Three speakers at a public forum in Accra have criticized the huge size of government appointees under President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo‘s administration. In their view, such a huge size of the government would put pressure on the public purse and burden the taxpayer.
The speakers were two senior lecturers at the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, Prof. Ransford Gyampo and Dr Seidu Alidu, and a Research Fellow at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, Dr Michael Kpessah-Whyte.
They spoke on the theme: “The size of Government: Implications for Good Governance and the Public Purse” at a public forum organised by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) in partnership with the Centre for Social Democracy, Ghana (CSD) in Accra last Wednesday.
The forum brought together politicians, lecturers, professors, students and the media.
Size of government
In the view of Prof. Gyampo, the President could use few people to achieve a lot.
“The economy of the nation can only grow if we let the private sector flourish. Large bureaucracies are not known to facilitate the growth of any private business sector. Do we not run the risk of crowding out and suffocating a struggling private sector with a huge government bureaucracy? I, therefore, call on the President to “reconsider” the appointment and reduce it to 30 ministers,” he appealed.
He mentioned that the large government size could present Ghana with additional problems including pressure on national purse, poverty educational and health issues but the President took such a decision because he needed to satisfy many who assisted him during the election.
Suggesting solutions, he said some ministries including that of transport, road and highways, aviation and railway could be merged, adding that the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs is also redundant in the scheme of affairs.
He mentioned that the government should have strengthened the bureaucracy and public service rather than creating huge appointments which would be redundant.
Dr Alidu indicated that “the government have not thought about the potential of inefficiencies, improper coordination and the impact that they might have on the bureaucracy which is already weak and also the cost that it would add to the national purse.Efficiency is when you use a small number of government to achieve a lot”.
“It is not about the end justifies the means because if you use huge government to deliver huge or ambitious promises, it is not efficiency,” he insisted, saying “I do not agree with the President that the end justifies the means.”
Dr Kpessah-Whyte stated that the President appointed a huge government to solve the problems it inherited but regretfully all the solutions the President had proposed are not comprehensive enough to solve those problems.
Source: Daily Graphic