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Ministers-designate face parliament today

The Appointments Committee of Parliament will today start the vetting of nominees for appointment to the various ministries and regions.

So far, President John Dramani Mahama has made 37 ministerial nominations, with some of them expected to work at the Presidency.

However, of all the nominations, it is only the first batch of 12 ministerial nominees which has been referred to the Appointments Committee by the Speaker, Mr Edward K. Doe Adjaho, for consideration and subsequent approval by Parliament.

The first batch of six nominees who are expected to appear before the committee are Mr Seth Terkper, the Minister-designate of Finance and Economic Planning; Ms Hanna Tetteh Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration; Alhaji Collins Dauda, Water Resources, Works and Housing; Alhaji A. B. Inusah Fuseini, Lands and Natural Resources; Alhaji Sulemana, Roads and Highways, and Mr Clement Kofi Humado, Food and Agriculture.

Article 78 (1) of the Constitution provides that nominees by the President for ministerial appointment have to be approved by Parliament before they can act or hold themselves out as ministers or deputy ministers of state.

Even though the 1992 Constitution does not provide the manner in which the House should give approval to the President’s nominees, the Standing Order of Parliament provides for the Appointments Committee, composed of the First Deputy Speaker as chairman and not more than 25 other members.

Therefore, Mr Ebo Barton-Odro, the First Deputy Speaker, who is also the NDC MP for Cape Coast North, will make his debut as Chairman when the Appointments Committee begins the vetting of the ministerial nominees today.

Out of the 25 members of the committee, 14 are from the Majority side, while 11 are members of the Minority, with the chairman excluded.

However, the Minority has given an indication that its members on the committee will boycott the sitting to vet the ministerial nominees because of the petition which the flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2012 general election, Nana Akufo-Addo, and two others have filed at the Supreme Court.

The petition is challenging the Electoral Commission’s (EC’s) declaration of President Mahama as the winner of the 2012 presidential election.

As of the time of going to press, the Deputy Majority Leader, Mr Dominic Nitiwul, had told the Daily Graphic that the NPP stood by its decision not to “participate in deliberations and decisions on matters which will evaporate upon the cessation of President Mahama’s administration after the Supreme Court has come up with its verdict in favour of the NPP”.

Commenting on the decision of the Minority, Mr Cletus Avoka, a former Majority Leader, said if the Minority carried through its decision, then it would be unfortunate, since, throughout the history of the vetting process in the Fourth Republic, it was the members from the Minority side who had always provided the bite and gone the extra mile to exact information from nominees.

Through such diligence, he said, it was detected that Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, who had once been nominated for a ministerial appointment by former President J.J. Rawlings, had not registered as a voter at the time he was nominated.

In a similar vein, the Appointments Committee, during former President John Agyekum Kufuor’s regime, was able to detect that two ministerial nominees, Ms Vicky Bright and Mr Lawrence Akwasi Agyeman Prempeh, had dual nationalities.

Daily Graphic

Minority attended Appointment Committee meeting – Agbesi

The Deputy Chairman of the Appointment Committee, Alfred Agbesi has revealed that contrary to the minority declaration Tuesday to boycott, Thursday’s vetting they [minority] were present at the Committee meeting held Wednesday.

According to Mr. Abgesi, the minority not only attended the meeting but participated fully in the proceedings

“The minority MPs not only attended the meeting but participated in all deliberations of the committee,” he stated.

The Ashaiman MP further disclosed that there was no formal notice to the Committee from the Minority indicating its intention to boycott Thursday’s proceedings.

“There was no formal information to the Committee about the Minority’s side. Indeed one member raised the issue that the matter was in the public domain and wanted clarification on the matter of boycott. However, after further deliberations it was said that since they were present in the committee meeting, nothing suggested that they would not appear the following day but it is only when they do not appear that will confirm the information in the public domain,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minority leader and Deputy ranking member on the Appointment Committee Dominic Nitiwul says the decision to boycott Thursday’s vetting has not changed.

“I can contend that the decision has not changed at all as we will not avail ourselves for the vetting of the executive branch of the government,” he stated.

He further disclosed, “We have not boycotted the committee and as long as the committee is not meeting to vet ministers of state, the minority will always be present and that was why we were present on Wednesday.”

Mr. Nitiwul also dismissed reports of public outrage against the Minority’s decision to boycott the vetting process on Thursday by saying the only responses the party has received are only positive ones

“From reports we have received even before we made that decision until now was very positive but if there is public anger, then I can say that there is no decision taken that everyone agrees to so we are going to try and explain it to them,” he said


NPP is doing Ghana a great disservice – Tetteh Chaie

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Ablekuma Central Theophilus Tetteh Chaie has said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is doing a great disservice to the country with their decision to boycott certain state functions which is in the interest of the entire country.

According to him, the unfortunate decision by the NPP is an affront and a setback to the democratic development of Ghana, a development he said must be condemned.

Minority members of Parliament have decided to boycott the upcoming vetting of President John Mahama’s ministerial nominees on Thursday 24th January 2013.

The decision was arrived at following a National Executive Council meeting of the party with the Minority leadership in Parliament.

The group also concluded that a similar position would be adopted for any decision that would cease to exist if the Supreme Court ruled against the legitimacy of President John Mahama as the President of the Republic.

However speaking on e.tv Ghana’s Breakfast Show on Wednesday, Hon. Theophilus Tetteh Chaie stated that though the vetting exercise will conducted irrespective of the opposition party’s absence, their presence would have ensured that the right persons are approved to serve the country in ministerial capacities.

He noted that the NPP by its own conduct is diminishing its political fortunes and making it difficult for the party to return to power in the near future, as Ghanaians observing development on the political scene are increasingly getting irritated with the conduct of the NPP.

‘’By the NPP attitude, the elephant (NPP) will stay in the bush for a long time, it will even be driven much deeper into the bush(opposition) such that it will be difficult for it to return’’ he added.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh

Ministers designate to have easy vetting session as NPP boycott..

Ministers designate awaiting vetting may have a field day and sail through as the New Patriotic Party Members of Parliament who serve on the Appointment Committee will be absent from that exercise come Thursday 24th January 2013.

The usual grueling questioning sessions often from the minority side on the committee which sometimes exposed the depth of knowledge or level of ignorance of ministers designate during vetting will surely be missed due to the NPP’s boycott of the vetting session.

The NPP has said it reached that decision following a National Executive Council meeting of the party with the Minority leadership in Parliament.

It was concluded that a similar position would be adopted for any decision that would cease to exist if the Supreme Court ruled against the legitimacy of President John Mahama as the President of the Republic.

The Appointments Committee is expected to sit to vet six of the President’s nominees including Former Deputy Minister for Finance, Seth Terkper named as the substantive Minister for that position while Dr. Oteng Agyei, a former Minister of Energy in the last NDC government, is named for the Ministry for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation. Former Minister for Trade and Industry, Hannah Tetteh has been moved to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs replacing Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, MP for Kumbungu.

Former Minister for Youth and Sports, Clement Kofi Humado is headed for the Ministry for Agriculture, while his Deputy Dr. Edward Omane Boamah heads to the Ministry for Communications as a substantive Minister.

A former Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Prof. Jane Opoku Agyemang has been appointed as Minister for Education.

Former Deputy Minister for Education, Mahama Ayariga has been nominated as Minister for Information replacing Fritz Baffour, MP for Ablekuma South.

Collins Dauda, MP for Asutifi South replaces E. T. Mensah at the Ministry for Water and Natural Resources while MP for Sissala West Alhaji Amin Sulemana replaces Joe Gidisu at the Ministry for Roads and Highways.

Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, MP for Tamale Central and former Deputy Minister for Energy has been nominated as a Minister for the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources while gender activist and Executive Director of the Human Rights Advocacy Centre, Nana Oye Lithur has been nominated as a Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh

NPP’s petition will yield positive results – Adwoa Safo

Member of Parliament for Dome/Kwabenya constituency, Sarah Adwoa Safo has urged her constituents to remain calm with a full conviction that, something positive will come out of the NPP’s petition at the Supreme Court.

