President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has sworn into office 16 regional ministers with a charge to them to help ensure peace, law and order in their respective regions.
The President urged the ministers, who are also the Chairmen of their Regional Security Councils, to note that all the plans and programmes of the government would come to naught if there was no peace. “You must be careful and tactful in managing issues of intelligence and security. This is a good time to be in charge of your regions as you have the opportunity to help transform the regional economy,” the President stated at the swearing-in ceremony at the Jubilee House last night.
After the Director of State Protocol, Mr Samuel Yaw Kumah, had introduced the 16 appointees who were unanimously approved by Parliament yesterday, President Akufo-Addo administered the oaths of Allegiance, Office and of Secrecy to the appointees, whose swearing-in now brings the number of ministers to 46.
The ministers include Mr George Boakye for Ahafo; Mr Simon Osei-Mensah, Ashanti; Ms Justina Owusu-Banahene, Bono; Mr Akwasi Adu Gyan, Bono East; Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, Central; Mr Seth Kwame Acheampong, Eastern; Mr Henry Quartey, Greater Accra; Mr Shani Alhassan Saibu, Northern; Mr Yidana Zakaria, North East and Mr Joseph Makubu, Oti.
The rest are Mr Saeed Muhazu Jibril for Savannah; Mr Stephen Yakubu, Upper East; Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, Upper West; Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta; Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah, Western, and Mr Richard Obeng, Western North.
President Akufo-Addo noted that the regions were the natural target for all the programmes the government set forth in its first term of office and would be introducing in the second term to grow the national economy.
He added that in pursuit of the aggressive industrialisation and value addition to agricultural produce, the regions would continue to be the focus of the drive towards modernising agriculture, improving production and efficiency, achieving food security, as well as the profitability for farmers.
President Akufo-Addo charged the newly sworn in ministers to start by making sure they acquainted themselves with all the relevant laws and worked in close collaboration with metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives, traditional authorities, opinion leaders, religious leaders and other key stakeholders in their regions.
The President reminded the ministers to abide by the oaths they had sworn to uphold the interests of the republic, the Constitution and its citizenry and to promote the general wellbeing of the people.
President Akufo-Addo said Article 256 of the Constitution outlined their responsibilities succinctly and that they represented him in the regions.
He added that they were responsible for the coordination and direction of the government’s administrative machinery in the region. The President said he had taken the decision not to appoint deputy ministers, meaning the ministers had to shoulder the work by themselves and expressed the confidence that they would execute the task very well.
Speaking on behalf of the ministers, Dr Letsa thanked the President for the honour to serve the people of Ghana by being part of his second administration, adding “It is indeed a great privilege and favour that we promise never to take for granted.”
The Volta Regional minister promised they would execute the assignment with the dedication, commitment and loyalty that it deserved, stating “I promise that you can always count on us”. Dr Letsa also gave an assurance that they would be his worthy representatives in the 16 regions of the country.