General News of Friday, 27 January 2017
The Majority MPs on Parliament’s Appointments Committee have prevailed over the Minority MPs resistance to the approval of two ministers nominated by President Akufo-Addo to serve in his government.
The NDC MPs say they do not support the approval of Senior Minister-designate, Yaw Osafo Maafo and Energy Minister-designate Boakye Agyarko.
They registered their displeasure with the Committee’s approval of the two nominees in a report forwarded to the House by the Chairman, Joseph Osei Owusu.
In page 23 of the 24 page document sighted by Joy News, the Committee said despite the dissatisfaction of the minority members, the two deserved to be approved.
“…Members of the minority of the Committee have indicated that they do not support the approval of Yaw Osafo Maafo, the Senior Minister-Designate and Mr Boakye Agyarko, the Energy Minister-designate by concensus,” the report read.
The report was jointly signed by the Chairman Mr Osei Owusu who is the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Clerk to the Committee, Peace Fiawoyiee. The NPP MPs who form the Majority on the Committee want Parliament to give its approval to the two.
“Consequently, in accordance with Order 172 (4) of the Standing Orders of the House the Committee recommends to the House to approve the nomination by majority decision,” the report said.
The Appointments Committe since last week Friday, has been vetting ministerial nominees. They have 36 nominees to scrutinise. They have done 13 so far.
In order to speed up the work of government, the committee wants Parliament to approve those vetted so far. But while the Minority have cooperated with the Majority on 11 of the nominees, two others have proved a thorny issue.
The Energy minister-designate Boakye Agyarko also run into controversy with the Committee with the claim that the World Bank put pressure on the ex-president to take a decision on a gasification policy, Minority Chief Whip Muntaka has explained.
Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu has said Mr Agyarko provided some “inaccurate” information relating to the “debt associated with the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and Volta River Authority (VRA).”
They want evidence to back these claims and others he made during his vetting. For the former Finance Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo, the Minority insist, made some ‘nation-wrecking’ ethnocentric comments in November 2015.
Although he claimed his comments were misconstrued, an unconvinced Minority want to listen to the tape to determine the veracity of his claims.
Despite the Minority’s protest with the troubled two, the Chairman, Joe Osei Owusu told Joy News, “I can assure you that all the 13 nominees have been cleared and the report will reflect that.”
The latest report of the Committee which has been forwarded to the House for discussions reveals, the two have been added to the earlier 11 nominees to be approved en bloc.
“The Committee finds that all the nominees meet the qualification criteria as set out in Articles 78 (1) and 94 (1) and (2) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana,” the report concluded.
The eleven others to be approved are; Mr Albert Kan Dapaah , Minister Designate for National Security, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister Designate for Finance, Dominic Nitiwul, Minister Designate for Defence, Ambrose Dery Minister Designate for Interior, Ms Gloria Akuffo, Minister Designate for Attorney General and Justice.
The others are Alan Kyeremanten, Minister Designate for Trade and Industry, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway Minister designate for Foreign Affairs and Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister Designate for Local Government and Rural Development, Health Minister-designate Kwaku Agyemang Manu, and Education Minister-designate Matthew Opoku-Prempeh.