7 deputy ministers-designate appear before Appointments Committee

Mr Joseph-Osei-Owusu

Mr Joseph-Osei-Owusu

Parliament Appointments Committee yesterday vetted seven more deputy ministers-designate for their ministerial positions.

They were Paul Essien for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs; Tina Mensah, Health; Dr Ziblim Iddi, Tourism, Creative ‘Arts and Culture, and Collins Ntim, Local Government and Rural Development.

The rest were Martin Korsah, Regional Re-organisation, William Quaittoo, Food and Agriculture, and Gifty Twum-Ampofo, Gender, Children and Social Protection.

Mr Quaittoo said government has planned to measure all cocoa land, and protect them from illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’, and to revamp the cashew nut industry, to make it one of the cash crops in Ghana.

He said the shea nut found in the northern part of the country, has been identified as one of the crops for government’s one district, one factory concept, because it could be used as raw material for production of many things.

Mr Quaittoo said the government has planned to re-introduce the mass cocoa spraying exercise, and cut ‘sick’ cocoa trees and replace them with high-yielding ones.

Mr  Essien who was queried about the construction and ownership of Tikobo Community shops and Guest House, said the project was funded through a loan facility with the ownership vested in trust for the people.

He assured the members that he would work assiduously to support the minister to resolve chieftaincy issues dotted across the country.

Madam Mensah said the government through the budget has made funds available for the payment of the indebtedness to the National Health Insurance Scheme, adding that she would support the minister to implement all government polices as envisaged in the party’s manifesto.

Dr Iddi said due to the tragedy at the Kintampo Waterfall recently, the minister has asked for all tourism sites to be audited to ensure that such places become safe.

He said his ministry would champion the wearing of “made in Ghana” fabrics in order to promote their usage by the citizenry.

Dr Iddi said, tax breaks has been identified as one of the tools which could help attract investors into the hospitality industry.

Mr Ntim said there was the need to build the capacity of the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to properly situate them in handling procurement efficiently.

He said already the ministry has put in place structures to identify certain raw materials in the districts, which could be used as the basis for the establishment of district factories.

Mr. Ntim assured that the ministry would work assiduously to reduce the incidence of rivalry between District Chief Executives and the Members of Parliament since their work complements each other.

Mr Korsah said in the re-organisation of some regions, there was the need for stakeholders to sensitise the citizenry to see it as anational issue instead of a partisan issue, as being peddled by some people.

He said the re-organisation was likely to be rolled out during the District Assembly Elections in 2018, when referendum could also be held in the affected regions, to determine the way forward.

Gifty Ampofo promised to help the sector minister to promote gender issues, adding that there was the need to psyche the women folks to appreciate the satisfaction of a trade, so that monies given to them to facilitate micro-enterprises could be well-utilised.

By Lawerence Markwei

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