knowledgeable, profoundly intelligent, a brilliant communicator, an astute debater, a generalist who knew something about every business that Parliament transacted. He was a delight to behold anytime he rose to debate in the House.
    Mr Speaker, his counterpart, Mr J. H. Owusu Acheampong, who was the Hon Majority Leader at the time, was himself a master act in the application of the Standing Orders which he always employed to apply brakes on J. H. Mensah.
    Mr Speaker, in economics, finance, health, energy, even law; in education, trade, agriculture -- in every sector, Hon J. H. Mensah was a quintessential
    performer in the Chamber. I am eternally grateful to Hon J. H. Mensah for his encouragement to me which has made me who I am today.
    Mr Speaker, today, Hon J. H. Mensah is gone. My eternal regret is that apart from the briefings that he offered us in the Chamber and in caucuses, he never got around to write his own memoirs and that to me, is a tragedy.
    He toiled and overreached himself to help build Ghana and not build himself. May the Almighty God be kind to him and grant him eternal rest in the bosom of Father Abraham.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity.
    Mr Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Hon Members, can we have a contribution from the other Side of the House? We shall take one contribution from each Side and then we shall have a minute's silence.
    Hon Member?
    Dr Abdul-Rashid Hassan Pelpuo (NDC -- Wa Central) 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we learnt of the demise of this great man this morning with a lot of grief and shock. But before I say anything, let me first of all send my condolences and our condolences to the family, friends and lovers of a man who lived, fought and died for his country.
    Mr Speaker, the last time I met Hon J. H. Mensah was when he came for a funeral at the forecourt of the State House. I went up to him and he recognised me. I told him I would want to take a photograph with him.
    I informed him that despite the fact that he was at the other Side of the aisle in our political discourse, he was an inspiration
    Dr Abdul-Rashid Hassan Pelpuo (NDC -- Wa Central) 1:20 p.m.

    to many young people. When I was the Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, reading from what he had authored over the years, I told him I loved his style and I admired his capacity to speak for several hours on an issue as small as it was presented before him. He was very happy to hear me and I took a photograph with him.

    Mr Speaker, it is good that such people in their lifetime should be recognised and honoured for what they have done. We watched him from afar before I became a Member of Parliament, and we saw how he fought since the days of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

    We read about what he did until he came on board during the Busia Regime and became the youngest Finance Minister Ghana has ever seen. And until recent times, in the 1992 dispensation when he took over the seat in his constituency and came to Parliament and became a Minority Leader.

    Mr Speaker, in all these occupations and life engagements in the commitment to fight for the rise and the will of the people, we saw in this man a committed servant of man and God. I believe that we are going to learn something from him and I believe that the legacy he left with us would not die.

    Mr Speaker, I am particularly referring to a particular legacy he used to project, which was that, in Ghana, the politicians must have a political class.

    We must ensure that until things go so bad, the people who agree to fight on behalf of the people, must recognise each other and respect each other in such a way that they do not expose themselves unnecessarily to the populace, for them

    to lose confidence in governance. That he used to call the development of a political class, which was largely accepted across the political divide.

    Mr Speaker, it is the reason I would like us to go back to that memory and keep that legacy, the legacy where we can protect the sanctity of our institutions.

    There should be no why, for example, Sitting in the House should be portrayed in the media or anywhere else in an odd, and unacceptable manner. Nor should the President or Members of Parliament be, until and unless it is found out that it is beyond that situation where it cannot be protected.

    That was the reason he brought about that political class and I would like us to keep it as a legacy.

    Mr Speaker, let me make reference to a particular instance in which Hon Members of Parliament and some former Ministers were caught up in what they called a double-salary saga.

    The best reference should not be the Police; the best reference was to the Administration, just like President Atta- Mills did.

    Mr Speaker, that is the political class he was talking about. May I once again use this opportunity to send my condolences to the family of the bereaved; to the party he served, to the people of Ghana who loved him so much, and especially, to Hon Members of Parliament who when he served as one of us, he fought very hard and lived a worthy life.

    We eulogise him and we hope and pray that his legacy would be guiding principles for us now and for ever.

