Prior to his appearance before the Appointments Committee of Parliament for scrutiny, during the official announcement of his nomination as Minister designate for Youth & Sports on the floor of the House, the Members of Parliament (MPs) chanted “no vetting, no vetting, no vetting”.It was an expression signifying their hope in the NDC MP for Anlo, Clement Kofi Humado that he can handle his newly assigned role effectively.

However, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for New Juaben North, Hackman Owusu-Agyemang,  on Wednesday cautioned the Minister designate for Youth and Sports, Clement Kofi Humado to “open his eyes” very well when he gets the nod as the substantive Minister, in order to avoid insidious forces that may work against him at the Ministry.

“I will urge you to open your eyes widely at the Ministry, when you get the nod”, the New Juaben North MP told Mr. Humado, when he appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Wednesday for scrutiny.

Before Mr. Owusu-Agyemang’s advice, NPP MP for Adansi Asokwa, Kobina Tahir Hammond had jokingly requested from Mr. Humado how many months he was going to spend at the Ministry, when he gets the nod, since on the average, Ministers that have been assigned to the Ministry of Youth and Sports since 2009 spend six months.

His submission was, however, ruled out of order by the Chairman of the Appointments Committee and First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho.

In his last comments to Mr. Humado, Deputy Majority Leader and former Minister of Youth & Sports, Rashid Pelpuo, also urged Mr. Humado to “use your head more than your heart in the Sports Ministry.”

A similar advice was reiterated by the Minority Leader and NPP MP for Suame, Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu after taking Mr. Humado through series of questions.

Their assertion connotes the fear of some ‘Mafia hands’ that may work against Mr. Humado, at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, since some substantive Ministers assigned by both sitting and previous governments, have had problems with some workers at the Ministry.
In the end, they are either re-assigned to a new post or are forced to resign. Some have had to face the law, for willfully causing financial loss to the state.

NDC MP for Asawase, Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka became the first casualty to bow out of this sitting government, after encountering problems at the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

He was quickly replaced by the NDC MP for Wa Central, Rashid Pelpuo who was later withdrawn by the President to take up the role of Deputy Majority Leader of Parliament.
The NDC MP for North Dayi, Ms. Akua Sena Dansua, at the time the national team, Black Stars was preparing for the FIFA Word Cup, which was staged in South Africa was brought in to fill the vacancy created by Mr. Pelpuo’s exit.

Now, the mantle of leadership at the Ministry of Youth and Sports has fallen on Mr. Humado, after Ms. Dansua was reassigned to the Ministry of Tourism.

Building of stadia Sharing his views about developing sports in rural communities, Mr. Humado said when given the nod as Minister for Youth and Sports, one of his priorities will be to ensure the construction of stadia in all the regional capitals and replicated at the various district capitals in the country.
Youth unemployment   Touching on the rise of youth unemployment in the country, an astute Humado said government alone should not be blamed, since it is a collective responsibility.
According to him, after speaking to the Coordinator of the National Youth Employment Program (NYEP), he realized that the NYEP cannot rely sole on the national budget for survival, an issue he said needed assistance from the country’s development partners and other institutions to be able to cut the rate of unemployment down.
Asked whether he would consider merging the National Youth Council, National Service Secretariat and the NYEP, since they all deal with youth employment in the country, Mr. Humado said merging the three institutions would demand huge resources to manage them since the NYEP have its own challenges in the areas of lacking proper legal backing, coupled with having no Board to manage its affairs. He was, however, diplomatic on the issue and opted for a gradual approach.

“Mr. Chairman, we need to progress steadily, but it will call for a gradual approach,” he noted.

IOC ban on Ghana With the issue of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ban on Ghana, Mr. Humado, promised to work hand-in-hand with his colleague workers at the Ministry of Youth and Sports and other relevant stakeholders to work extensively to eliminate the Legal Instrument of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) that infringes on the IOC regulations.

This, he believes, when done, will convince the IOC to lift its ban on Ghana.

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