There was seemingly some level of confusion at the front bench of the majority caucus in Parliament when they could not determine who the substantive Minister for Roads and Highways was following an announced reshuffle and failure to communicate same to the House.
The front bench of the majority side, led by Deputy Majority Leader, Alfred Agbesi and the Minister for Information and Media Relations and MP for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga gave different descriptions of the minister in charge.
On the floor of Parliament on Friday June 13, 2014, the Roads and Highways Minister was billed to respond to some questions by some MPs but Mr. Agbesi sought permission from the Speaker to allow the deputy Minister to answer the question since the minister was not in Accra.
This request prompted the minority side to ask who the substantive minister was since there was a public announcement by government, about a reshuffle which saw the Roads and Highways Minister, Alhaji Amin Sulemana being moved to the Upper West region.
In responding to this query, the Deputy Majority leader noted that per the records of Parliament, Alhaji Sulemana was the sector minister because there had not been any official communication from the presidency about any changes at the ministry.
Mr. Agbesi said “this is a House of records” and per the records, Alhaji Sulemana is still the substantive minister for Roads and Highways.
But the Minister for Information and Media Relations, in adding to what the deputy Majority Leader said, indicated that Alhaji Sulemana was only acting as the minister until a new replacement, was made by the President.
Mr. Ayariga, although appreciates the need for official communication from the Presidency to Parliament, stated that some administrative procedures ought to be followed on the new assignment of the minister before a communication was sent to Parliament.
This forced Papa Owusu Ankomah, MP for Sekondi to described the different accounts being given as a state of confusion within the majority caucus and the government which has no direction for the people.
Mr. Ankomah said “what happening in front of the majority caucus demonstrates why this country is not moving forward. There is confusion in government which has been demonstrated by the majority caucus” between the Information and Media Relations Minister and the Deputy Majority Leader.
Minority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu on his part noted that the public announcement about a reshuffle was not sufficient because Parliament, Diplomatic Corps and the entire country must know who parliament has approved as a substantive minister.
He further suggested that there ought to be a change to ensure that ministers who have been reshuffled were brought to Parliament for approval.
The Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho in a brief remark said Parliament, approves nominations of Ministers and if the House is communicated to about a reshuffled, there would be no confusion.
Mr. Adjaho stressed the need to ensure that communication between these Presidencies and the house was bridged in order to avoid further confusions on similar matters.