Debates of 4 Jul 2019

PRAYERS 11:01 a.m.


Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:01 a.m.
Hon Members, we will commence with the correction of Votes and Proceedings of the 21st Sitting of the Second Meeting held on Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019.
Pages 1…10 --
Mr Ablakwa 11:01 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am most grateful.
On page 9, item numbered 6(ii):
“The following Question was not asked of the Hon Deputy Minister for Energy due to the
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:01 a.m.
I do not see any contradiction. At the time the Question was called, he was not present to ask it. If he subsequently came to the Chamber he was present. Indeed, I recall that when I took the seat, I saw him; he may have come subsequently. But at the time he was called to ask the Question, he was not present, so the report is correct.
Pages 10…33.
Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, is hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
Hon Members, we have the Official Report of Thursday, 6th June,
Any corrections?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:01 a.m.
Hon Members, Statements. There are two Statements admitted by the Rt Hon Speaker. The first one is in the name of the Hon Member for Sene East, Mr Dominic Napare.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:01 a.m.
Yes, Hon Leader?
Mr Iddrisu 11:01 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is not in the Chamber. We will take appropriate steps to get him in. You may look to your right or left again, if there is another Statement to consider while we get him here.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:01 a.m.
Very well.
This is the second time he has been called and he is not able to read his Statement. On Tuesday, we gave him the opportunity, but he was not here.
The next one is in the name of the Hon Member for Gomoa Central, Hon Naana Eyiah.
STATEMENTS 11:11 a.m.

Ms Abena Durowaa Mensah (NPP -- Assin North) 11:11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to contribute to the Statement that was just made by the Hon Member of Parliament for Gomoa Central.
Mr Speaker, maternal death is really on the increase in Ghana and I think that a lot would have to be done to curb it. We have realised that it is prevalent in the rural areas because of the poor nature of the roads which makes it difficult for pregnant women to be taken to health facilities. So I believe that when our roads are upgraded, this problem could be solved.
Also, when the Community-Based Health Planning Services (CHPS) Compounds are upgraded and are well-equipped, pregnant women who are in labour could be taken quickly to the centres to be taken care of.
Mr Speaker, I am most grateful for the opportunity to make this brief comment.
Dr Mark Kurt Nawaane (NDC -- Nabdam) 11:11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you.
I would commend the Hon Member who made the Statement on maternal mortality.
I would like to say that despite the great strides that we have been able to make as a nation in the management of maternal mortality by making sure that the district hospitals could also handle maternal cases like the regional and national hospitals but the causes of maternal mortality still remain the same. There is what we call haemorrhage; antepartum hae- morrhage or postpartum haemorrhage which is before delivery or imme- diately after delivery.
There are also cases of infection and eclampsia which is related to hypertension. There are also cases of
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:11 a.m.
Hon Freda Prempeh?
Ms Freda A. O. Prempeh (NPP -- Tano North) 11:21 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to also contribute to the Statement.

Mr Speaker, maternal health issue is a very important issue, and I am happy that my Hon colleague has brought it up this morning. However, I would want to take it from another point of view. As much as we have a lot of contributing factors to maternal health, I do not think the issue of bad roads is a major contributing factor.

The most important thing is preventive measures, and so antenatal care is very important. But unfortunately, in some parts of the country where some of us come from, some people still think they have that old woman who helped in the delivery of their great grandmother or grand children or whatever, and so they would not even go to the hospital when they take seed. That is a worrying issue.

I believe that antenatal care is very important. There are a lot of people who still do not even attend antenatal. There are others who also attend antennal but do not even take their drugs.

Mr Speaker, my mother was a nurse, a midwife. She practiced in the public sector for 10 years and run her own maternity home for 30 years. I did not see anybody's baby dying in

the hands of my mother because when one comes to St George's Maternity Home and she refers to the nearby bigger hospital, it means she would either go through an operation, an induced labour or forceps episiotomy or another thing.

So, as midwives and nurses, when people visit us at our various Community (Based) Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds, they should know that they cannot do certain things. If they have to refer the patient to the nearest hospital, they would have to do it as soon as possible.

I remember on one occasion, somebody came with swollen feet, and my mother advised her not to take salt, butter and those other things. She came back the next time with bigger swollen feet. When she was asked, she replied that because the midwife said she should not take salt, anytime she was preparing soup, she added a
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:21 a.m.
Hon Member, you would hold on.
Yes, Hon Agbodza?
Mr Kwame Govers Agbodza 11:21 a.m.
On a point of Order. Mr Speaker, a moment ago, my Hon Colleague on her feet said when it comes to maternal mortality, bad roads are not one of the causes. I come from a rural community. In fact, one of the challenges we have is that the distance between pregnant women and health facilities is far and that is bad.
So much as I understand the point she was making, there are students around and to suggest that they came to Parliament and Members of Parliament said bad roads are not contributary factors to challenges of pregnant women in rural areas, I think that cannot stay --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:21 a.m.
Hon Member, that is your opinion, and she is entitled to hers.
Yes, Hon Member, please continue.
Ms Prempeh 11:21 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
As much as we think that bad roads may be a contributing factor, I said prevention is the best and going for antenatal is better. Also, taking one's medication and pieces of advice from health authorities and personnel is the best.
If one goes through antenatal care, takes her drugs, and adheres to the advice on what to do; and the nurses also take decisions at the right time, it would help to curb the rate at which our young people are passing out. At the moment, we are all talking about free senior high school.
If we do not protect and preserve our babies, how would they grow up to go through basic school and to the free senior high school? They are our future leaders, and we have to make sure that prevention and advice are the best options to take.
Mr Speaker, antennal care is very important, and I would not lose words on that. We have to take our medications and advice very seriously.
There was an incident that happened in my constituency recently. Somebody with her father came to me. She was pregnant, and when I
looked at her, I asked her how many weeks she was, and she said she was 38 weeks. I asked her whether she had visited the hospital for antenatal care since she looked very pale and was not looking well. She said, “Aunty Freda, I am a nurse; I have been visiting my clinics and I have spoken to my doctor. Last week, I was there and he said I should come back next week.”
Weeks after, I called to find out whether she had delivered, which was the 42nd week. I was told that the lady had passed on, unfortunately. What happened was; she visited the hospital, but a young woman being the only person who had been able to go through nursing training from her community, near Ayanfuri in my Constituency asked her to hold on, try to push and that she would make it. Eventually, when she stressed herself up trying to push out that baby, after an hour, she bled profusely and died. I do not think we should continue to allow young people and our pregnant women to go through that.
In this part of the world, we do not even go further to find out what exactly is the cause and why somebody dies out of something. As much as our doctors and nurses are
doing so much to help us in this country, it is about time that we also delve into some of these issues to find out exactly what the cause is; whether it was through negligence.
If they had taken her to the theatre or done something else, would she have survived? These are some of the things we should ask ourselves. As families, I think it is about time that we also start suing some of our health institutions.
Mr Speaker, I personally reported it to the Director-General for the Ghana Health Service, and he asked me to bring the report which he would want to pursue. These are some of the little things that people go through and lose their lives and babies.
If we pay a little attention and give people a little attention, they would be able to survive their pregnancies, give birth normally, have spontaneous deliveries and have healthy children. With a healthy child, we can build a healthy nation.
Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I would want to advise my pregnant women to visit their hospitals, take advice from the health authorities very seriously and take their medications. As well, when they give birth, they should make sure that they continue to take pieces of advice and heed to the advices by the health authorities.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:21 a.m.
Hon (Dr) Heloo?
Dr Bernice A. Heloo (NDC -- Hohoe) 11:31 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to also contribute to the Statement being discussed.
This is a very important Statement, especially as it deals with the issue of women and issues of maternal mortality in Ghana.
As it has been intimated in the Statement, a lot of funds have been invested in the area of prevention of maternal mortality in Ghana. Indeed, the government and also international partners have all done a lot to ensure that our women have very safe delivery and healthy children.
Mr Speaker, despite this invest- ment and the goodwill towards the issue, it is very disheartening to note that the figures as we have them today still fall short of the Ministry of Health's operational plan which seeks to reduce the mortality ratio to 203 deaths out of 100,000 live births by
The reasons for the present maternal mortality rate in Ghana are not far-fetched. Some are really economic. Poverty has a very
important part to play when it comes to women seeking health services that would benefit them. Bad roads should be mentioned again because in many communities, the roads are so bad and immotorable. And so it is very difficult to bring our women to hospitals on time to deliver safely.
Mr Speaker, let me also add another factor which has to do with superstition and some delays caused by beliefs and practices in some of our communities. Sometimes, the pregnant woman is subjected to many attempts to get her to confess.

Even in some cases, when she is going through difficult delivery, she would be made to confess that she has gone outside the marriage. Sometimes, these beliefs and practices also lead to the death of the women, and of course, the taboos and practices in some areas.

I know that in certain parts of Ghana, pregnant women are not supposed to eat certain foods which are healthy both for the mother and the child.

In some communities they are not supposed to eat anything that would make them fat; things that would make them healthy. They are not

supposed to eat eggs, beans and things like that. Therefore, some practices and beliefs also play a part in this issue of maternal mortality.

Mr Speaker, we cannot just pick one area and address it and leave all the other areas. There is the need to look at all the factors that have been enumerated here today.

The road networks must be improved so that in the rural communities, pregnant women would have access to healthcare quickly in a manner that would not affect their health.

We must also intensify educational programmes in our communities so that superstitions, taboos and practices that are inimical to the health of the pregnant woman would be minimised.

Mr Speaker, this is a national issue that requires national attention. I have talked about this over the years. This is not the first time such a Statement is being made here, but what is the impact? What is happening?

We have to make sure that our mothers are safe and our children are born safely, so that the future would be secured.

Mr Speaker, I believe that the next time we write about this issue, we would be talking about figures that are encouraging. We would reduce maternal mortality rates better than what we are doing now.

This would include making the roads motorable. If the roads are not motorable, there should be alternative means of bringing our women safely to the health centres for safe delivery.

Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity.
Dr Kwaku Afriyie (NPP - Sefwi- Wiawso) 11:31 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity.
Let me commend the Hon Member who made the Statement for bringing this very vexed question onto the floor of Parliament yet again.
As it has been made clear, maternal mortality is an old foe, but I would say that in spite of all the doom that is being said here, there has been tremendous improvement in this arena, albeit slow.
Mr Speaker, in the 1990s, Dr Charlotte Gardener caused to be brought to the fore the actual figures, and I remember some of my colleagues -- Dr Sory, Dr Twumasi, just to name a few. We went to do audit in the communities jettisoning
Mr Haruna Iddrisu (NDC-- Tamale South) 11:41 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement made by Hon Naana Eyiah, and to commend her, more particularly, for bringing the matter of maternal mortality in Ghana to the fore.
Mr Speaker, out of curiosity, her headnote captures; “Helping women off the route to death”. I believe her sincere appreciation of the issue would be that given our understanding and given the problem as it has been stated by Hon Dr Afriyie, with enormous experience in health, she should rather have -- [Interruption.] -- This is my suggestion: we cannot
be helping women off the road to death, but we can help them to safer births.
I believe she wants us to call on Government and other stakeholders in the health sector to place at the heart of our health policy, women, children and adolescent health matters. That is what we have to do to improve our statistics as a country.
Mr Speaker, the maternal mortality ratio of Ghana declined from 760 per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 319 per 100,000 livebirths in 2015. The pace of decline in maternal mortality has been slow, and this led to Ghana's inability to achieve the Millennium Development Goal target of 190 per 100,000 live births in 2015.

Mr Speaker, we have moved on to the Sustainable Development Goals. It is not for nothing that the twin of maternal and infant mortality is still captured as a want. We would need to work as a country to improve both child and infant mortality.

I recall that one of the major interventions for pregnant women was done in this House during the era of President Kufour. What are we doing as a country to support pregnant women? What would we do for them to have access to quality health care?
Ms Sarah Adwoa Safo (NPP -- Dome/Kwabenya) 11:41 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, I beg to comment on the Statement ably made by the Hon Naana Eyiah, the Hon Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources.
Mr Speaker, I commend her because this is a very sensitive matter. It is sensitive to the extent that children and mothers play a very important role in the socio-economic development of our country. For that matter, the process that mothers go through during delivery should bring lives onto this earth. The process of bringing lives to this earth should be made as safe and as accessible as possible.
Mr Speaker, according to the statistics, child mortality rate, as well
as maternal mortality rate in Ghana has been reducing. However, this reduction is not too encouraging.
The statistics are clear. From the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), we are being told that mortality ratio has reduced from 451 deaths per 1,000 lives in 2007, to 343 deaths per 1,000 births in 2017.
Mr Speaker, we have also been told by GSS that institutional maternal mortality rate reduced from 216 per 100,000 births in 1990, to 164 per 100,000 live births in 2010.
Mr Speaker, these statistics go to buttress my point that indeed, we are making some headway, but the reductions must reflect in a massive manner. A lot needs to be done in this respect, in terms of interventions by Government, to ensure that the health of mothers and children born at an early stage is taken care of.
Such interventions have been the construction of CHPS compounds in many of our communities. This has reduced the menace of many women in the hinterlands, having to travel all the way to the bigger cities to access medical care when they are pregnant.
Mr Speaker, these CHPS compounds are very simple health facilities that are constructed to bring
Ms Sarah Adwoa Safo (NPP -- Dome/Kwabenya) 11:51 a.m.
healthcare to the doorsteps of many people. Again, midwives, not necessarily doctors, should be trained to go to the hinterlands to ensure that when women give birth, they do so in the hands of the right people.
Mr Speaker, midwifery as a training, should be our focus. A lot of our young ones should be encouraged to go into that training. The attention of many of our young people are drawn to nursing, neglecting the fact that health delivery encompasses a lot.
Many of our young ones should be encouraged to pursue midwifery courses, to be able to go into the CHPS compounds in our hinterlands; to ensure that women, when giving birth, are provided with the standard care that they would need.
Mr Speaker, traditionally, midwifery has been a way of saving many of our children. Back in the days, we had midwives, who had not had any formal training, but were able to help women to be safe, during and after delivery.
Mr Speaker, without basic education, if our mothers and aunties in the past were able to carry out these services, then with the little training given to our young ones in the midwifery sector, as a country, we
would be able to reduce the number of maternal deaths to a very drastic point.
Mr Speaker, the controversy about whether bad roads contribute to the loss of pregnancy and maternal deaths, to me, is relative. We have had two Hon Members of Parliament commenting on it. One said that indeed, it could contribute to it, and the other said that that should not be seen as a contributing factor.
I believe that basic infrastructural amenities include roads as well. So, we should provide the basic infrastructural amenities to ensure that women, who are pregnant, are taken care of.

Mr Speaker, education is the key. Many of our young girls do venture into experiences of having to have sexual intercourse at very early stages. We find it somehow, not too comfortable teaching about sexual practices or giving sex education in our schools. It is not helping us in any way.

We should educate the young ones in the schools at very early stages; from junior high schools (JHS) to senior high schools (SHS), they should understand what it means to

be pregnant; what it means to carry it through the nine months' period; what they actually need after giving birth; what to do and what not to do. Mr Speaker, I think it is very important.

Mr Speaker, pre-natal care and post-natal care are equally important as all these factors or issues that have been raised on the Floor. Many a time, we find our pregnant women not taking good care of themselves and that affects the foetus in them; what to eat, what not to eat; what to do, what not to do.

Mr Speaker, I believe in a lot of education at the childhood level as wells as when they turn into mothers or when they turn into pregnant women. It is very important to ensure that the health of the mother herself and that of the unborn child, would be secured.

Mr Speaker, on this note, I would like to again commend Hon Naana Eyiah for bringing such a Statement on the floor of Parliament. We appeal to the appropriate authorities, the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service and to all stakeholders including us, Hon Members of Parliament; We also construct a lot of health facilities for our constituents for support.

We should bear in mind that as we do that, maternal care is primary to our healthcare delivery. We should not just be constructing hospitals to take care of other ailments and forget about the fact that constructing maternity clinics and maternity hospitals, investing in the education of young ones in midwifery and other basic maternal and childhood health delivery techniques are equally important.

It is very important to our constituents whom we represent and to the country because, Mr Speaker, the saying goes that a healthy country is a wealthy country.

Therefore, if we are talking about providing healthcare to the generality of our people, and women constitute more than 50 per cent of our population and we know very well that they are the major source of procreation on this earth, we should be able to provide them with the necessary care before, during and after child-birth.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:51 a.m.
That brings us to the end of Statement time.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:51 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, I would hear you but
Mr Iddrisu 11:51 a.m.
Mr Speaker, rightly so; but the Hon Deputy Majority Leader declared herself and women in general as a major source of procreation. I was wondering whether she drinks water or they drink water to procreate -- [Laughter]
Mr Speaker, if I still have your ears, the Hon Napare is in a constituency in the Brong Ahafo Region, and wish to indulge you for the Hon Nii Lantey Vanderpuye to read on his behalf; but if you want he himself —
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:51 a.m.
I do not know but since this is a Statement, I think we should wait for him. When he comes, he could read it himself.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of Statement time.
At the commencement of Public Business, item numbered 4, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
MOTIONS 11:51 a.m.

Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:51 a.m.
Yes, Hon Ranking Member?
Mr Kofi Okyere-Agyekum (NPP -- Fanteakwa South) 11:51 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion, and in doing so, let me make a few observations.
Paragraph 6.1 of the Report talks about VAT lost as a result of purchases from non-VAT registered entities to the tune of GH¢263,198.76 by 31 schools. This is in breach of the Procurement Law. Given the fact that there are so many schools but only 31 of them caused this infraction to the tune of GH¢263,198.76. This is a huge loss of tax revenue to the country.
Again, under paragraph 6.22, eight schools either failed to deduct withholding tax or they deducted withholding tax and failed to transmit same to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA). The amount involved is GH¢277,933.91. This is very rampant in all the schools and this amount was lost from only 28 schools.
Mr Speaker, the Committee realised that at the time of the public hearing, all these schools had transmitted the amounts involved to
GRA. They also deducted or managed to collect the amounts from those whom they earlier did not collect from.
What we noticed was that these amounts that were held by these institutions did not attract any penalties. We therefore recommend that GRA should charge penalties on the institutions that collected tax revenue and held it for long periods without remitting them to GRA.
We also recommended that the officers involved, where the taxes had not been collected, should be surcharged.
We noted under paragraph 6.9 that GH¢4,401,870 as payments were made by 86 schools without the necessary supporting documents to acquit the purchases and payments. We noticed that GH¢4,183,583 was acquitted at the time of the hearing of the Public Accounts Committee
We realised that this happened because a lot of the accounting personnel did not keep proper records and are also not properly supervised by the heads of institutions.
They also do not take the Auditors seriously, so when the Auditors are on their premises, they virtually ignore them and do not provide the necessary documents.
After the Auditors have written the Reports and left, then the documents, invoices and receipts surfaced all of a sudden and were authenticated.
We therefore recommend that 30 days after the Auditors have finished their work, if payments have not been authenticated, the documents should be rejected and the amounts involved, surcharged to the officers involved.
Mr Speaker, under paragraph 6.21, the Auditors reported that the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service awarded a contract to a company called Messrs Eduvid Ghana Limited to install internet in a lot of schools in the country. The schools paid amounts to the company but the company failed to do the work.
Eleven schools paid an amount of GH¢206,719 to Messrs Eduvid Ghana Limited and they failed to deliver. Our recommendation is that the Ghana Education Service Directorate which authorised these contracts should be surcharged with the amounts and paid with interest to the schools involved.
Thank you very much.
Mr Edward Kaale-ewola Dery (NDC-- Lambussie/Karni) 12:11 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to support the Motion.
As part of our work as a Committee, I would comment on a general observation; indeed, it is part of our work. We sometimes name and shame and we have also adopted a model to commend people who perform well.
For instance, there were institutions that appeared before us and we commended them highly to serve as a motivation to other institutions to also emulate.
Mr Speaker, we realised that there were a lot of irregularities that run from cash, improper documentation to weak internal control systems. When we chance on institutions that actually performed to the satisfaction of Ghanaians, we commend them to serve as a motivation for others to emulate.
Mr Speaker, I do not know what would have happened to some of those institutions without PAC because they appear before the Committee severally and yet repeat the infractions.
Mr Edward Kaale-ewola Dery (NDC-- Lambussie/Karni) 12:11 p.m.
We also commend those who have been able to live up to the task based upon our recommendations from the House and the various institutions to them. We would continue to encourage those who do their bit to support the Auditor-General and your Committee.
Mr Speaker, in item 6.13 on paragraph 12 of the Report under ‘‘Embezzlement of Revenue'', the total was GH¢314,173.00. It was realised that there was an intended purpose by the accountant who was not actually the substantive accountant but he was able to prepare fraudulent documents behind the substantive accountant and deceived the whole administration to appreciate that, that was the right information he gave them at the T. I. Ahmaddiyya Senior High School.
In such cases, without PAC prompting such individuals, this man would have gone home with the GH¢314,173.00 out of some contributions from parents or any other source of the funding to support the institution.
Mr Speaker, another issue had to do with the non-deduction of taxes; worse of it was non-remittance of taxes. There were several instances in schools where the taxes were
deducted but were not remitted. Some of them, however, would rush to pay two or three days before they appeared before the Committee to indicate that they had actually remitted the taxes.

Mr Speaker, PAC is doing its best. As part of our work, we also try to sensitise and educate institutions that they should appreciate the work they do.They should appreciate the work in the very institutions or whatever services provided to the very institution where they earn a living so that it would become a success for Ghana and the institutions they also serve.

Mr Speaker, these general comments would serve a purpose for those who would be willing to listen to our advice. We do not sit as a Committee to witch-hunt but we also commend those who do good services to this nation and also recommend, if the need be, that we surcharge such individuals or institutions who do not comply.

Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity.
Mr Kennedy Kwasi Kankam (NPP -- Nhyiaeso) 12:11 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Motion.
Mr Speaker, the findings and recommendations of this Report are not different from all reports your Committee has considered so far as the Seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic is concerned.
The general observation such as non-compliance with the PFMA which controls systems, expenditure without supporting documents and others cut across almost all the reports that you have referred to your Committee so far.
Mr Speaker, I must admit that the Committee is helping to retrieve some moneys from auditees. In paragraph 6.15 on page 13 of the Report, it would be realised that the Committee has been able to retrieve some moneys from the auditees.
I would want to draw the attention of the general public that the perception that they have, that the Committee sits and we do not do anything about the reports that are
presented to us to work on is false. The reference I made in paragraph 6.15 indicates that the Committee works and does everything possible to rectify the anomalies in the Auditor- General's Report.
Mr Speaker, sometimes, we also try as much as possible to resolve issues between the Auditor-General and some of the auditees. When the Report is presented to the Committee and auditees are invited, we realise that what is in the report sometimes, differs from what the auditees gave to the Committee during public hearing.
So many instances of such nature have been captured in this Report. One thing we should all be worried about is the way some of these institutions mismanage the tax they are supposed to pay to the appropriate accounts in this country.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:11 p.m.
Hon Member, do you mean the institutions or officers in the institutions?
Mr Kankam 12:11 p.m.
Mr Speaker, most of the officers represent the institutions, so some of the officers who are heads of the institutions mismanage some of the taxes that they have collected on behalf of the Government. For instance, most of the institutions delay in paying withholding tax to the Consolidated Fund.
Mr Kankam 12:21 p.m.
Sometimes they deal with people or companies without VAT invoices and some of them also deal with companies that do not even send their returns to the various statutory companies to pay revenues to the appropriate funds.
It was also indicated in the report that some of the institutions also deal with companies that are not registered with the appropriate quarters on com- petitive procurement.
Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I would want to suggest that the House should again take a second look at the Internal Audit Agency Act, 2003 (Act 658).

