Madam Patricia Appiagyei, the Chairman of the Government Assurance Committee of Parliament, has urged ministers of state to appear personally before the parliamentary committees to answer questions.
She said, per the mandate of the committee, no minister who appeared before Parliament to make “promises, undertakings and assurances” should assign deputies to speak to those issues at the committees hearings.
This was in reaction to an attempt by the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development to send Mr O.B. Amoah, a Deputy Minister, to appear before the Assurances Committee following a letter it sent to the Ministry asking Mr Dan Botwe to appear before it.
“Once a minister is still at post, the minister is required to appear personally to answer questions about the fulfilment of the assurances they make to Parliament,” she said.
Madam Appiagyei said this when Mr Dan Botwe, the sector minister, appeared before the Committee to answer questions on whether he had fulfilled the assurances and promises he made when he appeared before the Eighth Parliament.
She explained that the Committee's objection to the appearance of the deputy minister was without any malice but on principles of the Committee's mandate.
Madam Appiagyei, the Member of Parliament for Asokwa, clarified that the Committee had no mandate to witch-hunt but to ensure that promises, undertakings, and assurances that had been made by ministers in Parliament were fulfilled.
Mr John Bless Oti, Ranking Member of the Assurances Committee, said per the workings and principles of the Committee, they only dealt with ministers who were the heads of the various ministries.
Mr Botwe, on his part, said: “Sitting here, I do not believe the answers are in person because they are officially given; these answers are sought from official sources and they are officially given by the ministers of state.”
“So, I thought that an official, for that matter, a deputy minister, could stand in to give those responses.”
Mr Botwe appeared to answer questions on election or approval of presiding members, the elevation of Jasikan and Guan districts to municipalities and their budgetary allocations, construction of jubilee markets, especially the Jasikan market, and the purchase of 10,000 motorbikes for assembly members in 261 assemblies.