With the swearing in of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his second term in office, names of potential ministerial appointees will be soon be out.
A relatively slim government will be the feature of President Akufo-Addo’s administration, DAILY GUIDE has gathered.
Information reaching DAILY GUIDE has it that the previous 110 ministerial appointments will be drastically pruned with some ministries scrapped.
Former ministers whose presidential ambitions are visible will be allowed to go and pursue their projects, an indication that some faces in the first term of the President will be absent from the second one.
Our anonymous source disclosed that some of the ministers who excelled in the first term of the Akufo-Addo government had either been retained or moved to other ministries.
According to the source, President Akufo-Addo and his close associates were convinced that the party had paraded the best team from the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) for now to deliver for the state.
The rumour mill is grinding with some names as potential ministerial nominees.
Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, aka ‘Napo’, who was the Education Minister and ensuring the successful implementation of the free Senior High School (SHS) policy, would likely move to the Energy Ministry.
The former Energy Minister, Peter Amewu, who recently made history by winning the Hohoe parliamentary seat for the NPP during the December 7 elections, also looks likely to be heading for the Railways Ministry as substantive minister.
In Napo’s absence, his deputy at the Education Ministry, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, who maintained his seat as MP for Bosomtwe in the Ashanti Region would be elevated to the position of a substantive minister at the Education Ministry.
MP for Okere in the Eastern Region, Dan Botwe, who served as the Regional Reorganization and Development Minister during the first term, might be appointed Minister for Local Government and Rural Development.
Some of the ministers who the President believes were on the right track, like Ken Ofori Atta, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, would be maintained just as Roads Minister, Kwasi Amoako-Atta, and Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Communications Minister.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, who is credited for implementing the Planting for Food and Jobs policy of the government, may be maintained.
Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry, will likely be maintained in his ministry; and Shirley Ayokor Botchwey, Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister, will also retain her position.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Information Minister; Dominic Nitiwul, Defence Minister; and Ambrose Dery, the Interior Minister all look very likely to maintain their positions in the government’s second term.
It was, however, not readily known whether the Attorney General (AG), Gloria Afua Akuffo, would be maintained or be replaced by her deputy, Godfred Yeboah Dame, whose popularity has skyrocketed in recent times.
The Gender Minister and MP for Agona West, Cynthia Morrison and Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, Transport Minister, are also on the list.
Dr. Anthony Nsiah Asare could be the next Health Minister.
The two Deputy Chiefs of Staff at the presidency, who were elected MPs during the recent polls, Francis Asenso Boakye, for Bantama, and Samuel Abu Jinapor, Damango Constituency, would be taking ministerial positions.
Asenso-Boakye looks likely to be appointed as the new Minister of Works, Housing, Water and Sanitation as Mr. Jinapor goes to the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry.
The son of Alhaji Aliu Mahama, ex-Ghana Vice President, Farouk Aliu Mahama, who won the Yendi seat for the NPP, would most likely be rewarded with the Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry position.
Ministries likely to be scrapped are the ministries of Planning; Monitoring and Evaluation; Procurement; Business Development; Regional Reorganization and Development among others.
At the presidency, the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, is retaining her position having been issuing directives on behalf of the President since his swearing-in. She will, this time, be working with fresh faces, as her previous two deputies go to Parliament.
Making a bounce back into the government is the ex-NPP General Secretary, Kwabena Agyapong, who would be appointed as one of the Deputy Chiefs of Staff. Michael Ofori-Atta, a diplomat would also take the other vacant position.
Atta Akyea could be heading for the Environment Ministry as its minister.
Nana Bediatuo Asante, who served as the secretary to the President in the first term, would definitely retain his revered position and support the President to deliver more for the country.
Mad Rush for Positions
There has been a heightened clamouring for positions by party members, some of them doing so through influential personalities within the ruling party, traditional rulers and prominent clergymen.
The NPP government, which won the 2020 national polls in the first round, is yet to appoint MMDCEs and chief executives to state agencies. These positions are also being clamoured for.
The President will most likely send the first list of nominations to Parliament when it resumes on Friday.
FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi