Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who has been promoted as a substantive Minister of Information, taking over from Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid has expressed gratitude to President Akufo-Addo for reposing confidence in him to lead government communication.
He has subsequently given the hint that getting government information out there, on time, and to the people who must hear it in good time, will be his priority.
In a radio interview on Accra based Joy FM, Thursday evening reacting to President Akufo-Addo’s first ministerial changes that saw him elevated from the position of deputy Minister to a substantive Minister, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said he was humbled.
“I will thank his Excellency the President, for the confidence that he has reposed in me and for the new challenge that he has given me,” he said.
Oppong Nkrumah and Evans Opoku Bobie, Member of Parliament for Asunafo North constituency and former deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, are two deputy ministers who got promotion in the reshuffle affecting a total of 15 ministers
Evans Opoku Bobie is now Brong Ahafo Regional Minister designate.
Oppong Nkrumah is also the Member of Parliament for Ofoase Ayirebi in the Eastern Region, and will face a parliamentary vetting for approval or otherwise.
Touching on his priority for the Information Ministry, he said in the last one year, under the leadership of Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, they developed a strategic plan which they have been following, because the ministry had been collapsed by the previous administration.
“We had to virtually get the ministry back on its feet, physically rebuild some of the structures and put in place some of the operational models that are helping us to do what we have done so far.”
“Now there is a lot of work on that strategic plan that we have to complete and as I take over, I will simply be following that programme and working to deepen the exercise of getting government information out there, on time and to the people who must hear it in good time as well,” he said.
Responding to the revelation by Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid that he personally recommended his appointment, Oppong Nkrumah said: “I think if you would recall during the transition, from the previous administration to this administration, the honourable Mustapha Abdul-Hamid was the first spokesperson for the transition but it was just around the time he was completing his PhD, and he had to go back to Cape Coast University to complete his work, so indeed that was where it started.”
“That was the first time he called me and asked me to come over and (he) explained the challenge and introduced me to the job and he left and went back to school,” he added.
“That was the first time our relationship started and it was a good relationship despite what people speculated but eventually when he was named as minister and asked to choose a deputy, again, he asked the President that he wanted to work with me and I remember him taking me to lunch and taking me through what he thought we could do to complement each other at the Ministry of Information,” he said.
Adding, he said “Over the last one year and some months, we have had a fantastic relationship at the Ministry, myself, my colleague Nana Ama, Perry Okudzeto and the Minister, we have had a fantastic relationship, he has taught all of us particularly political communication, because we all have our styles, he has guided us to take certain paths that helped to get the message out and today I’m humbled that I’m asked to step in his feet, to lead the charge in government communication and it’s a job that I assure the President, I will do my very best at,” he said.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah explained that “the culture of learning” and putting himself to the task any given day has been his main focus and was hoping to continue to learn some more in his new role and deliver accordingly.
“I think what has happened and what I always do wherever I find myself is to learn. When I had the opportunity to work at Joy FM, I had not worked in radio before, but I had to bury myself and learn from the Kofi Owusus and the Sammy Yirenkyis and Bennet Frimpongs, Matilda Asantes, I had to learn from them and this role too, I have to learn.”