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Ministerial nominees to be grilled at vetting today

Four ministerial nominees will today, Friday January 20 come face to face with the Appointment Committee of Parliament as they are vetted.

The first to take his turn will be Senior Minister designate, Hon. Yaw Osafo Marfo, followed by Kan Dapaah, who will head the Security Ministry. Finance Minister-nominee, Ken Ofori-Atta, as well as nominee for Defense, Dominic Nitiwul will then take their turns.

 The Minority members on the Committee have vowed to subject the ministerial nominees to rigourous questioning, an exercise that will be in the interest of the state.

Ahead of today’s vetting the Minority side on Thursday claimed they were yet to be given the Curriculum Vitae of the Ministerial nominees a day to the beginning of their vetting.

Member of Parliament for Tamale North and a member of the minority side of the committee, Alhassan Suhuyini in an interview with CITI FM, disclosed that several efforts to secure the CVs of the nominees before their vetting commences on Friday had proven futile.

He said the delay in providing them with the CVs of the nominees is intended to frustrate them, adding that this behaviour is condemnable.

“The people of Ghana want us to ask the relevant questions especially about the caliber of people that are going to be working for them. And so, we think that it is unacceptable. We don’t want them to give us the CVs tomorrow morning when we are supposed to be vetting the nominees,” he noted.

Senior Minister portfolio unlawful – Mahama Ayariga

The Member of Parliament for Bawku Central Mahama Ayariga has stated that the Senior Minister position created by President Akufo-Addo is unconstitutional.

In a letter addressed to the President, the former Information minister said Mr. Akufo-Addo will be offending the constitution of Ghana if he goes ahead to maintain the position in his government.

“A ‘Minister of State’ is not the same creature as a “Senior Minister”. A “Senior Minister” suggests the existence of a hierarchy among Ministers of State. There is no hierarchy among ‘Ministers of State’ appointed under articles 58 and 256. At best, there could be informal seniority protocols within government once approval as Ministers of State is given by Parliament. I am not operating in the realm of protocols now. I am asking that we pay attention to the dictates of the language of our Constitution when communicating to other constitutional bodies and arms of government,” he wrote.

He is therefore appealing to the President to reconsider the appointment.

Below are details of the letter


Mr. President.

I have taken time to write you this letter because you have asked us to be “citizens not spectators”. Citizens insist on fidelity to the Constitution, which is the basis of every constitutional authority and power exercised. “Sovereignty of Ghana resides in the people of Ghana in whose name and for whose welfare the powers of government are to be exercised in the manner and within the limits laid down in this Constitution”.

Ghanaians should be made aware that every constitutional power and authority exercised by a President is spelt out in the constitution (or some other law) and the manner in which it is to be exercised is equally laid down. It should therefore not be confusing to non-lawyers when they are told that a power bestowed on a President has been exercised in a manner not laid down in the Constitution. Constitutionalism is concerned with both form and substance.

I write to draw your attention to the constitutional issue arising from your nomination of Hon Yaw Osafo-Marfo for vetting to be appointed “Senior Minister”. I tried to raise the issue in Parliament and at the preparatory meeting of the Appointments Committee of Parliament. My motives are purely to promote adherence to the dictates of our Constitution that Mr. President swore to “… at all times preserve, protect and defend…” I also swore to do the same thing in my Oath of Allegiance as a Member of Parliament.

Remember that breach of the constitution is one of the grounds on which you may be removed from office. We, therefore, have a common duty but sometimes we may have an uncommon understanding of the true meaning of the dictates of the words that enact the authority and powers of a President or any other officer created by the Constitution.

The nomination of any person to be vetted for the post of a “Senior Minister” constitutes a constitutional aberration. The simple reason is that nowhere in the Constitution does the office of ‘Senior Minister’ exist. The Senior Minister post which you have created is demonstrably analogous to the office of Prime Minister. I will show, from a review of the history of the enactment of the 1992 Constitution that there was a very conscious decision to avoid creating any office similar to that of a Prime Minister. The idea of having a Prime Minister was explicitly turned down.

