The much-anticipated ministerial reshuffle turned out to be a fiasco with the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, opting for filling the vacant positions in the government as a result of the four Ministers of State, who have all resigned to either pursue their presidential ambitions, ill-health or over a scandal.
Many party insiders, especially National Executives of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and some Members of Parliament (MPs) have been expecting a decisive dismissal of some ministers from the government, particularly Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta and a complete reshuffle of those he wished to maintain, but have since been left confused.
Political analysts including Dr Richard Amoako Baah are of the view that, the President only filled the potholes and skipped the reshuffle because of his cousin Ken Ofori-Atta. They are of the view that he could not do a major ministerial reshuffle by touching every minister and omit the Finance Minister.
Dr Amoako Baah, a New Patriotic Party (NPP) stalwart and a Political Science Lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), criticized President Akufo-Addo over his new appointees, insisting that a change in ministerial appointment is not what is needed at this juncture of economic crisis.
Instead of reshuffling ministers, he believes the government should consider reducing its size, he said in an interview on Accra-based Joy FM hours after the announcement.
What appears to be a reshuffle is the movement of Herbert Krapa, a Deputy Trade Minister to the Energy Ministry as deputy minister to replace the Deputy Minister of Energy, Mohammed Amin Adam, who has been elevated as the Minister of State at the Finance Ministry to replace Charles Adu Boahen over the latest Anas’ secret video.
As required by the 1992 Constitution, the President yesterday wrote to the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, informing him of the new personalities in the government.
A tired Osei Bonsu Amoah alias OB Amoah, the MP for Akwapim South in the Eastern Region, who has been a deputy minister in two successive governments; Kufour and Akufo administration, has also been elevated to be the Minister of State at the Ministry of Local Government.
The MP for Adansi Asokwa Kobina Tahir Hammond alias KT Hammond, who for five years, has been left out of government yet has remained loyal, has finally been picked to replace Alan Kyerematen at the Trade and Industry Ministry, who resigned to pursue his presidential ambition.
Reports were that, the President wanted KT Hammond as Energy Minister with Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, moved to the Trade Ministry, but he threatened he will turn down the Trade Ministry job and become a full time MP. With the hung Parliament, the President was said to have felt threatened, fearing he might not always be in the House to have his bills passed with a bitter “Napo”.
The MP for Abetifi Constituency and former Minister of State at the National Security, Dr Bryan Acheampong, has also been nominated to head the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
Bryan Acheampong, who recently obtained PhD in Information Systems, will be replacing Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, who also stepped down from the Akufo-Addo government to pursue his presidential ambition.
Another person to join the government is a former Minister of Information in the Kufuor administration, Stephen Asamoah-Boateng. He was a Director-General of the State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA) becomes the new Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs.
Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, had resigned from the SIGA to take part in thenational chairmanship of race of the NPP which was won by Stephen Ayesu Ntim.
Mr Asamoah-Boateng, replaces Ebenezer Kojo Kum, who stepped down last week over ill-health.
MP for Nhyiaeso and former head of MASLOC, Stephen Amoah, has been nominated as a Deputy Trade Minister.
“What he [government] did [reshuffle] is not what is critical, that is not what is needed, we need reduction in numbers of appointees so that government expenditure goes down. Every action the President takes now must be in this line – reduction on expenditure,” Dr Amoako Baah stated.
He continued “the reason why the inflation is so high and we are not able to do anything is because of the fiscal policy of the government. We tend to talk about the monetary policy from the Bank of Ghana –that is not where it is, it is the fiscal policy. We are spending more money than taking in.”
According to Dr Baah, the only way to go is to cut down on the government’s budget, adding that when this is done, it will go a long way in helping in the debt restructuring programme.
He further called for the suspension of the government’s infrastructure development for a while.
He proposed that such development projects should be grouped according to the order of merit.
“We should group them from critical to normal and so forth, so we know which one to tackle first. Some projects we just started, suspend all of them…,” he said.