All things being equal the Appointments Committee of Parliament will recommend the approval of all the 13 ministerial nominees who have been vetted by the members.
Eight of the ministers-designate who had earlier appeared before the committee have been given a clean bill of health to be approved by the whole house.
According to media reports, the approval of Senior Minister-designate Yaw Osafo-Maafo and Energy Minister-designate Boakye Kyeremateng Agyarko, were put on hold for the meantime because of some unresolved issues relating to their vetting.
However, Chairman of the committee, Joe Osei-Owusu, told DAILY GUIDE yesterday that the nominees had been cleared, having provided the information needed from them.
The committee is said not to be convinced about the response of the Senior Minister-designate to alleged ethnocentric comments he reportedly made when he met some party members in the Eastern Region.
Mr Osafo-Maafo, former Finance Minister, was alleged to have said in 2015 when he met his party people that Ghanaians who do not hail from the five resource-rich regions should not be made to hold sensitive positions to control such resources.
An audio recording of his alleged comments during the party’s function went viral.
However, at his vetting last Friday, the Senior Minister-designate insisted that his comments were doctored and rejected suggestion that he should render an apology to that effect.
“Mr. Chairman, I cannot apologise for what I have not said,” he told the committee members.
The Appointments Committee wanted the full tape to be played to satisfy itself as to whether the comments were ethnocentric or not.
The Energy Minister-designate Boakye Agyarko also ran into controversy with the claim that the World Bank put pressure on ex-President Mahama to take a decision on a gasification policy.
“For the nominee to say the World Bank was breathing down the neck of former President Mahama, it was very much uncalled for,” the deputy ranking member of the committee and Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, told Joy News.
According to the Minority Chief Whip, those comments by the Energy Minister-designate had compelled the minority members on the committee to demand evidence.
He said the Minister-designate for Energy tried to do politics during his vetting. “Then he puts himself in the den,” Muntaka noted, adding,
“Knowing the rules, we can insist on evidence. Can I have the letter that they [World Bank] wrote? Now you would be found wanting because you can’t find the audio; you can’t find any document to prove and make your case stronger.”
Muntaka said MPs are free to do politics but for a nominee to do this only sets up a confrontation.
The eight nominees who are set to go through are Alan Kyerematen, Minster-designate for Trade and Industry; the Finance minister-designate, Ken Ofori-Atta and the Defence Minister-designate, Dominic Nitiwul.
Others are National Security Minister-designate, Albert Kan-Dapaah; Attorney-General and Justice Minister-designate, Ms Gloria Akuffo and the Minister-designate for the Interior, Ambrose Dery.
The rest are Foreign Affairs Minister-designate, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey and the Minister-designate for Local Government & Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama.
The report on the three nominees who were vetted on Tuesday is also ready and will be laid before the House tomorrow.
They are Minister-designate for Education, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh aka Napo; Minister-designate for Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu and Minister-designate for Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto.
Mr Osei-Owusu said reports on all the 13 nominees were ready and by Friday all of them would have been cleared to enable President Akufo-Addo to swear them in.
Source: Daily Guide
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