3 Deputy Ministers-designate face Vetting Committee

Mr Kwabena Mintah Akandoh Deputy minister desgnate Minister designate, Lands and Natural ResourcesThe Deputy Minister-designate of Lands and Natural Resources, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, has called for an investigation into allegations of wrongful sale of government lands to private individuals and institutions.

He said although programmes such as the Accra Redevelopment Programme, made some government lands available for sale to the public, it is imperative for the state to launch an investigation into allegations of illegal sale of government lands.

Mr. Akandoh said this when he appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament yesterday for vetting. He was among the three deputy ministerial nominees who appeared before the committee, chaired by the First Deputy Speaker, Ebo Barton-Oduro.

Mr. Akandoh expressed his commitment to assist the substantive minister to find lasting solutions to the menace of illegal mining, popularly known as “galamsey”, when given the nod, adding that illegal mining has created many challenges for the state and, therefore, underscored the need to find a permanent solution to the problem.

He said, it is important for the government to enforce the laws against “galamsey” and punish the unscrupulous persons who engage in that activity severely, to deter others.

The Deputy Minister-designate for Water Resources Works and Housing, Samuel Yaw Adusei, who was the second to appear before the committee, responding to a question on the issue of illegal water connections and measures to address the problem, admitted that the problem was a pain to the Ghana Water Company Limited, and promised to support his minister to set up a task force and educate the public on the negative effects of such connections.

He promised to consult and work with technocrats in the ministry to ensure that the agenda of the President in the water sector is achieved.

He said as the raining season approaches, he would admonish his minister to encourage the desilting of  all major drains across the country before and after the rains to prevent any eventuality, to ensure the free flow of the rainwater, adding that an inter-ministerial team would be constituted to effectively  monitor the exercise .

He also proposed to intensify public awareness and ask occupants of public buildings to cultivate and  maintain the habit of maintenance to protect such buildings and prevent any disaster .

In a response to another question on the issuing of building permits by the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA), and their timely release to the Tema Development Corporation (TDC), the Deputy Minister-designate promised to support his minister to resolve any dispute between the two institutions with regard to the issue, to ensure peace and development in the metropolis.

He said, he would also advocate a legislation on housing to deal with the current housing deficit in the country, as well as put in place strategies and establish a cordial relationship with the private sector to support the ministry to deal with the issue.

The Deputy Minister-designate for defence, Mr Gilbert Kenneth Adjei, who was the last to appear before the committee, underscored the need to encourage peace keeping efforts by the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) towards the prevention of terrorism.

He stressed the need for the GAF to build a cordial relationship with civilians and added that when given the nod, he would assist the minister to encourage the army to go into commercial activities in order to generate more funds internally.

By Yaw Kyei

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