Appointments Committee’s work over-rated – OccupyGhana member

Member of Occupy Ghana Casely-Hayford says while vetting of ministerial nominees is a good thing, Ghanaians should judge a minister-designate by performance in office not performance in vetting.

Casely-Hayford says like in an interview, a candidate may be good but still fail to deliver when given the job.

He made the comment while evaluating the performance of the minister-designate for Gender and Social Protection, Otiko Djaba when she took her turn with Parliament’s Appointments Committee which vets ministers-designate.

Critics say she did not demonstrate depth in gender issues when she made her appearance on Monday.

Others have also argued that she was not asked gender-sensitive questions that could test her knowledge about women and children who are believed to be marginalised groups in the development space.

But there are also those who believe that ministers as political heads do not need to demonstrate any specialist understanding of their ministry because there are Chief Directors who plough through technical details to serve the minister’s decision-making options.

But providing a perspective on the issue, Casely-Hayford suggested the Appointments Committee’s work is over-rated because “the true depth of capacity” is seen in the delivery of the minister when approved.

To cite an example, the member of OccupyGhana pressure group picked the former Gender Minister Nana Oye Lithur whom he says showed much promise during vetting yet posted disappointing results later in the office.

Casely-Hayford maintained he was “a little disappointed” in the former Minister and lawyer who before her appointment was a vocal voice for women and human rights issues.

He wants the New Patriotic Party (NPP) National Women’s Organiser Otiko Djaba to be given some time to assess her competence for the job.

He said vetting of minister-designates is becoming an opportunity for members of the Appointments Committee to score points or exact their pound of flesh from rival politicians.

“It is really a showing off what the Members of Parliament (MPs) think that they know about the person’s background and are looking to exacting some payback for what was said on the campaign trail,” he said on Joy FM Super Morning Show Tuesday.

He said the bottom line is that the Majority will use their numbers to ultimately push through the approval of the nominees. 

Casely-Hayford said until the Majority are really interested in “grilling” the president’s nominees, the process of vetting could be a “waste of time”.