Debates of 31 Jul 2019

PRAYERS 10:22 a.m.


Mr Speaker 10:22 a.m.
Hon Members, correction of Votes and Proceedings and the Official Report. Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 30th July,
Page 1…8 --
Mr Speaker 10:22 a.m.
Order! Yes, Hon Okudzeto Ablakwa?
Mr Ablakwa 10:22 a.m.
I am most grateful, Mr Speaker.
On page 8, item numbered 1, I was here yesterday but I have been marked absent.
Mr Speaker 10:22 a.m.
Yes, Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
Mr Avedzi 10:22 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on page 7, I was in the Chamber yesterday, but I have been marked absent with permission. [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker 10:22 a.m.
Order! Well taken.
Page 9…13 --
Mr Speaker 10:22 a.m.
Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Iddrisu 10:22 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank you very much. Page 13 and 14, just for acknowledgement without asking for royalties. The item on paragraph 9 was moved by the Hon Majority Leader, the Chairman did not own that amendment.
In respect of paragraph 7, clause 2, which stands alone, was moved by myself and Alhaji Inusah Fuseini supported by Hon Anyimadu-Antwi. This is for the record.
Thank you.
Mr Speaker 10:22 a.m.
Thank you very much, Hon Minority Leader. It will be effected accordingly.
Page 14…19.
Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 30th July, 2019 as corrected, be hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
Hon Members, we have Official Report dated Thursday, 4th July,
Any correction, please?
Mr Speaker 10:22 a.m.
Yes, Hon Okudzeto Ablakwa?
Mr Ablakwa 10:22 a.m.
I am most grateful, Mr Speaker.
Mr Ablakwa 10:32 a.m.
I am most grateful, Mr Speaker, I would want to make a correction with regards to the list of institutions provided in column 2841. This correction is very important because former President J. J Rawlings and his wife are in the Chamber and they would not be happy to see the records reflect “Achimota Senior High School''. It
should be “Achimota School''-- [Laughter] -- because there is no Achimota Senior High School in Ghana. The former President would be particular about that.
Mr Speaker, again in column 2867, the entry numbered 23 should be corrected and in column 2865, the entry numbered 9 should also be corrected accordingly.
Mr Speaker 10:32 a.m.
Of course, the former President is in the Chamber with his wife who is also an “Akora'' and they would both be happy to see that correction.
Hon Okudzeto Ablakwa, you would remember that I made this correction when we last met in PRESEC that the name of our school is not Presbyterian Secondary School or Senior High School and those things [Laughter.] It may be a senior high school alright, but it has a name that precedes all of us.
Hon Members, any further corrections?
In the absence of any further correction, the Official Report of Thursday, 4th July, 2019 as corrected be hereby admitted as the true record of proceedings.
Item listed (iii) on the Order Paper Addendum.

SPEAKER 10:32 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:32 a.m.
Hon Members, it is my singular honour to inform you of the presence of the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States, Congress, Hon Nancy Patricia Pelosi in this House this morning. [Hear! Hear!]
Hon Majority Leader, Hon Minority Leader, Leadership, Hon Members it is a great pleasure indeed, to have on record the distinguished presence of the first lady Speaker of the House of Representative of the United States Congress here, among us.
It is worthy of note that she has got pride of ancestry in the House for some 32 years, an example worthy of emulation in our country. She is in Ghana for a four-day official visit as head of a powerful United States Congressional Delegation.
Hon Members, we are glad to have in this House this morning, the former President of the Republic of Ghana, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings together with his wife -- [Hear! Hear!] -- The former Speaker of Parliament, Mr Edward Doe Ajaho is also in the House -- [Hear! Hear!] -- The
former Clerk to Parliament, is also in the House and several distinguished ladies and gentlemen, our own Hon Ministers of States and others.
The friendship bond between our two countries is unwavering and we have had the highest form of diplomatic relations with the United States of America (USA). The USA assisted us tremendously, not only in terms of influence but also on human power, in the development of our independence and the years soon thereafter. There is always the need for us to continue in this regard.
Incidentally, on Friday, Hon Members of this House, particularly, the leadership, would leave to the USA to attend the National Conference of Legislatures and how it is therefore incidental , for us to have the eminent Speaker with us before we finally leave.
May I have the privilege, with the leave of the Leadership and myself, to announce that I have invited Speaker Pelosi to share with us some words of wisdom from her vast elementary experience which spans about 32 years. Hon Members, before that happens, I am pleased to introduce to you members of the delegation.
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi -- Speaker of the House of Representatives;
Ambassador Stephanie Sullivan -- United States Ambassador to
Rep James Clyburn -- House Majority Whip;
Rep John Lewis -- Member, House Committee on Ways and Means, Taxation;
Rep Bobby Rush -- Member, House Committees on Energy and Commerce;
Rep Sheila Jackson Lee -- Member, House Committees on the Budget, Judiciary, Homeland
Rep Barbara Lee -- Member, House Committees on Appropriations, Budget;
Rep Yvette Clarke -- Member, House Committees on Energy & Commerce, Homeland Security;
Rep Hank Johnson -- Member, House Committees on judiciary, Transportation;
Rep Marcia Fudge -- Member, House Committees on Agriculture, Education, House
Rep Karen Bass -- Member, House Committees on Foreign Affairs, Judiciary;
Rep Terri Sewell -- Member, House Committees on Ways and Means, Intelligence;
Rep Frederica Wilson -- Member, House Committees on Education, Transportation;
STATEMENTS 10:42 a.m.

Mr Speaker 11:12 a.m.
Madam Speaker, on behalf of the House and on behalf of myself, I thank you very much for this inspiring Address. It was certainly to take pride of place in the annals of our Parliament's history.
Hon Members, at this time, I extend our recognition and appreciation to all our dignitaries present including the former Head of State, H. E. Rawlings and his wife -- [Hear! Hear!]; my predecessor, Rt Hon Doe Adjaho; chiefs, diplomats, security personnel and others here as well as the clergy. My good wife, Alberta; -- [Hear! Hear!] --
I heard an Hon Member from the Majority prompting me. I would not know the consequence if I did not say
so. [Laughter.]. As well as, the august presence of the media which is the fourth estate of the realm for their participation.

Hon Members, I must let you know that the Speaker of the United States Congress here present, has presented us with a gavel. [Hear! Hear!] A replica of the symbol of authority in the Senate of the United States of America. -- [Hear! Hear!] And we had the opportunity to use that this morning. --[Laughter.] On that note, we may say: Order! [Hear! Hear!].

Madam Speaker would say one thing.
Mrs Pelosi 11:12 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the gavel comes, not only from me as the Hon Speaker but on behalf of the Congress of the United States of America. Once again, I want all the Members of our delegation to rise because they are part of the presentation as well. We also express our gratitude to you and the Parliament. [Hear! Hear!]
As we begin our work together, we want to acknowledge the Leadership and the excellence of your Ambassador to the United States of America and our Ambassador to Ghana.
Mr Speaker 11:12 a.m.
Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. Over here, we have a saying that Sankofa and we would do a Sankofa and recognise the presence of the Governor of the Central Bank. [Hear! Hear!]
Hon Members, we shall now suspend Sitting of the House briefly for 15 minutes to enable the Leaders and myself usher the Hon Speaker out of the Chamber and thereafter, other protocols would follow, including some pictures, to which Hon Members are invited.
Hon Members, this House would stand suspended for fifteen minutes.
11.16 a.m. -- Sitting suspended.
12.55 p.m. -- Sitting resumed.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:12 a.m.
We will be guided by the Leadership.
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:12 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe we can deal with Motion listed as item number 6.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:12 a.m.
Very well.
Item numbered 6, Motion. The Hon Chairman does not appear to be in the House, or are we continuing with the debate on the Mid-Year Budget Review?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:12 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we are concluding the debate with the Hon Minority Leader, the Hon Minister may add his own remarks, and then I will bring the curtain down.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:12 a.m.
Very well.
Hon Minority Leader, you may make your concluding remarks.
MOTIONS 11:12 a.m.

  • [Continuation of debate from 30/ 07/2019.]
  • Minority Leader (Haruna Iddrisu) 11:12 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion.
    Mr Speaker, in thanking you, I recognised that the Hon Minister combined the provisions of the Public Financial Management Act, in particular, section 28 and article 179(8) of the Constitution. That is constitutionally apt and appropriate, except that this time when the Hon Minister came, he was not accompanied by the Vice-President. It has been his usual practice.
    Mr Speaker, it was more of a rehash of the 2019 Budget than a Mid-Year Review of the Budget. Section 28 requires that he submits to Parliament, and I am holding the Public Financial Management Act here. When he appears before us, the law defines what he should do.
    In instances, he would use data from January, February and March. The law says Mid-Year. As at June, what is the performance of the economy? Not to come and re-coin some words that he submitted to us earlier, and then make submissions on the same document.
    Mr Speaker, our Hon Colleagues, including some Ministers, were very cheerful when the Hon Minister ended. How I wish my Hon Colleagues had read page 52, paragraph 265. So that those Hon
    Ministers who were cheering, instead of putting their hands on their heads, they were cheering.
    Mr Speaker, it reads 11:12 a.m.
    “The relevant Ministries and Development Authorities are expected to complete procurement processes and award contracts for work to begin on all projects by October,

    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister also submitted adjustments to some taxes, the Energy Sector Levy and Communication Service Tax, and he attributed it to some power problems in the Energy Sector.

    Mr Speaker, the same Hon Minister quotes in this Budget that in the Energy Sector, there is an outstanding debt of US$2.7 billion. The President is reported to have even said in London when he addressed a forum that this Government has halved the energy sector debt, so if you have US$2.5 billion, it can never be
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:12 a.m.
    On a point of order. Mr Speaker, I guess I should wait for the Hon Minority Leader to conclude, but he quotes me. He cannot quote me out of context. He should provide the background to saying that.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:12 a.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, he says you should quote him within the appropriate context.
    Mr Iddrisu 11:12 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I said the debate on ESLA. I will lay it.
    Mr Speaker, so, it is only the New Patriotic Party Government that sometimes -- I understand that their commitment to end suffering is to exacerbate suffering -- [Laughter] -- Because this is not what they promised the people of Ghana in their own manifesto. They said ESLA was a nuisance tax. So today nuisance tax is being adjusted upward. What we are worried about is its consequence and cost for an already emasculated private sector which is struggling for credit.
    Mr Speaker, those tax adjustments are Road Fund Levy, Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levy, Energy Debt Recovery Levy and Communication Service Tax.
    The Hon Minister for Finance comes to create an impression that his problem is “take-or-pay”. “Take-or- pay” did not start under the NDC Government. Even the toys they brought between 2002 and 2008, you would recall the Wereko Brobbey things were “take-or-pay”. So he should not come here and create an
    impression that “take-or-pay” was introduced by the NDC Government or President Mahama.
    They were the engineers of “take- or-pay”. They brought it, and understandably, we do “take-or-pay” because as a developing economy, you have to de-risk before people would invest in your economy. So you do that to provide incentives so that US$300 million to US$500 million would always be invested in the economy by the energy sector.
    Mr Speaker, they created an impression that President Mahama and the energy sector problems or wahala -- President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo is quoted in London, and when he attended the inauguration of the President of Burkina Faso, he said he would “ export excess energy to Burkina Faso”.
    Do they export waste? If there was no expanded generational capacity, they would not be exporting to Burkina Faso. So there was value for guaranteeing the energy security of this country. They are now seeing it as a problem, that they produce more than they need.
    As a Government, we needed to guarantee energy security for industry and for citizens. Even the dumsor that
    Mr Iddrisu 11:12 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, they are increasing taxes.
    We are saying that this Government is not sensitive to the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian. In terms of oil production, we inherited 11,000 barrels and today, it is 28,000 barrels and they are getting not less than US$800 million compared to US$238 million in the year 2016. So they have got additional revenue and money and desereve to do better not to increase taxes.

    Mr Speaker, I will share the numbers with you on how much this Government is getting from increased oil production from 11,000 barrels to 28,000 barrels and is raking in not less than US$800 million shared to the Petroleum Fund and GNPC and others. This means that they have more revenue than the NDC got in the years 2015 and 2016 and therefore, they should not be taxing Ghanaians more.
    Mr Iddrisu 1:05 p.m.

    Mr Speaker, when they tax on a tax-base they stood here and said it was nuisance and bad for the people of Ghana. If it was bad yesterday, then they should let it be bad tomorrow. They do not come and adjust it and create an impression.

    Mr Speaker, the President has said that he wants to export excess energy capacity to neighbouring countries. That is what they should do. If they have excess; they should find the market and resources for it. They should not seek to bastardise.

    Mr Speaker, may I refer you to page 62 of the Budget Statement -- as I said the Hon Minister for Finance comes here for our authorisation. On page 62, there is a table. The Hon Minister for Finance came to this House to ask for authorisation to borrow US$2 billion, but he ended up borrowing US$3 billion. Where did he get the mandate for the additional US$1 billion? This Parliament did not authorise that particular borrowing. Therefore, we demand answers.

    So we see that in the Hon Minister's revised numbers, he said that we should approve an additional US$4 billion arising out of the US$1

    billion. That is inappropriate; as it is a breach of the Constitution and the Public Financial Management Act. He should not do that.

    Mr Speaker, beyond the Energy Sector Levy (ESLA), Communication Service Tax will go up. The Hon Minister prides himself in fiscal prudence and that Government has established the Fiscal Responsibility Council. I dare say that the Fiscal Responsibility Council President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has constituted a body, chaired by Dr Paul Acquah, a respected macro- economist who has no basis in law and therefore it should be scraped.

    When they came here to legislate, we urged them to provide for the Fiscal Responsibility Council and create it by Statute, but they refused. They walked away and got a group called the Fiscal Responsibility Council. They should show the basis of their existence in the enabling law that created the Fiscal Responsibility Council.

    We agreed with them that there should be threshold; the fiscal deficit should not exceed five per cent. They added that there should be censorship for the Hon Minister for Finance; we are with them on that. However, they should not forget that fiscal responsibility is only additional to the

    So, when a Fiscal Responsibility Council is set up to compete with the Economic Management Team, the Council then has no basis in law. They should show me where it has been created in the act. An important institution such as that cannot operate on the basis of moral suasion. Dr Paul Acquah would tell the Governor and the Hon Minister for Finance to be disciplined. He should be given the power by legislation, so that when he “coughs” it would have effect and consequence for discipline in our country.

    Mr Speaker, one flagship programme of this Government which appears successful; despite its challenges is the Free Senior High School Programme. One-district, One- factory Programme, the Hon Minister has quoted that there is US$700 million.

    Where is it from? -- [Interruption.] Which EXIM Bank, they should state it? The Hon Minister for Trade and Industry said here that US$400 million and the Minister for Finance

    said US$700 million. Who should we believe? In any case, we need policy clarity. Is the 1D1F private sector led, Government engineered support to the private sector or a reward to political party people doing busineses? [Interruption.] -- We need to know.

    Mr Speaker, the late C. K. Tedam --

    Dr Anthony Akoto Osei On a point of order. Mr Speaker, yesterday the Rt Hon Speaker also reminded us that we should debate without imputing ill motives. This is a House of records. The Hon Member made a statement that, “Is it reward to political party people.” -- [Interruption] -- He implied that it is a reward to political party patrons and I do not think it is correct.

    I believe he can debate without imputing ill motives. He is a Leader of the House and we expect him to obey our Orders. I would want you to ask him to withdraw those statements.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
    Hon Leader, he makes reference to the question: “Is it to reward political party people?” Hon Dr A. A. Osei, that is your complaint right?
    Mr Iddrisu 1:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it was a rhetoric question I posed. I said, I demand policy clarity to what Government wants to do.
    Mr Iddrisu 1:05 p.m.

    Mr Speaker, the late C. K. Tedam, one of their Council of Elders, gave them good advice that when they are siting an industry, they should consider certain factors. We demand a breakdown of the factories established in the Upper East and Upper West Regions. They come and report that 191 factories have been established.

    Mr Speaker, another flagship programme -- [Interruption.] I am happy—Hon Members of the Majority can cheer him up but I am sorry we cannot join the cheer chorus.

    Mr Speaker, they should multiply US$1 million per constituency, at the exchange rate convenient to the Governor of the Bank of Ghana and the Vice President: US$1million multiplied by GH¢5.20 and then multiplied by 275 Constituencies.

    The Government says they have kept it in honour; not in breach. We leave the judgement to the people of Ghana whether every constituency, including Koforidua has received US$1million equivalent?-- [Laughter] -- not to talk of the men in Suame Magazine who are looking for support for their businesses.

    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister also spoke about debt and at least he was

    sincere. He said, ‘high distress' because of the rebase of the economy. Those were not my words. He struggled to justify how a clean-up in the banking sector has contributed to the debt portfolio of the country.

    An amount of US$11 billion has been spent on it. Some of the moneys owed banks were owed to contractors because the same Government was not paying.

    So instead of them to pay the banks to pay off their debts, a bank like the National Investment Bank (NIB) which even has shares at Nestle and could sell it, the Hon Minister comes here to raise money and says he wants to save their lives. Who does he want to save? They did so without recourse to their Boards and their shareholders.

    Mr Speaker, with your permission I beg to quote paragraph 19 of the Budget

    “Currently, according to the Energy Commission, our installed capacity of 5,000 megawatts has almost doubled our peak demand of around 2,700 megawatts.”

    The same power the President announced that he seeks to export. So it is not wasteful after all; it cannot

    Mr Speaker, as for increase in taxes, again the NPP must go back to their manifesto. They promised that they would end the suffering of Ghanaians. If this is the way to end suffering, God should save us. They are ending the suffering by increasing taxes. The Vice President of Ghana went to the Tema Port and announced that he would reduce import duties.

    Let me remind him that he has no such mandate or authority to reduce so. That power is vested in this House. If he wants to go and revise the benchmark, he should say so. He should not announce that he would reduce import duties. He does not have the legitimate authority and mandate to do that.

    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Finance appeared before this House and said that the NDC increased the debt rate in this country, but he has also contributed significantly to the increase in debt.

    I have dealt with issues of the banking sector IPPs. The Hon Minister for Finance reported an amount of GH¢8 billion at certain places in his submission, but at other places, he reported an amount of GH¢11 billion.

    What Ghanaians demand, is for their deposits, be it in the air or in the winds, to be given to them to support their families and businesses. Therefore Government should come with a contingent road map on how to salvage --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, you have two more minutes.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    I have seen the Hon Akoto Osei on his feet, so allow me to call him.
    Yes, Hon Akoto Osei?
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minority Leader is a good friend of mine. Years back, I used to teach him. He knows that I mean well.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minority Leader meant that the Vice President had announced a decrease in
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Minority Leader, please, be guided and continue.
    Mr Iddrisu 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am concluding.
    Mr Speaker, we are not out of the energy sector woes yet. Some few minutes and hours ago, Government had issued a statement on the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) Power Distribution Services (PDS) Concessionaire. We warned this Government, we told you so. Now, this Parliament is being indicted that we do not do diligent work.
    Mr Speaker, we are now being told by Government officials that some documents and some information was obtained misleadingly. We demand a parliamentary inquiry into the transaction of the concessionaire under the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) Agreement.
    I had the pride and privilege to join President Mahama in Washington, after the United States-Africa Summit, to sign onto it. It was to allow for efficiency in the delivery of electricity and to deal with matters of inefficiency and waste.
    How come that having signed the Agreement, Government announced a pull out, saying that ECG should take over? What has happened to the private sector participation?
    Mr Speaker, we demand a full blown parliamentary inquiry into the matter. This Parliament must also hold itself accountable, if we did not conduct ourselves well, we should accept responsibility. When documents come here, we would not thoroughly scrutinise them. We just simply approve them, because we have the numbers. This Agreement has caused the economy a lot of embarrassment.
    Mr Speaker, there were audit of roads. We all need roads to survive in our constituencies, and to reduce the cost of doing business. The Hon Finance Minister should come to this House if he is adjusting the Road Fund Levy.
    He should inform this House of how he intends to retire the arrears of contractors. Also, he should inform
    this House of the amount of money that he intends to go into the retirement of arrears of contractors. What contractors want is to be paid.
    Mr Speaker, in this Budget, the Hon Minister for Finance only assures us of the payment of an amount of GH¢500,000 levies. So what would happen to contractors who are owed a debt of an amount of GH¢1 million to GH¢20 million? They borrowed from banks to do these projects, and they are serving interests on those loans.
    The Government does not absorb the interests associated with the loans of these contractors as part of the debts owed them. Government rather expects them to fold their hands and wait, so that they would be paid, as and when this Government wants.
    Mr Speaker, I conclude by saying that our economy still struggles, and debt management still remains a challenge. We still borrow, subsequent to domestic borrowing.
    Mr Speaker, what is even worse is the issue on cocoa roads. We demand as a Minority, that any value for money audit conducted into cocoa roads be made public. We demand

    Mr Speaker, there are very good lawyers in Cabinet, and they must advise the Hon Minister for Finance. He must respect the sanctity of contracts. It is not enough for him to come and stand before Parliament to recount to us the number of contracts that have been terminated. If he does not take care, tomorrow, the nation would hold him accountable for judgement debt.

    Mr Speaker, I thank you.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader?
    Majority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu) 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for the opportunity to comment briefly on the Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review of the 2019 Budget Statement and Economic Policy.
    Mr Speaker, I shall also debate the issues, which according to the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Ken Ofori - Atta, have necessitated the Supplementary Estimates for the 2019 financial year.
    Mr Speaker, soon after the Hon Minister for Finance had finished with his presentation last Monday, I drew
    Majority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu) 1:25 p.m.
    the attention of the House to the procedure to be followed in analysing the contents of the document that he submitted to this House.
    Mr Speaker, many people have commented on the presentation, which appeared to have jumbled up the contents. The mid-year review, is a requirement imposed by section 28 of the Public Financial Management Act of 2016, (Act 921).
    In the spirit of probity and accountability, which the preamble of the Fourth Republican Constitution obligates Parliament to pursue, an Hon Minister for Finance is required to report to Parliament, and indeed to account to Parliament, progress in the implementation of the work programme of Government, which is the Budget.
    Mr Speaker, the report is a statement that the Hon Minister for Finance presents to the House, in line with Standing Order 70(2). The House needs to streamline the procedure that such a document should be subjected to.
    I have the firm belief that in this regard, the terms of Standing Order 70(2) should be the one that should regulate the debate, or the deliberation. Where are we, mid-year
    into the fiscal year, in terms of targets set by the Hon Finance Minister in presenting the 2019 Budget? That is what constitutes the mid-year review.
    Therefore, when Hon Members begin to say that what the Hon Minister for Finance did was a re-hash of the 2019 Budget, what it means is that Hon Members themselves do not even understand the import of the Mid-Year Review.
    They are supposed to relate to the target set, and in the course of the implementation, where we are as a nation; that is it. If that would not amount to a re-hush of the facts presented, then I shudder to think what Hon Members would expect from any Hon Minister for Finance.
    Mr Speaker, on the other hand, a Supplementary Budget or a Supplementary Estimate may be presented to the House on the accounts of article 179(8) of the Constitution, which provides:
    “Where, in respect of a financial year, it is found that the amount of moneys appropriated by the Appropriation Act for any purpose is insufficient or that a need has arisen for expenditure for a purpose for which no sum of moneys has been appropriated by that Act, a
    supplementary estimate showing the sum of money required, shall be laid before Parliament for its approval.”
    Mr Speaker, in debating the Supplementary Estimates, the first issues are the issues; one, of insufficiency of allocations, or the need that has arisen for expenditure, for a purpose for which no sum of moneys has been appropriated by the Appropriations Act.

    The supplementary estimates showing the sum of money required shall be laid before Parliament for its approval.

    Mr Speaker, the supplementary estimates requires parliamentary approval and the document that must be debated. Those are levels of the policy and principles underpinning the request. The document before us which we are interrogating, is a two- part document and we must know how to approach it appropriately.

    Mr Speaker, in presenting the 2019 Budget, Government outlined strategies to achieve its development agenda, key among which were: one, maintaining macro-economic and financial stability; two, improving

    agriculture to achieve food security and to feed ourselves; three, growth in industry; four, social intervention policies; five, provision of infrastructure to deliver goods and services; and six, private sector growth and entrepreneurship.

    Mr Speaker, as the Hon Minister alluded to, Government has successfully completed and indeed, exited the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ECF programme. We are no longer subject to IMF conditionalities and we would not at every step, be required to seek policy credibility from the IMF. That indeed, is a positive sign.

    Mr Speaker, in 2018, Government targeted to grow Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at 5.6 per cent, the outturn was 6.5 per cent. In 2018, Government targeted to grow non-oil GDP at 5.8 per cent, the outturn was 6.5 per cent. In 2018, the end-period inflation was targeted at 8.9 per cent, it went up to 9.4 per cent. In any event, it was still below ten per cent. In other words, it remained a single digit inflation.

    Mr Speaker, in 2018, the overall Budget balance as a percentage of GDP was -3.7 per cent but the outturn is 3.9 per cent. The 2018 primary balance was targeted at 1.4 per cent and indeed, we attained
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, let me listen to Hon Deputy Minority Whip.
    Mr A. Ibrahim 1:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I just would like the Hon Majority Leader to state the GDP growth within the eight years. The highest so far in
    the history of this country; 14.4 per cent happened when the NDC was in power.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
    Hon Member, you were not listening; he just said that; you are out of order.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, he just said what I was going to say. He must keep his ears erect.
    Mr Speaker, for 2019, the Budget performance from January to June 2019, provides the following statistics: the target for overall GDP growth is 7.6 per cent. As at the end of March, because April, May and June figures are not yet ready so for overall GDP growth, the end of March figure is 6.7 per cent; non-oil GDP growth is 6.0 per cent; the overall target is 6.2 per cent. Mr Speaker, end-period inflation targeted at 8.0 per cent, as of now, is 9.1 per cent; still in the single digit. And in the history of this country, as of now, under the NPP, we have had the longest single digit inflation, and that is a matter of fact.
    Mr Speaker we targeted 3.5 months cover for Gross International Reserves of import of gold. As of June, the Gross International Reserves covers 4.3 months; again, the highest over the past 25 years.
    Mr Speaker, since this Government assumed the reins of power, prudent management of the economy has kept inflation down in the zone of single digit for over two years. This year, inflation surged, indeed, we must admit, from 9.0 per cent in January through to 9.2 per cent; to 9.3 per cent; and to 9.5 per cent in the months of February, March and April before it started climbing down to 9.4 in May and the latest is 9.1 per cent in June. That indeed, is sound and prudent economic management.
    Mr Speaker, balance of payments 1:25 p.m.
    the first half of 2019 recorded a surplus of GH¢1.9 billion, that is 2.8 per cent of GDP compared with surplus of US$1.3 billion which is 1.9 per cent of GDP in the first half of 2019 as of now.
    Mr Speaker, the positive developments in the external sector occasioned the upscaling of the Gross International Reserves to US$9.9 billion which is equivalent to 5.1months of import cover. Mr Speaker, that is unprecedented. And anybody should throw a challenge.
    What we have witnessed under the NPP is that US$9.9 billion of import cover of Gross International Reserves is not known to this country. Mr Speaker, in the past 35 to forty years,

    Mr Speaker, under Hon Ato Forson's watch, in 2015, the Net International Reserves covered only two weeks.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, could he sit down and listen?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, hold on.
    Yes, Hon Member for Ajumako- Enyan-Esiam?
    Mr Forson 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is important for me to correct the records. In fact, as at October, November and December last year, Ghana's Net International Reserves was indeed, seven days; not two weeks. That is one week. This is because—
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    Hon Member, you had the opportunity to argue all these yesterday.
    Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker a person can decide to rise up and on the space of the moment churn out certain figures which he knows is not factual and it is regrettable coming from a former Deputy Minister for Finance.
    I must add that as we speak today the international reserves has indeed climbed down from 9.9 billion to 8.6 billion that is 4.3 months import cover. Again, under the NDC we never saw this. This is sound economic management that defies propaganda and make-belief believe theories.
    Mr Speaker, the exchange rate regime is relatively stable now even though I must add that in February and March 2019, there was some volatility but by the close of the first quarter, the cedi had stabilised.
    Mr Speaker, agriculture has done relatively very well from 2017 through 2018 to the first half of 2019 -- the Planting for Food and Jobs, Rearing for Food and Jobs, the Planting for Food and Export among others, have significantly increased yields of many food crops. Maize yields increased by 72 per cent in 2017, rice yields increased by 24 per cent in 2017, soyabean increased by 39 per cent in 2017 and these figures repeated themselves in 2018.
    Mr Speaker, 30 warehouses are at the various stages of completion in the country and as of June 2019, five have been completed -- these five are at Chidiri, Dzodze, Yagba, Kwame Danso and most important of all, Bole. The completion of the Guo and Piiyiri Dams have made available over 36 hectares of irrigable plants for cropping.
    These have been on the drawing board since 2010 and they have only been completed two years into the administration of the NPP. The Tamne and Mprumem Dams are soon to be completed and that would add a total of 520 hectares for all year round cropping.
    Mr Speaker, so much has been said about cocoa production -- the facts do not lie. It is most unfortunate that figures have been bandied about in this House, by people who are supposed to know better when they know the figures they were churning out were inaccurate. In 2005 2006, the output of cocoa was 740,000 metric tonnes, in 2006 2007, it was 615,000 metric tonnes, for 2007/ 2008, it was 740,000 but it got down to 681,000 in 2008/2009. It was 711,000 metric tonnes, in 2009/ 2010, it went to 800,000 and indeed, in 2010/2011 it climbed up to 1,025,000.00 metric tonnes.
    Thereafter, consistently and persistently, cocoa production has been climbing down.
    Indeed, in 2011/2012, it climbed down to 879,000 metric tonnes, for 2012/2013, it shot up again to 945,000; in 2013/2014, it was 896,000, and for 2014/2015 -- [Interruption] -- “consistently'' is general -- Hon Adongo, is a man of statistics, so he should know what a general downward trend is.
    In 2014/ 2015, it was 740,000 -- it was never 900,000 and yet there are people in this House who say that it was 900,000 in 2014/2015. Who said so to them? People decide to manufacture their own figures in this House and it is most unfortunate.
    In 2015/2016, production at the time was 760,000 -- where did they manufacture those figures from? We should be credible in this House.
    Mr Speaker, I have a report from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and with your permission, I beg to quote page 122 of it which says:
    “The free fertilizer application, hi-tech programme continued during the 2014/2015 cocoa
    year, yet production decreased by as much as 17.4 per cent or about 156,000 metric tonnes.
    Mr Speaker, it was the biggest drop in more than a decade and that was under the watch of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and yet, people have the courage to turn this figure around and say to us that the figure for 2014/2015 was over 900,000 -- where did they import the figure from?
    Mr Speaker, I would continue with the quotation;
    “Indeed, whiles Ghana experience a negative growth, Cote d'Ivoire's increased by approximately 20 per cent and 3 per cent in 2013 and 2014 and 2015 respectively''.
    Mr Speaker, these are the hard facts. Having said so, the Hon Minister, when he came to the House, spoke to us about what has occasioned the Supplementary Estimates and with your permission, I beg to quote paragraph 122 of the Budget Estimate. It says:
    “Mr Speaker, among other things, the following develop- ments have warranted a revision to the 2019 macro-economic framework:
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, at my blind side, you have exceeded your time by two minutes. So, please conclude.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:45 p.m.
    I thank you very much.
    Mr Speaker, what we are doing today -- People have said to us that why do we not export the excess power that is produced to Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger and the other countries? The Hon Deputy Minister for Energy explained yesterday why it is not possible. Especially when they have padded the cost of production. Hon Ato Forson could tell us -- He is asking me who padded it? He was
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
    Hon Members, at the conclusion of the debate, I will put the Question.
    Question put and Motion agreed to
    Resolved accordingly:
    THAT this Honourable House approves the Mid-Year Review of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana and the sum of GH¢6,370,355,925.82 as Supplementary Estimate of Government for the 2019 Financial Year.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
    Hon Members, we would return to Question time. Now, we would invite the Hon Minister for Agriculture to answer his Questions.
    Hon Minister for Agriculture, you may take your seat.
    Mr Agbodza 1:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I seek your indulgence to ask this Question on behalf of my Hon Colleague.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
    Do you have his permission?
    Mr Agbodza 1:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, yes, I have his verbal authority to do this.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
    Very well, you may ask the Question.
    ORAL ANSWERS TO 1:45 p.m.

