The Minister of Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto has submitted his resignation letter to the presidency.
He submitted it today (January 10, 2023), Graphic Online has gathered.
He has not formally publicly assigned reasons to the resignation but Graphic Online gathers it is in line with his presidential aspiration.
New Patriotic Party (NPP) rules states that ministers of state interested in contesting in the flagbearer race of the party should resign their positions to concentrate on their campaigns so that it does not interfere with governance.
If the resignation is accepted by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, his last day in office will be January 24, 2023, Graphic Online has gathered from sources.
What Graphic Online knows is that, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, had initially planned to step down in March 2023.
Deep throat sources have hinted that the Council of Elders of the NPP is asking that all presidential aspirants should not wait any further but resign to create opportunities for stable governance.
Aside that, there are indications, President Akufo-Addo will reshuffle his ministerial appointees very soon.
In order not to wait and be pushed out, Dr Akoto has rather opted for the resignation.
Last week, another flagbearer aspirant, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, a cabinet minister in charge of Trade and Industry resigned to concentrate on his campaign.
The NPP plans to elect a flagbearer for Election 2024 in the last quarter of this year (2023).
The Agric minister addressed a staff durbar at the Ministry of Agriculture this afternoon (January 10, 2023) but he was silent on his political move.
Dr Akoto calls for collaboration between Agric officials, farmers
Graphic Online's Delali Sika who was at the staff durbar reports that Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto called for collaboration between officials in the Agric Ministry and farmers in order to deal with food security issues in the country.
He noted that it was his dream that a time would come in the history of Ghana where food would be in abundance.
"Let us help the farmers of this country so that Ghana can be more secure for agriculture activities and policies to strive for which would translate into solving food security challenges in the country,” the minister said.
Dr Akoto said this at a durbar for staff of the ministry held today at the forecourt of the Agriculture Ministry.
Also present at the durbar were Deputy Ministers of Food and Agriculture and Member of Parliament for Nanton constituency, Alhaji Mohammed Hardi Tufeirua and Yaw Frimpong Addo.
He also asked the staff not to relent in making challenges of food security in Ghana a thing of the past.
" I beg of you for the dedication with which you approached your work last year and the previous years, please carry it into 2023 so that we can all make this sector better," the minister noted.
Notwithstanding, Dr Akoto asserted at the durbar that this year was not going to be a smooth ride.
"The year ahead of us is going to bring a lot of challenges but together as a team, we will sail through. We ended last year with a very successful Farmers Day Celebration in Koforidua and I'm confident that at the end of this year, we are going to celebrate farmers with another big successful event,” the minister said.
Away from that, Dr Akoto acknowledged that the successful 2022 the ministry boasts of could not have been possible without his staff.
"To everybody, from the cleaner to the gate man to the directors, I'm ever grateful to you for supporting the work of this ministry. I am always proud to say that in this ministry, we have an assembly of highly qualified experts.
“It is no doubt that a lot of energy was needed last to achieve the objective of the ministry but you came through. Your dedication to work and this ministry is going far because they are the architect of what we do, thank you," he stated.
The Deputy Ministers, one the other hand, expressed their gratitude to the staff and the minister for believing in their capabilities and bringing them on board.
They noted that success can only be achieved through hard work and that was what working with Dr Akoto has taught them since they joined the train.
“We have set a standard to beat last year and we can only achieve it with team work. Let us work harder to sustain the gains of last year’s victory, especially the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative,” they noted.
On the part of some of the staff who spoke at the gathering, they noted that the ministry should be deliberate in drumming their achievements home to erase the mindset that the ministry sits idle.