Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has asserted that many of the ministers appointed by successive governments do not add value to the governance of the country.
Speaking at a public lecture at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) on Tuesday, he described some persons appointed as ministers as “rudimental learners who cannot help to develop policy.”
This, according to him, is “one principal reason we are marking time and stuck” in terms of development.
“The Constitution provides that you all assist the President to evolve policies for your ministry, you are telling us at the appointment committee that we should approve of you when you go there you will go and learn so what value addition are they adding to our governance?” he quizzed.
“I am not talking about the current NPP administration, since 1993. The time has come for us to seriously introspect on this,” he added.
He, therefore, suggested a cut in the number of ministers to 19 to help save the public purse.
He posited that there is no need to appoint many ministers when only nineteen cabinet ministers are actually needed to decide on government policies.
“The Constitution provides in Article 76(1), that there shall be a cabinet which shall consist of the President, the Vice President and not more than 19 ministers of state.
Given the role of cabinet ministers, that is for running the state efficiently and assisting the President in the determination of policy of his government, it is my contention that apart from regional ministers, the number of central government ministers may not have to exceed 19 as contained in the Constitution.
And that means ministries shall also not have to exceed 19. All ministers to be relevant and to be able to assist in the evolution and determination of policies in their sectors, must be cabinet ministers.
The excess numbers must be cut off and that will significantly reduce public expenditure. For the avoidance of doubt, the Constitution must provide for that”, he explained.
Currently, Ghana has about 123 ministers of state. This has generated widespread criticisms with calls for government to reduce the number.
However, in a response to a similar suggestion, President Akufo-Addo explained that there are a lot of issues to address, hence the need for more hands.
But some civil society organisations have disagreed with the President’s explanation; arguing that the increase in ministers drains the state coffers.
Meanwhile, Ghana is currently engaging the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help balance its books.
But a leading member of the governing NPP Gabby Otchere Darko on Newsfile on Saturday ruled out any plans by government to cut down on its size, insisting tangible efforts are being made to cut down on waste.