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10.01.2021 Opinion

Proposal from afar: reducing the number of ministries and making them more effective

By Papa Badu Donkoh
Proposal from afar: reducing the number of ministries and making them more effective
LISTEN JAN 10, 2021

The President took office on 7th of January. As this is a continuation government, I expect that the inner circle of the President (all presidents have inner circles/kitchen cabinets) and the team have already identified their preferred candidates for the various ministries and government departments. It is not unusual for some of the minsters in the previous era to lose their jobs or be transferred to other ministries.

Changing ministerial portfolios is not only good to curb temptations of complacency, corruption, and innovation fatigue; it enhances the leadership skills and abilities of appointees. I propose that the number of ministries be reduced to 16 - don’t know the exact current number but I am confident that they are way past 16. I believe that, the proposals will align the core activities of ministries and boost delivery; strengthen oversight of their activities, and improve their scrutiny.

Each ministry is headed by a minister but the number of deputy ministers for each ministry should depend on the governmental agenda and focus.

Below are my proposals - Ghana government ministries:

1. Defence - with one deputy

Interfaces

Interface with Interior

2. Justice - with three deputies: to focus on justice accessibility and reforms ; prosecution, regulations and compliance; and government advice and compliance

Proposed Agencies

  • Judicial Service

  • State Prosecution

  • Establish task force/commission to decentralise legal training. Ghana needs more lawyers. Retire the patronising quantity vs quality argument. This same old fashioned argument was invoked when medical schools were been mooted and later established in Kumasi and ,later, Tamale. The market will sieve the wheat from the chaff re.quality.

  • Establish a national prosecuting service. The police shouldn’t be law enforcers and prosecutors at the same time - manifest conflict of interest. This is why you need more lawyers. Democracies (and rule of law - human rights) thrive when law is accessible, clear, intelligible and administered in impartial and speedy way.

Interfaces

Interface with Education

Interface with Interior

Interface with Health and Social Welfare

3. Interior - with two deputies. One to focus on crime and policing (and Police reforms), and prisons; another on national security and immigration et al.

Propose Agencies

  • Task force for Police Reforms

  • Commission for Prison Reforms

Interfaces

Interface with Justice

Interface with Foreign Affairs

Interface with Defence

Interface with Local Government and Community Development

4. Education, Children & Youth - with three deputies: Children and School Systems; Technical and Tertiary Education; and Youth Development and Participation

Proposed Agencies

  • National Youth Agency

  • National Service Secretariat

  • Might need an agency specifically for children- promote children’s development, engagement and participation. There might be one already in existence, that I don’t know about

Interfaces

Interface with Health and Social Welfare

Interface with Business and Industry

Interface with Justice

Interface with Labour and Human Capital

5. Environment & Natural Resources - land; water resources; sanitation. The Ministry should focus on exploration, utilisation, exploitation, and protection of natural resources. Three deputies - lands and forests; water resources; air and sanitation

Proposed Agencies

  • Environmental Protection Agency

  • Forestry Commission

  • Water Resources Agency

  • Sanitation Agency

  • Land Commission/Agency

Interfaces

Interface with Business & Industry re. distribution

Interface with Energy resources

Interface with Agriculture

Interface with Health

6. Energy Resources - petroleum; gas; electricity generation. Three deputies: petroleum and gas; electricity; energy renewals and innovation

Proposed Agencies

  • Petroleum Development and Regulation - GNPC? & Petroleum Commission et al?

  • Gas - Ghana Gas

  • Electricity Development

  • Energy Renewable, Improvements and Innovation

Interfaces

Interface with Environment re. exploration and exploitation

Interface with Business & Industry re. distribution - commercial bit

7. Finance & Treasury - Economic Planning & Strategy, Procurement, and Treasury (three deputies with these aligned remits).

There are a number of already functioning agencies here

Interface with all ministries

8. Agriculture - food production and security. Three deputies: food production; food security; and fisheries

Proposed Agencies

  • Food Security

  • Food Production

  • Fisheries Development

  • Food Safety

Interfaces

Interface with Infrastructure Development and Transport re. distribution

Interface with Business and Industry re. commercialisation and distribution, and security and safety.

