General News of 2014-07-22

There is a lot to be done – Prez Mahama charges

President John Dramani Mahama on Monday charged his ministers to roll up their sleeves and get to work, as there is a lot of critical and urgent work to be done. “Our people are tired of listening to fine talk, what they want to see is the deliverables that will make their lives better…I, therefore, call on each of you to hit the ground running with no time to waste,” he added.
President Mahama said this when he swore in 11 ministers and deputy ministers of state at the Flagstaff House, Kanda. The new appointees, who were vetted and approved by Parliament, comprised five ministers and six deputy ministers.
They are: Nii Osah Mills, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources; Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah, Minister of Health; James Zunga Tiigah, Upper East Region; Aquinas Tawiah Quansah, Central Region and Antwi Boasiako-Sekyere, Eastern Region. The deputies are: Dellah Sowah, Gender, Children and Social Protection; Victor Asare Bampoe, Health; Johnny Osei Kofi, Water Resources, Works and Housing; Alex Segebefia, Defence; Mona Quartey, Finance and Ato Sarpong, Communication.
President Mahama noted that the expectations of Ghanaians are very high and therefore urged the ministers to apply their expertise, knowledge and skills to help his administration to deliver on the promises made to the people. The President advised them to avoid any divisive, corrupt and disgraceful tendencies in the course of their duties and conduct their activities responsibly with the best interest of the tax payers at heart.
He said their primary focus should be to serve the people who elected him President in a modest, humble, diligent and efficient manner. President Mahama asked them to follow due process and learn to cut through bureaucracy and technocracy. Stressing on the need to inject a sense of urgency in their work, he said: “The clock that we (politicians) hear is different from the clock the civil servants hear…our clock is a four-year clock based on the mandate given to us by the people of Ghana."
The clock the civil servants hear is the clock ticking in respect of their retiring age of 60 years, they are, therefore, not as much in a hurry as much as you are,” he added, saying that ministers would come and go but the civil servants will remain. “You will be successful only if you form a team with them and let them also respond to the same four-year clock that you are listening to,” Mr Mahama stated.
President Mahama told the ministers that they are responsible for the agencies under their ministries and should, therefore, take interest in what they do. “Make sure they exercise prudence in the use of national resources. I will hold you responsible for their acts of omission or commission,” he cautioned. In carrying out their duties, he said the ministers should ensure they protect the fundamental human rights and freedoms, of all Ghanaians, irrespective of their religion, political opinion, colour, creed or gender.
President Mahama gave the assurance that all efforts would be made to protect national values and traditions, including the protection and preservation of the social order, founded on the ideals and principles of freedom, equality, justice, probity and accountability. “It is the ethical and moral responsibility of every society to protect its most vulnerable people including the aged, orphans, persons with disability and the mentally challenged,” President Mahama noted.
He called on the ministers to ensure that the vulnerable are protected and also given opportunities to contribute meaningfully to national progress. "Always remember that it is a privilege to be called to serve your people in whom all sovereignty lies. I urge you to go out and deliver,” President Mahama said. Dr Agyemang-Mensah on behalf of his colleagues thanked the President for the confidence reposed in them, conceding that though the task ahead is not going to be rosy, they would work assiduously to bring to fruition, the Better Ghana agenda.
Source: GNA
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