Debates of 11 Jul 2017

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 12:15 p.m.

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT 12:15 p.m.

Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Hon Members, item numbered 2 on the Order Paper -- Correction of Votes and Proceedings and the Official Report.
The Votes and Proceedings dated Friday, 7th July, 2017.
Page 1…6 --
Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh 12:15 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, on page 6, I have been captured as absent. Yes, I was absent, but I was on official duty.
Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Page 6...14 --
Alhaji Abu-Bakar Saddique Boniface 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I was marked absent, but it should have been “absent with permission”. This is because on Friday, we were in Peduase.
Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Any further corrections?
Hon Members, in the absence of any further corrections, the Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 7th July, 2017 as
  • [No correction was made to the Official Report of Friday, 30th June, 2017.]
  • ANNOUNCEMENTS 12:15 p.m.

    Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Hon Members, I have the pleasure to introduce to you a 15-member delegation of the Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, and the Standing Committee on Public Participation and Petitions of the Kwazulu-Natal Provincial Legislature of the Republic of South Africa who are on a one-week study visit to Ghana.
    They are here, among others, to meet and interact with their counterparts of the Committee on Local Government and Rural Development to share knowledge and learn best practices on governance at the local councils and the handling of petitions before Parliament.
    The visit is also intended to create the platform to promote networking between Hon Members and our South African counterparts with the aim of deepening relations between the two Legislatures.
    The delegation comprises the following:
    Hon G. N. Swartbooi-Ntombela -- (Chairperson, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Committee)
    Hon E. Vusi Dube -- (Chairperson, Public Participation and Petitions Committee)
    Hon S. C. Nkosi -- Member
    Hon N. M. Khoza -- Member
    Hon P. H. Mbatha-Cele -- Member
    Hon D. D. Dlamini -- Member
    Hon M. Ntuli -- Member
    Hon P. A. T. N. Buthelezi -- Member
    Hon S. Thakur-Rajbansi -- Member
    Hon N. Mlaba -- Member
    Mr N. J. Mpungose -- Chief Director
    Ms D. B. S. Gatsheni -- Researcher
    Ms D. P. Mpisane -- Researcher
    Ms Z. P. Molefe -- Committee Coordinator
    Mr S. N. Hlatshwako -- Committee Coordinator.
    Hon Members, on your behalf, I wish them fruitful deliberations and a pleasant stay in the country.
    Hon Members, item numbered 3 -- Statements
    Hon Members, we have a Statement on drug abuse by the Hon Member for Asene/Akroso/Manso. Hon Members, the Hon George Kwame Aboagye would make this Statement.

    Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my information is that the Hon Member has signalled that he is on his way; but he has been caught up in serious traffic, so, he would not be here now.
    Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Hon Members, there is also another Statement regarding the 25 years celebration of Hon Bagbin and the 60th birthday celebration. He is the Hon Member for Nadowli/Kaleo.
    Hon Members, again, there is a Statement by Hon Bedzrah, the Hon Member for Ho West.
    Mr James Klutse Avedzi 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think the same “disease” that infected the earlier Hon Member has also infected t h e H o n B e d z r a h . [Laughter.]
    Mr Speaker, I am trying to reach him and as soon as I get him, I would alert him. So, we could move to the next item.
    Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Hon Members, we shall proceed to the Commencement of Public Business; item numbered 4 -- Presentation of Papers.

    Hon Members, item numbered 4 (a).

    Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, before I proceed to item numbered 4, I would like to inform the House in particular that the Hon Mohammed Abdul-Aziz, Member for Mion and the Hon Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Member for North Tongu --
    Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, so are we in the position to go on with the item numbered 4?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, respectfully, that is what I said.
    Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Hon Members, item numbered 4 (a).
    PAPERS 12:25 p.m.

    Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Hon Members, item numbered 4(b) by the Hon Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister responsible for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation is unavoidably absent. In his stead, we have the Hon Deputy Minister who would hold the fort and lay the Paper on behalf of the substantive Minister.
    Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister, you may do so.
    By the Deputy Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (Ms Patricia Appiagyei) (on behalf of the Minister) --
    Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilisation to the convention on Biological diversity.
    Referred to the Committee on Environment, Science and Technology.
    Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Item listed 4 (c) -- Hon Chairman of the Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, ordinarily, these matters are laid by the Hon Chairman of the Committee, but as our Standing Orders provide, any Hon Member, in the absence of the Hon Chairman of the Committee, can lay the Paper on behalf of the Committee.
    rose
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague is rising up even before I finish. Let him address whatever and I would squarely face him.
    Alhaji Muntaka 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader should really provide us with better explanations. Hon Ministers are not here; Hon Chairmen of Committees too cannot be found -- Mr Speaker, if he does not have Business, he should let us have some rest.
    He forced us here early in the morning -- We get up and run to Parliament, but he cannot have any of his Hon Ministers around. He cannot get the Hon Chairmen of the Committees too.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader needs to help us to be able to help the House to conduct Government Business. It is very surprising that since morning he has been asking one permission after the other. On the Hon Chairmen of the Committees too, he is asking permission for other Hon Members to lay the Committee's Report.
    We are not saying that they cannot, but we are asking where the Hon Chairman and the Hon Ministers are. They should be here to help Parliament to conduct its Business. This was his chorus when he was here. Now, he is there, but he has forgotten.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we just witnessed a situation where a statement from an Hon Member on the other side -- The Hon Member to deliver a Statement is nowhere to be found.
    Mr Speaker, I thought the Hon Member was going to rise to a breach of our provisions. If there is any breach of our provisions, he should tell us. If there is no breach, it is much ado about nothing.
    Mr James K. Avedzi 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am happy that the Leader of the House is now comfortably defending situations like this.
    What we are asking from our side of the House is to tell the Hon Ministers and the Hon Chairmen of Committees to come here and help the House to do the work. We are here to conduct business and he is the Leader of Government Business.
    If he is defending that because an Hon Member from here was not present to read a Statement as well, he has forgotten to note that another Hon Member from his side of the House was also not present to read his Statement. It means that he agrees with the situation that it should remain that way.
    He should rather take what we said on board and let the Hon Ministers know that we need them in the Chamber to conduct Government Business.
    rose
    Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Hon Member, if you would put your Standing Orders down, it would help us. [Laughter.]
    The argument now is not about the fact that another Hon Member may in the absence of the Chairman -- But if the point is that we all have a duty -- If we are to primarily perform the function, then that is the issue. I believe that can be debated upon.
    I see the Hon Majority Leader.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, nobody is running away from the arrangements that we have in this House that Papers from Committees are required to be laid in the House by Hon Chairmen of Committees.
    In their absence, any Hon Member could lay the Paper just like if an Hon Minister is, for inexplicable reasons, unavoidably absent from the House.
    Mr Speaker, what we have always done at the Cabinet level is for the Hon Minister holding the fort for the one who is not in the Chamber to perform the assignment on behalf of the Hon Minister who is absent.
    Mr Speaker, other than that, an Hon Deputy Minister could perform that function; especially when in this case it relates to just the laying of the Paper.
    Mr Speaker, we are not even considering the Paper. The the issue that I raised is that we would endeavour to have the Hon Members, and indeed, the Hon Ministers responsible for various issues to be in the Chamber to address matters. Mr Speaker, we would take it on aboard, but I just made the point that in this case, no breach of our rules has ensued.
    Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Hon Members, that is the reason I asked the Hon Member with his rule book to please save us that. Hon Members, let us face it. If a person has a primary duty to perform, that Hon Member must be in the House. It is both sides.
    We must all on both sides of the House take the work of the House seriously. If we did so, we would not just turn our eyes left and right to see the numbers now seated in the House.
    In order that the public would not go on criticising Parliament, let us take some of these things seriously. An Hon Member is called to make a Statement, but he or she is not here. We have just seen it. A primary function to perform, the Hon Member is not here.
    I do not think that we would want to be seen as the rubber stamp of this Honourable House. So, please, let us all be up and doing. In fact, this has nothing to do with rules at all; it is just that relevant persons are conspicuously absent and it is not good enough. Where necessary, others could act in the stead of others. There is no doubt about that.
    Very well, let us make progress. Item numbered 4 (c) -- are we able to do anything?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we have an Hon Member of the Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises.The Hon Member for Fan- teakwa South would do the --
    Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    The Hon Member may do so. Please, proceed.
    By Mr Kofi Okyere-Agyekum (on behalf of the Chairman) --
    Report of the Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises on the Committee's Participation in the 106 th Inter- national Labour Conference held in Geneva, Switzerland from 5th to 16th June, 2017.
    12. 45 p. m.
    Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Item listed 4 (d), Hon Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, you are the Hon Chairman of the Committee of Selection and I rise to present the Report of the Committee of Selection to plenary by bowing. [Interruptions.]
    I guess I would respond adequately to the Hon Member for Aburi when I have finished laying the Paper.
    By the Hon Majority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu) (on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee) —
    Report of the Committee of Selection on the re-composition of Committees of the House.
    Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Order!
    Item listed 5 -- Motion — Hon Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we agreed to lay it today, but we would deal with the subsequent Motions tomorrow.
    Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Hon Bedzrah — Hon Members, order!

    Hon Majority Leader, at this juncture, any indication?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, because there are so many Committees slated to sit and have serious discussions and deliberations about relevant issues before them, I may want to move that this House adjourns until tomorrow at 12.00 noon.
    Mr Speaker, but I think it is imperative for Hon Members to know that when Mr Speaker is talking, Hon Members should not stand — [Interruptions] — whether they are in blue or green colours.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House adjourns until tomorrow at 12. 00 noon.
    Mr Avedzi 12:35 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    In seconding the Motion for the House to adjourn to tomorrow at 12.00 noon, I would just want to correct the impression created by the Hon Majority Leader that he is now Mr Speaker — [Laughter.] This is because he said when the Rt Hon Speaker is speaking, no Hon Member should stand.
    Mr Speaker, at that time, your goodself was not on the floor speaking. So, let us correct that impression; he is not the Rt Hon Speaker, he is the Hon Majority Leader of the House.
    Thank you.
    Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader?
    Order!
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minority Leader said, before he seconds the Motion and then he chose to run his own commentary. He ended up not seconding the Motion.
    Mr Speaker, but the point that I sought to make was in respect of an Hon Colleague, a former good Friend of mine --

    [Laughter] — who was on his feet while you were addressing the House — [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Hon Deputy Minority Leader, for the avoidance of doubt, did I hear you second the Motion?
    Mr Avedzi 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I second the Motion.
    Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, may I venture to ask, do you have any further Business for this afternoon?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am clear in my mind that when you put the Question, the “Ayes” had it.
    — [Laughter] --
    Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, that was not the question I asked you. Do you have any further Business for us?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Business that is outstanding is Committee sittings.
    Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Committee sittings?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:35 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker. There are six Committees of this House slated for serious business.
    Mr Speaker, unless the pocketful of Hon Members who shouted “No” have, in their pockets, assorted Committee Business or Plenary Business, they may opt to stay it.
    Mr Speaker, but as I said, I am very clear in my mind when I heard that the “Ayes” had it when you put the Question.
    Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    I will put the Question.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    ADJOURNMENT 12:35 p.m.

  • The House was accordingly adjourned at 12.54 p.m. till Wednesday, 12th July, 2017 at 12.00 noon.