Parliament to vote on Ministerial Nominees on Friday

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Parliament will vote on the approval of six persons nominated by the President for appointment as Ministers, Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers on Friday, March 24. 

This follows the conclusion of the Debate on the Motion and the failure of the leadership of the House to reach a consensus on the matter. 

Speaker Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin at the end of the debate ruled that the House would be voting on the confirmation of the Ministerial Nominees on Friday, March 24. 

The six Ministerial Nominees are Mr Kobina Tahir Hammond, Minister-designate for Trade and Industry; Mr Bryan Acheampong, Minister-designate for Food and Agriculture and Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng, Minister-designate for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs. 

The rest are Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, Minister of State-designate at the Ministry of Finance; Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah, Minister of State-designate at the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development and Dr Stephen Amoah, Deputy Minister-Designate for Trade and Industry. 

On  Tuesday, February 7, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in accordance with Articles 78(1) and 79(1) of the 1992 Constitution communicated to Parliament, the nomination of the six persons for consideration and approval as Ministers, Ministers of State and Deputy Minister. 

The Appointment Commitment also held Public Hearings on the 20th and 21st of February to consider the nominations. 

Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, First Deputy Speaker and Chairman of the Appointment Commitment, who moved the Motion on the floor of the House, noted that all the nominees appeared before the committee to answer questions relating to their eligibility or their qualifications, what they had done in the past and their future plans for their respective Ministries when given the mandate.  

He said the nominees demonstrated knowledge in the areas of finance, agriculture, chieftaincy, culture, trade and industry. 

He said the Committee, therefore, recommended to the House by majority decision the adoption of its report and approval of the six nominees. 

Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business contributing to the debate said he had heard his colleague Members of Parliament complained that the number of Ministers was overly bloated. 

He, however, noted that the Akufo-Addo administration had 86 compared to 76 Ministers by the Mills-Mahama administration when at the time of the latter, there were no six new additional regions but only 10 regions. 

He, therefore, urged Members of the House to approve the Ministerial Nominees to enable them to help the President to prosecute his agenda for the nation. 

Mr Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin, the Deputy Majority Leader, who seconded the Motion, noted that all the Nominees except Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng were sitting Members of Parliament (MPs). 

The Deputy Majority Leader said he believed the Nominees had the qualities to make in roads in their respective sectors. 

He urged the House to demonstrate to Ghanaians that they could disagree but when necessary they would agree for the forward March of the country. 

“Although we came to a decision by majority, I know that here at the plenary, this House can by consensus proceed to use the voice vote to approve of all these Nominees,” he said. 

He appealed to the House to approve the President’s Nominees by consensus. 

Dr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, the Minority Leader and Ranking Member on the Appointment Committee in Parliament, said the position taken by his side of the House to reject the six Ministrial Nominees were based on principles and that in the midst of the current economic challenges facing the country, there was the need for the President to cut down the size of the Government. 

“Mr Speaker, we stand with the people of Ghana and we are urging our colleagues, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Members of Parliament to stand for Ghana and not to stand for their colleagues,” he said. 

“Mr Speaker, the Nominees are our colleagues but the principle is that this is not about them, it is about the Republic of Ghana.  

“Mr Speaker, some of the Nominees are our colleagues and friends, some of them are even our relatives, but it is not about them. And I call on you, that you look them in their faces and vote against them.” 

The Minority were of the view that some Ministries such as the Chieftaincy Ministry and the Tourism Ministry could be merged as part of efforts to reduce the size of the Government. 

Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, National Chairman of, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), was in Parliament to observe the debate on the Appointment Committee’s report on the six Nominees. 

The opposition NDC, in a statement in February, directed its sitting Members of Parliament (MPs) to reject the President’s Ministerial Nominees as part of efforts to help push for the reduction in the size of the current Government. 

The House during the Debate on the Motion had to suspend sitting for nearly five hours to enable the Leadership to hold consultations on the matter but they could not reach a consensus.  

Source: GNA

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