Chapter 8 of the Constitution of Ghana 1992 establishes the Executive branch of government and spells out the offices, which shall constitute that branch. Articles 76, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 88 and 256 of the constitution deal with matters relating to the posts of a ‘Minister of State’ and a ‘Deputy Minister of State’. Some of those provisions often refer to the term ‘Minister’ or ‘Deputy Minister’ when making references to the post of a ‘Minister of State’ or a ‘Deputy Minister of State’ respectively and omitting the expression: ‘of State’.

A ‘Minister of State’ is not the same creature as a “Senior Minister”. A “Senior Minister” suggests the existence of a hierarchy among Ministers of State. There is no hierarchy among ‘Ministers of State’ appointed under articles 58 and 256. At best, there could be informal seniority protocols within government once approval as Ministers of State is given by Parliament. I am not operating in the realm of protocols now. I am asking that we pay attention to the dictates of the language of our Constitution when communicating to other constitutional bodies and arms of government. Co-equal arms of government are guided in the exercise of their own functions by the dictates of the same Constitution. Remember that in the case of the requirement of ‘prior approval’ by Parliament, the Supreme Court said in Mensah versus Attorney-General that Parliament had to respect the language and act accordingly and not just retain Ministers of the previous government because that was not what ‘prior approval’ meant.

Literally and ordinarily the word ‘senior’ means ‘higher in standing or rank’ relative to another Minister of State. But our constitutional governance architecture only recognizes a ‘Minister of State” who the Constitution sometimes refers to as a ‘Minister’. Ordinarily also, the word ‘senior’ is used to show that one person is more advanced in age than another. The Constitution does not make that differentiation when it comes to ministerial appointments. Being advanced in age does not entitle you to be vetted by Parliament and given the accolade of ‘Senior Minister”.

Mr. President cannot simply say that appointing someone as “Senior Minister” means nothing. If that is the case then simply nominate him to be a ‘Minister of State’. Why the discrimination? You consciously seek to elevate Hon Yaw Osafo-Marfo to a status akin to that of a Prime Minister. I have, myself, heard Hon Yaw Osafo-Marfo grant interviews and say on radio that he is going to oversee the work of other Ministers of State you have nominated, especially for the economic sectors. That is to say that he will superintend over the work of other Ministers of State. That interview betrays the real motives for creating the ‘Senior Minister’ post. It is going to function very much the same way as a Prime Minister. Hon Yaw Osafo-Marfo does not understand that you don’t intend to breach the Constitution by creating a Prime Minister status for any one particular Minister of State, if mu assumption is right. For him, it is not a mere accolade based on his age and wealth of experience.

A proposal was made to the framers of our Constitution to create the post of a Prime Minister and it was rejected. The Consultative Assembly that drafted the final constitution rejected the creation of the office of Prime Minister or any post akin to it. The creation of our Constitution itself went through several stages. There was a nation-wide gathering of public views on the form of government we should constitute for ourselves by a National Commission for Democracy which presented a report on “Evolving a True Democracy” on 25th March 1991 to the PNDC. On July 31st 1991, A Committee of Experts chaired by Dr. S.K.B. Asante presented “Proposals for a Draft Constitution of Ghana” to the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC). Then a Consultative Assembly debated the Draft Constitution and came out with a final Constitutional proposal, which was put to a referendum at which Ghanaians voted. The final outcome is this 1992 Constitution.

The Committee of Experts led by Dr. S.K.B. Asante proposed a “split executive” system comprised of a President elected by universal adult suffrage and a Prime Minister. They had actually been instructed by the PNDC in PNDCL 252 to consider that option of a President elected by universal adult suffrage in addition to a Prime Minister who must command a majority in the National Assembly. These two would work together. The Prime Minister was to “… be the head of Government administration and should supervise and co-ordinate the work of Ministers of State and of the Council of Ministers.

He or she should be the leader of Government business in Parliament, and should generally assist the President in the execution of the functions of Government”. (Emphasis mine) (Report of the Committee of Experts (Constitution) on Proposals for a Draft Constitution of Ghana, page 13) These proposals were presented to the Consultative Assembly set up under the Consultative Assembly Law, 1991 (PNDCL 253). After extensive debates on the proposals contained in the Committee of Experts’ Report, the Consultative Assembly rejected the idea of a post of Prime Minister.

Another proposal of Council of Ministers headed by the proposed Prime Minister was equally rejected. A Cabinet, as presently constituted, was rather proposed in the stead of the Council of Ministers. This Cabinet will be made up of the President, Vice President and not more than 19 Ministers.

In the language of the Report of the Committee of Experts, the proposed Prime Minister was analogous to a “Deputy Chief Executive of the nation.” (Page. 13). In the original proposals of the Committee of Experts, the post of a Vice President, as we presently have it in the 1992 Constitution, was not considered at all. Now that we have a Vice President who is the real “Deputy Chief Executive of the nation” we cannot be entertaining acts aimed at circumventing the status of the constitutionally elected Vice President.

The Consultative Assembly rejected the idea of a Prime Minister or anything akin to it. That has informed the practice of constitutionalism of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). That is why each time NDC is forming government there is no proposal to appoint anyone to a status akin to the position of a Prime Minister such as a “Senior Minister”. The political grouping from which the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is lineally descended boycotted this constitution making process.

It is therefore does not come as a surprise that anytime the NPP comes into office, as we saw in the case of Ex-President J. A. Kufour, they come back with this “Senior Minister” position to fill in the place of a Prime Minister. An idea that was totally rejected by Ghanaians during the Consultative Assembly debates and was never an option presented to Ghanaians for enactment in our Constitution during the referendum. That post undermines the role of the Vice President.

The 1992 Constitution of Ghana makes no provision for a hierarchy of ministers among Ministers of State. The idea of a particular minister being higher in status than other Ministers of State is an anathema to our Constitution right from the beginning.  At most, we have some of the Ministers (not more than 19) being in Cabinet and the rest being Ministers of State who have no cabinet membership. It is in the recordings of minutes of cabinet meetings that you notice the difference when the 19 ministers are recorded as ‘Members of Cabinet’ and the rest are said to be “in attendance” only.

In exercising the President’s appointing authority, where prior approval of parliament is required, fidelity to the clear textual prescriptions of our Constitution is critical. Article 1 of our Constitution provides that, “…the powers of government are to be exercised in the manner and within the limits laid down in this Constitution”. Your power to appointment Ministers is clearly circumscribed within the confines of article 78 and 256 of the Constitution. So is the power of Parliament to approve. Parliament can only approve nominations for ‘Ministers of State’ to be appointed. Indeed, that is why article 295 (1) defines a “Minister” as “… a Minister appointed under article 78 or 256 of this Constitution”. Those two articles only mention “Minister of State” not “Senior Minister”.

Parliament can only vet nominees to the posts of ‘Minister of State’ because that is what the text of the Constitution says. Parliament itself cannot arrogate to itself the authority to vet for offices not created by the Constitution or validly enacted by a separate Act of Parliament. In the practice of ministerial nominations, it is often stated that a nominee has been ‘designated’ to handle a stated Ministry. That simply helps Parliament in the vetting process as it narrows down the scope of the areas within which that nominee will be interrogated to determine capacity to do the work.

Otherwise, strictly speaking, the President can simply say he is nominating a person for approval as a ‘Minister of State’ and leave it at that and he would have complied with the language of the Constitution. But the President cannot nominate someone to be appointed as a “Senior Minister”. Within the corridors of the Flagstaff House, younger Ministers of State may call any of their colleagues a ‘Senior Minister’ in deference to his or her age but that is different from an official communication by the President to Parliament in exercise of his powers pursuant to articles 58 and 256 of the Constitution requesting that a person advanced in age be vetted for approval by Parliament to be appointed as “Senior Minister”. It is ultra vires the powers of the President under our Constitution. This equally bars Parliament from proceeding.

Assuming we let it pass today that we can have someone appointed as a ‘Senior Minister’ and that is perfectly right within the 1992 constitution then what stops another President from appointing someone tomorrow to be vetted for appointment as a “Prime Minister”? And who says that “Senior Minister” is not a term of art? In its signification among governance experts, “Senior Minister” is almost synonymous with “Prime Minister”. Can future Presidents send a communication to Parliament requesting that a nominee be vetted for appointment as “Super Chief Justice” or even “Senior Supreme Court Justice” pursuant to article 144 of the Constitution?

If we accept Your Excellency’s conduct today then one day we will be called upon to vet a nomination for “Senior Supreme Court Justice” (whatever that will mean) and questions cannot be raised.  Fidelity to our Constitution and the nomenclature therein is extremely important especially for a President who before assuming office has to take a Presidential Oath to “… at all times preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana…” What is happening is a mutilation of the Constitution. And it is needless. It is constitutionally mandatory for Mr. President to adhere to the appropriate nomenclatures when requesting approval from Parliament.

Your Excellency, I have not forgotten the bad precedent set by Ex President John Agyekum Kufour in nominating Hon J. H. Mensah, his brother-law, for appointment as “Senior Minister” which the then Parliament accepted. Now that we have heeded to your call to be citizens and not spectators it is time to rise up to the occasion and correct our errors – his then and now yours. I am very hopeful that this matter will not end up in the Supreme Court.

If it does, am sure it will be an opportunity for the Supreme Court to pronounce that their decision in Tsatsu Tsikata versus Attorney-General, in the matter of the constitutionality of the creation of the ‘Fast Track High Court’, was not intended to provide unbridled license to any President or for that matter any appointing authority to wantonly abandon the clear textual prescriptions of our constitution in the naming of officers and institutions. Now that almost all the High Courts are getting automated will the species of courts know as ‘High Courts’ survive as a judicial nomenclature? I fear there will soon be no ‘High Court’, only “Fast Track High Court”. And will it be ok for me to file an application before the “Automated Supreme Court”? Words used in the Constitution to describe officers and institutions have their significations.

I have combed around the world to see where else the term ‘Senior Minister’ is used and found some useful precedent in Singapore that is largely a Parliamentary System with a Prime Minister heading cabinet and a President with ceremonial powers. A gazette notification is issued announcing the designation of a Minister as a ‘Senior Minister’ and his or her functions clearly spelt out in the gazette notification. Nothing is there to show that they were submitted to their Parliaments for vetting as Senior Ministers. In one case the title of ‘Senior Minister’ was conferred on an ex-Prime Minister when he ceased to be a Prime Minister. They also have a designation of a Coordinating-Minister.

The practice in Singapore is understandable because they have a largely parliamentary system in which the Prime Minister is the head of the ministers in terms of hierarchy and actually exercises executive authority. The situation is clearly different in Ghana where the constitution is explicit in its enactment of the offices of Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers of State and does not create a hierarchy of Ministers. To create a Senior Minister’s post amends the constitution and Mr. President would be breaching the very oath of office that is the basis of your authority as Head of State.

Mr. President, permit me to say that Hon Yaw Osafo-Marfo is an excellent gentleman with vast experience who might bring a lot to your government. Unfortunately, within the context of our Constitution, you cannot give him a ministerial status higher and above the status of a ‘Minister of State’. I believe Hon Yaw Osafo-Marfo will understand the high regards you have for him and will not be offended if you make the correction needed to enable an incident free vetting. Given his exceptional qualities, I believe an automatic parliamentary approval of his nomination for appointment as a ‘Minister of State’ is guaranteed.

Alternatively you can copy the good practice of the NDC government. The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) set up by article 86 of the Constitution will be the best place for Hon Yaw Osafo-Marfo. That is where we put Dr. Kwesi Botchwey. I am not even saying the former has attained the stature of the latter. But if you want to elevate him above Ministers, especially those Ministers of State manning the economic sectors, I suggest that you appoint him to chair the NDPC.

He will superintend over the Minister of Finance and all other Ministers of State, as you may desire. He will even have the Government Statistician, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana on the Commission and many more eminent persons who you can gather on the Commission for him to run a constitutional empire. I urge you to look at the functions of the NPDC and you will find that a fine brain and experienced hand like Hon Yaw Osafo-Marfo will be an excellent candidate.

Please accept, Your Excellency, my highest regards and well wishes for your Presidency.


I’m yet to receive my first salary but I’m already paying sch. fees –

Newly sworn-in Member of Parliament (MP) for Kwabre East, Francisca Oteng-Mensah, says although she is yet to receive her first salary, she has started paying school fees of some students in her constituency.

According to the MP, she is also laden with the payment of hospital bills among other demands her constituents have started making.

The situation, she noted, is becoming unbearable as more of her constituent have started making huge demands that are beyond her control.

“Even though I have not started receiving salary, I have started paying fees … I have also started paying hospital bills and a whole lot,” she was quoted as saying by myjoyfmonline.com on Tuesday, January 17, 2017.

Francisca, 24, is the youngest MP in the Seventh Parliament of the 4th Republic.

She unseated then MP for the area; Kofi Frimpong at the party’s primaries held in 2015 and subsequently went ahead to poll over 70,000 votes to retain the seat for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the December 7th parliamentary elections.

Help us sharpen skills of our MPs – Speaker urges Israel

Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, His Excellency, Ami Mehl, says Israel is prepared to assist Ghana to protect its cyber space.

He said all over the world, Israel supplies 10% of the cyber protection, and affirmed his Government’s commitment to cooperate with Ghana in that security aspect.

Apart from that, he said Israel is again committed to assisting Ghana develop its agricultural sector, water treatment and to also assist in deepening the country’s parliamentary democracy.

The Israeli Ambassador made these commitments when he paid a courtesy call on the Speaker, Rt. Ho. Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye at his office in Parliament House.

Speaker Oquaye on his part called for cooperation with Israel in the area of building the capacities of MPs.

“It will be useful to have the cooperation of Israel in sharpening the skills of our Members”, he noted.

Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu in a brief remarks urged the Israeli Government to deepen it cooperation with Ghana, especially, in the area of agriculture since the Ghanaian government’s flagship project of one-district-one-factory and one-village-one-dam has agriculture as its base.

Deputy Minority Leader, James Klutse Avedzi on his part urged for cooperation between Ghana and Israel in the area of Health, noting that ” Israel has something that Ghana can learn from, especially, its health management system which focuses more on prevention rather than cure”.

Speaker calls for strengthened ties between Ghana and USA

The Speaker of Ghana’s 7th Parliament, the Rt. Hon. Aaron Michael Oquaye, has emphasised the need for Ghana and the United States to strengthen bilateral ties for the mutual benefit of the two countries.

The Speaker made this remark when the US Ambassador to Ghana, H. E. Robert P. Jackson paid a courtesy call on him at the Parliament House.

The Speaker made reference to the President’s vision of one-district-one-factory and said there is a need to place emphasis on areas like the production of solar energy among other sustainable projects.

He indicated his preparedness to ensure that the various plans outlined by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo came to fruition.

The US Ambassador on his part said his aim, like that of the Speaker, is to continue the relations between the two countries.

Ambassador Jackson finds it fascinating that Ghana is able to transition within thirty days of elections and said that is an indication of Ghana’s commitment to multi-party democracy.

He announced a US congressional delegation coming to Ghana next month and expressed the hope that Parliament would be able to meet them when they arrive.

The Majority Leader, Hon. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, expressed the hope of Ghana learning more from the US Legislature despite the fact that the US system is federal and Ghana is unicameral.

He made special reference to the committee system and said the two countries have to strengthen bilateral relations in those areas.

The Majority Leader said Ghana’s participation in the yearly conference of the State Legislatures in the US continue to be of immense benefit as it helps participants to exchange ideas on best practices  and for developing countries like Ghana to learn from the more developed ones.
The Minority Leader, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu, said Ghana remains committed to maintaining and improving good governance practices.

He said it is imperative that rights of individuals are respected and that government must be sensitive to the sensibilities of individuals when they take actions.

The Minority leader then called on the American Embassy to extend their attention beyond the Public Accounts committee pointing out that there are other equally vibrant committees in the House that need assistance.

The Speaker, Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye, made reference to the AGOA initiative which he said was a trailblazer in providing impetus to energize the Private sector.

“The achievements under the initiative remain lasting testimonies to positive bilateral relationships to this day,” he noted.

He also spoke about Ghana’s democratic activities from 1992 when the country returned to constitutional rule in 1993 and commended the country for its achievements.

The Ghanaian Speaker further spoke about the need to maintain institutional memory.

He pledged Parliament’s preparedness to host the congressional delegation when they arrive.

NDC MP for Daffiama-Bussei-Isa lauds creation of Sanitation Ministry

The opposition Nationa Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for the Daffiama-Bussei-Isa constituency has lauded the creation of the Sanitation and Water Resources Ministry.

Dr. Sebastian Sandaare a Medical Doctor cum politician who has been a strong advocate for more attention to be given to sanitation believes the creation of the ministry shows that the government wants to focus on that sector.

According to him a focus in that sector means more resources will be given to sanitation and water resources which will go a long way to ensure that the environment is clean.

Speaking to EIB’s Musah Lansah in a telephone interview Dr. Sandaare said,” you know I have always advocated for more resources for sanitation related issues so the creation of this ministry is in the right direction. I believe it tells the focus of government in ensuring more resources will be given to tackle sanitation issues.”

The MP adds that,”if more resources are given to the sector it will go a long way to improve on the health of the citizens thereby reducing the burden on the health sector.”

Dr. Sandaare is however skeptical about the implementation of the mandate of the ministry. According to him, “my worry is how the ministry will implement its policies. You know in Ghana we develop very impressive policies but when it comes to their implementation we struggle.”

Agona East MP commissions Fawomanye community centre

The honorable Member of Parliament for Agona East in the Central region, Mrs. Queenstar Pokua Sawyerr has commissioned a community centre she built for the chiefs and people of Fawomanye community in the area.

Speaking at the event, Hon Maame Pokuah who is popularly known as Obatampa cataloged the several achievements by the previous NDC government for the community under former President Mahama.

The MP assured the people of her commitment to help provide similar facility for the rest of the communities within the constituency.

Already, some fifteen communities have also been identified to benefit fromthe MPs generosity.

According to her, it was God’s plan and for good reason that Mahama loses the last election for the people to appreciate his good works.

Mrs Queenstar Pokuah Sawyer cautioned leaders and members of the NDC  to avoid repeating the ‘mistakes’ the party made during the 2016 general elections which includes their failure to vote during the last election due to anger for not befitting from the party and deceit by the then opposition, the NPP which has so far been a disappointment .

“As we inaugurate this Community Centre today, let me use this forum to urge all of you here, especially the NDC members, not to make that mistake again. If you did not vote or you voted for the NPP at the last election, do not make such mistake, as you can see, since they (NPP)  came to power have you heard of any development project?

“The road from Kwayarko to Agona Swedru that we  (NDC) started will be there, they will not do anything on it,  till NDC and Mahama comes back  and “IshaAllahu,’ if John Mahama comes back that road will be completed,” she stated.

The MP who was the former Deputy Central Regional Minister therefore called on all to unite as the party restructure for a comeback to right the wrongs of the NPP government.

She assured the Chiefs and people of Fawomanye of her unrelenting commitment to their needs at all times whiles urging them to continue supporting her to deliver.

Obatampa was full of praise for the people who helped to erect the structure, which she noted will provide a convenient environment for social events.

The project was funded through personal resources of the MP.
Nana Sekyi Annan IV, Chief of the Fawomanye community thanked the MP for coming to their aid.

The gesture he noted would provide a congenial environmentfor meetings and other social gatherings and assured of proper maintenance of the facility to last long.

Residents of Fawomanye commended the MP for her kind gesture and continues strive to develop the area.
They described her as an honest and hard working woman who cares for her children.

By Christian Kpesese/ ghanamps.com

Creative Arts industry lacks legislative instrument – Afeku

Minister designate for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Catherine Afeku has called for immediate expedition of the Creative Arts Bill.

In an interview with GHOne TV, after the President announced her nomination, Hon. Afeku who’s also Member of Parliament for Evalue-Gwira, said there is no legislative instrument to support the Arts Industry.

She hinted that the Creative Arts industry has a lot of talents and heritages that need repackaging.

Madam Catherine Afeku added that the film section is the most vulnerable industry that needs these reforms to help structure it well.

According to her, once the bill is promulgated into an act, stakeholders can stick their necks out to support the arts industry.

She noted that once she’s given the nod as Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, she intends to ensure air tariffs are reduced.

“My interest is in getting the aviation industry to see tourism as part and parcel of their industry. So if we have air tariffs drastically reduced, people will travel more and also will entice family members to look into what Ghana has to offer. But if it is prohibitive then it would be of no relevance.” She said.

She commented on promoting domestic tourism by sanitising the beach sites and re-orient the mindsets of Ghanaians to eschew littering and making the beaches an uncomfortable place for tourists.

President Akufo-Addo on Thursday confirmed the nomination of Member of Parliament for Evalue Jomoro-Gwira constituency in the Western region, Catherine Abelema Afeku as Minister designate for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts Ministry.

She will be taking over from outgoing Tourism Minister Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare. Afeku was MP from 2009 to 2012, but lost the 2012 elections until her re-election in the December 2016 polls.

