President-elect Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his vice Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia are said to be putting final touches to names of those to be appointed ministers of state in the incoming New Patriotic Party (NPP) government.
Some prominent members of the party have been considered for ministerial positions while a number of them would be nominated as ambassadors and high commissioners.
According to sources, Nana Akufo-Addo’s government wants to hit the ground running immediately it’s sworn into office after on January 7, 2017 to tackle the myriad problems facing the country.
DAILY GUIDE has picked signals that Yaw Osafo-Maafo, who is heading the NPP’s transition team, is likely to be selected as a senior minister supervising all the ministers, with Dr. Bawumia as head of the economic management team.
Frema Osei Opare, a former Member of Parliament (MP) for Ayawaso West Wugon, is likely to become the Chief of Staff overseeing the day-to-day activities of staff at the presidency in a different mode from the existing role carved for the position.
In the exhaustive list stumbled on by DAILY GUIDE, Nana Asante Bediatuo, a private legal practitioner, is tipped to be the Executive Secretary to the President if Nana Addo takes office.
Those penciled down as likely ministers in the incoming administration are Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, MP for Anyaa/Sowutuom (Foreign Affairs); Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, MP for Manhyia South (Health); Ambrose Dery, MP-elect for Nandom (Interior) and Dominic Nitiwul, MP for Bimbila (Defence).
Boakye Agyarko, who was the Policy Advisor for the NPP 2016 campaign, has been penciled for Petroleum and Energy with Kobby Okyere Darko-Mensah, MP for Takoradi, as his likely deputy, while outgoing MP for Kwadaso, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, is expected to head the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. MP-elect for Krowor, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye or Catherine Abelema Afeku, MP-elect for Evalue Ajomoro Gwira could be deputy.
Gloria Akuffo is likely to be named the new Attorney General with Godfred Yeboah Dame – who has been the NPP’s lawyer of late – as her deputy, while Ken Ofori-Atta of Databank fame, who was the head of the NPP’s Campaign Finance Committee, as the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.
Others who are likely to be selected include Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, MP for Ablekuma West as Minister of Communications; Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen as Minister of Trade and Industry and Hajia Alima Mahama, MP-elect for Nalerigu, as Local Government and Rural Development Minister.
DAILY GUIDE understands that film producer and staunch supporter of the president-elect, Socrates Sarfo, would be appointed deputy minister for Tourism and Creative Arts.
There is said to be intense lobbying for positions and the president-elect is said to have assured the party’s leadership that he would make appointments based on competence to ensure accelerated development of the country.
Nana Akufo-Addo has already met the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NPP and has asked the party to give him some time to finalize the list for the party’s consideration.
DAILY GUIDE has also learnt that a number of the appointees in the previous NPP government under President Kufuor who gathered a lot of diplomatic experience but have not yet been mentioned for ministerial and other local appointments, would be made ambassadors or high commissioners.
By William Yaw Owusu