News

Osafo Maafo Dumped

… From List Of Cabinet Ministers

After leading the financial wing of the Kufuor government to transform the then shattered economy of Ghana, Oseadeeyo Yaw Osafo Maafo’s name became a household one in the country.

Though he was not in favour of the bold decision taken by President Kufuor to declare Ghana a Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC), which was to benefit the country later, his sound financial management helped to bring the economy back onto the path of growth.

It, therefore, came as no surprise that, despite his advanced age, President Akufo-Addo saw the quality he possesses, and decided to brush off criticisms from the opposition to make him a Senior Minister in his government.

He (Maafo), the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and Finance Minister Mr Ofori Atta put together the 2017 Budget, which is being taunted as one of the best to have been crafted in recent times.

With this wealth of experience as his trump card, many were those who thought he would be the number one minister of state to sit in Cabinet, but the opposite is the case. Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo’s name was conspicuously missing from the list of Cabinet Ministers submitted to Parliament yesterday by President Akufo-Addo.

But, whilst the same Minority members, who criticised his appointment and followed up with long hours of grilling him when he appeared before the Appointments Committee, are now questioning the basis for his snub, the Majority Leader thinks otherwise.

To the Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak, the 19 names that constitute Cabinet should have had the Senior and the Local Government Ministers as members. Osei Kyei Mensah, however, disagrees, because “important thing is the person is part of the government to understand the evolution of the government machinery.”

He explained that because the Senior Minister is a coordinator, he has no ministry, and that he did not see the grounds upon which the Senior Minister should have been part of Cabinet.

The Member representing Suame in the Ashanti Region continued that it was the President who had given him (Senior Minister) the mandate to supervise the economic portfolios and coordinate their affairs for better results. He also indicated that the President, in selecting the members, considered regional and gender balance, thus choosing both men and women.

“When the President calls for a meeting, he insists that all ministers must be part of it, and everybody has the chance to give his or her idea to the development of the country,” he observed.

Meanwhile, the President, in forming the team, made sure all the regions were represented, Osei Mensah Bonsu said in an interview with this paper yesterday.

The President’s action is in fulfilment of Article 76(1) of the 1992 Constitution, which instructs him to hand-pick some ministers to form his Cabinet.

The Article states: “There shall be a Cabinet, which shall consist of the President, the Vice President, and not less than ten, and not more than nineteen, Ministers of State.”

The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, announced the Cabinet list as submitted to Parliament by the President.

The list includes; Minister of Trade and Industry – Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Finance – Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Defence – Dominic Nitiwul, Minister for the Interior – Ambrose Dery, Minister of Energy – Dr. Boakye Agyarko.

Others are Attorney General – Gloria Akuffo, Minister of Foreign Affairs – Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Minister of Agriculture – Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Education – Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Health – Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Minister of Monitoring and Evaluation – Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, Minister for Regional Reorganisation and Development – Dan Kweku Botwe, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources – John Peter Amewu, Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources – Joseph Kofi Adda.

The rest are Minister for Railway Development – Joe Ghartey, Minister for Employment and Labour Relations – Ignatius Bafuor Awuah, Minister of Transport – Kweku Ofori Asiamah, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts – Catherine Afeku, Minister for Special Development Initiative – Mavis Hawa Koomson.

Parliament resumed sitting yesterday from its break, with the Speaker expecting that members of the House would give maximum attention at upholding the dignity of the House and the Offices of MPs.

By Maxwell Ofori, Parliament House

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