The opposition NDC has revealed that a John Mahama government, if the party’s 2020 election campaign is successful, will reduce the number of ministers by at least 40.
In a speech delivered at the 4th edition of the party’s weekly press briefing on Monday, June 22, 2020, National Communication Officer of the party, Sammy Gyamfi, said the decision to slash the size of government is meant to “reduce government expenditure.”
Resources that will be generated from this reduced government expenditure, according to the National Democratic Congress Communication Officer, will be channelled into “the productive sectors of the economy for the benefit of Ghanaians.”
The size of a President’s government has been a major topic for debate in Ghana’s politics and that debate was stoked in 2017 after President Nana Akufo-Addo announced his ministerial appointments.
While the opposition NDC is of the view that the size of Akufo-Addo’s government was unnecessarily enormous, the incumbent government insists its appointees are delivering on their targets and hence improving the fortunes of the country.
Last year, Mr. Mahama, who is President Akufo-Addo’s main contender in the December elections, challenged him to reduce the size of his government by about 40 appointees to ensure efficiency.
The current administration now has over 110 ministers, at least 20 ministers more than its predecessors appointed.
Meanwhile, Economist and Professor of Finance at the University of Ghana, Godfred Bokpin, has said the huge number of Akufo-Addo’s government appointees has not resulted in better management of the country’s economy.
Below are the 17 other promises Sammy Gyamfi announced will be implemented if John Mahama emerges victor in the crucial December 7 presidential polls.
1. Pay all customers of the collapsed financial institutions whose monies are locked-up in full and restore indigenous Ghanaian participation in the financial sector.
2. Provide free Technical and Vocational Education (TVET) from the second cycle to Tertiary level to build the human resource base of the nation for industrial development, entrepreneurship and job creation.
3. Institute a National Apprenticeship Program in line with his vision of rapid industrialisation and job creation for the country.
4. Scrap the 50% increment in the Communication Service Tax to reduce the cost of telephoning and data. This will reduce the cost of living and the cost of doing business in the country.
5. Construct a regional hospital for each of the six (6) newly-created regions and the Western Region to improve access to quality and efficient health care delivery.
6. Provide districts without hospitals with fully-equipped modern health facilities.
7. Take healthcare to the doorsteps of the people by building a first of its kind “Onipa Nua” Hospital Ship and deploy it to provide medical services to the inaccessible riverine and fishing communities on the inland Volta water ways. Additionally, the next Mahama government will rehabilitate the “Onuador” mobile vans that have been abandoned by the Akufo-Addo government and procure more, to provide medical outreach services in underserved and hard to reach areas in all the 16 regions of the country.
8. Construct two (2) new international-standard Infectious Diseases Centers and two (2) additional international research centers.
9. Abolish the dreaded double-track system of secondary education through an emergency and massive infrastructure drive. This will ensure a conducive environment and one-track qualitative learning experience for SHS students.
10. Establish University Campuses in each of the six (6) newly-created regions.
11. Abolish the mandatory national service and obnoxious licensure exams for teacher trainees and restore the automatic employment of teacher trainee graduates. Let me state unequivocally, that no teacher trainee graduate, will be denied posting or employment under the next Mahama government. Additionally, the promotion and welfare of teachers will be prioritized by the next Mahama government.
12. Restore the automatic employment of Nursing Trainee graduates. Again let me state unequivocally, that no nursing trainee graduate will be denied posting or employment under the next Mahama government.
13. Restore the distribution of free cocoa fertilizer and chemicals to cocoa farmers to boost cocoa yield and improve the welfare of cocoa farmers.
14. Complete the Eastern Corridor roads, dualise the Aflao, Cape Coast and Kumasi roads among others.
15. Complete all abandoned or uncompleted hospital and health projects, educational projects, road projects and other infrastructural projects in the country.
16. Punish corruption and end the practice of nepotism.
17. Train, remunerate and empower assembly members to be responsible for the local level registration of births and deaths in their electoral areas, to improve the national population register.