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01.02.2005 General News

Kufuor urges Ministers to work as a team

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Accra, Feb. 1, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Tuesday advised Ministers to work as a team and not to act individually outside the targets and objectives of the team.

"When you work as an island, individually or at variance with the team, the team will be ineffective," he added.

President Kufuor gave the advice when he swore 29 Ministers made up of 27 men and two women into office at a brief ceremony at the Castle, Osu.

He administered the oaths of allegiance, office, secrecy and presented them with their Instruments of Appointments. President Kufuor said fortunately for most of them they had served under the Government during its first tenure of office and had had experience in governance and therefore, were conversant with the task they had been assigned.

He said: "It is the most difficult assignment and the public perceive you with some suspicion. It is a very difficult and thankless job, you were not forced into office but you voluntarily accepted to work for the State".

"You have come quite prepared, you know the hazards you are undertaking as the Government begins the second tenure of office", he added.

President Kufuor said the first tenure of the Government was used to prepare the field and now had to pursue the vision to make life better for the entire population, adding " we meant it and still mean it."

He said the Government would not use the power at its disposal to discriminate against Ghanaians on the basis of party politics but work for the betterment of the nation and pursue this commitment to unleash the wealth of the nation for the benefit of the people.

President Kufuor said the Government was not practising capitalism to the disadvantage of the citizenry but the concept of property-owning democracy was to fulfil some aspects of the basic necessities of humanity, food, shelter and clothing.

He told the Ministers that the first tenure of office was used to lay the infrastructure to unleash the abundant human and natural resources of the country and with the efficient and effective performance of the Government its mandate was renewed by the people.

President Kufuor said the second tenure of office would be used to consolidate the achievements of the previous term and build upon it, adding: "The people are aware of the development of the human resources and the private sector and these objectives would be tackled on the basis of good governance, which is the hallmark of our tradition and Government."

"You must know that you are not working for yourselves but are servants of the State, therefore, make sure you are not perceived as living above your 'masters who are the people' even though you might be capable of living as such in your private life", he said.

President Kufuor asked the Ministers to continue to be tolerant, stay on course and suffer the legitimate criticisms and as the work was sacrificial, live by example for the people and continue to suffer from due and undue criticism to continue with the work.

"If the criticisms go overboard to defame us, we must not individually begin to take action without consulting the Government legal system. If we individually take action, it will dent Government action and vision", he said.

Mr Joseph Henry Mensah, Senior Minister, on behalf of his colleagues thanked the President for the honour and confidence in them to serve the Government for a second term.

"Being in Government before had not been 'a bed of roses' but all of us are willing to lie on the bed of thorns to serve our country", he added.

Mr Mensah said the Government had given Ghana a leadership with service and quality that was remarkable in the service of the nation. The Senior Minister said the people expected constant progress and better governance and more economic ways of the use of the state resources as well as transparency in their work, adding "we look for guidance from you the President, the Vice President and friends who criticise us to improve on our performance."

He pledged that "with all honesty, humility and every strength of our bodies and minds we will serve your government in order that our political tradition will gain the reputation required." Present at the ceremony was Vice President Aliu Mahama.

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