First to appear before the Committee was the Minister-designate for the Ministry of Youth and Sports Hon. Opoku Bobie, a former banker who was previously the Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister and later the Ahafo Regional Minister when the region was split into three.
If he goes through successful vetting, the 46 year old Member of Parliament for Asunafo North will join the substantive Minister Hon. Mustapha Ussif at the Ministry responsible for youth and sporting activities in the country. The Deputy Youth and Sports Minister-Designate told Parliament’s appointment Committee that the Ministry would not allow the country’s sporting facilities to deteriorate as it has put in place measures to make them modern sporting edifices in a bid to improve the sporting infrastructure.
On calls for the decoupling of the Ministry of Youth from Sports to allow it to prioritize youth development issues and effectively play its oversight role in ensuring the development of capacity and to co-ordinate efforts in youth development, he said it is not in the best interest since majority of stakeholders in Sports are the youth.
The Deputy Minister-designate for Employment and Labour Relations Bright Wireko-Brobbey who appeared next informed the Committee about how he will assist the sector Minister for effective work. The Hemang Lower Denkyira Member of Parliament who has been re-nominated to occupy his previous office is a development planner and holds a post-graduate Diploma in Regional Development Planning and Management from Dortmund University, Germany as well as a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Science from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
He said the Ministry’s performance in accelerated employment generation for national development and measures adopted for the resolution of disputes resulted in the promotion of the harmonious industrial and labour relations peace as well as workplace safety being witnessed at the labour front.
The nominee noted that though most jobs coming up have to do with digitization, the Ministry will ensure that fair opportunities be given the youth of the country who have lost confidence in the system’s unfair distribution of employment opportunities.
He promised to have interactions with the necessary stakeholders, when approved, to ensure that jobs given are based on merit and adopt measures to ensure relatives are not allowed to work in the same place as is done in the United States so as to provide the opportunity for others as well.
Mr Brobbey says about some 41 million Ghana Cedis has been transferred for the payment of Tier 3 pensions but declined to state emphatically if government has outstanding debts and also revealed that the Ministry has no representation on the SSNIT Board.
The Deputy Minister-designate for Defence Kofi Amankwah-Manu later took his turn to brief the Committee on the steps he will take to ensure the second administration of President Akufo-Addo is successful. The Atwima Kwanwoma Member of Parliament holds a Graduate Certificate in Intelligence Analysis, LLB and BSc. Accounting and Finance and is former Presidential Staff Seconded to National Security .The nominee told the Committee that steps are already being taken to ensure the cessation of assault of Ghanaians by military personnel so as to create a conducive military-civilian relationship.
He regretted the assault against Citi FM journalist, Caleb Kudah and the raid of a casino in Asenkoragua by National Security operatives and opined that National Security is a human institution that can engage in some uncalled for acts, however he said their actions should be condemned and would ensure such happenings do not occur in the near future.
On the Joy news expose on galamsey where some military men were assisting the illegal act he gave the assurance that the perpetrators will be sanctioned and added that soldiers should not be seen parading around with guns in town and assured the Committee to ensure that given the nod, the discipline known to be embodied by the military will be maintained.
He disclosed that the Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul is already addressing the matter of peacekeeping issues to ensure that entitlements of these officers are paid and gave the assurance challenges faced by civilian employees will be addressed. In reference to measures employed by government’s burning of excavators to end illegal mining he said the President’s advice that affected parties should seek legal redress should be welcomed.
31-year-old Mavis Nkansah Boadu who entered the Parliament in 2016 at a young age of 26, the 2nd youngest parliamentarian to join the 7th Parliament and heading to the Ministry of Roads and Highways, was the last nominee to be scrutinized for the day took her turn to appear before the Committee.
The Member of Parliament for Afigya Sekyere East admitted that though contracts awarded are paid through the Road Fund or grants received, there are challenges associated with road funding resulting in delay in payment to some contractors, however, she assured the Committee that the steps the Minister has put in place will address and resolve these issues.
She was optimistic she will execute her duties without fear despite being the first female to head to the Ministry and shared the view that Ghana has one of the lowest road tolls and thereby concurred to a member of the Committee’s suggestion to prevail on the sector Minister to back Road Funds with Bonds.