spio President John MahamaSpio and President John MahamaPresident John Dramani Mahama has sworn in Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah as the new Trade and Industry Minister. This follows a Parliamentary approval on October 2, after the Appointment Committee gave him the all clear.

Dr Spio-Garbrah has come under intense criticism from members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) over comments he made in an article written in 2006 describing the late President John Mills’ Ministers as ‘team B.’

AFAGs protest also follows accusations from theMinority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, that Spio-Gabrah lied to the Appointment Committee during his vetting.

 

But President Mahama went ahead on Thursday to swear him at a short ceremony at the Flagstaff House, ushering in the new Trade and Industry Minister.

President Mahama charged Dr Spio-Garbrah to coordinate Ghana’s efforts to transform the structure of the economy.

He said, “We are looking to add more value to our exports. We are looking to create more innovative means of generating revenue, putting up people to work, expanding industry and manufacturing. We’ve reached the stage where economic relations in the world are changing….But I’m sure that you are acquainted with all these developments, already knowing the rich background and experience that you have in terms of the work that you have done in the past.”

Dr. Ekow Spio-Garbrah also assured the President that he will put in his optimum best to ensure the realization of the nation’s goals.

SPIOThe Sunyani East Member of Parliament says the circumstances surrounding the marathon vetting of Trades Minister-designate Ekwow Spio Garbrah is a simple lesson to all politicians-“Don’t open your mouth too wide.”

Kwasi Ameyaw Kyeremeh is convinced the nominee was forced to eat back his own words in what significantly will pass for the longest ever vetting session in the country’s democratic history.

Dr Garbrah was taken through his preparedness for his new job; his opinion on the Economic Partnership Agreement; the country’s depreciating cedi amongst others.

But the underlying refrain in the almost six-hour vetting was a comment made by Dr Spio Gabrah in a feature he wrote to Daily Graphic questioning the quality of appointment by the late president John Mills.

In that feature Dr Garbrah described Mills’ appointees as Team B and wondered why the Team A was left sitting on the bench.

That comment came back to haunt him as some MPs decided it was time for revenge.

Baba Jamal wondered how the nominee will now relate to the same ministers he had early on described as Team B.

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa wanted to find out how the nominee who used to be the Communications Minister with John Mahama as Deputy, will now relate to the same person who is now the president.

In all, Dr Garbrah was calm and eloquent; forced to apologise all over again for a feature he said had been misconstrued and misinterpreted.

Speaking to Joy News after the vetting, the MP for Sunyani East Kwasi Ameyaw Kyeremeh said Dr Gabrah was largely “evasive” in his answers.

He said Dr Garbrah was “running away”  from his earlier comment because he is now “benefitting from an appointment.”

He said once the minister had apologised there was no point to belabour the issue except to say that as politician you don’t have to open our mouth too wide.