Parliament Vets 3 Deputy Minister Nominees

ministers electThe Appointments Committee of Parliament yesterday continued the vetting of ministers-designate appointed by President John Dramani Mahama, and invited three others to appear before it.

Those vetted were Mrs. Della Sowah, Victor Asare Bampoe, and Jonny Osei Kofi, deputy ministers-designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Health, and Water Resources, Works and Housing respectively.

They appeared before the committee accompanied by their spouses, families, friends, and well wishers.

They responded to questions on a wide range of issues and outlined their plans and the support they would give their substantive ministers, to implement the government’s programmes and policies.

Mrs. Sowah, who was first to appear before the committee, gave the assurance that when given the nod, she would assist the sector minister to execute the programmes and policies in the ministry.

On the issue of prostitution, she said, efforts would be made to identify its root causes and expressed her commitment to assist the ministry to solve the canker by tackling those root causes.

According to her, targeting the root causes of the problem and devising programmes to tackle them could, to a very large extent, reduce the number of young women who engage in it.

Mrs. Sowah touched on child trafficking and said as a woman who was almost trafficked when she was a kid, she would make frantic efforts to assist the sector minister to bring child trafficking to an end.

On how she intends to assist the ministry to address the issue of witches camps, she said due to the sensitive nature of the matter, she would assist the ministry to educate residents in communities where witch camps exist.

She noted that the problem of witch camps would be best tackled when the practitioners were made aware of the dangers associated with the practice, and its effects on the victims and the society at large.

“Sorcery is practised by both men and women. It is very sad that we have witches camps but not wizards camps,” she said and expressed her commitment to assist the minister to address the challenge.

She refuted claims that it would be unbearable to work with the current minister, Nana Oye Lithur, since others had had challenges with her. “I don’t percieve to have any challenges with the minister when given the nod”

She told the commitee that  women empowerment should never be misinterpreted as lordship over men, and explained that women empowerment meant helping women to stand up to the challenges and to encourage them get equal rights.

When asked of her opinion about the distribution of  sanitary pads, she said, she had evidence of some school going girls who used cement paper as sanitary pads and added that the initiative was a laudable one.

When quizzed on what she would do to support more women to take part in the up coming local and district level elections, she said, she would suggest to her minister to hold workshops to encourage more women to take part in the elections.

Mrs. Sowah is a Member of Parliament for Kpando in the Volta Region.

She is 55 and holds an MBA from the Cambridge International College in the United Kingdom.

The Deputy Minister-designate of Health, Dr. Bampoe, assured the committee that when approved, he would  bring the rich experience he has acquired from best institutions such as the John Hopkins University in the United States to help develop the country’s healthcare system.

On how he intends to assist the minister to improve healthcare delivery, he said, he would help to ensure that the systems put in place to develop healthcare worked better.

“I will help to ensure that people are made to account, and results are sought from them,” he said and added that the problems of health care delivery which ranged from access, both financial and geographic, poor quality, unskilled labour, infrastructure, and financing of healthcare, would be addressed when given the opportunity to deputise the Health Minister.

Additionally, he said he would encourage inter sectoral collaboration to tackle some of the challenges confronting the health sector.

As at press time, the committee, chaired by the First Deputy Speaker, Ebo Barton Oduro, was vetting Mr. Osei Kofi. By Yaw Kyei


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