Debates of 27 Jun 2019

PRAYERS 10:52 a.m.


Mr Speaker 10:52 a.m.
Hon Members, correction of Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 26th June, 2019.
Mr Speaker 10:52 a.m.
Hon Members, we have the Official Report of Friday, 3rd May, 2019.
Any corrections, please?
Mr Speaker 10:52 a.m.
Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Adam 10:52 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
On column 7923, the last but one paragraph reads:
“Mr Speaker, on this note I call that we reject this loan agreement.”
Instead of ‘loan agreement' it should be ‘petroleum agreement'.
Mr Speaker 10:52 a.m.
Thank you very much.
Any other corrections, please?
Mr Speaker 10:52 a.m.
Yes, Hon Okudzeto Ablakwa?
Mr Ablakwa 10:52 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am grateful.
On column 7968, the last but one paragraph, the Table Office should take a look at Mr Speaker's closing remarks.
“I thank the deputy speakers for the continued supports…”
‘Supports' should be looked at; it should be without an‘s'.
Mr Speaker 10:52 a.m.
Thank you very much Hon Member.
Yes, any other corrections?
Mr Speaker 10:52 a.m.
Yes, Hon Dr Okoe Boye?
Dr Boye 10:52 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, column 7618, the first paragraph, the last sentence reads 10:52 a.m.
“…a scholar and instrumentalist, to mention a few of the known attributes and his works in the field of music baleen globally acknowledged.”
Mr Speaker, I guess it is supposed to be “…have been globally acknowledged.”
Mr Speaker 10:52 a.m.
Thank you.
Any further corrections, Hon Members?
In the absence of any further correction, the Official Report of Friday, 3rd May, 2019 is hereby adopted as true record of proceedings.
Mr Speaker 10:52 a.m.
Hon Members, there is a Statement on the Role of Volta River Authority and Settlement Trust Fund vis-à-vis the situation of the resettled communities.
STATEMENTS 11:02 a.m.

Mr Rockson-Nelson E. K. Dafeamekpor (NDC -- South Dayi) 11:02 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to make a Statement on the Volta River Authority Resettlement Trust Fund vis-a-vis the deplorable conditions of the Resettled Communities.
Mr Speaker, the importance of the Volta River Project, which resulted in Ghana's first source of electricity through the use of hydro, cannot be overemphasised. The project, was executed by the Government of Ghana (GoG) through the Volta River Authority (VRA) which was established in 1961 by an Act of Parliament, the Volta River Authority Act, 1962 (Act 46). The VRA remains a reliable and the cheapest source of power supply to Ghana since its completion in 1965 by Ghana's first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, which resulted in the resettlement of lots of communities. However, it was only in 1996 that the VRA Resettlement
Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah (NDC -- Ellembelle) 11:12 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity.
Let me also thank the Hon Member for South Dayi for this very important Statement on the resettlement of South Dayi.
The Statement underscores one fundamental problem we have in this country in terms of the Government's
Alhaji Abu-Bakar Saddique Boniface (NPP -- Madina) 11:22 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to associate myself with the Statement on the Floor, delivered by my Hon Colleague.
I would first of all want to commend the VRA Resettlement Trust Fund for what they have done since 1965. In fact, most people within those corridors were displaced, right from
the Eastern Region, Volta Region, Northern Region and Brong Ahafo Region. There was an agreement to help settle these people but as I speak, the people are really suffering.

We have to be very honest. Apart from taking their properties by the construction of the Dam, the river took substantial amount of the lands. However, they felt so happy because there was going to be a change in their living standards. Today, they lack a lot of social amenities; they do not have good roads, drains and health centres and the so-called compensation keeps dwindling.

Mr Speaker, as I speak, if we go to a place like Makango, they have no health centre and good roads and people have abandoned their resettlement places. It is the same thing at Yeji and Buipe. Why are the people being treated this way? To the extent that the Ministry at a point in time reduced the amount that should be given to the Resettlement Fund.

Mr Speaker, having said that, we cannot blame the Government alone -- when the rat is blamed, the rotten meat in the room should also be blamed. [Laughter.] There are a lot of people, either the chiefs or some people who claim to have very close affection

with the Government who arrange and take the compensation and it remains in Accra and this erupts confusion in the settlement areas. Sometimes, any person who sees himself or herself as a radical and protests he/she is arrested by the chiefs and the so- called privileged people in the community. As I speak, there are a lot of cases on that.

Mr Speaker, sanitation is poor in those communities. Some places do not have pipe borne water. Places like Yeji still draw their water from the Volta Lake and a lot of young children are affected by water borne diseases like bilharzia in this modern day Ghana. It is so sad to hear this matter at this point in time. It was when we were children in the 1960s and 1970s that a person got bilharzia when he or she swam, but not today's modern Ghana. Unfortunately, these people are not attended to at all.

Mr Speaker, we need to look at this matter very well because I thought the creation of the hydro power systems in areas in Akosombo, Kpong and Bui would help change the living standards of the people, but it is rather the reverse. This matter must be looked at critically and the Ministry of Energy must send people to check all the communities because they paid compensation but nothing is happening there.

I do not know any of the communities that has been mentioned that has a tarred road. Places like Cherepo, Nsuano, Makango, Tsenakpe, Kpandai, Bajamso, Lonto and Kratchi are all not tarred. Why? Meanwhile, Ghana has benefited from this hydro power since 1965 to date. What is the fault of all these communities such that they do not have good water and health centres? Something must be done to save the people.

Mr Speaker, with these few words, I thank you for the opportunity.
Mr Kwame Govers Agbodza 11:22 a.m.
(NDC -- Adaklu): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this Statement.
Mr Speaker, ordinarily, many Ghanaians are ready to do a little self- sacrifice for the community or the good of the country.
Mr Speaker, the Statement as presented by the Hon Member is not limited to his constituency alone. We are aware that the cost of building the Akosombo Dam has been repaid and so, in effect, whatever Akosombo Dam gives us today, is profit. We do not consume electricity in this country for free, we pay for it. So, how come a dam construction that benefits all of us and affected some people could not be adequately compensated?
Mr Kwame Govers Agbodza 11:32 a.m.
This is a situation that could be expressed in some other ways. When we explore for minerals and other things, when we create reserves for natural resources and other things, people who have been residents in those areas have always been asked to relocate for the project to be executed.
Mr Speaker, it is important to note that although the dam was completed in 1965 thereabout and com- missioned, it was only in 1996 that the Fund that is supposed to pay compensation and resettle the people was created. What was the sustainable source of funding to this organisation that is supposed to resettle the people? How come we are unable to sustain the funds?
My Hon Colleague talked about the fact that in some areas some individuals led some groups to collect some compensation on behalf of others and made away with it - but there is a system that could track those who were within the catchment areas of these developments and have a plan to resettle them adequately.
Mr Speaker, last week, in an Answer to a Question on the Floor by the Hon Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, regarding the illegal felling of rosewood in this country, he referred to some settlements including some in Adaklu,
Central Tongu and Ho West as illegal but in reality, the State indeed, acquired these reserves for the development and for the good of the country but the State never took steps to resettle these people adequately yet people living on their own lands are called “illegal'' settlers. How could one be an illegal settler in his or her own land? It is not possible. It is the State that has infringed on the rights of these people.
In other words, to the extent that the State took a deliberate decision that development should not be sent to some of these locations because as far as the Government is concerned they have acquired these lands for game reserves and the people must move out, without telling them where to move out to. So we cannot send schools and electricity out there. As a result there are a lot of children of school going age who do nothing. This cannot be the process of developing this country.
Mr Speaker, this House could take a decision to find out how many communities exist as such whether it was as a result of mining, oil exploration or creation of game reserve across the country; what was the Government's commitment to these people at the beginning and what has been done so far. We could help the Government to come with a
solution that could give justice to these people and ensure that the benefits of the developments that the State was looking for does not affect the people of these communities.
Mr Speaker, the Statement by the Hon Colleague is very important but I would want to say that some of these situations exist in reality and we are creating a situation whereby in the future, a government may have a good reason to acquire land to carry out development but the people may not allow and if the Government forces them, sadly, certain things that happened in Nigeria where people's lands have been taken and development never gets to them may begin to happen in this country. We do not need to get there because we are a compassionate and patriotic people who could carry out development without necessarily creating internally displaced people in this country.

