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Opinions of Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Columnist: Boakye-Boateng, Kwabena

Oboshie Sai Coffie Dazzles The Appointments Committee Of Parliament

I am sure most of you who watched the television version of the vetting process will agree with vetting committee. Many were those who behaved like the doubting Thomas when the President came out with his new ministerial nominations. Perhaps some of them have by now started reviewing their notes, after the grilling of the first batch of four of the nominees by the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Monday, July 23, 2007.

The first to appear before the committee was the Hon. Nana Akomea, the nominee for the Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment. He told the committee that he would look into the feasibility of ensuring that people employed under the NYEP have their employers pay their social security contributions. He promised to give priority attention to issues affecting the disabled and vulnerable in society, especially their rehabilitation, when given the nod.

When it got to his turn, Hon Osei Adjei, Minister designate for Foreign Affairs, promised to take up the issue involving the killing of about 44 Ghanaians in the Gambia as a personal challenge, he also did give a good overview of NEPAD and its relevance among others.
Nana Obiri Boahen, Minister of State designate for the Interior ministry said he would step down as his party’s regional chairman when given the nod. He said he is no more the solicitor of the Abudus in the Dagbon crisis, and that the fuss being made about his role in the case is misplaced.
Perhaps the most enterprising on the day was the Minister designate for the Ministry of Information and National Orientation, who is also the outgoing Deputy Minister of the same ministry. The Hon. Mrs. Oboshie Sai Coffie dazzled the entire audience with the ease, eloquence, alacrity, and competence with which she answered all the questions posed to her.
She gave a splendid account of herself as someone who was not just a ball-watcher whilst deputising the indefatigable Hon. Kwamena Bartels, but an active participant in all undertakings at the Ministry.
On the powers of the National Media Commission, she said there is the need to adequately resource it and also look at empowering it so that it can have the teeth to bite more.
On a possible conflict of interest situation arising out of her being the minister of Information and National Orientation and also as a shareholder in Media Touch, an advertising agency, she said she will do all her best to ensure that such a situation does not arise. She stressed that existing laws allow ministers of state to have shares in companies and if such laws are perceived or seen to be inadequate, it behoves on Parliament to right the situation.
According to Hon. Oboshie, so much has been done behind the scenes on the National Orientation agenda and that such things will start rolling as soon as the formal launching, which will be done soon, takes place.
In fact, so commendable, remarkable, enterprising, and dazzling was her performance that the Chairman of the Committee, who also doubles as the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, in discharging her, unconsciously elevated her by remarking thus “Deputy Speaker, you are discharged”.
Hon. Oboshie Sai Coffie, congratulations. It is my hope that Parliament will endorse your nomination. Honestly, you have vindicated the President’s wisdom and sense of judgment by his choice of you to such a sensitive position. Know ye that much is expected of you.

KWABENA BOAKYE-BOATENG.

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