General News of Thursday, 16 March 2017
Former Information Minister, Nana Akomea although concedes that agitation over the number of the president’s ministers is legitimate, the clamoring would soon be overshadowed by the output of the ministers.
“There can be no doubt that president Akufo-Addo’s government is the largest in the Fourth Republic,” he acknowledged in a Facebook post.
Nonetheless, Nana Akomea pointed out, “For now, these numbers are an issue, and the concerns being raised about them are legitimate, expected, and in order, just as the NPP in opposition raised them.
If he indeed begins to deliver concretely on his transformational agenda, then the numbers will cease to be an issue.”
The president named a long list of 50 deputy ministers and four ministers of state on Wednesday that brought his ministerial appointees to unprecedented 110.
Government’s spokespersons have made strenuous attempts to justify the large number following public resentment. Mustapha Hamid, the substantive Information Minister who has been assigned three deputies suggested that the number does not matter in the scheme of things.
“Nowhere did we ever promise a lean government because in our view it is not the leanness or bigness of a government that determines its output or its ultimate performance,” he told journalists yesterday.
But Nana Akomea who is the New Patriotic Party’s Director of Communications admitted, “Numbers of ministers in all the previous administrations have never crossed 90.
Even with that, there was always a clamor that the numbers were too large for a small poor country like Ghana.” Noting that the number “will surely alarm and disappoint Ghanaians”, he however said President Akufo-Addo needed the 110 ministers to confront challenges bedeviling Ghana’s progress.
“There is also no doubt that president Akufo-Addo’s vision is the boldest and revolutionary of any president in the Fourth Republic,” he said as he mentions a tall list of promises made by the NPP-led government.
“The vision of one factory per district, comprehensive free SHS, comprehensive irrigation in the north, one million extra dollars per constituency, special prosecutor, etc., offers the country the real chance to industrialize, provide jobs to the teeming youth on a sustainable basis, move agriculture from peasant levels to real agric business, stabilise the cedi on a sustainable basis, aggressively meet the basic developmental needs of our deprived communities, tame inflation, tame corruption, and generally move this country onto the cherished new paradigm of progress and development.”
Nana Akomea in 2013 on Accra-based Asempa FM criticized the close to 90 ministers appointed by the Mahama government. He had argued that the number will drain the public purse. “How can he (Mahama) name six Ministers at the presidency alone? He (the President) should realign his ministers.
How do you tell teachers and doctors to tighten their belt if you have named close to 90 ministers. Ghanaians never benefitted from the previous ministers under Mills administration.
We are facing erratic power supply, rationing of water and no gas for the past years. What we need is institutional reform not appointing of ministers,” he said.