    QUESTIONS 1:45 p.m.


    Minister for Agriculture (Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto) 1:45 p.m.
    I thank you
    Mr Speaker, for this opportunity to answer the Question on Kpeve.
    The Kpeve Agricultural Develop- ment Station is one of five (5) Agricultural Stations under the supervision of the Directorate of Crop Services of the Ministry of Agriculture.
    The Station was established in 1921 and covers an area of approximately 140 hectares. The land has been demarcated and developed for residential purposes (which covers 48 hectares), 80 hectares for experiment and field trials and 12 hectares for unspecified purposes. Since its establishment, the Station has been used for various agricultural activities including adaptive trials, planting materials multiplication and production of poultry and livestock. Currently, the Station has a staff strength of 14 permanent employees.
    Mr Speaker, since 2015 the Ministry for Agriculture has made the following interventions to revamp the Kpeve Agricultural Station:
    Supported the development of a strategic plan to upgrade the Station to a Technology Dissemination Centre;
    Rehabilitation of some infra- structure under the implementation of the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Improvement Programme in Ghana - office block, a laboratory, a ware- house, deep litter house, staff residence accommodation, a guest house for visiting researchers and the feed mill structure;
    Provision of one Toyota (4x4) pick-up vehicle and office equipment (laptop, computer and accessories, photocopier, scanner, printer, LCD projector and furniture) to enhance the provision of field equipment (soil testing kits, mini weather station machines, knapsack sprayers, GPS, hoes, cutlasses, measuring tape, tarpaulins, watering cans, protective clothing, water pumps among others) to enhance field operations in 2015; and the Provision of Green House Facility to introduce farmers to new technology for vegetable production under controlled environment.
    In 2018, Mr Speaker, the staff strength of the station reduced from 11 to 9 but MoFA recruited five
    officers to augment the numbers for improvement in the activities of the station.
    To conclude, Mr Speaker, I wish to assure this august House that development of the agricultural stations are of strategic importance to the Ministry. We are convinced that achieving the modernisation and transformation agenda of the Ministry calls for the renewal and strengthening of such stations to play their strategic role as envisaged in their establishment.
    Mr Agbodza 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity and I thank the Hon Minister for his Answer.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Minister how the research findings or the work of this institute benefits the community at the moment. How are they able to pass on the research findings to the benefit of the community in terms of agriculture?
    Dr O. A. Akoto 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, like all research institutions, the findings of research efforts are carried to the farmers and through the extension officers of the Ministry of Agriculture.
    Mr Agbodza 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we thank the Hon Minister for his efforts to augment the numbers of research staff which had reduced from 11 to nine. Mr Speaker, in his Answer he said that that number had been augmented by the addition of five new staff. Mr Speaker, does the Hon Minister have any plans to increase this number since the services of this institute could benefit the larger community, as he said?
    Dr O.A. Akoto 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, to put the Answer in context, I was supposed to have 4,400 extension officers when I took over the
    management of the Ministry in 2017. In fact, when I did an audit, we had barely 1,600 extension officers around the country; many districts were denied extension officers, but through the commitment of His Excellency, President Akuffo-Addo to agriculture, we were allowed to recruit 2,600 new extension staff. As I speak, we are still interviewing and recruiting them to reinforce the services of the Extension Directorate.
    I am sure that as we work to increase the number to the 4,400 or beyond, the station at Kpeve would also benefit from the increased personnel resources.
    Mr Agbodza 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, this is a very important research institution. How is the Ministry working to ensure that this institution could be sustainable? After all, they are doing research and their findings could be commercialised. So, what strategic plans does the Hon Minister have to make these institutions offer their services to people who could buy them. So that they could generate some revenue to sustain themselves beyond what government could do for them periodically?
    Dr O.A. Akoto 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, may I remind my Hon Friend that this institution is one of the oldest in Ghana since 1921 during the time of Governor Guggisberg.
    This is the period of the creation of Achimota School, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Takoradi Port and others. So they have a tradition and a rich history of serving the people of Ghana and the work of farmers. As I said, it is not only them because we have five other such institutions under us.
    We also have links with the faculties of agriculture around the country and links with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) under the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation. So it is an integrated system and the station at Kpeve is one of many -- a cork in the wheel -- of course, we all know what we have been doing with the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme.
    Now, food is in abundance in the country; prices of food have never been so low in the urban areas and the stock of food in the rural areas are more. This shows the commitment of this government to agriculture and we would continue to do more for the people of this country.
    Ms Angela O. Alorwu-Tay 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my constituency shares a boundary with Kpeve. Kpeve is divided into two; the old town is in Afadjato Constituency and the new town is in South Dayi.
    Mr Speaker, my question to the Hon Minister is whether he has toured any of these facilities since he came into office? Mr Speaker, from his Answer, in 2015 some interventions were done by the provision of the equipment that have been listed, but I could say that from 2015 to date most of them are down. Also, the land owners are now taking over --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    Hon Member, are you asking a question?
    Ms Alorwu-Tay 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, what I am saying is just a preamble, but my issue is that even the land that would be used for the research is being taken over by the landlords.
    So the Hon Minister must personally tour the area to see how best he could resolve some of these issues. Their vehicles and everything else are down. Mr Speaker, my question is that -- it cannot be a question. It is a suggestion that the Hon Minister should do something --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    Very well, if you have no question --
    Ms Alorwu-Tay 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my question is that their computers are down and so when would the Ministry provide them with new ones?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    Hon Minister, she said it was a comment but she is now asking if you would provide equipment or revamp those that were provided in 2015?
    Dr O. A. Akoto 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thought that the Hon Member was preaching to us, but she has now come up with a question. Mr Speaker, I am not sure that she has actually visited the place because since this Question was asked, we sent officers there and the Answer that we have given is as accurate as it could ever be.
    Mr Speaker, yes, I have given a list to this House and this is a House of records and so anybody could visit Kpeve and verify what I have said. There are no broken down equipment. These equipment are working to enable the station in Kpeve deliver on its mandate.
    Mr Ahmed Ibrahim 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, like the Hon Minister has said, this is a House of records. The Hon Minister said in his Answer that he inherited a little over 1,600 extension officers and also when he took over, many districts were without extension officers.
    Mr Speaker, could he provide to this House those districts that were without extension officers when he inherited the over 1,600 extension
    officers as we only have 216 districts? So, we want the names of those districts that were without extension officers?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    Hon Member, your question is specific to districts that did not have extension officers at the time he assumed office. So, I would suggest that you ask a main Question because it cannot be a fallout from the current Answer that has been provided.
    Mr A. Ibrahim 2:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in response to the Question, the Hon Minister stated it and anybody who lay hands on this Hansard would come to the conclusion that Ghana had 1,600 extension officers, per the Hon Minister's response today, and that we had 216 districts yet many of the districts were without extension officers.
    Once he has provided the Answer, I believe it would be appropriate for him to incorporate that so that anybody who reads the Hansard would make meaning out of it. Other than that, they would have been no name unless he withdraws that portion of his Answer where he said that.
    It is not in the Order Paper. He just said that when he assumed office, there were many districts without extension officers. He cannot just make statements he cannot defend. If he is not ready, then Mr Speaker, it would be appropriate for him to withdraw that portion of the Answer. It means it is not factual. It is factually inaccurate, and that portion must be withdrawn.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:05 p.m.
    Hon Member, what is it intended to mean, a commentary on my ruling? You are out of order.
    If there is no other question, I would discharge the Hon Minister and thank him for attending upon the House to answer Questions.
    The next Question is for the Hon Minister for Local Government and Rural Development. Hon Minister, kindly take your seat. Question numbered 630 in the name of Mr Twumasi Kwame Ampofo, the Hon Member for Sene West.
    Mr Dominic Napare 2:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have the permission of the Hon Member to ask the Question while he is caught up in his constituency.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:05 p.m.
    Hon Member, go ahead.
    MINISTRY OF LOCAL 2:05 p.m.