    I thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Member?
    Mr Eugene Boakye Antwi (NPP -- Subin) 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am most grateful.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to speak on the demise of one of the United Party's (UP), Progress Party's (PP) and New Patriotic Party's (NPP) seminal figures, Hon Joseph Henry Mensah who has fallen today. From his chairmanship of the NPP, UK and Ireland Branch, from 1992 to 1996, where I had the rare privilege of working closely with him as one of the last pillars of our tradition.
    Mr Speaker, J. H. Mensah came home in the year 1996 to contest for the NPP presidential candidature, he lost to former President J. A. Kufuor. He is our first Hon Minority/Majority Leader, under the Fourth Republican Constitution, a brilliant scholar, politician, statesman who was a man of many parts. As the British would describe him, he had a rich and varied hinterland.
    Mr Speaker, he became NPPs first Senior Minister under the John Agyekum Kufuor's Administration. He was the only surviving Cabinet member of Dr Kofi Abrefa Busia, whose intellect, economic prowess and acumen shaped most of President J. A. Kufuor's economic policies.
    Mr Speaker, J. H., as many affec- tionately called him, was a jolly good fellow. May the soul of the incorruptible, courageous, disciplined, indefatigable Hon J. H. Mensah rest in perfect peace.
    Mr Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Members, there would be further contributions as is the request of the Hon Majority Leader. We would then end proceedings with the
    tributes, and the Hon First Deputy Speaker would lead us in a minute's silence and we would then end the business of the day.
    Hon Fuseini, you would continue.
    Alhaji I. A. B. Fuseini (NDC -- Tamale Central) 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is with a heavy heart that I stand before this House this morning to eulogise Joseph Henry Mensah; a colossus of politics of immense proportion. An icon we have been told, and there is no doubt about that.
    A reconciler in this House. When matters became difficult that we were looking for the icebreaker, J. H. Mensah could provide same. A man who was not hesitant in drawing one's attention to his own lapses in this House. A man who was not consumed by his own success.
    Mr Speaker, J. H. Mensah was your own Hon Colleague in this House. We know how he reached out to all manner of persons. He spent a greater proportion of his life in the service of this country.
    Even in old age, when many would have retired to their hamlets and enjoy the peace of their homes, one could every now and then hear the exhortations of J. H. Mensah in the media and the cautions on how to govern this country: the warnings of what could befall this country if we did not take care of our own developments and the way we went about things.
    Today, this is the man we are all remembering. Shakespeare said, “Death, a necessary end, will come when it will come”. We are all mortals and that a day would come when we would all be spoken of in the past. We knew that a time will come, with the advanced age of J. H. Mensah, we would talk about him in the
    Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh (NPP -- Sunyani East) 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the demise of Hon J. H. Mensah affectionately called, “J.H.” came to me this morning at about 6:45 a.m. through another Hon Colleague of ours, Hon Major Derek Oduro. He called me early in the morning to find out if I had heard about the passing on of J.H. to which I said I have not heard about.
    He was on his way to the 37 Military Hospital to verify if, indeed, the informa- tion was true. I told him I would join him later but before we could get there, he had been prepared for the morgue.
    Mr Speaker, J. H. served this country well and in many capacities from pre- independence until he exited Parliament in January, 2009. He has been a Minister in Professor Busia's Government.
    He was a Member of Parliament for Sunyani. At that time, the Sunyani Constituency covered Sunyani West and some parts of Berekum. It was a big constituency. He was a representative of all these areas put together.
    When the Government of Busia was overthrown and constitutional democracy was restored in 1979, he failed to have the
    opportunity to serve his people again. He was barred from contesting the election.
    He was the chosen candidate for the Popular Front Party (PFP) and because he was stopped from contesting, the then PFP had to choose somebody to run as an independent candidate so that the people who would ordinarily have voted for Hon J. H. Mensah could vote for that person.
    So in his place, Lawyer Owusu Sekyere was chosen to run as independent candidate and he entered Parliament to represent the good people of Sunyani.
    As we were young in those days, we heard nsoroma and kwadu; the symbol of independence was banana, and the Popular Front Party was the star. So in our constituency, it was a combination of a star and a banana in those days.
    Mr Speaker, he had to study abroad for some time because of political persecution. When constitutional demo- cracy was restored to the country, he returned in the year 1996, and nobody contested him in the primaries of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
    It had to be ceded to him because we knew of the relevance, knowledge, skills and abilities he had to effectively represent the people of Sunyani East Constituency. He represented us, and became the Hon Minority Leader.
    In the year 2000, when the NPP won the elections and returned to power, he was the Hon Majority Leader and later an Hon Senior Minister. In all the positions he occupied, we had no doubt in our minds that he distinguished himself.
    Mr Speaker, in the roundup to the elections of the year 2000, he formed a group of young professionals in the Sunyani East Constituency.
    Mr J. H. Mensah was willing, at all times, to support the group of young professionals to take the campaign beyond Sunyani to almost every part of the Brong Ahafo Region. That was why from four seats, in the year 2000, we won 14 seats. We added 10 more seats to those that we had at the time.
    More or less, we were errand boys for the late J. H. Mensah. [Interruption.] In our party, we do not have foot soldiers. [Laughter.]
    As related to by the Hon Majority Leader, Mr J. H. Mensah has no book on his effort at nation building. I think that we could do something to honour his memory; even Parliament could commission somebody to compile his contributions in this House, which would serve as a guide to up-and-coming politicians like us. I think that Parliament would give it a serious thought.
    On this occasion when we are paying tribute to Mr J. H. Mensah, I would want to use the opportunity to wish his family the very best, and pray that the good Lord would keep them together so that we can see off Mr J. H Mensah in a peaceful manner.
    May he rest perfectly in the bosom of Abraham.
    I am most grateful, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa (NDC -- North Tongu) 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am most grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this Statement, which our Leadership made in honour of the late J. H. Mensah.
    Ordinarily, I am not worthy and even fit to tie the shoestrings of the colossus, patriot and venerable Mr J. H. Mensah, who was born in the year 1928 and would have been 90 years in October, 2018.
    Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa (NDC -- North Tongu) 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the late J. H. Mensah was indeed, a blessed man. He was larger than life; a life well lived. Everywhere Mr J. H Mensah worked, he distinguished himself, at the United Nations, the Advisory Council of the African Development Bank or as the National Head of the National Planning Commission in 1961, where he drew Ghana's seven-year development plan.
    Up till now, students of economics are told that was one of the finest economic plans that Ghana ever had.
    I am conversant with that plan because my Constituency, North Tongu, is featured prominently. His vision for agriculture and irrigation; how the Aveyime and the Accra irrigation plains area would have served as a bread basket for not only Ghana, but the entire West Africa as he envisioned.
    Mr Speaker, as an Hon Minority Leader, Mr J. H. Mensah always inspired and motivated. As young people, we all looked up to him. He inspired us, and it is really sad that some of us could not have the opportunity to be mentored by this great man.
    I remember one of his profound contributions on the Floor of this House, which became a major national news item for discussion.
    The late J. H. Mensah admonished politicians to stop the politics of free things. At that time, former President Rawlings of the NDC Government was in charge of the country.
    Mr J. H. Mensah argued that there was no such things as a “free” policy. If it was free to someone, somebody else was paying for it. Indeed, it is our taxes that
    are used for these interventions. He was more concerned about how successful we implemented national policies; the impact they would make and the sustainability of those policies.
    It was not just the fact that they were free. He was very sincere with his politics and was a nationalist.
    What was interesting about Mr J. H. Mensah was that going through his profile, he was so good that even the colonial Administration could not ignore him.
    In the year 1953, he was appointed an Assistant Inspector of Taxes. That was how good he was.
    As we all know, the colonialists did not really want Gold Coasters at the time to be part of their set up or governance structure. Yet, Mr J. H. Mensah could not be ignored.
    I agree with the Hon Majority Leader, that it is sad he does not have a memoir; but I believe that the suggestion that the Hon Majority Chief Whip has made must be taken up seriously, so that a special research work could be commissioned to put together series of productions on the works, times and pronouncements of Mr J. H. Mensah.

    Mr Speaker, as I conclude, the question that I intend to pose is, as a country, can we really say in all confidence, that we made the best of Mr J. H. Mensah's intellect and experience?

    That is why in other jurisdictions they have a Chamber, House of Lords where people like that help Presidents or Governments, and no matter the political party in power, they transcend beyond

    political parties. That is way below them and petty.

    Mr Speaker, somebody like Mr J. H. Mensah should be used by every President or Government; National Democratic Congress (NDC) or Convention People's Party (CPP) -- the political party should not matter. Unfortunately, people like Mr J. H. Mensah, in my view, have not been utilised well enough, especially, in his last years where he could have contributed immensely to the progress of our country.

    As we reflect, this is something that we should all consider; there are very few of them in the system before we allow them to depart and all that brain power and experience is allowed to rot in the ground. We should make the best out of them, regardless of which political persuasion is in the helm of affairs at any point in time.

    Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to eulogise such a great man, who I am not worthy to speak of.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Very well. Hon Members, with what has been said of the late Mr J. H. Mensah, I am sure we would be drawn into oblivion by what has not been said because of the lack of time.
    Indeed, what nobody can deny is that the late Mr J. H. Mensah has truly left golden footprints in the sands of time. May his lustrous soul rest in perfect peace.
    I respectfully ask that we stand up and observe a minute silence in honour of the late Mr J. H. Mensah.
    A minute silence was observed.
    May the soul of the late Hon J. H. Mensah and the souls of all the faithfully departed, rest in perfect peace. Amen.
    Hon Majority Leader, any guidance?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, there is still a lot to do but given the circumstances of the time, we are urged that in deference to the departed former Hon Colleague of ours, who we have just eulogised, may we in deference to him, adjourn proceedings for the day to resume tomorrow at 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon.
    I so move.
    Hear! Hear!
    Mr Iddrisu 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
    Mr Speaker, I was thinking that we will honour this with the same solemnity as I second the Motion for adjournment but to assure your good self and Hon Colleagues that the Hon Majority Leader and I probably, when we were in Dakar had discussed naming many of the monuments in Parliament to honour; from Justice D. F. Annan, Hon Peter Ala Adjetey, Hon J. H. Mensah and Hon J. H Owusu Acheampong.
    So it was already a matter that we were looking at, and I believe that this would signal how we bring conclusion to the matter.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I forgot to add that Leadership and those who feel moved by the spirit could join. We are leaving the Speaker's Block at exactly 3.00 pm.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Did I hear 2.00 pm or 3.00 pm?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, 3.00 o'clock. We would proceed to the family house of the late Hon J. H. Mensah.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Very well. Hon Members would take note and join in as practicably as possible.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    ADJOURNMENT 1:50 p.m.