Four ministers and two deputy ministers-designate who were vetted by the Appointments Committee of Parliament have unanimously been approved by Parliament.
The Minister-designate for Information, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah; Minister-designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Cynthia Morrison; Minister-designate for the Brong Ahafo Region, Evans Opoku Bobie and Minister-designate for the Upper East Region, Paulina Abayage were approved by the House.
The deputy ministers-designate are Deputy minister-designate for the Brong Ahafo Region, Martin Oti Gyarko and deputy minister-designate for the Eastern Region, Samuel Nuertey Ayertey.
The approval, however, came with a strong constitutional argument as to the constitutionality of the nomination of the deputy minister-designate for the Brong Ahafo Region, Martin Oti Gyarko, who was nominated together with the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Evans Opoku Bobie on August 24, this year.
The Minority in Parliament, led by its leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said the Minority did not have problem with the qualification and suitability of the nominee who is the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Techiman North, who according to them, did well at the vetting.
But their problem is the breach of the constitution by the president by nominating the deputy and the substantive minister for the same region without the required consultation.
According to the Minority leader, the President ought to have consulted the regional minister for the appointment of his deputy as enshrined in Article 256 of the Constitution but since the two were nominated together for their respective positions, that consultation could not have been done.
The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said the same issue was raised by the Minority Leader during the vetting of the deputy minister-designate and he came to the committee to show a letter that indicated that President Akufo-Addo consulted the out-going regional minister, who is being moved to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asoman-Cheremeh, on August 8, this year and so for the minority leader to raise the same issue on the floor is very disingenuous.
The chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joseph Osei-Owusu, said that all the nominees distinguished themselves at the vetting and that members were unanimous in recommending them to the plenary for their approval.
The NDC MP for Tamale Central, Inusah Fuseini, praised the Minister-designate for Information, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah for his intelligence and outstanding pedigree and also for performing his role perfectly as deputy minister of Information and expressed the hope that he will carry that on to his new portfolio as the substantive minister.
The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, commended the Minister-designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Cynthia Morrison and the Minister-designate for Upper East Region, Paulina Abayage, for their comportment and impressive performance at the vetting.
He said both nominees are also noted for their passionate gender advocacy and asked particularly, the Minister-designate for Gender, to quickly put together the Affirmative Action Bill and bring it to Parliament for consideration and approval to help bring gender parity to all levels of governance.
The NPP for Evalue Ajomoro Gwira and Minister of Tourism, Creative Arts and Culture, Catherine Afeku, lauded the Minister-designate for Information for his performance at the vetting and urged him to ensure that journalists are well paid by their employers because of the important role journalists play in the sustenance of the nation’s democracy.
She also called on the Minister-designate to ensure the expansion of the School Feeding Programme in the rural districts to ensure that a lot more children are enrolled in school.