Debates of 30 Oct 2019

PRAYERS 11:18 a.m.


Mr Speaker 11:18 a.m.
Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 29th October, 2019.
Page 1…12 --
Mr Speaker 11:18 a.m.
Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Magnus Amoatey 11:18 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on page 11, item 11(b), it was the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, Mr Kwaku Kwarteng who laid the Paper on behalf of the Hon Minister for Finance and not Hon Abena Osei-Asare.
Mr Speaker 11:18 a.m.
Who was it?
Mr Speaker 11:18 a.m.
Since Hon Osei- Asare is here, we may as well ask her if it is correct.
Mrs Osei-Asare 11:18 a.m.
Mr Speaker, yes that is correct.
Mr Speaker 11:18 a.m.
Thank you very much.
Any other correction?
Hon Members, in the absence of any further corrections, the Votes and Proceedings of 29th October, 2019 is hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
Official Report of Wednesday,17th July, 2019. Any corrections, please?
Mr Speaker 11:18 a.m.
Item numbered 3 -- Question 631.
Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh 11:18 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Special Development Initiative has written a letter to Parliament to be
excused today because she is in a meeting with the development authorities. The meeting ends today.
We hope to defer this Question to Friday for her to come and answer -- even her Answer is ready.
Mr Speaker 11:18 a.m.
Any suggestions as till date, please?
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 11:18 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Clerk-at-the-Table informed me that she would make it tomorrow. So we can postpone it till tomorrow.
Mr Speaker 11:18 a.m.
Are you saying that the Hon Minister can take the Question tomorrow? Very well.
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 11:18 a.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 11:18 a.m.
Very well.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 11:18 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I have a letter dated; 28th October, 2019 titled “Parliamentary Question” and signed by the Chief Director, Kwasi Amo Hinson which indicates that the Hon Minister is not available until the 31st of October, 2019 to enable her attend upon the House. We could only look forward to that and if you grant it. She can be excused today though the Answer has
been provided till she appears on the 31st of October, 2019 as you may so direct.
Mr Speaker 11:18 a.m.
We shall proceed by the Ministry's indication accordingly.
Question numbered 640.
Hon Minister for the Interior, if you would please take the appropriate seat.
Hon Member for Builsa North?
ORAL ANSWERS TO 11:28 a.m.

QUESTIONS 11:28 a.m.


Minister for the Interior (Mr Ambrose Dery)(MP) 11:28 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the National Disaster Management Act of 2016 (Act 927) provides for the establishment of the National
Mr Agalga 11:28 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to ask the Hon Minister how much has accrued to the Fund so far, following the opening of the bank account at UNIBANK and now the Consolidated Bank?
Mr A. Dery 11:28 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe my learned Hon Colleague knows that this follow up question does not encompass that. I do not have the information and so if he comes with a direct Question then I would get it organised for the House, but as I stand here I do not have that answer. Mr Speaker, the Hon Member asked when the Fund would be set up and I have informed the House on the processes of setting it up.
Mr Agalga 11:28 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Question is straightforward; I would want to know whether the Fund has been set up to deal with disasters? So if the account would only facilitate the deposit of moneys into the Fund then I could follow up and establish whether the moneys accrued in the account have been applied to mitigate disaster.
Mr Speaker, so it is a legitimate question to ask.
Mr Speaker 11:28 a.m.
Hon Minister, beyond an account number is it a real operational account?
Mr A. Dery 11:28 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not doubt the legitimacy of the Hon Member's question. As the Hon Member would realise in the Act, the financial aspect is normally done by the Ministry of Finance. So I dealt with the Hon Member's Question about setting up of the Fund, but to be able to give the finance I do not have the answer now.
Mr Speaker, he could have asked for the amount and the balance, but he did not ask. So, when he asks then I would supply that answer, but I would want him to take note of the Act that as far as financial matters are concerned, the Act relates those issues with the Ministry of Finance more than with the Ministry of the Interior. Mr Speaker, I hope he understands the situation I find myself.
Mr Agalga 11:28 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the object of the Fund is to help the National Disaster Management Organisation to mitigate and prevent disasters. So I want to ask the Hon Minister that since the opening of the account, has he drawn funds from the
account for purposes of managing and mitigating disasters in the country?
Mr A. Dery 11:28 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to read the objects of the Fund as stated in section 38 so that I would separate the operations per se from the financial aspect.
“The object of the Fund is to provide finances for development, operation of disaster prevention, disaster risk reduction, climate change and reduction and other disaster management programmes.
(2) To achieve the object of the Fund, the moneys from the Fund shall be applied to relevant activities determined by the Council.
(3) Without limiting the scope of (2), moneys from the Fund shall be applied to provide for statutory stocks and reliefs. For the purposes of this Section, statutory stocks means basic necessities.”
Mr Speaker, what I can say is that we have had occurrences of disasters and we have gone to those areas, but as to the amounts that have been withdrawn I would not be able to tell; and you would realise that we are actually working by Section 55 and we are in a process of getting
Mr Speaker 11:28 a.m.
Hon Member, I would grant you one more follow up question.
Mr Agalga 11:28 a.m.
Mr Speaker, there is a provision in the Act which mandates the Hon Minister for Finance to submit reports to this House with regards to receipts. Mr Speaker, would the Hon Minister want to collaborate with the Hon Minister for Finance to ensure compliance with this provision in the law?
Mr Speaker 11:28 a.m.
Hon Member, you know that this is a different matter; whether the Hon Minister would collaborate -- please if you want to go that pathway then kindly present a specific question on that.
Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 11:38 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much. I have just one follow up question.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister in his Answer quoted Section 39 of the Act that establishes the Fund, and to paraphrase him he said that three per cent of the DACF is dedicated to this Fund. Mr Speaker, mathematically, assuming that the DACF which was approved by this House was GH¢863 million then that would work to about GH¢25 million.

Has that been lodged into the account, per the provisions of the Act? That would make NADMO richer, at least by GH¢25million to deal with the emergencies and disasters.
Mr A. Dery 11:38 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minority Leader quoted section 39, but section 39 is about sources of the funding and the establishment is in section 37. However, I took my time to state that this Act has separated the financial administration and identified the Ministry of Finance as the ministry responsible. This is the first.
So, if we are talking about the approval of the formula in this House, I am sure that we could work out the figures, but when it comes to what is already paid, I believe that section 42 provides for reporting, and it is within the remit of the Ministry of Finance and I would rather not dabble into it.
Probably, I would know how many disasters have taken place, maybe, how I am checking kidnapping more than that, but the specifics of the amount would be the financial aspect which the Act ascribes to the Ministry of Finance, which I would not like to stray into.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 11:38 a.m.
Mr Speaker, when it comes to the statutory funds, the Hon Minister is well aware that this honourable House approves of the District Assemblies Common Fund. Therefore the anticipation of this law was of both Parliament, the Ministry for Local Government and Rural Development, the District Assemblies Common Fund Secretariat and the Ministry of Finance to dedicate this amount to the disaster fund. Has that been done?
Mr A. Dery 11:38 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my information is that, the three per cent has been paid into the fund, but as to the exact quantum of it, it is not within my remit.
Mr Speaker 11:38 a.m.
Question 641.
When to Implement the National Migration Policy
Q.641.Mr James Agalga: asked the Minister for the Interior when Government would implement the National Migration Policy which came into force sometime in 2016.
Mr A. Dery 11:38 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, the National Migration Policy was launched in April, 2016 with the objective to help manage Ghana's internal and international flows-in the context of national development.
The Policy has outlined action areas to be implemented within a five (5) year period which include:
The establishment of the Ghana National Framework for the National Migration Policy;
Creation of migration desks at Ministries, Departments and Agencies;
Prosecute perpetrators of human trafficking and dismantle trafficking syndicates.
Mr Speaker, efforts have been made with respect to the implementation of the National Migration Policy in the action areas mentioned above.
The Commission, when established, is expected to enhance the implementation of the National Migration Policy.
A proposed roadmap in respect of the Ghana National Commission on
Mr Agalga 11:38 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister, in his Answer to the Question, indicated that there is a proposed roadmap for the establishment of the Ghana National Commission on Migration and a sum of GH¢620,000.00 has been earmarked in the 2020 Budget. In addition, he said the IOM has
committed an amount of
Mr Speaker, the Migration Commission would be the vehicle through which the migration policy would be implemented. Does he believe that the amount of GH¢ 620,000.00 is enough for the purposes of establishing a whole bureaucracy in the nature of a commission?
Mr A. Dery 11:48 a.m.
Mr Speaker, let me be more specific. As I indicated, there are three areas. This Budget is in respect of the establishment of the national framework, and it involves the preparatory stages. As I indicated, the various stakeholders have proposed nominees who are coming to sit and consider the establishment of the framework.. As you know, when they come out with their proposals, it would be part of what would be the basis for us to move forward to Cabinet and get the approvals.
So this is preparatory work. I believe when it is established, he would help me lead the crusade in this House to get us adequate funding for it to run efficiently.

This is a very important arrangement. As we know, in the

status of migration, Ghana is not only a destination, but it is also a transit and a source. So this is the preparatory stages. I believe we would try to be as economical as we may be for the preparation. I hope that when it comes to Parliament, you would lead us to accept it. Maybe, the Hon Minority Leader should be told to cooperate. For all I know, he might want to reduce, but this is just a proposal and we would work within it.

Thank you.
Mr Agalga 11:48 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister stated in his Answer that the policy is to be implemented within a five year period. So starting from 2016 to 2020. In 2020, four years would have elapsed.
Mr Speaker, does the Hon Minister think he would be able to meet the deadline, given the pace at which we are proceeding?
Mr A. Dery 11:48 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe the learned Hon Member of Parliament would realise that in 2016, he was in charge and no steps were taken. I believe he would help me from that experience to see how we could expedite it. I could assure him that I am committed and I would count on their support here to make it faster.
Mr Agalga 11:48 a.m.
Mr Speaker, for the information of the Hon Minister, the policy was passed in 2016 under our watch. So steps were taken and that was what resulted in the formulation of the policy. When we exited, he is now in charge, so the implementation is squarely within his domain.
Mr A. Dery 11:48 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the policy was launched in April, 2016. From April, 2016 to December, 2016, I would not take the Hon Member on. I would want him to know that is not my remit. I believe that he was still planning to move forward. I am now taking it further and I believe we could work together. It was launched in April, 2016, but up till January, 2017 when they handed over, I am not aware if there were any specific steps taken. I would be glad if the Hon Member would advise me.
Mr Speaker 11:48 a.m.
Thank you very much, Hon Minister.
Mr Speaker 11:48 a.m.
Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Annoh-Dompreh 11:48 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am grateful for your kindness. I would like to commend the Hon Minister for the indication shown by the IOM to make financial commitment to support the implementation of the programme. However, I am aware that the British Parliament has been very active training some Hon Members of Parliament and some members of the Executive in the area of migration.
Mr Speaker, I would want to find out whether the Hon Minister has made some attempts at reaching out to the British Parliament, because they are much concerned about migration issues regardless of the fact that the IOM has already indicated some comments. I am confident, if the Hon Minister reaches out to them, they would not just give financial support but by way of human resources and exchange of ideas. This is one of the new policies as far as our country is concerned. We would ensure that we would be able to implement the policy to its latter.
Mr A. Dery 11:48 a.m.
Mr Speaker, let me assure the Hon Member of Parliament that our consultation and collaboration is even wider. We are dealing with the EU and individual countries. For instance, the Spanish have been able
to come together to establish information centres which are part of the structure. So, we are collaborating with them. It is not just the money that is limited to it; the IOM has given us vehicles to enable us check the trafficking and the EU has ongoing meetings. Recently, the head of Immigration Service has been to Brussels and we are enjoying the cooperation.
Mr Speaker, the EU and other partners are impressed about Ghana's policy to make sure that we manage migration and they appreciate that our numbers have fallen greatly. They think that we could all share in the pride and work together.
Of course, the flagship programmes are meant to solve some of the push factors. I believe this Parliament is cooperating to help us stern that.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 11:48 a.m.
Thank you very much, Hon Minister for attending to the House and answering our Questions. You are respectfully discharged.
Mr Speaker 11:48 a.m.
Hon Members, item listed 4, Statements.
We have a Statement on the new Ghana --
Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Iddrisu 11:48 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if I may indulge you. I rise to invoke Order 72 of our Standing Orders.
Mr Speaker 11:48 a.m.
Hon Member, do you want to indulge me?
Mr Iddrisu 11:48 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to indulge you and the House.
Mr Speaker 11:48 a.m.
So, you are not indulging me. We are asking for indulgence.
Mr Iddrisu 11:48 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am asking for indulgence.
Mr Speaker 11:48 a.m.
Exactly. It is important to have it right, so that when I rule you would know I have ruled upon my discretion, further to your application on indulgence.
Mr Iddrisu 11:48 a.m.
Mr Speaker, appreciated.
Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to quote Order 72 which says 11:48 a.m.
‘‘By the indulgence of the House and leave of Mr Speaker a Member may, at the time appointed for statements under

Order 53 (Order of Business) explain a matter of personal nature or make a statement on a matter of urgent public importance. Any statement other than a personal statement may be commented upon by other Members for a limited duration of time not exceeding one hour. The terms of any such proposed statement shall first be submitted to Mr Speaker.”

Mr Speaker, for my purpose, I would briefly make a statement on a matter of urgent public importance. The flood that occurred a few days ago resulted in some casualties and loss of lives. We have heard particularly the Hon Minister for Works and Housing and the Hon Minister for Roads and Highways giving assurances to Ghanaians. Yet, day-in and day-out, Ghanaians are agonising as a result of our inability as a Government and as a Parliament -
Mr Speaker 11:48 a.m.
Hon Member, are you making the Statement?
Mr Iddrisu 11:48 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I have made it. I would request that the Hon Minister for Works and Housing, Minister for Roads and Highways and Minister for Finance be hauled urgently before this House to assure the people of Ghana the steps they
are taking to advert a future occurrence of the floods to save lives, and to advert the needless loss of lives arising out of it.
Mr Speaker, information available to me is that moneys meant to deal with this are still with the Ministry of Works and Housing.
Thank you.
Mr Speaker 11:58 a.m.
Hon Members, I would want us to take notice of this. Yesterday, we discussed this at the Leaders Meeting. The Hon Minority himself assured that he would work with his counterpart, the Hon Majority Leader and they would make a Statement together.
Hon Minority Leader, yesterday you sent a message to me that you wanted to do this alone. I told you that was not what we agreed on.
Now, you are not making any reference to what was agreed upon; yet, you are making this request.
Hon Minority Leader, I would pray that you do not act in that direction. I would not want to belabour this point any further. I, therefore, would ask that the Statements by the two Hon Members of Parliament, Hon Kojo
Asemanyi and Hon Woyome, on Ghana sports be read accordingly.
STATEMENTS 11:58 a.m.

Mr Kojo Asemanyi (NPP -- Gomoa East) 11:58 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to make this statement titled, “Bring Back our Football, A charge to the Newly Elected Ghana Football Association (GFA) Executive Council (ExCO)” after the just ended (GFA) intriguing elections.
Mr Speaker, football is obviously the true passion of the nation, Ghana, as almost every Ghanaian loves the game, and its uniting force pierces deep through regional, cultural, religious, ethnic and racial barriers. It is not uncommon to behold people from all parts of the country rally behind one club, either as administrators, technical team members, players or supporters.
This, Mr Speaker, fosters unity and tolerance among people with even dissenting opinions on issues. Indeed, football has played and continues to play a pivotal role in the quest of uniting all citizens of our country and
all over the world, which is why successive governments and the GFA have given the sport an unflinching support over the years.
The investments our country has made in the sport has paid much dividends, winning us four Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Trophies in 1963, 1965, 1978 and 1982, and three World Cup Trophies viz Italia 91, Ecuador 95 and Egypt 2009 by our National Under-17 and Under- 20 teams respectively. We climaxed our participation in global competitions when our senior national team took the world by surprise with their scintillating display in South Africa Team 2010. We just needed a dint of luck to be the first African country to be in the semi-finals in the annals of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) World Cup. This shows the level of talent available in the country to turn into a goose that lays golden eggs.
Mr Speaker, it is disheartening to realise that at a time that the focus on global football as a “mere” sport is shifting to a gold mine and commercial sport, Ghana football appears to be on a downward surge. The Number 12 Expose by Anas Aremeyaw Anas in 2018 1aid bare the real issues confronting Ghana and Africa football as a whole. As a country, we were hit
Mr Speaker 12:08 p.m.
Hon Woyome?
Clean up of Ghana Football
Mr Kobena Mensah Woyome (NDC -- South Tongu) 12:08 p.m.
Mr Speaker, over the weekend, a new chapter in Ghana Football was opened at the College of Physicians and Surgeons here in Accra; for the first time in several months, the real football officials gathered to elect one of their own to lead the Football Association and the management of football in general.
After three rounds of fiercely contested elections, football officials settled on Mr Kurt E. S. Okraku as
the new Ghana Football Association (GFA) President.
Mr Speaker, I rise to congratulate Mr Okraku and to pledge our support for him.
Mr Speaker, several Executive Council members were also elected prior to the Extraordinary Congress to assist the GFA President in the management of the GFA. We congratulate them as well, and wish them the best during their tenure of office.
Mr Speaker, after several months of cleaning up Ghana football by key stakeholders and a normalisation regime, most of the work should have been done and Ghana football should have been ready to take off. Unfortunately, that has not been the case as there is still a lot more work to be done.
With an initial six months mandate from International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) to tackle the main problems of the GFA, as identified in the Anas Aremeyaw Anas' Number 12 expose, the Normalisation Committee (NC) failed to achieve its core mandate of reviewing the statutes and ensuring the needed reforms of the GFA. In addition, the NC could neither
regulate the day-top-day manage- ment/operations of the GFA nor organise elections, thus requiring an additional six months and 15 days extension.
The tenure of the NC has seen all our national teams, both men and women from the black stars, the black queens and age category, perform abysmally in various international competitions they participated in.
I could cite the 2019 Black Stars African Cup of Nations (AFCON) fiasco in Egypt, where for the first time in many years (since 2006), the Black Stars failed to make it to the quarter finals of the tournament, and the 2018 African Women's Cup of Nations debacle which Ghana hosted and injected a lot of resources, but failed to even make it to the medal zone.
The age category national teams like the Black Satellites, the Starlets, the Black Princesses and the Maidens all failed to excel in their various competitions during the tenure of the Normalisation Committee.
It had to take the intervention of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Youth, Sports and Culture to strike a compromise between the NC's and the Ghana League Clubs (GALCA) officials before the NC's Special Tournament could be played.
Mr Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye (NDC -- Odododiodioo) 12:18 p.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity granted me to contribute to the Statements made by the Hon Vice Chairman and the Hon Ranking Member of the Youth, Sports and Cultural Committee.
Mr Speaker, I admire the two Statements that have been made. One emphasised key indicators that we expect the new GFA President and the Executive Council to achieve, and the other looked at the parameters in which the Government and football administrators could collaborate in to achieve the success and the development of our game.
Mr Speaker, as a country, we missed a great opportunity to chart a
much more coordinated path towards the management, promotion and the development of the game. Within the period of hibernation, I had expected that as a country, we would have gotten together a sort of commission to reform our game right from the grassroot level to the national level, taking into account, development, promotion, management and the administrative side of the game.

Mr Speaker, unfortunately, we rather hustled over who and what the Normalisation Committee should do instead of looking at the chronic disease that has beset our football; the corruption and lack of development.

We should expect that if we could not look at those factors, but we have gone for elections and got new executives, from now, the executives would advert themselves immediately to what we need to do to develop grass root football.
Mr Speaker 12:18 p.m.
Hon Members, in the course of the contributions, Mr First Deputy Speaker would take the Chair.
Hon Member, please, go on.
Mr Vanderpuye 12:18 p.m.
Mr Speaker, grass root football, especially in our
towns and villages, what would we do in order to incentivise the ordinary people, who from their meagre resources harvest their plantain and cassava farms to contribute to the development of football in those communities for them to know that their efforts are appreciated? The only thing that we could do is to make sure that there are safety nets in terms of infrastructural development and support for them in financing the game at the grassroots level.
Mr Speaker, ordinary Ghanaians invest so much into colts football; they unearth talents. These people come up, and the people at the top get them into various national teams and benefit from them. The ordinary person; the poor man in that village, in my Hon Brother's Constituency, who has committed himself to colts football for over twenty years and has just got one talent gets nothing out of his toil.
Mr Speaker, we should look at all these things critically to make football rather enjoyable at the grassroots level so that ordinary people who nurture talents at a young age and develop those small boys would have that impetus, belief and interest to contribute more to that, because they know that the fruit of their labour would not go in vain.
Mr Speaker, instead of allowing the people at the top to always benefit
Mr Vanderpuye 12:18 p.m.

from the fruit of the labour of the people at the grassroots, what could we do at the Division One, Two and Three Football levels to bring entertainment and cohesion in our towns, villages, communities and constituencies?

Mr Speaker, when there is a football match in any community, it brings people together. People from different shades of opinion, religion and tribe come together. If we look at a town like New Edubiase, football is able to galvanise economic activities in the town. These are the people we should look at; but when we had the opportunity to reform our game such that all these people would have the sort of advantage they would need in order to add more energy to what they have been doing in the past, but we did not.

Well, we cannot cry over spilt milk, but as my two Hon Colleagues have said, it is important that as a country, we look at what the GFA would do, and not allow them to go off track into what happened some time ago, which led to the ‘Number 12' Exposé. We should make sure that our Parliamentary Committee, especially would be up and doing, and scrutinise the work of the GFA.

Mr Speaker, it is wholly unacceptable for us to say that

Governments would continue to fund football, but they should totally stay off football. The Government must have an interest that the money we put into football --[Interruption]. The Government must still be interested that we put money into football, and it must yield the desired result. Football must inure to the benefit and development of this country. It should not be the case that we would continue to put money into it, but a group of people would just be there to benefit and enrich themselves because the system has given undue advantage to them such that nobody would have the right to interfere.

Mr Speaker, I think that in our determination to ensure that the independence of the GFA would be entrenched, we should also ask ourselves whether it is prudent that as a country, we would continue to spend money on football at the expense of other sporting disciplines. Mr Speaker, close to 80 per cent of the Budget Statement we approve in this House for the Ministry of Youth and Sports always go to finance not even football, but only the Black Stars. Why should it be so? We should look at how, as the Hon Ranking Member said, to wean them off the budget of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, so that they would attract corporate investment into the management and development of the game, and we
Mr Alex Kofi Agyekum (NPP -- Mpohor) 12:18 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for
the opportunity to contribute to the Statements made by my two Hon Colleagues; the Hon Vice Chairman and the Hon Ranking Member of the Youth, Sports and Culture Committee.
Mr Speaker, it is indeed true that football is a unifier. We must all do whatever it takes to ensure that our football comes back to its former glorious days. It is also true that history is there to guide us; the kind of situation that football in the country went through, especially after the Exposé of Anas Aremeyaw Anas' Number 12 cannot be over- emphasised.
We thank God we had a Government that was able to manoeuvre its way through such that the country was saved from the two evils; one, trying to avoid international isolation, and two, at the same time, letting the international community be aware that this is a Government that would not condone and connive with any person doing wrong. These were the two challenges, and I wish to commend the Government for navigating through this rather challenging situation.
Mr Speaker, we are aware that the expose had both negative and positive sides. The negative side was obvious; it led to the inactivity of our players, and the excessive expenditure by club
Mr Alex Kofi Agyekum (NPP -- Mpohor) 12:28 p.m.

owners. The positive aspect was that it taught us great lessons; areas that if we do not look at critically, would plunge this country back into what we have recently experienced.

FIFA, in invoking its last statute by forming the Normalisation Committee, has helped. Now, the Hon Members who made the Statements have given us an idea of what is before the current Executive Committee members.

I wish to also re-emphasise that there is the need for the Executive Committee members to quickly bring all those people who contested on board, especially for the ideas that they all espoused. None of them had ideas that were bad.

Mr Speaker, the other issue is for them to be guided by speed and alacrity. They need to start working straightaway. There are so many international assignments that they need to quickly put their acts together to ensure Ghana gets on board.

They have other appointments to make; one such critical appointment is that of the Vice President. As usual in this country, they have started branding the whole Executive Committee and pigeonholing them into

National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP). It is an idea that must not be allowed to find its way into our football politics, now that we are trying to resuscitate it. I thank the Hon Ranking Member for making the Statement.

In the same vein, I disagree with the fact that the Government should stay off the administration of football in the country. The Government cannot stay off totally, but it could ensure that positive advice is given to the Ghana Football Association (GFA). This is because whatever happens, the ultimate responsibility rests on the Government.

Mr Speaker, when we lost many Ghanaians as a result of bad officiating and the outburst of emotions, what this country witnessed was the death of our nationals. When the Government is given the mandate by the people, part of the social contract that they sign is to also ensure their emotional welfare. So for the Government to spend money on football and be asked to stay off is not the right thing in my opinion.

At the same time, I ask the new Ghana Football Association (GFA) not to always hide behind the Confederation of African Football

(CAF) and Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). When it comes to the Government spending money on the GFA, they would run to the Ministry for money; but when it is about suggestions from the Government to ensure that things work well, they quickly run to their mother bodies --CAF and FIFA. The next moment, we are told that the Government of Ghana is interfering.

That is something that as a country and as Members of Parliament (MP), we must critically look into. At what point do we draw the line of dichotomy? At what point does it become interference, and at what point does it become advice? We need to critically look at that, so that we do not wait and fold up our hands until things deteriorate to the level that it would be difficult for us to salvage.

Mr Speaker, as the Hon Member who made the Statement said, never again would this country sit unconcerned for a group of people who call themselves GFA to do their own thing and then at the end of the day, the country would suffer. This is a good Statement made, and -
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:28 p.m.
Hon Member, hold on.
Yes, Hon Member for Okaikoi Central?
Mr Boamah 12:28 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to refer to the last sentence of Standing Order 70 (2) on Statements. It says and I quote:
“Any Member may comment briefly, subject to the same limitation.”
It is becoming a norm that when Statements are made, those who comment speak more than the Hon Member who made the Statement. It is unbecoming since we spend so much time on that. The rules also limit us to one hour for Statements, but it takes a chunk of our time. I would like to bring Mr Speaker's attention to it, so that Hon Members are guided.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:28 p.m.
Thank you very much for reminding me.
Hon Members, be guided, I will strictly apply the rules from now.
Hon Member, please wind up.
Mr Agyekum 12:28 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for your indulgence.
I would want the Hon Member to know that I am summing up. [Laughter.] Maybe I have spoken at length because I am the
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:28 p.m.
Hon Member, wind up.
Mr Agyekum 12:28 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I think that it is a good thing that has happened to this country. The new Executive Committee members should be guided by what we have gone through going forward. In case they need any additional information, the recommendations of the various committees of enquiry that have been set up are there to guide them.
Mr Speaker, with these few words, I thank you for the opportunity, and I thank the Hon Member who made the Statement.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:28 p.m.
Hon Member for Kintampo South?
Ms Felicia Adjei (NDC -- Kintampo South) 12:28 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to contribute to the Statement made by the Hon Chairman and Hon Ranking Member of the Committee.
Any time we talk about football in Ghana, we often forget about the women. Women's football still exists. What happened to those days when
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:28 p.m.
Hon Member, what is the football team of Kintampo?
Ms Adjei 12:28 p.m.
We have the Sharp Arrows of Kintampo and Kintampo United.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:28 p.m.
I have not heard of them before, that was why I asked. [Laughter.]
Ms Adjei 12:28 p.m.
Mr Speaker, they still exist.
Mr Speaker, again, I wish that they would find time to look at women's
football because the women are suffering. I used to be a committee member on Women's Sports Association (WOSPA) through Hon Nii Lantey Vanderpuye. We would go for committee meetings, and Dr Kubegi would then have to buy common water for us to drink with her own money. When one went to the GFA during their committee meetings, one would however see the kind of lunch and breakfast they had.
So I wish the new executives would take care of the women because we are very important. Women's football is also moving forward in the right direction.
Thank you for the opportunity, Mr Speaker.
Mr Mahama Ayariga (NDC -- Bawku) 12:38 p.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to make brief comments on the Statement that has been made.
I wish to start with a message of congratulations to Mr Kurt Okraku and his team who have just been elected to lead the GFA. I would like to assure them of the support of some of us sitting on the side-lines who have interest in the development of the sector.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member who made the Statement said that Ghanaians can still remember that we made six consecutive African Cup of Nations (AFCON) semi-final appearances between 2008 and 2017, and he challenged us to surpass these achievements. The facts are not entirely accurate.
I recall that in 2015, we went as far as the finals and lost out on penalty shoot-outs. So the records should reflect that we surpassed that record. It happened when I was the Minster for Youth and Sports, so this House must capture that.

Mr Speaker, all I want to say is that football is not simply a business of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), but a big industry now. The Hon Member who made the Statement has underscored that by giving some figures.

In the year 2018, the European football market was worth €25.5 billion. The market has an entire value chain stretching from the manufacturing sector that makes paraphernalia, footballs and equipment, the construction sector which constructs the stadia, to the tourism sector that deals with the hotels, the media and so on. It is an
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:38 p.m.
That brings us to the end of Statements time.
At the Commencement of Public Business, presentation of Papers; item numbered 5(a) by the Attorney- General and Minister for Justice.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:38 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister is not here with us because our information is that she is bereaved. She is represented by the Hon Deputy Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, one of our own. So if I may seek permission for him to lay the Papers on behalf of the substantive Hon Minister that is in respect of item numbered 5(a) i, ii, iii.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:38 p.m.
Leave granted. Hon Deputy Attorney- General and Minister for Justice, you may lay the Papers. Item numbered 5(a) i?
PAPERS 12:38 p.m.

Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:38 p.m.
Item numbered 5(b) by the Hon Minister for Education.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:38 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Education is indisposed. So if I may seek permission for the Hon Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation to lay the documents on behalf of the Hon Minister in respect of item numbered 5(b)?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:38 p.m.
Very well. Hon Minister, you may lay the Papers. Item numbered 5(b) (i)?
By the Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation (Dr Anthony Akoto Osei) on behalf of the (Minister for Education) --
(i) Annual Statement by the Audit Committee of the University of Cape Coast for the year 2018.
Referred to the Public Accounts Committee.
By the Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation (Dr Anthony Akoto Osei) on behalf of the (Minister for Education) --
(ii) Mid-Year Statement by the Audit Committee of the
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:38 p.m.
Item numbered 5 (c) is to be laid by the Leader of the Delegation of the Inter- Parliamentary Union (IPU).
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:38 p.m.
Mr Speaker, as you do know, the Leader of Ghana's Parliamentary Delegation to the 141st Assembly of the IPU was the Speaker of Parliament. It is because the Speaker cannot lay the document on behalf of himself that I have to do so on his behalf.
So accordingly, I will do so.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:38 p.m.
Permission granted.
By the Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs --
(c) Report of Ghana's Parlia- mentary Delegation to the 141st Assembly of the Inter- Parliamentary Union (IPU) held in Belgrade, Serbia from Sunday, 13th to Thursday, 17th October 2019.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:38 p.m.
Item numbered 6 -- Motion. The Motion is to be moved by my good self, but actually, the Report had an error and so, I directed that it be corrected for me to sign afresh before it is distributed.
So we will defer Motion numbered 6. Motion numbered 7?
Sorry, I think that before we proceed to item numbered 7, I have to vary my order in terms of the reference of the Adoption Amendment Rules, 2019. I direct that the Paper be referred to the Subsidiary Legislation Committee to consider and report instead of the Constitutional, Legal and Parlia- mentary Affiars Committee
Item numbered 7 -- Motion by the Hon Minister for the Interior.

