The vetting of persons nominated for various Ministerial appointments by President Akufo-Addo will begin on the 10th of February, 2021.
This is according to a schedule published by Parliament for appearances of the nominees before the Appointments Committee.
In the schedule, the vetting will run for one month, ending on the 9th of March, 2021 after it has started on February 10.
The first on the schedule to be vetted on February 10 is Health Minister-Designate, Kwaku Agyeman Manu. The priority, according to Parliament, is due to the Health Ministry’s centrality to the raging COVID-19 PANDEMIC.
It is not clear if this prioritization of the vetting of the Health Minister means Kwaku Agyemang Manu will be rubber-stamped by the Appointments Committee. The man was at the helm during the first wave of coronavirus disease and therefore superintended over what is largely seen as a spurious accounting for millions that the government received to fight the disease.
On the same 10th February, Albert Kan Dapaah, the re-nominated National Security Minister, who went skirt-chasing during a security conference in Europe, will also be vetted, after Agyemang Manu.
On Tuesday, February 16, three nominees will be vetted – President Akufo-Addo’s cousin, Kwasi Amoako Atta, whom he has re-nominated for the Roads and Highways Ministry, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, who has been re-nominated as Communications and Digitization Ministry and Ken Ofori-Atta, another cousin of the President whom he has re-nominated as Finance Minister.
Already, think-tank, IMANI, has said that they expect that Ursula Owusu will be peppered by the Appointments Committee. This is because she was central to the Kelni GVG scandal in which the government’s call tax monitoring contract with Subah Infosolutions was abrogated and given to Kelni GVG at a whopping US$178.8million.
Ursula Owusu is also known as the vixen who closed down supposed pro-opposition radio stations, including Radio Gold and Radio XYZ.
As for Ofori-Atta, CSO, ASEPA, has petitioned against his nomination, lining up a host of seven witnesses against him, including former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, who investigated and found out that the Agyapa Mineral Royalties deal being championed by Ofori-Atta was mired in corruption and criminal conduct including money laundering.
The rest of the other nominees, includes the “Gangster MP”, Hawa Koomson, whom IMANI has also named as a candidate who must be grilled, would follow later. On 26 February, Regional Ministers will appear before the committee starting with the Ministers designate of the Western Region, Greater Accra and the Eastern Regions.
President Akufo-Addo on Thursday, January 21, 2021, named 46 persons he has nominated to fill various ministerial portfolios.
Meanwhile, the Ranking Member on the Appointments Committee, Haruna Iddrissu, has confirmed the committee will be tough on some nominees.
He has also invited petitions from the public. “The Appointments Committee has met, and we are requesting for public memoranda in respect of all the president’s nominees for all the ministerial positions. We are expected to commence betting on the 10th of February. Priority will be given to some ministers, in particular, Health because of the COVID-19 situation in the country, and probably he will be the first minister to be considered by our committee followed by those other ministers of National Security and Finance. Our clerk is working to get the publication to all the media houses,” he said.