President Akufo-Addo with newly sworn-in Ministers
President Akufo-Addo has explained his decision to appoint certain key persons into his government as ministers of state, even though there are substantive ministers and their deputies.
Speaking at the swearing-in of Professor Kwesi Yankah, Minister of State in-Charge of Tertiary Education; Bryan Acheampong, Minister of State at the Office of the President; Sarah Adwoa Safo, Minister of State in-Charge of Public Procurement and Dr Gyiele Nurah, Minister of State in-Charge of Agriculture, the president explained, “I subsequently decided that in two of the critical ministries – Education and Agriculture – I needed additional talents to ensure the success of those important departments of state.”
That, he said, was because “the Ministry of Education is one of the largest in our state machinery dealing with all aspects of our educational structure from the kindergarten to the tertiary level; each level has its own preoccupation. None more so than the tertiary stage.
“Predecessors of mine have found it necessary to appoint persons to have responsibility for that specific level within the overall structure of the Ministry of Education.”
He insisted, “The resolution of the issues and challenges of that part of the educational establishment is absolutely essential for the health of our educational system and thereby the health of our nation.”
He declared, “That is why I have also carried on with this tradition,” whiles expressing confidence in Professor Kwesi Yankah.
By the same token, President Akufo-Addo said he deemed it necessary to strengthen the Ministry of Agriculture because “a successful agriculture sector makes for a successful economy.”
“Unfortunately however,” Nana Akufo-Addo indicated, “it is the sector that has recently been in systematic decline.”
Regarding the appointment of a minister for agriculture, the President stated, “The missing link is the presence of the centre of the ministry of an experienced, politically-astute administrator of the agricultural sector who can complement the work of the minister, hence the decision to appoint Dr Gyiele Nurah, a former chief director the ministry, who fits the bill superbly.”
In the case of Lawyer Adwoa Safo, who doubles as the deputy majority leader and Member of Parliament (MP) for Dome-Kwabenya, President Akufo-Addo indicated, “It has been established elsewhere that a person of ministerial rank with oversight responsibility of the operations of the Procurement Law can help ensure not only its observance, but also its effectiveness.
“It is not the minister’s business to interfere in the administration of the law, but keep the president fully briefed of its workings. We want to ensure that sole-sourcing is confined to the exceptional circumstances provided for in the law and that competitive bidding is the normal principle of all public transactions.”
Touching on Mr Byran Acheampong, MP for Abetifi, the president underscored that “his duties in the Office of the President will be purely political.”
“He is a very successful young entrepreneur with a bold and an original mind.”
President Akufo-Addo pointed out that “I’m confident that the honourable member for Abetifi, Bryan Acheampong, is going to be valuable addition to the team that is going to help me succeed for the benefit and welfare of the Ghanaian people.”
Ms Adwoa Safo, who spoke on behalf of her colleague ministers of state, thanked the president for the opportunity and honour to serve the people of Ghana, saying, “We solemnly pledge to serve the people of Ghana under your administration to the best of our ability.”
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent