The Center for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana criticized here Thursday what it described as “the obscene number of ministers” appointed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his government.

Akufo-AddoIt said appointing such a huge number of ministers, which has already generated severe public backlash for the government flies in the face of a promise by the president to protect the public purse.

President Akufo-Addo announced here on Wednesday 50 deputy ministers as well as four new ministers of state bringing the total number of ministerial appointments to 110, with Finance, Information as well as Energy having three deputy ministerial nominees.

“CDD-Ghana considers this move and the obscene number of ministers a wrong one for several reasons: First, it would represent the largest ministerial team assembled by any president/head of state of Ghana since independence. In addition, it also sets a negative record for a country infamous for its oversized ministerial teams,” a statement issued by CDD fumed.

Arguing further its disagreement with the size of government the democratic institution used examples of countries around the world with their smaller sizes of government which rather deliver value-for-money.

“The United States, a larger and more economically and financially complex country has approximately 46 ministers. Similarly, India, a country of some 1.3 billion has 75 ministers,” CDD observed, debunking arguments that the large-sized government would help in delivering the promises made by the president during the electoral campaign of 2016.

The appointments according to the institute betray inadequate sensitivity to the weak fiscal condition of the country as it flies in the face of the President’s promise to protect the public purse, adding: “It is difficult to see how appointing such a large number of ministers, who will all be on ministerial salaries and benefits, can possibly amount to the promise of protecting the public purse.”

The previous government of John Dramani Mahama left office with a total of 78 ministers, while the late President John Evans Atta Mills had 69 ministerial appointments.

Former President John Agyekum Kufuor who led Ghana between 2001 and 2009 had 88 ministers while in office, while his predecessor, Jerry John Rawlings had 78 ministers.

The statement argued that this kind of large government further undermines Ghana’s already weak state bureaucracy and does not in any way help to address the structural weakness of Parliament vis-a-vis the Executive, which the President alluded to, in his State of the Nation Address.

The CDD therefore cautioned government against attaching an army of technical advisers to the already bloated personnel at the ministries while calling for a law which places a ceiling on the maximum number of ministers and deputies the President can appoint at a time.

It also asked that it be made mandatory for the President to provide explicitly, the rationale for appointing more than one deputy minister per ministry. Enditem

Source: Justice Lee Adoboe

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