President Nana Akufo-Addo Tuesday, this week, named a 19-man strong ministerial cabinet, including ministers of newly-created ministries at the Office of the President, to steer the affairs of the nation in the next four years.
But the minority caucus in parliament straightaway chided the President over the composition of the cabinet, for having left out key ministries which mandates involved the day-to-day running of the affairs of the country.
Conspicuously missing from the list of cabinet read by the Speaker of Parliament of Parliament were Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Ministry for Roads and Highways, Ministry for Communications, Ministry for Environment, Science and Technology and the Sports Ministry, which had always been part of the cabinet under previous governments.
Other Ministries also excluded from the President’s list of cabinet are the Gender, Children and Social Protection Ministry and the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo.
However, some members of the minority caucus said, the President’s composition of the cabinet is very strange, as most of the ministries in the list are new and their mandates are not known.
Minority Chief Whip and Member of Parliament (MP) for Asawasi, Alhaji Mohammed Muntaka, speaking to the parliamentary press corps yesterday, said, though the President has the prerogative to name any minister to be in his cabinet, he failed to take into consideration the nation’s development interest.
He said, it was very strange for the first time the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development is left out from the cabinet list.
Dr. Clement Apaak, MP for Builsa South and former Presidential Staffer, who has been raising questions why the President failed to name his cabinet since all ministerial nominees were vetted and approved by parliament, chided the President for picking ministers without portfolio into his cabinet.
While admitting that the President has the constitutional rights to pick any minister into his cabinet, Dr. Apaak said he should have considered some key ministers, like the Local Government and Rural Development, Roads and Highways and Communications.
He contended, “Well, though the President has the prerogative to select his cabinet from these ballooning ministers, he should not have left out the Local Government Minister whose mandate is key to this country’s decentralization process.”
“It is surprising to see ministers whose mandates are not clearly spelt in cabinet, yet a ministry like Communications where technology is key to every economy is left out, while Minister of Monitoring and Evaluation rather be in cabinet,” Dr. Apaak questioned.
He argued that, the Local Government Ministry, Roads and Highways and the Communications Ministry are capital intensive with major infrastructures which need the President’s eye at all time.
Mr. Rudolf Amenga-etego, MP for Chiana-Paga, shared a similar view and questioned the motive of the President leaving out a key Ministry like Local Government from cabinet.
He said, the Local Government, which encompasses several developmental agencies under its supervision, should have been in the list of cabinet so as to direct the pace for our decentralization policies.
The Chiana-Paga MP also wondered why the Roads and Highways, as well as Works and Housing Ministry, which are major infrastructure ministries, are not part of cabinet, yet new ministries which have their offices under the presidency rather be in cabinet.
The list includes Trade and Industry Minister Alan Kyerematen; Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta; Defense Minister Dominic Nitiwul; Interior Minister Ambrose Dery and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey.
Others are Attorney General and Minister for Justice Gloria Akuffo; Agric Minister Owusu Afriyie Akoto; Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko; Education Minister Mathew Opoku Prempeh; Health Minister Agyeman-Manu; Minister for Monitoring Evaluation Anthony, Akoto Osei; Regional Reorganization and Development Dan Botwe, and Minister for Lands and Natural Resources John Peter Amewu.
The rest are Minister for Water Resources and Sanitation, Kofi Adda; Minister for Railways, Joe Ghartey; Transport Minister, Ofori Asiamah; Tourism and Creative Arts Minister, Catherine Afeku; Employment and Labour Minister, Ignatius Baffour and Minister for Special Development Initiatives, Mavis Hawa Koomson.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Felix Engsalige Nyaaba