Mr Speaker, it is for this reason that I urge the House to come up with a structure to identify these communities and find ways that we could help Government resettle these people adequately for the common good.

Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Mr Thomas Nyarko Ampem (NDC -- Asuogyaman) 11:32 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement made by my colleague, the Hon Member from South Dayi, Hon Rockson- Nelson Defeamekpor.
This is a very important Statement, and you see from the reaction of many Hon Members because the Volta River Authority (VRA) resettlement communities are all over the place. In my constituency, we have a good number of them. I am aware that in some cases, it is not because the VRA has refused to pay compensation, but because some of the local people have some chieftaincy disputes and some other misunderstandings, that makes it difficult to determine who is really the right person to receive compensation for and on behalf of the local communities.
So it is important that these local people also put their houses in order, resolve every outstanding issues and unite to demand what is rightfully theirs.
Mr Speaker, having said that, I would also want to commend VRA again and the Resettlement Trust Fund for the few development projects that they are embarking upon. I am aware

that in my constituency, for instance, there are some construction works going on at Mpakadan. Also, they have advertised some classroom blocks to be constructed for the people at Apedosu quarters and many others.

However, the resettled communities are really going through difficult times because of these issues of compensations not being fully paid. The original land owners are moving in to take back some of the lands. I am aware that in the case of Akrade quarters, for instance, there is an issue in court because some of their crops were destroyed because the original land owners had sold the land to some developers. And it is bringing a lot of difficulties to these people.

My humble appeal is that we take steps to protect the land that has been earmarked for use by these resettled communities so that they would have some peace. This is because, most of these people are settlers, and they are always in confrontation with the original land owners who feel that because government has not fully paid compensation, they must move in and deprive the people who have been given this land their due.

So the call is very germane and it is my hope and prayer that an immediate step would be taken to protect these

people from the hardship they are going through.

Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Mr Kobina T. Hammond (NPP -- Adansi Akokwa) 11:32 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute.
Mr Speaker, I think I tuck my boat and everything to the sail of my Hon Colleague, who just spoke, par- ticularly to the first segment of his contribution.
Mr Speaker, I think the House should also examine the problems that have developed following the issues of resettlement whether VRA's Trust Fund is contributing properly or not to the affected communities. I happen to know very well that there have been many litigations ongoing among some communities, their chiefs and Government. It is the case that some communities have, over years, been paid some significant huge sums of money. The allegation, then, is whether this money goes to the benefit of the communities involved or to the individual chiefs or to the appropriate bigshots who came up and collected the moneys.
Mr Speaker, these are important matters that we should look at. I know for sure that VRA has neglected
and ignored its social responsibilities towards these communities which were resettled many years ago. I was just telling my Colleague, the Hon Minister of State at the Office of the Presiden, Hon Abu-Bakr Saddique who cited the cases of Yeji and Makango where he and I grew up. I asked him; is it the case that VRA really has not done anything for Yeji for all these years; 50 years ago when we were little boys and we lived there? Is it the case, that that is what is happening in Makango?
Mr Speaker, the previous Hon Member who spoke alluded to the facts of neglect and lack of amenities. I am tempted to make the point that at this state, is it not also the case that the various communities could also look at the various district assemblies for their share of the national cake? In my constituency, district and locality, we are looking onto the local district administration to contribute what the nation has offered by way of resources to the development of our area.
So why are they waiting entirely on the VRA Resettlement Trust Fund? I suggest that they should go out there and make sure that they make demands on these appropriate institutions. But critically, I think we should also examine these matters of litigations because it is the case that
some moneys have been paid by Government and some people have taken the moneys as some communities keep coming to Government to claim further huge sums of money. We should investigate these matters, and in that process help the development of these communities and of course Government. But we should make some claims on the district administration, and it would be a win-win situation.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Minority Leader (Mr Haruna Iddrisu) 11:32 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement ably made by the Hon Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor.
I would want to commend him for bringing this important issue to the fore about the status of the VRA Resettlement Trust Fund which was established to compensate for the construction of Ghana's first hydro- electric source. Since then, policy has changed, and some of the policy decisions have affected the VRA. Bui Dam Authority emanated from hydro power, and it is independent of others. We also have Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) which is now standing on its own; and Ghana Gas Company, also standing on its own.
Minority Leader (Mr Haruna Iddrisu) 11:42 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member who made the Statement is emphatic. Tongu and Kpalime communities are without potable water. I would further request that when you are directing on this Statement, you should include inviting the Hon Minister for Energy and the VRA to apprise this House of the state of the VRA Resettlement Trust Fund. If there are any challenges, we should know. Maybe how they got their revenue in the past, because of policy changes that have redefined VRA as not the sole provider and regulator of hydro power which might have affected their financing. What can they do and what can the State do to assist VRA to support the resettled communities?
Mr Speaker, I have heard the ambassador of Makango and Yeji and Adansi Asokwa who grew up in that particular area and has spoken to this matter. He would appreciate it as the Hon Minister at the Office of the President, the Hon Saddique Boniface has intimated. The plight of people living in those communities is not one that we can be proud of. They deserve some compensations and support.

Mr Speaker, I would conclude with Buipe and its economic potentials. It

is only in Ghana that you would find a water body which links Akosombo to Buipe which lies idle. It does not happen anywhere in the world. Buipe should be the first industrial port or city in northern Ghana, because they have capacity for it, and we should take advantage of the water resource.

Any person who has travelled from Finland to Sweden who does not want to go by air or road would use the water infrastructure there for that purpose. That is what Buipe can do.

Mr Speaker, repeatedly, President Nkrumah through Prime Minister Busia, President Rawlings, President Kuffuor, President Mills and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in no specific order, all made promises that industrialists should be established in the north and they would give them incentives.

Industrialists did not establish because there is no port facility in northern Ghana. If they go and produce, would they carry the items on their head? There is no airport facility, and there is no water facility, so that was a disincentive to attracting foreign direct investment.

As a country, we should re- position Buipe as an industrial hub and develop it, because any material we have at Akosombo can travel easily

up north and be offloaded in Buipe for onward travel to the Upper East Region to Burkina Faso and the Sahelian regions. We are not developing that facility enough, so Hon Dafeamekpor has raised an important matter.

Mr Speaker, I have said, the Hon Minister for Energy should be invited to brief this House on the state of the Volta River Authority Resettlement Trust Fund. I agree with Hon K. T. Hammond, and it is not just this Trust Fund. Even the Mineral Development Fund is being abused by community leaders and chiefs who unfortunately are managing the resources as if they are personal resources not meant for the collective good of their communities.

We need to take what he has also suggested, so maybe the Hon Minister for Energy should call a stakeholder meeting on this particular subject and apprise Parliament of what the state is, because apart from Government being indebted to the Volta River Authority (VRA), they may have genuine financial difficulties. This House has taken major decisions in response to policy to wither away the mandate and authority of the VRA.

