Parliament vets more Deputy Ministers

ParliamentThe Vetting Committee of Parliament on Friday vetted six more Deputy Ministers nominated by President John Mahama to assist their substantive Ministers implement government policies.

The committee chaired by Mr Ebow Barton Odro, Deputy Majority leader, vetted the Deputy Ministers designated by the president.

The first person to take his turn on at the vetting committee was Mr Ebenezer Okletey Terlabi, Member of Parliament (MP) for Lower Manya and Deputy Minister designate for Defence.

Mr Terlabi, who is a biochemist by profession, told the committee that he is not opposed to the suggestion by the Ghana Armed forces (GAF) to establish a bank for the forces.

He said the GAF is not the first to enter into such a venture and that in countries like the U.S, Israel and Turkey, the armed forces in those countries have their banks.

He commended the former Minister of Defence for initiating the process for the GAF to establish a garment and shoe factory in the country.

“I am not against the armed forces entering into any commercial activity,” he said.

He said if the forces are assisted to enter into farming it would contribute significantly to food security in the country.

Mr Terlabi also called for the strengthening of the relationship between civilians and the military to ensure peaceful co-existence.

He said the “open day” programme organised by the military should be continued to foster this relationship.

Dr Tia Alfred Sugri, MP for Nalerigu/Gambaga and Deputy Minister designate for Health, was the second person to take his turn at the committee.

Dr Sugri, who is veterinary doctor by profession, appealed to the striking doctors to take a second look at the government proposal and sit down with the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) to resolve the impasse.

He said some striking doctors have expressed discomfortable with the stalemate and would prefer the matter was resolved amicably.

He said if given the nod by the Committee, he would work with her sector minister to ensure that the strike action does not persist.

Dr Sugri said he would work with the sector Minister to strengthen the various agencies under the Ministry mandated to deal with fake and substandard drugs as well as quack herbal practitioners in the system.

He promised to ensure that monies meant to pay the National Health Insurance scheme (NHIS) get to the right service providers.

He said the clinical audit of the NHIS has saved the nation a lot of funds which could have been used to pay items by some service providers.

Mr Alex Kyeremeh, MP for Techiman North and Deputy Minister designate for Education, told the vetting committee he would advice the sector Minister to look again at all Senior High School (SHS) fees across the country and standardized them.

He said the situation where schools are charging fees different from what has been approved by government was creating problems for parents.

He said the Ministry of Education should employ national service personnel to augment circuit supervisors in remote areas to ensure proper monitoring of teaching and learning in those areas.

Mr Kyeremeh, who is the former Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Techiman, said it was wrong for heads of assisted secondary schools to sack students who are preparing to write their final exams and anyone who goes contrary to that should be surcharged.

He said he would work with the Minister to ensure that the current impasse between teachers and others in the teaching profession and government was resolved.

He also said the government’s intention to construct 10 new Teacher Training Colleges across country would go a long way to resolve shortage of teachers in the rural schools.

Three other deputy ministers designate were also vetted by the Legislative Committee. They included Yaw Effah-Baafi, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, James Agalga, Ministry of Interior and Vincent Oppong Asamoah, Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing.

Source: GNA

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