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Ato Forson explains why Minority boycotted approval of ministerial nominees

Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, the Minority Leader and National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam, has explained why his side of the House decided to stage a walkout during the approval of the 24 Ministerial Nominees of the President.

Speaking on the floor of Parliament prior to the Minority’s boycott of the approval of the President’s Nominees for Ministerial and Deputy Ministerial positions, Dr Forson informed the House that the Committee’s report was a majority decision and that this was because they could not approve the Nominees by consensus.

“All Members of the Minority Group voted en bloc against the Nominees,” he stated.

He reiterated that the Minority voted against the Nominees not because they held anything against them; saying “No, we hold nothing against the nominees. In fact, a good number of them are our colleagues and friends. But (the) decision to vote against them was motivated by Ghana first.”

Dr Forson said the Minority voted against the nominees because the country had gone through (and continues to go through) very difficult periods, including crippling economic crisis, food insecurity, debt overhang as a result of excessive borrowing, and wasteful and reckless expenditure.

“Ordinary Ghanaians continue to bite the bullet and businesses are struggling under high tax regime to contribute to the development of country. What is expected on the part of (the) Government would have been prudent management of these contributions from the people of Ghana,” Dr Forson said.

“But hardly a day passes without one reckless and wasteful expenditure or the other by this government being uncovered.

“Mr Speaker, while (we) are happy for the nominees because we know that it is just a matter of time and colleagues from our side will begin appearing before the Appointments Committee, we cannot pretend that things are still the same. Indeed, we cannot do things the same old way.”

He underscored that Ghana’s present unfortunate situation occasioned by the Government did not only call for new, creative and radical ways of confronting challenges but also modesty and sacrifice by the political class.

He said in times like this, the Government side, especially, must signal to the people of Ghana and the investor community that they were ready and willing to walk the talk to restore the needed confidence in the economy.

He said the Government, in times like this, must show its real commitment and determination to improve the quality of life of Ghanaians.

He reiterated that it could not be the case that while the Government asked the people to tighten their belt, those in Government would have no belt at all.

Dr Forson said it also could not be right that while the Government urged the people to bite the bullet, those in Government and their family and friends chew chocolate.

“Our side is deeply convinced that at this point in time, this Government must seize the opportunity to be creative, dynamic and think out of the box,” he said.

“Merely piling on numbers by way of appointment of ministers and deputy ministers does not signal to the people of Ghana that the President understands the seriousness of the mess that his government has created.”

The Minority Leader said the least that President Akufo-Addo could do was to down-size the Government.

He said adding more ministerial appointments, which only balloons the expenditure of the executive, does not sound like a very bright idea at a time when the Government had clearly lost a grip on the economy, and unemployment, hardships and shrinkflation had become the order of the day.

“Mr Speaker, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo must down-size his Government to signal to the people of Ghana that, at the very least, he is in tune with feedback and the challenges triggered by his government as a result of their bad economic policies.”

At the very least, the two top political parties, the NDC and the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), agree that down-sizing (or right-sizing) the Government was the way to go.

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