Coming as a shock to Ghanaians and Africa as a whole, Ghana has just appointed 110 ministers, making his government the largest in the history of the West African country.
Majority have questioned the latest move by the President who was recently inaugurated into office in January. President Akufo-Addo in his manifesto promised the people that he would put a stop to unnecessary and excessive government spending; and shape up the economy.
With the appointment of over 100 ministers which will take a significant toll on the national treasury, many wonder how he intends to fulfill his promise of employing austerity measures in his administration.
Reliable sources from the parliament told the media that the salaries of the 110 ministers will take up to “60% of the budget of six infrastructure-related ministries”.
These new ministers will receive monthly salaries of about $4,000 (£3,326) alongside other incentives like 2 cars, free fueling, a house, free utilities and personal protection. All these benefits are expected to be funded from the national coffers.
The opposition have slammed the recent appointments, accusing the president of playing politics instead of being the president of the people.
Haruna Iddrisu, leader of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Parliament, had this to say,
“We’re confronted with an elephant size of government and Akufo-Addo has proven that he’s a politician rather than a president,”
From the total number of appointees, 56 are ministers; 50 are deputy ministers; while 4 are ministers of state.
The Ministry of Agriculture now has a minister, a minister of state and 3 deputies.
In response to critics and the opposition, the president says that the appointments is for a good cause and called it a “necessary investment”.
“I’m aware that people are concerned about what they see as maybe the cost of this large government,”
“It is a necessary investment to make for the rapid transformation of this country”.
In a TV interview, he assured the people that the recently appointed top government officials are coming to work as there would be no room for slacking.
Considering that Ghana’s priority at the moment is to improve the economy which dropped in 2014, it is reasonable that the move was criticized and questioned.
For instance, neighboring country, Nigeria has 35 ministers with a population of 140 million and counting. With the limited number of ministers corruption and mismanagement of funds is still a challenge. How much more when more ministerial positions are carved out.
Only developed countries with large population can probably pull this kind of stunt. The United Kingdom has 120 ministers with a population of 65 million.
Perhaps the Ghanaian presidency deserves a benefit of the doubt to disappoint the feared expectations of the people.
But we want to to know what you think. Do you think this is a right move?