President Akufo-Addo yesterday swore in the final batch of deputy ministers.
In all, he swore in 50 deputy ministers, with the first batch of 25 taking their oaths and letters of appointment sometime in the morning and the remaining 25 later in the day at the Banquet Hall of the State House.
The first batch included the Deputy Ministers of Finance. They were Kwaku Kwarteng, Abena Osei Asare and Charles Adu-Boahen. Energy: Owuraku Aidoo, Joseph Cudjoe and Mohammed Amin Anta; Local Government and Rural Development: Osei Bonsu Amoah, Collins Ntim and Kwasi Boateng Agyei; Information: Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, Ama Dokua Asiamah Agyei and Perry Curtis Okudjeto.
Also on the list of Deputy Ministers for Agriculture were William Agyepong Kwaitoo, Sagre Bambangi and George Oduro. Trade and Industry: Carlos Ahenkorah and Robert Ahomka-Linsey; Roads and Highways: Kwabena Owusu Aduomi and Anthony Abayifaa Karbo; Lands and Natural Resources: Benito Owusu Bio and Barbara Oteng-Gyasi; Works and Housing: Freda Prempeh and Eugene Antwi; Education: Yaw Osei Adutwum and Barbara Ayisi Acher.
Attorney General: Gofred Dame and Joseph Dindiok Kpemka; Health: Kingsley Aboagye Gyebi and Tina Mensah; Railway Development: Kwaku Agyenim Boateng and Andrew Appiah Kub; Foreign Affairs: Mohammed Habib Tijani and Charles Owiredu; Communication: George Andah and Vincent Odotei; Water Resources and Sanitation: Patrick Boamah and Michael Gyato; Defence: Major Derrick.
The rest included Interior: Henry Quartey; Environment, Science and Technology: Patricia Appiagyei; Regional Organisation: Martin Agyei Mensah-Korsah; Transport: Titus Glover; Employment and Labour: Bright Wireko-Brobbey; Fisheries and Aquaculture: Francis Ato Cudjoe; Aviation: Kwabena Darko Mensah; Chieftaincy: Paul Essien; Gender, Children and Social Protection: Gifty Twum Ampofo; Youth and Sports: Pius Enam Hadzide; Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts: Ziblim Iddi and Monitoring and Evaluation: William Kwasi Sabi.
Much as he was delighted to have been able to form his government quicker than any of his predecessors in the Fourth Republic, President Akufo-Addo reminded the ministers, “You are aware of the controversies surrounding your appointments. Several unpalatable words had been used to describe them; ‘obscene,’ ‘job for the boys,’ amongst others.”
For him, “These criticisms impose a clear obligation on you [the appointees] to justify your selection, especially as you know that there are many of your peers in the House” [referring to parliament] “who have not been selected even though they have similar claims of competence as yourselves.”
To that end, he stated, “Shame your detractors and together let us build that dignified, self-reliant, prosperous Ghana that successive generations of Ghanaian patriots and the founders of our free democratic nation sought with their sweat, toil and blood.”
But he assured them, “I’m equally in your success; for your success vindicates me.”
For them to succeed, he urged the ministers to take the path of loyalty and integrity and work hard.
The success of the ministers, according to him, would be measured on their ability to assist them (substantive ministers) and not to undermine them.
“I will not countenance any act of disloyalty or subversion of your minister; for I will take such an act as disloyalty to me personally and by reference, disloyalty to the party and to the state,” Nana Addo cautioned.
He said further, “Any deputy who thinks the route to advancement lies in your ability to subvert or undermine your minister will be making a sad mistake; you will not profit from that conduct in Akufo-Addo’s presidency.”
After administering the oaths of allegiance, office and secrecy on the deputy ministers, the ‘old boy’ referred them to the earlier speeches he gave during similar swearing-in of ministers, with a strict instruction for each and every one of them to speedily declare their assets to the Auditor-General, revealing that “All the 36 ministers of the central government have duly filed their Assets Declaration.”
To this end, he charged, “I expect you to do the same expeditiously.”
President Akufo-Addo further told them, “We must jealously guard the commitment we have made to the Ghanaian people; we have come to do public service, not advance our own personal fortunes.”
Happening on a day he was celebrating the 20th anniversary of his marriage to Rebecca (formerly Rebecca Grifiths-Reindorf), Nana Akufo-Addo could not but tell the deputy ministers, “It means that you are now joined to me in a special way; for my future recollections of this day will forever feature you.”
Considering the fact that majority of the appointees are Members of Parliament, he reminded them of the fact that “the migration of majority of you from the legislature to the executive does not relieve you of your duties as members of the legislature.”
He charged, “You will, like members of the British parliament, have to learn to balance effectively within the confines of our own unique constitutional order – your twin responsibilities as Members of Parliament and as members of government; it is exacting but doable, and do it, you must!”
On behalf of the colleague deputy ministers, Mr Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah and Major Derrick Oduro thanked the president for the opportunity given them to serve the government and the people of Ghana, with a promise to live up to the charge given them.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent