General News of Saturday, 18 February 2017
All the 10 regional ministers-designate were yesterday approved unanimously by parliament, pending their subsequent swearing-in by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
They are Dr Kwaku Afriyie (Western Region), Simon Osei-Mensah (Ashanti Region), Ishmael Ashitey (Greater Accra Region), Eric Kwakye Darfour (Eastern Region) and (Central Region).
The rest are Dr Archibald Letsa (Volta Region), Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh (Brong Ahafo), Salifu Sa-eed (Northern Region), Alhassan Sulemana (Upper West Region) and Rockson Ayine Bukari (Upper East Region).
Approving their nominations, the minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said all the 10 nominees demonstrated before the Appointments Committee that they had the expertise to manage the various regions well.
Special mention was made of the Minister-designate for the Western Region by the minority leader, who said he (Dr Afriyie) showed that he had in-depth knowledge not only in his chosen field, which is medicine, but particularly agriculture and many other sectors.
Haruna Iddrisu said that the Western Regional Minister-designate’s analysis of child labour was very revealing, stressing that the Appointments Committee learned something differently from him that the Western world’s definition of child labour is not peculiar to Ghana’s situation where “our culture allows our children to support the parents on the farms.”
He also made special mention of the Minister-designate for the Central Region for his eloquence and the fact that he said he was going to use all political tools available to transform the region which is the fourth poorest in the country.
“Mr Speaker, one other regional minister-designate who added some spice to the vetting and also demonstrated that he was going to be very practical was the regional minister-designate for the Upper East Region, Mr Rockson Bukari,” the minority leader noted, stressing that the nominee told the committee that he would depend on everybody, irrespective of the person’s political affiliation, to be able to succeed and that he would never forgive the MPs in the region if they did not support him to succeed.
The deputy majority leader, Adwoa Safo, was hopeful all the nominees would discharge their duties with distinction, stressing that she had worked with the Eastern Regional Minister-designate on the Foreign Affairs Committee previously and knows his capabilities.
She therefore urged the nominee to use his ability to speak fluent French to attract investors from the French-speaking countries to invest in the Eastern Region.
All members who contributed to the debate to approve the 10 nominees spoke highly about them and expressed the hope that they would all support the president in realizing his dream of accelerated development in the various regions.
Council Of State
Meanwhile, Parliament has finalised its consultation to approve two nominees by the president to be members of the Council of State, and would allow the Committee of the Whole to take a decision on their appointments by Tuesday.
The two are former Chief of Defence Staff, Lt General J.B. Danquah and former Inspector-General of Police, Nana Owusu-Nsiah.