Senior Minister designate, Yaw Osafo-Maafo has defended the creation of his ministerial portfolio, explaining that his core mandate will be to coordinate the roles of the various economic ministries under the Akufo-Addo administration.
The nomination of Mr Osafo-Maafo as Senior Minister has been met with lots of criticisms; with some saying it was unnecessary and unconstitutional.
But at his vetting by the Appointments Committee of Parliament Friday, Mr Osafo-Maafo explained that “the President in his own wisdom decided that he should be called Senior Minister of State.”
Supporting his argument with Article 78 (2) of the constitution, Mr. Maafo posited that, the President has the prerogative to appoint anyone to any portfolio he deems fit.
Article 78 (2) of the 1992 constitution states that “the President shall appoint such number of Ministers of State as may be necessary for the efficient running of the state. “
According to him, “there is only one Minister that is mentioned in the constitution of ours and that is the Attorney General. In other clauses, other Ministers have been mentioned; Finance, Interior and Defence under the security because they are members of the Security Council.”
“The president told me specifically that we (NPP) have had a senior minister before in the person of J.H. Mensah, whom I worked with because at the time I was the minister of finance and he coordinated the economic sector ministries. All the productive sectors are referred to as economic sector, and they will be a major bloc as a subcommittee of parliament, and they coordinate the activities of the economic sectors of his cabinet, as it may be, and he wanted me to bring my experience as a [former] minister of finance, as somebody who has done a similar job in Uganda, as somebody who has done a similar job in Liberia, to bear on his government; so I’m playing a coordinated role for the economic sector as it were.”
He added that, “The economic sector relates to the other ministries, so, naturally my experience will be brought to bear on my colleagues to make sure that we resuscitate the economy in a much homogenized manner so that there will be harmony. From our manifesto, one of the major priorities of the president is to transform the economy because as you are aware, the economy is in some difficulty, we are in an IMF programme and we hope to come out with flying colours.”