It certainly will be a long year, eventful and interesting! A lot to be expected and anticipated, especially on the political front.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has been given a second term by Ghanaians and within the four-year period, many will be keen on decisions he will take which significantly, will determine the party’s fate in the subsequent election.
A little flashback to the formation of his government and the phrase ‘elephant size’ will readily come to mind. 110 ministers were appointed to man his government.
This included more deputies and segregated ministries.
The size of government which attracted a huge uproar from the public got the President reacting.
In defense, he said his government had inherited unprecedented challenges that needed those measures to fix, and that ultimately, the end will justify the means.
Did the end really justify the means? And will the President maintain his stance or will he, with the benefit of hindsight decide to scrap and merge some of the ministries in an attempt to have a lean government?
GhanaWeb takes a look at some ministries under the previous Akufo-Addo government that probably will experience some changes.
Regional Re-organisation Ministry:
This ministry barely was heard about. In fact, some described it as redundant. But for the few times issues regarding the creation of the new regions came up, very little would have been heard about Minister, Dan Botwe.
With the creation and establishment of all 6 new regions, concerns are rife about what the relevance of this ministry will be if it continues to be maintained, particularly because its key mandate was to supervise the creation of the new regions as promised by the NPP.
Ministry of Special Development Initiatives
Right from the start, the relevance of the ministry was questioned, after the ministry recorded some inaccuracies with figures in its 2018 budget for a website.
Instead of GHC80,000 for four websites, GHC 800,000 was projected by the ministry for the creation of a website; this attracted heat on them, with many suggesting attempts of corruption.
And then the subject of uncompleted dams in regions emerged, with some elements in the opposition NDC, accusing the ministry of wasting monies to construct dams which either were uncompleted or of very low quality.
Though Hawa Koomson, who is in charge of the ministry has been in the news for controversial reasons, not much can be said about the performance of the ministry, at least in the first term of President Akufo-Addo.
The ministry has boasted of completing over 400 dams in some villages nationwide, mainly in response to its critics. Is this enough to keep this ministry or will it be scrapped?
Among other things, they are to work towards the implementation of the SDGs in Ghana and to work towards the development of the country.
Is there a possibility their responsibilities were not properly outlined to the National Development and Planning Commission (NDPC) so they implement them? And was there really a need for this ministry? These were questions that were asked after the creation of this ministry.
What is the way forward under the Akufo-Addo-led government in its second term?
Monitoring and Evaluation:
President Nana Akufo-Addo, formed this ministry as part of his second batch of ministerial appointments, to assess government’s policies, projects and performance during its first four years, most probably after the planning ministry presents its framework.
Virtually nothing has been heard from this ministry since its creation, and this, as usual, caught the public’s eye, with many of them describing the ministry as dormant. Deputy Minister, William Kwasi Sabi, however, defended his ministry, claiming very little is heard about the ministry because they report directly to the President.
Fair point maybe, but shouldn’t the public be involved in the assessment of any particular ministry? And how is this done if information regarding that ministry is privileged only to the President?
Transport and Roads & Highways:
When news broke about the separation of these two ministries which hitherto were merged as one, the questions were many, mainly about the rationale for the move.
On its website, the Roads and Highways Ministry defines its role as the provision of integrated efficient cost-effective and sustainable transportation system responsive to the needs of society.
The Transport Ministry on the other hand is to formulate policies for the transport sector as well as create an enabling environment for transport investment and the development of an efficient transport system.
Though they may have some differences in terms of operation, one thing runs through these, ‘transport’. It is why there were many questions as to why both couldn’t remain one ministry who will oversee the performance of these responsibilities.
Is this a possibility moving forward? Or will the government maintain both ministries in their respective capacities?.
Office of the Senior Minister:
This particular portfolio got tongues wagging.
What was supposed to be his role? To supervise and ensure prudent economic management? Is this something the ministries of Finance and Business development couldn’t handle?
Has his work been visible enough to the Ghanaian populace? Well, that’s a question that still begs for answers. So will Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo be retained in his capacity, or will the ministry be scrapped?
Chieftaincy & Religious Affairs and Zongo Ministry:
The Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs exists to liaise between government and traditional authorities including religious bodies and civil society.
The Zongo Ministry on the other hand is to work towards development in the Zongo communities and inner cities.
Considering the Zongo communities more often than not are linked with the Muslim community, it perhaps would not be a bad idea, to make it a subset under the Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Ministry, with a particular team in charge of ensuring development on that front.
Business Devt. Ministry and Trade Ministry:
The Ministry of Development which is entrusted with the creation and sustainability of a business-friendly, entrepreneurial and innovative business environment could perhaps be merged with the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
This most probably would be a step in the right direction considering the business development ministry already falls under the trade ministry which is mandated to ensure growth and development of domestic and international trade and industry.
Adwoa Sarfo’s ministry has since its establishment been followed by concerns about its specific role and effectiveness.
The ministry is supposed to help advise the government on matters relating to procurement. But there is also the Public Procurement Authority which works under this ministry.
How different is the role of the Ministry from the Authority and is there a possibility the Authority is well-equipped to implement this role?
Meanwhile, Hon. Sarfo received the Sustainable Procurement Transformation Award at the maiden Ghana Procurement and Supply Chain Awards 2018.
Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs:
Maybe with a near hung parliament going into Nana Addo’s second term, this ministry will become useful, otherwise, there is very little evidence to suggest that in the first four years it was worth its creation.
While it is a fact that the work of the legislature and that of the executive should be cordial, it is not hard to imagine that the Majority and Minority Leaders can be the liaisons of the legislature and the executive without the creation of a ministry in the true sense of the word.
With rumours rife that Nana Addo intends to cut the size of his government, we believe this could be one of the easier targets to get rid of.
Information and Communications Ministry:
These two have been largely linked owing to the subject of Information and Communications Technology.
In fact, the Communications Ministry is responsible for the development of communication and technology in Ghana whereas the Information Ministry is supposed to serve as a liaison and facilitator as far as information between government and the populace is concerned.
Arguably two of the vibrant ministries under the Akufo-Addo-led government but suggestions are emerging about a possible merger of both if there’s any possibility of a leaner administration.
Is there a likelihood? And in that case, which ministry will fall under which?