Yesterday, Parliament approved the nominations of Lariba Zuweira Abudu and Francisca Oteng Mensah as Minister and Deputy Minister of the Gender, Children, and Social Protection Ministries, respectively.
The two legislators were approved after being vetted by the Appointments Committee on December 15, 2022.
The committee unanimously recommended that the nominations of Ms Abudu, who was the Deputy Minister of the same Ministry and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Walewale in the North East Region since January 2012, be approved by the House.
Ms Oteng Mensah is the Ashanti Region’s current NPP MP for Kwabre East.
According to Article 144 (2) of the Constitution, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo communicated the nominations of the two MPs to Parliament on October 25, 2022, and the Speaker referred the nominations to the Appointments Committee for consideration and report.
The two appeared before the committee whose members assessed their thoughts and perspectives on a number of issues bothering women and children in particular.
The School Feeding Programme, special needs policy, the effect of obstetric fistula on women, the Affirmative Action Bill, gender-based violence, early child marriages, social welfare, the plight of head porters, witch camps, old age homes, and views on homosexuality and lesbianism were among the topics of discussion.
Commendation The Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joseph Osei-Owusu, who is also the NPP MP for Bekwai in the Ashanti Region, moved the motion for the House to adopt its report and approve the two nominees, saying the committee, by consensus, recommended the approval of Ms Abudu and Ms Oteng Mensah as Minister and Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection.
He described the two nominees as having a good understanding of the issues surrounding the ministry to which they were appointed.
The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, who is also the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Tamale South in the Northern Region, seconded the motion, expressing happiness that both nominees were elected MPs who met the requirement of Article 94 of the 1992 Constitution.
He explained that the aforementioned article was the primary legal and constitutional threshold that qualified them to be ministers and members of parliament.
He did, however, express concern about the stakeholders consulted by the President in relation to Mrs Oteng Mensah’s nomination under Article 79 of the Constitution.
Mr Iddrisu congratulated Ms Abudu on her appointment as a substantive minister and encouraged her to do everything she could to improve the lives of women and children.
Why are appointments necessary?
The two ministers-designate were appointed after President Akufo-Addo revoked the appointment of Sarah Adwoa Safo, the then-substantive Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Protection and the current NPP MP for Dome-Kwabenya in the Greater Accra Region.