    DEVELOPMENT 2:05 p.m.

    Minister for Local Government and Rural Development (Hajia Alima Mahama) 2:05 p.m.
    Redevelopment and modernisation of our markets and other trading facilities are essential to boost commerce, increase Internally Generated Funds (IGF) for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), boost job creation and enhance local economic development. Hence Government's commitment to construct and/or redevelop modern trading infrastructure.
    Mr Speaker, the Sene West District Assembly in the Bono East Region has taken commendable steps to
    Minister for Local Government and Rural Development (Hajia Alima Mahama) 2:05 p.m.


    redevelop markets and other trading centres in the District.

    1. Kwame Danso Market

    The Kwame Danso Market is the only major daily market in the District. The infrastructure and other amenities have deteriorated over the years, and the market lacks adequate road network. These issues have led to low patronage of the market. The Sene West District Assembly commenced necessary steps to redevelop the Kwame Danso market. The Assembly has completed infrastructural needs assessment of the market and its redevelopment is being considered in two- phases. Phase I of the project entails re- graveling to improve the road network at the market.

    The Assembly has budgeted a total amount of four hundred and fifty thousand Ghana cedis (GH¢ 450,000.00) to complete the works under phase I. This is captured in the 2019 Composite Budget of the District Assembly and the source of funding is the District Development Facility (DDF).

    Mr Speaker, the Assembly has already started the procurement process to select a contractor to execute the works. Specifically, the

    Assembly has received and opened tenders for the award of contract for the re-gravelling of the Kwame Danso market phase 1. Evaluation of tenders and award of contracts are the outstanding activities to be completed to pave way for work to start in the Market.

    2. Kyeamekrom Market

    Mr Speaker, the Kyeamekrom market is a weekly market and was constructed in 2002. Unfortunately, traders refused to relocate to the newly completed market and preferred to trade along the major highway that passes through the town. Since 2002, the market has largely been left unoccupied and hence, it has deteriorated.

    The District Assembly had series of engagements with the community with the aim of relocating the traders from the shoulders of the major road to the completed market. The Assembly has allocated One Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHC100, 000.00) for the renovation of the market in their 2019 Composite Budget. The source of funding is the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF). The Assembly hopes to commence work on the project in early 2020.

    Mr Speaker, currently, the other communities, namely Bantama, Lemu, Tato Battor and Lassi, lacked market infrastructure. However, the Sene West District Assembly has included these markets in its Medium-Term Development Plan (MDTP).

    3. Bantama Market

    In Bantama, the Community has provided a parcel of land for the construction of a market under a self- help community project. Under this initiative, the Assembly will supply materials and other logistical support, and the community will provide labour.

    The Assembly has allocated an amount of one hundred thousand Ghana cedis (GH¢100,000.00) in the 2019 Composite Budget for the provision of materials for the construction of the market at Bantama. The source of funding is


    4. Lemu Market

    In Lemu, the Assembly has allocated an amount of two hundred thousand Ghana cedis (GH¢200, 000.00) in the 2019 Composite Budget for the construction of the market and the source of funding is


    The construction of the above market is intended to commence by the end of the year, with funding from the DACF.

    Mr Speaker, to ensure smooth implementation of these and other projects, the Ministry has transferred to the Assembly an amount of six hundred and twenty- five thousand, four hundred and thirty nine Ghana cedis (GH¢625,439) under the DDF in 2018 and one million, seventy- eight thousand, nine hundred and fifteen Ghana cedis (GH¢ 1,078,915) under the DDF/DPAT in 2019.

