The vetting of Minister-designate for Public Enterprises, Joseph Cudjoe, was disrupted after the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, demanded clarity on the status of the Public Enterprises Ministry which he described as “non-existent.”
Citing the Executive Instrument (E.I.) 12 Civil Service Ministries Instrument 2021 which did not include the Public Enterprises Ministry, he objected to the vetting process.
“Within the meaning of E.I. 12, there is no Ministry for Public Enterprises,” Mr. Iddrisu said in his objection.
He argued further that the Presidency ought to provide “clarity and guidance” on the situation.
“Even if it takes until midnight for the correspondence from the President we will wait but as we proceed, there is no Ministry for Public Enterprise and our hands are tied because we should be assessing him based on the role he is going to play.”
However, the Deputy Majority Leader, Alex Afenyo-Markin argued that the vetting could proceed saying this was not an unprecedented situation, and compared it to the appointment of Ministers-of-State working under the Presidency.
“I would want us to consider his nomination, not as one for the purposes of running a ministry,” Mr. Afenyo-Markin said.
After further exchanges, Mr. Iddrisu threatened to abstain from the vetting process.
“Our side will just sit and observe whilst we wait for clarity and better particulars from the Presidency. We do not intend to take part in further proceedings until we receive a satisfactory explanation from the office of the Presidency.”
Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joe Osei-Owusu responded by saying he could not request clarity from the Presidency without the Speaker of Parliament’s consent.
“I don’t think I can go behind Mr. Speaker to speak to the Presidency on matters like this so let’s proceed with what we can,” he said.
But two members of the committee, Patrick Boamah and Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, then suggested that the committee go off-camera following which the committee went to consult in private.
Mr. Iddrisu subsequently agreed to the suggestions.