Vice Chairman of Parliament’s Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, Alexander Abban, believes there is a need for President Nana Akufo-Addo to reduce the size of his government, which includes a record 110 Ministers.
Mr. Abban, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Gomoa West, said he hopes moves in this regard will be made if and when the President decides to reshuffle his government.
He was speaking on The Big Issue, in relation to the government’s disclosure that there are 998 members of staff working under the office of the president.
As part of this figure, there are nine Ministers of State, 27 Presidential Staffers, 256 junior political appointees, and some other 706 persons including domestic and household workers and civil servants.
Mr. Abban downplayed the furore over the figure saying the presence of new Ministers of State under the Presidency could have inflated the figure.
He, however, added that putting the new Ministries under the Presidency, instead of creating new standalone ministries which would have required complete administrative structures, was necessary to avoid overburdening the public purse.
“Looking at it from that point of view, you would see some wisdom in putting them under the presidency so that the same kind of administrative set up there could be employed in assisting these various ministries,” the MP argued.
Nonetheless, he conceded that the high number of staff under the Presidency was symptomatic of the Akufo-Addo administration’s unprecedentedly large government size.
“It still doesn’t take away the fact, as Ghanaians tell us for us to see, that as far as these numbers are concerned, it is a big government. It doesn’t take away that fact and I am praying that if the time comes that there should be a reshuffle, the numbers should come down.”
Though the roles of the various Ministries under the presidency, were key, he said the government should operate “in such a way that it is not only effective but efficient.”
Officials of the Mahama administration have been among the strongest critics of the Presidency staff size, with former Deputy Minister of Communications, Felix Kwakye Ofosu stating that figure amounted to an abuse of the public purse.
The contended that this was contrary to President Akufo-Addo’s repeated promise to protect the public purse.
Describing the government as “obese”, he added that the growing staff size will eventually ‘kill’ it