General News of Monday, 20 February 2017
With the swearing-in of the last batch of ministerial nominees on Friday, President Akufo-Addo is set to announce the names of deputy ministers this week.
Even though the president has a tight schedule this week with the delivery of his maiden State of the Nation Address (SoNA) tomorrow, Tuesday, February 21, to parliament among other engagements – barring any last-minute hitches – the names of the deputy ministers will drop.
Pressure is said to be mounting on the president with lobbyists reportedly struggling to catch his attention.
However, President Akufo-Addo is said to be consulting the substantive ministers before announcing deputies in order to have harmonious working relationship.
According to presidency sources, most of the deputy ministers might be coming from parliament, including the youngest MP, Francisca Oteng Mensah, who has reportedly been penciled to be one of them.
The Kwabre East MP, who was massively endorsed by her people during the December 7, 2016 parliamentary election, had a total of 71,757 votes, representing 83.03% – the highest in the history of elections in the country.
Also on the list is the MP for Cape Coast North, Barbara Asher Ayisi, who is reportedly tipped for deputy minister in-charge of tertiary education.
Her counterpart from Prestea-Huni Valley, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, is also going to be on the list of deputy ministers.
Godfried Yeboah Dame of Akufo-Addo and Prempeh Chambers is partnering Gloria Akuffo as a deputy Attorney General.
Mr Dame was the face of the NPP in court, having handled most of the party’s legal issues, including the Afoko and Sammy Crabbe cases.
Joy FM’s onetime morning show host and now MP for Ofoase Ayirebi in the Eastern Region, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, and Perry Okudzeto, NPP deputy director of communications, are heading to the Information Ministry to support Mustapha Hamid, just as Kobby Okyere Darko-Mensah, MP for Takoradi and Mohammed Amin Anta of ACEP, would be providing support for Boakye Agyarko as deputy ministers for the Energy Ministry.
Former deputy Youth Organiser of the ruling NPP and now MP for Lawra, Anthony Karbo, is heading to Roads and Highway Ministry as deputy to Kwasi Amoako-Atta with Kwaku Kwarteng, MP for Obuasi West, going to support Ken Ofori-Atta as deputy minister of finance.
Osei Bonsu Amoah, MP for Akuapem South and former deputy sports minister, is tipped for either the interior ministry to assist Ambrose Dery, MP for Nandom or find himself at the local government and rural development ministry to support Hajia Alima Mahama, MP for Nalerigu in the Northern Region.
Abraham Dwuma Odoom, former deputy minister for health and MP for Twifo Atti Mokwa in the Central Region, is going to the Ministry Of Food & Agriculture as one of the deputies to Dr Afriyie Akoto, while Ledzokuku MP, Dr Okoe Boye, may go to the health ministry to join Dormaa Central MP, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu as his deputy. Sports administrator Vincent Sowah Odotei, might be joining Isaac Asiamah, MP for Atwima Mponua, at the youth and sports ministry.
The deputy for the communications ministry where Ursula Owusu-Ekuful is the minister, is between George Neenyi Andah and Dr Nana Ayew Afriyie of Alliance for Accountable Government (AFAG) fame.
Dr Afriyie, a medical doctor with specialty in health economy, holds a Masters degree in Economic Policy Management from the University of Ghana. He also studied at the Health Economic Research Centre at the University of Oxford and has led several advocacy programmes in telecommunication policies.
The MP for Ekumfi, Ato Cudjoe and that of Gomoa East, Kojo Asemanyi, are tipped for deputy fisheries minister, while Cynthia Morrison, MP for Agona West or Gifty Twum-Ampofo, MP for Abuakwa North, may partner Otiko Afisa Djaba at the Gender, Children &Social Protection Ministry.
Charles Owiredu, NPP director for international affairs, may partner Shirley Ayorkor Botchway at the Foreign Affairs Ministry.