9. Foreign Affairs - with two deputies: one for Africa and Diaspora affairs ( given Ghana’s history and ambition)

10. Health and Social Welfare - with two deputies: health and social welfare remits

Proposed Agencies

  • Social Welfare Agency

  • Equality Opportunities Agency (interface with Justice)

  • Public Health Agency (promotion and prevention)

  • NHIS et al

Interfaces

Interface with Justice

Interface with Education, Children & Youth

Interface with Local Government and Community Development

11. Infrastructure Development - housing; works; roads et al. Three deputies - housing, public works, and transport infrastructure

Proposed Agencies

  • Housing Development

  • Roads

  • Aviation and Sea

  • Railways

  • Public Works (because of poor culture of maintenance of public properties and infrastructure)

Interfaces

Interface with Business and Industry

Interface with Environment and Natural Resources

Interface with Agriculture

12. Transport - road; air; sea; rail. Three deputies - roads (given poor road policy development and implementation, and regulation); railways; air and sea

Proposed Agencies

  • Road transport regulation & safety

  • Aviation and Sea regulation & safety

  • Railways regulations and safety

Interfaces

Interface with Infrastructure Development

Interface with Business and Industry

Interface with Environment and Natural Resources

13. Arts, Culture, Tourism, Sports - media; leisure; chieftaincy et al. Four deputies - arts, culture (include chieftaincy, media - free press & expression should be part of our culture - et al), tourism, and sports

Proposed Agencies

  • Arts Development & Improvement

  • Tourism Development & Improvement

  • Sports Development and Improvement Council (National Sports Council). Most of the various sporting disciplines have regulatory bodies that can report to this overarching development and improvement Council.

  • National Media Commission

  • Culture Promotion Commission

Interfaces

Interface with Education

Interface with Business and Industry re. commercialisation

14. Business & Industry - including science & technology. Three deputies - business & trade, industry, and science and technology

Proposed Agencies

  • Business Development and Improvement

  • Industry Development, Innovation and Improvement

  • Science, Technology & Innovation

Interfaces

Interface with Environment and Natural Resources

Interface with Energy Resources

Interface with Labour and Human Capital

Interface with Education

Interface with Agriculture

Interface with Arts and Culture et al

15. Labour & Human Capital - with two deputies - labour (engagement and regulation), and human capital

Proposed Agencies

  • Labour Commission et al

  • Human Resources/Capital Development and Improvement

Interfaces

Interface with Education

Interface with Business and Industry

16. Local Government & Community Development - with two deputies: local government, and community development

Proposed Agencies

  • Community Development & Improvement - coordinating body for the ultra regional and area development bodies (coastal, middle belt, northern, Zongo et al)

  • Local Government Development and Improvement - support, regulate and inspect district assemblies to ensure uniformity in core functions and that they effectively fulfil their functions

  • Local Government Funding - District Assemblies Common Fund

Office of the Presidency

Proposed Offices/Divisions

  • Senior Minister

  • National Security

  • Policy Development

  • Policy Delivery (Implementation) and Evaluation

  • National Development Planning Commission

  • Communication Directorate

Ministries that need to be abolished

  1. Information - what is the purpose of this? Subsume under Presidency (Communication Director/Spokesperson)

  2. Communication - subsumed under Business & Industry

  3. Business - subsumed under Business & Industry

  4. Sanitation - subsumed under Environment and Natural Resources

  5. Railways - subsumed under Transport and Infrastructure subsume under Business & Industry

  6. Aviation - subsumed under Transport and Infrastructure subsume under Business & Industry

  7. Chieftaincy - subsumed under Arts, Culture et al

  8. Inner Cities - subsumed under Local Government and Community Development

  9. National Security - subsumed under Office of President

  10. Science and Technology - subsumed under Business and Industry; and Education

  11. Water Resources - subsumed under Environment and Natural Resources

  12. Special Initiatives - subsumed under Local Government and Community Development; and Office of President (Policy Development)

  13. Policy Evaluation - subsumed under Office of President (Delivery and Evaluation)

  14. Gender & Children - subsumed under Education Children & Youth, and Health & Social Welfare

Some of the proposed agencies might already be in existence under the proposed or different names - some would need to be combined with others while others would need to have their remit expanded.

There are other, equally, important agencies under the abolished ministries that might need to be transferred to the new ones, combined with others, or scrapped.

Declaration - I don’t know all the key agencies under each of the ministries to do justice to all. Other persons are well placed to advice on this.

With Gratitude

Papa Badu Donkoh

Anaji Estates, Takoradi/ Hammersmith, London

https://newghanaian.com

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