Minister for the Interior (Mr Ambrose Dery)(MP) 12:48 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move that, the Narcotics Control Commission Bill, 2019 be now read a second time.
Mr Speaker, I crave your indulgence that while I refer to aspects and parts of the Memorandum, it should be captured as read. Mr Speaker, as you are aware, Ghana is a signatory to the United Nations Convention against illicit Traffic in Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances in 1988. Mr Speaker, this was domesticated and the law in Ghana, Narcotics Drugs Control Enforcement and Sanctions Act of 1990 (PNDC Law 236). Broadly, it was to bring all offences related to illicit drug dealing under one enactment and also to establish the Narcotics Control Board. It was also to coordinate activities in respect of narcotic drugs.
Mr Speaker, in pursuit of that law, the institution could pursue, seize and forfeit equipment used in the commission of offences, and also provided for property and proceeds acquired or derived from narcotic offences to also be seized.
Mr Speaker, other matters also provided for were international cooperation and mutual assistance with member states of the Convention. Mr Speaker, the narcotics law was based on two principles; demand reduction and supply reduction.
The legal landscape however, changed when several major enactments were made and they affected the narcotics law in one way or the other. Some of them being the Anti-money Laundering Act of 2008 (Act 749), Anti-money Laundering Regulations (LI 1987), Economic and Organised Crime Act of 2010 (Act 804) and also Mutual Legal Assistance Act of 2010 (Act 804)
Mr Speaker, furthermore, Ghana also became signatory and partner to other Conventions which had an impact on this drug trade, including the ratification of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Corruption. Therefore it became necessary for Government to make sure that the current law captures all these essential parts and also be impacted upon by other changes in international trends. Mr Speaker, the
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:48 p.m.
Hon Chairman of the Committee.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Seth K. Acheampong) 12:48 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Motion ably moved by the Hon Minister responsible for the Interior and in doing so, I present your Committee's Report.
1.0 Introduction
The Narcotics Control Com- mission Bill, 2019, was presented and read the first time in Parliament on Thursday, 21st March, 2019 in accordance with article 106 of the 1992 Constitution by the Hon. Minister for the Interior.
Pursuant to article 106 of the 1992 Constitution and Orders 125 and 158 of the Standing Orders, the Rt Hon Speaker, Prof. Mike Oquaye, referred the Bill to the Committee on Defence and Interior for consideration and report.
2.0 Deliberations
In considering the Bill, the Committee met with the Hon Minister for the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery; the Hon Deputy Minister, Mr Henry Quartey and the Chief Director of the Ministry, Officials of the Narcotics Control Board and the Attorney- General's Department to assist the Committee in its deliberations.
The Committee also met with individuals and organisations that submitted memoranda to the Committee. The stakeholders are:
i. International Drug Policy Consortium;
ii. POS Foundation;
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:58 p.m.
Yes, Hon Ranking Member?
Mr James Agalga (NDC -- Builsa North) 12:58 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to argue in support of the Motion for the passage of the Bill.
Mr Speaker, it is important to state at the outset that the Bill was introduced before the Sixth Parliament. Unfortunately, we could not pass the Bill before the life of the Sixth Parliament came to an end. So I am particularly excited that the Bill, once again, has been reintroduced for the attention and action of this House. It is my prayer that the disease that afflicted the Bill and made it impossible for its passage by the Sixth Parliament would be cured by this House.
Mr Speaker, the Bill raises very fundamental issues which should engage the attention of all. Those issues raised in the Bill, if the Bill sees the day of light, would go a long way to help mitigate the longstanding unnecessary suffering that we have subjected citizens of this country to, especially through the enforcement of the existing legislation on narcotic drugs, which to say the least, has been very draconian and has not really helped so far as the rehabilitation of drug users and addicts are concerned.
Mr Speaker, the Committee's Report has captured very succinctly one of the fundamental principles that underpin the Bill. These principles clearly have been initiated in the objects of the Commission. With your kind respect, clause 2 (b) of the Bill says:
“(b) The Commission shall develop measures for the treatment and rehabilitation of persons suffering from substance-use disorders.”
This is very instructive. Then clause 2(h) says:
“(h) The Commission shall ensure that drug addiction is treated as a public health issue.”
Mr James Agalga (NDC -- Builsa North) 1:08 p.m.
Mr Speaker, clearly, these provisions cannot be found in the existing law yet evidence abounds that drug law enforcement, which comes with punitive regimes for people who are found to have used and possessed narcotics substances, has not in any way contributed to the curbing of drug use and addiction. The approach adopted by the Bill is evidence- based, and I would like to refer the House to the United Kingdom's Home Office Report in 2014. With your kind permission, I would like to read:
“We did not in our fact-finding observe any obvious relationship between the toughness of a country's enforcement against drug possession and levels of drug use in that country.”
Mr Speaker, the crux of the 2014 United Kingdom's Home Office Report is that those who are addicted or problematic drug users are sick persons. So if they are sick persons, it is unacceptable that we use the law enforcement mechanism to deal with such persons.

Mr Speaker, I dare say the way and manner we have treated drug addicts and drug users in this country

has been unconstitutional. I am fortified in this submission with the provision of article 30 of the 1992 Constitution. With your permission, I beg to read:

“A person who by reason of sickness or any other cause is unable to give his consent shall not be deprived by any other person of medical treatment, education or any other social or economic benefit by reason only of religious or other beliefs.”

Mr Speaker, if we all agree that drug addiction is a disease, when a drug addict is arrested, he is not subjected to the criminal law. What is done is that he is handed to a rehabilitation home for him to be given medical attention. This has been missing in our drug law enforcement for so many years.

Mr Speaker, for me, this is a glorious opportunity for us to correct that anomaly, so that those unfortunate brothers and sisters of ours who have become addicts; who possess drugs for personal use are not criminalised. These are people who need support from us.

Mr Speaker, this view has further been re-echoed in the Model Drug Law for West Africa. This particular Model Drug Law is very useful so far
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:08 p.m.
Hon Member, your Report does not say anything about that. I would have asked you questions about that.
Mr Agalga 1:08 p.m.
Mr Speaker, on paragraph 7.2, these things have been summarised. So, I am just -- [Laughter]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:08 p.m.
I can see it. Elsewhere and when I was travelling around --
Mr Agalga 1:08 p.m.
Mr Speaker, could I take you through the third paragraph,
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:08 p.m.
In some countries, they are inviting people to grow and process weed. Did you investigate that?
Mr Agalga 1:08 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I made the point that in those countries, they have gone the path of legalisation. So yes, some countries have done it.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:08 p.m.
I asked whether the Committee investigated that option?
Mr Agalga 1:08 p.m.
Mr Speaker, yes we did.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:08 p.m.
But you have not reported back to us.
Mr Agalga 1:18 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Committee felt that we should thread more cautiously and concentrate on decriminalisation for now, so that when the time comes and we are able to legalise, that is another matter for future debate. What engaged the attention of the Committee was the aspect of decriminalisation -- [Interruption] -- of the addiction and use -- [Interruption] -- Not the trade. [Laughter]
Mr Speaker, I earlier submitted that the Bill strengthens the arm of the Narcotics Control Commission to deal with those traffickers; it does so.
Mr Speaker, let us drift from that line of argument and say something on the important provision in the Bill which deals with the burden of proof.
Ordinarily, in criminal law, the burden of proof is one that at all times must be discharged by the State and not the accused persons. But in respect of Narcotic Drugs Enforce- ment Law, an exception is created. This is standard practice the world over.
So, rather than place the burden of proof on the State, when it comes to the issue of confiscation of property of drug convicts, the burden of proof is placed on the accused person. This position which is standard across the world is not very clear in the existing law.
Effectively, this has incapacitated the Narcotics Control Commission when it comes to the successful confiscation of properties which belong to drug lords in our country. This provision is very comprehensive, and if the Bill is passed, the arm of the Narcotics Control Commission prosecutors will further be strengthened to do justice to such persons who engage in trafficking, et cetera.

The Bill if passed, would make it possible for the Commission to bear and use firearms.

Mr Speaker, all along, this had been an anomaly. How could one have a draft law enforcement agency not clothed with the power to bear and use firearms?

Mr Speaker, this anomaly was cured when this House passed the Immigration Service Act in 2016. We

now have an opportunity, and must correct the wrong. This was a mistake. We put the lives of narcotic control officers in harm's way, because the law does not allow them to carry firearms. In any case, this would now allow the narcotic control officers to rapidly admit troops, and arrest drug traffickers.

Mr Speaker, with these words, I urge the House to pass this Bill in an expeditious manner because of its history.
Dr Kojo Appiah-Kubi (NPP -- Atwima Kwanwoma) 1:18 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to associate myself with the Motion on the Floor.
Mr Speaker, it is indeed gratifying to hear that this Bill seeks to expand the existing Act. It seeks to also decriminalise the use of narcotics in this country. There are however, alternative ways of decriminalising the use of narcotics in this country, as others have explored.
I would have preferred that this country would have chosen or would have added the control legalisation of certain types of narcotics, as being practiced in other countries.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:18 p.m.
Hon Member, conclude. You have said the same thing so many times over.
Dr Appiah-Kubi 1:18 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we could restrict the people who use them to certain areas, as being done in Holland, where people could enter pubs and use it there only, thereby helping to control crime.
The cash crop aspect of it also should be explored seriously. This is because gradually, countries are making a lot of money from that area. I believe that it is high time Ghana also explored that avenue to see how we could also enhance our sources of revenue.
Mr Speaker, with these few words, I thank you.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:18 p.m.
Yes, Hon Member for Keta?
Mr Richard M. K. Quashigah (NDC -- Keta) 1:18 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity.
Mr Speaker, I also rise to support the Report of the Committee, which seeks to improve and make changes in the existing law, as far as drug addiction, its use and trafficking are concerned.
Mr Speaker, indeed, having gone through the Report, it is obvious that the propositions being made are very apt and appropriate especially with the focus on decriminalising the use of narcotic drugs, and considering it as a health issue.
Mr Speaker, in doing that, one would imagine that it would also be very pertinent for us to look at it from the perspective of awareness creation, especially, when we have a lot of young people who turn out to be victims.
Some of these people obviously end up engaging in it as a result of peer pressure. Some are also as a result of them not knowing their left from their right, and need correction. I believe that this is the correction that this Bill seeks to make.
A lot of these young people also, when arrested, get their reputation tainted, and they carry along that scar throughout their lives.
Mr Speaker, if this Bill however does not add the angle of education; making it mandatory, we may not be able to achieve what we seek to achieve by it. This is because for me, there would be the need to educate our young people right from the primary school level, through to the Junior High School (JHS), for which
matter drug related issues must be part of our curricular in our educational institutions.
It must be made mandatory, so that if young people are growing, they would know the dangers in using drugs. Even though we would want to consider it a health issue, we would have a plethora of addicts on our hands to deal with, and the health centers may not be able to contain them.
However, if we are able to conscientise them; give them the necessary education as part of their learning, then they would be able to know the consequences of the use of marijuana. It therefore becomes a choice, and a quality choice for that matter to make.
This is just like how we talk about the use of cigarette. A lot of people know that the use of cigarette could lead to cancer, et cetera, so they may choose not to use it.
Mr Speaker, I would crave the framers of the Bill to re-consider an aspect, which would focus on making education from the lower school levels compulsory, and to also get the NCCE to intensify its public educational efforts, so that those who may not be in school -- it is not every young person, irrespective of the free SHS, who may find himself or herself in
Mr Richard M. K. Quashigah (NDC -- Keta) 1:28 p.m.
school. This would help people to be aware of the dangers of drug abuse.
Mr Speaker, with regard to the school of thought that believes in legalisation, yes, I have even heard from past Chief Executive Officers of the Narcotics Control Board, propounding the theory that some amount of it should be legalised.

However, we should look at our country, vis-a-vis those countries in which some amount of weed has been legalised. Are we at par, such that if we also take to that trajectory, we would not have challenges that they do not have? Examples have been made like Hon Dr Appiah-Kubi espoused, that the Netherlands allows some use of it in pubs et cetera. Let us look at our real situations. Our own cultural and environmental underpinnings before we think of that.

The reason for which I thought it was profound when the Hon Ranking Member indicated that this is a first step. This is a step that others have crossed making it a health issue and also decriminalising its use, not the trafficking.

Mr Speaker, beyond that, based on the progress that we have made, we could always come back to this

House and also look at the possibility of legalisation. I believe that as a nation, we are not there yet; we are not close to it at all and so let us first of all focus on making it a health issue and also how we could conscientise, especially, the future generation on the dangers of the use of drugs.

With these few words, Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity.

An Hon Member -- rose --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:28 p.m.
Are you a member of the Committee? I would want to listen to Hon Members other than Committee members. Committee Members have considered the Bill and brought us a Report so, let me listen to the Hon Member for Akim Oda.
Mr William Agyapong Quaittoo (NPP -- Akim Oda) 1:28 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to make my contribution based on paragraph 7.6 which reads:
“The Committee also observed that the fundamental goal of drug policies should be to improve the health, safety, security and socio-economic well-being of people by adopting appropriate measures to combat illicit crop cultivation and the illicit production, manufacture, transit,
trafficking, distribution and use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, as well as its associated substances.”
Mr Speaker, I have read through the Report and it is important that I add my voice to those advocating for a section of this Bill to probably consider legalising some fraction or production of some of these weeds or drugs.
Mr Speaker, I happen to have been at a forum that was attended by our Hon Colleagues, the Hon Chairman of the Health Committee, Hon Dr Twum-Nuamah, and his Hon Vice Chairman, Dr Afriye, when they returned from a tour from Canada. At that forum, they came out with some figures. They compared the price of one gram of medical marijuana to one gram of cocoa and I told them that they got the figure for cocoa wrong and so, I did the correction over there. As we speak today, if you look at the international price for a tonne of cocoa, one gram of cocoa comes to about US$0.24 while one gram of medical marijuana averagely is
I have not seen any handbook or manual on agronomical practices on the production of marijuana in Ghana.
What I have seen is that, when you go to cocoa fields and you are not careful, the farmer would send you round certain areas or may never send you to a certain place, but if you know how the canopies of cocoa trees are, and you stand somewhere and look through, you would know that there is something in there because those areas would not have cocoa trees.
Mr Speaker, if one takes the pain to go there, he or she would find some weeds there. A farmer on cocoa rounds would never send you to those places. That space could probably take only about five to 10 cocoa trees, but the amount of money that the farmer makes from that place, he knows it. And so, without any agronomical handbook and coaching on the production of this weed, the farmer, despite all the risk involved, is able to do that. This tells us that the economic benefits of that small space that the farmer uses to produce the weed to him is by far more than the cocoa tree.
Mr Speaker, if the Report says the Committee observed that the fundamental goal concerns socio- economic well-being of the people, I would want to ask: what specifically are they talking about? Is it not time for us to listen to those who propose that certain fraction of medical marijuana and other weeds are
Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh (NDC -- Wa West) 1:28 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to make a few comments on the Bill.
I support the Bill wholeheartedly, so it is important that we go ahead with what is in it, and also with the Report of the Committee rather than
this introduction of legalisation and controlled production of these terrible things that cause a lot of havoc to our youth.
If one goes to the mental hospitals and sees substance abuse patients, it is not something that we should talk about. Indeed, the recognition in the Bill itself and the Report of people who are addicts to be treated as patients rather than decriminalising and taken through processes is enough for us at this stage and I believe that we should all agree that our country cannot handle what has been talked about.
Even in Latin America and other places where cocaine is produced, it is extremely difficult. If one sees some of the countries the drug barons and people who kill because they are in the trade, we dare not attempt to legalise the production of wee. Indeed, it would no longer be the cocoa farmer who has a small spot that he produces; it would be by big gangs and it cannot be controlled.
Mr Speaker, apart from that, the important thing about this whole matter is, when we used to think that the use of drugs was by a few people -- Even those who import cocaine, we said were in transit. It turns out that the consumption too was very high. So, we should not attempt at all at this stage to do this.
1. 38 p. m.
I believe that we should still make sure that the planting and production of weeds and importation of narcotic drugs are criminalised to the extent of those who do it, but not those who have become victims.
Mr Speaker, on this note, I support the Bill and we should stay away from those who want money in comparison to cocoa money. Our cocoa has served us well, and it is a medicinal product; we should not introduce others that we do not fully understand their medicinal values.
Thank you very much.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:28 p.m.
Yes, Hon Vice Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Collins Owusu Amankwa (NPP -- Manhyia North) 1:28 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for this unique opportunity to contribute to the Report submitted by the Committee on Defence and Interior on the Narcotics Control Commission Bill,
Mr Speaker, I would be very brief in my submission in that, per the current Bill before this House, I must say that it may encapsulate all the
useful information needed to strengthen NACOB as an institution to deal with narcotics drug related matters.
Mr Speaker, let me emphasise that this Bill seeks to address the issue of illegally acquired properties by the drug traffickers, and also, to adequately deal with the issue of freezing of accounts of drug dealers. So the argument is not about the legalisation of marijuana or heroin in this country. This is not what the Report seeks to submit, but to strengthen the existing law as per the purpose of the PNDC Law 236.
Mr Speaker, respectfully, if we look at the Memorandum that accompanied the Bill, paragraph 2 says; and with your permission I beg to quote:
“The purpose of the PNDC Law 236 was to bring under one enactment, offences related to the illicit dealing in the narcotics drugs and to establish the Narcotics Control Board. It was also to coordinate activities on illicit drugs and psychotropic substances.”
Mr Speaker, illicit drug is a very serious threat to our national life; it has a very serious effect on our socio- economic development as people and
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:28 p.m.
Hon Member, you have two minutes. You are a Member of the Committee that prepared the Report. So going through the same thing for us -- if there is something new, tell us. Otherwise, we have the Report.
Mr Amankwah 1:28 p.m.
Mr Speaker, on the issue of legalisation of marijuana as being espoused by some Hon Members, I am of the view that we are not yet there and that economic issue cannot be basis for us to legalise
such a dangerous project. This is because we know how serious some of our youth have been affected when it comes to the use of marijuana in this country. Mr Speaker, some youth have gone mad as a result of the use of marijuana.
Mr Speaker, even though it has become a public health issue, the fact of the matter is that, as a country, if we look at the advantages of legalising marijuana, compared to the disadvantages that we would incur as a community, I strongly believe that we should not entertain this debate in this country. -- [Interruption] -- Mr Speaker, I am being interrupted by the Hon Majority Leader about its relevance.
Mr Speaker, the relevance here is that we know the effect when it comes to abuse of drugs in this country and that we have spent a lot of money in curing diseases of such nature. So I believe that we cannot, as a country - because in Denvac Morado, ever since they legalised marijuana, they are earning billions of Dollars, therefore Ghana must also go the same way. No, Mr Speaker! We are different, based on values and culture.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:28 p.m.
Which of the values of this country are you basing your argument on?
Mr Amankwah 1:48 a.m.
Mr Speaker, from where some of us come from and the kind of training given to us, we cannot entertain such psychotropic substances in our system. This is because I know the effects in my constituency and other constituencies within the Kumasi Metropolis that this very issue that we are discussing here, has a serious negative impact as far as youth development is concerned.

Mr Speaker, I beg to differ from this position that it is time to legalise “weed” in this country. I strongly believe that we are not ready and whoever is championing that cause, the earlier they stop, the better it would be for all of us.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:48 a.m.
Thank you.
Mr Mahama Ayariga (NDC -- Bawku Central) 1:48 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my Leader intends to come and participate but he is --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:48 a.m.
You are the available Hon Leader and I have given you the slot. We cannot wait for your Hon Leader because we do not know when he would arrive here.
Mr Ayariga 1:48 a.m.
Thank you very
much Mr Speaker for the opportunity.
Mr Speaker, I have read your Committee's Report and it is laced with very strong arguments that seemed to support the decriminalisation of the use of narcotic drugs, especially a substance like marijuana. Even though they argue strongly in support, they appear unable to make any recommendations in that regard. However, they argue strongly in favour of why we should treat users differently from how they are being treated now, which is the strict criminalisation, arrest, prosecution and imprisonment.
They argue that it is a huge cost to the justice system to pursue, apprehend, prosecute and imprison users of narcotic substances. They argue that we should change the orientation towards viewing this as more of a public health hazard and medical issue and focus more on it as a public health issue.
Mr Speaker, I think that the argument of those who say we should maintain its criminalisation, but treat it as a public health issue -- I do not think that the two arguments are mutually exclusive. We could maintain the posture of criminalising it and at the same time, invest in a public health infrastructure that would be able to
contain the situation of those who fall through the cracks, use it and then develop medical challenges that we must address as a society.
In my opinion and as has been argued, it is not yet time for us as a country to think about decriminalising it, because perhaps, the infrastructure that we have is weak. First and foremost, if we look at the law enforcement agencies, even when we have criminalised it and its movement and trafficking is being done in secrecy, it is difficult for us to apprehend users.
When we decriminalise it, most people would think that they could use it and many would use it. Medical evidence shows that it is very addictive. Let us take alcohol for instance, even though to take it in excess could be as medically dangerous as taking narcotics, because it is not criminalised, many people use it, and alcohol abuse is a major health hazard that we deal with as a country. So the danger involved -- [Interruption] -- My Hon Leader would come in on a point of information and I would sit down for him to continue.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:48 a.m.
You would conclude and yield? They are mutually exclusive. [Laughter]
Mr Ayariga 1:48 a.m.
Mr Speaker, let me just end on the note that we support this Bill and the efforts to create a Commission and strengthen its hands. We support the principle of focusing on narcotic use as a public health hazard and to give the Commission the mandate to also pay attention to that.
Mr Speaker, I would like to mention that in constituting the governance structure of the Commission, we are in my opinion, looking too much at the security apparatus and not the route that drug dealers use to get the substances into the country.
If you look at the governance arrangements, I do not see any effort to include the heads of the Ghana Airport Authority and Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority. These drugs come through those facilities, so in looking at the governance arrangements, it would probably be advantageous to have these two institutions involved in the management.
The Customs Authority and National Security are there, but then also, we would probably need to have the Ghana Airport Authority and Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority
involved in the governance. I think that would improve the governance arrangements to ensure the prevention of its entry.
Mr Speaker, on that note, I would yield to my Leader who has expressed a strong interest to wind up on this matter.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:48 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, I really do not have a problem giving you the space, but you were not even in when the Report was distributed. Have you seen it? [Interruption] Very well. Let me listen to you before I go to the Hon Majority Leader.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu (NDC -- Tamale South) 1:48 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for tolerating me. I would like to assure you that I have read the Report, and you can see my markings on the back and even in the Narcotics Control Commission Bill, 2019. I had to go to the office of the Chief Justice at her request for a meeting on some very urgent matters on the future of legal education and I had agreed to meet with her at 1 p. m., so forgive me.
Mr Speaker, in principle as my Hon Colleagues have said, I would like to assure the Hon Minister for the Interior that we wholeheartedly support the principles and policies
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:58 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, just a minute.
Hon Members, having regard to the state of Business of the House, I direct that the House Sits outside the regular Sitting hours.
Yes, you may continue.
Mr Iddrisu 1:58 p.m.
Mr Speaker, again, as I have indicated, we will have the opportunity at the Consideration Stage to look at it. When we come to the “Establishment of Committees”; we would talk about appointments and promotions. That should not be the focus of this Bill. This is purely administrative and managerial; that is, how appointments and promotions are done. We should focus on the core objects of this Bill.
Mr Speaker, I will be very brief as I said. Let me again take us to the “Objects of the Bill”. When we look at the subclause (2);
“The objects of the Commission are to ensure public safety”. If we say “public safety” what then would the Police Service do as a primary responsibility?
So, we should limit them to the core objects; we want them to control and eliminate traffic in prohibited narcotics drugs, and to fight the illicit drug trade. We should say so, but when we put an omnibus object and say “the objects of the Commission are to ensure public safety” is public safety the -- ?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:58 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, we are discussing the Report now. We will come to the Consideration of the Bill.
Mr Iddrisu 1:58 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is appreciated. That was why I said that when we get to the Consideration Stage, we would draw attention to them.
Mr Speaker, I raised it because the objects of the Bill must be discussed when its principles are being discussed, and I do not see that the object, particularly subclause (1) should be focused on that.
So generally, as we have observed in the Committee's Report -- There are matters also related to what was done between the Narcotics Control Board (NCB) and the court system. We need to strengthen the protection of evidence and data. What happens between the NCB when arrests are made subjecting it to scientific tests and other things, and the court systems? This is because many arrests have been made relative to narcotics, but there has been no conviction even as we get the evidence as damning as possible. We should find out what goes on between the NCB, which is yet to be a Commission, and what happens through the process of law when the trial process takes place?
Mr Speaker, so the United Nations (UN) — I have seen it in the Report. The United States of America in particular has a way of reporting how countries have performed in terms of regulating and controlling the illicit drug trade. So when they submit their Report, we should be interested in meeting those blueprints.
With these words, I support the Motion.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:58 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to also make a few comments on the Second Reading, the
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:58 p.m.
Hon Majority Leader, one moment.
Yes, Hon Member for Bawku Central?
Mr Ayariga 1:58 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I know that Committees are Committees of this Parliament, but it has become conventional for us to say “Mr Speaker's Committee”. I do not think that Mr Speaker wants to arrogate to himself powers that do not belong to him; but then, he also knows that often, without us moving a Motion for him to refer a matter to a Committee, he has been referring matters to Committees suo motu. -- [Laughter.]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:58 p.m.
Hon Member for Bawku Central, do you
allege that the Hon Majority Leader is out of order? If not, shall we continue?
Yes, Hon Majority Leader, you may continue?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:58 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I said that this Bill was first laid in this House in the year 2015, and Parliament did not do its responsibilities. The Constitution provides in article 106(14), and I beg to quote:
“A bill introduced in Parliament by or on behalf of the President shall not be delayed for more than three months in any committee of Parliament”.
Mr Speaker, this Bill came here in the year 2015; for over one and a half years, we had not worked on it. Last week, I met Committee Chairmen and Hon Ranking Members — because we had to close early in the day, it was made to appear as if Parliament had no Business doing yet we had 29 referrals to Committees. They had three months to work on them during the recess, but they have not submitted their Reports.
This is the fate that this Narcotics Control Board Bill suffered, and today, we have come with a new Bill
-- the Narcotics Control Commission Bill that we are dealing with. So I would want to urge Committees that when referrals are made to them — We all ac- knowledged that the Narcotics Control Board Bill was a very important Bill that Parliament ought to have really passed, but we did not do that for one and a half years.
Mr Speaker, as far as we are concerned, it was clear negligence on the part of Parliament, and we should not encourage that attitude.
Again, our own Standing Orders provides in Standing Order 136 and if you wish, I will quote -- It really enforces and indeed, fortifies article
Mr Speaker, Standing Order 136 provides 1:58 p.m.
“No Bill introduced into Parliament by or on behalf of the President shall be delayed for more than three months in any Committee of the House”.
Bills are referred and in a year, they fallow in the Committees; they are not being worked on. As I said, it is made to appear as if Parliament is not serious. We keep telling ourselves that there is no work for us to do.
Mr Speaker, Standing Order 136 provides 2:08 p.m.
Last week, we had to close as early as 12 noon, yet these referrals are with the Committees.

Mr Speaker, the purpose of the Bill, as established by the Committee in paragraph 5.0 on page 4, is the recognition that the current legislation restricts the confiscation of illegal properties related to drug deals, and does not adequately deal with the freezing of the accounts of drug dealers. Indeed, that is the defects of the existing law. The remedies proposed to cure the identified mischief contained in the Bill — and we are really saying that the remedies offered in this new Bill are more enhancing and we believe that they would cure the mischief that we have identified.

Mr Speaker, at this stage of the Bill -- that is during the Motion for the Second Reading of the Bill, we are concerned with just the principles and policy underpinning the Bill. I know that usually, there is the temptation to go into the body of the legislation to suggest some amendments, but we are not there yet.

Mr Speaker, what I do know is that the Bill is borne out of the UN Convention against illicit Traffic in

Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. Indeed, article 75 (2) of the Constitution compels us to subject this Convention to ratification by an Act of Parliament and by that, we domesticate the treaty or convention; that is what we are doing.

The issue raised by the former Hon Deputy Minister for the Interior is very germane to me - that we should allow the law enforcement agencies to bear fire arms in order not to put their lives in harm's way. I think that this is a very innovative provision that this new Bill seeks to introduce.

Mr Speaker, I do not want to talk about the legalisation of narcotics in a controlled manner. A Hon Colleague cited the case in Uganda but he should go to Uganda and see what happens in the belt that grows medical marijuana. So without proper research, we should not gravitate towards that, just because Uganda makes money from it.

Mr Speaker, does he know the burden that is being imposed on Uganda? We went to Uganda for Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) about three weeks ago, and I would suggest to the Hon Member that we were told in that belt today, there are close to 10,000 people who would become lunatics

overnight, all thanks to weed. He however, stands in the Parliament of Ghana without any proper research to tell us that because Uganda makes money out of it, we should also start cultivating and legalise cultivating marijuana. [Interruption.] The Hon Member for Atwima Kwanwoma?

Mr Speaker, the deliberation that we conduct in this House should be informed by proper research, so that we inform our citizenry to make good determination about any information we put out there. If we hear of any development in any country, we just do not jump on it and indicate that we should imitate or mimic whatever happens anywhere in the world.

Mr Speaker, so I am not minded to really go into the details, except to appreciate what is being done and to urge that we endeavour to pass this piece of legislation before the House stands adjourned on 20th December,


Mr Speaker, I thank you for the space granted to me.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:08 p.m.
Would the Hon Minister make some final comments?
Mr A. Dery 2:08 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
I would thank my Hon Colleagues for the good ideas that have come up. First of all, I want to reiterate the point that this was introduced in the Sixth Parliament, and it is being reintroduced. What we did was to capture the amendments that the Sixth Parliament had effected therefore it is my hope that we could pass this as quickly as possible. I am encouraged by the commitment of the two Hon Leaders, and I believe the whole House would do so.
Also, this Bill does not legalise narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. All we are doing is to make sure that we rehabilitate those who are negatively affected.
Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for your support in this endeavour.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
The Narcotics Control Commission Bill, 2019 was accordingly read a Second time.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:08 p.m.
Hon Majority Leader, unless you have any announcements, I intend to bring proceedings to a close.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:08 p.m.
Speaker, there are Committee meetings; the Finance Committee has two crucial meetings, and I would urge that all members of the Committee attend these meetings because we expect to have the Reports and deal with them. We have stood down two Reports from the Finance Committee because of the non-attendance of members to meetings to discuss those matters. I would urge the members of the Committee to attend the meeting which has been advertised, at two o'clock, and it is on the Request for Tax Waiver. This is because we must take the Report and deal with it tomorrow or before the close of this week.
Mr Speaker, I understand that the Committee on Food and Agriculture could not meet in the morning, but they have decided to meet this afternoon.
Also, there is a special Committee that is required to meet, and it involves the Development Department, the Hon Minority Leader, myself and two other people.
Finally, there is another meeting that has not been advertised, and it is the Standing Orders Committee; but we would meet after adjournment. So I would urge members of the Standing Orders Committee to meet at the 7th
Floor on the West Wing of Job 600 immediately we adjourn.
Mr Speaker, with this, I beg to move that this House stands adjourn until 10 0'clock in the forenoon tomorrow.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:08 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 2:08 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we are in your hands, but the Hon Leader of Government Business has moved the Motion for adjournment. I beg to second the Motion, and also remind members of the Standing Orders Committee to avail themselves so that we could do justice to it and get it laid consistent with article 11 of the Constitution.
Mr Speaker, thank you.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:08 p.m.
Hon Members, even though I did not need a Motion to adjourn the House; but since the Hon Leaders have opted to move and second a Motion, I would put the Question.
Question put and Motion agreed to.