Over His Elephant-Size Government
President Akufo-Addo, has rubbished criticisms over the size of his government, saying the unprecedented problems confronting Ghana, demand a large government, hence his decision to have 110 Ministers, as well as heads of departments and agencies under the ministries.
“I don’t believe that my government in the Fourth Republic, has big numbers in view of the swollen challenges,” the President said in an interview with the Daily Graphic and Ghana Television.
Despite drawing, widespread criticism, with the appointment of 110 ministers and deputies, in President Akufo-Addo’s view is, the end will justify the means, as he assured that his government was going to work for the people.
“We have a problem, and what is the best way? It is better to have men and women capable of serving the nation’s interests and to work to grow the economy… If I succeed, you will soon find out the brouhaha is nothing compared to the success.”
The Centre for Democratic Governance, (CDD) and several other civil society organisations and experts, have said there was no guarantee President Akufo-Addo’s large government, would translate to the realization of his transformational agenda.
President Nana Addo, reiterated his commitment to protect the public purse.
This promise comes at a time when Ghanaians are questioning the President’s commitment to cut down on excessive spending after appointing some 110 ministers to serve in his government.
But speaking to Abdul Moomen of GTV, the President, said government had already kick-started processes, including a directive for Ministers to declare their assets to check profligacy.
“We want a situation where political office holders are the first to recognize that they serve the public interest not their own personal interest. I have said it time again that those of my party in adherence, like-minded people, who think that coming into the public sector is going to be an avenue for making money are going to be disappointed. To the extent that my eyes and ears can see what is going to happen, I am not going to allow it to happen. For instance, as we sit today, in the record time, all the first appointments that I made have all declared their assets, all 36 Ministers have all declared and filed their assets with the Auditor General.”
“It is part of the process of reassuring the Ghanaian people of the commitments that we made to protect the public purse. The commitments that we made to ensure that we live with the political system that minimizes corruption which has really ravaged our country and brought us to this low level of economic decline, there is going to be a systematic attempt to deal with it.”
The CDD, had said President Akufo-Addo had set a negative record for Ghana with his huge number of ministerial appointees.
In a Citi News interview, the Head of Research and Programs at the CDD, Dr. Franklin Oduro, said the large government size could present Ghana with additional problems, and suggested that the decision may not have been well-thought through.
“There is no doubt that there was some basis in which the president considered making those appointments, but it is also important to note that, there is no evidence to suggest that by appointing such large numbers, they are able to solve the problems that the president is talking about,” Dr. Oduro said.
“We haven’t thought about the potential of inefficiencies, improper coordination and the impact that it might have on the bureaucracy which is already weak, and also the cost that it would add to the national purse. In all of this, we have to weigh the pros and cons.”
“There are also concerns, in our view, with duplication in terms of some of those appointments, the potential for conflict and improper coordination and also the effect it might have on the bureaucracy and even on parliament,” Dr. Oduro said.