Fishermen through their umbrella body, Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council have thrown their weight behind the Minister-Designate for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson for her to succeed.
They have described as “unnecessary and a misplacement of priority”, the media uproar following the nominee’s recent vetting by the Appointments Committee of Parliament.
According to them, President Nana Akufo-Addo nominated Hawa Koomson to head the Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Ministry because of her track record at the Special Development Initiatives Ministry and her ability to help solve the challenges confronting the fisheries sector.
In a statement issued yesterday, the group said, “As fishermen, our key concern and expectation is how the Minister-Designate intends to tackle niggling issues like Seiko, Light Fishing, the influx of foreign fishing vessels and the need for a foreign vessel to conduct scientific research among others. Thankfully, these and many more were addressed by her”.
Those who endorsed the statement included Nana Jojo Solomon, PRO, Ghana National Canoe
Fishermen Council (GNCFC); Nii Abeo Kyerekuanda IV, Executive Secretary, GNCFC; Nii Armah, President, Ghana Inshore Fishers
Association; Jacob Agerke President, Ghana Inland Fisheries Association; and Regina Solomon, National Association of Fisheries & Processors Association.
The rest were Seth Kedey President, GNCFC, Volta region; Nene Abayateye President, GNCFC, Greater Accra region; Nana Arthur Norman President, GNCFC, Central region; and Nana Odwiri President, GNCFC, Western region.
Read excerpts from the fishermen’s statement below:
We have taken notice of the media uproar which has greeted the recent vetting of the Minister Designate for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Hon. Mavis Hawa Koomson and wish to lend our voice as a primary stakeholder in the industry.
Following the vetting of the Minister Designate, Traditional and Social Media have been awash with commentaries that have largely dwelt on the subject of “English Proficiency”.
It is worth stating that the banal focus on English proficiency is misplaced and diverts attention from pertinent issues that arose from the exercise.
As fishermen, our key concern and expectation is how the Minister Designate intends to tackle niggling issues like Seiko, Light Fishing, the influx of foreign fishing vessels and the need for a foreign vessel to conduct scientific research among others. Thankfully, these and many more were addressed by her.
We share the sentiments of several well-meaning Ghanaians who have since the fallout of the vetting exercise opined that the mastery of English language is not necessarily a sign of competence.
The Hon minister designate, will definitely be working with technocrats and industry players who equally have the progress of the sector at heart. Accordingly, we encourage the media to set the agenda for a liberal conversation on how promises elucidated in the manifesto of the current government will be executed vis-à-vis the content of the vetting exercise.
In conclusion, we believe that the President, His Excellency, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who chose the effective outgoing Minister, Hon. Elizabeth Afoley Quaye has in his wisdom chosen the Minister Designate to fulfil his vision for the Fishing Industry; having assessed her competence on many fronts, including her performance as Member of Parliament for the Awutu Senya Constituency and Former Minister responsible for Special Development Initiatives.