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12.02.2010 Politics

Ayariga appears before parliamentary vetting committee

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Ayariga appears before parliamentary vetting committee

February 12, 2010
Accra, Feb. 12, GNA - The vetting of Minister designates ended on Thursday with profound cross examination of Mr Mahama Ayariga, on his acquisition of five tractors to set up a farm mechanization centre at Bawku.

Mr Ayariga, Deputy Minister designate for Trade and Industry went through a hectic time with the probing questions, most of which met the interventions of Mr Doe Adjaho, Chairman of the Vetting Committee, especially those that were intended to nail him for wrong doing.

His defence in most of the questions was based on the Commission for Human Right and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) report issued just yesterday that cleared his name of any wrong doing.

Mr Ayariga said the Ministry of Agriculture last year put in an advertisement for the sale of tractors to farmers, which he applied for the procurement of two tractors to plough the fields of local farmers at a subsidized cost.

He said in a discussion with the Minister, he chanced upon a programme called Amsec Scheme, which give tractors to those with the intent of establishing Mechanizations Centres.

He stated that it was on this bases that his consignment was increased to five tractors, which he paid GH¢90,000 and the rest spread over a period of five years.

The five tractors according to him were working well and ploughing fields for local farmers at a cost of GH¢12 per one acre.

He said upon the recommendations of the Ministry of Agriculture, the mechanization centre was currently being run as a corporate entity, which he as an individual, had no hand in running.

Mr Ayariga stressed that when given the nod he would bring on board his expertise as a lawyer to help the Ministry.

Mr Ayariga diagnosed the problem of the Chinese, dumping their textile product on the Ghanaian market, as the lack of a regulatory frame work and promised to assist in passing the proposed law, to provide legal backing in controlling the influx of such goods.

On the auction of confisticated vehicles, which were sold at a lesser cost than its value, Mr Ayariga said when given the nod he would in collaboration with his superiors set up a frame work, transparent enough to deal with the issue.

Asked the reason why the President scraped the Presidential Spokesperson position, he said President Atta Mills found it prudent to use the Information Ministry for that purpose.

Mr Fuseini Inusah, Minister Designate for Energy said he would assist the Ministry to progressively introduce other sources of energy for domestic use and find alternative income ventures for the charcoal burners.

He said the charcoal burning business, which affects the climate, would be reversed by encouraging planting of woodlots to mitigate the devastating effects of the weather.

Asked whether he would recommend tariff increase based on the circumstances faced by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), he said he would study the whole issue and find out if an increase was justifiable when given the chance.

"Equipments at the ECG are so challenged that a little defect in one affects the rest," he said, as the reason for the constant power outages and promised to assist his Minister to bring the situation under control.


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