The Minister-designate for Energy, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, popularly known as Napo, has responded to criticisms of a ‘crude’ comment he was accused of making about former Education Minister, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang in early 2017.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Manhyia South who is the Minister of Energy-designate said on Friday he “regrets” his description of Prof. Opoku Agyemang as “a disgrace to education”, adding that with the benefit of hindsight “I am sure the words I used are harsh and I do apologise for it.”
Taking his turn at the Appointments Committee of Parliament to be vetted, Dr. Prempeh also withdrew a comment he made against ex-President John Mahama after accusing him of busing people to the Independence Square, Accra, and paying them to feign collapse during the Senior High School (SHS) placement.
“The information that I relied on, the sources I will not be able to bring to this House and that is why I cannot prove it,” he said, adding “I actually said that I would use different words and I do regret. If those words I used hurt him, I withdraw and apologise to him.”
On Prof. Agyemang, the nominee explained that his predecessor had infuriated him by claiming that the government’s Free SHS programme was something to “hoodwink Ghanaians” because it was not captured in the 2017 budget, prior to the launching of the policy.
“Immediately after the launching of the Free Senior High School, she had gone back on air to say that Free Senior High School was started by her with Progressive Free Senior High School. And it is in that context that I said that former Ministers were not coming after their successors because if I go through her handing over then she is a disgrace to education,” he explained.
Napo added “that phrase was not on Prof. Naana Opoku Agyemang’s person at all. I had never said anything against her person, but that same phrase I have used about three times. So when you look at the context of this then she is a disgrace to education. I used it on her tenure.
“I did say that when I look into her handing-over notes, apart from what had happened because my statement was that if you started Free SHS then why were you asking me to append a policy document. That was it,” he posited.
He also responded to criticisms of his acceptance of a Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) scholarship in 2016.
He said on Friday he did no wrong since MPs also qualify for such grants, saying, “Mr. Chair, members of this house …in fact the GETFund Administrator at that time did a press conference on this and said that he did not want to mention names. He did it for both sides of the House.
“On that particular course, I went with another member who was in the (NDC) Majority side. I do not regret. It was not done for me alone, and getting the same opportunity I will do it again.”
He said “the GETFund has so established that the allowance was not $12,000 as was said. He did a whole press conference that the House can access. It is not true on those prices.”
Source: Modern Ghana