The Minister-designate for Commerce and Industry has been told by the Minority Chief Whip, Kwame Governs Agbodza, to take committee appearances before groups like the Appointments Committee of Parliament more seriously.
Kobina Tahir Hammond appeared before Parliament earlier today to undergo the necessary scrutiny after being recently nominated by President Akufo-Addo to lead the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Yet, some of his comments made during the process were viewed as being too casual, raising concerns among some Committee members.
“Mr. Chairman, we know he’s very jovial, but when you look at the country what is happening in the country right now, the public expects this engagement to be very serious.One of these unsatisfied members was the Minority Chief Whip, who questioned the nominee about what he claimed to be his lack of seriousness in responding to the Committee members’ queries.
“So I will plead with you once again to answer my questions. I’m not here to joke. We can joke when we get to the other side of Parliament, answer the questions and stop the jokes”, Mr Agbodza queried.
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K. T. Hammond responded to this warning by saying that in his opinion, life is too short and that problems shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
“When we started, I was laughing and Chief Whip warned me it is national television, I shouldn’t joke and all that. I think that life is too short, we shouldn’t be so serious about everything. That is why I am always laughing”, he stated.
The NPP congressman said, however, that despite his good humor, he cannot tolerate offensive gestures.
If accepted, K. T. Hammond will succeed Mr. Alan Kyeremanten, who resigned earlier this year, as the actual Minister of Trade and Industry.
The Nhyiaeso MP, Dr. Stephen Amoah, who was also named by the President in a letter dated February 7 and read aloud by the Speaker of Parliament to announce the President’s new appointees, will serve as his deputy.
The Minority has since voiced their disapproval of the new appointments.
After that, it declared that it would carefully examine each new appointee when they appeared before the appointment committee.
“A couple of weeks ago, the President announced names of nominees for Ministerial appointments. The vetting commenced this morning.
“We in the Minority wish to make it clear that we remain committed to ensuring greater scrutiny and will spare no effort to protect the public purse.
“In line with this, we are taking part in the vetting process so that at the very minimum, we can scrutinize the President’s decision in bringing up those nominees.
“However, the Minority will not subscribe to a consensus vote at the level of the Appointments Committee. This will ensure that the matter is brought before the full House for a vote to be taken in secret”, the statement from the Minority on Monday emphasized.