Akufo-Addo releases full list of 8 scrapped ministries

Eight ministries will cease to exist when President Nana Akufo-Addo announces his army of ministers for his second term.

Seven ministries, namely Aviation, Business Development, Inner City and Zongo Development, Monitoring and Evaluation, Planning, Regional Re-organisation and Development, and Special Development Initiatives, have been realigned.

A letter released by the Acting Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, said on Thursday that they have been realigned to with existing ministries because they were special-purpose ministries that have achieved their objectives.

Additionally, the Office of the Senior Minister has also been abolished.

With all deputy ministerial positions at the regional level axed, “the total number of ministers to be appointed by President Akufo-Addo will not exceed 85, down from the 126 that characterised his first term in office”.

Furthermore, 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 to improve the productivity and profitability of the sector.

A Minister of State has been nominated, and, if approved, will be assigned to the Ministry of Works and Housing in addition to the substantive minister, to give special focus to the critical issue of affordable, mass housing, envisaged as one of the priorities of the President’s next term.

“In all, President Akufo-Addo will appoint a total of 30 ministers, and 16 regional ministers, bringing the total number of ministers to 46,” Mr Arhin noted. “Eight of this number are women — six ministers and two regional ministers”.

The Ministry of Aviation, which was one of the newly-created ministries under President Akufo-Addo’s first term is likely will be absorbed by the Ministry of Transport.

The Ministry of Planning which was headed by Professor George Yaw Gyan-Baffour is to be taken over by the Ministry of Finance after it was decoupled from the same ministry by President Akufo-Addo. The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta will remain unchanged.

Ministry of Special Development Initiatives overseen by MP for Awutu-Senya Mavis Hawa Koomson has also been scrapped with the Presidency assuming the responsibilities.

The newly-renamed Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development will be tasked with overseeing the outstanding activities of the erstwhile Regional Re-organisation and Development Ministry.

A new Minister for Energy is to be appointed, who will be assisted by deputy Ministers, one of whom will be an indigene of the Western Region.

How many ministers were under the previous Akufo-Addo government?

The number of Ministers and Deputies summed up to be 126 by the end of the first administration which ended in 2021. President Akufo-Addo began his tenure with 110 but the figure increased after reshuffling and additional appointments mostly due to the creation of the newly created regions.

President Akufo-Addo described his appointments as “a necessary investment to make for the rapid transformation of this country”.

“I’m aware that people are concerned about what they see as maybe the cost of this large government,” he defended, adding the ministers “are coming to work, it is not going to be a holiday”.

But the NPP had criticised their predecessors over huge appointments.

Accra-based Joy FM reported in 2017, that former NPP Communications Director Nana Akomea had issues with former President Mahama for having about 90 ministers.

“The Ministers are too many, there’s no way they (the NDC) can explain this to Ghanaians. Ex-President Kufuor when leaving office had 82 ministers and that was criticized profoundly by the NDC.

“They promised a lean government in their manifesto but not abiding by that. Late President Mills had 86 ministers during his time, so after accusing President Kufuor of appointing a large number of ministers, they (the NDC) have exceeded what Kufuor did,” he is quoted to have said.

He, however, indicated in a Facebook post that it would pay off if the ministers are able to deliver.

But the opposition did not take it lightly and descended heavily on the NPP government.

Four years after running what has been described as the biggest government in Ghana’s history, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, asked President Akufo-Addo to desist from repeating that number of appointments in his second term.

He advised President Akufo-Addo in his final words on the Floor of the House of the 7th parliament.

Prior to that, he had raised similar concerns in 2017.

“Each of these ministers and their deputies will come with a cost, secretariats will run and the incidental costs would be incurred and that now confirms why they are allocating Ghc1.5billion to the office of government machinery, which far exceeds the budget of 27 ministries combined,” he lamented.

“We in the Minority, we are disappointed that they have no respect for the size of government, they have no desire to run an austere measure in order to protect the public purse”.

How much is the country spending on ministers?

In 2017 after the President Akufo-Addo government commenced, the least monthly salary of a Minister was expected to be GH¢15,511. Ministers who were legislators, Cabinet ministers and ministers of state were supposed to earn higher.

Likewise, the least monthly salary of a deputy minister was expected to be GH¢ 14,369. Deputy Ministers and ministers who were legislators were also expected to get more.

By estimate, a whooping GH¢1.8million would be splashed on monthly salaries for ministers. It would be in excess of GH¢ 21million yearly for ministers and their deputies.

The salary figures were derived from a recommendation in a report of Presidential Committee on Emoluments signed by Prof Dora Francisca Edua-Buandoh, which announced a 10 per cent raise from January 2017.

Below is the list of Article 71 officeholders and their respective salaries per the 10% raise:

Vice President – GH¢ 20,529

Chief Justice – GH¢17,107

Speaker of Parliament – GH¢ 17,791

Cabinet Minister (MP) – GH¢16,423

Cabinet Minister (Non MP) – GH¢ 16,195

Minister of State (MP) – GH¢ 15,967

Minister of State (Non MP) – GH¢ 15,739

Regional Minister (MP) – GH¢ 15,967

Regional Minister (Non-MP) – GH¢15,511

Deputy Minister (MP) – GH¢ 14,826

Deputy Regional Minister (MP) – GH¢14,598

Deputy Minister (Non-MP) – GH¢ 14,369

Dep. Regional Minister (Non-MP) – GH¢ 142,142

Chairman, Council of State – GH¢ 14,826

Member, Council of State – GH¢ 13,685

There are other allowances and incentives enjoyed by the ministers and their deputies which include but not limited to:

Duty – 50% of basic salary

Special – 30% of basic salary

Entertainment – 35% of basic salary

Clothing – 10% of basic salary

Other privileges include:

Two cars (including a 4×4)

Accommodation

Maintenance

Domestic staff

Utilities

Health coverage

The cost of all this is a burden on the public purse.

CSOs raise concern over the cost of huge government size

Several critics including think-tank IMANI Africa and pressure group Occupy Ghana criticised Akufo-Addo over his appointments after taking office in 2017.

President of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, believed that maintaining such a huge government will drain the country’s resources stifling funding of developmental programmes.

“Reduce the size of government in terms of personnel and ministries. We have too many ministers for a small country like Ghana”, Franklin advised in 2018.

Pressure Group, Occupy Ghana, also indicated that it would worsen corruption.

“The problems that beset this nation are known to all. Paramount among them is the issue of corruption. In creating such a huge bureaucracy, have we not increased the chances of corrupt officials plundering the little we have left as a nation? In his inaugural address, the President promised to protect the national purse.

“The appointment of 110 ministers who, in comparison to the average Ghanaian, will be earning a considerable amount of money in salaries, allowances and benefits over the next 4 years (in addition to enjoying a range of ex-gratia benefits when they leave office) does not sound to us like a diligent attempt to protect a sorely-depleted purse,” a release by the group said.

 

 

 

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