President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has named a 19-member Cabinet for the government, in accordance with Article 76 (1) of the 1992 Constitution.
Article 76 (1) stipulates: “There shall be a Cabinet, which shall consist of the President, the Vice-President and not less than 10 and not more than 19 Ministers of State.”
The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, read the President’s letter on Cabinet ministers in Parliament yesterday.
The Cabinet ministers are: Mr Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen, Trade and Industry; Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance; Mr Dominic Nitiwul, Defence; Mr Ambrose Dery, the Interior; Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Foreign Affairs, and Ms Gloria Akuffo, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.
The others are Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Food and Agriculture; Mr Boakye Agyarko, Energy; Dr Mathew Opoku-Prempeh, Education; Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Health; Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, Monitoring and Evaluation; Mr Dan Kweku Botwe, Regional Reorganisation and Development, and Mr John Peter Amewu, Lands and Natural Resources.
The rest are Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, Sanitation and Water Resources; Mr Joe Ghartey, Railway Development; Mr Ignatius Bafour Awuah, Employment and Labour Relations; Mr Kweku Ofori Asiamah, Transport; Ms Catherine Ablema Afeku, Tourism and Creative Arts, and Ms Mavis Hawa Koomson, Special Development Initiatives.
Workings of the Cabinet
Article 76 (2) of the Constitution states: “The Cabinet shall assist the President in the determination of general policy of the government.”
Article 77 (1) stipulates: “The Cabinet shall be summoned by the President, who shall preside at all its meetings; and in the absence of the President, the Vice-President shall preside.”
Article 77(2) states: “The Cabinet shall regulate the procedure at its meetings.”
Majority and Minority disagree
The Minority in Parliament had some issues with the exclusion of some key portfolios in the list of Cabinet ministers.
Leading the criticism, the Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, told journalists that he was surprised that the Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, and the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, were not made Cabinet ministers.
He said sidelining the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development meant that the President did not prioritise the development of the 216 districts under that ministry.
Alhaji Muntaka said it was also a surprise that the President named two ministers of state as Cabinet ministers.
But the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, indicated that the President took into consideration regional and gender balance in forming his Cabinet.
Besides, he said, the non-inclusion of a minister on the Cabinet did not mean that the ministry had been sidelined, adding that the President had indicated that all ministers would be invited to Cabinet meetings.