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New Ministers Vetting October 26   
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Parliament has scheduled the vetting of newly appointed ministers of state and deputy ministers of state on Friday, October 26 and Monday, October 29.

This follows the official announcement by the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye, during last week’s emergency recall of parliament to consider some important bills and financial agreements.

Those to be vetted on Friday, October 26, are Minister designate for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who is now a Deputy Minister of Information; Minister designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Cynthia Morrison, who is the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Agona West, and Minister designate for Upper East Region, Paulina Tangoba Abayage, the immediate past Ghana’s ambassador to Italy.

Those to be vetted on Monday, October 29 are the Minister designate for the Brong Ahafo Region, Evans Opoku Bobie, who is the current Deputy Brong Ahafo Minister; Deputy Minister designate for Brong Ahafo Region, Martin Oti Gyako, who is the NPP MP for Techiman North, and Deputy Minister designate for the Eastern Region, Samuel Nuertey Ayertey.

The House which is expected to resume officially from its long vacation on Tuesday, October 30, referred the names of the new nominees to the Appointments Committee of Parliament for the vetting.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, did not understand why the current Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Kwaku Ansomah-Cheremeh, would be made to take up his new ministerial portfolio, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources without being vetted by parliament.

He argued that once the current Brong Ahafo Regional Minister was only representing the president of the Republic in the regions and is now moving to a substantive sector ministry, he should be vetted and approved by parliament.

He said it was important for parliament to vet him to test his knowledge of his new ministry and find out whether he is competent to handle that ministry well.

The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, said technically the minority leader was right because it was important for parliament to interrogate the nominee on workings in his new ministerial position especially being a sector ministry but the constitution says that the president can reshuffle his ministers of state at any point in time after going through their initial vetting by parliament and that regional ministers are also categorised as ministers of state under the constitution.

He said since he entered parliament in 1997 that has always been the practice by all the previous presidents sometimes reshuffling regional ministers to become sector ministers because the 1992 Constitution permits that.

He said personally he has raised the issue before when he was the minority leader concerning regional ministers being reshuffled to become sector ministers.

He said technically it was right for parliament to vet them before being appointed sector ministers to verify if indeed they have the competence to handle those ministries effectively adding that it was time parliament looked at that provision in the constitution.

The Minister of Evaluation and Monitoring, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, said becoming a sector minister or minister of state does not require any extraordinary qualification and that the person only has to be a good manager and give effective directions to his technocrats to get things done.
Source: Daily Guide

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