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40 ministers would’ve been ideal – Gyampo tells Akufo-Addo

Sat, 23 Jan 2021 Source: My News GH

Political Science lecturer at the University of Ghana Prof. Ransford Gyampo has criticized the proposed size of the President’s government in his second term.

According to him, the proposed size of 85 is too much fora President who wants to leave a legacy after his tenure of office.

Gyampo who made this known in a post shared on social media said the President could have done with 40 Ministers in his second term.

“In terms of size of government, an optimum size of 40 would have been felt by all as a drastic response. But it is rumored that the size of government in the next administration is likely to hover around 85.”

Read His Statement Below

My Take on President Akufo Addo’s Size of Government & Ministerial Nominees

1. The outcome of the 2020 Election, was a victory with a taste of defeat for the NPP, as I predicted two weeks to the election. A government like that of President Akufo Addo, that is interested in leaving a legacy and securing electoral fortunes for its politicalparty, must do something noticeably drastic to send a clear message, that lessons have been learnt from the resounding voice of the populace, as clearly articulated in the last election.

2. In terms of size of government, an optimum size of 40 would have been felt by all as a drastic response. But it is rumored that the size of government in the next administration is likely to hover around 85. This to my mind, is still big. President J.A. Kuffour vehemently criticized President Jerry Rawlings for appointing 82 Ministers in the lead up to the 2000 elections. But when he (Kufuor) became President, he appointed 88 ministers. President Atta Mills downsized the government to 75 Ministers and we still criticized him. President John Mahama increased the size of government to over 90 Ministers (including his three or five wise men) and we used this as a campaign tool against him. President Akufo Addo ballooned the size to over 120 ministers and maintained this number in spite of several calls for downsizing.

3. Even though it may be commendable that the size of government may hover around 85 ministers in President Akufo Addo’s second term, the number is still huge. Japan used to run the world’s third largest economy with 17 ministers. UK has less than 30 Ministers and the US has less than 40 ministers. Similarly, South Africa and Senegal have less than 40 ministers. Why is it that many of these countries that are richer and more populous than us, run a lean governments? Available scholarly research all over the world, show a predilection for lean or optimum government, that synchs with national wealth and population, as big governments tend to gobble the scarce resources that must be used to implement pro-poor policies.

4. So, at a future date, the President may consider the following suggestions to beat down the size of his government further, as he strives to leave a good legacy:

5. If possible, the Information ministry must be scrapped. After all, apart from the Vice President and Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, no NPP functionary better informed the public about anything in the President’s first term. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah may simply be a Presidential Spokesperson without a whole ministry created for him.

6. The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs must also be scrapped. It is undemocratic and undermines the principles of separation of powers and checks and balances. It is a needless attempt to make the parliamentary arm of government subservient to the executive. In 2005, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) of NEPAD, made a similar recommendation, but President Kufuor ignored it. President Mills scrapped that Ministry in line with the APRM Report, and for eight years, that ministry never existed. But President Akufo Addo brought it back in 2017. Given the kind of hung parliament we have, it would be an exercise in futility for anyone to attempt to make parliament subservient to the executive. It wouldn’t work. A liaison Officer may simply be appointed to liaise between the executive and the legislature without having a whole ministry.

Source: My News GH