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Vetting of ministers: Answer my questions and stop the jokes – Agbodza cautions K. T. Hammond


The Minority Chief Whip, Kwame Governs Agbodza, has advised the Minister-designate for Trade and Industry to be more serious when appearing before a committee such as Parliament’s Appointment Committee.

Kobina Tahir Hammond, who was recently nominated by President Akufo-Addo to head the Ministry of Trade and Industry, faced Parliament earlier today to be vetted accordingly.

Some of his responses during the process were however deemed as being too casual; stirring up reservations amongst some members of the Committee.

One of such displeased members was the Minority Chief Whip who queried the nominee over his purported lack of seriousness in answering the questions posed to him by members of the Committee.

“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.

“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.

In reaction to this caution, K. T. Hammond indicated that as far as he is concerned, life is too short and therefore issues should not be treated with too much seriousness.

“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 lawmaker however added that despite his jovial nature, he cannot entertain diabolic gestures directed at him.

If approved, K. T. Hammond will serve as the substantive Minister for Trade and Industry, taking over for Mr Alan Kyeremanten who resigned earlier this year.

He will be deputised by Nhyiaeso MP, Dr Stephen Amoah, who has also been nominated by the President in a letter dated February 7, which was read by the Speaker of Parliament, announcing the President’s new appointees.

Meanwhile, the Minority has expressed its displeasure with the new appointments.

It has subsequently announced its intentions to thoroughly scrutinise the new appointees when they appear 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 emphasised.

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