The ten deputy regional ministers nominated by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo have been approved by Parliament following their vetting by the Appointments Committee.
1 Elizabeth Sackey: Greater Accra
2. Amidu Issahaku : Upper West
3. Elizabeth Agyemang: Ashanti Region
4. Adongo Fusieni : Upper East
5. Evans Opoku : Brong Ahafo
6. Joseph Tetteh : Eastern Region
7. Eugenia Gifty Kusi : Western region
8. Thomas Agyei Baffour : Central Region
9. Maxwell Blagogee : Volta region
10. Solomon Boar Bunkpurugu MP: Northern region
The Deputy General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party has justified the takeover of the Kintampo Waterfall by the Invisible Forces, a vigilante group affiliated to the governing New Patriotic Party.
Nana Obiri Boahene is suggesting the takeover is nothing more than sweet revenge for what happened to him in 2009.
According to him, his company managed the Kintampo Waterfall in 2008 until hoodlums in the NDC forcibly took over the facility in 2009 when the party won elections.
"Those who want to probe further should find out what happened in 2009... NDC activists, NDC hoodlums, NDC sympathisers invaded the place, chased my workers out, beat them up, vandalised the place, broke into offices and they used the police. No police man was able to touch them," he said.
The management of the Kintampo Waterfall has become a subject of debate after 19 people lost their lives under bizarre circumstances on Sunday.
A tree was said to have crashed the revelers, mostly students, who had gone to the Waterfall for an excursion.
Questions have been raised about the competence and the professionalism of the managers of the facility during the incident.
It emerged that the Invisible Forces, a militia group within the NPP had added the Waterfall to the list of assets it took over immediately the NPP won power in 2016.
Without any training and competence in managing a tourist facility critics have blamed the militia group for last Sunday's national disaster.
But Obiri Boahene has mounted a spirited defence for the militia group even though he claims the party did not sanction the takeover.
"We don't know anything about it. The party is not involved. The party has never directed, instigated, encouraged, facilitated any individual to takeover," he said.
"Personally, speaking for myself, and what happened to me in 2009, I don't think there is anything wrong if for one reason or another some NPP sympathisers have taken over in a tit-for-tat affair," he added.
He argued those questioning the competence and professionalism of the Invisible Forces to manage the facility should have done same when the NDC hoodlums took over in 2009.
The Waterfall has however been shut pending further investigations into the circumstances surrounding the disaster.
The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) has urged critics to spare President Akufo-Addo of any backlash concerning the number of ministerial appointments he has made.
According to NUGS, “it is very premature in lambasting the government since it is still under formation and the Union wishes to call on stakeholders to remain calm and reserve all ammunitions for the appropriate time”.
The union said what was important was for students “to have better living standards by way of government delivering on its campaign promises”.
This was contained in a statement released by the leadership of the union on March 16.
Mr Akufo-Addo has appointed a record 110 ministers to help him govern the country for the next four years. His critics, mainly from the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), have said the size of the government is too huge and will affect the country’s finances, but NUGS thinks otherwise.
Below is the full statement:
Thurs, 16th March, 2017
NATIONAL UNION OF GHANA STUDENTS (NUGS)
BETTERMENT OF STUDENTS' WELFARE IS MORE IMPORTANT TO US THAN THE SIZE OF GOVERNMENT -- NUGS OPINES
The debate as to the size of government is rather inappropriate and too early for Ghanaians and stakeholders. We believe strongly that what really matters' to Ghanaian students is to have a better living standards by way of government delivering on its campaign promises.
It is very premature in lambasting the government since its still under formation and the Union wish to call on stakeholders to remain calm and reserve all ammunitions for the appropriate time.
HUGE GOVERNMENTAL PROJECTS AND PROGRAMMES
We can agree Nana Addo's administration has come up with so many projects and programmes aimed at bringing about radical transformation that would be felt at every corner of the nation. This naturally calls for the deployment of a lot of resources including human resources with respect to skills, experience and Numbers.
HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND DIVISION OF LABOUR
Strategically identifying key skills needed to execute the future success of government business. That is why some companies poach employees from other organizations at a huge cost. There are people with some specialities whose skills and experience are urgently needed for specific and Strategic tasks towards speeding up the Ghana project.
Division of labour is highly required for effectiveness and specific tasking. People can be held accountable and responsible for their performance.
OUR MAJOR CONCERNS
As a Union, we have several concerns and what really matter to us are as follows;
1) The unemployed graduate, teachers, nurses and midwifery trainee being employed
2) Reduction of taxes that will ease the tax burden and encourage us into entrepreneurship hence not relying on government for employment.
3) The needy but brilliant student benefiting from free SHS to be able to further his or her education at the second cycle.
4)The poor patient being able to access quality health care at an affordable cost courtesy NHIS reducing child mortality amongst others
We however, charge the government to check corruption likewise misuse of state funds since that will go a long way to affect the vision of the government.
We wish to state emphatically that we shall never relent on lambasting the government if impacts are not felt by the ordinary Ghanaian.
There is a clear cut difference between a LEADER and a MANAGER.
Managers maintain the status quo but Leaders adjust to suit the situation at hand. Managers act to the rules and lines set but Leaders take bold decisions and always ready to take responsibility.
Nana Addo has shown leadership by not being afraid to take radical decisions that are necessary to achieve results though appear unpopular and we recommend him as we seek for great results that impacts lives.
ALUTA CONTINUA!!! VICTORIA ASCERTA!!
Press and Information Secretary
YIADOM BOAKYE EMMANUEL
Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper, Kwaku Baako Jnr has hinted that renowed undercover Journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas, will soon expose influential persons including chiefs, politicians and persons in the security services who are neck deep in galamsey (illegal mining) in the country.
According to him, the sort of extensive investigative work done by his protege (Anas) is so ‘explosive’ and will blow the minds of Ghanaians after seeing the extent to which, big men in the country have been unfair to Ghana by supervising the destruction of the environment for that selfish interest.
He said the magnitude of the exposé on the Judges bribery scandal, comes no where near what has been unearthed in the galamsey investigations.
The issue of galamsey has been an age old problem with successive governments finding it very difficult to fight.
The Lands and Forestry Minister, John Peter Amewu recently disclosed that government will start using drones to augment its efforts to effectively combat illegal mining to ensure the protection of the country’s water bodies.
Galamsey has destroyed the country’s water bodies, resulting in the drying up of these water bodies.
This has resulted in the pollution of the water the Ghana Water Company Limited treats and supplies to the populace.
But Kwaku Baako Jnr, believes the naming, shaming and possible prosecution of these big men who are behind the practice of galamsey will go a long way in fighting the illegal activity.
“Members of the NDC and NPP are neck deep in this mess, they manipulate the system and have their way in the galamsey business, but pretend they are fighting the menace. I’ve stopped short of mentioning names because the time we’ll name and shame people is almost up and it will be very explosive.
I don’t think we care who will be mentioned or fingered, because really their bad actions are too much…what sort of money at all are they looking for. I mean people in top position and those at the bottom are all part, they are destroying the environment and they don’t care.
If you arrest them (especially the Chinese) today, tomorrow they are released because of their political connections.
He added: “What is annoying is that right after they are released they go back to the galamsey site to continue with the illegal deeds.
There is a certain Chinese woman based in Kumasi who is all over the place showing impunity, she goes about snapping pictures of some big men in Ghana and circulating them on social media to show how politically connected she is.
She’s very insolent because some party gurus in the NDC were dealing with her while in power and now some NPP party gurus are also dealing with her, so for her, head or tail she’s a winner. I just don’t understand how come she’s so powerful.
But sooner than latter all of this will stop. We should stop all these things…that’s all I’ll say, very soon Ghanaians will realize that the even Anas’ exposé on the Judges is chicken feed.”
President Akufo-Addo has been criticised for setting up Ghana's largest government with 110 ministers and deputies.
The National Youth Organiser of the Convention People's Party Ernesto Yeboah has used the NPP's campaign slogan 'the Battle is the Lord's' to ground a belief that the President can do with a leaner government.
His criticism is part of an uproar on social media after the President released a list of 54 ministers of state and deputies to add to 56 others.
The figure is a 30% increase in the previous government's size of 84 ministers and deputies. The president has created at least six new ministerial portfolios - Special Development Initiatives, Monitoring and Evaluation, Business Development, Zongo and Inner City Development, Regional re-organisation and Planning.
These new positions were criticised as unnecessary because overlapping functions with existing ministries.
The criticisms notwithstanding, the President in his fresh list has nominated a Minister of State for Tertiary Education and a Minister of Education.
The President has also nominated as many as three deputies in five different ministries - the Energy, Information, Finance, Agric and Local Government ministries.
For information and government communication, there is a Communication Director at the Presidency and a deputy plus an Information minister and three deputies.
Choosing a Biblical story to make his point, Ernesto Yeboah referred to Israel's war with the Midianites in which God cut down an army size of 32,000 to only 300.
The story, recorded in Judges 7, says, "And the LORD said to Gideon, 'With the 300 men who lapped I will save you.'" Israel routed its enemies to emphasise that it is not by numbers that a war is won but by the Lord.
Posting on Facebook, the Nkrumahist wants the NPP to give true meaning to its 2012 and 2016 campaign mantra ' The Battle is the Lord's'
"Even in the Bible GOD went for a lean Army to fight the battle. If you say 'the battle is the Lord's' then let it be truly His".
Former Information Minister, Nana Akomea although concedes that agitation over the number of the president’s ministers is legitimate, the clamoring would soon be overshadowed by the output of the ministers.
“There can be no doubt that president Akufo-Addo’s government is the largest in the Fourth Republic,” he acknowledged in a Facebook post.
Nonetheless, Nana Akomea pointed out, “For now, these numbers are an issue, and the concerns being raised about them are legitimate, expected, and in order, just as the NPP in opposition raised them.
If he indeed begins to deliver concretely on his transformational agenda, then the numbers will cease to be an issue.”
The president named a long list of 50 deputy ministers and four ministers of state on Wednesday that brought his ministerial appointees to unprecedented 110.
Government’s spokespersons have made strenuous attempts to justify the large number following public resentment. Mustapha Hamid, the substantive Information Minister who has been assigned three deputies suggested that the number does not matter in the scheme of things.
“Nowhere did we ever promise a lean government because in our view it is not the leanness or bigness of a government that determines its output or its ultimate performance,” he told journalists yesterday.
But Nana Akomea who is the New Patriotic Party’s Director of Communications admitted, “Numbers of ministers in all the previous administrations have never crossed 90.
Even with that, there was always a clamor that the numbers were too large for a small poor country like Ghana.”
Noting that the number “will surely alarm and disappoint Ghanaians”, he however said President Akufo-Addo needed the 110 ministers to confront challenges bedeviling Ghana’s progress.
“There is also no doubt that president Akufo-Addo’s vision is the boldest and revolutionary of any president in the Fourth Republic,” he said as he mentions a tall list of promises made by the NPP-led government.
“The vision of one factory per district, comprehensive free SHS, comprehensive irrigation in the north, one million extra dollars per constituency, special prosecutor, etc., offers the country the real chance to industrialize, provide jobs to the teeming youth on a sustainable basis, move agriculture from peasant levels to real agric business, stabilise the cedi on a sustainable basis, aggressively meet the basic developmental needs of our deprived communities, tame inflation, tame corruption, and generally move this country onto the cherished new paradigm of progress and development.”
Nana Akomea in 2013 on Accra-based Asempa FM criticized the close to 90 ministers appointed by the Mahama government.
He had argued that the number will drain the public purse. “How can he (Mahama) name six Ministers at the presidency alone? He (the President) should realign his ministers.
How do you tell teachers and doctors to tighten their belt if you have named close to 90 ministers. Ghanaians never benefitted from the previous ministers under Mills administration.
We are facing erratic power supply, rationing of water and no gas for the past years. What we need is institutional reform not appointing of ministers,” he said.