Vetting of Deputy Regional Ministers designate begun Thursday with five nominees appearing before the Appointments Committee of Parliament.
They are Mr Samuel Yaw Adusei, nominee for Ashanti Region; Mr Justice Samuel Adjei, Brong Ahafo; Mrs Queenstar Maame Pokua Sawyerr, Central Region; Ms Mavis Ama Frimpong, Eastern Region, and Mr Isaac N. Djanmah Vanderpuye, Greater Accra Region.
As usual, members of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), were absent in furtherance of their position not to participate in the vetting of any nominee of President John Mahama, whom they believe did not win the 2012 elections.
The vetting was characterised by the heaping of praises on some of the nominees by the members of the committee for having served the cause of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the past.
Each nominee spent not more than 40 minutes at the vetting and the “soft questions” asked appeared to be deliberate on the part of the members of the committee.
Some were even made to sing their favourite gospel songs.
Mr Adusei, the first to appear before the committee, told the members that he would assist the regional minister to deal with the problem of armed robbery in the Ashanti Region, especially in its capital, Kumasi.
He noted that the police had already initiated programmes to deal with the problem which included swoops in some suburbs of the city, and added that those efforts needed to be stepped up.
On the difficulties encountered by investors in procuring land for projects, the nominee said he would assist the regional minister to hold consultations with traditional rulers on how to make land easily available to individuals and groups who intend to create jobs in the region.
Mr Adusei, who is currently the Co-ordinator of the Ashanti Regional Forestry Plantation Programme, said he would put the agenda of the President, Mr John Mahama, above all personal interests and work hard to ensure that the President’s vision is realised.
He said although the regional minister did not hail from the region, he was prepared to work with him to bring development to the people of Ashanti.
Educating members of the committee on what his work entailed as co-ordinator of the forestry plantation programme in the region, he said since 2010, 4,500 hectares of land had been planted with trees and 4,500 people employed under the programme in the Ashanti Region alone.
Mr Adjei, the next to appear, said he would work on instructions from the regional minister and, if he had to take any decision in the absence of the minister, he would consult him wherever he was.
He described the Brong Ahafo Region as an “agrarian region” with a lot of tourism potential and said he would advise the regional minister on how best to develop the potentials.
Mr Adjei said he would encourage district assemblies to collaborate with the private sector to create jobs for the youth and solve the unemployment problem the region was currently facing.
Mrs Sawyerr, the next to appear before the committee, attributed the poverty in the region to lack of education and said it was in that vein that she supported the Free and Compulsory Basic Education (FCUBE) programme of the government as well as its free school uniforms and exercise books initiatives.
She said if the people were educated, they would devise innovative ways of earning a living to lift themselves out of poverty.
Mrs Sawyerr, who is the Member of Parliament for Agona East, and who was made to sing a gospel song at the vetting, said from this year, all final year junior high school students in her constituency would enjoy free breakfast and lunch.
The programme, she said, was her idea and had been initiated with the assistance of prominent people who hailed from her constituency,and would be replicated in other districts in the region later in a bid to encourage enrolment in school.
She said she was determined to see the construction of the Kotokuraba Market and the Cape Coast stadium come to fruition and would assist to remove all impediments in the way of the two projects.
Mrs Sawyerr denied media reports that she was not happy with her appointment, and expressed gratitude to the President, John Mahama, for appointing her.
Confident and articulate Ms Mavis Ama Frimpong, the Birim North District Chief Executive (DCE), who was the next to appear, said she had formed a multi-sectoral committee to come out with recommendations on how to effectively deal with the galamsey problem.
That, she said, she did as DCE when she realised that the numerous swoops on galamsey sites by the security agencies had failed to solve the problem.
She expressed the hope that whatever recommendations were made by the committee, if implemented, would solve the problem and would be replicated elsewhere.
Ms Frimpong, a health worker and researcher, said she fully supported the idea to create a 30 per cent quota for women in the decision-making process, and said there were many capable women in the country who were needed as Ghana made a forward march towards development.
On how to reduce the high HIV prevalence rate in the Eastern Region, she said she would, in consultation with the Eastern Regional Minister, Ms Helen Adjoa Ntoso, craft innovative strategies to deal with the problem.
Mr Vanderpuye, when he appeared before the committee, said he supported efforts to deal with the Okada menace in Accra but said it had to be done in a humane manner.
The law, in his opinion, needed to be fully enforced but strategies needed to be put in place to assist the youth who engaged in the business to earn a living after they abandon the practice.
Mr Vanderpuye, who was showered with praises by the members for being capable and having served the NDC well, said if given the nod, he would assist the regional minister to raise the economic status of the people of Ga Mashie and establish tourist sites in the area.
He also noted that the landguard menace in the region needed to be dealt with and was happy that the security agencies had already mapped out strategies to deal with the problem.
The boundary disputes between district and municipal assemblies in the region , he said, were also being dealt with.
Source: Daily Graphic
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