Mr Speaker, with this, I thank you for the opportunity.
Mr Matthew Nyindam (NPP -- Kpandai) 11:42 a.m.
Thank you Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement ably made by Hon Defeamekpor.
Mr Speaker, I largely associate myself with some of the comments and sentiments that earlier Hon Members contributed on the Floor. It is true that if you visit some of these communities, life is not easy for them, and it is public knowledge that most of them were displaced because of the Akosombo Dam and had to be resettled.
They are very close to the lake, but sometimes the activities on the lake make the water not consumable. Some of these communities do not have even boreholes and they depend largely on the Volta Lake to survive. Obviously, that is not good news.
We also realised that just like the Statement mentioned, the population keeps increasing, and unfortunately, although they were displaced because of electricity, there is no deliberate attempt to extend electricity to them, so some of them live in these communities without lights. When you listen to their frustration, we should be able to assist them as a nation.
Mr Speaker, just like the Hon Minority Leader said, the Board of
Mr Matthew Nyindam (NPP -- Kpandai) 11:42 a.m.

the Trust Fund receives an annual grant from VRA. VRA is doing well. It is about US$500,000 every year. If you want to share this for each of these 52 communities, they would take less than GH¢ 50,000 a year. I believe we have to get the Hon Minister for Energy to see how best we can increase it for them.

It is true that they have to engage non-governmental organisations (NGO's) and raise funds from other sources. Two weeks ago they entered into a partnership with Pencils of Promise, who are also actively involved in the educational sector, and they have given them about five projects. The Trust Fund settlement is supposed to provide about 30 per cent of funding, and then the Pencils of Promise would also bring 70 per cent.

The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) is being consulted, and all those are doing well, but the communities are such that most of them are distressed. We cannot continue with these small amounts of money to bring life to these people.

Last week, we had to re-engage the Board Chairman. We had to move him from his apartment to make it a secretariat, because they pay almost

US$22,000 every year for their secretariat. They had to abandon the secretariat and we had to get the CEO out of the place, and VRA is trying to get him a place to stay.

Mr Speaker, the Board and the Trust obviously cannot meet the demands of these communities, and I believe if we get the Hon Minister for Energy and the VRA, some appreciable amount could be advanced to these communities or to the Board for better management, and it would be to the benefit of the people who have sacrificed for all of us to have a cheaper source of energy.

Mr Speaker, with these few words, I thank you for the opportunity.
Mr Speaker 11:42 a.m.
Thank you very much Hon Members for the rich contributions towards this Statement. The Hon Member who made the Statement would do well to ask a Question in a manner he deems very fit for the Hon Minister to respond to it accordingly.
Hon Members, at the Commencement of Public Business, item listed 4.
Mr Nyindam 11:42 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if we could take item listed 6.
Mr Speaker 11:42 a.m.
Tell us about item numbered 4 before we move, because you cannot just hang things in the air.
Mr Nyindam 11:42 a.m.
Mr Speaker, with your leave, may I lay item numbered 4 on behalf of the Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka 11:42 a.m.
Mr Speaker, that Report is not ready, that is why the Hon Chairman is not here. Hon Members came to talk to me. It is not ready.
Mr Speaker 11:42 a.m.
Can we simply have the Report presented? At least Hon Members would get acquainted therewith.
Hon Majority Whip, are you in the position to present the Paper listed as item numbered 4?
Mr Nyindam 11:42 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman is not around for item listed 6, but an Hon Member of the Committee would present it.
Mr Speaker 11:42 a.m.
Item numbered 4?
Mr Nyindam 11:42 a.m.
Item numbered 4 is just a Paper, so I could present it on behalf of the Hon Chairman.
Mr Speaker 11:42 a.m.
Please do.
PAPERS 11:42 a.m.

Mr Speaker 11:42 a.m.
Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Whip?
Mr Nyindam 11:42 a.m.
Mr Speaker, for the item listed 5 on the Order Paper, the Hon Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee is out of the jurisdiction and has indicated to us that he would take it next week. So, with your leave, we could take item listed 6 on the Order Paper, which has to do with the Hon Chairman of the Finance Committee.
Mr Nyindam 11:42 a.m.

Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman of the Finance Committee is not here but an Hon Member is seized with authority by your leave to present the Report on the Hon Chairman's behalf.
Mr Speaker 11:42 a.m.
Item listed 6, Motion, Hon Chairman or his representative?
MOTION 11:42 a.m.

GNPC 11:42 a.m.

Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:02 p.m.
Yes, Hon Leader?
Minority Leader (Mr Haruna Iddrisu) 12:02 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion moved by the Hon Member on behalf of the Hon Chairman of the Committee, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Finance Committee on the Semi-Annual Report of the PIAC on the Management of the Petroleum Revenues for the period January to June, 2018.
Mr Speaker, while I commend the Committee, may I respectfully refer you and our Hon Colleague to pages 9 and 10 of the Report? In particular paragraph 6.3: No lifting by GNPC in the SGN Field.
Mr Speaker, this is what is reported there 12:02 p.m.
“The Committee noted that during the period under review, GNPC did not lift oil in the SGN Field.”
It goes further to say that it was lifted on behalf of GNPC to offset
Mr Speaker, when we come to paragraph 6.1, with your permission, I beg to quote 12:02 p.m.
“The Committee observed that the unutilised ABFA amount of GH¢403.74 million…”
Mr Speaker, that is interesting. In 2018, when the Ministry of Finance had liquidity challenges: there were no payments to statutory funds, outstanding for Ghana Education Trust fund (GETFund), National Health Insurance and the District Assemblies' Common Fund (DACF). It is being reported that GH¢403.74 million is unutilised. How can one say that he has abundance when he is
thirsty? The Hon Minister for Finance must take immediate and urgent steps to come for the approval to make the best use of the money in the service of Government policies and projects. If it is foreign exchange gains, GH¢403.74 million can change the lives of many entities.
Mr Speaker, we must demand that next time, the Ministry of Finance cannot wait for a year only to allow the money to just sit in an account. If there is any investment returns, they must report. They cannot have GH¢403.74 million in an account when they say, “…semi-annual, 2018”. We are half year into 2019; that is one year. How can we justify that the GH¢403.74 million has not been used?
Mr Speaker, generally, I think that Ghana is doing well, but our oil resources and their revenues are not infinite. I have read that World Bank has reported in some research that by 2023, we are likely to deplete our oil resources. It is a research done by the World Bank and I report on it unless there are new discoveries that are made somewhere. They have in fact indicated how much we are likely to earn as a country.
Mr Speaker, I think that Dr Manteaw and his group are doing fairly well in terms of the way they
respond to these issues to ensure that these resources are utilised very well. This morning, they had reported on somebody misreporting that oil revenues were being diverted for salary payment, which was attributed to a non-member of PIAC.
Mr Speaker, in conclusion, transfer into Sinking Fund, page 6, paragraph 5.8. If there is money in the Sinking Fund, we need a report. Which of the debt is it used to service? The Sinking Fund was established by us as a debt management strategy. So, if they have up to US$300 million in it, what debt is it being used to manage as a country? We also need to know.
Mr Speaker, we are almost getting to the 15 year mark when the Petroleum Revenue Management Act was passed and therefore, we would need to comprehensively re-examine it.
The Hon Member of the Committee on page 2 of the Report, referred to Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815). Is there no amended Act? There is. I find no reference to it in the Report. I think that the Committee should do more diligent work next time.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:02 p.m.
Yes, Hon Member for Effutu?
Mr Alexander K. Afenyo- Markin (NPP -- Effutu) 12:02 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity. I would like to say something briefly on paragraph 5.1.2, page 8 of the Report as well as Table 6 on page 9.
Mr Speaker, I associate myself with the concerns of my Hon Colleague, the Minority Leader. He argues that we must ensure transparency in the use of oil revenue. He is also concerned about the indebtedness of some State institutions to GNPC. In this House today, we must get to a consensus on this matter.
Mr Speaker, in 2015, the Karpower situation received the blessings of the Supreme Court of this country. What was the issue? Karpower was engaged in a transaction with the Ministry of Energy, and Cabinet's directive instructed GNPC to issue a guarantee to back that transaction. GNPC had nothing to do with that transaction. Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah contended that to the extent that GNPC was not in any way related to that transaction - it was a pure transaction between Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Ministry of Energy on one
Mr Alexander K. Afenyo- Markin (NPP -- Effutu) 12:12 p.m.
hand and Karpower on the other, there was no need for GNPC to come in. But because at the end of the day, if there is any failure in payment; any breach of contractual obligation, per the guarantee, GNPC would pay.
Mr Speaker, the other side argued strongly that it did not matter; they could still guarantee. We have gone round the circle and we have come back to raise the same issue. If you would have observed, we are talking about the fact that institutions owe GNPC and GNPC more or less is deviating from its core mandate. Were we not the same people who said yesterday that it was normal? We managed to get the Supreme Court to agree with that position.
Mr Speaker, if we do not intend to follow the Supreme Court ruling, we should say so, other than that, we would come up with Reports that say that state institutions owe GNPC, for which GNPC does not concentrate on its core mandate and all that, but who caused it?

So Mr Speaker, I am for consistency. I am for a consensus in this House to the Executive that although as a House, we yesterday blessed such initiatives, where even

when GNPC was not related to a transaction we could get them to go and guarantee and we went ahead to get the Supreme Court to appreciate the fact that we have to --
Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:12 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Friend has been up for a long time. I know he wants to make his own contribution but maybe, he should come up with his objection and then I would come back.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:12 p.m.
Yes, Hon Jinapor?
Mr Jinapor 12:12 p.m.
Mr Speaker, just to set the record straight so that we do not mislead the House. First of all, what is on page 8 does not talk about GNPC guaranteeing anything for Karpower or ECG. This is a different subject matter.
Secondly, even with the Karpower deal, GNPC's involvement had to do with the offtake of the gas in the western enclave. So GNPC supplied heavy fuel oil for Karpower. In GNPC's Work Programme, they even captured the profit they had made so far from the supply of the heavy fuel oil.
So to say that GNPC has no relationship with that transaction is
neither here nor there. The relationships are two. One, supply heavy fuel to Karpower. Through the supply of heavy fuel, they made some profit. Secondly, eventually, Karpower would move to Takoradi in the western enclave so that they can offtake the ENI gas because the ENI gas is a take or pay.
Today, GNPC spends US$25 million every month to pay for the gas because the gas is stranded. So, I just thought that I should put this in perspective. He can deal with other issues, but this is the relationship between GNPC and the Karpower Agreement.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:12 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I was making a legal argument, which was to the effect that the instrument issued by GNPC to support the transaction made GNPC liable in any event of default.
Mr Speaker, it is one thing being a secondary participatory stakeholder in a transaction. Karpower brought its equipment and GNPC was going to supply fuel, and this argument was made. That has nothing to do with the liability in terms of failure to pay. That is the point I am making; but unfortunately, it has been mis- misappreciated.
Mr Speaker, again, if we come to page 8, perhaps, I may have to, at the risk of being repetitive, read it out and aloud:
“The Committee observed that in 2014, GNPC, at the request of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the then Ministry of Energy and Petroleum (MoEP), advanced an amount of US$50 million to the MoF and the Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC) for the construction and/or resurfacing of selected roads in the Western Region for the transportation of natural gas liquids (LPG) extracted from Jubilee Gas with the promise of
Mr Speaker, the point here is that, this Committee has made an observation that through such directives, these State institutions ended up owing GNPC. At least, that is what the record says. I cited the Karpower situation as one example that made Dr Assibey-Yeboah go to the Supreme Court. If today, as a House, we express a concern, then it is important for us to come to a consensus that we no more agree with this approach, and that we would not allow GNPC to become a busybody. If that is what we are saying - we do not want GNPC to be a busybody, let us say so than to create the
Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:12 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague, the available Hon Leader, is up.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:12 p.m.
Hon Member, go on. If I want to acknowledge him, I will.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:12 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I felt I should point it out to you.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:12 p.m.
Please, go on.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:12 p.m.
Mr Speaker, since you know he has nothing meaningful to say, I proceed.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:12 p.m.
Kindly go ahead. I have not said so. You are out of order. I would recognise him when I want to.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:12 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker, I have withdrawn that one. He has something meaningful to say, but he has not caught your attention.
Mr Speaker, while you are still giving me the platform and letting the available Hon Leader know that he --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:12 p.m.
You do not want to continue?
Yes, Hon Deputy Whip?
Mr A. Ibrahim 12:12 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this is just something to help my Hon Colleague. He made a very serious statement that we managed to get the Supreme Court to endorse that position. I think that as a lawyer, when he says that we managed to get the Supreme Court to endorse that position, that statement should not sit in our records.
So, I was just drawing your attention to let him withdraw that aspect of it because nobody could manage the Supreme Court to endorse any position. The Supreme Court is an independent court that makes its decisions on its own. This is Parliament. This statement, coming from a lawyer of his calibre, should not be allowed to go and should not even be entertained in our records. That is just a humble position that I want to make.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:12 p.m.
Yes, Hon Member, that is unacceptable. Kindly withdraw it.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:12 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we would continue to learn and take a cue. When we make a submission, as persuasive as same may be, we invite the court to agree with us. [Interruption.] -- Please, can he pay attention?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:12 p.m.
Hon Member, I have ruled.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:12 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my construction was that -
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:12 p.m.
I have ruled that managing the Supreme Court was wrong. [Interruption.]
Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:12 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I never said so. He got me wrong. Mr Speaker, with respect, I am careful with my choice of words. I said that we managed to get, meaning that per our submission, we invited the Supreme Court to agree with the position.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:12 p.m.
Kindly use that. Withdraw the other one.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:12 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if he wants to understand it that way and in that language, I would use that.
Mr Speaker, we invited the Supreme Court to hold -- Mr
Speaker, the then Hon Attorney- General and Minister for Justice invited the Supreme Court to hold that GNPC issuing a residual guarantee was in line with its scope of business, and that does not make it a transaction, of which the Government was a party. That position received the blessings of the Supreme Court, and that was the point I wanted to put across. It was not to say that we are managing the Supreme Court.
Mr Speaker, it should not be on the record that Hon Ahmed Ibrahim has gained notoriety for misquoting me. He should not create that impression.
Mr A. Ibrahim 12:12 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe he speaks on behalf of the Hon Leader and, therefore, he should be mindful of the kind of words he uses on me.
I just tried to even assist him. I know he is a lawyer, and our Hansard is a public document. So for a judge anywhere to go and lay hands on it to say that Hon Afenyo-Markin said that anyone could manage the Supreme Court of Ghana should not be entertained, and that was what I drew your attention to.
Mr Speaker, you ruled that those words should not be allowed to stay in our books. So for him to go ahead
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:12 p.m.
Are you responding to his point of order?
Mr Hammond 12:12 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if you would allow me, it is very important a matter that I think, we should help you to resolve.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:12 p.m.
Yes, I want to hear you.
Mr Hammond 12:22 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I sat by him and I thought I heard a few words. He went further and in the course of that, I understood exactly the point he made.
Mr Speaker, he said that, which is trite, Mr Speaker, and you know it yourself; in court, we present our respective arguments and in the process, we try to procure a favourable response from the bench. So, they made their arguments to a particular effect.

The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice on behalf of the State, made her argument and in the process, the Court chose between the two conflicting arguments as to the one they were prepared to go with. He said that “you managed to procure a favourable one over our argument”.

Mr Speaker, it was in that context. I could never get up to support the view that he gets up here and says that “you managed”. Who is able to manage the Supreme Court? I am not even sure we should contemplate that sort of interpretation.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:22 p.m.
Hon Member, “you managed to procure” --
Mr Hammond 12:22 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker, by the way, we should be careful about language, which is so malleable.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:22 p.m.
That is exactly the point.
Mr Hammond 12:22 p.m.
Mr Speaker, ‘‘procuring'' it is not necessarily “buying”.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:22 p.m.
It is open to that interpretation, and I discouraged the use of that in the case of the judgement of the Court.
Mr Hammond 12:22 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I can understand your concern, but it was to this effect that the Supreme Court, in the end, accepted your argument and that is why you managed to get that from them. It is not to say that by some untoward means, you managed to obtain -- [Interruption] We should not even think about that because it is not possible.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:22 p.m.
In the end, the choice of words lend itself to the misinterpretation the Hon First Deputy Minority Whip complained about. That is why I ruled that he should use another expression. [Interruption.] Hon Member, could you resume your seat please?
Some Hon Members 12:22 p.m.
Sit down!
Mr Hammond 12:22 p.m.
Mr Speaker said I should resume my seat, he did not say “sit down”. Those of you who do not want to learn the English Language, learn the English Language, its malleability. [Laughter.]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:22 p.m.
Hon K. T. Hammond, I have not given you the Floor. Kindly resume your seat.
Mr Hammond 12:22 p.m.
Mr Speaker, you said I should resume my seat, and I would do so on your direction and not on their direction, that I should sit
down. I do not take instructions from them.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:22 p.m.
Hon Member for Effutu, I directed that the choice of words lends itself to the misinterpretation the Hon First Deputy Minority Whip complained about. You conceded and changed the words, so there was no point going back to accuse him of gaining notoriety for misinterpreting you. I think that is out of order. Please bring yourself back to order and continue your debate.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:22 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I take a cue since you have ruled that I should not have said his conduct created that impression. I would not repeat that. In a similar vein, he should also, in future when raising an objection, go straight to the point. He should not say, “he is a lawyer”. He misunderstood me, and I would expect him to extend a similar courtesy. Equity has a balancing effect. I am a back bencher and he is the available Leader, but he should not intimidate me.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:22 p.m.
If you have any complaint in the rules, please draw my attention. Since you do not seem to be interested in completing your debate, let us talk about what you said about him intimidating you.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:22 p.m.
Mr Speaker, when I was on my feet, he got up severally. Seeing him right there, I felt very intimidated -- [Laughter] -- to the extent that I wanted -- [Interruption.] That is also not his seat. If he is coming to equity, he should come with clean hands. He is at the back.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:22 p.m.
Hon Member, kindly conclude your debate.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:22 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I only call on my Hon Colleagues on the other Side to be consistent in the way they see things in this House. It should not be that because today they are in the Minority or out of Government, they would suddenly change positions they held when they were in Government. If they do that, their intent would be misconstrued as an attempt to achieve cheap political points. They should not do that.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:22 p.m.
Hon Member, where were you when your Hon Leader was -- You were supposed to second the Motion, but you were nowhere to be found. You left that to your Hon Leader, and you are now coming to claim your place.
Very well, Hon Forson?
Mr Cassiel A. B. Forson (NDC -- Ajumako/Enyan/ Essiam) 12:22 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minority Leader had indicated to me earlier that he wanted to go somewhere, so he would start the debate.
In contributing to the Motion, I would only dwell on two items. Yesterday, I indicated that the time had come for us to be interested in what the GNPC actually spent the oil revenue on. If we look at Table 4 of the Report that is before us, we would notice that for the half year, from January to June, 2018, GNPC spent an amount of US$140.57 million. Out of this amount, for the first six months, the staff cost for GNPC alone was
Mr Speaker, Administration and Capital Expenditure amounted to US$6,171,771.68; Capital Project, US$7,466,187.78; and then General Operations Expenditure, US$13, 028,450.33. If we are to add this to the Head Office cost, for the first half of the year, it is almost US$40 million. My concern is that we, as a country, very much exercise a lot of oversight on the oil revenue that goes into the Budget Statement through the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA).
I doubt that we do the same to the expenditure which GNPC uses the oil revenue actually on. My worry is that the amount of money we spend on GNPC is far more than what goes into the Budget Statement. In some cases, it is almost twice the amount; but we fail to exercise a lot of oversight on
Mr Speaker, I call on this Honourable House, once again, to be interested in these headline numbers of GNPC expenditure. A staff cost of US$10,614,048.26 and Capital Project of US$7,466,187.78 for the first six months of the year. Administration and Capital Expenditure is nothing, but buying computers and furniture for administrative purposes, an amount of US$6,171,771.68 was spent on that for the first six months of the year. The General Operations Expenditure cost was US$13,028,450.33, almost totalling US$40 million for the first half of the year. I strongly believe that we should exercise a bit more oversight on this matter.
Mr Speaker, my second point relates to paragraph 7.1, which is on the need to urgently seek parliamentary approval to disburse the unutilised ABFA of GH¢403.74 million. If we are to look at the narrative, it is said in the Report that:
“The Committee was informed that the amount of GH¢403.74 million is sitting in the Treasury Single Account and was brought forward in 2018.”
I beg to say that we do not have a single account called the Treasury Single Account. The Treasury Single Account is only a system that aggregates all Government of Ghana accounts for the purposes of payment. So, the Bank of Ghana assesses the Government's position using the Treasury Single Account system. It is not an account. So I thought that for the purposes of accountability, the Ministry of Finance should have, at least, indicated to us the very account in which this amount sits.
My other point is that it is true that they would need parliamentary approval in the form of appropriation. I would suggest that in the Mid-Year Budget Review coming before us in July, they should capture this amount. This would not change the overall Government position because it is revenue. It would not necessarily bloat the fiscal deficit.
The Ministry of Roads and Highways needs money, and contractors are complaining; yet, this money is sitting down. We could spend this money for the purposes of fixing our roads. Unfortunately, the
Mr Cassiel A. B. Forson (NDC -- Ajumako/Enyan/ Essiam) 12:32 p.m.
Hon Minister is not here, but as part of our oversight responsibility, some of us would track this expenditure in the Mid-Year Budget Review. We would find out if this money is captured in the Mid-Year Budget Review appropriately for the purposes of expenditure because it cannot sit down idle.
Mr Speaker, apart from that, GH¢700 million was paid in the form of delayed payments.

Yesterday, the Hon Jajah raised a point -- delayed payments, GH¢700 million. We have GH¢400 million sitting down idle. They say it is a Treasury Single Account, but I put it to them that there is no single account called the Treasury Single Account. It is only in aggregation. In the Public Financial Management Act (PFMA), it is clear that there is no one account called the Treasury Single Account.

I would want to urge the Ministry of Finance that as part of our oversight responsibility, we, Hon Members on the Minority Side, would monitor in the Mid-Year Budget Review that this amount has been captured for expenditure because it would not change the overall position, not increase the fiscal deficit or do

anything. So, at least, they could spend the money on the Ministry of Roads and Highways because the pot holes are too many in the city.

Mr Speaker, with these few words, I support the Motion.
Mr Kobina T. Hammond (NPP -- Adansi Asokwa) 12:32 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would make two fairly short contributions.
Mr Speaker, I have gone through the Report, and I am not sure if I am seeing right. It was indicated that the Heritage Fund seems to have as much as US$3.44 million. The Hon Chairman of the Committee is not around, but I would want some verification of this figure. There has also consistently been some argument about whether it is worth the while for the country to invest these moneys at the rate that has been indicated.
Mr Speaker, in 2017, the rate of return was 2.09 per cent and last year, the rate of return was 0.9 per cent. Some of us have argued all this while what really the point is, in keeping this money the way it is and investing it at this rate.
Again, if I could recall, we had a situation where even these investments return of this money became an issue in one of the Reports we had to deal
Mr Agbodza 12:32 p.m.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, this is a House of record. My senior Hon Colleague, who initially promised that he would make a brief contribution, has spoken for some time and has breached his own rules. He has also stepped outside the rules of the debate in this House when he said that they knew the shenanigans we did by trying to put our claws in some funds. Mr Speaker, this cannot be tolerated in this House. He must be guided to make factual statements.
In any case, I do not have claws and nobody in the Minority has claws. We never attempted to create any shenanigans in the past. Mr Speaker, please, guide him to withdraw what he said and stay on course.
Mr Hammond 12:32 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am told that the Hon Member, was not in this House to witness the events that I talked about, so I forgive him on that.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:32 p.m.
Hon K. T. Hammond, the Hon Member's complaint is legitimate; Hon Members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) now in the Minority, wanted to put their claws in the money?
Mr Hammond 12:32 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I withdraw that.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:32 p.m.
Hon K. T. Hammond, what is “talons''.
Mr Hammond 12:32 p.m.
Mr Speaker, “talons'' is the bigger brother of “claws''.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:32 p.m.
So, you apologised for a younger brother and rather used a bigger brother. [Laughter.] You are totally out of order. Please, withdraw that and do not go back to any ‘'talons'', ‘'claws'' or anything. Use the words we use every day.
Mr Hammond 12:32 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would use ‘'the Party opposite''. They used to be in the Majority. When they were in power, they tried to -- Mr Speaker, please, help me. When you want to take something from someone, you have to use something, which has to be a fork, a talon or a claw -- it has to be something.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:32 p.m.
I am not aware that anybody tried to do anything. There was a heated debate in the House and at the end, there was a vote. That was all there was.
Mr Hammond 12:32 p.m.
Mr Speaker, they tried to use their hands to take some money.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:32 p.m.
Hon K. T. Hammond, please, let us move on from what you are saying. I do not know what they did was untoward. I am not aware of any conduct that was objected to or ruled upon. Everything that the debate involved was legitimately within the House. Please, do not impute any wrong motive.
Mr Hammond 12:32 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is public knowledge that during the time of the NDC Administration, efforts were made by the then Government to use part of the Heritage Fund for certain purposes, which eventually was objected to.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:32 p.m.
So state that.
Mr K. T. Hammond 12:32 p.m.
Mr Speaker, that is the point I am making.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:32 p.m.
Very good, that point is welcome.
Mr Hammond 12:42 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if they want to sit down, that was what actually happened.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:42 p.m.
Hon First Deputy Minority Whip, I have ruled him out already; unless you have another point.
Mr A. Ibrahim 12:42 p.m.
Mr Speaker, seriously, when senior Hon Members speak, we listen carefully. He keeps saying that it is on record, and the gestures he made are serious. We take him very seriously, and so must he.
Mr Speaker, when he talked of public notice, we know those who stood before commissions and cried “my mother, my mother”. He then referred to us that -- where is the drillship? He stood before a commission and cried “my mother, my mother”; today, he points to us. I am clean, so he should come. I do not have any problem anywhere.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:42 p.m.
Hon Leader, did I rule him out of order?
Mr A. Ibrahim 12:42 p.m.
Mr Speaker, no. When you guided him, he clearly repeated --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:42 p.m.
Please, you are out of order.
Mr Hammond 12:42 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in all seriousness, I am not so sure that what he said were antics or whatever. I used “claws” and “talons”, but you said no. I then explained what had happened factually. So, I am not so sure why he is upset.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:42 p.m.
That is why I have ruled him out of order as well. Let us return to addressing one another with civility, please.
Mr Hammond 12:42 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleagues should be careful to attempt to chew meat for which they have not grown the necessary teeth. [Laughter.]
Now, as I speak to you, the drillship matter is at the Supreme Court. So, the point is that it is public knowledge that at some point in time

Mr Speaker, my submission is that in the hands of the then Government, that money may not have been put to appropriate use; but I think that the NPP Government, put all seriousness - Look at the submissions that I have just made and consider the appropriateness of whether it is good. The Hon Minister for Finance, if he is here or not, is to consider whether US$300 million is to sit in the Heritage Fund to wait for another 20 to 40 years, when we need so much money for our infrastructural development. That is really the point that I intend to make.

Finally, if my Hon Colleague, Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, is here - we see all these figures, the moneys coming in and the various companies. I am waiting for a day when one of these sheets will be printed, in which I will see an Agreement with the signature of the Hon Member for Ellembelle supported by younger Hon Brother, Hon John Jinapor; what they

signed that has now started to bear oil fruits, and the money will show here.

Mr Speaker, the bottom line of what I have said is that the NDC, for all their big talk for the eight years of Government, have not managed to produce one drop of oil and they should shut up. I am fed up with them. They talk too much in the country, and they should leave these oil matters alone.

Mr Speaker, thank you very much for your time.
Mr Richard Acheampong (NDC -- Bia East) 12:42 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to support the Motion.
Before I start my submission, the US$50 million issue that the Hon Afenyo-Markin raised, I believe that as a House, we can take a decision on this matter. This is because the GNPC advanced this US$50 million to Ghana National Gas Company to construct roads, but we know that it is the duty of the Ministry of Roads and Highways to construct roads. So, it will be appropriate for the Ministry of Finance to absolve the US$50 million, so that it does not sit in the books of Ghana National Gas Company or the GNPC.
Mr Richard Acheampong (NDC -- Bia East) 12:52 p.m.
Company had not declared any profit, let alone do any other project to benefit the people of the Western Region. So, it was the duty of the Ministry of Finance, through the Ministry of Roads and Highways, to construct that road so that we settle this matter. This is because it keeps recurring, and everyone blames the other because of the US$50 million facility advanced to Ghana National Gas Company to undertake such a project.
I will also commend the PIAC for doing this wonderful work; but if we check, we have two reports from PIAC. This is because initially, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and the Ministry of Finance gave them revenue data. After working on it, they gave them expenditure data. So, if they had been given the right information from day one, there would not be any need for this supplementary report, as this is a cost to the nation.
So they have a budget with the Ministry of Finance; but at the end of the day, they have to release the money to them because last year, we approved GH¢1million as a budget for the PIAC. However, as I speak, they have released about 60 per cent of it. So, if they have not been given the money, how can they do their oversight work for us to know that at least, they account for the oil money that all of us seek to benefit from.
Mr Speaker, it is worrying that in the news every day, we hear GH¢412 million is missing, GH¢1 billion oil money is missing or two helicopters cannot be traced because people are not doing proper reconciliation. This Report is up to June, 2018. Yesterday we discussed the Report up to December, 2018. So we would always see a gap in there. The PIAC would give us information, of which the Ministry of Finance will have the total information without giving it in full to PIAC to work on.
What are they holding on to or afraid of? So I plead with the Ministry of Finance and the BoG to release information timeously so that the PIAC can also work on them in order for us to benefit from it.
Mr Speaker, the PIAC is a creation of Parliament; we brought it into being so that they can independently ensure that we have an insight into the utilisation of our oil resources. So, if we do not release their budget to them, by the end of the day, how can we be in a better position to appreciate what PIAC does or the kind of information we get.
There are occasions that the PIAC will visit some locations to inspect projects, but they will report that those projects cannot be found. The project should have gone to, for instance,
Adabokrom but because of land disputes, the project was sited at Kan 15, but the PIAC will go to Adabokrom because they were informed that the project was supposed to be constructed at Adabokrom. At the end of the day, they may not go to Kan 15 and report in the news that there are projects that cannot be traced, and people use State moneys without accounting for them.
So these are some of the things that I think we should bring sanity to, so as to have peace of mind instead of reading all those kinds of news in the dailies that money is missing and a helicopter has disappeared. Meanwhile, those helicopters are there.