I believe that if we are able to amend the 16-year old Act, it would address most of the weak controls in the various institutions. In doing so, we could address most of the infractions that are cited in the Auditor-General's Report that you have referred to your Committee.

With these few observations, I thank you very much, once again, for giving me the opportunity.

I thank you very much.
Mr Samuel Atta-Mills (NDC-- Komenda/Edina/Eguafo/Abrem) 12:21 p.m.
I thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to support the Motion on the Floor.
If one reads this Report, the number one thing one sees is the indiscipline on the part of some of these officers. The indiscipline happens every year.
On page 5 of the Report; on unpaid rent, ten institutions owed rent of GH¢89,492.00. At the time that they knew they were coming to face the Public Accounts Committee, surprisingly, they were able to pay all these amounts. How come they could not pay these when the Auditors came?

Mr Speaker, if we look at page 6; “unearned salaries” -- these people do not work for their offices any longer. They have been transferred; how come they could not do the paperwork for the Government to stop paying these people?

The normal complaint that most of these institutions make is that the Government has not sent us the money. Where would the Govern- ment get the money? They are not collecting the taxes and even the ones that they collect, they do not remit them. These people do not work for the said offices but they still get paid; where do they think the Government would get all these?

Mr Speaker, the one which worries me a lot is fuel to the tune of GH¢191,793.03 not logged into logbooks by 18 institutions. They go to a fuel pump and buy fuel, get the receipt and yet fail to log it in a logbook for government vehicles. How difficult is this?

Mr Speaker, it is so surprising that before they get to the Public Accounts Committee, most of them get their receipts. If they did not get the receipts when Auditors went to a place like Enchi and came back to Accra, how were they able to go back to that place, get a receipt and log it in a logbook?

Mr Speaker, it is true that we have recommended that they need to be surcharged but if the punishment were stronger, if some of these people had

to take a demotion in their positions, it would send a stronger message out there.

When one rides in a government vehicle and buys fuel and cannot log into a logbook, then, maybe, one should not be either driving the vehicle or does not deserve to be in the vehicle.

Mr Speaker, with these few words, I thank you for the opportunity.
Mr Kwasi Boateng Adjei (NPP--New Juaben North) 12:21 p.m.
I thank you, Mr Speaker.
I would want to comment on the Report presented by the Hon Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee. I would focus specifically on the procurement irregularities.
Mr Speaker, on paragraph 6.20, a total amount of GH¢12,539,621.85 was lost as a result of procurement irregularities. The Committee ob- served that the systems that support the running of these institutions are not allowed to do what they are supposed to do.
The officers who are responsible for controls and the direct manage- ment of these accounts have virtually reneged on their responsibilities to the extent that this has become an issue that confronts us on a regular basis.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:31 p.m.
I am being advised that we move on to the other Motions. So, Leadership?
Mr Iddrisu 12:31 p.m.
Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, I may yield to Hon Quashigah.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:31 p.m.
Very well, Hon Member for --
Mr Richard M. Quashigah 12:31 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:31 p.m.
Hon Member for Keta, is that where the gods are? I hope you left them behind; you did not bring them today.
Mr Quashigah 12:31 p.m.
Mr Speaker, there are no gods in Keta. Yesterday, when I made reference to gods, I meant the people of Anlo. The Bible even says; “Are you not aware, ye are gods?” This is in reference to human beings for which reason, you, Mr Speaker, are a god.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:31 p.m.
Hon Member, I am not a god. -- [Laughter.] Yesterday, when we adjourned, somebody accosted me along the way and warned me that, as for the gods of that area, they kill quickly. So, I should make sure you do not bring them here. -- [Laughter.]
Anyway, let us proceed.
Mr Quashigah 12:31 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I was only making references to the Bible. There is reverence here to attest to that and so, I do not mean some other gods.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity. Yesterday, we touched on many issues as far as the 2015 Auditor—General's Report was concerned. The same issues have come up again with the 2016 Report which takes us back to some of the arguments raised by many Hon Members including the Hon Majority Leader and your very Self, that there must be some other way of looking
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:31 p.m.
Majority Leadership?
[Pause] --
Majority Leadership, are you not contributing?
Ms Sarah A. Safo 12:31 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
A lot has been said concerning the Report of the Auditor-General and the infractions that have arisen with its findings.
Mr Speaker, having served on the Public Accounts Committee in the previous Parliament, one would take note that many of these infractions recur each and every period of the findings of the Auditor-General.
I believe that as a country, we need to critically look at many of the violations of officers put in places to manage public finances as many have spoken about the infractions concerning the violations to the Public Procurement Act (PPA).
The Committee invites officials of institutions to appear before it and there is not even a sense of remorse to what they have done in the way they answer questions.
Mr Speaker, usually, what the Auditor-General does, is to write to them to reimburse the institutions for whatever infractions or financial misappropriations they have done.
I believe that we should move away from just giving them the opportunity to right their wrongs because most of the infractions committed are criminal. Many have
advocated that the PAC Report should not only be debated on the Floor.
Indeed, article 187 of the 1992 Constitution talks about the powers of the Auditor-General to surcharge Officers who have committed offences of embezzlement of funds from the public purse; the Auditor- General has the power to surcharge.
So, we should not leave these findings sitting in the Auditor-General's Report or just debate them on the Floor of Parliament, but we should move beyond that to prosecuting people who have committed offences that relate to financial misappro- priations.
Mr Speaker, again, when you come to violations regarding the Public Procurement Act, 200 (Act 663) as amended -- when you go in to the findings of the Auditor-General as we have before us today, there is also lack of remorse when these findings are done relating to violations of the PPA.
Section 98 of this Act talks of the right and power given to prosecute certain offences relating to public procurement. We have to also start prosecuting for public procurement offences that are under the PPA.
Ms Sarah A. Safo 12:41 p.m.
So, being the Hon Minister for Public Procurement, it brought me joy to note that, as part of the scope and application of the Office of the Special Prosecutor's Act that was passed in this House, at section 3 of this Act, you will find that one of the offences that can be prosecuted relates to pro- curement offences.
Mr Speaker, this has been re- emphasised through the Office of the Special Prosecutor's Act again and not only through the PPA where it states that violations of this provision are offences under this Act that ought to be prosecuted.

Mr Speaker, I believe that we should look at the reports of the Auditor-General again and findings of the PAC again to be able to prepare dockets. The prime mandate to prosecute on behalf of the State, as we all know, has been given to the Attorney-General.

We are of the view that certain dockets and certain findings of the Public Procurement violations that are found in these reports should be prepared. We should not only target politicians and political figures.

Mr Speaker, if you go deep down into our public administration system, you will see that these violations are not committed by politicians; they are committed by public officials who are put in the institutions to work.

That is why from the perspective of my Ministry, we are coming out with a standardisation of procurement practitioners. We want to bring a certification to all procurement practitioners. We have a scattered form of training for procurement practitioners in this country.

Some write the examinations of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) from the United Kingdom. They deem themselves as qualified procurement practitioners.

Some of the universities also provide training in procurement. Ghana Institute of Public Adminis- tration and Management (GIMPA) has degree and post graduate courses in procurement.

Mr Speaker, they also go to Ghana Inter Bank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) to get certification. What we are trying to do is to find a Ghanaian model of procurement practice, where everybody will be certified. As part of the certification process and as part of our ethics and standards process, we have also put in sanctions for procurement practitioners.

Mr Speaker, Hon James Avedzi here is versed in finance. There are sanctions for accountants when they flout their rules of ethics, but in procurement, there is nothing like that. Procurement practitioners just hold their certificates in offices. There is nothing like standards and ethics for procurement practitioners in this country.

Mr Speaker, if we want to see progress; if we want to see that these infractions do not repeat themselves as it does and the PAC goes through it every year, we have to shift from just these findings and make sure that we hold every procurement officer accountable and also adhere to the basic standards of practice as procurement practitioners.

Mr Speaker, I believe that if we go that way, all procurement practitioners will sit up. They would know that there is something that they would answer to one day if they do not do the right things.

These are some of the initiatives that we are putting in place at the Ministry to ensure that they do not just call themselves procurement practitioners, but there are standards and ethics; there is standard certification for Ghanaian practitioners as well.

Mr Speaker, on this note, I can see Hon Kwame Agbodza waving the Public Procurement Act. It is in the functions of the Public Procurement Authority to give certification to have ethics and standards established for procurement practitioners. That is what we are giving effect to.

Again, I believe that if we want uprightness, diligence, and compliance to our laws in particular, procurement laws, we have to hold people accountable, so that they are not asked to go and refund, which is the practice now. But the Auditor- General will exercise his power to surcharge and again, procurement offences and other financial offences will be prosecuted.

In that way, it will serve as a deterrent to many of these officers who would otherwise just infringe on the laws without any remorse.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:41 p.m.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, do you think that there is something different we can do with the procurement processes? Every year, ever since I have been an Hon Member of this House, the recommendations are infractions on financial regulations or procurement processes.
Ms Safo 12:41 p.m.
Mr Speaker, rightly so.
That is a good observation from your end. There are methods for procurement under the Act. The problem that we find with these institutions most of the time is that, one, most of them do not even have a procurement unit and they do not have qualified procurement officers to do the right thing.
Mr Speaker, many a time, people call themselves procurement officers without the right qualification for that.
Mr Speaker, we talked about procurement from a shop or an operator without a VAT license. It is basic for every procurement officer. But they go to the schools and they find that the people who are supposed to carry out the procurement process have no idea.
The best way to go about these things is to request for quotations; the officer will ask for quotations from sellers, operators or traders of those products.
Mr Speaker, because they do not have knowledge of the methods and the simplicity of certain methods, when to apply them, they will argue that they would have to go through a long procurement process before they could come out with a supplier deemed to have won the bid. It boils down to having procurement units and the right professionals in them.
Mr Speaker, that is why, we are just moving away not from only legislation this time. We have done a lot of reforms with our procurement laws; it has been a long journey. We have everything that it takes in the law, the regulation and guidelines. We have manuals that they have to refer to; we have done all that.
Mr Speaker, as a country we lack in terms of procurement to have the
right standard of professionalism in the practice of procurement. I believe that as we all move there --
Again, when it comes to the prosecution aspect, we have not done a lot. To hold people accountable and make them face the full rigours of the law when they are found in breach. We only leave it in the Auditor- General and PAC reports.
Mr Speaker, my office will have a workshop this weekend. We have targeted the leadership of certain committees in Parliament. The reason we have targeted Parliament as well is, we have the mandate to carry out oversight function. Procurement is a tool to use to carry out that function.
We believe once we strengthen parliamentary leadership in the various committees, we will make sure that findings will not be left sitting in the books, but again, we will have the right professionals and the right structures and there will be prosecution at the end of the day. It will serve as deterrent to many who flout the law and think that nothing will be done at the end of the day; and think they will just be asked to put the money back to where they took it.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:51 p.m.
Hon Leader, while you seek to contribute, how come that every ministry or agency has found it necessary to ask for exemption and to do sole sourcing? How come?

If you look at the report from the Public Procurement Authority, the request for leave to do sole sourcing is a lot. Probably, apart from internationally-funded project, with all the locally-funded projects, people seek the opportunity to do sole sourcing. Why?
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 12:51 p.m.
Mr Speaker, your question is as good as a suggestion for us to work towards a solution. I do not intend to answer you directly, but as for the Hon Minister responsible for Procurement, I would refer her to an Organisation for Economic Cooperation Development (OECD) Report on Preventing Corruption in Public Procurement where she could do some reading.
Mr Speaker, but you have carefully danced around the issue; public procurement and conflict of interest are the most veritable sources of corruption reported globally. So, if they do write and follow the process they would not abuse the processes
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:51 p.m.
Hon Members, the debate is over. I just wanted some ideas on this matter.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:51 p.m.
Hon Members, we would take item numbered 5.
Hon Chairman of the Committee.
Annual Report and Financial Statements of the Petroleum Commission for the Year 2016
Hon Chairman of the Committee (Mr Emmanuel A. Gyamfi): Mr Speaker, I beg to move; that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Committee on Mines and Energy on the Annual Report and Financial Statements of the Petroleum Commission for the year 2016.
Mr Speaker, in so doing, I beg to present your Committee's Report.
1.0 Introduction
Pursuant to sections 3 (k) and 18 of the Petroleum Commission Act, 2011 (Act 821), the Annual Report and Financial Statement covering the operations and activities of the Petroleum Commission for the period, January to December, 2016 was laid in Parliament on 31st October, 2018 by the Hon. Deputy Majority Leader, Ms Sarah Adwoa Safo, on behalf of the Majority Leader.
The Annual Report and Financial Statement was subsequently referred by the Rt. Hon. Speaker to the Committee on Mines and Energy for consideration and report.
2.0 Deliberations
The Committee met on 5th December, 2018 and considered the Annual Report and Financial Statement of the Commission. Present at the meeting were a Deputy Minister for Energy, Hon Joseph Cudjoe, the Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Commission and other officials from the Commission.
The Committee is grateful for their inputs and clarifications.
3.0 Reference Documents
In considering the Annual Report and Financial Statement, the Com-
  • Mr Mutawakilu Adam (NDC -- Damongo) 1:01 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion, and in doing so, I would want to make some contributions.
    First and foremost, if we look at (i) of paragraph 5.1 -- “Recognisance
    Mr George M. Duker (NPP -- Tarkwa-Nsuaem) 1:01 p.m.
    I am grateful, Mr Speaker.
    I am up to further urge this august House to adopt the financial statement of the Petroleum Commission for the period, January to December, 2016.
    Mr Speaker, going through the Report and as the Committee met, what was most intriguing was the aspect of the Commission flouting the laws that guide exploration and their activities as a whole.
    For instance, critical information like the open areas for petroleum exploration and production, total petroleum reserves including volume of original hydro-carbon in place, and recoverable reserves were not disclosed.
    I believe that going forward, as a country, we need to respect the laws that guide the operations of the hydro- carbon exploration industry.
    Mr Speaker, another aspect is late submission of reports. It is unfortunate that we are discussing the 2016 report today. If reports are brought to this august House timeously, we would have enough time to deliberate on these pertinent reports.
    This in a way, would inform us as to how our Petroleum Commission Regulates the companies that explore, and ensure that our hydro-carbon resources are managed properly.
    Mr Speaker, we also had the chance to asking more questions on strengthening stakeholder engage- ments -- how they engaged the
    Mr George M. Duker (NPP -- Tarkwa-Nsuaem) 1:11 p.m.
    respective stakeholders involved in these operations and got them informed of their activities.
    It is no wonder that these days, we hear that licensing has been advertised for people to bid. It is a good cause. It is important we encourage them to do that, and I believe the Petroleum Commission is in good hands as of now.
    Mr Speaker, on local content, as it has already been said, it is important that we get more Ghanaians into the upstream sector. We encourage each and every one to be part of the activities of the Petroleum Commission, and move on to register with them. They have a register that has a database of people who are interested, and they assist them to get on board as local people.
    I believe we need to encourage the Petroleum Commission to do so and expand for us, as a country, to get involved. The more we get our local oil companies involved, the more the resource is retained in the country.
    There is no need encouraging foreign companies to get the resource and send the money away. In a way, it expands our economy when local companies get on board.

    Mr Speaker, the aspect of promotion of cost efficiency in the activities of the Petroleum Commission is also a matter of concern. As a Committee, we asked more questions under that banner -- on the transparency measures they put in place to ensure that their activities are connected and well-reported as far as their financial performance is concerned.

    I believe the year 2016 is passed and gone. Moving on, we may have a report on 2017 and 2018. I believe this august House would have good reports concerning those years.

    On that note, I urge this House to adopt this Report accordingly and appreciate the activities of the Petroleum Commission.

    Mr Speaker, I so submit.
    Dr Kwabena Donkor (NDC -- Pru East) 1:11 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    I would start my contribution by drawing the attention of the House and the nation to the need to recruit qualified personnel for the Petroleum Commission. There are such major gaps in the Commission in terms of personnel that we must address. For example, we do not have drilling engineers at the Commission.
    Mr Speaker, drilling engineers do not come cheap. They earn about £800 a day in other jurisdictions, so they do not come cheap. We, however, must find ways and means to employ such people even if not at that rate. Without drilling engineers, we would be taken advantage of by the international oil companies.
    On one production for the examination of one Plan of Develop- ment (POD), the Petroleum Commission saved this country US$1billion. So when it comes to the Commission, we should not look at the usual Public Service salaries.
    There must be other avenues to entice and retain qualified Ghanaian personnel. Even if we have to buy the expertise from elsewhere, we should not hesitate to do that. The quality of staff at the Commission would largely influence our ability to negotiate and superintend our natural resource. I expected to see a lot more in terms of this in the Report, which we did not have.
    Mr Speaker, the Annual Report of the Petroleum Commission is expected to be the most comprehensive and reliable report on our natural resource in the country. The type of report before the House --
    Mr Gyamfi 1:11 p.m.
    On a point of order. Mr Speaker, I am very grateful for the comments made by the Hon Member; but he has made a very important comment, and I thought he would proffer some solutions. He is a very experienced --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:11 p.m.
    Hon Member, has he said anything that is wrong? What has he said that is not factual?
    Mr Gyamfi 1:11 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, he said that there is a need for us to employ qualified engineers, which may come at a very expensive cost, and how also to retain them; but looking at his background as a very experienced person in the field, I thought that he would proffer some suggestions and recommendations.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:11 p.m.
    Hon Member, he is not out of order.
    Dr Donkor 1:11 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    In other jurisdictions, the annual report of the regulatory body is the most sacrosanct report in the country when one wants to look at the resource in situ, resource depletion rate and other such information; but in our 2012 Report we attempted to
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:11 p.m.
    Hon Member, are you not a Member of the Committee?
    Dr Donkor 1:11 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am, and I raised this issue.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:11 p.m.
    At the Committee, that there was a shortfall? But you did not file a minority opinion to demonstrate that you feel strongly about that?
    Dr Donkor 1:11 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is in the Report.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:11 p.m.
    What is in the Report?
    Dr Donkor 1:11 p.m.
    It is stated in the Report that the information fell short of what was required of the law. They are only recommended for the future, but I am not recommending for the future. I want the Commission to give us further and better particulars of a report that incorporates what the law requires.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:11 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, is there something missing in accordance with the law?
    Mr Gyamfi 1:11 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, as has been captured by the Report, we saw that as an anomaly that should not happen again. The Committee strongly recommended to the Commission to make sure that subsequent reports that would come to the House would capture this very important issue.
    So for our Hon Colleague to come and say that we should reject the Report, I do not agree with him. We made a very strong case when the Commission was before the Committee, that in the next report that is submitted to Parliament, if we do not see those anomalies corrected, we would not deal with the Report.
    We have made that point strongly.
    Dr Donkor 1:21 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my challenge is that there would be a gap. When researchers conduct longitu- dinal studies, they would take the reports year by year. In the 2016 report, there would be a gap in our resource numbers because it has not been provided.Ten or 20 years from now, students of energy policy would take these annual reports and there would be a gap.
    Nothing stops us, as a House, from asking the Commission to go back and re-submit according to the schedule so that this gap would not be there when people do longitudinal studies in the future.
    Mr Speaker, I also have a serious issue with the lack of details on each block as contained in the Report.

    Mr Speaker, the Report is a summary, but this is the House of the representatives of the people of Ghana. I have had the opportunity to research in other jurisdictions on petroleum, and the source centre for documents has always been Parliament.

    Every relevant information could be found in the library of Parliament. Such information is always captured in the annual report. My worry is that our annual report is too light on information, it is not detailed, and it is not timeous.

    Mr Speaker, with this contribution, I would ask the House not to reject the Report, but to accept it as a provisional one, and ask the Petroleum Commission to add an addendum that would capture what has been left out of what the law requires.
    Mr Andy K. Appiah-Kubi (NPP --Asante Akim North) 1:21 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to make reference to paragraph 5.4.2 on “Saltpond Field.” We are informed that there was no production from this
    Mr Edward A. Bawa (NDC -- Bongo) 1:21 p.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Report.
    Mr Speaker, in my contribution, I would like to concentrate on the issue of local content and participation.
    Mr Speaker, when we found the oil, over the decades, inasmuch as we explored and exploited the resources in the mining sector, most of the value went offshore; and we have learnt from that experience.
    So, on the basis of that, we felt that it was key to ensure that a greater part of the value of the resources that we have found, as a country, would remain with us.
    Mr Speaker, it is on the basis of this that the Local Content Regulations, (L.I. 204) was passed, which was to ensure that it would give some legal backing to the policy that the Government had initiated in the wake of the oil discovery.
    Mr Speaker, just as my Hon Colleagues indicated earlier on, if we first look at the local participation, the equity stake; because generally the oil industry is a capital intensive area, the challenges a country like Ghana faces
    is on how to get locals who have the needed capital, to invest in such sectors.
    The general thinking was that, over a period of time, we should use the State as an entity to make sure that we have most of the stakes residing within the country. That is why, for example, within the GNPC, beyond the fact that it always had current interests and could exercise additional interest, it contemplated the option of having a subsidiary company, the EXPLOco, to leverage this particular intention.
    Mr Speaker, on that score, we need to start looking at it again. because if we look at the new petroleum Agreements that have come to this House, in the early negotiations, the interest of EXPLOco seemed to have disappeared.
    Last Meeting, with the Exxon Agreement that we passed before we rose, the interest of EXPLOco had gone up. If we look at the proposal that came from the Executive, we realised that the additional interest had moved from ten to three. Parliament itself then decided to instruct the Ministry of Mines and Energy to go back to work on it, taking into consideration the Ghanaian stake within that particular arrangement.
    Mr Edward A. Bawa (NDC -- Bongo) 1:31 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, going forward, this is one area that we would need to look at, particularly when we do not have local persons involved because of the capital intensive nature of this particular business. That is the first point.
    Mr Speaker, secondly, in terms of local content and the services provided, the law clearly states that if one has a service company that has at least, 51 per cent of its workers being Ghanaians, it is deemed to be indigenous.
    However, there is a challenge, because in this particular industry, there is a lot of fronting. Ghanaians mostly front for the foreigners.
    Therefore, even though it may seem that Ghanaians hold the 51 per cent stake in a particular company, they may actually be just faces, but the real owners of that company may be foreigners. That is why I am excited about this whole idea of beneficiary ownership. During the registration of these companies, we must ensure that we get to know who, the real owners are.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Ranking Member mentioned that more often than not, the Petroleum Commission gives rosy numbers in their reports on
    the employment status in the sector. They sometimes report that 200, 300 or even 700 people have been employed. More often than not, as the Hon Ranking Member said, these companies may have only one Managing Director (MD).
    For instance, in the Western Region, there was a demonstration by a mining company, where the MD's salary was about twice the total amount of salary that the locals received.
    So, in talking about local content, we should go behind the numbers and see how much these Ghanaians earn. This is because people come under the name “expatriates” and, on the basis of that, they are given certain perquisites which are very big compared to what the locals receive.

