General News of Friday, 17 March 2017
Explanations offered by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo that he needs all the 110 Ministers and Deputies he has appointed to fix the huge problems facing the country are not convincing, Sulemana Braimah, Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), has said.
The President, in an interview with the Daily Graphic and Ghana Television to parry criticism about the size of his government, the biggest in the fourth republic, said: “I don’t believe that my government in the Fourth Republic has big numbers in view of the swollen challenges.”
According to him, the problems facing Ghana are huge, thus his need for all those he has appointed to fix the country.
“We have a problem and what is the best way? It is better to have men and women capable of serving the nation’s interests and to work to grow the economy… If I succeed, you will soon find out the brouhaha is nothing compared to the success,” President Akufo-Addo said to justify his 110 ministers
“I don’t believe that any government in the fourth republic has inherited the challenges that my government has inherited.
“We are talking about a country with a 74 per cent GDP-to-debt ratio, a GHS2.4 billion debt overhang in the energy sector, persistent decline in growth rate, lowest rate of 2.6 per cent growth rate in the agricultural sector over the past 20 years, widespread unemployment, the major issue of corruption and the persistent leakage of revenue in our system.
“We need the cooperation of my party and my country that will allow me to deal with all these issues and already the signs are that this government, in spite of these huge challenges, has begun to put some order in the circumstances of our country.”
However, speaking in an interview with Accra News on Friday 17 March, Mr Braimah said: “The state gives them free car, free fuel, police guards, and a lot of other benefits, and so we knew people would scramble to become ministers, but we thought the President would be firm in his appointment and indicate that given the fragile nature of the economy, they were not going to waste taxpayer’s money by making more appointments.
“I am not convinced by the explanations that are being given that the country needs 110 ministers. I don’t think this is what we expected. The president’s explanation is just an attempt to find something to justify something that obviously cannot be justified.”