Mr Speaker, I refer to your Committee's Report -- my senior Colleague, Hon K. T. Hammond, talked about this matter - the returns of the investment.

Mr Speaker, we all decided that we have to set up the Investment Advisory Committee. As we speak, the committee is not in place. Who is taking this investment decision for all of us? I do not know what it takes to set up this committee.

I saw the Hon Deputy Minister here, but the Hon Minister for Information mentioned to us yesterday that they were working on that committee. I do not know whether the committee was set up overnight; so that he gives us a fresh information that it was yesterday that they set up the committee.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:52 p.m.
Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee on Mines and Energy?
Mr Gyamfi 12:52 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague made a statement that the Investment Advisory Committee has not been set up. It has been done. If he cares, he has to contact --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:52 p.m.
Hon Members, please, yesterday the Hon Chairman of the Finance Committee gave all the details and even the date it was brought here. Let us move on with the debate. I ignore these things because the record would bear us out. We are just going back and forth on things that are petty.
Please proceed and conclude your debate.
Mr R. Acheampong 12:52 p.m.
Mr Speaker, respectfully, my Hon Ranking Member has just informed me that he has a copy of the information constituting that Committee. So I am
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:52 p.m.
Mr Thomas N. Ampem (NDC -- Asuogyaman) 12:52 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am grateful to contribute to the request to approve the PIAC Semi-Annual Report for the First Half of 2018.
If we look at the report, at paragraph 5.1, we would see a very good story about improvement in oil production and 5.2 also talks about improvement in gas production. All these good stories could not have happened accidentally. They were because of deliberate efforts in investments by the previous Administration led by H. E. John Dramani Mahama. I could see the
Hon Majority Leader smiling at that. These are facts, and they must be told.
Mr Speaker, these are refreshing, and it is a guide to all of us here that today, we must plan to do things deliberately; so that we get dividends in future. If one has the opportunity to govern this country today, one's actions should not only be concerned about today and how to win elections. One must do things in order that in future, the dividends would be for this country.
Mr Speaker, having said that, the PIAC is a very important body that helps us keep a third eye on our oil resource and how we utilise it. So we need to support this independent institution. That is why if we look at this Report, it is said that for the first half of 2018, they received only 20 per cent of what they required to do their work. That was GH¢1million out of GH¢5 mililon. I would want to urge all of us that this is an institution that should be resourced, and their funds should be given them timely so that they could do very important work to assist all of us.
Mr Speaker, earlier contributors have spoken about this amount of GH¢403 milion that was unutilised. It is confusing. Why this? This is because if we look at the Report, the PIAC says under their findings and
Mr Thomas N. Ampem (NDC -- Asuogyaman) 12:52 p.m.

recommendations, paragraph 8, that the Ministry's explanation to PIAC and by extension to the Ghanaian public is unsatisfactory and misleading to the extent that it creates the impression that the GH¢440 million unspent amount from 2017 has been duly accounted for. This is very instructive, but if you look at point 6, they say the Ministry indicated that the unspent amount would need to be brought forward into the 2019 Budget for parliamentary approval before it could be spent.

This was as of June, 2018. Thereafter, the Hon Minister for Finance has come to this House to present the 2019 Budget. Why did he not programme this for parliamentary approval so that they could spend it? Where is the money? When my Hon Ranking Member says we would demand that it is provided for in the Mid-Year Review, we commit to it, and we would want to make sure that this is provided for, so that we all follow it.

Mr Speaker, currently, we owe Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), District Assemblies' Common Fund, and a lot of institutions. A lot of statutory payments have not been made; and we are also going to borrow money when we have a lot of funds sitting down. In today's Order Paper, we

have indicated that there is a motion for another borrowing. If we have all these funds sitting in our account, an account that we do not even know from 2017 whether it is yielding interest apart from the exchange rate gains that it is reported to have made, why are we putting that money down and borrowing money at a cost to this country? Are we managing our resources effectively?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:52 p.m.
Hon Majority Leader?
Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs (Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu) 1:02 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to also make a few comments, first, to thank the PIAC for the work they have done in monitoring the use of our petroleum funds.

Mr Speaker, the House needs such reports in order to assist us in tracing and tracking the use of our petroleum funds.

So we accordingly congratulate the PIAC for the good work that they have been doing. Recognisably, every year we see an improvement in the

work of the PIAC, and we should urge them on.

Mr Speaker, the Hon Member for Asuogyaman who just spoke before me indicated that there are untold stories that must be told, and that the former President made deliberate investments to improve the production of petroleum in the country. Sometimes we need to uphold the truth.

The position of the NDC in the discovery of oil was that there was no oil discovered. There was that contrivance to tell the world that the oil, a sample of which had been introduced in this House, was palm kennel. That was the naked contrivance -- the propaganda that they put on this. Today, they want to be congratulated.

Mr Speaker, even so, article 35(7) of the Constitution provides, and for the avoidance of doubt, let me read;

“As far as practicable, a government shall continue and execute projects and pro- grammes commenced by the previous Governments”.

So if former President, John Dramani Mahama, continued what he

found prudent and swam against the tide of propaganda and the good works of the previous Administration, it was just to conform to the constitutional provision that the good works begun by the previous Administration should be continued.

Mr Speaker, today, what the Government is doing is also to continue to enhance production and also to secure the future of posterity. That is what is being done.

What is before us is the Report from January to June, 2018 on our performance for that period. So there is commentary on when it is suggested that the balance should be brought forward for application by the country. Hence the Hon member stands here today on account of the Report covering the period January to June 2018 to say that something is amiss, it means he is out of sync, because it is for January to June 2018.

The period of July to December, 2018 is not before us, so we are not in the position to even pre-judge. The period of January 2019 till now is also not before us, and we are not in the position to pre-judge where the money is.

Of course, we as Parliament should demand for proper accountability of the use of the money, because it is part of our job to oversee the use of Public Funds, but let it not appear as if
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:02 p.m.
Hon Majority Leader, you would hold on.
Mr Forson 1:02 p.m.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, it is important I clarify one point, a point that the Hon Majority Leader made, referencing the GH¢403 million unutilised amount.
At the Committee meeting, we were told --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:02 p.m.
Hon Forson, hold on, I recognised you if you have a point of order.
Mr Forson 1:02 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is a point of order. The statement coming from the Hon Majority Leader that we are not there yet and so we cannot make pronouncements as to whether the amount has not been used or not, is misleading.
It is misleading because we were told at the Committee meeting by the Ministry of Finance themselves that as we speak, the money is still in the account waiting for the Mid-Year Review. So as we speak, we are waiting for the Mid-Year Review to be presented to this Honourable House before appropriations may be granted, before they could spend the money.
So this is to just clarify the point that we are not there yet. The truth is that --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:02 p.m.
So he is not out of order. You want to clarify the point.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:02 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it even relates to relevance. The Report before us is from January
to June, 2018. At the time the Report came, covering that period — when did it come? He should check his records. The Mid-Year Review for 2018 had even passed.
So I am saying that when we have the Report for the period, then we would be in the position to criticise. It has no relevance with the Report before us; that is the issue I would want to suggest to the Hon Adongo. It has no relevance.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:02 p.m.
Hon Majority Leader, he is not speaking into the microphone. Kindly ignore him.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:12 p.m.
Mr Speaker, when we talk about engaging in shenanigans, they get offended, but that is what it is. It has to do with the period January to June, 2018, as simple as that. What we heard yesterday has nothing to do with the Report. We are reading the Report from the Committee.
Mr Speaker, I have related to section 52 (b) of the PRMA which is on the Accountability Committee's responsibility. It provides that the committee should provide space and platform for the public to debate whether spending prospects on management and use of revenues conform to development priorities as
provided under section 21(3) and to provide independent assessments on the management and use of petroleum revenues to assist Parliament and the Executive in the oversight and performance of related functions.
Indeed, clause 7(3) of the Revenue Management Act deals with what amounts should be ceded to the GNPC, and an Hon Colleague talked about that. It provides that:
“For a period not exceeding 15 years after the commencement of this Act, the cash or the equivalent in barrels of oil ceded to the national oil company shall not exceed 55 per cent.”
Today, Hon Members relate to the application of the amount ceded to GNPC. I believe it should concern all of us, because as the Hon Member for Ajumako indicated, I have been very consistent on this. We should monitor the use of public funds by the GNPC, because we need money to service other equally important sectors of the economy, and if they have money to spare, especially ferrying football fans to football tournaments, we should ensure that we get our priorities right.

Mr Speaker, we should ensure that we get our priorities right. And I
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:12 p.m.

believe that because we are ceding to the GNPC for a period of 15 years and today, we are into our eighth year, we have barely seven years left for them. After we stop ceding those amounts to them, how are they going to fund themselves? And that is why their investments with the moneys that are now being ceded to them should be of concern to us.

We would not like to witness a situation when after Parliament ceases to allow them to have these amounts, GNPC is going to collapse. Mr Speaker, so, we should encourage them to be much more proactive in the utilisation of the amounts that are given to them.

Mr Speaker, again, if we look at section 21 of the PRMA, it defines for us, as we ourselves did, the areas of application. Mr Speaker, remember when we came to defining these areas, some of us canvassed the idea that we had given ourselves too wide a spectrum in the application of the Funds. We have agriculture industry; physical infrastructure and service delivery in education; science and technology; potable water delivery and sanitation; infrastructural development in telecommunications; road, rail and ports; physical infrastructure and service delivery in health; housing delivery; environ-

mental protection; sustainable utilisation and protection of natural resources; rural development; developing alternative energy sources; the strengthening of institutions of government concerned with governance and maintenance of law and order; public safety and security; the provision of social welfare and protection of the physically handicapped, persons with mental disorders and disadvantaged citizens.

Mr Speaker, what it means is that we are covering almost every blade of grass in the public sector. So, what did we succeed in doing here? It is the reason why some of us canvassed the idea that we should limit ourselves to just a few sectors, so that in 20 or 30 years, if we look over our shoulders, we would be able to determine— Mr Speaker, the Hon Kpodo suggests that we have four. He should go to the Hansard; I suggested that we should have a maximum of four. Now, we have this broad spectrum; in many cases, even undefined. Mr Speaker, so we should be careful.
Mr Speaker, we have said that in section 21(5) 1:12 p.m.
“In order to maximise the impact of the use of the petroleum revenue, the Minister shall prioritise no more than four areas
specified in section 3 with submitted programme alter- natives for the use of petroleum revenue”.
Mr Speaker, what it means is that within this spectrum, every year, there should be only four. And yet we all know that when it comes and we look at the application of the petroleum revenues, we cover so many areas. In Parliament, we allow this to be done. And yet, the law is clear in section 21(5) that in every year, the Minister should prioritise only four areas. We allow that; so what are we doing to ourselves and to the country?
Mr Speaker, then, we have the utilisation of 70 per cent of revenue as my Hon Colleagues have spoken to, and I believe it is very relevant. The issue then is; what areas are we using these things for? Mr Speaker, we have seen instances where we have spent so huge amounts to lubricate the office of the President. And as a House, we allowed for that. We ourselves should be consistent. If we are talking about oversight and being candid with ourselves, we should limit ourselves to these defined areas and it would even help us and help the Hon Minister for Finance to trace and track the application of the moneys.
But we ourselves, when it suits us and our parties happen to be in the saddle of governance, we chicken out; when we get to the left hand side of God the Father, we become critical. So for consistency sake, we should come together in this effort.
Mr Speaker, some people have raised issues about the management obligations of the Bank of Ghana; the investment roles. Let us look at the provision under section 26 (2) (c) of the PRMA. It provides:
“The Bank of Ghana shall manage the petroleum funds and subsequently, the Petroleum Well Fund prudently within the framework of the operational and management strategy provided by the Minister, taking into account, the need” --
One of the critical things -- and people say we should be spending on. Quite apart from saving for posterity, one critical reason for the maintenance of the Heritage Fund is provided for under section 26 (2) (c) which says; the need
“.... to support the national currency against destabilising factors in accordance with national monetary and foreign exchange policies”.
That is one of the reasons why we have to keep this.
Mr Speaker, we have said that in section 21(5) 1:12 p.m.

Mr Speaker, the investment of the amounts is what should concern us. We cannot have a situation where we invest and the yield is one per cent; 0.5 per cent, and the highest that we have gotten, I guess, is 2.1 per cent or 2.2 per cent. Mr Speaker, it cannot be right. It cannot be justified because section 27(2) provides:

“The range of designated as qualified instruments shall be reviewed every three years or sooner by the Minister on the advice of the Investment Advisory Committee”.

What it means is that if the investment is not yielding dividend, the Minister, prompted by Parliament, should be made to change the investment in the qualified instrument. The Minister should come to this House and brief us because we have best practices to guide us. So, if our investment does not yield any positive dividends, why do we allow it to continue, only to yield 0.5 per cent? That cannot be acceptable; and as I said, we should all come together to right what we perceive as being wrong.

Mr Speaker, having said that, once again, I must commend the Committee for the Report that they have submitted and also commend the PIAC for pouring through the expenditure patterns of the petroleum

revenue and advising us on the appropriate and better way forward for all of us to enhance our national development.

Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for the space granted.

Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:12 p.m.
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:12 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe the major item for us now to deal with has to do with the Committee on Works and Housing. I would like to know whether they are ready for that? It has to do with the works of the Committee on Works and Housing on Rural Communities and Small Towns Water Supply Project. If they are ready —
Nana Amoako 1:12 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is not ready yet.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:22 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my attention has been drawn to a programme that Public Affairs Department has scheduled. It is happening at the D. F. Annan Conference Hall, and it starts at two o'clock. So, I believe it is appropriate
now to take an adjournment until tomorrow 10 o'clock in the forenoon.
Mr Speaker, I so move.
Mr Ibrahim Ahmed 1:22 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Mr Ibrahim Ahmed 1:22 p.m.

Question put and motion agreed to.