The Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council (GNCFC) has mounted a strong defence for the Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Minister-designate, Mavis Hawa Koomson following the uproar on social media during her vetting.
Social media users and some citizens were of the view that the Minister-designated lacked one of the basic tools, that is, “her English proficiency” which she will need to head the Fisheries Ministry.
But in a statement issued on Tuesday, the Council described the attack as unnecessary and a misplaced priority.
According to them, as primary stakeholders in the Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministry, they are looking out for a leader who will find lasting solutions to their major concerns and not necessarily the vocabulary the leader wields.
“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 statement read.
Also, the Council indicated that there are enough learned people with good English proficiency at the Fisheries Ministry, as such, should Madam Koomson be approved by the Parliament’s Appointments Committee, she will have their support.
The Council further acknowledged the achievements chalked by the Awutu Senya East MP when she was the Special Development Initiatives Minister.
In their view, Madam Koomson will solve the challenges faced by stakeholders in the sector.
“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.
“We believe that the President, His Excellency, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who chose the effective outgoing Minister, 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.”