President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reassigned two ministers of State with immediate effect.
The Minister of State at the Ministry of National Security, Mr Bryan Acheampong, has swapped positions with Mr Henry Quartey, the Deputy Minister for the Interior.
The reassignments, which took immediate effect, were announced by the Director of Communications at the Presidency, Mr Eugene Arhin, in a press statement issued yesterday morning.
“Mr Bryan Acheampong, MP, Minister of State at the Ministry of National Security, is now a Minister of State at the Ministry for the Interior.
“Mr Henry Quartey, MP, Deputy Minister for the Interior, is now Deputy Minister at the Ministry of National Security,” the statement said but did not provide reasons for the reassignments.
Emile Short Commission
The issue of clarity of roles between the Minister of National Security and the Minister of State at the National Security came up during the Emile Short Commission on the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence.
The Commission recommended the evaluation and reorganisation of the National Security Ministry and stressed the need for clarity on the responsibilities, roles, as well as reporting lines for persons appointed to serve in the ministry.
“The commission recommends that the President (Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo) should review and restructure the Ministry of National Security with a view to ensuring clarity of responsibilities and roles, as well as lines of reporting,” it said in its report.
The commission, which was unimpressed by the manner in which the said National Security operatives conducted themselves, suspected a clash of roles between the National Security Minister and the Minister of State in Charge of National Security at the Presidency.
The commission, in its report, advocated the role of the Minister of State in charge of National Security at the Presidency to be clearly delineated, with responsibilities indexed to that of the substantive sector minister.
“This should establish a clear chain of command and the circumstances under which he or she can act in the absence of the substantive minister,” it said.
This assertion was, however, shot down by the government in its White Paper.
However, responding to public concerns for an explanation on the swapping of roles in a radio interview yesterday afternoon, Mr Arhin insisted that this was not the first time in Ghana’s history a minister of State, for example, had been deployed to the Ministry for the Interior.
“We recall that on July 24, 2007, the then President of the Republic, Mr John Agyekum Kufuor, appointed Nana Obiri Boahen to that particular ministry (Interior) as a Minister of State, so this is not the first time,” he said in the radio interview with Accra-based Joy FM during the midday news which was monitored by Graphic Online.
Mr Arhin explained that his understanding was that the Ministry for the Interior would not be assigned a deputy minister as things stood now.
He explained that “he (Bryan) is just going there (Interior) to be assigned a specific role by the President or the substantive minister (Ambrose Dery) himself, so I don’t believe it is going to create any problems for us…. No problems were created while he was there at National Security; we don’t believe he is going to create any problem at the Ministry for the Interior with this new role he has been assigned by the President”.
Asked if Mr Acheampong would be working under the substantive Minister for the Interior, Mr Arhin said: “He is going to be assigned a specific role; normally that is what a Minister of State virtually does.”
“From my understanding, Mr Bryan Acheampong will be reporting to Mr Dery,” he added.
Mr Quartey, born on March 12, 1971, is the Member of Parliament for the Ayawaso Central Constituency in the Greater Accra Region.
Mr Acheampong is the Member of Parliament for the Abetifi Constituency and was born on November 27, 1972 in Suhum in the eastern part of Ghana. He hails from Nkwatia in the Kwahu East District.