By Frank Amponsah
President Akufo-Addo said the numerous criticisms that characterized the appointment of deputy ministers must impose on the newly sworn-in Deputy Ministers a clear obligation on them to justify their appointments.
The president said this when he sworn into office his new deputy ministers.
According to him, the appointment of the deputy ministers was met with serious criticisms with several unpalatable words such as “jobs for the boys” used in describing them.
But, the President believes that their appointment and swearing in bring them more closer to him in building a successful government that will oversee the development and progress of the people if Ghana.
He commended the legislature for seeing through the importance of approving the deputy ministers and indicated that the effective collaboration between the legislature and the executive arms of government works to the total good of the citizens.
The President stressed that the success of their work depends on the loyalty they will exhibit towards their ministers and cautioned them that, "Loyalty to the minister is the fundamental premise to the success of your work". He warned that any deputy who adopts underhand tactics as a route to advancement is "sadly mistaken".
He said, "I will not countenance any acts of disloyalty or subversion of your minister for I will take such an act as disloyalty to me personally and by inference ..to the party and to the state".
The President based his caution note on provisions of Article 256 of the 1992 constitution, where he gave a general outline of the role of a deputy minister.
“The Article states; (1) The President shall, with the prior approval of Parliament, appoint for each region, a Minister of State who shall -
(a) represent the President in the region; and (b) be responsible for the co-ordination and direction of the administrative machinery in the region.
(2) The President may, in consultation with the Minister of State for a region and with the prior approval of Parliament, appoint for the regional Deputy Minister or Deputy Ministers to perform such functions as the President may determine.”
The president said the underlining implication of this provision is that a deputy minister is supposed to assist the minister to succeed and that, their success will determine the success of his government.
He charged them therefore to serve the Ghanaian people honestly and competently, “…we are called to this …. To provide public service not to promote our personal gains. Accordingly, you are required to file your assets declarations expeditiously, “ he charged.
He revealed that in the spirit of the NPP manifesto, all the ministers have filed their asset declarations and charged the deputy ministers to follow that example and do so promptly.
President Akufo Addo also advised the deputy ministers to work diligently and hard work to ensure not only the success of his government, but also bring about the change for which the people of Ghana took the decision to vote the NPP back to power on December 7, 2016.