NPP Communications Director Nana Akomea who criticised the former government for running a bloated administration has defended the NPP for doing even worse.
In a facebook post, Nana Akomea conceded the decision to appoint 110 ministers and deputies has disappointed Ghanaians.
But he believes if the government delivers on its ‘transformational agenda’, ‘the numbers will cease to be an issue’.
Nana Akomea in 2013 pulled no punches when he castigated the NDC government for appointing close to 90 ministers.
“The Ministers are too many, there’s no way they (the NDC) can explain this to Ghanaians. Ex-President Kufuor when leaving office had 82 ministers and that was criticized profoundly by the NDC. They promised a lean government in their manifesto but not abiding by that. Late President Mills had 86 ministers during his time, so after accusing President Kufuor of appointing a large number of ministers, they (the NDC) have exceeded what Kufuor did,” he said.
He further stated, “How can he (President) 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.
But 67 days into a new NPP government, the President has exceeded the previous size by 30%.
In his 4th ministerial list, President Akufo-Addo plans to add 54 more ministers of state and deputies to 56 others he nominated in previous three batches.
Critics say the government appears to be simply doling out jobs to loyalists when it should be protecting the public purse as it promised in the 2016 campaign.
There will be Minister of State at the Ministry of Agriculture and a Minister of Agriculture with three deputies. It does not end there as there is also a minister of Ministry of Fisheries And Aquaculture with a deputy.
Government has nominated a Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education along with Ministry of Education who will also have two deputies.
President Akufo-Addo has already created six new ministers without a bureaucracy – Monitoring And Evaluation, Special Development Initiatives, Business Development, Zongo and Inner City Development, Regional re-organisation, and Planning.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Communications Director has taken to social media in an attempt to justify the size of the President’s government.
There can be no doubt that president Akufo Addo’s government is the largest in the fourth republic. Numbers of ministers in all the previous administrations have never crossed 90. Even with that, there was always a clamour that the numbers were too large for a small poor country like Ghana.
Ghanaians, including political parties in opposition always called for trimming of ministerial numbers as part of general belt-tightening in a poor country and a show of leadership by example at the highest levels of government.
So for ministerial numbers to cross beyond the nineties into the hundreds will surely alarm and disappoint Ghanaians.
But there is also no doubt that president Akufo -Addo’s vision is the boldest and revolutionary of any president in the fourth republic. 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.
President Akufo -Addo believes he needs these numbers of appointees to deliver. For now, these numbers are an issue, and the concerns being raised about them are legitimate, a 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.