Over 28 ministerial portfolios scrapped as Akufo-Addo targets lean gov’t
President Nana Akufo-Addo has scrapped at least 28 ministerial roles for his second term in office, sources close to the presidency have revealed to the theghanareport.com.
There are at least nine ministries that are likely to be axed when President Akufo-Addo announces his army of appointments to execute his plans for the next four years.
Additionally, all deputy regional ministerial portfolios will not be on the list of appointees.
With some ministries having multiple deputies, at least 28 of the offices are likely to be scrapped.
Some of the ministries would be merged or realigned to existing traditional institutions and others removed entirely.
Sectors set-up for specific purposes under President Akufo-Addo’s first term are said to have completed their tasks and the new-look government is likely to have less than 100 ministers.
The ministerial portfolios that are likely to be collapsed
The Minister of State in Charge of Procurement is off.
With extra-parliamentary duties lifted off her shoulders, Sarah Adwoa Safo who headed that ministry is a candidate for Deputy Attorney General or Minister for Gender and Social Protection.
Ofoase Ayirebi MP Kojo Oppong Nkrumah is likely to be Presidential Spokesperson.
The Information Ministry is likely to be merged with the Ministry of Communication with Ablekuma West MP Ursula Owusu-Ekuful as the minister.
The Information Ministry has two deputies – Pious Enam Hadzide and MP for Akuapem North Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah Adjei.
The Business Development Ministry is likely to have the Ministry of Trade and Industry assuming that role.
In view of that, former Business Development Minister Mohammed Awal has a high chance of being re-assigned to the Ministry of Tourism as a substantive minister.
The Ministry of Aviation, which was one of the newly-created ministries under President Akufo-Addo’s first term is likely to be absorbed by the Ministry of Transport.
Former minister for the sector, Joseph Kofi Adda, is not likely to hold any ministerial appointment in the next government, according to reliable sources.
Mr Adda lost the party’s Navrongo primaries to former Upper East Regional Minister Tangoba Abayege.
However, Ms Abayege failed to capture the seat for the NPP in the 2020 parliamentary elections.
She blamed Mr Adda partly for campaigning against her and the party.
The Aviation Ministry had MP for Takoradi Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah as the deputy minister.
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.
Prof Gyan-Baffour was a third term MP for Wenchi but lost in the 2020 parliamentary elections to the NDC’s Seidu Haruna.
The Ministry of Inner-Cities and Zongo Development supervised by Islamic scholar Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid will likely be changed into an authority whose functions would oversight responsibility under the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
MP for Okere, Dan Botwe has been earmarked as Minister for Local Government and Rural Development in the next administration.
Mr Botwe was the Minister for Regional Reorganization and Development. He engineered the creation of six new regions increasing Ghana’s regions to 16.
The new regions were Oti, Savannah, Western North, North East, Bono, and Bono East.
The Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation which had Dr Anthony Akoto Osei as the minister is likely to be removed as well.
Its functions will be taken by the Presidency.
Dr Osei who was MP for Old Tafo stepped down and did not put himself up for re-election.
Ministry of Special Development Initiatives overseen by MP for Awutu-Senya Mavis Hawa Koomson has also been earmarked to be scrapped.
President Akufo-Addo is expected to name more than half of his ministers from parliament in accordance with the Constitution.
But his choices are limited as the NPP MPs have been reduced from 169 to 137.
Independent MP for Fomena, Isaac Asiamah Amoako, who was axed from the NPP ahead of 2020 elections, decided to join the NPP MPs in doing business in parliament.
This was how the NPP got a majority in parliament after losing the Speaker of Parliament position to the NDC’s Alban Bagbin.
How many ministers were under the previous Akufo-Addo government?
The number of Ministers and Deputies summed up to be 123 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 new regions.
The 123-figure comprised of 36 substantive Ministers with 48 Deputies and seven Ministers of State. There were 16 Regional Ministers with 16 Deputy Regional Ministers.
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.
There can be no doubt that president akufo addo’s government is the largest in the fourth republic.
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.
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)
- Domestic staff
- Health coverage
The cost of all these 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.