Hawa Koomson lacks knowledge of Fisheries Sector-CSO



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The Programmes Manager at Friends of the Nation (FON), a Civil Society Organisation, Mr Kojo Kyei Yamoah, has expressed disappointment in the performance of the Minister of Fisheries Designate, Hawa Koomson at her vetting.

According to him, the Organisation was expecting to know if the Minister Designate has a clue of the challenges bothering the Fisheries Ministry and how she plans to address them but unfortunately, she did not give them what they expected from her.

Speaking with Ekourba Gyasi on Atikna TV’s morning show, Ghana Nie, Mr Yamoah said Hawa Koomson did not even mention her vision for the sector, adding that she lacked knowledge of the sector.

Hawa Koomson who is the Member of Parliament for Awutu Senya East Constituency was the Minister for the Special Development Initiatives Ministry which was created by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his first term.

However, she was named by Akufo-Addo to represent the Fisheries Ministry pending approval by the Appointments Committee.

The MP received a lot of backlash after her vetting, as most people took to social media to register their disappointment in her performance.

Despite the backlash, some people also took to social media to condemn those who made fun of her performance, claiming she should be approved based on her competences and not her English.

Reacting to her performance, Mr Yamoah said,”We were expecting to see the vision the Minister Designate has for the Fisheries sector. She should have also made us know what she can do to address the many challenges confronting the Fisheries Ministry when she comes because fishing has helped a lot of people. Over 10 percent of Ghanaians, ie over 3 million Ghanaians benefit from fishing so it is not a small job.”

He added that,”We know that she is from a fishing community and so we were expecting that she would have heard about our challenges so that she will come and give us some directions she will take when she comes, but we did not see it like that in terms of the interview, and we are very much worried.”

He said the organisation were expecting her to mention how she plans to tackle illegal unregulated fishing, Saiko and others which are great challenges confronting the sector.

Mr Yamoah also said Hawa Koomson’s response wasn’t satisfactory when she was asked about the policy direction for females in the sector.

“When she was asked about fish landing sites, the answers did not come. It looked like she had little knowledge of the sector and it is worrying,” he said.

However, he said they were not concerned about the English Hawa Koomson spoke, saying that she had time to gather enough information about the Ministry when she was nominated, so that they will know that she is well prepared for the Ministry but she did not.

When asked whether Hawa Koomson should be qualified or not, Mr Yamoah said,” We do not have the power to say she should be qualified or not, but it will be prudent for parliament to help us on that.”

He stressed that,”Article 78 of the constitution states that if the President nominates someone, it is parliament that approves. Her performance was not satisfactory and so we want to see parliament stand firm on this, so that it does not look like rubber stamp, so that people will know the importance of vetting.”

He again said they cannot tell what parliament should do, adding that if parliament becomes firm over the approval of Hawa Koomson, it will serve as a deterrent to those who come for vetting without preparing.

Ghana| Atinkaonline.com| Porcia Oforiwaa Ofori