Is Ghana’s ministerial position based on merit?

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Ministers all over Africa are answerable for usefulness and proficiency of the agencies within their respective portfolio. Their work is crucial in ensuring that living conditions are improved to an extent. In 2005, the nominee for Lands, Forestry and Mines, Professor Dominic Fobih could not recite the national pledge during his vetting. The Professor never expected such a question. He sat astonished as committee members looked on. This year’s vetting process is one of a kind. It has been characterised by hilarity. The public continues to pounce on some funny footages emanating from the vetting process and accordingly used as Whatsapp Statuses among others.

I don’t intend to create any glee with this piece of mine. Neither do I want to score cheap intellectual points. Come to think of it, can some nominees pass a West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), should they sit for it today? Ministerial positions are no joke. It takes people with the big heart to occupy them. For me, our system is on life support machine. Issues regarding nominees fumbling and tumbling is no news to me. It has been there since time immemorial and as the saying goes, the tradition goes on, “haador”.

Is it possible for a nominee who does not know the three main Sub – Sectors within the Fishery Industry be cleared for the position? Every nominee must learn ahead of the vetting process. This way, they will be abreast of knowledge. The vetting of some nominees was interesting. Watching from school, I saw one major event that characterized it. That was inadequate preparation on the part of some nominees. Their demeanor suggested that, they cannot possibly perform creditably should they be given the nod eventually.

Kudos to the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Mr. Joseph Osei – Owusu for demonstrating professionalism during the process. There were instances, he had to rephrase the question to the understanding of some Nominees. A situation the Member of Parliament for Odododiodio, Mr. Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye found unfair. It was one interesting event that brought smiles on my face. Is vetting a recipe for humility? Every nominee kept to the composure. There was no chaos nor name calling. I wish it continues so that our politics will be devoid of revulsion. 

I know a lot of people will disagree with me for expressing my candid opinion on the vetting process. However, I take solace in the fact that, journalism does not kowtow to any form of intimidation. The sad thing is that, whether a nominee poorly performs or otherwise, the position will automatically become his or hers unless in extreme cases. It is a mere formality, they say. This, I find worrying considering the sensitive nature of such offices.

Frankly speaking, I think any nominee who does not perform creditably during the vetting process should not be given the position. That way, it will put majority on their toes to cultivate the habit of reading extensively. The country continues to struggle all in the name of taking things for granted. It is high time we call a spade a spade. We need competent people to manage our sensitive offices.

Red-light on the overused of the phrase “it is nothing; it happens elsewhere”. Really? For how long must it continue? Is it a case of “the owner of the ball fears no selection”? You could be the owner of the ball but, so long as, you do not perform well on the field of play, you will be substituted. Get it. The worst you can do as the owner is to seize the ball. That only halts the game for a while. Nonetheless, it goes a long way to provoke other players to be dynamic and work towards getting a ball of their own. 


Ghana has individuals who have in-depth knowledge in the field of say health and can equally ensure that the Health Ministry flourishes but for politics, we will go for a Banker, Educationist, Accountant or Surveyor instead.  Can a teacher who majored in Literature teach Physics to the understanding of Physics students than a Physics Lecturer? Who does that?

Ghana has all the minerals resources yet creeps. This reminds me of what His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah Akufo – Addo said in 2016, during the build up to the General Elections. He said “Yeti sika so nanso ekom di yen” literally meaning “We are endowed with lots of wealth yet deprived”.

Who is responsible for Ghana’s never ending miseries? I believe that as a nation, we should have our priorities right. if a nominee is not fit for the job, let us get someone who will prove equal to the task. Certainly, the Motorway is not a place for experimenting driving. When will we be proactive as a nation?

Rancour and bickering should be eliminated completely so that we can achieve the Ghana beyond aid target. However, if we continue to engage in a constant effort to fight truth with lies and corruption with corruption our situation will never change. 

Ghana should be known for innovations and jobs creation. Enough of the partisan politics. Let us join forces together in making Ghana outstanding in Africa. May God continue to bless every Ghanaian. 

The author, Stephen Bernard Donkor won the African Journalists for Economic Opportunity Training (AJEOT-2018) Best Story of the Year and a GIJ Student. 


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