The Ministerial nominee for the newly-created National Security ministry, Alfred Kan-Dapaah appeared before the Parliament’s appointment committee on Friday, 20th January 2017. The National Security ministry, according to president Nana Akufo-Ado was created in order to improve Ghana’s security and freedom.
During his session, the former minister for Energy explained why the National Security ministry was pertinent to the government while highlighting what would be his core focus areas.
Mr. Kan-Dapaah was also subject to scrutiny as a result of a memorandum submitted to the the parliament which alleged that during his ministerial tenure with the Kufour-led government he had declined to thwart a cocaine haul that was heading to the country.
Kan-Dapaah was careful to give his responses with verbal brevity and conciseness.
Kan-Dapaah’s Ministerial Vetting: Role of a National Security Minister And Focus Areas
Mr. Kan-Dapaah explained that with regards to security, the National Security ministry would help boost the government’s capability to become accountable. He said that his ministry would take particular interest in eradicating the menace of illegal mining and post-election violence, the later which has been on the increase in recent years.
His words read;
“As we go along, we should find a way of stopping such behavior [as the post-election distrubances] and I think the creation of a Ministry for National Security will then enable the ministry and the secretariat to be more accountable to the people of Ghana because we have to report to Parliament this time.”
Mr. Kan-Dappah went on to describe the corrupt practice of illegal mining as one of the major security challenges faced by the country and that the government should develop a feasible plan that can permanently eradicate its practice.
Kan-Dapaah’s Ministerial Vetting: Cocaine Haul Matter
The memorandum submitted by a member of the general public to the appointment committee, alleged that Mr. Kan-Dapaah as Minister of Interior had willfully refused to use his powers to thwart an incoming cocaine-carrying ship to the nation.
Also included in the memorandum was a Wikileaks report by a certain agent John King who said that when Kan-Dapaah was notified of the cocaine issue he became “dismissive and irritated”.
In response, Kan-Dapaah explained that technically, he had not officially been appointed to post when the ship reached the shores of Ghana.
He pointed out that while the ship was docked in the country on the 3rd of May 2006, his appointment came on the 5th of May, 2006 and that it took him over one week to assume full control of his role. Therefore, holding him accountable for issues that arose during that period is illogical.
Kan-Dapaah said that moreover, his post as Interior Minister meant that his duty with the Narcotics Control Board (NCOB) was only administrative excluding involvement with operational matters.
While he admitted to speaking with Wikileaks agent John King, Kan-Dapaah refuted his claims that he became “dismissive and irritated” explaining that he was only defending his actions and decisions.
“The agent was aware that my role as minister of the interior was such that I wouldn’t be involved in the operational matters…and he made his point strongly. In an equal manner, I also made my point strongly. I said to him that I did not share his view as far as it related to him.
I really don’t understand how he thought I was irritated and dismissive. If making my views known to him is what he calls dismissive then I disagree.”
In addition to the on camera session, an in camera session concealed from the media was also held where more sensitive security issues were discussed.
What We Know About Mr. Alfred Kan-Dapaah
Albert Kan-Dapaah was born on 14 March 1953. An Ashanti, he hails from Maase-Boaman. He studied Accountancy at the Institute of Professional Studies (IPS), Legon. He furthered his knowledge on the field at North East London Polytechnic, London and at Emile Woolf College of Accountancy to become a professional chartered accountant.
He served as an Audit Senior at international accounting firm Pannel Kerr Forster in their Monrovia, Liberia and London, UK offices. On returning to Ghana, in 1987, he became head of Audit at the Social Security and National Insurance Trust. Beginning from September 1987, he had a 6 year stint at Electricity Company of Ghana as the Director of Finance.
Subsequently adding politician to his repertoire, Kan-Dapaah with his longtime party NPP won the Afigya-Sekyere seat at the 1996 parliamentary election. He served as the Minority Spokesman on Mines and Energy. Following Kufuor’s victory at the 2000 presidential election, Kan-Dapaah was appointed the Minister for Energy. In a later cabinet reshuffle, he became Minister for Communications and Technology and in Kufuor’s second term, Minister for Interior.
Since leaving parliament in 2012, Kan-Dapaar has been a part-time lecturer in Auditing at the University of Professional Studies, Accra.