Parliament Approves 24 Ministerial Nominees

Parliament last Friday approved the President’s nominees for ministerial and deputy ministerial positions in spite of a walkout staged by the Minority.

The caucus staged the walkout to register their protest against what they described as bloated size of the government and the financial consequences it would impose on the taxpayer.

However, the action by the Minority did not thwart the approval of the nominees as the Majority Caucus stayed in the House to endorse the nominees. The nominees, who were made up of nine ministers designate, a minister of state designate and 14 deputy ministers designate, were duly vetted by the Appointed Committee in March 2024.

Their approval came after the Chairman of the committee, Joseph Osei-Owusu, had moved a motion and recommended to the House to, by consensus, adopt the report and approve the nominees.

Ministers designate
The ministers designate are Andrew Egyapa Mercer for the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture; Lydia Seyram Alhassan, for the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources; Martin Adjei-Mensah Korsah for the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development and Ophelia Mensah Hayford for the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation.

The rest are Darkoa Newman for the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection; Dr Bernard Okoe Boye for the Ministry of Health; Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover for the Greater Accra Region; Fatimatu Abubakar for the Ministry of Information, and Daniel Machator for the Oti Region, with Abena Osei-Asare as the minister of state designate.

Deputy ministers designate
The deputy ministers designate are Dr Benjamin Sekyere Yeboah for the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection; Sylvester Tetteh for the Ministry of Information; Charles Acheampong for the Ministry of Communication and Digitalisation; Adelaide Ntim for the Ministry of Health, and Vincent Ekow Assafuah for the Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development.

The others are John Kobina Abbam Aboah Sanie for the Ministry of Energy; Collins Adomako Mensah for the Ministry of Energy; Professor Kingsley Nyarko for the Ministry of Education; Dr Festus Awuah Kwofie for the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations; Akwasi Konadu for the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources; Musah Abdul Aziz Ayaba for the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development and Dr Alexander Ampaabeng for the Ministry of Finance.

Reasons behind walkout
Explaining the Minority’s decision not be part of the approval process of the nominees prior to walking out, Dr Forson told the House that all members of the Minority on the Appointments Committee voted against the nominees at the committee level.

He said the Minority’s actions were due to what the country had gone through, and continued to go through, including the crippling economic crisis, food insecurity, debt overhang as a result of excessive borrowing, the wasteful and reckless expenditure.

“Ordinary Ghanaians continue to bite the bullet and businesses are struggling under high tax regime to contribute to the development of the country. “What is expected on the part of the government would have been prudent management of these contributions from the people of Ghana but hardly a day passes without one reckless and wasteful expenditure or the other by this government,” he said.

He explained that Ghana’s present unfortunate situation occasioned by the current government did not only call for new, creative and radical ways of confronting challenges but it also called for modesty and sacrifice by the political class.

“It cannot be right that while the government urges the people to bite the bullet, those in government and their family and friends chew chocolate. “Merely piling on numbers by way of appointment of ministers and deputy ministers does not signal to the people of Ghana that the President understands the seriousness of the mess that his government has created,” Dr Forson added.

Earlier obstructions
Earlier, the National Democratic Congress Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, drew the attention of the House to his pending case at the Supreme Court against the nominees.

Supporting Mr Dafeamekpor, the NDC MP for Bolgatanga East, Dr Dominic Ayine, reminded the House that Order 123 enjoined Parliament not to debate matters that were likely to be prejudicial cases pending in court.

He said the approval of the ministerial nominees directly related to a matter pending before the Supreme Court and the plaintiff, Mr Dafeamekpor, happened to be a member of the House.

“Mr Speaker, if we decide today to approve, by a resolution of Parliament, the President’s nomination of the ministers, what we will be doing is to overreach the court’s decision.

“Overreaching a court’s decision means that we are undermining the Judiciary in terms of its ability to render decisions that binds the parties before the court,” he said. He, therefore, urged the House to suspend the approval of the nominees, pending the outcome of the case before the Supreme Court.

However, the Speaker overruled their reservation and allowed the House to proceed with the approval of the President’s nominees.