Hon Members, I have the pleasure to introduce to you a six (6)-member delegation of the Togolese National Assembly who are on a week- long official visit to Ghana. They are here, among others, to learn at first hand Ghana's efforts at peace building, conflict resolution and prevention using dialogue. The delegation comprises two (2) Members of Parliament and four (4) officials. They are: Hon Singo Ayitou MP, Chairman of the Committee on Defence and Security; Hon Christine Mensah-Atoemne -- MP, Chairperson of the Committee on Human Rights; Mr Kansongue Yambanjoi Secretary-General of the National Assembly; Mr Oladokoun Wonou _ -- Head of the Speaker's Office; Mr Philippe Yodo Kodjo -- 4 Programme Officer Parliament Project Management Unit; and Ms Ornella Moderan - Governance and Crisis Prevention Programme Officer/UNDP-Togo. Hon Members, I, on your behalf, wish them a pleasant stay in the country and fruitful deliberations. We now move on to Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 28th October, 2011.
VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT
Madam Speaker, on page I, I am being captured as being present in the House on 28th October, 2011. I would want to state that I was rather absent with permission. It should be captured as "Absent with Permission" and not "Present". I was in Kumasi then.
Page 1, number. 25. _ I should rather be captured --
You were absent with permission; so that will appear in the correct place. The Votes and Proceedings as corrected are hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
[No correction was made to the Official Report of Thursday, 27th October, 2011.]
Madam Speaker, the mode of application was done this way. The forms were sent to the District Directorate of Education Offices and students or parents went in for them to fill in. The forms were not to be sold. Applications were also collected by the MASTERS Secretariat and did some distribution. Madam Speaker, about 2,000 applications were rejected and 6,000 of them were taken. Those who were rejected were mostly non-science students. Madam Speaker, in all, 3,543 beneficiaries were selected last year for the MASTERS programme. The break- down is as follows: For post-graduate students, that is those from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), University of Cape Coast, University for Development Studies (UDS), University of Mines, University of Education, Winneba, they are 122. For undergraduates, KNUST - 252, UDS - 273, University of Mines --- 46, University of Education, Winneba - 570, University of Ghana -- 130; the polytechnics got 166, colleges had 263, senior high schools got 1,181. Students from the three northern regions got 158. Madam Speaker, the total number of students who benefited from the programme last year was 3,543. Out of this, 373 have completed. Continuing students that We have up to date are 3,170.
Madam Speaker, I am a bit Worried about the way the Minister is answering my Question. I asked a Question on second cycle institutions and not university, tertiary or whatever it is. Madam Speaker, you would bear me out that we are all aware in this country that for some time now, scholarships have been given to students in secondary schools since time immemorial. I can even recall Dr Kwame Nkrumah's ability to give scholarships to the northern sector and successive governments have also been doing so, making sure secondary school students have access to scholarship, more especially the vulnerable ones. But the way the Minister is answering my Question - I do not know. I am not talking about science and mathematics scholarships. That is a different scholarship altogether. This is the government scholarship which has been instituted a long time ago and I wanted the Minister to answer questions on that rather than the tertiary and whatever it is. So would the Hon Minister come out and tell me what has happened to this well-established scholarship scheme for second cycle institutions which was not done for those students in the 2010/11 academic year? He should come again and tell me what has happened.
Yes, I believe your Question really is "when applications for second cycle students for Government scholarship for the 2010/11 Academic Year would be approved". Yes, Hon Minister, can you help us?
Madam Speaker, currently, this is the programme that we are operating.
Is it for second cycle institutions?
Yes. Madam Speaker, it is for second cycle institutions. In fact, the MASTERS programme is not only for second cycle institutions and that is what
Hon Member, that is your third question.
Madam Speaker, I am very clear in my mind. The Hon Member is asking whether there are different scholarships. I am saying that currently, this is the scholarship scheme that we are operating.
Yes, let us have questions from the floor then.
Madam Speaker, the Hon Minister has mentioned "criterion" a number of times. What he has told us is the group, or the set or the subset which qualify--the original qualification- and he had said that the focus was on mathematics and science [Interruption]. My Hon Friend, Hon Bagbin, they will call you so that you can speak -- The subset or the set of the group is science and mathematics. But within that group, I want to know the criterion. Would the Hon Minister also agree with me that perhaps, since every constituency has needy people, and every consti- tuency is representing needy people, would using the constituencies as a basis for some criteria so that it is evenly spread throughout the country not be a good idea?
Madam Speaker, exactly so- That is why we have sent the application forms to the District Directors of Education, so that there can be fairness in the allocation of the scholarship. That is how we have done it. The criterion in fact, this scholarship is also aimed at needy students. That is one of the reasons we have shifted to the rural areas where people who want to read science and other science-related courses can have an advantage of doing the programmes that they want.
Madam Speaker, I would like to ask, as a follow- up- The Hon Minister said the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the University for Development Studies (UDS) - [Interruption] he was actually focusing on tertiary scholarship. If I am to understand, as my Hon Colleague, we need to know of the second-cycle institutions where the scholarships of the 6,000 approved went to. Would he please, elaborate? Give us the secondary schools. Is it Nsiah Secondary School, Agogo Secondary School --just as he was able to mention KNUST and UDS. He should please, tell us the second-cycle insti- tutions that got the scholarships.
Hon Minister, I believe you would need time to tabulate these second-cycle schools. That was not the Question that was asked. Let us be fair to the Hon Minister. Hon Minister, unless you have something to say, I thought that the Question was not --
Madam Speaker, I was just talking about the tertiary schools. I also talked about the second-cycle institutions. I mentioned University of Ghana, University of Cape Coast and others because those ones are very few. I cannot say Agogo Secondary School got this, this secondary school got this" - that one, I do not have the records now. If the Hon Member wants, we can provide them.
Yes, shall we move on then to the next Question?
Madam Speaker, I think the Hon Minister missed the question that I asked. The question was and still is, they sent the forms to the various districts because they were looking at equitable distribution of the resources that we had. He has been magnanimous enough to talk about the number of beneficiaries from the three northern regions with respect to tertiary education. Even there, he did not provide the number for the second cycle institutions; he only specified the number of bene- ficiaries in respect of tertiary education to the three northern regions. I am asking because he emphasised on districts. Can he tell us the beneficiaries or the districts that benefited from this and the number of students? Not to mention the names of the students. That is not what I mean. If he can tell us district by district, the allocations to those people or because he pursued this line of allocation to the three northern regions with respect to tertiary scholarships, how many went to the other districts?
MI Speaker, I think i would need time to get him the breakdown of this.
All right Thank you, Hon Minister. Shall we move to the next Questions? Hon Minister for Information is the next to answer Questions. So before you go, Hon Minister, we say thank you for coming That was one Question to you.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
MINISTRY OF DEFORMATION
Madam Speaker, during the implementation of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation Television and Radio Network Modernization and Expansion Project using Satellite Distributions, (R&A) Project) in 2004 and 2005, a 5kW TV and FM transmitters were installed in Salaga. Both transmitters have been in operation since then. However, in February, 2011, the transmitter developed a fault and failed to give any output. Madam Speaker, troubleshooting work on the transmitter indicated a major fault. This fault could not be rectified as the parts needed for the repair work are not available in Ghana. Subsequently, the spares are among the bulk faulty components sent to the manufacturer Rohde & Schwarz (R&S) in Germany for repair. Madam Speaker, while we continue to Work on and repair the FM transmitter, arrangements are being made to install a lower power FM transmitter, as a stop-gap measure until the 5 kW transmitter is repaired and installed. An old smaller 0.5 kW transmitter, which was reconditioned and installed at the station to provide FM services to Salaga, has had its Exciter faulty, which explains the poor radio reception.
