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09.02.2009 Politics

Second batch of Nominees vetted

By gna

Mr Joe Gidisu, Nominee for the Ministry of Roads and Highway, said delays in the payment of local contractors were hindering the opening up of some portions of the country by these contractors.

He said when given the nod by Parliament, he would help in building the capacity of these contractors and help to empower them financially to ensure that they competed favourably with international contractors to win bids in the country.

Mr Gidisu, who was responding to questions from the Appointments Committee on Monday, said he would ensure that Ghana had value for money for roads constructed and urged Members of Parliament to take interest in projects being carried out in their constituencies to ensure that only good roads were constructed.

On charges that there were perceptions about corrupt practices associated with the operations of the Ministry, Mr Gidisu said he would pursue an open and transparent programme to deal with corruption.

Alhaji Collins Dauda, Nominee for the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, who also took his turn before the Committee, said he would go into commercial plantation to deal with environmental degradation and the restoration of the forest cover.

He said currently the forest cover of the nation could be pegged 1.6 million hectares, a major drop from 8.2 million hectares that the country enjoyed at the turn of the last century.

Mr Dauda also touched on the challenges posed by small-scale miners known as galamsey and chain saw operators, and said there was the need to streamline their operations to ensure that they operated within the laws.

On issues of land use, he said poor documentation, land ownership and lack of proper planning were some challenges, which should receive attention.

He said coupled with the promulgation of the new Lands Commission Act, there should be an improvement on land use.

Dr Joe Oteng Adjei, Nominee for the Energy Ministry, when he appeared before the Committee said the policy of rural communities contributing to a percentage for electrification under the Self-Help Electrification Project would be reviewed to lesson the burden on these rural communities.

On issues of increases in electricity tariffs, Dr Oteng-Adjei said the use of pre-paid metres, the blocking of illegal use of electricity and the improvement of network and wires to reduce technical problems should add up to reduce electricity tariffs.

In response to perceptions that oil discovery was a curse to some African countries, the Nominee said the NDC Government would involve all stakeholders and pursue a policy of transparency to ensure that Ghana’s discovery of oil became a blessing.

Ms Sherry Ayitey, Nominee for the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, who also appeared before the Committee, said she would pursue a programme of public education at various levels to address the problem of sanitation and ensure a clean environment.

Mr Mike Hamah, Nominee for Transportation, told the Committee that he would use “Three Es Approach” – Education–Engineering-Enforcement - to reduce carnage on the country’s roads if given the nod to become the Minister of Transportation.

He said he would work hard to regain the category one rating of Kotoka International Airport by the United States Federal Aviation Administration, which it lost because the liquidated Ghana Airways flew substandard plane to the USA.