Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Spio asks supporters to support Mills

Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, a leading member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has advised his supporters to exercise patience with the President's decisions and continue to support the Party, the President and his programmes, although he was not appointed a minister.
     He said, although many people seemed "quite consumed by the whole appointment process", what most Ghanaians expected of the NDC was for the Party to organise itself quickly to implement its campaign promises as contained in its Manifesto to alleviate the economic difficulties of the ordinary Ghanaian.
     "So, yes, appointments are important, but let us remember why people voted for us," the former education and communications minister said in a speech to a group of friends, NDC supporters and admirers at Heathrow Airport in London prior to his embarking on an official CTO mission to South Africa, Zambia and Nigeria. 
     According to a statement received from Friends of Spio-Garbrah, he was reacting to rumours that he had been sidelined by President Atta Mills.
     He acknowledged that he had received a lot of messages about what was going on in the appointment process, but thought that many did not fully understand the considerable pressure on the President at this very early stage in the government formulation process.
     He said all the available positions were reportedly keenly competed for, and he fully sympathised with the President's dilemma when faced with so many capable and talented people within the NDC who he needed to recognise in one way or another.
     Dr Spio-Garbrah said  with regard to the recent Ministerial appointments, he could think of more than 10 people, many of whom campaigned hard and made significant contributions to the election of President Mills, and who for one reason or the other were not appointed.
     He mentioned names such as Alhaji Huudu Yahaya, Mr Lee Ocran, Dr Tony Aidoo, Mr Edward Salia, Mr E.T. Mensah, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, Mrs Esther Lily Nkansah, Mr Martin Amidu, Mr Gideon Quarcoo, Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, Mr Kwamena Ahwoi, Mr Mohammed Iddi, Mr J.W. Agyekum, Dr Kwame Ampofo, Mr Alex Segbefia, Dr Ben Kumbour and a large number of sitting MPs as examples.
     He further explained that in making appointments, the President must balance various Constitutional requirements for many posts with issues related to qualifications and competences, ethnic and regional balance, previous ministerial experience, gender, loyalty, age, religion, and other factors.   
     Dr Spio-Garbrah appealed to his supporters and admirers all over Ghana and in various locations around the world, not to be disappointed or despondent over the fact that he was not appointed a Minister.
     He admitted that had he been appointed to the Foreign Ministry position, as had been widely speculated, he had already formulated various strategies by which he would have grabbed the world's attention to Ghana's demanding economic needs, at a time of a global economic crunch.
     Dr Spio-Garbrah cited his previous experience in the 1980s as an adviser to the governments of Indonesia, Morocco, Turkey, the Netherlands and Austria, with regard to their investment, exports, and tourism promotion strategies, as a key strength he would have brought to that job.
     Equally relevant, he thought, would have been his work at the World Bank, the African Development Bank, as well as in his current position.
     However, he stated that the President's nominee, Alhaji Mumuni, was an able man, and he had no doubt that he would discharge his duties commendably. 
      Dr Spio-Garbrah also indicated that the new NDC administration would face various tests with regard to the economy, and would be challenged in meeting the high expectations of the people with regards to social programmes.
      He referred to the serious state of the Ghanaian economy, as attested to by the World Bank and as is becoming evident daily through the various Transitional teams, with respect to considerable over-spending by the NPP government, high budget deficits, rising inflation and interest rates, the depreciation of the cedi, and the likely contraction of both imports and exports during the current year.
     The NDC leading member, who is also currently Chairman of the Social Sector Sub-Committee of the Transition Team, noted that his Committee, which had examined the work of some 10 Ministries and more than 50 agencies that operated under those Ministries, had a number of urgent recommendations it was making to government to stem some disturbing situations in some of those Ministries and agencies.

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