Madam Speaker, I would want to know from the Hon Minister, whether there is any private radio station there. If no, I would want to know why. And this question would go to the Hon Member of Parliament whether there is a private radio station at Salaga.
Yes, Hon Minister, do you know? Is there a private radio station?
Madam Speaker, I believe the Hon Member answered it all. He said that since no form of radio transmission is there at all- I believe he is not just referring to the State-owned media; I am not aware of any private station there, anyway - [Interruption] -- I do not know. No, he said that they do not receive anything, no information. It is inside there; it is there.
Well, I do not know but I have seen the Hon Member of Parliament there up again. Are you going to --
Madam Speaker, we do not have any private radio station in Salaga
There are no private radio stations there?
We only rely on Unique FM and Radio Savannah, which are not working for the past one year.
Shall we move to the next Question which stands in the name of the same MP for Salaga. Alhaji Abubakari; Madam Speaker, I have to withdraw the second Question because the problem has been fixed and we now have television working very well in Salaga. So I wish to thank the Hon Minister for that one.
All right Thank you What about the last Question? Hon Agyabeng, is he here? If he is not, I can understand because the Question should have gone somewhere else. So that closes the end of Question time- Mr Frederick Opare-Ansah. - rose -
Yes, Hon Opare- Ansah, any matter? Shall we then move on to Statements? I have admitted a Statement from -- [Pause] Maybe, I did not want the Hon Minister to leave us right now. But now that I have been told that I have to discharge him, let us thank him for coming to answer our Questions. Thank you, Hon Minister. We move on to Statements then. As I was saying, I have admitted a Statement from Hon Isaac Osei. Hon Member, can you read your Statement now?
Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to make this Statement on the floor of this House.
you, Hon Member.
Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Statement made by Hon Isaac Osei, Member of Parliament for Subin. Madam Speaker, in his Statement, he gave a catalogue of progress of work on the cocoa industry by previous governments. He started with the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC)-
Madam Speaker, this intervention also came with the fertilizer application. The problem, as I speak, is that farmers have difficulty in getting fertilizers to apply to their cocoa farms and which is affecting the production levels now. Madam Speaker, there is another issue on proper supervision of the mass cocoa spraying exercise. Most of the chemicals are lost in moving them from their origins to their destinations. Most of these cases have been reported, especially in my constituency, Amansie Central District. About four of such cases were reported to the Ghana Police Service but we have not heard much on that. As such, we need to put so much effort into this particular exercise, cocoa mass spraying, which has helped farmers a lot. We need to do proper supervision so that it will continue to help farmers. Madam Speaker, there is another trend which, as a country, if we do not tackle it now, we would live to regret. Madam Speaker, most cocoa farms in my constituency are being destroyed by small-scale mining operators and the worst thing is that this cocoa farmers are paid some token as compensation. Farmers who have lived in the communities for years - forty, fifty years -- and cultivated these farms, the operators come and pay just a small token to them and their farms are destroyed. Madam, Speaker, it is not only the farmers who would suffer but as a nation, we are also going to suffer because the land size is being reduced. We need to take a very critical look at this particular trend. I would like to call upon the Government and also Ghana Cocoa Board to institute a very good strategy, so that even if the cocoa farms are to be destroyed for the money that are not to be spent in Ghana but sent outside the country, then the farmer who has cultivated his farm for years should be compensated very well, so that he or she can have a livelihood.
Madam Speaker, in my contribution in support of the Statement made by the Hon Member for Subin, I wish to state that I do not come from a cocoa growing area but I want to make this contribution for two main reasons. One, as a Ghanaian, I have benefited as an individual and collectively from the cocoa industry. Two, because I have had the opportunity of working briefly in the cocoa industry and I think my sympathy goes with what the Hon Member who made the Statement has said. But Madam Speaker, there is one difficult observation that I have made in spite of all that we have said here and in spite of all the strategies that had been put in place to sustain the cocoa industry. I think that there is one area that we are losing focus on and we need as a people and as a Government to look at that area. Madam Speaker, we all know that cocoa, although it is a tropical crop, thrives in certain environmental conditions. Apart from the fertility of the soil, it has a minimum precipitation that is required. And very importantly, some minimum forest cover, that is shade - is provided for the cocoa crops. Unfortunately, today traditional cocoa growing regions have lost significant portions of their forest cover.
Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Statement made by Hon Isaac Osei, Member for Subin and past Chief Executive Officer, of Ghana Cocoa Board. Madam Speaker, we all know that cocoa is the mainstay of this economy. This was recognized by the NPP Administration and efforts were made to make cocoa growing very attractive. I remember that the producer price at that time doubled and efforts were also made to tar roads leading to cocoa producing areas. But it seems in my view that these nice efforts that were made have all come to a halt. I think that the implications are that we cannot cart the cocoa from the hinterlands to the main centre for it to be carried to the headquarters for export. Again, if there are routes leading to border towns, what happens is that the farmers will carry the cocoa in the night access the border town to sell. This is so natural because they cannot leave the cocoa to rot in their villages. So I think that the current Administration should make an effort to carry on with programmes that were initiated or started by the previous Administration to make cocoa growing very attractive. This is because we all recognize that that is the mainstay of the economy. They should continue to tar the roads leading to the cocoa growing areas because people are talking about smuggling cocoa to neighbouring countries. I think that the current Government should continue, especially to tar the roads leading to cocoa growing areas to ease the burden on the cocoa farmers. By so doing, the country will earn enough revenue from the sale of the cocoa to support some of the developmental projects. With these few words, Madam Speaker, I would want to thank you for the opportunity.
Yes, I thank you. I think we have had enough of this Statement except that it was recommended that we send the Statement and the comments to the COCOBOD. Do you approve? Should I direct or - This is because I think it is a very important matter. If it is agreed, I direct that the Statement and comments made thereon by Hon Members be brought to the attention of the COCOBOD. Hon Members, shall we move on? Statement time is over and we move to item 6 on the Order Paper. Hon Leader, can we lay the Papers in item 6? Item 6(a), is it-- I believe it is not ready. Is it?
Madam Speaker, we can do so except that there is information that item 6(a) is not ready, so we can go to items 6(b), 7 and 8.
Yes, in which case, Hon Minister, you may move Motion number 7 on the Order Paper.
BILLS -SECOND READING
Madam Speaker, I beg to move, that the University of Health and Allied Sciences Bill, 2011 be now read a Second time. In moving this Motion, I would like to make some reference to the Memorandum to the Bill. The purpose of the Bill is to establish the University of Health and Allied Sciences in the Volta Region with campuses in Ho and Hohoe as a pre- eminent, research and practically oriented health educational institution dedicated to community service. Madam Speaker, Government's initiative to establish the University of Health and Allied Sciences, is as a result of the practical necessity to have a university in the Volta Region. Beyond the politics, the statistics show that apart from Ashanti Region which has the highest number of second cycle institutions and Eastern Region which follows, the next region with the highest number of second cycle institutions is the Volta Region. Therefore, this is a region that has a practical necessity to have a university sited there to provide some opportunities for the graduates of the second cycle schools to have access to tertiary education.
MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER
Mr Speaker, the University of Health and Allied Sciences, focuses on medicine and other disciplines in the sciences in general because of the realisation that our nation has a serious deficit when it comes to science and technology programmes. And therefore as we expand access at the tertiary level, we need to also focus on the provision of opportunities in the sciences and that is What makes the establishment of this university particularly very important. Mr Speaker, if you look at our education strategic plan, and if you look at all our policy documents, there is an important issue of expanding access of tertiary education to meet the increasing demand for access as a result of the expansion in access at the basic level and the increasing size of enrollments at the secondary level. We have so many of graduates of secondary schools who are having difficulty in getting access to university education. As a result, it has become necessary for us to establish more universities, so that there can be increased access to tertiary education and that is what has informed the necessity for the establishment of the new universities, in particular, the University of Health and Allied Sciences. Mr Speaker, with these few words, I beg to move, that the Bill be now read a Second time. Question proposed.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to second the Motion ably moved by the Deputy Minister for Education. In doing so, I wish to present your Committee's Report. Mr Speaker, pursuant to articles 103 and 106 of the l992 Constitution and Orders 125 and 186 of the Standing Orders of Parliament, the University of Health and
d. The Tertiary Institutions (Establishment and Accreditation) Regulations, 2010 (L.I. 1984) e. National Accreditation Board Act, 2007 (Act 744) f. National Council for Tertiary Education Act g. The University of Ghana Act, 2010 (Act 806) h. The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Act, 1961 i. The University of Cape Coast Law, 1992 (PNDCL278) j. The Polytechnics Act k. The University for Development Studies Act, 1992 l. The accompanying Memorandum m. Reports and Recommendations by the Implementation Task Force n.Memoranda and written presentations by the stakeholders 4.0 Background Information In order to enhance access to tertiary education across the country and to develop the requisite human resource base of the country, especially in the sciences, His Excellency the President, John Evans Atta Mills set up a Task Force Planning Committee on January 8, 2010 for the establishment of two new universities. The terms of reference for the Committee were among others to make recommendations for the development, organization and supervision of the implementation of a programme for the establishment of a University of Health and Allied Health Sciences in the Volta Region and a University of Energy and Natural Resources in the Brong Ahafo Region with particular attention to instituting: high quality, state-of-the-art, modern infrastructure and facilities; curricula and pedagogy relevant to national needs; and producing graduates, versatile and innovative enough to overcome challenges in the fields of energy, natural resources and health sciences. It is against this background that this proposed Act has been submitted for the consideration and approval of the House to enable Government fully establishes the universities. 5.0 The Purpose of the Bill The Bill therefore seeks to establish the University of Health and Allied Sciences in the Volta Region as a pre-eminent research and practically oriented health educational institution dedicated to community service. 6.0 Divisions of the Bill The Bill is divided into four main sections under the following subtitles: The University Administration Financial matters Miscellaneous matters 7.0 Highlights of the clauses of the Bill Clause 1 establishes the University of Health and Allied Sciences as a body corporate with perpetual succession. The aims of the university as specified in clause 2 include provision of higher
Clause 23 deals with student governance and provides for the Students' Representative Council of the University. Clauses 24 and 25 provide for the statutes of the university to carry into effect the provisions of this Act and the procedures for enacting the Statues. The Statutes regulate the appointments, conditions of service, procedure for meetings and the academic calendar of the University among other things. The convocation of the university is established under clause 26. The Vice Chancellor is required to submit an annual report on the performance of the university to the convocation. The congregation of the university is provided for under clause 27. The university may by virtue of this clause confer degrees, award diplomas and certificates at a congregation composed of persons prescribed by the Statutes. Clause 28 provides for property and contracts. The financial provisions are in clause 29 to 33. The sources of funds for the university include subvention from Parliament, tuition and hostel fees, grants, rents, royalties, interest from investments, proceeds from the sale of publications of university and other moneys approved by the Minister responsible for Finance, Clause 29. Clause 30 establishes the Internal Audit Unit of the university in accordance with the Internal Audit Agency Act, 2003 (Act 658). Clause 31 to 33 respectively provide for accounts and audits, annual and other reports and exemption from taxes, duties and other charges. The miscellaneous matters are in clause 34 to 38. These deal with anti-discr- imination, matriculation and dispute settlement. Finally, the interpretation clause is clause 37 and the transitional provisions are in clause 38. There is to be an interim Council for three years to be responsible for the establishment of the university. 8.0 Observation 8.1 Transitional provisions The Committee observed under clause 38 that interim measures have been put in place to start the management and administration of the university before eventual takeover by a permanent management team. The Committee Was also informed that an agreement has been reached a premier university to guide the interim Council. Notwithstanding the professional integrity and competencies of the interim council and staff yet to be appointed, the Committee believes that such arrange- ment would ensure that the professional quality of the initial products of the university is guaranteed 8.2 Duration of the interim Council Again, it was observed that a three- year terminal period has been given to the interim Council to hand over to the Council which will be established under this Act. In the opinion of the Committee, this provision in clause 38(2) is laudable since it would compel the interim Council to get the necessary structures in place for final take over by a permanent management team. 8.3 Justification for the proposed university The Committee was informed that the decision to set up the University of Health and Allied Sciences was informed by the growing demand for human resources in science and technology as a result of
(t) disseminate the results of research through the publication of books, papers and other suitable means; (g) undertake research in courses which are within the mandate of the University but with special attention to: (i) any problems which exist in this country or elsewhere in Africa; (ii) subjects that relate to the social, cultural, economic, scientific, technological aspects of health within and outside the country; (h) provide service through extension and consultancy activities to foster relationship with persons and bodies; and (i) develop distance learning modules for courses to higher education for a large number of people." 4. Pages 4&5: Clause 2 -- Subclause (2) -- Amendment proposed - delete and insert the following: (i) "(2) The University for the purpose of achieving its aims shall have the following Schools, institutes and centres (ii) delete items (h) and (i) and insert the following: (h) School of Sports and Exercise Medicine; (I) any other health related schools, institutes and centres as the Council shall determine. 5. Page 5: Clause 3 -- Campuses of the University Amendment proposed - delete and insert the following: "3. The University shall be established at Ho with campuses in Hohoe and any other places as the Council may determine." 6.Pages 5&6:Clause 5 - The University Council Amendment proposed - delete and insert the following: "5 (1) The governing body of the University is a Council of (a) a chairperson nominated by the President; (b) the Vice-Chancellor appointed under section 15; (c) four persons appointed by the President; (d) one representative of the National Council for Tertiary Education; (e) two elected members of Convocation representing the professorial and non- professorial staff; (f) one elected representative of the University Teachers Association; (g) one representative of the Teachers and Education Workers Union; (h) one elected representative of the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools;
(iii) Subclause (6), delete and insert the following: "(6) The Pro Vice-Chancellor, the Registrar and the Director of Finance shall attend meetings of the Council but are not entitled to vote." 10. Page 8: Insert a new Clause ll on Allowances for Council Members as follows: "Allowances ll. Members of the Council and members of a committee of the Council shall be paid the allowances approved by the Minister in consultation with the Minister responsible for Finance." 12. Page 8: Clause 12 - General Powers of the Council Amendment proposed - Subclause (1) - delete and insert the following: "(l) The Council shall have power to do or provide an act or thing which it considers necessary or expedient in relation to the University." 13. Page 8: Clause 13 - Principal Officers of the University Amendment proposed %- delete and insert the following: (i) "(l) The Principal Officers of the University are (a) the Chancellor (b) the chairperson of the Council, and (c) the Vice-Chancellor". (ii) "(2) Prior to the assumption of office, the Principal Officers of the University shall swear the oath of office as prescribed in the Constitution and as modified in the Schedule." 14. Page 9: Clause 14 - The Chancellor of the University Amendment proposed - Subclause (2), line (2), insert "the" before "Statutes". 15. Page 9: Clause 15 -Vacancy in office of the Chancellor Amendment proposed - Subclause (2), line (2), insert "the" before "Statutes". 16. Page 9: Clause 16 - Vice- Chancellor of the University Amendment proposed - Subclause (5), line (2), delete "good" before 'order' 17. Page 10: Clause 17 - Pro Vice- Chancellor Amendment proposed - add the following new subclause as follows: "(6) Prior to the assumption of office, the Pro Vice- Chancellor shall swear the oath of office as prescribed in the Constitution and as modified in the Schedule, which shall be administered by the Chancellor." 18. Pages 10&11: Clause 19 - Composition of the Academic Board Amendment proposed -- delete and insert the following:
20. Page 12: Clause 21 -- The Registrar Amendment proposed - (h) Subclauses (5) and (6) --- delete and insert the following: "(5) The Registrar is the chief administrative officer of the University under the Vice- Chancellor." (ii) (6) line (2), insert "the" before "Statutes" 21. Page 12: Clause 22 -Headnote-- Amendment proposed -- delete and insert the following: "Director of Finance 21. (1) The Council shall appoint a Director of Finance for the" University. (2) The Director of Finance shall perform functions as prescribed in the Statutes. (3) The Director of Finance is responsible to the Vice- Chancellor in the performance of the duties of Director of Finance. 22. Page 12: Amendment proposed-- insert the following new_ Clause 23 as follows: "Appointment of other staff 23. The Council shall appoint other staff that are necessary for the effective performance of the functions of the University." 23. Pages 12 & 13: Clause 24 -- Internal Organization of the University Amendment proposed - delete subclause (l) and insert the following: (i)"(l) Subject to the provisions of this "Act, the Council may make arrangements as it considers appropriate for the internal organization of the University including: (a) the establishment , variation and supervision of academic divisions, faculties, schools, centres, departments, institutes, hostels and other bodies in the campuses in Ho, Hohoe or elsewhere; (b) award professorships, promote lectures; and (c) award fellowships, bursaries, exhibitions, scholarships, prizes, honorary degrees and other awards. (ii) delete Subclause (2) and insert subclause (3) as the new subclause (2). (iii) subclause (2), paragraph (a), line (2), delete "inside" and insert "within" after "and". 24. Page 14: Clause 26 -- Statutes of the University Amendments proposed -- delete and insert the following:
28. Page 18: Clause 36 -- Anti- Discrimination Amendment proposed - Subclause (1), delete items (a) - (e) and insert as follows: "(a) admitted as a student of the university, (b) registered as a student of the university, (c) permitted to graduate from the university, (d) appointed as an academic staff or other staff member, (e) promoted as an academic staff or other member, or (f) granted any advantage, privilege or other benefits accorded all other persons." 29. Page 20: Clause 39 -- Interpretations Amendment proposed - "Convocation means the Chancellor, the Principal Officers of the University and all other members of the University appointed by the Council or Academic Board and who are also registered as senior members of Convocation by the Registrar;" "Institute means a multi- disciplinary courses and research or services establishment which focuses primarily on multi-disciplinary courses and research on the provision of extension services;" "Statutes means administrative guidelines enacted by the Council in accordance with this Act to govern the internal operations of the University." 30.Page 40: Clause 40 - Transitional provisions Amendment proposed-- delete and insert the following: "40. (1) There shall be an Interim Council of the University. (2) The composition of the Interim Council shall be A determined by the President on the recommendation of the Minister. (3) The members of the Interim Council shall be appointed by the President. (4) The President shall determine the functions of_the Interim Council. (5) The Interim Council shall operate for a period not exceeding three years after the commencement of this Act. (6) The Interim Council shall determine the procedure for its meetings. (7) The members of the Interim Council and members of a committee of the Interim Council shall be paid the allowance approved by the Minister for Finance. (8) The Council established under section 5 of this Act shall be appointed within three years after the commencement of this Act
administration which will be guided by an older university. The understanding or the confidence that will be restored can be maintained only if this provision is strictly adhered to and followed. My observation is that, the Government or the university authorities should respect this provision, which is put in the Bill. This is because that is the pivot on which the university's reputation and image will depend. If this is violated at the initial beginning of the establishment of the university, then the credibility and the status of the university's credentials would be at stake -- So this is the first observation I would like to make. Then secondly, I also observed that the university is to provide facilities to train more human resources in the health and allied sciences. Mr Speaker, this is a laudable idea because we know that there is serious shortage in the health sector both at the doctors' level and the nurses' level or the para-medical levels. So any attempt or any effort by Government to create avenues for more of our students to be trained in this sector, I think is welcome. However, that notwithstanding, we must also equally take note that Ghana has a reputation for the quality of the medical personnel that it has trained so far within the few universities we have. Our doctors are respected internationally, our nurses by the migration that we have recently observed, are also highly respected when they work outside. So if we are thinking of establishing a university which will train more of these personnel right from the onset - award them credentials as I have said then we must make sure that we have all the necessary supporting facilities and quality personnel to bring out the quality doctors and nurses or para-medical personnel that we will add to the existing personnel that we have in the system. Otherwise, we are going to have second class medical personnel. Doctors trained by the traditional universities who appear to be respected and look different and doctors who are going to be trained by the new university and who are also going to be considered like the initial doctors we had from the eastern countries where they had to be retrained in Ghana when they took up appointment -- That will not augur well for the nation because we cannot afford to have two categories of -doctors and nurses or para-medical personnel. So I also think that, that being the case we can take a cue from the example of the University for Development Studies when it was started in this same way and we think that the shortcoming arose out of lack of infrastructure and lack of Government support for certain facilities. So I think Government should then be in a position, if it really means business, to provide the necessary infrastructure and facilities to make this institution fulfill its mandate right from the beginning. This is a very urgent matter that should be taken note by the Government. I also think that it is not enough to train more doctors, more nurses or more para- medical personnel without thinking of how we can retain and sustain them in the system. Otherwise, we would be wasting our resources and we will still be in that dire need of medical personnel. So I think much as we are thinking of the passage of this Bill, it should also be at the back of our minds that we should do everything possible to make the conditions of work for doctors and para-medical staff
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to this debate. Mr Speaker, by this Bill, Government is seeking to establish the university as a pre-eminent research and practically oriented health educational institution dedicated to community service. Mr Speaker, as of now, we have in existence several public universities. Indeed, if you look at the private sector's involvement in education, the major aspect has been in the form of Humanities. So if Government has decided to establish a university, then it is fitting that it is related to health and allied sciences. But Mr Speaker, we must also look at the broader picture. In our country presently, I can say without fear or contradiction, that over 50 per cent of our graduates after national service do not have employment. Even though this is not scientific, considering the number of requests that are made, over 50 per cent are not employed and that is the major problem we face in the country. So if Government decides to establish a university for whatever purpose, then it must in the medium to long-term have a programme that would expand the economy, so that we can get employment for the graduates. Quite recently, at a discussion relating to another Bill, we were informed by a researcher that it looks as if contrary to what we believe is the conventional wisdom, prospects of -employment for graduates of the sciences are very bleak as compared to graduates in the Humanities only because our industrial base is weak. So while commending Government for this initiative, I am saying that this university should not be a political university. Programmes and policies must be put in place to ensure that the young graduates in this country have hope in the future. In my view, the greatest challenge that we face in this country presently is unemployment. At first, it used to be secondary graduates unemployment. Now, graduate unemployment is more of the norm and I am urging Government, particularly the Minister for Education, together with the Minister for Employment and Social Welfare to connect with the private sector, so that we can know our needs as a nation and then policies that we put in place would be geared towards meeting our manpower needs. At this juncture, I also wish to encourage the Ministry of Education to look at the use of technology in expanding access to tertiary education. An initiative was taken during the time when I was honoured to serve as the Minister for Education, to create technological platforms in regional capitals which later would be extended to major districts where we could have those who desire tertiary education, to access it from their regions, and from their districts, so that the cost of tertiary education to the individual is minimized. The reality is that, Government with its enormous responsibilities, has limited funds for tertiary education. Look at our existing universities, we are having students almost always clamoring against excessive user charges and even in the sciences, there is a major problem because we do not have the faculty.
