Deputy Regional Ministers irrelevant, good Akufo-Addo dropped them– Oduro Osae

A Governance Expert Dr Eric Oduro Osae has noted that the position of a Deputy Regional Minister became immaterial to the governance architecture of the country.

He has therefore, commended President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for abolishing that office in his second administration.

Mr Akufo-Addo has decided that there will be no Deputy Regional Ministers, a statement signed on his behalf by the Acting Director of Communications at the Presidency Mr Eugene Arhin, said on Thursday January 21.

The statement further said the President will be working with twenty eight (28) ministries in his second administration.

This is a fall from the thirty-six (36) ministries he worked with during his first government. He also said he the number of ministers will not exceed eighty five (85).

This is down from the 120 ministers who served in his previous administration, Furthermore, it said the President intends to appoint a Minister for Public Enterprises, who will be operating directly under the ambit of the Presidency, and not from a Ministry. The Minister will oversee a major restructuring of the entire state-owned enterprises sector to improve the productivity and profitability of the sector.

Mr Akufo-Addo has also realigned Aviation, Business Development, Inner City and Zongo Development, Monitoring and Evaluation, Planning, Regional Re-organisation and Development, and Special Development Initiatives, have been realigned.

The President has effected this realignment because virtually all these special-purpose Ministries have achieved the purposes for which they were established.

The Office of the Senior Minister has also been abolished. This will result in a total of twenty-eight (28) Ministries, down from the thirty-six (36) of his first term.

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Speaking on this development in an interview with TV3’s Dela Michel on the Mid Day news on Friday January 22, Dr Oduro Osae said “I have also noticed that he is not appointing Deputy Regional ministers, I applaud him for that. Because the position of a deputy regional minister is gradually becoming irrelevant in our governance architecture.”

Regarding the reduction in the number of ministers President Akufo-Addo will be working with in his second administration, he said although the President could have reduced further, the new figure is good.

The President said his new ministers will not exceed eighty five (85). This is down from the 120 ministers who served in his previous administration.

He has accordingly, submitted a list of ministerial nominees to parliament for approval.

Dr Oduro Osae said “It is good he is reducing to about 85 but I would have wished that he even reduced it further to about 80. But that notwithstanding, with the 85 it is a very good reduction.”

A Professor at the University of Ghana Professor Ransford Gyampo has also said the new number of ministers is still huge.

Commenting on the appointment in an article, Professor Gyampo said “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.

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“President Akufo Addo ballooned the size to over 120 ministers and maintained this number in spite of several calls for downsizing.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana