Debates of 22 Nov 2018

PRAYERS 10:29 a.m.


Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:29 a.m.
Hon Members, we would commence the correction of the Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 21st November, 2018.
Hon Members, any corrections?
[No correction was made to the Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 21 st November, 2018].
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:29 a.m.
Yes, Majority Leadership?
Mr Moses Anim 10:29 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, we may alter the order of Business with your leave, so that we may go on to Motion numbered 6.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:29 a.m.
This means that we could start with the debate.
Very well.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:29 a.m.
Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Anim 10:29 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we agreed at the Business Committee that we would take the Questions during the latter part of the Business of the day, but the prime time would be given to the debate. That was the agreement at the Business Committee.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:29 a.m.
Very well, Hon Members.
Hon Members, today, in view of the calamity that has befallen this House, we would truncate proceedings at exactly 2.00 p. m. We would therefore start with item numbered 6 -- Motion -- and its debate is to continue.
Hon Members, we would start with the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing.
Leadership, is that all right?
Very well, I would call on the Minister for Works and Housing; Hon Samuel Atta Akyea.
MOTIONS 10:29 a.m.

Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:29 a.m.
Hon Minister, hold on. You should switch off your microphone.
Yes, Hon Member for North Tongu?
Mr Ablakwa 10:29 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am most grateful.
Mr Speaker, my very good friend, the Hon Minister for Works and Housing, just referred to this Honourable Chamber as a “court.” He said that he would want this honourable court to accept the Motion on the Budget.
Mr Akyea 10:29 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am grateful.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is right. This kind of thing happens when one's whole system has been court, court and court, until one is uprooted and brought here. So, the body system --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:29 a.m.
Hon Member, your 15 minutes are running.
Mr Akyea 10:39 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to contribute to the Motion that this Honourable House approves the financial
policy of the Government of Ghana for the year ending 31st December, 2019.
Mr Speaker, the primary occupation of any well-meaning Government is not propaganda, but rather the establishment of a sound and healthy economy. Support for this proposition may be found in article 36(1) and with your kind permission, I would like to quote:
“The State shall take all, necessary action to ensure that the national economy is managed in such a manner as to maximise the rate of economic development and to secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every person in Ghana and to provide adequate means of livelihood and suitable employment and public assistance to the needy.”
(2) The State shall, in particular, take all necessary steps to establish a sound and healthy economy whose underlying principles shall include -- …”
Mr Speaker, it is heart-breaking to hear that, with oil revenue of GH¢6.5 million between 2013 and 2016, the Mahama Government bequeathed to the Akufo- Addo Government a gargantuan and humongous certified arrears of GH¢5.4billion.
The GH¢5.4 billion does not include statutory payments which should go and help the National Health Insurance Service and even the District Assemblies' Common Fund.
Mr Speaker, one can imagine if these arrears were credit to the nation and invested in areas like health, agriculture, energy, and of course, my Ministry -- Ministry of Works and Housing. We do not need an economist to inform us about the cascading effect that such an

investment would have on the economy. It would be jobs, jobs and jobs - And obviously, poverty alleviation, which is one of the assignments of every government.

Mr Speaker, I wish to submit with due respect that without any shadow of doubt, President Akufo-Addo inherited from President Mahama a dangerously anaemic economy. I would want to repeat with due respect that facts are sacred, and with all my weaknesses, I would not want to joke with the economy of this country.

If we put propaganda aside, the facts are clear that the economy that President Akufo-Addo inherited from President Mahama was dangerously anaemic. It is the case. Is it not that it was during the Mills-Mahama rule that Ghana became an exporter of oil, and for four years, we exported US$13.7 billion and earned US$3 billion as revenue?

So within a short space of time - four years, because of what they inherited, they got three billion. With due respect, this largesse, President Kufuor never had and I am tempted to throw in some palace proverbs, with your permission, Mr Speaker: Se Onyame amfa ama wo na se wo ton iced water koraa, wo be bo ka. To wit, if you do not have the backing of heaven and you are given that small undertaking to even sell iced water, you would still post a loss.

It is very sad that the economy was not run in terms of politics under the right principles of state. I wish to also quote:

“To whom much is given, much is also required”.

Those of us who are interested in the Bible may look at Luke chapter12, verse


Mr Speaker, some of the policies underlying the 2019 Budget are the goals as set up in the Sustainable Development Goals and it is part of what we are trying to push by way of alleviating poverty.

Mr Speaker, let me look at what has been put together to affect the Ministry of Works and Housing.

Mr Speaker, it is very necessary that every serious Government would protect national assets and that is why we are paying due regard to our coastal line.

Mr Speaker, you may have a look at page 144; we are continuing with where President Mahama left off and we are dealing with serious areas of coastal challenges. This is because if we are not careful, the sea would eat our land and posterity would judge us.

So we are moving to Amanfulkuma, Dansoman phase 2 and the rest of them, which I would not want to bore you with.

Mr Speaker, there is also the necessity to also settle in our hearts that when one assumes office and there are projects which have been constructed by our predecessor, it is imperative that we complete those projects because if one does not, the projects would be open to the vagaries of the weather and obviously, the cost overruns overtime would be very difficult to handle. That is why in terms of article 35(7), President Akufo-Addo's Government intends to complete the Segleme housing project, which has a lot of challenges but we would ensure that it is duly completed.

Now, we have a very serious housing challenge, which for obvious reasons, Government of Ghana sources would not be able to support. Therefore there is a necessity to bring in private capital and the challenge is that if we are not careful,

because it is a huge infrastructural outlet, the private capital would swell the national debt and the argument on debt sustainability would be in the fore. But we need to intervene because if this nation is afraid to spend to give our people housing, the GH¢1.7 million housing deficit, which is climbing -- Some people are saying that the figure is too conservative.

Mr Speaker, a time is coming when we would be so challenged that we would not know what to do with where our people would sleep. So this year, in a very powerful social intervention, we would attempt 200,000 housing units which would be in all the regional capitals because we do not intend staying in Accra.

Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, if the Government would not pay regard to article 35(7), then the mandate of the Government is not understood. In 2008, President Kufuor started a serious affordable housing units because it was a serious thing for the nation.

When President Mahama assumed office, he abandoned these housing units. As we are talking now, houses which commenced in 2008 in Wa are opened to the vagaries of the weather and they are deteriorating. President Mahama did not touch them at all. In Tamale, the story is worse.

The structures that President Kufuor started for eight goods years with the oil proceeds were abandoned. When one goes to Koforidua, it is the same story.

In terms of the Constitution, we are ready to find the requisite private money to complete these housing projects for the benefit of our people.

Mr Speaker --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:39 a.m.
Hon Member, are you on a point of order?
Mr Thomas Nyarko Ampem 10:39 a.m.
Mr Speaker, point of correction.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:39 a.m.
No, it is not admissible.
Mr Ampem 10:39 a.m.
Mr Speaker, point of order.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:39 a.m.
So tell me.
Mr Ampem 10:39 a.m.
The Hon Minister stated wrongly that in 2009, President Mahama -- [Interruption] -- I would like to correct him that President Mahama was not the President of this country in 2009. It was President Mills.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:39 a.m.
Hon Member, continue.
Mr Akyea 10:39 a.m.
Mr Speaker, that is his own appreciation of what I said.
What is even worse, granted he was not there, I have shown you that by operation of the Constitution, article 35(7), President Mahama should have completed the housing structures in Tamale, and I do not think anybody can fault me on that.
It is a very serious waste of the limited natural resources of this country if a government should abandon the projects of the previous government. From 2008 to date, they were abandoned. We would complete it.
Mr Speaker, I would like to conclude on a very positive note, which is that there is the necessity to create a mortgage regime in this country. A lot of people are interested in getting houses of their own, especially in the evening of their years.
Mr Akyea 10:39 a.m.

If a man is 65 years old and he goes to the village to dwell in that ancient house of antiquity, it is a huge embarrassment to his ego and pride that he worked for the Ministry of Education and he has no place to lay his head.

This Government with insight is saying that there is the necessity to touch the Pension Fund, and when we touch the Pension Fund, through proper amendments which would come through this House, what is going to happen is that, we are going to garner a lot of revenue ring-fenced purposely to create a mortgage arrangement in which the workers in the poor income bracket would be able to subscribe to for about 20 or 25 years of mortgage, and when some of them are 60 or 65 years, they would be able to find a place to lay their heads, because they have serviced a mortgage debt for over a long stretch of time.

That is termed as “national security”; people can find places to live. It is called social security, not when moneys intended for the ordinary people are used in erecting world-class hotels for the elite to recline.

It is necessary to intervene with the Pension Fund and rake in good money to do mortgage. This is the paradigm shift that President Akufo-Addo is bringing. We are not going to use the commercial rate of borrowing when we are dealing with houses. It is very necessary that we affect the mortgage --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:39 a.m.
Hon Minister, you have one minute.
Mr Akyea 10:39 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, we were in economic doldrums; there is no dispute about it. As
I said, the economic system we inherited was dangerously anaemic. This Budget Statement with all the good sense of running this economy is going to create a stronger economy for jobs and prosperity.
President Akufo-Addo has the integrity of heart to give us a better economy than inherited, which would benefit the good people of this country. With his team which includes Hon Ken Ofori-Atta, we should all rally behind them, support and transform this economy and take us out of the bankruptcy which is mocking us.
Ghana has a lot of resources, and we deserve a better deal from governments.
Thank you very much.
Mr Emmanuel K. Bedzrah (NDC -- Ho West) 10:39 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Finance came to this House to present a Budget Statement on behalf of the President. The only good thing I have seen about this Budget Statement is the fact that all the sectors have been linked to sustainable development goals, and that is for the books of the academic world.
Going through the Budget Statement, especially the housing and infrastructure sector, I shudder to say that the housing sector has not seen any improvement or appreciable growth since this Government took over.
Mr Speaker, permit me to take you to Appendix “A1”., page 198, where the growth sector by sector has been indicated by the Hon Minister for Finance.
Mr Speaker, you would notice that sector-by-sector contribution to real GDP
-- You would be surprised that in 2015, we had 9.5 percentage growth. In 2016, we had 8.4 growth; but in 2017, we have 5.1 percentage growth, a clear fall in the sector-by-sector growth especially in the housing sector.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Works and Housing has just mentioned that to whom much is given, much is also expected. This Government has borrowed close to GH¢50 billion and the Ministry of Works and Housing has nothing to show forth.
Mr Speaker, going through this Budget, in 2018, the only work that has been done under the Ministry is for the Vice- President to commission a project that was done in 2016; a monumental failure. That is the only project that has been done.
Mr Speaker, if you would permit me, go to paragraph 716 of this Budget Statement --
Mr Akyea 10:39 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, he is totally misinforming the House. That is not the only project that has been commissioned.
If he cares to know, the Government of the NPP started the police extension works at Tesano which was commissioned by the Vice- President, so he is wrong in saying that, that is the only thing we have done. It is not the only thing we have done.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:39 a.m.
Hon Member, you said he had misstated a fact, so do you have any other to show which has been commissioned?
Mr Akyea 10:39 a.m.
What has been com- missioned? [Laughter] Mr Speaker, I would like the House to take judicial notice of the fact that we have started a serious
project to assist the police at Tesano -- a huge project has been started.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:39 a.m.
It is not commissioned, so he is not out of order.
Hon Member, continue.
Mr Bedzrah 10:39 a.m.
Mr Speaker, permit me to quote from paragraph 714, page 145:
“Mr Speaker, the second phase of the Security Agencies Housing Project comprising 368 housing units for the Ghana Navy was completed and duly commissioned by H.E. the Vice President. The Phase III comprising 320 housing units for the Ghana Police Service commenced and will continue in
So I am saying that in 2018, the only project you have done is to commission a project that was completed in 2016. You have not done any project. Have you done any project?
Mr Speaker, therefore, in my view, the Ministry of Works and Housing should be closed down by now, because there is no work there for them to do.
Mr Dominic Nitiwul 10:59 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, I believe I reserve the right to correct the facts, because my Ministry was the beneficiary Ministry of this project, so I closely followed it, even though it was undertaken by the Ministry of Works and Housing.
Mr Speaker, 60 per cent of the resources paid to the contractor was paid under Hon Atta Akyea.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:59 a.m.
Hon Minister --
Mr Nitiwul 10:59 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the project was 65 per cent complete.
Mr First Deputy 10:59 a.m.
Hon Minister, kindly listen to me. The statement he made is not wrong. If it is not wrong, then he is not out of order. This is a contribution. You have two more contributors; you can make this known.
Hon Member, continue.
Mr Bedzrah 10:59 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we all know that the housing sector has a deficit of 1.7 million households. In every economy, when it comes to one that would grow and provide jobs, it is dependent largely on the infrastructural ministry.
One of the infrastructural sectors within the Ministry known as the housing sector is under that. I was expecting that my Hon Friend's Ministry, the Ministry of Works and Housing, to have a chunk of our Budget Statement to be able to deliver and provide jobs and grow the economy.
Unfortunately, this same Ministry was stifled of funds in 2017 and in 2018. In the current Budget Statement, as you go through it, you would realise that this same case of not giving the Ministry enough funding has been repeated.
Mr Speaker, if you go to page 209 of the 2019 Budget Statement, you would realise that GH¢4.6 billion has been allocated for just the infrastructural Ministry. But when you go to the social services ministries, about GH¢19.7 billion has been allocated to the social service ministries.
What do they expect the infrastructural ministries to do? All goes into consumption. So my friend goes to the office, sits and does not do any work. That is why I am advocating that the Ministry of Works and Housing should be closed down because there is not work there for him to do.
Mr Speaker, indeed, if we want this nation to grow or the economy to grow, let us allocate more funds to the infrastructure ministries for them to grow.
Mr Speaker, I am particularly happy that the Ministry has decided to take on the State Housing Company to lead Government's effort, but unfortunately, they have stated that they were going to put up 200,000 housing units, starting from this year.
Two years in Government, if they have not started one unit of housing and they are talking of 200,000 units, it is a monumental failure; they are just assessing themselves with their own marking scheme and putting figures together.
Mr Speaker, with the funds allocated, the construction of 200,000 housing units cannot commence. We have been in this country, and State Housing Company has existed for all these years. How come they have not resourced them for these two years that they have been in power? With all the funds, they have not resourced them, and is it now they are going to resource them -- from where? When funds have not been allocated to them to resource it --
Mr Speaker, to continue, I had the shock of my life when I opened to page 254. If you permit me, page 254, Appendix 14 talks about IPEP Projects. With one of the Projects that I have seen there -- First of all is the infrastructural project in ‘‘Avatime''. There is nowhere in Ghana called Avatime.
Avatime is a traditional area that comprises 10 towns. Where are they putting it up or where have they put up the 10-seater water closets and institutional toilets? If they have one out of the 10-seater infrastructural project, they should let us know.
There is nowhere within Avatime called “Avatime”. It is called Avatime Traditional Area. We have Vane, Amedzofe and Gbadzeme, up to about 10 towns. So they cannot say that they have put up one 10- seater institutional toilet. In which of the towns are they located? Then they continue to say that Amaveme/ Dzanyodeke, Abutia Agbenyokofe.
There is no town in Abutia called Agbenyokife. The Amaveme Project that has been done was done with my own Members of Parliament Common Fund. [Laughter.] So, when I saw this I was shocked that they have put a project that I have done in the Budget Statement. Where then are we going?
Mr Speaker, I want the Development Minister in charge of Special Initiatives to go back to Ameveme Dzanyodeke and tell me that she has put up that infrastructural there. This was done under the Members of Parliament Common Fund, and today it is written here. They have Abutia, Kpedze that they are going to put a 10-seater water closet and institutional toilets with mechanised boreholes. Where in Kpedze? Kpedze has over six towns, and they are saying they will put up a 10- seater water closet.
Mr Speaker, I am tired of them putting figures that have not been verified. You would receive US$1 million per constituency, and they cannot attest to one infrastructural project. With US$1 million and nothing to show for that? This is what they have done for my constituency. Where is the money? Where is the US$1 million for Ho West constituency?
Mr Speaker, maybe, the Hon Minister for Special Development Initiatives should come to this House and tell us
where the US$1 million for Ho West Constituency in 2017 and 2018 has gone into. Whether it has expired or it is there, I would want to know. As the representative of the people, they are looking for infrastructural projects. We have done some and it is for this Government to continue.
Mr Speaker, I have not seen that US$1 million. Now it must be US$2 million because for 2017 and 2018, I have not seen any project. These projects they have mentioned here are not true.
Finally, Mr Speaker, I am also amazed that when the President came to this House, his first admission was that Accra is filthy and Accra would be clean by the end of 2017.
The whole of Accra is still as dirty as the President met it in 2017. He claimed Accra would be the neatest city in the whole of Africa. Today, as you go to Makola, Mallam Atta Market, the debris are still there.
Mr Speaker, for us as a nation to grow and for our health to be well, we need to do something about health. Unfor- tunately, nothing has been done for the past 22 months since this Government came to power. It would be out of place for this Government to say that in their Budget Statement for 2017 they were going to have a landfill site and repeat it in the 2018 Budget Statement, but it has not been done, and for 2019, they repeat it in the Budget. When are we going to have a landfill site for Accra where we can dump debris?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:59 a.m.
Hon Mohammed Abdul-Samed Gunu?
Mr Mohammed Abdul-Samed Gunu (NPP -- Savelugu) 10:59 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for this opportunity.
Mr Speaker, I would like to contribute to the Budget Statement in relation to the water sector. If you permit me, I would enumerate on the successes chalked by the Water and Sanitation Ministry, which was decoupled from the Ministry of Works and Housing.
Mr Speaker, in 2018, if you would permit me, the following projects were carried out by Nana Akuffo Addo's Government. Mr Speaker, under the urban water supply, about 3,740 households in low income urban communities within the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) benefited.
In addition, 214 kilometres of pipelines were laid within the GAMA to improve water service delivery. It is worthy to note that the physical construction of the Upper East Regional water supply has commenced.
Mr Speaker, rural water supply saw the construction of three limited mechanised schemes and three small town pipe schemes in some selected rural communities nationwide.
Mr Speaker, aside the above, the implementation of the sustainable rural water and sanitation projects also begun. The procurement process for the construction of the 25 small town pipe scheme under the project is almost completed. Construction of some of the systems would commence by the end of the year.
Mr Speaker, let me refer you to page 150 of the Budget Statement. In 2019, the Government would show its commitment towards the supply and delivery of
potable water to communities by laying 190 kilometres of pipelines across the country; construction of nine water systems each in the Northern and Central Regions; provisions of five water systems in the Brong Ahafo Region and two in the Upper West Region and the construction of 12 fully-reticulated small town pipe systems and six limited mechanised systems in the Volta Region.
Mr Speaker, additionally, Government plans to expand the following water systems over the medium system: Kpong Water Supply Expansion Project — Phase 2; Aqua Africa Water Project; Yendi Water Project; Damango Water Project; Wenchi Water Project; Tamale Water Supply Expansion Project; Sunyani Water Project; Sekondi-Takoradi Water Project and Essiama Water Project.
Mr Speaker, in conclusion, as the saying goes, water is life. The Government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) led by His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo's Agenda for Water for All will ensure the continuous expansion of rural urban water system in the country and provide safe and potable water for the Ghanaian people.
Mr Rudolf Nsorwinne Amenga-Etego (NDC — Chiana/Paga 10:59 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity.
Before I proceed to make a few observations on the water sector in particular and sanitation, I would like to comment on what the Hon Minister indicated. He appears to be telling us that his Ministry is performing, but we do not have any evidence of that.
What I have rather noticed is that, a Ministry that should be building, is rather specialising in demolishing houses that have been put up and are occupied by no less personalities like judges to give way to a cathedral. How are we prioritising housing for our people? This is really unfortunate.
Mr Speaker, I would also want to draw his attention to the fact that we often refer to listed projects because the projects he mentioned were the same ones listed in 2017 and 2018 and the same have been proposed in the 2019 Budget Statement. So what he actually referred to are projects that they intended to implement all this time.
They remain intentions, and what we are asking him to show us are not just intentions but what he has implemented. What is the concrete outcomes of their policy for Ghanaians? That is what the Constitution enjoins him to do and that is what we expect him to show.
Mr Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the Hon Minister and the House to a few key things in the water sector. One would notice that since 2017, consistently, this Government has depended on donor support for the water and sanitation sector. This is a clear indication of lack of commitment.
In fact, if we go by the statistics available, one would realise that in 2017, as much as 84.6 per cent of the budget for Water and Sanitation was from donors. This means that the Government of Ghana is not prioritising water and sanitation. How can we have housing without water and proper sanitation?
I know when we talk of sanitation, it includes drainage. How are we addressing
all these problems? We are not; and the statistics also show that the donor money does not necessarily translate into disbursements.
If we take 2018 for instance, out of the amount that was allocated, only 4.6 per cent of it was actually disbursed. That should tell us that donor money is not reliable and not predictable and cannot be the basis to sustain any Ministry. Therefore we expect the Ministry to show much commitment to Water and Sanitation than they do now.
Mr Speaker, there is also something that we should observe. It is the fragmentation of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources. A lot of the budget of the Ministry is also allocated to the Ministry for Special Development Initiatives, and that makes coordination very difficult.
We pointed this out last year and we expected a correction to be made but there is no sign that they intend to correct this. This makes coordination, accountability and even ownership difficult. This is because if there is no specific Ministry or Hon Minister in charge, then the question of ownership becomes difficult and therefore, management and control becomes difficult. These are management issues that we cannot just put aside.
Mr Speaker, you would also notice that there are no clear timelines for any of the projects listed since 2017. This is one of the reasons projects keep repeating. My Hon Friend on the other Side actually mentioned projects listed in 2017 and 2018 and called them successes and achievements.
Those same projects are listed again in the 2019 Budget Statement because of the fact that they were never implemented; there was no real delivery. I would like to
Mr Rudolf Nsorwinne Amenga-Etego (NDC — Chiana/Paga 11:19 a.m.

just point out to my Friend on the other Side that the Kpong phase 2 he talked about is listed in the 2018 and 2019 Budget Statements. And so, which delivery is he talking about? If it was delivered in 2018 would it be relisted for 2019?

Mr Speaker, he was just telling us about what they have intended to do. But what we are asking is what they did for 2018 and how they intend to improve upon that in 2019. We are not seeing any indication that this Ministry is serious.

As my Hon Colleague who spoke earlier stated, this seems to be a Ministry that is asleep and not prioritising what it should be doing. This seems to be a Ministry that we would expect the Hon Ministers in charge to justify their salaries.

Mr Speaker, you would recall that the President ordered all of us, including the Parliamentary Service, to appoint sanitation marshals. May I know who our sanitation marshal in Parliament is? The President gave us one month that all Agencies and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) should all appoint sanitation marshals.

This is the kind of language we hear every day -- rhetorics. Do we have a sanitation marshal in Parliament House? We do not have! So, that was just one of those fancy things.

Mr Speaker, there was also a big sanitation launch where we were given mops and T-shirts. That is the only thing that actually happened in the Ministry last year. The Ministry gave us mops and T- shirts to launch a sanitation project that never took off beyond a parade of young men and women who are sitting at home. These are the things that worry us. If we

continue this way, two years into their mandate of four years, we wonder whether Ghanaians would not have wasted their time at the end of the four years and it worries us.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to draw your attention to what I see as the lack of coordination between the Ministry of Works and Housing as it stands now and the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources. The two Ministries used to be one; they have now been separated. We expect to see that they interrogate each other and work as one.

Mr Speaker, I do not see that because the budget for the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources does not include a component for sewage systems in densely-populated areas like Tema, Accra and some parts of Kumasi and Takoradi.

Those things that have been put in place since the last 15 years which are still stagnant, if we do not provide for them in current Budget Statements, what it means is that houses would emerge -- some by private developers. Meanwhile, the infrastructure to support the sanitation would lag behind.

Mr Speaker, so we are actually preparing for a rise in cholera because we know that 70 per cent of diseases here in Ghana are water related. These are the things that worry us and the Hon Ministers in charge would have to sit up and rally up their game. Else, I believe they need to say goodbye.

We know that we would rather save money if those Ministries are actually closed down.
Alhaji Abu-Bakar Saddique Boniface (NPP-- Madina) 11:19 a.m.
Mr Speaker, before I proceed to make my submission, permit me to take a minute of my time to commend the Hon Minister for Finance for presenting to us a very good Budget Statement.
I commend him for a good work done with his excellent and hardworking staff in the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the Economic Management Team.
Mr Speaker, within a matter of 22 months, the Hon Minister has taken us through a positive metamorphosis starting with Budget Statements whose themes “Sowing the Seeds for Growth and Jobs”, through to “Putting Ghana Back to Work'' and today, we have welcomed “A Stronger Economy for Jobs and Prosperity”.
Mr Speaker, this means that the economy is open to expansion and from our macro-economic indicators spelt out in the 2019 Budget Statement, paragraphs 99 and 100. Mr Speaker, if you would permit me, even though Hon Colleagues have copies, I would just want to mention a few. It reads:
“Mr Speaker, to put the assessment of the performance of the economy for the first nine months of 2018 in the proper context, we first re-state the macroeconomic targets set for 2018 as presented in the revised 2018 Budget:
Overall Real GDP growth rate of 5.6 per cent;
Non-Oil Real GDP growth rate of 5.8 per cent;
End-period inflation dropped to 8.9 per cent…”
Paragraph 100 reads:
“…Using the new rebased GDP series as stated above, overall GDP grew up to 5.4 per cent…”
Mr Speaker, inflation reduced from 11.8 per cent to 9.5 per cent. The monetary policy rate reduced from 20 per cent at the end of 2017 to 17 per cent at the end of October 2018.
Mr Speaker, looking at these indicators, it gives one some hope of respite. The Budget Statement, if read thoroughly, is one that rekindles our hope and will help us build a very strong economy.
In fact, listening to the Hon Minister for Finance, one would realise that this Budget Statement hinges on five pillars: restoring the economy, modernising agriculture, industrialisation, streng- thening social protection and inclusion.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister said we are reforming our public service delivery institutions; improve the efficiency in our revenue mobilisation and protect the public purse.
Mr Speaker, having presented this, if we adhere to it, it would help us achieve the vision and the four main development goals: zeroing down to the economic and social development, environment, infrastructure and human settlement; governance, corruption and public accountability and strengthening Ghana's role in international affairs.
Mr Speaker, my submission will zero down on the Ministry of Works and Housing that also falls under infrastructure. The Budget Statement tries to fulfil the President's and the NPP's Manifesto.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:19 a.m.
Hon Member, your time is up -- [Pause]
Mr Boniface 11:19 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank you on this note.
Mr Abdul Aziz Muniru (NDC-- Akan) 11:19 a.m.
I thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity. In approving the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year, I have been admonished to be a citizen; a citizen I shall be and not a spectator. [Hear! Hear!]
Mr Speaker, my contribution to this debate will hinge on infrastructure for environmental sanitation and health as well as related issues. Being in a hurry, by this, NPP Government has resulted in failure and underperformance so far.
Virtually, nothing was achieved under the Asempa Budget of 2017 and Adwuma Budget of 2018 relating to environmental sanitation infrastructure and health infrastructure.
Mr Speaker, I wonder why we cannot apply substantial parts of our Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) to infrastructure in these two areas, because scrutinising the 2019 Budget Statement, zero Ghana cedis from the ABFA was allocated to such an important and newly-created Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources.
Mr Speaker, also, the ABFA allocation to the Ministry of Health decreased from GH¢ 50 million in 2018 to GH¢ 47.5 million in the 2019 Budget Statement. This is worrying because provision in the PRMA, (Act 893) as amended, mandates Govern- ment to apply 70 per cent of the ABFA to infrastructure.
Mr Speaker, an overview of the policies outlined under environmental sanitation shows that very little had been achieved in both 2017 and 2018 fiscal years.
Mr Speaker, where are the solid waste material recovery sites promised for every region in the 2018 Budget Statement? Where are the solid waste transfer stations they promised each region?
Mr Muniru 11:19 a.m.
Mr Speaker, where are the final solid waste disposal sites they promised each Region?
Mr Muniru 11:19 a.m.
Where is the guidelines on the concept of sanitation brigade they promised in the 2018 Budget Statement?
Mr Muniru 11:19 a.m.
Mr Speaker, when are they rolling out the total sanitation campaign to make Accra and all regional capitals clean? I foresaw this and warned this Government that if we refuse to commit resources, we would hardly achieve anything.
Mr Speaker, almost all policies in 2017 did not happen. Where are the dedicated refuse collection systems; the engineered landfill sites; sewerage treatment plants; National Sanitation Fund; appropriate uniform and identification for 4,500 environmental health workers; sanitation models; sanitation courts; National Service Sanitation Policing outfit and clubs; youth employment programme on sanitation; national sanitation campaign; comprehensive national sanitation strategy document; where are they and when are we having all these?
Some Hon Members 11:19 a.m.
Yaa mutu!
Mr Muniru 11:19 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the NPP Government has a heap of promises mentioned above just like heaps of boola we are engulfed in everywhere.
Mr Speaker, going into 2019, there have been more promises from this Govern- ment even though the previous ones have not been achieved. Construction of faecal sludge treatment plant at Ofankor for the year 2019 -- We should be careful so that that should happen.
Mr Speaker, construction of faecal sludge treatment plant at Cape Coast, Sunyani, Wa, Koforidua, Bolgatanga and Ho. The repetition of the construction of the solid waste recovery transfer and final disposal sites as captured in paragraph 743 of the 2019 Budget Statement should be tackled with all seriousness because it was in the 2018 Budget Statement.
Lastly, on environmental sanitation, the Government should get serious on open defecation because declaring rural communities Open Defecation Free (ODF), while listing towns and cities in Accra like Ngleshie-Amanfro, Tema Newtown, Ziginshore, Nima, Maamobi, Glefe and Ablekuma as practising open defecation, tells me that they are only playing propaganda politics.
The Government behaves like the proverbial agama lizard which falls from a mango tree and watches left and right with no notice of anybody, begins to nod its head up and down and says to itself; ‘I have done well'.
Mr Speaker, this Government is in a reverse gear.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:19 a.m.
Hon Member, hold on.
Mr Gunu 11:19 a.m.
On a point of order, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:19 a.m.
Yes, Hon Member, what is your point of order?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:19 a.m.
Mr Gunu 11:19 a.m.
My Hon Colleague on the other Side of the House is misleading the House. All the social interventions that he mentioned -- [Interruption]---
Mr Speaker, the Government of the NPP, brought a lot of social interventions that have got our people out of excruciating poverty in this country and so, what is he talking about? The NHIS, School Feeding Programme, the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), the Nation Builder's Corps (NABCo) --
Mr Speaker, just to mention but a few. So, my Hon Colleague is misleading the House.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:19 a.m.
Hon Member, you are out of order.
Mr Muniru 11:19 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on health, the former President left a legacy on infrastructure but the uncompleted projects Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds, the district and regional hospitals and the polyclinics, are moving on at a snail pace. These are just to mention a few. If all these projects are completed, jobs will be available for our striking nurses and doctors.
I want to emphasise that for two years, this Government has not built anything, not even a hen coop but they are busily demolishing completed and uncompleted buildings which are meant for judges just across the road. The Ministry for Works
Mr Speaker, everywhere is “boola” to wit, rubbish 11:19 a.m.

Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:19 a.m.
I thought you would be worried that you would go on record for saying that all schools are ‘boola'. You are celebrating. [Laughter.]
The Hon Minister for Agriculture walked in while the debate was going on and I intend that we curtail the debate and take the Questions featured for him and then we will continue from there.
There are three Questions standing --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:19 a.m.
Yes, Hon First Deputy Minority Whip?
Mr A. Ibrahim 11:19 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the debate on the Budget Statement started this week and we already have a backlog of other sectors. Even on the Order Paper this morning -- [Interruption]---
Mr Speaker, there is only one Question to be answered and even the Hon Member who asked the Question was not the Hon Member for Salaga North and so, I thought that while we settle that controversy, we could take another sector of the Budget Statement.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:19 a.m.
I do not understand you. I have not called out the Question and the names are there; two Questions by Hon(s) Eric Afful and one by Alhaji Mumuni Alhassan. What is your complain?
Mr Iddrisu 11:19 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is unusual of the Hon Minister for Agriculture as we do not often see him in this House as we should. At least, for today, he has been very religious and he sat through and so, it is only fair and proper that we allow him to answer Question 470 and we could defer that of Hon Eric Afful to another day because he had given some indication of going on a foreign mission which we raised.
So, for just that one Question, we could allow the Hon Minister to take it so he can go and do other major Government Business.
He drives the cocoa and agricultural sectors and he needs time to do that then we could move to the roads or the energy sector to continue the debate.
Thank you.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:19 a.m.
Hon Members, before I come to the Hon Leader, Hon Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation?
Dr A. A. Osei 11:19 a.m.
Mr Speaker, this is a House of records and it is important when we refer to people, we refer to them by their right designations. There is not Hon Minister of Agriculture in this House but rather Food and Agriculture and so, I do not know who should answer the Question. [Laughter]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:19 a.m.
Hon Leader, I understand you.
Mr Anim 11:19 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Questions
stand in their names, therefore, we have no objection at all.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:19 a.m.
Hon Members, we varied the Order Paper to take the debate because the Hon Minister at the time was not in the Chamber. Now, we will return to Questions and then we will continue after that.
So, Hon Minister for Food and Agriculture, you may take your seat.
Question numbered *470 -- Alhaji Mumuni Alhassan?
Mr Yusif Sulemana 11:49 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to make a little correction here. I filed the Question and if you look at Wednesday's Order Paper, the Question was captured in my name but today, it reflects in someone else's name.
Mr Speaker, I would want it to be corrected to my name and then I would go ahead to ask the Question.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:49 a.m.
So, what is your name?
Mr Sulemana 11:49 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my name is Sulemana Yusif, Hon Member for Bole Bamboi.
Dr Anthony Akoto Osei 11:49 a.m.
Mr Speaker, he is sitting at the wrong place so his name appeared as Hon Fuseini Alhassan. Mr Speaker, he should get up. He must sit in his place.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:49 a.m.
Hon Members, order.
Lets everyone resume his or her seat. I have to resolve this matter. Hon Member for Bole Bamboi, what is your name?
Mr Sulemana 11:49 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my name is Sulemana Yusif.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:49 a.m.
Is Hon Alhaji Mumuni Alhassan in the House?
I want to confirm if he also asked a Question to see if there is a confusion between two Questions because what is on record is what I must deal with. Now, you are giving me information which must be verified by the Table Office.
I am not sure how your name and the constituency could be replaced by another. So, I want to be sure that there is no confusion in the representation of the person in whose name the Question stands.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:49 a.m.
Hon First Deputy Minority Whip, what is the issue?
I am surprised that a Question which was filed by one Hon Member appears in the name of a totally-different Hon Member and his constituency.
Very well. Let the record reflect that Question starred 470 rather stands in the name of the Hon Member for Bole- Bamboi. Hon Member, please ask the Question.


Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:49 a.m.
Hon Member, any follow up question?
Mr Sulemana 11:49 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in March this year, the Ministry of Agriculture announced a reduction in the importation of frozen chicken. Could the Hon Minister tell us the percentage of reduction and the impact that it has made in the local poultry industry and whether he is considering a stimulus package for the poultry industry.
Dr O.A. Akoto 11:49 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am just wondering where the Hon Member of Parliament picked this information from. We have not restricted the importation of poultry into this country. That is not a policy of the Ministry, so if he could tell us the source of his information I would investigate it.
Mr Sulemana 11:49 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I have in my hand a document titled “Government to help reverse decline in poultry and poultry production.” Mr Speaker, the document is dated 23rd March, 2018 and the author is Emmanuel Adu-Gyimra.
Mr Speaker, this was announced at a platform where the Vice President was present. Mr Speaker, the Ministry indeed made a promise to reduce the importation of frozen chicken, but if he says that he is not aware of this, I would take it.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:49 a.m.
Hon Member, the Hon Minister says that it is not his policy. You may ask another follow up question if you wish.
11. 59 a. m.
Mr Sulemana 11:49 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Hon Minister if he is considering putting in place a stimulus package for the poultry industry.
Dr O. A. Akoto 11:49 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the words “stimulus package” is to be defined. I do not understand what is meant by stimulus package. What the Ministry is doing is to ensure that sufficient surpluses of maize and soya which form the basis for the feed of poultry in this country -- [Interruption] -- So, in terms of maize, we are on track.
We need something like 450,000 metric tonnes of maize and 180,000 metric tonnes of soya in order to produce one million heads of chicken.
For maize, we have it, but for soya, we do not have it. So, we are doing a special project across the country to ensure that in 2019, this country would produce enough soya in order to match the maize for us to have commercial quantities of poultry feed to feed the poultry industry in order to turn the fortunes around.
Mr Speaker, for the information of this House, Ghana is importing the equivalent of 11millon heads of chicken every year into this country. The country is not producing even one million heads of chicken. That is the challenge, and we are very much aware of it, and we are determined that in the shortest possible time, we would be self-sufficient. So, the emphasis is on soya and maize production.
If that is what he means by stimulus, then, that is what we are doing.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Sulemana 11:49 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the cost of borrowing is one of the challenges confronting the poultry industry. Is the Ministry doing anything to assist poultry farmers in this country to access facilities at a reasonable rate so that they would remain competitive?
Dr O.A. Akoto 11:49 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is not only the poultry industry which is facing the squeeze on farm credits; it is the overall agricultural sector which is facing this problem.
What this Government is doing through the Central Bank of Ghana is what we call the Ghana Incentive-based Risk- Sharing System Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL) which is, the Central Bank of Ghana has put aside GH¢500million for commercial banks to access in order to share the risks of credit to the agricultural sector.
This is only the beginning, and I believe that if the commercial banks take this up, it would go a very long way in solving the problem of credit for the agricultural sector in this country.
Mr Samuel Atta-Mills 11:49 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. In paragraph 3 of the Hon Minister's Answer, he says:
“The Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Special Initiatives is constructing eighty (80) warehouses this year as part of measures to ensure that grains produced in the country, especially under the PFJ programme, are adequately and appropriately stored.”
Mr Speaker, being a former poultry farmer and because of the issue with feed, Hon Minister, the best way to keep grains is in silos. Why are we still building warehouses where when you keep these
grains, in a few months, they turn into dust and we the former poultry farmers and currently, part-time poultry farmers cannot use the grains? Why not silos?
Dr O. A. Akoto 11:49 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would challenge the assertion that keeping grains in warehouses is not better than keeping grains in silos. It all depends; if your moisture content is 11 per cent or thereabout, you are guaranteed storage for, at least, two years.
It is really a question of the moisture content; it is not how you house the product but rather the moisture content of the stock that you keep. So, I would beg to differ with the opinion of the Hon Member of Parliament on that score.
Dr Francis Bawaana Dakura 11:49 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. -[Interruption]- In paragraph 4 of the Hon Minister's Answer, he says:
“The Ministry is preparing to launch the livestock version of the PFJ (“Rearing for Food and Jobs”) in 2019. This campaign will aim at a sustainable development of the poultry industy and livestock.”
Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Hon Minister whether they would take into consideration some other forgotten poultry farmers in this country?
Hon Minister, we have got some other poultry farmers who are usually forgotten and that is the traditional poultry farmers. For most people in this country, they are the ones that actually feed us with poultry products.
Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Hon Minister for Agriculture whether they have any plans for the traditional poultry farmer in the 2019 “Rearing for Food and Jobs” programme?
Dr O.A. Akoto 11:49 a.m.
Mr Speaker, as far as
the Ministry is concerned, there is only one body representing poultry farmers in this country; that is the National Poultry Farmers Association.
That body is the one that this Government is dealing with in consultations and in planning for the launch of the “Rearing for Food and Jobs” next year.
I do not think the distinction between traditional poultry farmers and other poultry farmers is clear to me at all. I presume that the national body encompasses all the sub sectors on the production side, and that is where we are focusing our attention and not on any individual farmers.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:49 a.m.
Very well, Hon Minister, we are done with that one.
Question starred 471, standing in the name of Mr Eric Afful, Hon Member for Amenfi West.
Mr A. Ibrahim 11:49 a.m.
Mr Speaker, Hon Eric Afful is on another parliamentary mission outside the jurisdiction, so we may skip that one and go to the debate on the Budget.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:49 a.m.
If nobody is going to ask the Question for him, that is fine. Otherwise, ask the Question for him.
Mr A. Ibrahim 11:49 a.m.
No, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:49 a.m.
Very well. Question starred 472, standing in the name of Hon Eric Afful?
Mr A. Ibrahim 11:49 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I prefer we go to the debate on the Budget.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:49 a.m.
Hon Member, the Question is individual; that is private business. He is not here and nobody is asking the Question for him. I do not want him to come back and say his Question has not been answered. That is why I want the record to reflect that.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:49 a.m.
Yes, Hon Leader?
Mr Anim Mr Speaker, Standing Order 65 (3) states 11:49 a.m.
“Any Questions remaining on the Order Paper after the time allocated for Questions has passed shall be printed in the Official Report”.
Mr Speaker, if they are not ready to ask the Question, let us print the Answers in the Official Report and that would conclude the matter.
Sale of Hi-tech Fertilisers to Cocoa Farmers in 2016/2017
471. Mr Eric Afful asked the Minister for Agriculture how many bags of ‘hi- tech fertiliser' were sold to cocoa farmers during the 2016/2017 crop year.
Hon Minister for Agriculture (Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto): Mr Speaker,
Cocoa production in Ghana continues to play a major role in the socio-economic development of the country. Low yields of cocoa per hectare in Ghana was identified to be a major constraint to income growth and livelihoods of farmers towards the end of the 20th century.
Among others, the low yields were attributed to depleted soil nutrients. The high incidence of pests and diseases as well as non-adoption of research recommendations. This realisation resulted in a policy shift towards the provision of massive support for the adoption of good agricultural practices (GAP) by farmers.
Consistent with the new paradigm, the Government of Ghana, under H.E. John Agyekum Kufour, introduced the CODAPEC (Mass Spraying) programme in 2001 and the Cocoa Hi-TECH (Fertliser Application) programme in 2003. The Hi- Tech programme entailed distribution of fertilisers to Cocoa farmers at subsidised prices.
The introduction of these interventions led to a more than double of cocoa output from 340,563 tonnes in the 2001/02 crop year to 740,458 tonnes in 2005/06. Sustained implementation of the prudent policies by the Kufour Adminis- tration led to cocoa output crossing 1,000,000 tonnes in the 2010/11 crop season. Precisely 1,012,839 tonnes.
In spite of the gains made from the implementation of these policies, Government of Ghana decided to distribute the hi-tech fertilisers to farmers free of charge, a policy which triggered smuggling of the fertiliser out of the country mostly to neigbouring countries.
The unfortunate development along with the procurement/application of poor- quality inputs had a combined effect of reducing Ghana's cocoa output from 1,012,839 tonnes recorded in year 2010/11 to 740,254 tonnes and 778.044 tonnes in 2014/15 and 2015/16 respectively. This was in spite of the distribution of fertilisers to farmers for free.
Mr Speaker, Government under the leadership of H. E. Nana Akufo Addo reviewed the policy of fertiliser back to the original distribution arrangement on subsidy in 2017.
The new policy, along with other interventions such as Mass pruning, Hand (Artificial) pollination and early spraying, has culminated in increased production to over 900,000 tonnes in the past two crop years.
It is important to report, that, at the time the new administration assumed office, the procurement of fertilisers was in progress. The new administration re- negotiated the prices and made savings worth GH¢80 million.
Payments of fertiliser supplies in all cases were subject to verification and testing by the CRIG to determine the level of active ingredients and other quality parameters against established standards on which the contracts were based.
To the substantive question, Mr Speaker, during the 2016/17 crop year 1,798,939.00 bags of granular fertilisers were distributed to Cocoa farmers in Ghana at GH¢80 per bag. A total of 1,624,988.00 litres of foliar fertilisers were also distributed to Cocoa farmers at GH¢20.00 per litre.
In conclusion, Mr Speaker, if COCOBOD and farmers are to realise the full benefit of current productivity enhancement initiatives, then there is the need to maintain efficiency across the cocoa value chain and find solutions to the underlying problems of soil depletion, pests and diseases.
Towards this objective, Hi-Tech and CODAPEC programmes are being
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:49 a.m.
Very well.
Hon Minister, thank you for attending upon the House to answer the Questions. You are discharged.
MOTION 11:49 a.m.

  • [Continuation of debate from column 2343]
  • Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:49 a.m.
    Hon Emmanuel Akwasi Gyamfi, Hon Chairman
    of the Committee. You are entitled to 15 minutes.
    Mr Emmanuel Akwasi Gyamfi (NPP -- Odotobri) 12:09 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    I beg to contribute to the Motion that this Honourable House, approves the Financial Policy of the Government of Ghana for the year ending, 31st December,
    Mr Speaker, let everyone here take note that in Ghana, our generation was in dumsor for five good years. [Interruption.] We all understand the impact of this five- year power crisis. Many businesses collapsed and many jobs were lost. We recorded a very high inflation rate of 15.6 per cent. Many industries collapsed within those five years.
    I always say that this particular crisis was due to the incompetent way the energy sector was managed and the financial challenges that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administra- tion could not resolve.
    Mr Speaker, with this in mind, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in our Manifesto for the 2016 election, told Ghanaians and this is the social contract we signed with Ghanaians for them to vote for us.
    Agenda for Jobs and Creating Prosperity and Equal Opportunities for all” In the document, on page 16, it is stated and with your permission, I quote:
    “By far, one of the biggest challenges industries and busi- nesses have faced for more than five years is inadequate supply of power. This is due to unreliable and unstable power supply for industrial production, inadequate targeted power supply policies, high cost of
    Mr Emmanuel Akwasi Gyamfi (NPP -- Odotobri) 12:19 p.m.
    energy across board for industries and businesses.”
    Mr Speaker, this is what Ghanaians experienced under the NDC Administration. In the same document, we said that we would solve dumsor, the unreliable electricity supply crisis. We also said that we would reorient energy tariff policy to reduce spending on businesses and promote supply of energy in support of production-related activities.
    In 2017, understanding the importance of energy to the economy, the agenda for industrial transformation, modernisation of agriculture and one district one factory (1D1F), we worked to end dumsor in 2017. This is on record and nobody can challenge it. In doing so, we have now provided very reliable and stable electricity to businesses and consumers.
    Mr Speaker, per our manifesto promise to Ghanaians, we said that tariffs were high, and that we would work to reduce them for consumers, businesses and industries. True to our words, in April this year, the Government recommended a proposal for the consideration of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) and looking at the recommenda- tion and proposal from Government, they agreed to the proposal for tariff reduction.
    It is on record that residential consumers enjoyed 17.5 per cent reduction, 30 per cent for businesses and 10 per cent for mining companies. Its impact is so huge that now, businesses have started expanding. This means that they would go ahead and recruit more Ghanaians and this is what we and the Government led by H. E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo have given to Ghanaians.
    Mr Speaker, the provision of reliable and stable electricity to industries and businesses has attracted businesses and worldwide giant organisations like Sinotruck, Volkswagen, ExxonMobil, Akev to Ghana to do business.
    This is purely as a result of the stable, reliable and affordable power that the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo led Government is providing to all Ghanaians and businesses.
    We cannot take away the credit and benefits of this singular action by Government, and everybody here would attest to the fact that the Government is delivering on its promises.
    In 2018, looking at the importance of VALCO, Government decided that 75 megawatts of power should be given to VALCO to start another potline. The bauxite reserves that we have as a country is estimated at US$500 billion. VALCO is wholly Government owned and our friends on the other Side left VALCO to operate with only one potline. We decided that we needed to make VALCO work.
    Mr Speaker, what we did was to provide 75 megawatts of power to VALCO and work done so far is more than 80 per cent to make sure that the second potline becomes operational in 2019. There are so many benefits that would be accrued by this particular policy direction of Government.
    The second potline would attract about 180 direct jobs and 900 indirect jobs. These are the benefits of the policy, that 75 megawatts of power should be given to VALCO to start a second potline.
    Revenues would increase to about US$160 million and this is what we as Government and a nation need to do to
    make sure that we make very good use of our resources, so the people benefit in so many areas such as job creation, revenue among others.

    Mr Speaker, we are very much aware that this House passed the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Operation Act which was the intention of the Government to bring the aluminium industry to the level that everybody should see and get the needed benefits.

    All these are in preparation to make sure that VALCO becomes an off taker of the alumina that would be produced from the refineries that would be established. This is a very positive direction and I know my Friends on the other Side of the aisle are very keen and interested and also support this idea because it is the right way for us to go as a nation.

    Mr Speaker, with regards to Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), this House ratified the Concession Agreement for Ghana between ECG and PDS Power Distribution Company.

    This was to make sure that ECG is given the needed investment capital to reduce technical and commercial losses -- About US$500 - 600 million would be invested in the activities of ECG and this is envisaged to reduce technical and commercial losses.

    Mr Speaker, the people of Ghana pay for these losses, but if it is reduced, it would translate into savings for the country. This is an important move that the Government undertook this year.

    Mr Speaker, the ECG private sector participation was not started by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government, it was started by the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government.

    When we were given the opportunity to take over the administration of this country, we realised that what was agreed by the previous government was not the best for Ghanaians and so we renegotiated the terms of Agreement.

    Mr Speaker, with the initial Agreement, the people of Ghana had only 20 per cent share which was renegotiated to 51 per cent. [Hear! Hear!] . In the earlier Agreement by the previous NDC Government, workers' security was not the best.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:19 p.m.
    Hon Chairman of the Committee, you have a minute.
    Mr Gyamfi 12:19 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, when it was renegotiated, we were able to secure jobs for Ghanaians throughout the 20-year term of the contract and this is a positive action that was taken by the Government.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to conclude by saying that in the year 2007, oil was discovered in commercial quantities and that was under the NPP Government led by Ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor.
    This was through the effort of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) which was redirected -- the focus of GNPC before the administration of ex- President Kufuor was different; it was in salt mining and others but because we gave them the support, they discovered oil.
    Mr Speaker, GNPC again, under the administration of His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, would discover oil in commercial quantities on shore.
    The work that has been done so far proves that oil would be discovered in commercial quantity and this is the work
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:19 p.m.
    The Hon Member had 15 minutes 7 seconds -- he could not have had more time.
    Hon Emmanuel Armah Buah?
    Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah (NDC -- Ellembele) 12:29 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Budget Statement and the Economic Policy of the Government for the Financial Year, 2019 on the theme ‘'A Stronger Economy for Jobs and Prosperity''.
    Mr Speaker, if I had a chance to give a theme to this Budget Statement, it would be: ‘'How to revive an Economy that has been incompetently managed in the last 22 months''. There is real hardship.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to quickly address the Hon Chairman of the Energy Committee. I am very disappointed in him because he said there were five years of dumsor. What was the duration he was talking about? If he is not sure, he should not say it.
    He also said that they ended dumsor in the year 2017. Did he listen to himself? Does he know the duration it takes to build a megawatt of Power Plant? Did they come in January, 2017 and resolve dumsor?
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman of the Energy Committee talked about tariffs, but he asked the wrong question. What he should have said was that the tariff reduction had left to these jobs that had been created -- businesses are doing well.
    Mr Speaker, we are in a state of serious hardship. This economy is on its knees, the financial sector is collapsing and the people of Ghana are dying. Sometimes, people could be lied to but they cannot be lied to all the time.
    The Budget Statement confirms once and for all that the previous NDC Government's hard work to resolve the energy sector crises is even projected to continue to solve it in the year 2019 and beyond.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to refer to paragraph 664 on page 136 of the Budget Statement and with your permission, I beg to quote:
    ‘'Mr Speaker, installation works were completed under the 340MW Cen Power…
    It was the NDC Government which did the Cen Power. The Hon Minister for Finance continued to say that the installation works for 147MW and Early Power was going on, but the NDC did that.
    He also continued to talk about Karpower relocation of 450MW, but it was also the NDC Government which did that. He also talked about Amandi Power of 192MW, but it was the previous NDC Government that started that project.
    Mr Speaker, they should give us by name one project [Interruption] -- [Laughter] -- This is not a laughing matter. There were serious crisis and what it took to solve the power crises -- [Interruption] -- When President Mahama announced that dumsor was over, the then NPP vice presidential candidate said they know he had solved dumsor, but they would not give him the credit.

    Mr Speaker, there is no area where the National Democratic Congress's (NDC) performance has basically held the foundation and held this country than the energy sector. The only thing going for this Government is the Energy sector.

    Mr Speaker, do you know that the NDC Government was like the father, who basically invested, died, and left the “adwapade” for the child, who has come to inherit it, and is just blowing it away?

    Mr Speaker, why do I say that? We started on ground zero. In the year 2009 when we came to begin the new oil industry, there was nothing in place. We established the Petroleum Commission, and then we asked the question of how we would protect Ghana's revenue.

    So we passed the Petroleum Management Revenue Act. Today, we would talk about the ABFA and how this Government is mismanaging the funds.

    Mr Speaker, we established and supported Ghanaians to understand the industry and take a lead by passing the Local Content Act. We even transformed and changed the whole Petroleum Act, and then the process went on. We then started our first oil production.

    This is the sad story of the NDC -- for four years, we did hard work, but something tragic happened. The FPSO Kwame Nkrumah, which is the only producing field, had a tariff problem and the production had to be reduced dramatically.

    Oil prices also tumbled, and so for the whole four years of the John Mahama Government, the amount we got was GH¢

    6.5 million. The numbers are in the Budget Statement.

    Mr Speaker, do you know how much we bequeathed to this New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government? We have now left them with three production fields. In fact, during the first week that the NPP Government came to power, they went straight to Singapore to celebrate FPSO - Kufuor.

    So, today as I speak, we have three very vibrant oil producing fields -- Sankofa, Jubilee -- producing at the highest level, and then the TEN oils fields. The indigenous gas production produces over 200, 000 barrels a day. The Ghana Gas is flowing and the ENI gas is also flowing. We are projecting that this Government would get GH¢ 12 billion from it.

    Mr Speaker, I would take you to page 49, so that we see what is being done. It says and with your permission I quote:

    “Mr Speaker, this august House approved an amount of GH¢ 1, 546.38 million to be spent on ABFA in the year 2018…”

    Mr Speaker, this is because of the law we passed. In the annual budget funding, we gave them an amount of GH¢1.5 million. The Hon Minister says that they have so far spent GH¢606 million, and these are the breakdowns. An amount of GH¢34 million was spent on agriculture. A Government that says it believes so much in transforming agriculture only spends GH¢34 million out of the GH¢ 606 million that they received.

    Mr Speaker, we have the breakdown on the physical infrastructure and service delivery in health, being an amount of GH¢417 million. I would come back to that one, but to dig deeper, rail road and other critical infrastructural development has an amount of GH¢142 million.
    Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to quote what he says 12:29 p.m.
    “Mr Speaker, the Ministry is proposing to this august House to allow it to exclude gas revenues to the tune of US$181.80 million from the projected petroleum revenues for 2019….”
    Mr Speaker, the translation is that basically, the Jubilee Gas, that we negotiated so that it would be free for Ghanaians, and would be invested in roads, that money -- The gas has been supplied, and this Government is so incompetent that the debt has ballooned to over GH¢3 billion -- in fact, last year alone, the gas supplied was GH¢279 million.
    Now, they are here, and because we have put our indigenous gas under the PRMA, they would want to dodge. They have come to us for us to basically cancel it -- we will not do that!
    Mr Speaker, he makes a second request, another incompetent request. This is what the Hon Minister for Finance also asks us to do, and with your permission, I beg to quote. He says:
    “…Furthermore, as a measure to minimize the amount of gas produced in the SGN Field for power production, Government has decided to postpone the extraction of its share of the gas resource…”
    Mr Speaker, we have been toiling, going to Nigeria to get gas, and finally when we have our own gas -- [Interruption] -- I would read my own handing over notes on why the Hon Minister makes that request. The only reason the Hon Minister makes this request is that for two years, we just gave him a simple assignment to connect simple infrastructure at Takoradi,
    so that the Sankofa Gas could be connected through the West African Pipe Line.
    For two years, they said they were investigating, but guess what? They just awarded that contract this year, and as a result, there is delay. Now, they are coming to tell us that they are going to postpone Ghana's 20 per cent share, so that they can buy gas.
    Mr Speaker, I ask the question; are we going to buy crude oil or buy LPG? This is unthinkable -- It is incompetency! [Interruption] -- My Hon Colleagues say I should qualify the incompetency with the word “super”. So, it is “super incompetency”! It gets worse.
    Mr Speaker, they started talking about transparency. Can you imagine the President of the Republic coming for a law that we had passed in October, 2016 only to revamp the whole Petroleum law, Act 191? Some regulations were required before they came to power, and they quickly made sure that these regulations were brought in, but it took them more than a year and a half to implement just two of them.
    In Act 191, with a lot of regulation that we required of them because you came to power, that they should quickly make sure that these regulations are brought in. Indeed, it took them more than a year and a half to implement just two of them.
    Mr Speaker, in section 10(3) of that law, one of the requirements was that they would need to do a transparent bidding rounds for oil blocks, because as we move forward as a country, that is what the NDC Government had envisioned. They now sit down somewhere, saying that it was the NPP Government's ingenuity. They knew nothing about it! It was the NDC government who did that.
    Mr Speaker, that is even not it, but has anybody wondered why rural electri- fication is basically at a stop? If we
    projected to give 1,500 communities electricity and now what they can tell us is that for the whole year, what they did was just for 122 communities, then when are we going to meet our goal of universal access? When would we meet our goal of universal access?
    Mr Speaker, another act of incompetence is that we left by asking this Government, after passing the Local Content L.I. -- [Interruption] -- that L.I's objective was simple.
    It is as if this Government is so determined to knock down every Ghanaian business. Do not ask me. Go to the financial sector and check. Ghanaian businesses are on their knees. [Interruption] Do you want to know the announcements? We gave them a simple assignment.
    Can they replicate the success in the upstream sector in the downstream petroleum sector? This is what they said and I would read it.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:39 p.m.
    Hon Member, you have one minute.
    Mr Buah 12:39 p.m.
    Oh Lord. [Laughter]
    Mr Speaker, page 142 is basically saying that they are still working on it and conferences are being held for the local content in the downstream sector to take place.
    Mr Speaker, I am very concerned that the focus and the utilisation of the energy sector levies -- [Interruption] -- Remember, one year to elections, a Government that cares about this country decided that we have to do this to save Ghana and to protect the energy sector.
    Mr Buah 12:39 p.m.

    They have sat there and said that we were so wicked that when they come, they would basically cancel the energy sector levies. Today, it is their saviour. They have even gone for a seven year and a ten year bond. They are not even accounting for the energy sector levy as envisaged in the Act.

    Mr Speaker, we are asking the Minister for Finance to be very transparent in the usage. This year, we are told --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:39 p.m.
    Your time is up.
    Mr Buah 12:39 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker. [Hear! Hear!]
    Mr George M. Duker (NPP -- Tarkwa-Nsuaem) 12:39 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker for the opportunity.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to add my voice to the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 financial year.
    Mr Speaker, it is so sad to sometimes hear our Colleagues from the other Side talk like this. It has become so alarming because this is a House of records.
    Mr Speaker, as I speak to you, this Government has abolished the excise tax on petroleum and they had the guts to mention taxes. We have also reduced the petroleum tax from 17 per cent to a whopping 13 per cent and they are not ashamed but have the impudence to mention taxes? This Government has indeed brought a new face to the energy sector. We have revived the energy sector.
    Mr Speaker, now, we have the most active oil industry in West Africa in terms of oil recount. We did not have a single rig in 2016. Now, we have four rigs sitting
    in the deep seas, if they care to know. What we have done is prudent management.
    Mr Speaker, as I speak, we have a Government which seeks to protect and manage our oil industry efficiently.
    Mr Speaker, we sit here sometimes and they come and tell us that they have earmarked production of US$75,000 per barrel averagely. They would come and tell us that because of tariff-bearing services, they have reduced it to 70,000 barrels per day.
    Mr Speaker, now, it has changed. We earmarked for 73,000 barrels per day and we produce 74, 000 barrels per day and that is prudent management of our oil industry.
    Mr Speaker, we do not sit in the offices to receive oil and term it as coconut oil. We go there to visit them, motivate them and make sure that they do the right thing. As I speak, oil would be found by the end of this year to celebrate the Christmas, ACA has assured us. Fortunately, I had the opportunity of visiting ACA on the rig with the Minister for Energy.
    Mr Speaker, what enticed and motivated me is the aspect of good management and that is what we call good governance.
    Mr Speaker, the gap we have in our mining industry -- the bauxite industry is the aspect of mining and exporting bauxite and tending to import alumina.
    Mr Speaker, alumina is expensive and not to be extracted easily here in Ghana. What this Government sought to do was to extract bauxite and refine it and get the alumina here to fill the gap between bauxite and aluminium.
    We are filling the gap and bringing it back to the stream of the second port of VALCO, which gives us hope and that is what we call governance.
    Mr Speaker, we are talking of better and prudent ways of managing our oil industry.
    Mr Speaker, one can refer to paragraph 677 of the Budget Statement for that.
    Mr Speaker, he mentioned that we do not have the energy, measure and wherewithal to connect the Ghana Gas pipeline to that of WAFCO.
    Mr Speaker, as I speak, the end terminal valve has been extended from the west to trap the stranded gas from the west to generate power in the east. This would reduce cost of gas. In their tenure, they were selling Ghana gas at a cost of 8.8 million per bitumen. Meanwhile, they were importing so cheaply from Nigeria at a cost of 8.7. Now, we have reduced it further to 8.7 and they are telling us that we are mismanaging the oil industry?
    Dr Kwabena Donkor 12:39 p.m.
    On a Point of Order. Mr Speaker, I would not ordinarily rise on a point of order, especially in a debate but --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:39 p.m.
    If it is not a Point of Order, I would not admit it. If he is misinforming the House, you would have the opportunity to contribute.
    Dr Donkor 12:39 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the House is being led into an illegality and I think I owe it to the House to draw your attention that under the Exploration and Production (E and P) law, there is a process for declaring commerciality.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:39 p.m.
    Hon Member, please, there are so many things that I did not expect to hear from the immediate past Minister. Nobody objected so I overlooked them. This is a debate, unless he has stated something which is wrong. Tell me what he has said that is wrong.
    Dr Donkor 12:39 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the E and P law under the petroleum agreement has a process that assuming oil is discovered in the land, there is a process that within a number of days that the Hon Minister and the President are informed. It is only the President who can declare commerciality. My Hon Colleague is saying that we even have oil for Christmas as if it is Frytol. [Laughter]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:39 p.m.
    Hon Member, is that the declaration? A declaration is a term of art and it is declared by law. He is not to determine. If it is declared, that is the process. You are out of order.
    Hon Member, continue.
    Mr Duker 12:49 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, this Govern- ment, without respect for transparency, met during Cabinet session and approved how we could transparently open up bidding for people to also bid.
    The licencing round that we had recently did not come on a silver platter. It was planned. It is the Government that ensures transparency that would do this. It did not happen in the NDC era.
    Mr Speaker, Ghana becomes the second oil producing country in Africa that has added up to this. And the licensing round, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is so
    Mr Duker 12:49 p.m.
    excited about it. The international donor partners are happy about it.
    It tells us how transparent this Government is. Now, they can have the opportunity to have individuals who have the expertise to also bid and compete accordingly.
    We are not sitting in our respective rooms to choose who extracts or explores, but we have opened up to the world for each and every Ghanaian and inter- national personalities to come and bid, and that is what we call governance.
    Mr Speaker, Cabinet has also openly approved the National LPG Policy. This policy seeks to abolish the LPG marketing model and replaces it with the Cylinder Recirculation Model. As of now, we are curbing the explosions. Quite recently, one of the marketing associates had his station burnt.

    Mr Speaker, as I speak with you, we have a bottling plant, cylinder transporter, cylinder redistributor and these are the value chains that have been created, and licenses have accordingly been processed and would be issued in due course.

    Mr Speaker, we have also done the risk assessment exercise in all the ten regions. And the Ministry, in collaboration with NPA, is also considering providing 60,000 cooking stoves; the poor is considered in this direction, and that is what we call governance.

    Mr Speaker, we are not leaving any stone unturned. We are making sure that our local contents are highly respected. The Petroleum Commission has established a Fund that allows individuals to access that Fund.

    It is a new Commission altogether that has been revamped and brought a new face. Laws had been enacted previously yet they were not —
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:49 p.m.
    You have one minute.
    Mr Duker 12:49 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it tells us how prudent this Government is. We are considering the civil society organi- sations and individuals and Members of Parliament to go there, access it and make sure they have people who can contribute to our oil and gas sector.
    Mr Speaker, we are bringing up a new oil and gas sector, opening a new petroleum institute that would coordinate all the institutions to have a hub that would indeed — [Interruption.] — coordinate and have a proper situation of our oil and gas industry.
    Mr Mutawakilu Adam (NDC — Damongo) 12:49 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you very
    much for this opportunity to contribute to the Motion moved by the Hon Minister for Finance.
    Mr Speaker, there are Acts in the Energy Sector, and it is not creativity when we obey them. — [Laughter.] — We must understand. When we look at section 10 of the ENP Act, it is clear on competitive bidding, and that was passed under President Mahama in 2016. And so just following the Act is not creativity.
    If they wanted to be creative, why did they do ExxonMobil direct negotiation? They did ExxonMobil direct negotiation because it started under our regime and they came to continue. And so, it came before the Act was passed. They should have done competitive bidding when they had that opportunity.
    Mr Speaker, secondly, when we talk of Petroleum Commission establishing a Fund, it is the Act that requires that they must set up what we call a Local Content Fund, and so to my Hon Brother, it is not creativity.
    Mr Speaker, it is important to settle this dumsor. The New Patriotic Party (NPP) said they ended dumsor and they are at the same time complaining that former President Mahama brought excess capacity and depending on our Energy Sector Levy Act (ESLA) to liquefy the system.
    Mr Speaker, on the 2nd of March, 2016, — [Uproar] — His Excellency Dr Bawumia said that they should not thank President Mahama for fixing dumsor. Is the Hon Chairman for Mines and Energy Committee challenging his own Vice President? I do not think so.
    Mr Speaker, over the period —
    Nana Amaniampong Marfo 12:49 p.m.
    On a point of order
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is misleading the House. Does he mean His Excellency the Vice President, Dr Bawumia? This is because I heard, Bawumia and I do not think that is proper.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:49 p.m.
    Hon Member, let us all respect the protocols.
    Mr Adam 12:49 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, he was by then the running mate.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:49 p.m.
    He was Dr Bawumia and he worked for it. It was not a gift. [Laughter]
    Mr Adam 12:49 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Hon Buah spoke about paragraph 335 of page 78, where the Hon Minister requires us not to recognise US$181million in respect of gas revenue. It goes beyond that. It tells us that the liquidity problem in the power sector is in crisis. We are in crisis.
    Mr Speaker, I have statistics from the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG). In 2016 — [Interruption.] — ECG made a profit of GH¢725 million. In 2017, ECG made a loss of GH¢521million. The first half of 2018; January to June, ECG made a loss of GH¢1.1billion, and by the end of this year, about GH¢ 2 billion loss would have been made. That is what we call crisis in the energy sector and that is why we are experiencing dumsor at this point in time.
    Mr Speaker, when somebody says we have excess capacity, the Hon Minister for Finance in his Budget Statement indicated that Ghana pays about GH¢ 600 million on excess capacity. I think we need to educate him. He was not well briefed.
    Mr Adam 12:59 p.m.
    The power sector is not like water that for instance I would need one cup of water and I would take it.
    Mr Speaker, first of all, in the power sector, one needs what is called reserved margin, which is 20 per cent of the peak demands. And so if our peak demand is 2,300 megawatts, we have to reserve 20 per cent, which is 460 megawatts so that in case of interruptions, we can easily bring on board another plant.
    We must pay for it because that is what is called contingency — Depending on our programmes, we would need more. For instance, rural electrification.

    Under President Mahama, we pursued an agressive programme to ensure that so many communities are enrolled into the Rural Electrification Programme. As a result, 1,212 communities were connected to the national grid only in the year 2016. In the year 2017, the Hon Minister for Finance came and assured us that 2,185 communities would be connected in the year 2017. At the end of the year, they did 289 communities.

    Mr Speaker, he again promised in the year 2018 that 1,796 communities would be connected to the national grid. In the 2019 Budget Statement, it is 122, which represents 6.7 per cent. But because this Government is full of promises, they still promised to do 1,250 communities; this time we are not sure whether they would be able to connect 100 communities.

    Mr Speaker, we have what we call “suppressed demand”; if they talk of excess capacity, they must look at what we call “suppressed demand”. Probably, it is not excess capacity. We know that

    Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO) has five production lines and each production line takes 75 megawatts. So, if they say they have excess capacity and VALCO is still operating two production lines, then that is not excess capacity.

    We have what we call “suppressed demand” in the system; that means they have the ability to still give more power. Why would the Government now provide the three production lines with a balance that they call “excess capacity”? That will be about 215 megawatts.

    VALCO needs extra 215 megawatts; they are not providing it to them and the Hon Minister would come and tell us that there is excess capacity. In this respect, there is nothing like excess capacity.

    Mr Speaker, let me touch on VALCO as well. The Hon Chairman of the Committee spoke of the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation. This corpora- tion is supposed to complete the value chain in the bauxite or aluminium industry. We have the deposit, we have a smelter and we have the downstream. What is left is the refinery.

    Mr Speaker, I thought that when we passed this Bill in this House, the most important priority to Government would be to ensure that the refinery is set up. However, the Government quickly used it to mortgage for a two billion dollar Chinese loan. What is our priority?

    How can you be going for a two billion dollar Chinese loan to process bauxite into aluminium but you are not interested in the refinery that would convert the bauxite to alumina, to enable the smelter to convert the alumina to aluminium which would enble you use it to do what we call barter trade? It is out of place.

    Mr Speaker, I would also want to touch on small scale mining. It is evident that this Government is so reluctant; they are not willing to ensure that those who are legally registered to do mining do it. Some of their elements are those who are engaged -- I made this statement and they disputed it.

    Fortunately, the Hon Minister for Local Government and Rural Development openly said some of the District Chief Executives (DCEs) are engaged in illegal mining.

    Mr Speaker, we must distinguish between illegal mining and small scale mining. Most of these people have gone for loans and most of them are in critical situations. This Government by sole insensitivity and ensuring that these small scale miners who are legally registered to mine are given the opportunity to do their work.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:59 p.m.
    Hon Member, this is for all of you on the Committee on Mines and Energy. I would want to know if any of those who are legally registered to mine has brought a lease to this House to be approved in accordance with the Constitution.
    Hon Member, this is not part of your debate but I would want the Committee Members to truly consider that.
    Mr Adam 12:59 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is something that is within the domain of the Ministry and the Committee had requested the Minerals Commission -- It has taken delivery of the list. They have asked them to ensure that the Hon Minister for Lands and Natural Resources brings them to Parliament.
    It needs Cabinet approval before it is brought and so it is in the domain of the Ministry, the Executive.
    Mr Speaker, there is something critical that is going on in the energy sector that we need to talk about. This capping that has been brought by the Hon Minister for Finance --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:59 p.m.
    Hon Member, I have added one minute to your time because of what I added to your debate.
    Mr Adam 12:59 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the capping that has been imposed by the Hon Minister for Finance is having serious financial challenges on some of these energy sector enterprises.
    The Minerals Commission is struggling because about 34 per cent of the little that they raise is taken by the Ministry of Finance. Therefore, they are not able to do their regulatory work as expected.
    Mr Speaker, also, the Energy Commission is so much in distress that they are not even able to pay their workers. Last month, they could not pay their workers on time. I would want to urge the Hon Minster for Finance to leverage these Agencies so that they would be able to function as expected.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to look at the commerciality my Hon Colleague asked about. He said commerciality has not been declared. He has already informed us of the intention that there has been a discovery. That is a breach of the Petroleum Act of 2016.
    Next time, it is very important that when you belong to a Committee, you know the Acts and the various laws that govern that Committee. I believe that if he reads this very well, he would know that he cannot announce commerciality before the President does.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:59 p.m.
    Hon Dr S. K. Nuamah?
    Dr Samiu Kwadwo Nuamah (NPP-- Kwadaso) 12:59 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to also contribute to the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year.
    Mr Speaker, I am totally taken aback by the way the two Hon Members who just spoke from the other Side have spoken regarding dumsor and the oil discovery.
    Mr Speaker, if you would allow me, I would like to take this House through certain chronology of events which I am sure would throw some light on how far we have come and who actually did what.
    Mr Speaker, the previous Administra- tion was ushered in on 7th January, 2013. Two years down the line, the then President set up a new Ministry and the purpose was to have a sharper focus on power delivery. The Hon Minister who was appointed at the time was no other person than our own Hon Colleague from the other Side, the Hon Dr Kwabena Donkor.
    Mr Speaker, in an interview with a Multimedia man named Elton John, the then Minister for Power promised the people of this nation that if he fails to resolve the issue of dumsor within one year, he would resign.
    Lo and behold, a year came and the Hon Minister in his own resignation letter said that even though he has made significant improvement practically, he

    That was at the end of the year 2015.

    Mr Speaker, when he resigned, no one in that political party or the then Government was seen to --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:59 p.m.
    Hon Member, you would hold on. You mentioned somebody by name and he is on his feet. So, please turn off your microphone so that your time does not run.
    Yes, Hon Donkor?
    Dr Kwabena Donkor 12:59 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the records of the Ministry of Power, now Ministry of Energy, shows that load shedding ended on 16th December, 2015.
    I thank you.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:09 p.m.
    Hon Member, you would continue.
    Dr Nuamah 1:09 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, and he did resign at the end of 2015, till the end of 2016 when the people of Ghana decided to change them, no one in that particular Government and party was seen to be competent enough to assume that position.

    Mr Speaker, in January 2016 at the former President's New Year message, he said, and with your permission, I would read --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:09 p.m.
    Hon Member, hold on.
    Mr Buah 1:09 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, this is a House of records. I just want it to be clear that when the former Minister for Power left office, the former Minister for Finance was made to act as the Minister for Power.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:09 p.m.
    But, Hon Member, he was not appointed as Hon Minister for Power.
    Hon Member, proceed.
    Dr Nuamah 1:09 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that position was vacant for 12 whole months.
    Mr Speaker, the then President, John Mahama, in his New Year message on January 1, 2016 said and with your permission I quote:
    “Every member of my Government will uphold the promises that have been made to you, the people, whose interest we serve. Those who fall short of that commitment have been and continue to be asked to tender their resignation and be relieved of their responsibilities”

    Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague, the Hon Ranking Member for the Mines and Energy Committee mentioned that somewhere in March 2016, the Vice

    President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, said that dumsor had been solved.

    In June 2016, the then President, John Mahama, at one of his Accounting to the People tour in Kumasi said this, and with your permission I quote:

    “Dumsor has been prolonged by the non-supply of gas from neighbouring Nigeria to feed thermal plants as a result of a sabotage which has led to the shutdown of the Asogli Plant.”

    This was in June 2016. The then President acknowledged the fact that dumsor persisted. So it is surprising that the Hon Ranking Member of the Committee on Mines and Energy would suggest in any way that the Vice President -- [Interruption] -- Power can never be politicised. I would want us to take that on board. Whatever we say, dumsor would catch up with us.

    Mr Speaker, again, I am not surprised that the former Hon Minister for Petroleum made certain comments about dumsor and the addition of plants. The law of conservation of energy states, “energy can never be created nor destroyed but can be changed from one form to the other.”

    This simply means we could have all our plants but there should be an energy, in this case, the fuel to go into the plants and change into thermal energy which would in turn come out as electrical energy.

    So, having plants alone do not give us power. It confirms the reason this country stayed in darkness for four to five years. It is because they did not get it. They thought that piling and assembling metals was the solution to dumsor which was not.
    Dr Nuamah 1:09 p.m.

    Mr Speaker, the issue of dumsor from the outset has never been a generation problem; it has been the mismanagement of that sector. What we have done is to inject efficiency.

    We could install all the megawatts but if we fail to honour our financial obligations to our suppliers to ensure constant flow of fuel, dumsor would catch up with us; we could install all the megawatts but if we fail to install efficient metering system in homes and industries, as opposed to the political metering that has characterised the installation exercise, dumsor would catch up with us; if we fail to inject competence, prudent manage- ment of supply, transmission, distribution and subsequent collection of revenues, dumsor would catch up with us.

    Mr Speaker, if we buy machines and think that those alone could give us power, dumsor would catch up with us. That is how come this country was plunged into dumsor for over four years.

    Mr Speaker, this Government has done these things to resolve the problems of dumsor. I can assure you that dumsor is over; it is not coming back.

    Mr Speaker, again, we have ensured that we make prompt payment of all liabilities. With your permission, I would read paragraph 231 of the 2019 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government. The last sentence states:

    “Following the issue of the bonds, SOE debts amounting to approximately GH¢5.3 billion have been settled to date.”

    Mr Speaker, that is what we have done.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:09 p.m.
    Hon Member, you have one minute more.
    Dr Nuamah 1:09 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, again, we have installed 22 KVA transmission lines from Ghana to Burkina Faso so that we could extend the excess power to our neighbours instead of allowing the power to be here and pay excess capacity charges. We have installed these lines so that we could sell it to them.
    Mr Speaker, again, we are changing the 250 watts high pressure sodium lamps to 150 watts LED lamps because we have to reduce the loads on the grid.
    Mr Speaker, with rural electrification, we are not only committed to ensure that every corner of this country gets power, we are also making sure that local contractors and banks are engaged in this exercise. So, we are killing three birds with one stone -- [Interruption] we are getting power to them; we are creating jobs for contractors and we are making sure banks are working.
    Mr Speaker, we say never again to dumsor, economic instability, incom- petence and energy crisis; and never again to NDC mess.
    Mr Edward Abambire Bawa (NDC-- Bongo) 1:19 p.m.
    I thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate in which the Honourable House has been asked to approve the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government of Ghana for the Year Ending 31st December, 2019.
    In doing that, even though I would want to talk on energy, it is important that we clarify issues since this is a House of records.
    Yesterday, the Hon Minister for Education got up on a point of order and indicated that one did not need to produce a Tax Identification Number (TIN) before one accessed some social services; for example, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and the Free Senior High School (SHS) programme.
    Mr Speaker, I would just want to read what the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government indicated for the records. With your permission, on paragraph 297 of page 70, the Minister for Finance indicated;
    “Mr Speaker, the Revenue Administration Act, 2016 lists many services and transactions that cannot be accessed by individuals without TIN. Unfortunately, com- pliance with these requirements have been low. In 2019, we will begin to apply sanctions to state and private entities that fail to enforce the TIN requirements. Addi- tionally, government…”

    “…In 2019, we will begin to apply sanctions to state and private entities that fail to enforce the TIN requirements. Additionally, govern- ment, in providing social services and benefits provided by the state, will require beneficiaries or the guardians to have a TIN. These will complement the current efforts by the GRA to get more persons and businesses on their radar”.
    Minister indicates and I beg to quote 1:19 p.m.
    “Mr Speaker, Government will then broaden the tax net by Simplifying payment of taxes through different routes under the guidance of GRA include the elimination of paying for Government services with cash, requiring that citizens show their TIN before accessing social services like free health care under the National Health Insurance Program, free secondary school education under the Free SHS program beginning in September 2019 and other services like vehicle licensing and registration, passport services, banking service as well as mobile money services.”
    Mr Speaker, I am so disappointed that an Hon Minister, who is the head of a sector, did not even know what they had provided for in his Ministry and in Parliament. He came on a point of order to indicate that one did not need to produce the TIN to access social services. This is a disappointment and something for which the Hon Minister for Education must come back to this House to apologise.
    Having said that, I believe in debating the 2019 Budget Statement, it is important to make an assessment of what we have done in the year 2018. I remember that when the Hon Minister came here in November 2017, he indicated that among other things, they targeted to reduce electricity tariffs across various customer categories.
    Secondly, they wanted to enhance the Petroleum Legal Framework to deepen transparency and predictability in contracting and operations.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:19 p.m.
    You have one more minute.
    Mr Bawa 1:19 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it tells you very clearly that this is a Government that has just decided not to invest in the energy sector. As we speak, very soon, most of us who are Hon Members in rural communities, our people would have to wait for the next 12 years to have access to electricity and that is a terrible thing that we would have to endure.
    I just hope and pray that as a country, we will take a second look and understand that the service that we render to this
    country is neither because of our pockets nor wellbeing; but it is because of the fact that we want to ensure that every Ghanaian breaks away from the shackles of poverty.
    Mr Speaker, on this basis, thank you very much for the opportunity.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:19 p.m.
    Hon Members, we will bring the debate on the Budget Statement to a close today; it will be continued tomorrow.
    We will move to item numbered 5(a) -- Presentation of Papers by the Hon Minister for Health.
    PAPERS 1:19 p.m.

    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:29 p.m.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader, are we ready to lay item numbered 5 (b)?
    Ms Safo 1:29 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, item numbered 5 (b) is the Report of the Committee on Finance but we are not ready for that. Mr Speaker, Motion numbered 7 is ready and I believe the Hon Chairman of the Committee and the Hon Ranking Member are prepared for that.
    Ms Safo 1:29 p.m.

    Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Iddrisu 1:29 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe that the Hon Chairman of the Committee on Finance is not here. The Paper is on the referral of the Payment Systems and Services Bill, 2018. I believe we could take that tomorrow and go through the Consideration Stage because it is one of the Instruments or Bills to support the Budget Statement.
    Mr Speaker, so we could take Motion numbered 7 with an understanding that we go through it with very minimal contributions so that we could take a contribution each on the energy sector of the Budget Statement then you could guide us on what to do next.
    Mr Speaker, we could take the contributions on the road sector of the Budget Statement later. So, I am making an application for one contribution from each side of the House.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:29 p.m.
    Very well.
    Item numbered 7 -- Motion. Hon Chairman of the Committee.
    MOTIONS 1:29 p.m.

    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:29 p.m.
    Hon Members, we would take the Resolution numbered 8 by the Hon Minister for Roads and Highways.
    Ms Safo 1:29 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to seek permission for the Hon Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways to move the Resolution on behalf of the substantive Hon Minister.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:29 p.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Deputy Minister, you may do so.
    RESOLUTIONS 1:29 p.m.


    HEREBY RESOLVE AS 1:29 p.m.



    Chairman of the Committee (Mr Samuel Ayeh-Paye) 1:29 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion and in so doing present --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:29 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, we have gone past that. We have voted on your Report so now you must second the Resolution. You chose not to speak to your Motion and we have adopted it. We are now on the Resolution.

    second the Motion.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:29 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, do you want to speak to the Resolution?
    Mr Iddrisu 1:29 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if you would indulge us and accommodate the Hon Chairman, there is a matter that I would like to refer to for the records before you put the Question on the Resolution. Mr Speaker, it affects the Resolution.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:29 p.m.
    Very well. I would listen to you.
    Mr Iddrisu 1:29 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Parliament is called upon to approve loan facilities and the amount here is €7.5 million. Mr Speaker, this is what Parliament does in exercising our mandate. I would refer to the attachment on page 8, which is Appendix 2, and it talks about the terms and conditions of the loan.
    Mr Speaker, next time the Committee must do a thorough work. They should not attach the terms and conditions as an Appendix. It cannot be an Appendix because that is what we are called upon to do. It must be an integral part of the Committee's Report. Mr Speaker, I thought that I should make this observation.
    Also, we can hardly read what has been attached as facial legibility because we want to know the communities.
    Mr Speaker, finally, I hope that one day, your Committee would go round the country because a lot of moneys go into street lights even from the bills that we pay to the Electricity Company of Ghana.
    We have a right to demand that they spend that money well on street lights,
    but not switch it on for one week and then we do not hear anything about it for one or two months.
    Mr Speaker, thank you.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly.
    Mr Iddrisu 1:29 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I know that when it is five minutes to 2 o'clock, you would give us guidance which may affect proceedings so I whispered to the Hon Leader to know if we could accommodate Hon Kwabena Donkor then we could bring closure.
    Mr Speaker, after your guidance on what to do at 2 o'clock, we could then come back and take the contributions on the roads sector.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:29 p.m.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
    Ms Safo 1:29 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the only challenge that we have with the submission by the Hon Minority Leader is that when we started with this debate, we structured it in such a way that it would be three contributions from each Side of the House on every sector. It was only the Committee on Finance that we accommodated four contributions from each Side of the House.
    So, all preparations on our side has been towards that direction, but we have now been told by the Hon Minority Leader that we should take an extra Hon Member and this would change the status quo.
    The difficulty is that if we planned and agreed at the Leadership level that
    we would take three contributions for the rest of the sectors, then I believe that was what had been conveyed to Hon Members.
    As we speak now, all the three Hon Members on the energy sector on our side have spoken, so if there is a contribution on energy by Hon Kwabena Donkor, it would be a challenge.
    Mr Speaker, we have a backlog of other sectors that we could not finish on Tuesday and same applies to a backlog of two other sectors for yesterday. So I would rather urge the Hon Minority Leader that we should move to the roads sector which has been scheduled for today.
    Mr Speaker, under roads, we have railways, aviation, roads and transport but it has been broken into three contributions each. So I would urge the Hon Minority Leader to indulge us to take the contributions on the road and transport sectors.
    Even that has three sectors and we have approximately 10 or 20 minutes for us to leave and express our sympathy and condolence to the family of our Hon Brother, Hon Kyeremanteng Agyarko, whom we lost last night.
    Mr Speaker, so, we could take a contribution each for the road sector and then we leave.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:39 p.m.
    Hon Members, it is 22 minutes to 2. 0'clock. We told ourselves we would close latest by 2.00. p.m. We said the Hon Ranking Members should have fifteen minutes each and it is neither sufficient for the Hon
    Chairman and the Hon Ranking Members to speak on the matter, nor is there room for a fourth person?
    Hon Minority Leader, the list that you gave me, which you have signed, does not include a fourth person. At this time, I would rather request a Motion for adjournment so that we could organise quickly and go to the place of our deceased Hon Colleague.
    Mr Iddrisu 1:39 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am sure the Hon Deputy Majority Leader could move the Motion for adjournment and I willingly would support it.
    But for the records, if the Hon Deputy Majority Leader says there was a discussion of a number of three, it cannot be. What happened was that, at the pre- Sitting meeting--- [Interruption] -- I even met with you.
    It is true that the Hon Whips suggested three Hon Members from either Side of the House each for our purposes. I am not aware we have had any discussion where we said three or four each. But if that is the practice, let it be. But for the records, it should not look as if —
    I say this because the work here is give and take. When the Hon Deputy Majority Leader brought the Motion on street lighting, it is not as if we could not comment on it or we did not want to comment on it. I said we should save time for the purpose of debate when I made the application. Once we get that through, this one cannot be true for the record.
    I just want you to know that I am not happy about that but there is nothing I could do. For the records, when you said, three or four contributions each, maybe. If we meet tomorrow as Business Committee and we would have to take some more decisions even on the Budget Statement -- [Interruption] --
    Ms Safo 1:39 p.m.
    Mr Speaker you gave the direction and I would do exactly what it was but I assure the Hon Minority Leader that indeed, we have the men and women to the extent that in the debate, we have had a female voice.
    Yesterday, I was up on my feet to make application for the Hon Second Deputy Chief Whip to be heard in this House and the Hon First Deputy Chief Whip intentionally sent her away and replaced her with a man. We have the men and women on our Side to debate.
    Besides, on the issue of energy, the Men and Women on our Side have actually exhausted what they ought to.
    Mr Speaker, on this note, I would move, that this House be suspended -- [Interruption] -- So that on our return from the family house of our late Hon Colleague, Hon Kyeremanteng Agyarko, we could take at least one other sector. Mr Speaker, that is an application I am making.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:39 p.m.
    Hon Deputy Minority Whip, do you have anything to say? Yes, I would hear you.
    Mrs Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe Ghansah 1:39 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Majority
    Leader has kept mentioning my name since yesterday. I am more than ready to debate so she should not worry. It is Committee by Committee, so, when it gets to my Committee's turn, I would be ready to debate.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:39 p.m.
    Hon First Deputy Chief Whip, do not send her away again when it is her time as you did yesterday. You deliberately sent her away when it was her turn to debate; do not do that again.
    Hon Colleagues, I do not think that we should suspend Sitting and come back. So I would rather adjourn proceedings so that we go, take our time to mourn with the family and continue tomorrow.
    The Motion for adjournment has been moved by the Hon Deputy Majority Leader I am looking for a secondment.
    Mr Iddrisu 1:39 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is appropriate that we join and support you. I am sure we would have an opportunity to eulogise our Hon Colleague, the Hon Emmanuel Kyeremanteng Agyarko, but it is only morally and customarily appropriate that, as an institution that he worked for and was working with, we go
    to commiserate with the family and express our sympathies and condolences.
    On that note, I second the Motion for adjournment.
    ADJOURNMENT 1:39 p.m.

  • The House was accordingly adjourned at 1.46 p. m. till Friday, 23rd November, 2018 at 10.00 a. m.