Parliament approves 16 more ministerial nominees

BY: Nana Konadu Agyeman and Emmanuel Bruce

Parliament has by consensus, approved an additional 16 ministerial nominees.

This brings to a total of 29 ministerial nominees by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who have been approved by Parliament for his second term in office.

The approval of the additional 16 on Thursday night came after a unanimous voice vote from both sides of the House.

The nominees are Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu for Health; Mr Alan Kyerematen for Trade and Industry; Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame for Attorney-General and Minister of Justice designate; Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful for Communications and Digitisation; Samuel Abu Jinapor for Lands and Natural Resources and Mr Francis Asenso Boakye for Works and Housing.

The others are Mr Kwasi Amoako-Atta for Roads and Highways; Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah for Transport; Mr John Peter Amewu for Railway Development; Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah for Sanitation and Water Resources and Mr Mohammed Ibrahim Awal for Tourism, Arts and Culture.

The rest are Mr Ebenezer Kojo Kum for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs; Dr Kwaku Afriyie for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation; Mr Mustapha Ussif for Youth and Sports; Mr Joseph Cudjoe as a Minister of State in the Office of the President in charge of Public Enterprises and also Mrs Freda Prempeh as a Minister of State for Works and Housing.

Suspension of House

The approval of the 16 appointees came after the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, had presented the second report of the committee on the President's nominees and moved a motion for the House to adopt and approve the committee’s report.

Prior to the approval of the 16 nominees, some of the Minority Members of Parliament drew the Speaker’s attention to the fact that the they had not received copies of the Appointments Committee’s report.

The Speaker, Mr Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin consequently suspended sitting for 30 minutes to allow the Table Office to distribute copies of the report to the National Democratic Congress (NDC0 MPs.

The House, after almost over an hour, resumed to debate the observations and recommendations made by the Appointments Committee.

Reversed position

The Minority had earlier on Wednesday expressed their reservation against the approval of five of the nominees - Peter Amewu, Godfred Yeboah Dame, Kwasi Amoako Atta, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful and Kwaku Agyeman Manu.

Unsatisfied with some of the answers the nominees provided the committee during their vetting, the Minority had signaled their readiness to withdraw their approval for them.

However, the committee, by consensus, cleared all the five and recommended them for approval by the plenary after an in-camera meeting with five appointees on Wednesday.

Approval by consensus

Moving the motion for the House to adopt the second report of the committee on the second batch of 16 nominees, Mr Osei-Owusu told the House that the 26-member committee, by consensus, had endorsed the approval all the appointees after they had been vetted.

The Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, who is also a Ranking Member of the committee, rose to second and support the motion.

After a lengthy debate, the Second Deputy Speaker, Mr Andrew Amoako Asiamah, who was presiding over the sitting, put the question for a voice vote on the committee’s report.

Earlier approval

Read also: Hawa Koomson, Oppong Nkrumah, Akoto 10 other ministerial nominees approved

The 16 are part of the 30 ministers of state who have been duly vetted by the committee. The committee submitted its first report of the 13 nominees in its first report Tuesday.

The following day, the House debated the observations and recommendation by the committee before approving the appointees.

One more nominee, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta for Finance is yet to be vetted by the Appointments Committee. This is due to his travel outside of Ghana for medical review in the United States of America,

Among the 13, those who were approved via voting per majority decision were the Minister-designate for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson; the Minister-designate for Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, and the Minister-designate for Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto.

The 10 who were approved by consensus were the Minister-designate for National Security, Mr Albert Kan Dapaah; the Minister-designate for Defence, Mr Dominic Nitiwul; the Minister-designate for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, and the Minister-designate for Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum.

The others were the Minister-designate for Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu; the Minister-designate for Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh; the Minister-designate for Local Government and Decentralisation and Rural Development, Mr Dan Botwe; the Minister-designate for Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery for Interior; the Minister-designate for Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Ignatius Baffuor Awuah, and the Minister-designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection Sarah Adwoa Safo.