Parliament approves 8 ministers

Parliament has approved the nominations of eight persons appointed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to serve as ministers in various capacities in his government.

The approvals of two other nominees, The Ghanaian Times gathers, have been frozen pending further consultations.

They are Senior Minister-designate, Yaw Osafo Maafo and Energy Minister-designate Emmanuel Boakye Agyarko.

The eight approved by the house include Albert Kan-Dapaah, National Security Minister-designate, Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister-designate, Dominic Nitiwul, Defence Minister-designate and Ambrose Dery, Interior Minister-designate.

The rest are Attorney General and Justice Minister-designate, Gloria Akuffo, John Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, Trade and Industry Minister- designate, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Foreign Affairs Minister-designate and Hajia Alima Mahama, Local Government and Rural Development Minister-designate.

The report on the nominees, tabled by the Appointments Committee of the House in Accra yesterday, covered the first three days of the committee’s sitting during which ten ministers designate, including Mr. Osafo Maafo and Mr. Boakye Agyarko were vetted.

The report of the Appointments Committee on three other nominees for the Education, Health and Agriculture ministries were expected to be approved today.

Mr. Joseph Osei-Owusu, the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, moving the motion for the adoption of the report of the committee said that the nominees distinguished themselves during the vetting and should be approved.

The Bekwai MP said the committee referred to the 1992 Constitution of the Republic, the Standing Orders of the House and the Curriculum Vitae of the nominees in their vetting and subsequent report.

He said, coupled with the above considerations, the committee obtained confidential reports from the Ghana Police Service and the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and their tax status reports from the Ghana Revenue Authority on the nominees for their recommendations.

The 35-page report, jointly signed by Mr. Osei-Owusu, who doubles as the First Deputy Speaker and Ms. Peace Fiawoyife, the Clerk to the committee, considered the background of the nominees and their responses to questions posed to them during their vetting.

Contributing to the debate on the committee’s report, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Asokwa in the Ashanti Region, Mrs. Patricia Appiagyei hailed what she said was a fair female representation in the list.

According to Mrs Appiagyei, the three women in the list, Mrs. Ayorkor Botchway, Hajia Alima Mahama and Ms. Gloria Akuffo, represented 37.5 per cent and exceeds the 30 per cent women representation in government promised by the NPP and wished to see more women in government.

Commenting on the failure of the Finance Minister-designate to commit to the payment of the DKM Microfinance debacle, as promised by the NPP whilst in opposition, Eric Opoku, MP for Asunafo South, said it was important politicians refrained from making political capital from national issues.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, in his contribution expressed concern over the potential size of the government and its attendant implications on the national kitty after 46 names, including ten regional ministers-designates, have so far been submitted to Parliament for consideration and approval.

The Tamale South MP was also not enthused about the seeming duplication of roles among the ministers and what he called inconsistency in policy proposals of the government vis-a-vis the NPP’s campaign pledges.

But winding up discussion on the motion, the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the constitution placed no cap on the number of ministers the President could appoint.

He wants the President to be judged on the delivery of his government after his mandate and rejected claims that the government was dodging its campaign pledges.

By Julius Yao Petetsi

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