LAST WEEK IN PARLIAMENT-20th-30th July

Posted on  August 5, 2020  by  Pnafrica

Parliament prepares to go on recess after this Second Meeting in a time of pandemic. During the tenth week (on Thursday, 23rd July 2020), the Hon. Minister for Finance moved a Motion for the adoption of the Mid-Year Review of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2020 Financial Year. MPs took turns to debate the budget statement during the eleventh week and concluded during the same week.

Bills

In the House, the following bills were taken through the different stages in the lawmaking process.

The University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development Bill, 2020, and the Minerals Income Investment Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2020 were taken through second reading. The Aircraft Accident Investigation and Prevention Bureau Bill, 2020 was taking through a second reading and the consideration stages.

The Conduct of Public Officers Bill, 2018, a long standing piece of legislation in parliament was given a second reading giving a sigh of relief to followers of the bill.

Finally, the Land Bill, 2019, after going through a first and second consideration was read the third time and passed.

Papers laid

Quite a number of financial agreements were scrutinized and adopted throughout the week.

Among the numerous committee reports presented in Chamber included a report of the Finance Committee on the request for waiver of Import Duty, Import NHIL, Import GETFund Levy, Import VAT, EXIM Levy amounting to the Ghana Cedi equivalent of Twenty-Eight Million, Two Hundred and Fifty-One Thousand, Two Hundred and Fifty-Eight United States Dollars (US$28,251,258.00) on Machinery, Equipment and raw materials to be procured by Kasapreko Company Limited under the One District One Factory (1D1F) programme; and reports on the Development Finance Institutions Bill, 2020 and Minerals Income Investment Fund(Amendment) Bill, 2020.

The Hon. Deputy Minister for Local Government & Rural Development, Mr. Kwasi Boateng Adjei on behalf of the Minister responsible for Local Government & Rural Development, presented the Annual Statement by the Audit Committee of the Ga East and Bolgatanga Municipal Assemblies respectively for the year 2019.

Hon. Majority Leader, Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah- Bonsu laid a report of the Auditor-General on the Consolidated Statements of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) for the Year Ended 31st December 2019, while the Hon. Member for Okaikwei Central, Mr. Patrick Yaw Boamah on behalf of the Chairman laid the Foreign Affairs Committee’s report on the Host Country Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the African Union for the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat.

Reports of the Committee on Local Government and Rural Development on the Registration of Births and Deaths Bill, 2020 was laid on the floor.

The Hon. Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Sagre Bambangi on behalf of the Minister responsible for Food and Agriculture laid the Budget Performance Report in respect of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture for the period January to December, 2019, which was referred by Hon. First Deputy Speaker Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affair Hon. Samuel Ayeh-Paye, Chairman of the Committee on Roads and Transport laid these reports:

(i). Report on the Design-Build Contract Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana (represented by the Ministry of Roads and Highways [represented by the Ghana Highways Authority]) and Messrs Gabriel Couto-Rango Consortium for an amount of Fifty Million Euros (€50,000,000.00) for implementation of the reconstruction of the Bechem – Techimantia – Akumadan (40.4km) Road Project;

(ii). Report on the Design-Build Contract Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana (represented by the Ministry of Roads and Highways [represented by the Ghana Highway Authority]) and Messrs Gabriel Couto-Rango Consortium for an amount of Ninety-Five Million Euros (€95,000,000.00) for implementation of the reconstruction of the Tarkwa – Agona Nkwanta (66.0km) Road Project; and

(iii). Report on the Contract Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana (represented by the Ministry of Roads and Highways) and Mabey Bridge (registered as Acrow Global Ltd. of the United Kingdom) for an amount of Forty- Three Million Great Britain Pounds (GBP£43,000,000.00) for the Design and Delivery of Prefabricated Bridges for deployment throughout Ghana.

Chairman of the Finance Committee, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah, laid the report of his Committee on the Financing Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana (represented by the Ministry of Finance) and the International Development Association (IDA) for an amount of Two Hundred Million United States Dollars (US$200,000,000.00) to finance the Ghana Jobs and Skills Project (GJSP), and a report of the Finance Committee on the Financing Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana (represented by the Ministry of Finance) and the International Development Association (IDA) for an amount of One Hundred and Fifteen Million United States Dollars (US$115,000,000.00) as additional financing for the e-Transform Ghana Project.

Questions

Mr. Samuel Nartey George (Ningo-Prampram), on behalf of Mr. Eric Afful (Amenfi West) asked of the Minister for Lands and Natural Resource the status of the youth in afforestation programmes. The Minister mentioned that the programme was suspended due to Coronavirus, however it has resumed implementation since May.

Also, Mr. Kwame Governs Agbodza (Adaklu) on behalf of Dr. Abdul-Rashid Hassan Pelpuo (Wa Central) sought to find out when the Wa Airport would be cleared of all obstacles to enable regular flights to and from Wa. The Minister answered saying that the halt in flights in the area is mainly due to COVID-19 and the difficulties therein, and assured the House of working to remove any obstacles to allow for flights.

Statement

The demise of Congressman, John Robert Lewis attracted a couple of statements on the floor of the House led by the leader of the Majority Caucus, Hon. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu and supported by the leader of the Minority Caucus, Hon. Haruna Idrissu.

Committee

Even amidst COVID-19 committees have been meeting while maintaining social distancing protocols. Some of the committees that met included the Committee on Education to continue consideration on the Complementary Education Agency Bill, 2019. The Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises also met and considered the 2018 Financial Statement of the Ghana National Gas Company Limited, and also met to consider the Registration of Births and Deaths Bill, 2020.

The Committee on local government and Rural Development met and considered the African Union Charter on the Values and Principles of Decentralization, Local Governance and Local Development.

The Committee on Works and Housing Committee met on Tuesday, 21st July, 2020 at twelve noon and considered the Real Estate Agency Bill, 2020.

The Finance Committee which had the most business to consider. The committee met and considered a number of the financial agreements which included the Term Loan Facility Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana (represented by the Ministry of Finance) and Deutsche Bank AG, Frankfurt Branch (as Arranger and Original Lender) and TMF Global Services (UK) Limited (as Facility Agent) for an amount of One Hundred and Forty-Seven Million, Five Hundred and Five Thousand, Seven Hundred and Thirty-Four Euros (€147,505,734.00) for the reconstruction of the Bechem – Techimantia – Akumadan (40.4km) and the Tarkwa – Agona Nkwanta Road Projects;

ii. Facility Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana (represented by the Ministry of Finance) and Standard Charted Bank, London (as Agent Arranger and Structuring Bank) [with UK Export Finance as Guarantor] for an amount of Forty-One Million, Eight Hundred and Twenty-Eight Thousand, Seven Hundred and Ninety-Three Great Britain Pounds and Seventy-Seven Pence (GBP£41,828,793.77) to finance the Design and Delivery of Prefabricated Bridges for deployment throughout Ghana; and

iii. Facility Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana (represented by the Ministry of Finance) and Standard Charted Bank, London (as Agent, Arranger and Structuring Bank) for an amount of Six Million, Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Great Britain Pounds (GBP£6,450,000.00) to finance the Design and Delivery of Prefabricated Bridges for deployment throughout Ghana;

 

The week ahead

The House has quite a number of bills to consider and possibly pass before going on recess on Monday, 10th August 2020 as expected. A lot of questions (12) have been slated to be asked of Ministers of State on various sectors of the economy. 

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