Minister of Information, Mustapha Hamid
Minister of Information, Mustapha Hamid, says the tall list of people appointed as ministers in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government is part of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s agenda to bring Ghana on the path of economic progress.
He explained that the current government is determined to break bounds and achieve its stated goals.
“If we do it as business as usual, we cannot get the results we are all looking for. The president has said he wants to do things differently and let’s allow him to work and deliver. He is mindful of excessive spending. He is soliciting everybody’s support to make things happen for us all,” the minister averred.
He stated these at a news conference in Accra yesterday in reaction to criticisms that a total of 110 ministers, comprising 60 substantive ministers and 50 deputies, have been appointed by the president and parried claims that his move is counter-productive.
“As Minister of Information, I have the honour to update the media on the formation of the new government. The president has submitted a list of 54 ministers comprising four ministers of state and 50 deputy ministers to the Speaker of Parliament for the consideration of the Appointments Committee of Parliament,” he pointed out.
Mr Hamid said 46 substantive ministers, including 10 regional ministers, have already been cleared to work.
Admitting that the huge number of ministers would have a toll on the budget of the government, the minister said that President Akufo-Addo had made it clear that he requires what he called ‘strong and competent hands’ to fix the broken economy left behind by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.
Mr Mustapha Hamid asserted that President Akufo-Addo is being guided by ‘competence’ and ‘experience’ in the selection of his appointees.
According to him, the NPP never promised a lean government as being claimed and said, “It is not the leanness or bigness that determines output and overall performance.”
He said when President Kufuor was in office, he had what he called ‘a bigger’ number of ministers but performed far better than the NDC government which he said had ‘less number’ of ministers.
“I can decide to have only 10 ministers but they will end up looting the treasury and still have a tall list of ministers who will protect the public purse,” he noted.
The minister noted, for instance, that President Akufo-Addo has penciled Sarah Adwoa Safo, a deputy majority leader in parliament, as a Minister of State in-charge of Procurement to check the excess waste in the system, saying, “Procurement has been the biggest source of looting the national purse.”
He stated that “what the president is doing today is out of the ordinary. You will see it as unpopular but in the end Ghanaians will live to believe that the decisions have not been in vain. Leadership is about choices and President Akufo-Addo has to take this path.”
The minister lamented how the Ministry of Information building with other important equipment and materials had been left to rot by the NDC government, saying, “Precious materials which have national value have been lost due to neglect.”
By William Yaw Owusu