President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has sworn in some ministers and deputy ministers of the newly created regions and some established ministries with a charge on them to serve to better the lot of the people.
Administering the Oaths of Office, Secrecy and Allegiance to the ministers at the Jubilee House last Wednesday, the President pointed it out to them that the people voted for the creation of the new regions because they yearned for a fair share of the development initiatives and programmes of the country.
The ministers were for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi; North East Region, Mr Solomon N. Boar; Western North Region, Kingsley Aboagye Gyedu; Bono East Region, Kofi Amoakohene; Upper West Region, Dr Hafiz Ben Salih and Savanna Region, Salifu Adam Braimah.
The deputies were for the Ministries of Lands and Natural Resources, Naana Eyiah; Health, Alex Kwadwo Kum Abban; Aviation; Yaw Afful; Bono Region; Siaka Stevens; Ahafo Region; Benjamin Yeboah Sekyere; Northern Region, John Bennam; Western North Region, Alex Tetteh; Savannah Region; Samuel Etika; North East Region; Tahiru Tia Ahmed and for the Volta Region, Johnson Avuletey.
President Akufo-Addo recalled that at the presentation of the respective constitutional instruments, he gave an assurance that the government, which facilitated the creation of the new regions in consonance with the Constitution, would ensure the smooth take-off of their development.
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He said the government also constituted a seven-member committee, headed by the Minister of Regional Reorganisation, Mr Dan Botwe, to plan and oversee the rapid development of the regions.
He said accordingly, GH¢20 million had been allocated as seed capital for each of the new regions to help in the provision of infrastructure for their smooth take-off.
President Akufo-Addo advised the ministers to complement the work of the committee to help accelerate the growth and development of the regions.
He said they were on an exciting new journey by being involved in the onset of the development of the new regions and described them as pioneers who had the chance to make history and advised them to seize that opportunity.
The President explained to the appointees that the implication of the oaths they had affirmed was that they would uphold the interests of the country, the Constitution and its people fairly, and explained that it was a heavy responsibility.
He said the Ghanaian voters endorsed the NPP with a huge margin at the polls in 2016 because they wanted change in the quality of their lives and the management of the economy, adding that the government had chalked up some modest successes and would continue to do more.
He urged them to provide leadership at their various new regions to ensure that the people benefited from the policies and programmes because that was the reason the people voted for the NPP.
President Akufo-Addo expressed confidence that with their background and experiences, they would bring value to the governance of the county and enable the government to live up to the commitment of its manifesto, which he described as a sacred compact between the NPP and the people of Ghana.
The President reminded the deputy ministers that their basic responsibility was to assist their ministers in the execution of their mandate and their loyalty to their ministers was the fundamental premise for the success of their mandate.
He served notice that he would not countenance any act of disloyalty or subversion to their ministers, “for I will take such an act as disloyalty to me personally and by inference, disloyalty to the state.
Any deputy who thinks the root to advancement lies in your ability to subvert or undermine your minister will be mistaken. You will not profit from that conduct under my presidency.”
President Akufo-Addo asked the deputies to work with their ministers in all sincerity and transparency that would guarantee their success, leading to the collective achievement of the government.
The President announced that in April and May, he would embark on his annual tour of the country starting from Western North, Ahafo and Bono East in April and Oti, Savanna and North East in May.
He said some people were claiming that the government was too big and that there were too many of the ministers and deputy ministers, adding that “I am a firm believer in that adage that the sweetness of the pudding is in the eating.”
The Minister of the Western North Region, Mr Kingsley Aboagye Gyedu, who spoke on behalf of the other ministers, expressed their gratitude to the President for the confidence reposed in them.
He pledged to the President that they would use the opportunity to work hard, serve the people and improve on the lives of the citizens.