General News of 2014-08-14

I can’t save Mahama - Spio-Garbrah

Minister of Trade-designate, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, has confessed that he has ‘no magic wand’ to save the Presidency of John Dramani Mahama.

The former education minister under the Rawlings administration intimated at his vetting in Parliament yesterday that supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who had thought his inclusion in the Mahama administration as the solution to the problems of the government should perhaps look somewhere for an answer as he is not going to do anything extraordinary to save the presidency.

Instead, he will ‘implement existing programmes and policies’ put forth by the President and the various ministers who had worked at the trade ministry.

Policies of the NDC spelt out in the party’s manifesto with regard to the trade ministry, he added, would also be included when he is approved as the substantive minister for the ministry.

Dr. Spio-Garbrah, who described himself as a man with nearly forty years management experience, said what he was going to do at the ministry was to provide the leadership and the urgency needed in achieving the various policies put forth other than playing a one-man orchestra.

President John Dramani Mahama as part of beefing up his administration and securing power for the NDC in 2016 selected certain ‘experienced boys’ from the leadership of the NDC in his recent reshuffle to help save his administration.

And the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Network was considered to be a major player in this to take over from Haruna Iddrisu, who is now at the Employment and Labour Relations Ministry.

He told the parliamentary committee chaired by the first Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Ebo Barton Odro, that he will rather do his best to roll out the numerous programmes of the government and the ministry.

Asked to explain an article which he published in the Daily Graphic of September 2009, in which he criticised the late President John Mills for selecting Team B Ministers at the expense of experienced Team A former ministers from the Rawlings administration, Dr. Spio-Garbrah said he did not really have negative intentions in that write-up.

He added he was only putting forth the views of the public on the selection of ministers.

Hence, he apologised for the comments and whatever problems it caused the NDC.

According to him, he was more than qualified for the job of the minister since he is qualified to be an MP and has also fulfilled all constitutional obligations.

He also promised to work to promote various industries including the textile industry, agriculture and all others needed to salvage the sinking economy.

With agriculture, the incoming trade minister said, he would promote the interest of the youth in the industry and encourage the nation visits the Operation Feed Yourself policy introduced by I.K Acheampong.

Ensuring employee safety in the manufacturing sector, he added, was part of his programmes for the sector.

Dr. Spio-Gabrah was accompanied by chiefs and other sympathisers including members of the NDC.