President John Dramani Mahama has, in accordance with Article 79(1) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, nominated Mr. Ato Sarpong as a Deputy Minister for Communications.
This was announced in a statement signed by the Head of Communications at the Presidency, Ben Dotsei Malor.
The statement from the Presidency described Mr. Sarpong as an “accountant by profession, has worked in the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) sector for close to two decades, serving as Managing Director of AfricaOnline, an Internet Service Provider and Chief Operating Officer of K-Net Limited, an IT Engineering firm.”
“In addition to earlier stints as a Senior Auditor with Ernst & Young, Mr. Sarpong has worked as a Business Consultant for TV3 Network Limited and the Multimedia Group Limited in Accra,” the statement added.
The position of a Deputy Communications Minister has been vacant since November 2013, following the dismissal of Victoria Hammah.
Ms Hammah was dismissed by the President after a leaked taped with a voice purported to be that of hers was heard making certain allegations and comments regarding the role government allegedly played in the final verdict of the 2012 election petition hearing at the Supreme Court.
On the said tape, she was reportedly telling a friend she will not quit politics until she makes at least US$1million.
She again condemned the Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Rachel Appoh, for instigating bad press against her boss, Nana Oye Lithur.
Her dismissal however fueled speculation that her comments on the said tape were true although the President did not state categorically the reason for her dismissal.
President Mahama subsequently in his maiden Meet the Press explained that “…Like a coach, a time comes when you must take some decisions to move a player off the field and coaches have the privilege to do so without question and so as President I have the privilege to decide who serves in my government, who leaves at what time, and so the decision is mine and I’ve taken it and I take responsibility for it.”