Mr Speaker, he must start well. As this House is meeting at this material moment, I believe the staff are unhappy and Hon Members themselves are unhappy because as Leader, he ought to have made adequate preparation for this extended Sitting of the House. [Laughter.] Therefore, as I wish him well -- he belongs to the category of MPs we would describe as the John Dingell of Michigan; Mr Speaker, not the name that you publicly detest to hear.
Mr Speaker, for many of our Colleague Members of Parliament, the Hon Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu and Hon Alban S. K. Bagbin remain an inspiration and mentor for many of you. We would have to ask these two Members how they did it, and how they survived it, even though I know that last minute, all of them normally, within their parties, are subjected to some unhealthy competitions unbecoming of a Leader.
Mr Speaker, if I proceed further, it would look as if I am securing my own future within my own party on this matter, so, we unanimously support the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs.
Mr Speaker, he would bring his huge experience, particularly to support the President in Cabinet even though it is not our wish and I believe not his personal wish; that he is added as a Cabinet Minister. This is because we do not want him to be controlled by the Executive directly. We would still want him under your watch. Therefore, the President and
Mr Speaker should take note that when the President is giving us Ministers with asterisks, we would expect that the Majority Leader would remain Leader of Government Business but partake in the business of Cabinet in some other capacity as a Minister of State.
Mr Speaker, we therefore, support him. He has parliamentary practice and procedure at his fingertips. We believe rightly that he would facilitate the work of Parliament and help Mr Speaker to succeed.
Mr Speaker, next to get my comment would be the Hon Prof. Gyan-Baffour, Minister-designate for Planning. He has headed the National Development Planning Commission already. He has been a Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry; Deputy Minister for Finance and I openly had to come out of my hiding to tell him that, anytime we debate budget and economic policy, with my few years in this House, he is among the few people I like to listen to because there is always depth and insight into his debate on matters of the economy and he has the passion to help the private sector.
I believe that within the National Development Planning Commission, he would make appropriate recommendations that allow Government to create an enabling environment for the private sector, and to allow the private sector to lead the process, particularly in addressing the growing unemployment in the country.
Mr Speaker, he was very candid with us that he does not believe in a long-term 40-year development plan. In his view, short medium terms which are achievable are what we should work out. As a much respected economist, I am sure he would bring his expertise on industrial relations to bear on it. This is because, like it or not, part of the thorns of this Government
would be how to manage the industrial atmosphere of the country once we have a relationship with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Mr Speaker, he was also very forthright with us on his thinking about the three- year external credit facility with the IMF and his view on zero per cent Bank of Ghana financing. He showed respect to this House that the international, multilateral and bilateral institutions must respect Parliament and the laws passed by Parliament.
Therefore, we recommend him strongly and unanimously, and by our Standing Orders by consensus that Prof. Gyan- Baffour be approved as Minister for Planning.
Mr Speaker, next will be the Hon Isaac Kwame Asiamah, Minister-designate for Youth and Sports. He is one of our young Colleagues who have been recognised by President Nana Akufo-Addo. He can learn from us; I am sure he still would have to moderate his temperament even as we engaged him, he was still trying to score points at the Appointments Committee level.
Mr Speaker, he should get to work and what Ghanaians want is the development of the lesser-known sports; more focus on the development of the local premier league in Ghana and to get Ghanaian players what they deserve in order to bring us glories. We should stop counting our glories of 1960 and 1980; and we trust that under his watch, Ghana would celebrate with some calm at the African Cup of Nations or probably at the World Cup.
Mr Speaker, he has a lot of work to do in terms of improving his relationship with the Ghana Football Association (GFA). Even though there is a rule against political interference, he represents the State in this
matter and he must bring some discipline to bear on what the GFA does. But to focus particularly on the development of basketball and boxing. I would refer him to collaborate with the legend Azumah Nelson, among others, so that we can develop more crown winning persons in that particular enterprise.
Mr Speaker, what abortion encouraged me with was his innovativeness to have a sports fund. In identifying the source of funding for it, he committed to it. We would track his progress on it and track how well he raises the money to support football administration.
Mr Speaker, we, by consensus, support his nomination as the Hon Minister for Youth and Sports.
Mr Speaker, let me just pass a brief comment on our Hon Colleague, Hon Mavis Hawa Koomson, the Hon Minister- designate for Special Development Initiatives, who was very brief with us.
Mr Speaker, she, at least, committed that she would be responsible for the President's One Million, One Constituency Project; except that she failed to tell us where the money would come from.
Mr Speaker, but we trust that she would work with the President to raise the needed money in order to bring it.
We also reminded her that the President has many other special initiatives; One Village, One Dam; et cetera. [Interruption]-- We would track the progress and implementation of that.
We would want to commend her and wish her well in that portfolio.