Thank you, Hon Member. We shall have one from each side. Ms Beatrice B. Boateng (NPP -- New Juaben South): Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity. I rise to add my voice to the Motion on the floor -and to congratulate the Hon Deputy Minister for Education for the able manner he has moved the Motion. Mr Speaker, I know that it is a fact that education is believed to be the fulcrum of all developments in every nation, likewise Ghana. So, everything about education is dear to the heart of everybody. Mr Speaker, it is for this reason that I welcome the establishment of the University of Health and Allied Sciences. Mr Speaker, why am I enthused? I am enthused because Ghana as a country, is 54 years old after Independence. Sadly enough, Ghana being seen as the gateway to Africa or to the world - let me put it this way --- has only five public universities. If it has not been the support of the private universities, we would be seen to be lacking over hugely. Again, Ghana for now, our recent population census comes out to say we could be more than 24.4 million. Out of this, about two-thirds constitute the youth of this country, the sector of the country who are used for the future of the nation. If they are to be used well for the future of the nation, then it stands to reason that they should be educated to be able to do this, so that when We have left, they will come to continue from where we have left off. It is for this reason that I think this-Bill is most important. But Mr Speaker, I would want to support again, that fine, it is going to he set up in the Volta Region -- very good.
Mr Speaker, as you see, the university's name is Health and Allied Sciences. Now, what is important is that we should establish this, bring out all the professionals as are indicated in this Bill to support the health sector. Again, one of the important things to consider is the development of our traditional forms of medicine and I believe that the citing of the university in the Volta Region is not just symbolic but it is an indicative of the fact that a lot of people in that region believe and practise medicine that is appropriate. So if we use scientificity to make sure that this kind of development is generally acceptable to the world, it would be good. We would learn from other countries like China and India where the practice of traditional medicine has been encouraged enormously. But as for training people, educating people, you have no alternative but to educate your people. For- the jobs, it requires training of people in particular ways that they do not wait for Government or somebody else to employ them. If we are afraid of unemployment of graduates and we do not train more people, we have illiterate population; it is even more dangerous for the society. People have to be taught to be able to do things for themselves. Technology is important and for that reason, for this particular university to function properly, Government is making trying to revamp the existing institutions m that region to support the training. Fortunately, this Parliament has also approved a loan agreement that would go a long way to support the establishment of this institution and I believe that for all of us, we should not talk only of graduate unemployment. We know it is a problem but we must talk about making sure that the ratio of nurses to the population, of doctors to the population, the pharmacists, all the professional groups that should help give us optimum health, we enjoy the better health for everybody, we need to train more people. As you train more people, better health would be realised. That is why I support this Motion and I urge all of you to vote for it.
Leadership -- Minority Leader and Majority Leader.
Mr Speaker, if I may yield my place to the Hon Member for Ahano-Ano South, »Mr Balado Manu.
Thank you, my Leader and thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, this Bill establishing a university in the Volta Region has come at an opportune time. It has come at a time that we have just come out of strike by our doctors, few as they are in this country. Mr Speaker, in 2010, When it was announced that a university had even been established in the Volta Region, some of us said it was not so. Today is the day that a Bill has been brought to this House to seek permission of this House to establish a university in the Volta Region. Today, we are at ground zero of establishing a university in the Volta
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to also support this very important Motion that is seeking to establish the University of Health and Allied Sciences in the Volta Region. Mr Speaker, this university has a purpose of ensuring that we set it up to reflect the practical needs of our people to serve our communities. And it is specific to the point saying that it will have an implication to community service. Mr Speaker, in this country, the one thing that we need to do, is to make our universities work in accordance with the needs of our communities and our total Ghanaian community. I believe very strongly that this is going to be the beginning of it when the university is seen to be of a practical nature and targeting the specific needs of our communities. I have read the Report and I have taken note of the purpose as spelt out in paragraph 5.0 which talks about practical orientation of the health educational institution dedicated to community service. Mr Speaker, even if people complete the universities and are not immediately employed, it is still important after we have gone out to see what is happening elsewhere, that an enlightened community, an enlightened country is half way the solution to their major problems in life. Many, many of our folks in other African countries, especially in Ghana, are unemployable not just because they do not have the physique, the muscles, "the physical capacity to work, but because they do not have the wherewithal in terms of their ability to apprehend society. So it is important that we are now beginning to change the orientation of our educational system to reflect the needs of our people in a more practical and demonstrable way. Mr Speaker, Ghana has taken the lead or is one of the leading countries in Africa in dedicating between 26 and 30 per cent of its budget in-education -- more than the average requirement of the United Nations urging all countries to spend at least, 25 per cent of her income budgetary allocation to education. So we should be celebrating our commitment to education but we cannot celebrate it if we do not take practical steps to make sure that when we invest, we get the benefits of the investment. I particularly support the view by the Hon Ranking Member when he talked about insisting on the fact that when you set up the university, you make sure you provide the necessary facilities to make it
Ankomah raised issues about graduate unemployment. Indeed, Mr Speaker
The Hon Member insists his name is pronounced "Papa" and not "Paapa".
Mr Speaker, Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah raised the issue of graduate unemployment. There is no doubt that this is a global issue and it is being given attention at the and at the national level and work is ongoing to expand the various sectors of the economy, so that more opportunities would be created. But it is important to note that even the research that the Hon Member made reference to and we were all at the meeting when we were introduced to the result of the research. It was clearly stated that in the health sector, we do not have that problem because health personnel upon graduation are automatically absorbed into the public sector. And looking at the doctor population ratios that have been cited, it is obvious that there still remains a significant need for the training of more people in the health sector spanning medical doctors, nurses, et cetera. Mr Speaker, if you look at the Memorandum to the Bill, you will see that the academic components of the university include schools of allied health sciences and basic bio-medical sciences, others are School of Nursing and Midwifery, Public Health, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Medicine. Mr Speaker, the Graduate Schools of Sports and Exercise Medicine will also be one of them and we have the Institute of Traditional and Alternative Medicine, Medical Education and Health Research. These are all areas where there is still a major need for more personnel and hence the importance that should be placed to the establishment of this particular university. Mr Speaker, on the issue of the campuses, initially, the campuses will be inHo and Hohoe. But when the university is established, the University Council then has the capacity by_ law to decide if it wants to set up additional campuses in other regions such as the Eastern Region or even in the Brong Ahafo Region, in Kintampo and other places where they either have infrastructure and facilities to
Mr Speaker, may we then move to Motion number 8? I understand that the Hon Minority Leader expressed some concerns about our taking it. But soon after those concerns were expressed, we were made aware that the Report was ready and was in our hands. So, the fear that the Report was not ready is no longer a fear and I would wish to urge us to take Motion numbered 8, so that we can have the Deputy Minister who is standing in for the substantive Minister move the Motion, with the consent of my Colleagues. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, the concerns raised by the Hon Minority Leader were not just the fact that the Report was not ready. Indeed, the substance of it was that because the Report was not ready, it was not going to be possible to get the Report on time and being able to do due diligence to its contents and proceed to have a reliable and respectable debate on the matter. If you look at the Report which I have in my hand, it is a 22-page Report. A 22-page Report on the establishment of a university in no mean a region than the Brong Ahafo Region. If we are going to proceed in that direction, I believe we should have had a little more time- But if it is the Wish of the House that we proceed, then I wish to state that the Minority has no objection.
Hon Deputy Minister,_you may proceed.
BILLS --- SECOND READING
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that the University of Energy and Natural Resources Bill, 2011 be now read a Second time. Mr Speaker, in moving, let me make reference --
If I may ask the movers and the seconders to please, be brief as we have the documents.
Mr Speaker, with your permission, let me please make reference to the Memorandum to the University of Energy and Natural Resources Bill, 2011. The purpose of the Bill is to establish the University of Energy and Natural Resources in the Brong Ahafo Region to generate, advance and apply knowledge in energy and research sciences. It is the vision of the Government that the University of Energy and Natural Resources will become a world class institution to deal with energy and natural resource sciences. The university will initially comprise seven schools. These are -- (a) School of Natural Resources; (b) School of Engineering; (0) School of Arts and Social Sciences; (d)School of Agriculture and Technology; (e) School of Geoscience; (t) Graduate School of Manage- ment; and (g) Sustainable Development. Mr Speaker, as Ghana becomes an oil producing economy and considering our rich endowments in the area of natural resources such as timber and other agricultural resources, it has become necessary for us to continue to expand
m. Reports and recommendations by the Implementation Task force n. Written memoranda and oral presentations by the stakeholders. 4.0 Background information In order to enhance access to tertiary education across the country and develop the requisite human resource base of the country, especially in the field of sciences, His Excellency, the President, John Evans Atta Mills, set up a Task Force Planning Committee on January 8, 2010 for the establishment of the two new universities. The terms of reference for the Committee include; recommendations for the development, organisation and supervision of the implementation of a programme for the establishment of a University of Energy and Natural Resources in the Brong Ahafo Region and a University of Health and Allied Sciences in the Volta Region with particular attention to: instituting high quality, state of the art, modern infrastructure and facilities; instituting curricula relevant to national needs; and producing graduates, versatile and innovative enough to overcome challenges in the fields of energy, natural resources and health sciences. It is against this background that this proposed Act has been submitted for the consideration and approval of this Honourable House to enable the Government establish the universities. 5.0 The purpose of the Bill The purpose of the Bill is to establish the University of Energy and Natural Resources in the Brong-Ahafo Region to generate, advance and apply knowledge in energy and research sciences. 6.0 Divisions of the Bill The Bill is divided into four main sections namely: Establishment, aims and functions; Administrative Provisions; Financial Provisions; and Miscellaneous. 7.0 Highlights of the clauses of the Bill Clause l establishes the University of Energy and Natural Resources as a body corporate with perpetual succession and Clause 2 specifies aims of the University. Clause 3 allows the university to establish campuses in the Brong-Ahafo Region and elsewhere while clause 4 empowers the University to award its own degrees and other certificates. The provisions from clause 5 to 28 deal with administration. Clause 5 establishes the governing body of the university which is a Council consisting of eight persons who will be appointed by the President in accordance with article 7O of the Constitution. The functions of the Council are provided in clause 6 which among others is to ensure the implementation of the aims of the university and the proper allocation and use of resources as well as the determination of the strategic direction of the university and monitor and evaluate policies of the university. Clause 7 provides for the establishment of committees by the Council which may comprise members or non-members of the Council or both.
University of Energy and Natural Resources in the Brong-Ahafo Region to generate advance and apply knowledge in energy and research sciences. It, however, noted under clause 2, subclause (2) (c) of the Bill states that school of social sciences is among the schools to be established. Not underestimating the importance of social sciences to the total mental development of the graduates from the school, the Committee was of the opinion that such provision is inconsistent with the spirit or intent of the Bill. The Committee therefore recommends for deletion of that provision to enable the university, when established, focus on its core mandate. ii. Transitional provisions The Committee further observed under clause 38 that interim measures have been put in place to prepare the grounds for eventual take-over by a permanent management team. The Committee was also informed that a memorandum of understanding has been reached with a premier University to provide technical and administrative guidance to the Interim Council. Notwithstanding the professional integrity and competencies of the Interim Council and Staff to be appointed, the Committee believes such an arrangement would ensure that the professional quality of the initial products from the University is guaranteed. iii. Duration of the interim Council The Committee again observed that three year terminal period has been given to the interim Council to handover to the Council which will be established under this Act. In the opinion of the Committee, this provision as provided for in section 38(2) is laudable since it would compel the interim Council to get the necessary structures in place for a final take-over by a permanent management team. 9.0 Proposed amendments - In view of the above observations, the Committee proposes the following is amendments for the consideration of the House: 1. Page 1: Arrangement of Sections Amendment proposed - delete and insert the following: (i) Paragraph 19, "Composition of the Academic Board". (ii) Paragraph 20, ‘fFunctions of the Academic Board". 2. Page 4: Clause 2 - Aims of the University Amendment proposed- delete and insert the following: (i) Subclause (1) "2. (1) The aims of the University are to provide higher education, undertake research, disseminate the results of the research and foster closer collaboration with the people of this country and institutions outside in accordance with the following principles: (a) in determining the subjects to be taught, consideration shall be given to courses of special relevance to harness the energy and natural resources in the best interest of the country; (b) the University shall inculcate critical and independent thinking in the student body; (c) lead through teaching, research and extension to promote the design and
(j) one representative of post- graduate students of the University elected by the University branch of the Graduate Students Association; and (k) one representative of the alumni of the University. (ii) Subclause (2) "(2) The Chairperson and other members of the Council shall be appointed by the President in accordance with article 70 of the Constitution. (iii) Subclause (3) "(3) The President, in making the appointments under paragraphs (a) and (0) of subsection (1), shall have regard to the academic -qualifications, leadership qualities, gender balance, expertise in finance, management, knowledge and relevant experience. 4. Page 6: Clause 6 -- Functions of the Council Amendment proposed -paragraph (b), line 2, delete "resultant" before "policies". 5. Page 6: Clause 8 --Tenure of office of members of the Council Amendment proposed -- delete and insert the following: (i) Subclause (1) "(l) A member of the Council other than the Vice-Chancellor shall hold office for a period of three years and is eligible for re-appointment for another term only". (ii) Subclause (3) "(3) A member of the Council other than the Vice Chancellor may resign from office in writing addressed to the President through the Minister". 6. Page 7: Clause 9 --Meetings of the Council Amendment proposed -- delete and insert the following: (i) Subclause (2) "(2) The quorum at a meeting of the Council is nine". (ii) Subclause (3) "(3) The Chairperson shall preside at a meeting of the Council and in the absence of the Chairperson, members of the Council shall elect one of the government appointees present to preside". (iii) Sub clause (6) "(6)The Pro Vice Chancellor, the Registrar and the Director of Finance shall attend meetings of the Council but are not entitled to vote". 7. Page 8: Clause 12-- General powers of the Council Amendment proposed - Subclause (1) - delete and insert the following: "12. (1) The Council shall have power to do or provide an act or thing which it considers necessary or expedient in relation to the University".
"Functions of the Academic Board 20. The Academic Board shall: (a) formulate and implement the academic policies of the University; (h) devise and regulate courses of instruction and study subject to accreditation by the National Accreditation Board; (c) promote and supervise research; (d) regulate the conduct of examinations, the award of degrees, diplomas and certificates and authorize research work; (e) advise the Council on the appointment of academic staff, admission of students and the award of scholarships and bursaries; (f) report on matters that are referred to the Academic Board by the Council; (g) make presentations to the Council on any matter connected with the University; and (h) perform other functions specified in the Statutes of the University subject to the powers of the Council". 14. Page 11: Clause 21--The Registrar Amendment proposed - Subclauses (4), (5) and (6) delete and insert the following: (i) "(4)The Registrar is responsible to the Vice Chancellor for the day-to- day administration of affairs of the University." (ii) "(5)The Registrar is the chief administrative officer of the University under the Vice Chancellor". (iii) "(6)The Registrar may perform any other functions provided for in the Statutes of the University". 15. Page 11: Clause 22 --Appointment of Director of Finance . Amendment proposed- delete and insert the following: "Director of Finance 22. (1) The Council shall appoint a Director of Finance for the University. (2) The Director of Finance shall perform functions as prescribed in the Statutes. (3) The Director of Finance is responsible to the Vice- Chancellor in the performance of the duties of the Director of Finance". 16. Page 11: Insert a new clause 23 on the "Appointment of other staff of the University" as follows: "Appointment of other staff 23.(1) The Council shall appoint other staff that are necessary for the effective performance of the functions of the University?
ii) "27. (5) line (3), delete "SAcademictatute" and insert "Academic Statute " 21. Page 14: Insert a new Clause 29 on Congregation after Clause 28 as follows: "Congregation 29. For the purposes of conferring degrees of the University and awarding diplomas and certificates, the University may hold Congregation composed of the persons prescribed by the Statutes". 22. Page 14: Clause 30--Property and contracts Amendment proposed-- add anew subclause (5) as follows: "(5) The Council shall in enacting statutes -under subsection (4) determine the incentives for persons who undertake any work, research or other intellectual enterprise funded or otherwise undertaken with the resources of the University to enable those persons benefit from their work, research or intellectual enterprise". 23. Page 15: Clause 31 -- Funds of theUniversity Amendment proposed -- Subclause (1) (c) delete and insert the following: "31. (1) (c) returns on investment;" 24- Page 17: Clause 35 -- Anti- discrimination Amendment proposed -- Subclause (1) - delete and insert as follows: "33. (1)(a) admitted as a student of the university; (b) registered as a student of the university; (c) permitted to graduate from the university; (d) appointment as an academic staff or other staff member, (e)promoted as an academic staff or other member; or (f) granted any advantage, privilege or other benefits accorded all other persons". 25. Page 18: Clause 38 - Dispute settlement Amendment proposed - Subclause (2),delete and insert the following: (1) "(2) TheAppeals Board consists of (a) a President who is a retired justice of the Superior Courts of Judicature or lawyer qualified to be so appointed; (b) two lawyers of at least, ten years standing at the Bar who are persons of high moral integrity one of whom is a woman; and, (c) two persons who are not lawyers or employees of the University who are persons of high moral integrity one of whom is a woman. (ii) Subclause (3), delete and insert the following: "(3) The Appeals Board shall hear and determine on appeal matters on:
(3) The members of interim Council shall be appointed by the President. (4) The President shall determine the functions of the interim Council. (5) The Interim Council shall operate for a period not exceeding three years after the commencement of this Act. (6)The interim Council shall determine the procedure for its meetings. (7) The members of the interim Council and members of a Committee of the interim Council shall be paid the allowance approved by the Minister responsible for Finance. (8) The Council established under section 5 of this Act shall be appointed within three years after the commencement of this Act. (9)The Minister may by Legislative Instrument make further transitional provisions not inconsistent with this section which the Minister considers necessary". 10. Recommendations and Conclusion The significance of the University of Energy and Natural Resources Bill, 2011 cannot be overemphasised. It seeks not only to create and enhance access to tertiary education but to also train specialists in the area of energy and natural resources in particular, which is critical to our national development. The Committee would like to congratulate the Government for this initiative. However, members of the Committee would like to send a strong appeal to the Government and the Council of the university to be mindful and be guided at all times, by the purposes for the establishment of this university and for which reason, the Committee is seeking the co-operation and support of this Honourable House to pass the Bill. Therefore, the Committee, having thoroughly examined the intent and the purposes of the Bill, unanimously recommends to the House to pass the University of Energy and Natural Resources Bill, 2011 into an Act subject to the additional amendments proposed above. Respectfully submitted.
The Motion has been moved and seconded and it is for the consideration of the House.
Mr Speaker, I will like to make a few comments on your Committee's Report about the establishment of this new university, University of Energy and Natural Resources. Firstly, I would want us to note that this university, unlike the previous one we just discussed, started for sometime now as School of Forestry and then it was upgraded into a tertiary institution during President Kufuor's Administration, to be nurtured by Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. So now, if it is being upgraded into a full university status, I think it has had a good start and has been tutored by a matured university and therefore, is ready for it.
Mr Speaker, I also rise to support the Bill and to' make a few comments. Mr Speaker, first of all, I would want to commend Government, the Minister for Education and more especially, the Task Force Planning Committee -that was established on the 8th of January, 2010. A year and ten months down the line, they have been able to come out with very good recommendations for the establishment of these two universities and- I think that they worked very tirelessly to achieve that. Mr Speaker, the establishment of the two universities in the Volta and the Brong Ahafo Regions is of very serious necessity for the country, looking at Ghana in the global market. Indeed, in the next few years, if we have these universities producing the kind of graduates We will require, it is going to be a big plus for the country.
Hon Minority Chief Whip, any problem?
Mr Speaker, the Bill talks about establishing a university in Sunyani - that is a single region, the Brong Ahafo Region. The Hon Member is talking about two regions. I do not know which other region this university is going to be located in. -
Thank you so much. Well, if one reads the Report, they refer to two universities in the Volta Region and Brong Ahafo Region- University of Health and Allied Sciences - Let me give you the paragraph, Mr Speaker.
Hon Member, except that in speaking about this university, let us concentrate on that and make progress.
Very well, Mr Speaker. I am only sharing the same sentiments of the university in the Brong Ahafo Region which will equally be reflecting in the Volta Region. But the expectations of the people of the Volta Region will certainly be very high. They will be expecting these universities to be operationalized -
Hon Member, concentrate on what is before the House -- please, concentrate on what is before the House.
Sorry, I thought I was mentioning the Brong Ahafo Region - [Interruption].
Sorry, I had earlier prepared my notes to speak on Volta Region when -
Hon Aidoo, you may continue.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member has one of his legs in Brong Ahafo and another leg in the Volta Region. Obviously, he will collapse. He is going to fall. So we are advising him to put both legs in the Brong Ahafo Region to save himself.
Mr Speaker, I would like to add my voice to the debate on the University of Energy and Natural Resources Bill, 2011. Mr Speaker, we all welcome this good news that this university is being set up. Coming from the Western Region, which produces more than fifty per cent of the natural timber in this country and also being the number one in energy production in terms of crude oil, we thought that the university would have been set up in the Western Region. However, since it would go to the benefit of-all of us, I do believe that it is appropriate that we all support this Bill because naturally, all Ghanaians would be able to attend the university. Mr Speaker, in taking the Bill, you realize that when the Government committed itself to set up a university, they made it clear that the university would be set up in Sunyani. But I quite remember when we were even trying to pass the Petroleum Commission Bill, we were told that was not possible, and that Government should think ab out where to put it but they will not put it in the law. Clearly, it shows that there are different standards for different things. Secondly, if we take this Bill as it stands, the transitional provisions that we have in the Bill is clear, that we set up a university and it is fully fledged. But you come to realize that in setting up of the University of Science and Technology, it was a college, in setting up the University of Ghana, it was a college before it moved on to become a fully- fledged university. If you take the private universities as they stand today, they go through a process of transition before they become fully fledged universities. As mentioned by the Hon Member who spoke earlier, the Catholic University in Fiapre is a major competitor to this university and I do believe that they would take their time to build the university, so that it would be able to stand on its own. What I will urge is, Ghana has a lot of natural resource problems. One of them is the galamsey issue and the re-affore- station of this country. You come to realise that most of the time we continue to collect a lot of royalties from timber contractors but the forests are not replanted. So we ask yourselves, "Where is the money?"
Chairman of the Committee, do you rise on a point of order or correction?
Mr Speaker, I want to know whether my Hon Colleague is -
Hon Chairman, you do not rise to ask a question.
Mr Speaker, point of correction.
If something is factually wrong, I would give you the opportunity to correct it.
Mr Speaker, it is factually wrong.
Please, correct it.
Mr Speaker, if my Hon Colleague is talking of Sunyani Polytechnic, then it is a fully-fledged polytechnic with some of the best structures in the country. So to say that it is just a name without anything to show, I think he is misleading the House.
Very well. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, I think my Hon Good Friend was not listening to what I said.
Mr Speaker, I am cautioning that this be not repeated in the case of the university. Mr Speaker - [Interruption] .
Order! Hon Members, I would not want drumming away debates. If there is an Hon Member on his feet, as the Hon Member has done now, I would allow him to make a point of correction or raise a point of order. But let us avoid trying to drum down debates. Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague is grossly out of order. To say that a technical institute that had been upgraded to a polytechnic and for years they have been awarding Higher National Diploma (HND) with the staff and infrastructure of a technical institute-He knows that what he is saying is absolutely
Mr Speaker, the people of Techiman are also asking that they need a faculty because they know that Government has promised other communities. Mr Speaker, this is a serious problem in the region and needs to be attended to with all urgency and decency it requires.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, nowhere in the Report can we see any promise by Government as my Brother is saying. And so he should refer to the Report and if there is any promise in it, he should just state it. But if one reads the Report, there is nowhere in the Report that there is a Government promise to any place. So he should address himself to the Report.
That is no point of order. In fact, after referring to the Report, any Hon Member in his or her argument may refer to any relevant or pertinent source of information. Please, Hon Member, you may conclude.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for your ruling. Mr Speaker, commencement of work, as I said earlier, was inaugurated in Fiapre, a community in my constituency. Indeed, the people of Fiapre are independent people; they do not pay allegiance to any traditional stool in this country. They are on their own; they are autonomous and their lands are managed by themselves. Mr Speaker, the people of Fiapre, under no circumstance, would they cede their land to the people of Sunyani. So for the Bill to say that the main campuses will be in Sunyani, while in actual fact, it will be on Fiapre land, is something which will bring a big confusion and it is also very, very misleading. I, therefore, would want to plead with the Minister for Education to take note of this and effect the change. Indeed, the people of Sunyani will not worry if the name of Fiapre is put there. I am here with my Brother from Sunyani East; we have lived in Sunyani for a long time. The mentioning of the fact that the university will be in Fiapre will not create any problem in Sunyani. But to say that it will be in Sunyani while it is situated on Fiapre land will actually cause problems in Fiapre, and to avert this, I just want to alert Government to be very, very careful in the choice of location. Mr Speaker, I submit.
Mr Speaker, I am very, very happy that I have the second opportunity to comment on this very unique initiative of a Government, since independence, in initiating the construction and the establishment of universities and two at the same time. Since the beginning of independence and since the Nkrumah regime, it has never happened. So it is a cause to celebrate; it is a cause for us to be grateful that We are fulfilling a major campaign promise. We are fulfilling a manifesto promise to the people of Ghana. It demonstrates very strongly that people, once they give the trust to a Government, must request the Government to fulfill the promises it has made. The Hon Member who last spoke did not appear to appreciate the value of these promises that are being honoured; because for most of the times he spoke, he tried to Water down the importance of this very important value. Mr Speaker, I am very happy that we are targeting natural resources and we are also tackling energy and establishing the university that would take care of these
Mr Speaker, I was making the point that --
Hon Deputy Leader, if you will make your main point so that -
Mr Speaker, I was making the point that the university is targeting two things - natural resources and energy. We have just discovered energy in this country, a source of energy which is oil and gas and we have also got our base - [Interruption]
Hon Member, do you stand on a point of order?
Yes, Mr Speaker, I do. I did hear the Hon Deputy Majority Leader mention that the university is an idea and reading through the Report on page 7, there is a clause that I would really like him to add to his concluding remarks that the interim Council is actually mandated with three years to do the preparatory work. So it would be prudent to tell the good people of Brong Ahafo Region and Ghana that this university, we should look for it in 2014. I think that should be part of the idea of the establishment of the university. It is in the Report. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, so maybe, she is adding to the bigger idea that -
So it is good that if we discover oil and gas, we should have a scientific approach to it. More and more, to the disappointment of many, African countries depend so much on our natural resources and remain at primary level of production. Mr Speaker, it is good that a university should now take us on; we should now question and confront ourselves and ask the question why we should continually depend on our natural resources and remain at primary production level. Only a university with rationale thinking and scientific ideas can establish where we are going and where we want to go as a country. And I think that this university is giving an answer or appears to be giving an answer to that. So I would want to support the Motion and call on everybody else to support it so that we can establish this university in the Brong Ahafo Region. I would also call on the stakeholders in the BrongAhafo Region, especially the Member of Parliament of the area to be positive about it. I know he has made very complimentary remarks; he is very good; he is my good Friend and I do not mean to disregard his very important point. But it is important that we all carry a very positive idea about this university, so that in future we can look back and say, this is what we have done and we were all part of history. Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Hon Deputy Minister, this side of the debate has not been any difficult matter; you may say a sentence or two and we proceed to the next stage.
Mr Speaker, first and foremost, with all due respect, let me correct the Hon Member for Sunyani West (Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah). Mr Speaker, it is untrue that the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has withdrawn its students from the School of Forestry for the purposes of the establishment of the
Hon Minister, proceed.
Mr Speaker, on the very thorny issue of the siting of the campus, I do agree with the Hon Member of Parliament that the chiefs and people of Fiapre are quite, agitated about the naming of the university and the use of the name "Fiapre". Speaker - [Interruption]
Hon Member, do you stand on a point of order?
Rightly so, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, this is the Second Reading of a Bill and for which reason, we have to get ourselves clear about certain matters. Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister is saying that there are three hundred students on campus. Granting that that is so, may we know if-- [Interruptions] Please, this is - We are looking at a Bill at the Second Reading and this is the only time we can debate it.
Hon I. B. Aidoo, you will resume your seat for the time being.
This is the only time--
One moment, Hon Aidoo. Hon Members, we will not engage in shouting matches and the Hon Deputy Minister had an opportunity to give us a very fine clarification on the matter. I do not think those who are shouting are helping him in any way at all. I will allow Hon J. B. Aidoo to please, make his intervention. I know the Hon Deputy Minister, if necessary, is capable of also answering. Let us have a House of debate and stop this shouting. Hon Member, you will continue.
Mr Speaker, all what I Want to know is that - [Interruption]
Next time, I may be forced to name certain Members. Please, do not allow me to do that. You know what the rules say.
Mr Speaker, is the campus at Sunyani still admitting flesh students? This is because if we look at the mandate given to the interim committee, they are to establish the university by the next three years. So if the campus is not admitting students, it means that there would be a three-year gap at the campus. We want a clarification on that, if the Hon Deputy Minister can take that on board.
Point of clarification, Hon Deputy Minister. Please, proceed.
Mr Speaker, the students of the School of Forestry are not admitted in Sunyani School of Forestry. They are admitted as students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNU ST) and they reside in Sunyani and do some of their programmes that need to be done on campus and where there is the need to collaborate with the main campus, they collaborate with the main campus. So KNUST can still run its programmes of Renewable Natural Resources even on its main campus. So it would not stop them. If they decide to stop, that would The University of Energy and Natural Resources Bill, 2011 was accordingly read a Second time.
It is past 2.00 o'clock, I am inclined to adjourn the House. Leadership, unless you have anything in particular for us.
No, Mr Speaker, except to say that when you saw a Member was on his feet and eating, I just assumed that it was the right time for you perhaps, to have a ruling that we do not have to be chewing or eating while We are in Parliament.
You do not rule on these matters; you point them out and I did. In the circumstances -- Hon Minority Chief Whip, something to say?
Mr Speaker, nothing to say except to repeat what you said that you do not rule on these matters; you point them out.