The Minister of State-designate for the Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGRD), Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah, has rejected suggestions to refuse his new post, since it will add to the cost of running government.
The Minister-designate said he will not reject the position because government will not incur any significant cost by making him a Minister of State. “…My being a Deputy Minister, I have conditions of service. It is not my being elevated to a Minister of State that will significantly affect what is due me at this stage.
“You know it; I am surprise that you said I should reject the nomination because you think it will cost the nation more; I don’t agree with you,” said the man who is known in political circle as O.B Amoah.
He made these comments yesterday during his vetting by the Appointments Committee of Parliament.
It was in a response to a question asked by the Ranking Member of the Committee and Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson.
The Minority Leader had asked the nominee if it would not have been appropriate for him to have rejected the appointment, considering the economic crisis the country is going through.
He contended that having new ministers will add to the cost of running government and suggested to Mr O.B. Amoah to reject the nomination.
“In the midst of what the country is going through, vis-a-vis the economic crisis that we are witnessing, don’t you think that it will be appropriate if you reject the nomination that the president has given to you and to save money for mother Ghana?” Dr Ato Baah Forson quizzed.
It would be recalled that the Minority and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) party have for some time now trumpeted the downsizing of the Akufo-Addo ministers.
The call became more deafening after President Akufo-Addo, by way of reshuffle, nominated some new ministers and old ones, including Mr Amoah, who is currently the Deputy Minister of MLGRD to occupy various ministerial positions.
Because of their stance on the matter, before the vetting of ministers commenced on Monday, February 20, 2023 the NDC put out a press statement directing the minority caucus on the Appointments Committee to reject the nominees.
Portions of the statement read: “The leadership of the NDC, has, against this backdrop, directed the Minority caucus in Parliament not to approve any of the new ministerial nominees and to further push for a reduction in the size of government with a view to reducing the needless drain on scarce public resources.
“In this moment of haircuts, the most important thing the government can do is to do a ‘governmental haircut’. Our directive to the minority in parliament, we believe strongly aligns with the genuine sentiments of most Ghanaians.”
Few hours to the vetting, the Minority also held a press conference affirming their resolve to act on the directives of their party, since they have also been calling for reduction of the number of ministers.
As a result, some of the Minority members on the committee used the opportunity to suggest to the new nominees to reject their appointments, in order to save money for the country.
But yesterday, Mr O.B Amoah said he would not reject his nomination because no significant change will be made from his nomination.
According to him, he will continue to live in his own apartment and receive the salary of an MP.
“…In any case what is going to change, I will still stay in my own house, I am still paid as an MP…If I stay as Deputy it won’t change anything, if I move to Minister of State it won’t change anything,” he told the committee.
But Mr Forson disagreed with the conditions of service arguing that it will be significant, since there will be increment in the ministers salaries, payment of rent allowances and other service benefits.