Mr Speaker, I believe I would speak for less than ten minutes.
Mr Speaker, the first is to commend the Committee members for the work that they have done. They sat through long hours, sometimes, sitting at 10.00 am and closing after10.00 p.m. -- twelve hours of sitting. We must commend them for a very profound job done. Again, the quality of the Report that they have submitted to this House clearly demonstrates the movement of the Committee in another direction altogether. They are lifting up the performance of the Appointments Committee, and they must be commended.
Mr Speaker, really, probing and searching questions have been asked, and I guess in this direction, we must commend highly, the performance of the leadership of the Committee, in particular the Chairman of the Committee.
Mr Speaker, issues have been raised about the size of the Ministers, that is, those of them who might have the opportunity to assist the President to run the State efficiently and also assist the President to formulate policies for the national development agenda that the President intends to unveil and indeed, unleash. The Constitution is clear on this in article 78 (2). It does not place any upper
ceiling on the number of Ministers that a particular President might appoint.
Mr Speaker, the delivery of those Ministers would really attest whether there is the need for the number of Ministers appointed by a particular President. If at the end of the day, they are able to lift and indeed, add to the standard of living of Ghanaians, improved in a very profound manner, that number would be justified. If on the other hand, they are not able to perform, certainly, one could raise issues about the number of the Ministers.
We are not there yet at all. So, people should have patience. Let them cool their hearts and heads until after four years. Certainly, at the end of it all, we would be in the position to assess the performance of those Ministers.
Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, the latitude that has been granted at the Committee level has not been seen before. However, in my opinion, giving the number of hours that each nominee spends before the twenty-six member Committee, the time has come for us as a House to have a second look at the composition of the Appointments Committee. As part of the review of the Standing Orders, we have proposed to cut these numbers down. And I believe if we do that, we would enrich the performance and the work of those various committees.
Mr Speaker, I would want to address this last matter raised by my Colleague, the Hon Minority Leader, in respect of the appointment in an acting position of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP). What must be known to the country is that the immediate past IGP was appointed on 4th of February, 2016.
When he was appointed, he had only thirteen days to run to his retirement age. He was due for retirement on 17th
February, 2016. Indeed, beyond that date, he ought to have been given a contract. No such contract was given him, which meant that he had become functus officio on 17th February, 2016. So, in what capacity was he acting? What is right is right; what is wrong is wrong. And I believe that we must as a nation attend to these matters.
Mr Speaker, the question to the Minister for Finance-designate was specific. The question was asked of him whether they had promised that they were going to make payment to the DKM Diamond Microfinance saga victims, and he said that did not exist in the manifesto. This is because it was quoted to him that in their manifesto such was what they had said. And he was crisp; he said it did not exist in the manifesto.
I agree with my Hon Colleague that some statements have been made to that effect, but Hon Members would recollect that on this very floor we brought the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and he alluded to it.
Hon Members even pleaded that that should be done, and the former President, President Mahama indicated that steps were going to be taken to do just that. So, what is the fuss about that? Mr Speaker, excuse my language. “What is the noise about that?”
Mr Speaker, we should be consistent. It is a paradox of circumstances when the Minister in whose region this camp operated would have the -- I would not want to say the audacity or the temerity to raise this matter. Mr Speaker, we must be candid with ourselves.
Mr Speaker, having said that, I would not want to go into assessing the quality
of the materials that have been placed before us. I believe enough has been said about them, and by and large we are ad idem on the quality, the competence and the integrity of the people who are coming on board.
Mr Speaker, people have spoken about corrupt practices of some Ministers in the past. As a House, we should live up to our responsibility -- the discharge of our oversight functions.
Mr Speaker, human beings are human beings, regardless of the platitude. If we leave them, they may fall foul and go errant. That is why Parliament should be very proactive in the way we conduct our business.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the space granted and I appeal to my Hon Colleagues that we should approve all of them, not merely by consensus but unanimously approve of the people who have come before us.
Thank you very much.