Parliament, after an initial objection from the Minority members of the Appointments Committee on two of five ministers designate by President Nana Akufo –Addo, on Friday evening finally reached a consensus and approved all.
There was initial recommendation to approve two of the ministers designate – Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, Senior Minister, Mr Boakye Agyarko, for Energy- by a majority, but the leadership of the Appointments Committee of Parliament(ACP), after a caucus meeting directed by the Speaker, reported that the two had been cleared of issues on which concerns were raised.
The House therefore okayed the nominations of President Nana Akufo Addo of Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo a Senior Minister; Mr Boakye Agyarko, Energy, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, Education, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Health and Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Food and Agriculture.
Contributing to the motion to adopt the “the second report of the Appointments Committee” of the ministers designate, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Leader and Ranking Member of the Committee said the Minority members wanted Mr Osafo-Maafo to clarify his statement that his involvement in the CNTI loan was revoked in the records of Parliament.
Also, the Minority had issues with ethnocentric comment attributed to Mr Osafo-Maafo which sought to polarise the country, to which Mr Osafo- Maafo had said it was rather distorted.
Mr Iddrisu requested recordings to compare what he told the committee with what was on the tape.
He said if Mr Osafo-Maafo was able to provide the recordings, clarify the statement and provide evidence to show that the CNTI loan issue had been expunged from the parliamentary records, they could reach a consensus.
On Mr Agyarko, Mr Iddrisu wondered why the Energy Minister designate was not able to match statement on the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) debt.
He said that Mr Agyarko also alleged that former President John Dramani Mahama was involved in the sole sourcing of the Floating Storage and Regasification Units (FSRUs), and further claimed that there were three FSRUs.
To reach consensus on the approval, Messrs Osafo-Maafo and Agyarko needed to appear before the committee to clarify the issues with proof; a request to which Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader brought the into the Speaker’s waiting room.
He subsequently suggested that the leadership and leaders of the ACP should go and meet them for the clarification, a request for which the Speaker, Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, granted the leadership the leave to meet the two nominees.
The outcome of the meeting according to the Minority Leader was Mr Osafo-Maafo and Mr Agyarko had clarified the issues, which encouraged them to approve their nominations.
Mr Iddrisu said Mr Agyarko had withdrawn his statement which sought to impugn corruption on former President Mahama on the FSRUs.