The approval followed the presentation of the report of the ACP, which recommended, by consensus, that the nominees be approved by the House because they had sufficiently satisfied the committee that they had the knowledge and experience to man the respective ministries.
The ministers designate are Hajia Alima Mahama, Local Government and Rural Development; Mr Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen, Trade and Industry; Mr Ken Ofori- Atta, Finance; Mr Ambrose Dery, the Interior; Ms Gloria Akuffo, Justice and Attorney-General; Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, National Security; Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Foreign Affairs, and Mr Dominic Nitiwul, Defence.
However, the reports on Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Senior Minister designate; Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister designate for Agriculture; Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, Minister designate for Education; Mr Boakye Agyarko, Minister designate for Energy, and Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu, Minister designate for Health, were not presented.
The Chairman of the ACP and First Deputy Speaker, Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, later told the Daily Graphic that there were some issues that needed documentary clarification from Mr Osafo-Maafo and Mr Agyarko.
He said the two nominees had submitted the documents and clarified the issues and had subsequently been cleared by the committee.
He said so far all the 13 nominees vetted by the ACP had been cleared and indicated that the committee would present the reports on the remaining five nominees to Parliament today for consideration, debate and possible approval.
In all, 36 people were nominated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as Ministers of State for consideration by Parliament.
President Akufo-Addo communicated to Parliament the nomination of 13 people for consideration, in accordance with Article 78(1) of the 1992 Constitution, and the nominations were subsequently referred to the ACP by the Speaker for consideration and report.
Presenting the report of the ACP, Mr Osei-Owusu said the committee referred to the 1992 Constitution, the Standing Orders of Parliament and the curriculum vitae of the nominees during its deliberations.
He said it published in the national newspapers the names of the nominees and notice of the committee's public hearing and also requested memoranda from the public in respect of the nominees.
The committee further obtained confidential reports on the nominees from the Ghana Police Service and the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), as well as their tax status reports from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
The debate was full of drama as the Majority and the Minority disagreed on some issues raised in connection with the past and the current governments.
The heated debate compelled the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, to shout 'Order! Order!’ to restore silence in the House.
The issue that generated the most heat was the reference by the MP for Asunafo South, Mr Eric Opoku, to the promise made by the then flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, in Nkoranza in the Brong Ahafo Region to the people of the region that an NPP government would pay customers of DKM and God is Love their money that was locked up at the financial institutions.
The Majority side demanded documentary proof and Mr Opoku referred to a Ghanaweb online report of November 26, 2016.
That generated repeated shouts of ‘DKM’ from the Minority and repeated responses of 'Who caused am?' from the Majority.
Issues of concern
The Minority raised some issues, including the number of ministers nominated and the duplicity of roles.
Wrapping up the statements from the Minority, its Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, gave an assurance that the Minority was ready to facilitate the vetting and approval process to allow the government to fully set up and work towards the delivery of public good.
However, he said the Minority was worried about the number of ministers and the implications on the public purse.
Besides, he said, there were some conflicts and duplications in the roles of some of the ministers.
Mr Iddrisu described Mr Kan-Dapaah as an affable gentleman and indicated that his (Mr Iddrisu’s) primary concern was about the protection of the rights of people.
He said Mr Ofori-Atta had a calm personality and was sober in terms of his demeanour, but indicated that the nominee’s decision to renegotiate the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme was worrying.
Mr Iddrisu said Mr Dery had an affable personality and added that Hajia Alima and Ms Akuffo showed content and depth in their responses, while Mr Nitiwul's performance would be a source of inspiration to the youth.
The Majority described the ministers designate as people with rich experience in government and Parliament who could play their respective roles effectively and efficiently.
The Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said the ministers designate had what it took to support the President to implement his transformational agenda.
He debunked the suggestion on the high number of ministers, saying the 1992 Constitution did not place any limitation on the number.
He said at the end of the day, the ministers should be able to raise the standard of living of the people.
Minister designate for National Security
Mr Kan-Dapaah was a Minister of the Interior in the Kufuor administration. He served as the MP for Afigya Sekyere West from 1997 to 2013 and was the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament from 2009 to 2013.
He told the ACP that he would work with his colleague ministers as a team towards promoting national security, while ensuring that his outfit became subservient to the authority of Parliament.
Justice Minister designate and Attorney-General
Ms Akuffo was a Deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice from 2001 to 2005; Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister from 2005 to 2006, and Minister of Aviation from 2006 to 2008, all in the Kufuor administration.
Her main message at the vetting was that she would push for the creation of the position of special prosecutor to handle corruption cases in the public service.
Minister designate for Trade and Industry
Mr Kyerematen was a Minister of Trade, Industry and Presidential Special Initiatives from 2003 to 2007; Ambassador of Ghana to the United States from 2001 to 2003 and Regional Director of Enterprise Africa from 1998 to 2001.
He indicated that the government was committed to the 'one district, one factory' policy and hinted that the first set of factories under the policy would come on board within the next six months.
Minister designate for Local Government and Rural Development
Hajia Alima was a Minister for Women and Children's Affairs, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry and Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development in the Kufuor administration.
Her main point at the vetting was her commitment to initiate the legislative process to allow for the election of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs).
Minister designate for Finance
Mr Ofori-Atta co-founded Databank Financial Services Limited where he worked as the Executive Chairman from 1990 to 2012.
He is currently the Chairman of Family Ventures and Offices Limited, a West African investment platform; Chairman of the Trust Bank (The Gambia) Limited, Chairman of Databank AgriFund Manager Limited and Director of the Bank of Kigali.
Mr Ofori-Atta defended the proposed tax reviews by the government, indicating that the intended tax reviews and abolition of taxes such as the five per cent VAT on real estate and 17.5 per cent VAT on financial services would not necessarily result in a reduction in revenues.
He said his ministry would not tolerate unwarranted sole sourcing of government contracts by ministries, departments and agencies (MMDAs).
Minister designate for the Interior
Mr Dery was the Upper West Regional Minister from 2005-2007; Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, from 2007-2008, and Deputy Minority Leader in Parliament from 2009 to 2012.
He gave an indication that the government would streamline the recruitment procedure into the security agencies to ensure thorough investigations into the backgrounds of applicants.
He said he intended to decongest the country's prisons and indicated that his office would push for legislation to support the decongestion exercise.
Minister designate for Defence
Mr Nitiwul has been the MP for Bimbilla from 2002 till date. He was the Deputy Minority Leader in the Sixth Parliament.
He indicated that the government was committed to increasing the allowances of Ghanaian soldiers on peacekeeping operations.
Minister designate for Foreign Affairs
Ms Ayorkor Botchway has been the MP for Anyaa-Sowutuom in the Greater Accra Region since 2013. She was appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2007 and Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry from 2007 to 2008.
She promised to promote the welfare of Ghanaians abroad.