President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday announced 12 new ministerial nominees creating new portfolios, expectant that the new ministries would accelerate his administration’s quest to expedite the country’s socio-economic development
President Akufo-Addo has so far announced 25 nominations, six of which are new portfolios. The six include National Security, Senior Minister, Monitoring and Evaluation, Water and Sanitation, Railways Development and Regional Re-orientation and Development.
Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah is Minister-designate for National Security, Economist and MP for Old Tafo Dr Anthony Akoto Osei will head the Monitoring and Evaluation Ministry, while Political strategist and MP for Okere Dan Botwe is Minister-designate for Regional Re-orientation and Development.
Mr Joe Ghartey, Lawyer and MP for Essikado Ketan, has been nominated to oversee the Railways Development Ministry while Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, MP for Navrongo Central is Minister-designate for Sanitation and Water Resources.
Mr Yaw Osafo Marfo, a former finance Minister in the Kufuor administration was named Senior Minister in the President’s first set of appointments. He will superintend and monitor the performance of all Ministers.
Explaining the rationale for creating the new portfolios, President Akufo-Addo at Wednesday’s press conference at the Flagstaff House said it would bring efficiency in the delivery of the Executive, as well as enable his government to fulfil its mandate and the pledges timeously.
He explained that the creation of the Monitoring and Evaluation portfolio, a Ministry that would be under the Presidency, would ensure that government’s targets, especially those earmarked in its manifesto and those set up in the budget were met on time.
On the creation of the Regional Re-orientation and Development Ministry, President Akufo-Addo said the move was to ensure the devolution of power, restructure the governance system in the country, and to bring government nearer the doorsteps of the citizenry to accelerate the process of development.
The Ministry would ensure that the local governance sphere was made politically competitive and the creation of four new regions from the Western, Brong Ahafo, Northern and Volta Regions.
“For us to be successful I think that it is important for the more efficient governance that we are seeking for Ghana that we succeed in these efforts of creating these regions. And for me it means that the NPP, would have to find amongst ourselves a heavy hitter, a major political hitter within ourselves who has the extensive experience and capacity in mass mobilisation,” he said.
On the Railway Development Ministry, President Akufo-Addo said one of the most profound errors since independent was for the country to allow its rail infrastructure to deteriorate because it was an effective means for economic development.
He said the creation of the Ministry would accelerate the Ghana’s economic potential and development and open up the country to trade with the country’s land-locked neighbours.
The President said: “ I would do everything possible to find the money and rebuild our railway system in Ghana.”
“If we are going to be serious about the economic development of our country, we have to open it up. And it’s a railway system that is efficient to connect us to the Sahel and hopefully will one day connect us to the larger West African project that is in view,” he said.
On the Sanitation and Water Resources outfit, President Akufo-Addo said he had had to decouple water resources from the Works and Housing ministry because the major challenge facing the country was access to water and sanitation.
“A major challenge facing our country is access to water to our people. Indeed, ‘water for all’ is one of our slogans for our 2016 manifesto. As much as that is a challenge, equal is the challenge of our environment,” he explained.
He said owing to the importance of those two sectors, it was necessary to create a ministry to ensure that these vital needs are met.
“The structures we have for sanitation are not the best and that they require significant enhancement. We also made a slogan ‘a toilet for all’ and these are matters we take very seriously and as a result, I have decided that I need a steady hand, an experienced hand to handle sanitation.”
The President will on Thursday announce his last set of ministerial nominations. He has forwarded the names of the nominees to Parliament, hoping for a speedy approval process by the House to enable his government to hit the ground running.