Parliament’s Appointments Committee is vetting Ministers and Deputy Minister-nominees recently announced by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The nominees to appear before the committee include Member of Parliament (MP) for Adansi Asokwa, K. T. Hammond, as the Minister-designate for Trade and industry; and the MP for Hyaeso, Stephen Amoah (Sticka), who would be serving as his Deputy.
Member of Parliament for Abetifi, Bryan Acheampong, has been nominated as the Minister for Food and Agriculture, while Stephen Asamoah Boateng is going to the Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Ministry as Minister. Karaga Member of Parliament, Mohammed Amin Adam, was named by the president as Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, while Herbert Krapah was nominated Deputy Minister for Energy.
Meanwhile, barely less than 24 hours to the day of the vetting, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) directed the minority caucus in parliament not to approve any of the new ministerial nominees appointed by the President.
According to the party, the caucus should rather push for a reduction in the size of government with a view to reduce the needless drain on scarce public resources.
‘Class Prefect’ KT Hammond TellsAppointments Committee To Be Of Best Behaviour
KT Hammond appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament over his nomination by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the Minister of Trade and Industry-designate. His appointment came after Alan Kyrematen resigned to focus on his presidential ambitions, after serving in that capacity from January 2017 to January 2023.
It was a moment of laughter when the Presidential nominee for the Minister of Trade and Industry, Kobina Tahir Hammond, advised the Appointments Committee of Parliament to ensure that they put up their best behavior during the vetting process.
Taking his seat before the committee, KT Hammond, who has been referred to as the class prefect of parliament, enforced his position, informing the chairman, Joseph Osei Owusu, of same.
“Mr. Chairman, you introduced me as class prefect, I expect members to put up their best behavior, I will put up my very best behavior and then we will move. I’m the class prefect in the chair and I will remain class prefect, you should be well behaved.”K. T. Hammond
In response, the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, who is also the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu, reiterated the nominee’s rather controversial nature, while stating that his comment may not come as a surprise to the public and committee members.
“I think the members of the public know you and so it shouldn’t be surprising that you expect us to put up our best behavior,” he replied.
Many people attended the ongoing vetting procedures for the incoming nominees for Ministerial Positions and one of such individuals who stood out was the Member of Parliament for Assin Central and Aspiring Flag Bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kennedy Agyapong. He was spotted in the company of the entourage that showed up in parliament to support the vetting of Kobina Tahir Hammond.
KT Hammond Recounts Achievement As Deputy Energy Minister
The Minister designate for Trade and Industry touted one of his biggest achievements as a Deputy Energy Minister between the year 2001 to 2007. According to him, his personal work was what led to the discovery of oil in the country by Tullow Oil and Kosmos Energy in the western region of Ghana.
His response comes after the minority chief whip asked what his achievements were, after he served as Deputy Minister from 2001 to 2007, when he appeared before the committee for vetting..
“it was through the administration of J. A. Kufuor under the ministry of energy and myself. My minister at the time was Kan Dapaah. He gave me the portfolio of petroleum. GNPC was literally not in existence, it had collapsed. He gave me that responsibility to make sure GNPC was on its two feet to make sure that they entered into proper exploration and so to develop and make sure we find oil in this country.
“I was mandated to travel all over the world to look for entrepreneurs, companies and to see if they could make sense of our potential. Mr. Speaker it was I, KT Hammond, in May 2004 who signed an MOU which eventually led to KOSMOS discovering that oil in Ghana.”K. T. Hammond