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General News
Parliament Debates State of The Nation Address 2/14/2007
Accra, Feb 13, GNA - Mr. John Ndebugre, PNC-Zebilla has called for a Constitutional review to make the President present the State of the Nation Address before the presentation of the Financial Statement of the year.

Mr Ndebugre said the provisions, as it stands now "put the cart before the horse" and the situation ought to be looked at again. Mr Ndebugre was moving the motion to thank the President for State of the Address presented on February 8, 2007.

He explained that Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution provides that the President shall at the beginning of each session of Parliament and the dissolution of Parliament deliver to Parliament a message on the State of the Nation.

Article 179 (1) provides that the President shall cause to be prepared and laid before Parliament at least one month before the end of the financial year estimates of the revenue and expenditure of the government of Ghana for the following financial year.

"Mr Speaker, our Parliamentary sessions invariably begin in the month of January and so do the dissolutions of our Parliament. "The President''s message on the state of the nation must therefore be delivered not later than the end of her first session of the first meeting of any session of Parliament.

"... the provisions of article 179 require that the budget statement and economic policy of the government for any financial year is presented before Parliament not later than the 30th November of the preceding year."

Mr. Ndebugre called on the Minister of Energy to publicise the nation''s total electric power needs vi-a-vis its current generating capacity in order that each and every adult citizen knows, "requirements and what we have," to enable the people to conserve energy. He called for the development of alternative sources of energy including nuclear energy.

Contributing to the motion Nana Akomea, NPP-Ablekuma South noted that the President spent a considerable time on the energy situation, "indicating his desire to put the matter behind us once and for all." He said the outline of the President''s programme and projects to boost the country''s energy situation was most comprehensive, adding that, the statement itself was measured, capturing everything concerning the nation.

Nana Akomea said arguments that the President failed to address corruption in his address was not well founded.

"If one looks at the increasing budget allocation to corruption agencies, including the offices of the Auditor-General and Accountant-General departments, you can tell that government is committed to the fight against corruption."

Nana Akomea also advocated for the establishment of marketing boards in any organ aimed at revamping the agricultural sector, especially the President''s Special Initiatives, explaining that cocoa has a huge revenue from sales due to the availability of a strong marketing board. Nana Yaw Ofori Kuragu supported the need for alternative energy sources and said the country could examine and implement the Malaysian experience where palm oil and jathropha is used as fuel.

Mr Kojo Armah, CPP-Evalue-Gwira asked where the Osagyefo barge would be sited as the President was silent on where the facility would be powered, whether at Tema or Effasu.Source:

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