    By virtue of the fact that they are seen as locals, they are given salaries based on the type of bargaining that they would have reached with their employers. What is more important is that these expatriates, to a very large extent — I think the Petroleum Commission is doing that, and we should encourage them to go on.

    If a company hires an expatriate, there must be a roadmap by the company as to how that expatriate

    would be replaced by a local person. If today the company decides to take a geophysicist because we do not have one in Ghana, there should be a timeline that in the next two, three or four years, the company would train a Ghanaian to be equal to that level to take over from the expatriate. That is the only way we could ensure that value is retained within the country.

    Mr Speaker, I think that we have, to a very large extent, not done well with the mining sector. We should not, as a country, mess up with the hydrocarbon resource that we have found.

    I believe that, collectively, as a country, if we give the Petroleum Commission the necessary tools — give them the necessary human capital and the resources that they need-- I think they would be able to execute this function and ensure that Ghana benefits from its oil find.

    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:31 p.m.
    Leadership, I really would like us to talk about paragraph 14.1 of the Report; what should be the consequence of non-adherence to the reporting requirements in the law? I would like us to talk about that.
    Minority Leader (Mr Haruna Iddrisu) 1:31 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would comment and come to conclude with paragraph 14. 1 as you have observed, so that it could guide us.
    First of all, let me thank you for the opportunity and thank the Committee for an extensive Report.
    Mr Speaker, may I respectively refer you to paragraph 6.2 on the flaring?
    “TGF flared a total of 5,703.16 mmscf”.
    Then, just beneath the same paragraph, it reads and I quote:
    “Some amount of gas was also flared on the West Leo rig as a result of well completion test being carried out on some production wells”.
    How much gas was flared? We need to know because in one of it, even though it follows later with GNGC also flared a total of 2,356.1 mmscf. I need to know and please help me know; from the West Leo rig, how much gas was flared? I think that we should get that also right?
    Mr Speaker, in paragraph 5.1, I do not know whether it is my English or the Committee's Report; it reads:
    Minority Leader (Mr Haruna Iddrisu) 1:31 p.m.

    “During the year under review, no reconnaissance license was issued. An Agreement between Petroleum Commission and Core Laboratories Sales NV was signed to study a regional reservoir and seal integrity of the basins of Ghana”.

    I hope ‘To seal the integrity of the basins of Ghana' is Achimota English. Which of the basins? We would be interested.

    Mr Speaker, but generally, the Petroleum Commission is doing well as an institution of State. We should be interested in what they do, particularly, in matters relating to open competitive bids of petroleum wells. Even if it is supervised by the Hon Minister for Energy or the Ministry of Energy, the law requires in section 10.4 of the ENI ACT that it be done on the recommendations of the Petroleum Commission.

    Mr Speaker, as you yourself have observed on Permit for Upstream Petroleum Activities. The period under review witnessed a processing of 414 registration applications from companies, both foreign and indigenous. Local companies have intended to undertake upstream

    petroleum businesses in Ghana. This was made up of 229 initial registration applications and 221 renewals.

    Mr Speaker, we are still lumping foreign and indigenous companies. Let us have a comprehensive Report because we are interested in knowing how many indigenous Ghanaian companies benefit from this industry. Therefore, we should try to draw a dichotomy between the foreign entities and the indigenous entities, and what accrues to those indigenous companies.

    Mr Speaker, then, on paragraph 14.4; “Promotion of Local Content Participation in Petroleum Activities”, I beg to quote:

    “The Committee observed that the total value of services for contracts awarded to both foreign and indigenous Ghana- ian companies amounted to US$1.34 billion in the year


    Next time, we would like to have a comparative analysis; what was the situation in 2015? So, when they give us the next Report for 2017, we should be able to relate and compare what businesses have accrued to the indigenous Ghanaian businesses in 2017 as put against 2016. Then, we would be able to say that we are

    making progress, as a country, and that Ghanaians are benefiting from this industry.

    Mr Speaker, now, to your observation on paragraph 14.1 of the Committee's Report. As you said, we should be mindful to comment on it.
    Mr Speaker, I quote 1:31 p.m.
    “The Committee observed that the information provided in the Report fall, short of the requirements of the law”.
    Mr Speaker, so what are we reporting on if the Report falls short of requirements of law and the Committee itself captures it? It becomes an indictment on the Committee, the work to Parliament and their Report to Parliament.
    Therefore, Mr Speaker, the Committee on Energy must take full responsibility, and then make an obligation to us that they would respect the letter and spirit of the law in terms of reporting and provide guidance on the reporting requirements of the Commission.
    We are in 2019; therefore, the Report for 2017 should have come and, probably, been considered by this House. Mr Speaker, the petroleum resources of the country
    are not infinite; therefore, we should be interested in its resources. Only yesterday, I heard in the news that Tullow Oil had lost a certain bid out of what has been done as a reference in the law.
    Mr Speaker, generally, on em- ployment in the upstream petroleum industry, we ourselves need to train more persons in that area. I have heard the contribution of Hon Kwabena Donkor, the former Minister for Power; he understands the subject matter better than I do.
    We need to strengthen the technical capacity of the Petroleum Commission. I have read in the news- papers that the Chief Executive has made an innovation of setting up an internal audit department; but the focus must be on the technical capacity and persons with a background in oil and gas to support him.
    Mr Speaker, fortunately, it is a kind of de-subvented entity, and he should not complain that he has no ability to pay if he recruits. Therefore, it should be our recommendation that he does that.
    Mr Speaker, I observed that in paragraph 14.7, it was observed that an amount of GH¢47, 803,835.00
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:31 p.m.
    Majority Leadership?
    Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu (NPP -- Suame) 1:41 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I must thank you for the space to make a few remarks about the Report of the Committee on Mines and Energy on the Financial Statement of the Petroleum Commission for the period January to December 2016.
    Mr Speaker, the Petroleum Commission is responsible for the regulation and management of the utilisation of a natural resource, in this case, petroleum.

    Mr Speaker, if the Commission is to be placed at a level to be able to really regulate and manage the utilisation of the natural resource, then we must, as a beginning, know the overall quantum of the petroleum that we have, that is, the ones that have been discovered. For those ones that have been discovered, they should provide us with information on which a resource is recoverable and non- recoverable.

    I agree with my Hon Colleague, Dr Kwabena Donkor, on all these, that it should form part of the Report to this House. They should also inform us on the programme of utilisation, and the programme should reconcile with the programme of management. These are the basic requirements from the Commission to this House.

    Mr Speaker, beyond that, as a country, we should have a policy underpinning the exploitation of the resource. For instance, we all know that we are in dire circumstances and would, perhaps, want to upscale our production.

    We should know that if we upscale production to a certain level, the yield would momentarily be high but that would also mean that a lot more would be left underground which, eventually, may be to the detriment of the country. So, as a country, we should have a policy on what line we want to pursue in recovering the resource from beneath the soil.

    Mr Speaker, the Commission is to develop laws, regulations and guidelines and the Petroleum Commission must be commended for their efforts in that regard. However, we need to further improve our legal regime. The legal regime that informed us at the very outset would not inure to the benefit of this country going forward and that is why we should come together as a House.

    In that regard, I urge that we enhance the capacity of our own Committee Members, in order for them to be able to properly advise us in plenary on the better options available to us as a country.

    Apart from what the Commission tells us, they should be able to decipher the truth. The Committee Members should have their capacity continuously built, in order to give us value for money in whatever undertaking we submit ourselves to.

    Mr Speaker, we must recognise that there is a clear deficit of competent specialists and experts in many fields but we should have an inventory. We know that we do not have a sufficient number of geophysicists in this country. We have difficulties even with geologists such as marine geologists. They should inform us going forward and with the prospects ahead of us, how many we need in these areas and begin to train them.

    I know GNPC has been offering some scholarships to a select few. Are they coming back? Some of them train, take the scholarships, go out there and get poached when they complete school. So, the Petroleum Commission and GNPC should inform us how many of these experts and specialists that we have in the system and how many we need, going forward.

    Now we are pouring resources in the Voltaian Basin, which is a vast expanse of land which has a huge potential for us, but we need to get ourselves involved and not surrender our birthright to the foreign companies.

    There should be a way of re- assessing what we have. We should not take lock, stock and barrel the evidence provided to use by the foreigners. We should upscale the
    Mr Adam 1:41 p.m.
    I was just saying that provide safeguards like having --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:41 p.m.
    Hon Member, I have not given you the Floor.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:41 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I saw him opening his mouth and I thought he had something useful to add because we should all understand that the condition of the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah was not the best when it was procured. I think FPSO Mills was an enhancement on that one. It was newer than the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah and I am saying that, going forward --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:41 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Ranking Member?
    Mr Adam 1:41 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader said he thought I had something useful to add; actually, yes.
    One of the reasons we suffered so much in terms of the drop in revenue
    was the fact that we did not have what we call business interruption insurance such that in case of such an incidence, the insurance company would pay so that we do not suffer too much.
    I was just nodding to what he said and added that we should provide safeguards as well, just in case. It could be new and an accident could happen. Even a new FPSO could suffer some damages. Once we have a business interruption insurance in place, it would help cushion the country in case of such interventions, so it is a useful intervention.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:41 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I overheard him saying what he just told us and I knew it would be useful and that was why I yielded. He would agree with me that, all things being equal, a new vehicle procured would certainly last longer than an old vehicle and the servicing and maintenance on an old vehicle is not the same as that of a new vehicle.
    I am saying that there has been some improvements in the additional FPSOs that we have acquired. That should inform us to acquire newer vessels even if they have to be refurbished, so that the allocations to business interruption insurance policy would be minimum. Ultimately, it is the revenue that we would depend on and
    not just maintaining the FPSOs that we have.
    Mr Speaker, I think that we may have to adopt this Report, subject to filling in the known deficiencies that we have all spoken to.
    Thank you very much.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:51 p.m.
    Very well. Before I put the Question, there are two things.
    I direct that the Committee requires the Petroleum Commission to provide the information that was not contained in the Report and let same be available to Hon Members to complete the record.
    Secondly, tomorrow, at 8.00 a.m., there would be a breakfast meeting to be addressed by an expert on petroleum and contracting revenue for petroleum. I would want to invite all the Hon Members of the Committee, in particular, the former Hon Ministers and former Hon Chairmen and Ranking Members on the Committee on Mines and Energy, to join in that breakfast meeting. I would be very grateful to see you all join in the discussion.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:51 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the forum that you have invited Hon Members to attend is very relevant, especially, for the Committee on Mines and Energy.
    Last year, the Committee partook in an international workshop in Scotland and it was most profitable to the Hon Members of the Committee. If it could be done this way: We had some arrangements with them to come to Ghana to brief Parliament and the other stakeholders in the energy sector on the way forward.
    Mr Speaker, if it is possible, this House should make a determination to invite the three key resource persons to come and have a workshop --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:51 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, I am asking of leave. The Hon Second Deputy Speaker would take the Chair.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:51 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I know you are in a hurry.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:51 p.m.
    On this matter, the resource person was invited by another group and he was asked to just have a short meeting with us but I think we should discuss the suggestion you have made at the highest level and build on it.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:51 p.m.
    Very well, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:51 p.m.
    The Hon Second Deputy Speaker would take the Chair.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, I hope you concluded your submissions.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I made an application to the Chair to direct instead of we floating on the wings of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), having invited a specialist in petroleum resource management to have some discussions with us. Last year, the Committee went to Scotland and they had the benefit of engaging some world-acclaimed experts in petroleum resource management and I suggested that going forward, we could invite them.
    We had some tentative arrangements with them and they agreed to come to Ghana anytime we wanted them to. I believe that if they spend about three days with us, it would be very beneficial to us as a country, as a House, and indeed, for the Hon Members of the Committee.
    Mr Iddrisu 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was expecting that the Hon Majority Leader would conclude by giving guidance as to whether we would continue with the Vigilantism and Related Offences Bill, 2019, or not.
    As for his submission, I could only associate myself with him and add more. Indeed, thanks to the Hon Chairman of the Committee, I benefited with the Hon Majority Leader in Scotland and we could also now go through a negotiation of a petroleum block, knowing what could advance the interest of the State better, given the schooling that we went through with those resource persons.
    I agree with the Hon Majority Leader that we, probably, may want to invite them to come to educate Hon Members of the Committee properly.
    Mr Speaker, while you were seated earlier, you drew my attention to an important breakfast meeting and I said I had not got the corres- pondence on it yet.
    We should support the Hon Speaker tomorrow and a few Chief Executives, Members of the Committee on Mines and Energy, the Ghana National Petroleum Cor-
    poration (GNPC), the Petroleum Commission and those within the energy sector could also join to benefit from it.
    I related with the Hon Majority Leader that the Vigilantism and Related Offences Bill, 2019, is not that comprehensive, so if he succeeds in the winnowing exercise he has begun, I am sure we could take a day or two to start and finish.
    Mr Speaker, I would, at this point prefer an adjournment if that is the wish of the Hon Majority Leader.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, we need a clear indication on what to do. Do we still continue with the Vigilantism and Related Offences Bill, 2019?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, yesterday, we started some winnowing and because we had a programme to attend at 8.15 a.m., we had to suspend it. I would want to appeal to my Hon Colleagues that we should go and conclude it. We thought what we did would be captured in the Order Paper but I think because of some mix-up it could not be featured.
    So because of that, we would want to go and continue and finish it up. With the way we are working, if we
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, am I to understand that you would finish the winnowing by tomorrow?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:55 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, but for the fact that --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    When you mentioned about finishing tomorrow, you talked about finishing the Consideration Stage of the Bill tomorrow.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, finishing the Consideration Stage tomorrow is possible because where we have got to, it is possible to do that.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    You have not started yet, you are still at winnowing.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am saying that with where we are at the winnowing level, there is a general agreement on how to handle it and I believe that once we start, we should not take much time to walk ourselves through it.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, what I am saying is that, yes, with regard to the winnowing, you could say that you would finish today, but when it comes to the Consideration Stage tomorrow, you are not in the position to emphatically state that we could finish it tomorrow. That is the issue I am raising. It would be before the whole House and you do not know the issues that Hon Members would raise on the Floor.
    But I get the sense and I agree with you that we should adjourn so that you would go and continue with the winnowing.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:01 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if you would recollect, I predicated my statement on the phrase that, ‘‘with goodwill on all Sides'', we would be able to walk through it in
    no time. I know what we are doing at the level of the Winnowing Committee.
    Mr Speaker, I believe we are all ad idem on the path to tread tomorrow. I believe if we are able to finish today -- [Interruption.] -- But for the fact that the Hon Minority Leader and I had to exit to do some other programme, from where we got to yesterday, given ourselves about two hours today, we could have finished the Consideration Stage.
    Mr Speaker, so let me once again invite my Hon Colleagues to go and do --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:01 p.m.
    Well, Hon Majority Leader, I am
    aware that the Committee, together with yourself have opened up the Bill for a lot of inputs from civil society and a lot of work has been done.
    In fact, you have virtually re- written the Bill and there is this issue of whether you would have to look at the Memorandum of the Bill. I hope that at the Winnowing Stage, you would come to some conclusion on that so that you can direct the House as to what to do.
    With this, I would proceed to adjourn the House.
    ADJOURNMENT 2:01 p.m.