Catherine Afeku was one of the prolific female Members of Parliament in the 4th Republic Parliament. She entered the political scene during President Kufuor’s era as the Government Spokesperson for Infrastructure.

She earned the admiration of the media and the general public with her appearance on the National Television and other media outlets.

Madam Catherine Afeku always talked about her passion to serve the public in an elected position but she had a lot of obstacles. She stood in a predominantly CPP zone in the Nzema area but shocked observers and analyst by becoming the first person ever to win parliamentary seat in the Nzema area on the NPP/UP/PP ticket.

She has continued to impress with her stellar performance in Parliament. She has made several meaningful contributions on the floor and serves on Committees that are typically dominated by her male colleagues. Click here for a link to contributions from Parliament by Hon. Afeku. She serves on 3 Committees in Parliament. They are the Road and Transport Committee, The Communications Committee as the Deputy Ranking Member and the Business Committee.

Akufo Addo names 12 more ministers, Dan Botwe for Regional Re-organization Ministry

President Nana Akufo Addo has nominated Member of Parliament for Okere and former General Secretary of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dan Botwe as Minister designate for Regional Re-organization.

His nomination to the yet to be created ministry is obviously to fulfil the promise made by the president, who then as the Flagbearer of the NPP, promised during the electioneering campaign ahead of the 2016 elections to create a new region out of the Western Region if he’s elected as President.

President Akufo Addo has explained that the decision is based on the current large size of the Western Region and the urgent need for an efficient and effective administration and to also harness the abundant resources of the region for effective development in both the Western North and Western South regions.

“It is time for the creation of a new administrative region for the Western part of Ghana and so we will use all the constitutional process to pursue this ambition,” Nana Addo said.
Meanwhile, President Akufo Addo has also nominated Hon. Kofi Adda as Minister designate for Water and Sanitation.

The others include:

Dr Anthony Akoto Osei – Monitoring and Evaluation

Prof Kwabena Frimpong Boateng – Science, Environment, Technology and Innovation

Otiko Djaba – Gender, Children and Social Protection

Joe Ghartey – Railway Development

John Peter Amewu – Lands and Natural Resource

Samuel Atta Akyea – Works and Housing

Ignatius Barffour Awuah – Employment and Labour Relations

Kweku Ofori Asiamah – Transport

Kwesi Amoako Atta – Roads and Highways

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful – Communications

26 MPs to grill Akufo-Addo’s ministers

A twenty-six member Appointments Committee has been set up to grill ministers nominated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to serve in various ministerial positions.

This follows a motion that was moved by the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu on the floor of Parliament, Tuesday, which was seconded by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu.

The committee made of 16 members from the Majority NPP Caucus and 10 members from the NDC Caucus is to be chaired by the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu.

Other members of the Committee are; Sarah Adwoa Safo, Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh, Dominic Nitiwul, Samuel Atta Akyea, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Nii Kwartei Titus Glover, Ursula Owusu Ekuful, Joseph Kofi Adda and Joseph Cudjoe.

The rest are Patricia Appiagyei, Osei Bonsu Amoah, Kofi Amoakohene, Anthony Karbo, Barbara Asher Ayisi, Michael Yaw Gyato, Haruna Iddrisu and Mohammed Mubarak-Muntaka.

Others are Mahama Ayariga, Sampson Ahi, Eric Opoku, Bernice Adiku Heloo, Joseph Yieleh Chireh, Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa and Alhassan Suhuyini.

The Committee is expected to sit on Wednesday and Thursday to plan their program of activities for the coming week.

So far 13 nominees have been named. They are:

Matthew Opoku Prempeh – Ministry of Education

Albert Kan-Dapaah – National Security Minister-designate

Alan Kyerematen – Trade and Industry Minister-designate

Ken Ofori-Atta – Finance Minister-designate

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto – Agriculture Minister-designate

Boakye Agyarko – Energy Minister-designate

Dominic Nitiwul – Defence Minister-designate

Ambrose Dery – Minister-designate for the Interior

Ayorkor Botchway – Foreign Affairs Minister-designate

Gloria Akuffo – Attorney General-designate

Alima Mahama – Local Government Minister-designate

Dr Mathew Opoku-Prempeh – Education Minister-designate

Kweku Agyemang Manu – Health Minister-designate