Parliament Approves Dr Kwabena Donkor As Power Minister

Parliament yesterday unanimously approved the nomination of Dr Kwabena Donkor as the Minister of the newly created Ministry of Power. The members, however, charged him to ensure that the problem of power outages, which they said were affecting businesses, as well as domestic users, were addressed. Prior to Dr Donkorís approval, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mrs Marietta Brew Appian-Opong, had told the House that with the creation of the Ministry of Power, the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum had, in effect, become defunct. She explained that the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum had been divided into two ministries: the Ministry of Petroleum and the Ministry of Power. Dr Donkor was nominated by President John Dramani Mahama as minister-designate for the Ministry of Power in November this year. His nomination was communicated to Parliament, in line with Article 78 of the 1992 Constitution. He faced the Appointments Committee of Parliament last Monday, during which he lay bare his plans to address the power outages, referred to as "dumsor, dumsorĒ. Debate The Member of Parliament (MP) for Manhyia, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, said the nominee had extensive knowledge in the power sector and expressed the hope that he would use his experience to solve the crisis the country was facing. He urged the new minister to state exactly when the power crisis would end. The Deputy Majority Leader, Mr Alfred Agbesi (NDC Ashaiman), urged Dr Donkor to contribute more to the governmentís efforts to give Ghanaians energy and power. "The nominee performed well during the vetting. I have no doubt that he will be able to address the power problems," he said. The MP for Sekondi, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, said although Dr Donkorís nomination was communicated to the House, the Executive Instrument (EI) establishing the ministry was not properly communicated to the House. He entreated the government to, in future, bring such EIs to the notice of the House for appropriate action. "The nominee must tell Ghanaians when the power crisis will be over and assure industries that there is light at the end the tunnel, no matter the length of the tunnel," he said. He also called on the government to develop a comprehensive programme to tackle the power crisis and present that programme to the House for perusal. The MPs for Wa West, Nhyiaeso and Sunyani West, Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh, Dr Richard Anane and Mr Ignatius Baffuor Awuah, respectively, also contributed to the debate.