    5. Tato Battor and Lassi Markets

    Mr Speaker, though no budgetary provisions have been made for the construction of the Tato Battor and Lassi markets in the 2019 Composite Budget, the Assembly has included the development of these two (2) markets in its Medium-Term Development Plan (MTDP) to be executed in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
    Mr Napare 2:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member of Parliament is aware of the commitment by the Assembly of chunk of their resources to redevelop these markets, but this was borne out of the community pressure from the chiefs and other opinion
    Mr Napare 2:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, looking at the markets outlined and the extensive area of coverage in terms of support by the District Assembly, would the Hon Minister consider external support apart from the Assembly's own resources sent to it in developing these markets?
    As I mentioned, redeveloping only the markets would not enable the Assembly derive a full benefit of a modern market. As I also said,
    with the high cost of redeveloping modern markets, would the Ministry consider --?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:05 p.m.
    Hon Member, she has given you an answer. If you would want to ask another question, ask it.
    Mr Napare 2:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that was the question I wanted to ask.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:05 p.m.
    Very well.
    Yes, available Hon Leader of the Minority?
    Mr Agbodza 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in the Hon Minister's Answer, there is an interesting revelation in Kyeamekrom market and this issue is not peculiar to that place. There are a couple of markets built over the years in this country that are never used. In her Answer she says:
    “..... is a weekly market and was constructed in 2002. Unfor- tunately, traders refused to relocate to the newly completed market…”
    Traders have resorted to selling by the roadside yet the Hon Minister is saying that the Assembly is committing
    another GH¢100,000.00 to go and renovate this market. The question I have is: what kind of studies are carried out by different assemblies before siting these markets that the traders refuse to use?
    This is to ensure that value for money is derived. It is not only the cost, but is this value for money for the state or the people?
    Hajia Mahama: Mr Speaker, the District Assembly has undertaken to engage the communities and the communities have agreed to go back to the market hence, the allocation of GH¢100,000.00 to renovate the place for the people to move in.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:15 p.m.
    I thank you, Hon Minister for attending upon the House to answer the Questions.
    You are discharged.
    Hon Members, having regard to the state of business of the House, I direct that the House Sits outside the regular sitting hours.
    The next Question is numbered 631 in the name of Mr Albert Akuka Alalzuuga, Hon Member for Garu.
    Mr Anim 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with your leave and the consent of the leadership of the Minority side, I request that we reschedule this particular Question to tomorrow.
    The reason is that the Hon Minister responsible is unavoidably absent because of some peculiar challenges that she is facing. As a result, the Answer has not been provided in the Order Paper.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:15 p.m.
    Are you sure you would be able to provide the Answer tomorrow?
    Mr Anim 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am told tomorrow is Cabinet meeting so we can look at Friday.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:15 p.m.
    Very well. So this Question would be rescheduled to be answered on Friday.
    In respect of Question numbered 632, I have just been shown a letter written from the Attorney-General's Department and Ministry of Justice asking that the Hon Minister is bereaved and she is out of Accra.
    Therefore she would not be available to answer the Question today. I ask the Table Office to be in touch with her and reschedule the Question to be answered.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:15 p.m.
    I directed that the Table Office gets in touch with her. Because it is a bereavement, I do not want to hazard a guess.
    That brings us to the end of Question time.
    Mr Anim 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we may lay some Papers and that would be 5(i) and 5(ii). I also ask of your leave for the Hon First Deputy Majority Whip who is also an Hon Member of the Committee to lay the Paper on behalf of the Hon Chairman since the Committee is considering the Budget Estimates in a meeting.
    Mr A. Ibrahim 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, ordinarily, I would have no challenge with this, provided the Hon Deputy Whip who is an Hon Member of the Committee is aware if the Report is ready.
    This is because both the Hon Chairman and the Hon Ranking Member are in the Committee. So if he is aware that the Report has been finalised and enough copies are ready for distribution and nothing untoward is going to happen, we have no problem.
    Mr Anim 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Whip is here so he would answer that question.
    Mr Nyindam 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman just called me that the Report is ready and that I can lay it on his behalf.
    PAPERS 2:15 p.m.

    Mr Anim 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we may take a suspension for an hour and come back and continue with the Consideration of the University of Business and Integrated Development Bill, 2018. I so move, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:15 p.m.
    Well, that is not a Motion. It is only a request.
    Mr A. Ibrahim 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague is moving for a suspension. If it is a Motion, I think it has to be seconded before we can consider it.
    Mr Speaker, I think he is seeking your leave for the House to be suspended, and looking at the time, it is passed two o'clock and looking at the collective wisdom of the House, morale is down. The Whips should be somewhere working by now. As Hon Deputy Whips, we should be somewhere working.
    So I think it is an appropriate time for the House to adjourn for us to go and do whatever is supposed to be done to give Hon Colleagues high morale to be able to adjourn sine die on Friday.
    Mr Anim 2:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, our first point of call is to be in Parliament and work, and therefore, we will indulge our Hon Colleagues to support us to work. However, our Chief Whips are doing what he said should be done by us.
    The Hon Majority Chief Whip is not here but doing the work that we said we should go together and do, so with your leave, we would suspend for an hour and come and continue to work. I assure my Hon Colleagues that whatever has been spoken in parables is being worked on.
    Mr Bedzrah 2:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, some parables need interpretation, but I do not think he can interpret this particular parable.
    I think it is time for us to adjourn and come back tomorrow, or if anything at all we should have a Closed Sitting to really understand this parable, because morale is really down.
    Mr Quaittoo 2:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to find out how morale is measured, for people to say that they can sense that morale is down.
    We have a Bill before us. A number of petitions have been received on this Bill; the University of Business and Integrated Development Studies Bill 2018. If we do not pass this Bill, that University can probably not admit people.
    We have received all the petitions. They are aware. A number of the petitions are coming from their Side too, so we have to work on it, complete it, so that we can, as we have been mandated to work, enable the University to admit new students and have its full authority to operate as a university.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
    I will listen to the last person.
    Mr S. Mahama 2:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I appreciate the Hon Chairman's plea, albeit a bit forceful, to ask us to stay back and do some work on the University Bill. I appreciate also the fact that Hon Members on both Sides are willing and able to do that.
    However, he said that without this Bill there cannot be admissions in Wa. That cannot be true. There is an existing university that is capable of making admissions for Wa, Navrongo and Tamale, and so it cannot be true that if we do not finish this Bill it would hinder admissions into the University.
    Mr Speaker, however, I think there is work to be done, and if it is appropriately tabled, we are willing and able to work.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
    I think I have heard enough.
    Part Six of the Standing Orders, Sittings and Adjournments of the House Standing Order 40:
    “(2) The House shall Sit on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Sittings shall, subject to the direction of Mr. Speaker, ordinarily commence at ten o'clock in the forenoon and shall ordinarily conclude at two o'clock in the afternoon.
    (3) Notwithstanding paragraph (2) of this Order, Mr. Speaker may, having regard to the state of business of the House direct that Sittings be held outside the prescribed period”.
    That direction has already been given by Mr Speaker, that having regard to the state of business of the House, the House shall Sit outside the regular Sitting hours.

    The House is suspended for one hour.

    12.31 p.m. -- Sitting suspended.

    4.22 p. m. -- Sitting resumed.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
    Hon available Majority Leader, we were supposed to suspend Sitting for one hour, but Sitting has been suspended for two hours. We suspended Sitting at 2.31p.m.
    Hon available Majority Leader, what do you propose we do?
    Dr Emmanuel Marfo 2:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thought that we would have looked at item numbered 17, but the Hon Chairman of the Committee is not available. In fact, there is no Hon Member present on the Majority Side, except myself. We could therefore suspend Sitting again, or adjourn the House.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
    Hon available Leader on the Minority Side, what do you have to say to this?
    Mr Agbodza 2:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, you directed that Sitting be suspended for an hour, but like you rightly said, Sitting was suspended for more than an hour.
    We are ready to work, but sadly, the reason we are supposed to come back, which is to deal with the University of Business and Integrated Development Studies Bill, not even the Hon Chairman of the Committee is available. Therefore, it would be very difficult for the rest of us here to carry on with Business.
    Mr Speaker, we would rather defer to you to direct us, as to what should be done.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
    Very well.
    ADJOURNMENT 2:25 p.m.

  • The House was adjourned at 4.25 p.m. till Thursday, 1st August, 2019, at 10.00 a.m.