17 March 2017

Ghana: Nana Addo's Ministerial Appointments 'Very Disturbing' - Sylvester Mensah

Photo: Ghana Star
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo waves to supporters.

A former Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Sylvester Mensah, has described as unethical, the number of ministers appointed by President Akufo-Addo.

The president has appointed over a hundred ministers and deputies to serve in his government.

But according to Mr. Sylvester Mensah, who's also a strategic management expert, although the President has the constitutional mandate to do so, his actions are inappropriate in the practice of management and efficiency.

Speaking on Eyewitness News on Thursday, March 16, 2017, Mr. Sylvester Mensah said some of the president's appointments were unnecessary.

He said the president had appointed people as ministers to supervise specific projects and programs that had clearly defined lifespans, hence such offices will become redundant when such projects or programmes had been completed.

He argued that some of those projects could be supervised by other ministries and did not need a new minister to oversee them.

"You don't create a ministry for a project or program that has a clearly defined lifespan. In the current circumstances we find ourselves creating ministries and appointing ministers for projects, for instance, if you talk about procurement, having a minister for procurement doesn't sit well."

"We have a procurement law that is clearly defined and we have a Public Procurement Authority with a Chief Executive who operates under the confines of a clearly defined law that vests all authority and power in the Chief Executive, and so if you have a CEO responsible for public procurement and you have a minister, is the minister coming to develop policies or develop a regulation for the implementation of a law and running the organization. I find this very troubling and very disturbing," he said.

Ghanaians have expressed varied opinions about Akufo-Addo's appointment of a hundred and ten (110) ministers - including deputies, to serve in his government.

The number is the highest in the country's history, surpassing the immediate past John Mahama government by more than 20 appointees.

Many have criticized Akufo-Addo over the development which they say appears to be a betrayal of trust following pre-election assurances from Akufo-Addo that he will ensure a prudent and efficient government.

But the Minister of Information, Mustapha Hamid, has defended government's large size of ministers.

According to him, the poor economic situation the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government inherited from the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) requires a good number of ministerial hands to help develop the country.

He also discredited claims that the many ministers in the government will have a negative impact on the state coffers.

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