Drama At Ministers Vetting


The deputy minister-designate for Defence, Kenneth Gilbert Adjei, was asked by the minority leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, during the ‘ vetting of the former yesterday as to whether he has any relationship with the first lady, Lordina Mahama.

The deputy minister-designate, who is relatively unknown in the National Democratic Congress (NDC), told the Appointments Committee that the first lady was his classmate at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) in Accra, where he studied marketing.

The minority leader wanted to find out whether Mr Gilbert Adjei knew of a big political figure at GIMPA when he was a student there, and the deputy minister-designate was forthright with the answer, admitting that Mrs Lordina Mahama was his mate.

DAILY GUIDE has learnt that the nominee currently works in the office of the first lady.

When he was questioned about his activeness in partisan politics, he replied that he was a member of the Tertiary Education Institution Network (TEIN) of the NDC when he was at GIMPA.

Army Ranks
The 37-year-old nominee could not give any single rank in the army when he was asked by a member of the Committee to name all the ranks in the Ghana Army.

‘€œMr Chairman, as you know I am a civilian and now being appointed as deputy minister of defence so when I get there I will learn the ranks, he said.

He said that despite the fact that he is a young man he has a lot of work experience and that when he was given the nod he would put his rich experience at the disposal of the substantive minister so that together, they would pursue the agenda of the government as far as defending the country’s territorial boundaries is concerned.

Dining Hall Prefect
When the deputy minister-designate for Lands and Natural Resources, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, aged 34, appeared before the committee, he was quizzed as to how the dining hall prefect post he held in secondary school became part of’ his job experience.

This experience, which he gained at the senior high school level, he inferred, is adequate enough to help him function at the ministry where he would be posted after parliament approves his nomination.

The’ Juaboso’ MP was nominated to the ministry in the latest reshuffle by President Mahama which also saw the removal of several ministers of state including Ashanti Regional Minister, Samuel Sarpong and his deputy, Joseph Yammin.

However, during the vetting, Mr Akandoh had a hectic time convincing the panel as to how his stated dining hall experience has a bearing on his ministerial position.

He had stated on his CV that he had also gained experience as an executive of the school’€™s Student Representative Council (SRC).

But these experiences, Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Ebo Barton-Odro stated, did not qualify as work experience as he was never remunerated for occupying those positions.

Minta-Akandoh subsequently promised the Committee that he would correct them on his CV.

He also tried to avoid a question posed by the deputy minority leader, Dominic Nitiwul, regarding the urgent need for a bi-partisan committee to be set up to do inventory of all public lands sold to private individuals since 1957 and the names of all those private individuals published for Ghanaians to know them.

Mr Nitiwul said there was the need for such investigations since many Ghanaians had been left in the dark as to which individuals own public lands.

The deputy minister-designate said under the Accra Redevelopment Plan, initiated by former President Rawlings, public lands had been acquired by private individuals and that records of all such sales were available at the Lands Commission for anybody who cares to know.

On the thorny issue of illegal mining, popularly referred to as galamsey, the nominee said illegal mining is a criminal offence and that the government had instituted a presidential taskforce to clamp down on galamsey.

When he was asked about the size of the current forest cover of the country, the deputy minister-designate could not give the exact hectares.

A member of the committee, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, had wanted to know why he was appointed, even though there were better qualified persons from his region, but the chairman of the committee disallowed that question because he said the nominee is not in the president’s mind to know why he (president) appointed him.

The deputy minister-designate for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Samuel Yaw Adusei, who also appeared before the committee, told members that even though there is a law debarring landlords from charging more than six months’€™ rent advance, the huge housing deficit of 1.7 million had disabled that law.

‘€œMr Chairman, the demand for accommodation far outstrips the supply so landlords are asking for rent advances well over two years and that is the reality now so the law seems not to work, he told the committee when he was asked whether it was legal for landlords to collect rent advances for two years or more.

By Thomas Fosu Jnr


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