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Parliament approves Abudu, Oteng Mensah for Gender Ministry

BY: Nana Konadu Agyeman
Parliament approves Abudu, Oteng Mensah for Gender Ministry

Parliament on Thursday, approved the nominations of Lariba Zuweira Abudu and Francisca Oteng Mensah as Minister and Deputy Minister respectively of the Gender Ministry of Children and Social Protection Ministry.

The approval of the two legislators came after they had been vetted by the Appointments Committee on December 15, 2022.

The committee, by consensus, recommended to the House to approve the nominations of Ms Abudu, who until her appointment was the Deputy Minister of the same Ministry and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Walewale in the North East Region since January 2012.

Ms Oteng Mensah is the current NPP MP for Kwabre East in the Ashanti Region.

In accordance with article 144 (2) of the Constitution, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on October 25, 2022, communicated to Parliament the nomination of the two MPs and the Speaker referred the nominations to the Appointments Committee for consideration and report.

The two appeared before the committee whose members assessed their thoughts and perspectives on a number of issues bothering women and children in particular.

The areas of interest included the School Feeding Programme, special needs policy, the effect of obstetric fistula on women, the Affirmative Action Bill, gender-based violence, early child marriages, social welfare, the plight of head porters, witch camps, old age homes and views on homosexuality and lesbianism.

Commendation Moving the motion for the House to adopt its report and approve the two nominees, the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joseph Osei-Owusu, who is also the NPP MP for Bekwai in the Ashanti Region, said the committee, by consensus, recommended the approval of Ms Abudu and Ms Oteng Mensah as Minister and Deputy Minister respectively for the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.

He described the two nominees as demonstrating good knowledge about issues surrounding the ministry for which they were appointed.

Seconding the motion, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, who is also the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Tamale South in the Northern Region, expressed happiness that both nominees were elected MPs who had satisfied the requirement of Article 94 of the 1992 Constitution.

He explained that the said article was the primary legal threshold and Constitutional threshold that qualified them to be ministers and MPs.

He however expressed disquiet over stakeholders the President consulted in relation to Mrs Oteng Mensah’s nomination in relation to Article 79 of the Constitution.

Mr Iddrisu commended Ms Abudu for being elevated into the position of a substantive minister and encouraged her to put in her best to improve the lives of women and children.

Why appointments?

The appointments of the two ministers-designate became necessary after President Akufo-Addo revoked the appointment of the then substantive Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, Sarah Adwoa Safo, who is the current NPP MP for Dome-Kwabenya in the Greater Accra Region.