General News of Tuesday, 14 March 2017
Four deputy Regional Ministers designate have pledged their unflinching support to co-operate and desist from undermining their regional ministers in the discharge of their functions.
The first batch of deputy regional ministers designate who appeared before the Appointment’s Committee of Parliament on Tuesday, were categorical in their resolve to support their respective regional ministers to execute the President’s vision.
They are the deputy Northern Regional Minister designate, Mr Solomon N. Boar; deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister designate, Mrs Elizabeth Sackey; deputy Eastern Regional Minister designate, Mrs Gifty Eugenia Kusi; and that of the Ashanti Region, Ms Elizabeth Agyemang.
Mr Boar who was the first to take his turn responded to a wide range of issues and chief among them was his response to a question on how to ensure peace in the region in view of the volatile nature of the place.
He told the committee that he would partner the regional Minister, Mr Salifu Saeed, to maintain the peace of the region.
Mr Boar who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bunkpurugu, spoke about helping to improve the education standards in the Northern Region stressing that the illiteracy level in the region currently stood at about 62 per cent.
The nominee also spoke on issues about women empowerment and improving the state of agriculture to ensure regional food security.
For her part Mrs Sackey who is the immediate past MP for Okaikoi North, spoke to questions about the land guards menace in the region and in her response alluded to the reaction her regional minister gave during his vetting where he talked about job creation to keep people busy in order not to engage in needless land litigations.
Mrs Sackey said she would work in concert with the regional minister on the matter to help nib the practice in the bud.
Touching on what she would do to help stop the incidence of open defecation in the region, the deputy minister designate said the Regional Coordinating Council would work hand in hand with the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) and other allied institutions to correct that wrong.
She expressed her desire to partner with the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection to help head porters popularly known as ‘Kayaye’ to live decent lives.
When asked what accounted for the high divorce rate in recent times and what advice she could give to couples as a marriage counsellor, Mrs Sackey advised young women to be moderate on their expectations from their spouses and underscored the need for couples to live within their means.
When she took her turn to be vetted Mrs Kusi said she would support her minister to deal with illegal mining otherwise known as ‘galamsey’ and called for dialogue with stakeholders to provide opportunities for illegal miners to discourage them from the practice.
She equally spoke about tackling the menace of prostitution which has become common in the region.
On curbing the high teenage pregnancy rate in the region, Ms Kusi who is the immediate past MP for Tarkwa/Nsuaem stressed the need for intensified health education on contraceptive use to control it.
As a health practitioner she called for a high budgetary allocation for the mental health sector in view of the incessant cases of suicide. She further called for more counselling units in the country and for the universities to strengthen their counselling initiatives to students.
The final nominee to appear before the committee was Mrs Elizabeth Agyemang who made a case for reforestation to protect the forest cover of the region.
As a former MP for Oforikrom, she said she would, in partnership with the regional minister, unite the people in the region knowing the region was cosmopolitan in nature.
She said Oforikrom was more cosmopolitan than any other constituency in the country and stated that having been MP in such an area gave her a bigger opportunity to bring her experience to bear in her new role.
The Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Mr Joe Osei-Owusu, asked the nominee to work together with the regional executives of the New Patriotic Party to ensure peace in the region.
His advice followed complaints that MPs were not consulted in the nomination of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives.