Akufo-Addo’s ‘obese’ gov’t defeats small civil service argument – Ayariga

The Bawku Central Member of Parliament (MP) says President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has set a bad precedent with his unprecedented 110 Ministers and deputy Ministers.

Mahama Ayariga said the President’s action defeats calls for the civil service to be downsized for efficiency.

Contributing on Joy FM/MultiTV’s news analysis programme Saturday, the MP said although President Akufo-Addo’s huge government does not breach the Constitution, it is politically wrong.

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The President has defended his decision to appoint 50 deputy Ministers and four (4) Ministers of State to augment the already approved 36 Ministers. This brings the number of government appointees to 110, the highest in the history of the country.

Reaction to his appointments has been overwhelmingly negative with sections of Ghanaians describing him as ‘insensitive.’

But in a recorded interview with state-broadcaster, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), the President said his ‘elephant’ size government might not matter after the economy begins to boom.

“We have a problem,” he said, adding the only way the country would be better served is by having on board the “men and women capable of working to save the situation.”

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“If we can grow our economy [the issue of cost] will be a little drop in the ocean,” he said.

But Mr Ayariga said the President should be minded that the “character of government machinery has evolved.”

He explained from 1992, the various Ministries have been given Commissions and Boards to aid them in policy decisions.

This was done to lessen the work of Ministers, he said.

Singling out the appointment of a Minister of Education in charge of Tertiary Education, the legislator said it was needless considering there are several agencies under the Ministry.

NPP Deputy Communications Director, Mike Ocquaye Jnr

“If you take the Education Ministry, there is the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) that helps the Ministry in the area of tertiary education,” he said. The President is creating a parallel structure, he added.

“So I can show you from ministry to ministry that a layer of commissions have been established directly under Ministers to be able to deliver on their promises.”

Deputy Communications Director of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mike Ocquaye Jnr, said the President’s decision is a matter that needs to be handled with “great care.”

He said when former President John Kufuor attempted to address the challenges facing the country in 2001, he also chose a “huge team” to help him achieve his dream.

“Ghana has a big problem,” Mr Ocquaye Jnr noted, adding President Akufo-Addo should be given the opportunity since he is in charge of issues.