Appointing 110 ministers a bad idea, it’s unjustifiable – Kofi Bentil

Vice president of policy think tank IMANI Ghana, says the appointment of 110 ministers by President Akufo-Addo is unacceptable and disappointing.

Mr Kofi Bentil said if the intention is to make the civil service more productive, then the solution certainly does not lie in employing more ministers.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, he said, adding numbers only increases cost, but does not guarantee an enhanced productivity.

“If the head of the civil service is not doing their job, sack him and get somebody else there. If the director is not doing his job, remove him and put someone else there.

“You cannot replace these people with a series of ministers who are more expensive,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo on Wednesday released the final list of ministerial nominees. The list included 50 deputy ministers and four ministers of state at the presidency.

The list brings the President’s appointment to a total of 110 ministers, the highest in the country’s history.

Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid said the numbers are to assist the President pursue an ambitious development agenda.

He added that 110 ministers and deputies is the second largest after president Kufuor and yet “everybody knows the record of Kufuor’s government”.

But this only infuriated Ghanaians who took to social media to express frustration.

In Mr Bentil’s view, the rationalization provided by the Information Minister amounted to insulting the intelligence of Ghanaians.

“You don’t tell me that the economy is bad and you have a huge job to do because of that you have to pile an army; then all 27 million of us might as will be ministers.”

For him, it does not make sense for the government to say all these people are needed in order to run the country effectively.

Indeed, it is self-defeating if you say you’re competent and you have to multiply numbers, he said.

“Because if you’re competent, you will not need those numbers So which ever way you look at it, this is a bad idea.

“You never need three deputies anywhere if people are going to work. There are chief directors, directors and all kinds of people in place.”

He said in the end, all government will end up doing is spending a huge chunk of revenue on emoluments when there are sectors of the economy in dire need of funds to operate.

“For years now the Ghana Health Service has not had enough money for capital expenditure, everything goes into salaries…the point is clear, there is no good way to justify this.”

Mr Bentill said the only way the appointments can be justified is for the appointees to show good performance in the future.