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Monday, December 6, 2021

Ayariga In Limbo


Mahama AyarigaTHE FATE of Deputy Minister designate for Trade and Industry, Mahama Ayariga, has been left in limbo as Parliament

yesterday approved seven ministerial nominees, putting on ice the endorsement of the former spokesperson for President John Atta Mills.

Those unanimously approved by the House for ministerial appointment were Enoch Teye Mensah, Minister-Designate for Employment and Social Welfare; Martin Amidu, Minister-Designate for the Interior; Akologu John Tia, Minister-Designate for Information and Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, Minister-Designate for Water Resources, Works and Housing.

The rest were John Gyetuah, Minister of State-Designate at the Presidency; Moses Mabengba, Minister-Designate for the Northern Region and Inusah Abdulai Fuseini, Deputy Minister-Designate for Energy.

Recommending for the approval of the nominees, the former spokesperson for President Mills was put on hold by the Appointments Committee, explaining “The Committee decided that the nominee designated for Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr. Mahama Ayariga) would be considered in a separate report to be submitted to the House in due course”.

DAILY GUIDE learnt that Ayariga’s approval has been withheld because of the circumstances surrounding his purchasing of five tractors meant for poor farmers, an act which the Appointments Committee of Parliament has reportedly asked for some clarification from the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).

Although CHRAJ had cleared the former spokesperson of President Mills of conflict of interest and abuse of office in acquiring those tractors following a petition on the matter by a group calling itself Progressive Nationalists Forum, the Committee, DAILY GUIDE gathered, still needed to get confirmation from the Commission before taking a final decision on the nominee.

It would be recalled that the night before Ayariga appeared for vetting; he rushed to the Parliament House and served the Appointments Committee with a copy of CHRAJ’s verdict, which left some people wondering if it was the former Presidential Spokesperson who should personally deliver the ruling to the Committee.   

Before the House’s approval, the lucky seven Members of Parliament (MPs) eulogized nominees, confident that they will deliver in their respective portfolios.

However, a former Minister for Information and MP for Okere, Dan Botwe, admonished the incoming Information Minister, John Tia, not to allow his outfit to be used as a propaganda machinery of government, stressing that there is always the temptation to blame and sacrifice the sector minister without adequately resourcing the Ministry and its agencies such as the Information Services Department (ISD) and Ghana News Agency (GNA) to deliver.

“If all these are well resourced they would bring the information for the Ministry”, Dan Botwe noted, indicating that all the other Ministries must always feed the Information Ministry with the right information for onward dissemination to the people.  

With his appointment to the Ministry which has the highest turnover of ministers, John Tia, who is also the MP for Talensi, has been advised by the Minority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, to check his deputies who are sometimes said to have slippery and acerbic tongues.  

Commenting further, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who is also the MP for Suame, noted, “The nominees are well qualified to contribute to governance of this country. We find in their persons worthy candidates to be ministers”.

He and the MP for Garu/Tempane, Dominic Azumah, who are both members of the Appointments Committee, debunked assertions that they have treated their own with kid gloves.

Quoting Articles 78 (1) and 94 of the Constitution, Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said MPs are already qualified to be appointed as ministers of state, pointing out that the only thing the Appointment Committee probably needed to do was to test the leadership qualities as well as the human relation and the management skills of the nominees.

According to him, the nominees, particularly Alban Bagbin, Akologu John Tia and E. T. Mensah, who have been leaders of the House, have shown that they can ably assist President Mills with the governance of the country.

MP for Sekondi, Papa Owusu-Ankomah congratulated all the outgoing leadership of the Majority Caucus for the opportunity given them to serve in the executive arm of government.

The former Minister of State in charge of various ministries, including the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General, was hopeful that the ministers, particularly the veteran E. T. Mensah, would bring their immense experience to their jobs.

By Awudu Mahama

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