The NPP is challenging the outcome of the 2012 elections.

According to Ms. Safo, the investiture of John Dramani Mahama as the President of the Ghana, will come to nothing, after the final determination of the Supreme Court.

Adwoa Safo, who is on a thank you tour of her area for the support they gave her by voting massively for her and the NPP in the December 7 and 8 elections, assured supporters of the party that, the Court will rule in their favour and Nana Akufo-Addo will be sworn-in as President.

The MP maintained that the NPP’s legal team has assembled massive evidence, that will change the outcome of the results in favour of Nana Addo.

She stated: “It’s not about the referees, who supervised the elections, nor the people who count it that matter most; but more importantly it’s about the person who cast the vote and for that matter the EC should allow our votes to be counted”.

Adwoa Safo assured the people of her resolve to work hard as a Member of Parliament for the area to ensure that they benefited from policies that will impact their lives.


NDC are behind ‘Alan 2016’ posters – Obuasi East MP

The Member of Parliament for Obuasi East Edward Ennin, has accused the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) of being behind posters of failed New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential aspirant ,Alan Kyeremanteng popping up on walls and other structures across the country.

According to him, he has intelligence to the effect that the NDC has embarked on a grand scheme to use every means possible including the said posters to create confusion and disunity in the party as a sure way to perpetrate itself in power for a long time.

Those behind the posters bearing the images of Alan Kyeremanteng with the inscription, “2016 Alan Kyeremanten, New Hope” appear to have done a well calculated job as the posters are visible in all the regions.

Speaking on Okay FM on Tuesday morning, Hon. Edward Ennin who is an ally of the NPP stalwart stated that Alan Kyeremanteng has not sanctioned such an exercise and would not endorse any such act which has the potential of breaking the front of the NPP.

He urged the NPP supporters not to be worried by the mischief but remain vigilant and arrest anyone they find erecting the posters and hand the culprit to the police.

On the issue of Hon. Alan Kyeremanteng contesting the 2016 Presidential flag bearer race of the NPP, Hon. Ennin, stated that he cannot say emphatically if Alan will contest or not as he is currently gearing up to contest for the position of Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in the election which will be held in next week.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh

Kumasi Academy receives computer gifts

Alhaji Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Asawasi, on Monday handed over 15 computers and accessories to the Kumasi Academy Senior High School (SHS) at a ceremony.

This is to aid the teaching and learning of Information Communication Technology (ICT).

The computers were made available by the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronics and Communication (GIFEC).

Alhaji Mubarak said given the critical role of ICT in today’s globalized world the Ghanaian youth could not afford to be left behind.

The nation, he said, therefore needed to put more into the provision of ICT infrastructure to help students acquire the requisite skills to compete favourably with their counterparts, elsewhere across the world.

Alhaji Muntaka pledged to continue to liaise with corporate bodies and philanthropists to improve facilities in schools in his constituency.

Mrs Eunice Appiah-Nkansah, the Headmistress, thanked the MP and GIFEC for the gift and appealed for more public support and appealed for the completion of the school’s “Library and ICT Centre” project.


Minority to decide boycott of vetting tomorrow

Deputy Minority Leader and Member of Parliament for Bimbilla, Dominic Nitiwul has said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) will decide whether to boycott vetting of Ministerial nominees at its final meeting on Tuesday.

The NPP members of Parliament had stated it would pick and choose which government business to participate in.

Speaking on Citi Eyewitness News, Hon Nitiwul says the meeting has been postponed to Tuesday where the larger house of the minority are expected to attend and a decision taken in the interest of Ghanaians.

“The Minority caucus will meet the party leadership for the confrontation process to take place but by the close of tomorrow that decision will be made public to the people of Ghana. I can assure you that the decision will be taken in the interest of the people of Ghana,” he said.

Hon Nitiwul disclosed that it was the different opinions by the people that prompted the decision to postpone the meeting.

“There were different shades of opinions from different people and to take a major decision like this, we needed to take time especially the fact that we are not vetting tomorrow but the vetting will take place on Thursday so we have to sit down and delve deep into it, reason well and consult as widely as possible all the members of the minority and the larger picture of opinion leaders and party supporters,” he said.

Nitiwul further dismissed reports that the NPP front was divided over whether or not to be a part of the vetting scheduled for this week

“The NPP is united and firm in every decision that the party takes. There is not a shred of evidence that shows we are divided. People may have different shades of opinions but when the party takes a decision we all abide by it so if the decision at the end of tomorrow is that we are boycotting the vetting because it will undermine our legitimacy or will not be in the interest of the party, we will not go,” he added.


Parliament to vet six Ministerial nominees

Parliament’s Appointments Committee will vet six persons who have been nominated by President John Dramani Mahama for Ministerial appointments on January 24 and 25.

A public announcement on Saturday by the Deputy Clerk to Parliament, Alhaji Ibrahim Gombilla, named the nominees as Mr Seth Terkper; Finance and Economic Planning, Ms Hanna Tetteh; Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration; Alhaji Collins Dauda; Water Resources, Works and Housing and Clement Kofi Humado; Agriculture.

The rest are Alhaji A.B. Inusah Fuseini; Lands and Natural Resources and Alhaji Amin Amidu Sulemani; Roads and Highways.

According to the announcement, the vetting will commence at 1000 hours on both days at the Speaker’s Conference Room.

It invited written memoranda on the nominees from the general public to reach the Clerk to Parliament not later than 1000 hours on January 23.

Meanwhile, all members of the Appointments Committee are to attend a meeting at the Speaker’s Conference Room at 1100 hours on January 23.

Haruna Iddrisu nominated Trade and Industry minister designate

The Member of Parliament for Tamale South and Caretaker Minister of Communication, Haruna Iddrisu has been nominated as the Minister of Trade and Industry designate.

Hon. Haruna Iddrisu who has been described variously by section of the public as one of the hardworking and efficient ministers of the previous NDC administration had earlier been speculated in the media to head the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum.

His appointment follows an incident in his home town of Tamale last week where some irate youth who were incensed and disappointed vandalized properties over the President’s failure to appoint the hardworking young minister to a substantive position at a time when the list of nomination of ministers was almost exhausted.

His nomination now is expected to calm the nerves of his constituents who were earlier enraged.

Below is the full list of ministerial nominees

1. Dr. Henry Seidu Daannaa, Ministry of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs.

2. Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi, Ministry of the Interior.

3. Hon. Mark Woyongo, Ministry of Defense.

4. Hon. Haruna Iddrisu, Ministry of Trade and Industry.

5. Hon. Abdul Rashid Hassan Pelpuo, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts.

6. Mr. Nayon Bilijo, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development.

7. Hon. Alhassan Azong, Minister of State at the Presidency.

8. Hon Alhaji Mustapha Ahmed, Minister of State at the Presidency.

9. Mrs. Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare, Minister of State at the Presidency.

10. Hon. Fifi Kwetey, Minister of State at the Presidency.

11. Alhaji Limuna Mohammed Muniru, Minister of State at the Presidency.

12. Hon. Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe Ghansah, as Minister of State at the Presidency

Meanwhile, the President has also appointed Mr. P.V. Obeng as a Senior Presidential Adviser at the Presidency.

The following persons have also been designated by the President to coordinate the implementation of presidential priority projects relating to: the construction of 200 Senior High Schools, 10 Teacher Training Colleges and 1 Public University in the Eastern Region; the Development of ultra-modern Regional and Specialist Hospitals; and the development of new International and Regional Airports:

1. Hon. E. T. Mensah.

2. Hon. Alban Bagbin.

3. Hon. Cletus Avoka.

Finally, the President has appointed Ms. Mawuena Dumor Trebah as Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre.