General News of Thursday, 16 March 2017
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has big dreams which likely played a factor in his decision to appoint an unprecedented number of ministers and deputy ministers to help him administer the country, Dr Isaac Owusu-Mensah, a senior lecturer at the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, has said.
According to him, just like in other jurisdictions, ministries are created to handle and deal with specific issues affecting the country, hence the new ministries created by the president are not out of place.
So far, Mr Akufo-Addo has appointed 110 ministers to help him govern the country for the next four years.
His critics, mainly from the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), have said the size of the government is too huge, which will cost the taxpayer too much money.
However, speaking in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom, on Accra100.5FM on Thursday 16 March, Dr Owusu-Mensah said: “The choice of the number of ministers depends on the vision of any government at any given time. If you have a big vision, the size of your government will be big; if you have a small vision the size of your government will be lean.
“Ministers are appointed to provide political direction about issues dear to that government or the president. As we speak, the United Kingdom has a minister responsible for Brexit. It did not matter the size of the government, they said they were going out of the EU and so they needed a minister to handle that.
“Akufo-Addo’s vision is big. In the history of Ghana this is the first time we are having a Minister of Planning. We used to have Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, but now we have a minister responsible for planning alone. We also have a Minister of Reorganisation and Development. These are two new ministries, and so it means there are so many areas in the country the president wants to ensure the right things are done.
“We also have a minister in charge of public procurement. In Ghana, one of the problems we are confronted with is public procurement and so to provide strong political direction against all the means people are using to steal from the state through procurement, he has provided a minister for that.”