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07.02.2005 Feature Article

The Ministerial Current Vetting Process- Has it become a Bad Joke ?

The Ministerial Current Vetting Process- Has it become a Bad Joke ?
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Amid the deluge of publicity which is being given to the ongoing ministerial vetting process in parliament, some of us have become uncomfortable with the current focus on, the national pledge, private lives and academic qualifications, and believe we should all be very sad at the current situation because they do not add value to anybody's life. The truth of the matter is our nation and its citizens are facing colossal problems associated with poverty and hunger as well as serious environmental degradation in our towns and cities. I am not sure what the statistics are but the number of ordinary Ghanaians dying on a daily basis and filling up our hospitals and mortuaries, surely should give us an indication of how desperate the ordinary citizen's wellbeing is being affected by the lack of access to the bolt and nut issues of access to food, shelter, education and health.

With all the above, instead of our MP's questioning serving and proposed ministers on their past stewardship and their future plans to alleviate these issues that make sense to the ordinary Ghanaian's life, the committee of MP's are it appears ignoring the things that matter, and dwelling on mediocrity. Something that is allowing those ministers who have been in office for a number of years to point to mediocre performance in their various ministries, departments and agencies under their jurisdiction, as unswerving progress towards achieving national (Millennium) development goals.

Some of us beg to differ. Some of us really did believe that during the Kuffuor administration, officials would be ready to embrace change. The belief has been eroded. When one looks at the real performance and delivery of the government ministries, departments and their agencies, which are meant to deliver development initiatives and services efficiently and help the ordinary citizens realise their ambitions, one wonders why the ultimate people in charge are not being questioned about the woeful record on delivery of some of the ministers over the past 4 years, but rather dwelling on national pledge recitals, and disproportionately focusing on private lives.

With reference to our past history as usual most of these ministers were or are being appointed without a real track record in high level management, therefore have a tunnel vision about the real world of the ordinary Ghanaian. Go to most of these ministries and agencies and you cannot fail to be shocked at the lack of basic managerial tools for performing the functions that they have been set up to deal with. One cannot fail to notice that nothing has really changed in their day to day operations, and the way they do things since the 1960's and 70's. All of them without exception in this stern age, are still inherently plagued by corruption, mismanagement, broken systems of supervision and monitoring, lack of customer care, and incredible waste and inefficiency. The organisations under these ministers are still adhering to the old outmoded hierarchical organisational structures. The really bad service delivery record of all of them is proof that the resources allocated to them on a yearly basis have not even been used to secure basic essential tools of communications and service delivery such as ordinary telephone lines, fax machines and photocopiers to improve service delivery and enhance communications between those who work within them, the citizens(clients) and the organisation's component parts across the country, which everyone knows are non existent. Yet some of these ministers see it fit to approve the import of luxury air-conditioned 4- wheel cars, some estimated to cost $70,000 a piece for themselves and their top officials whilst their systems, physical buildings and government assets within them continue to fall badly into decrepitude . The staff under the minister, who he/she should be supervising and monitoring still not interested in delivering anything to the ordinary citizen, unless it personally enriches them. As far as I am concerned this is a clear failure of MINISTERIAL RESPONSIBILITY and that is what ordinary citizens of Ghana would expect MP's to be focusing on during these vetting sessions..

Some of our learned and honourable members of parliament may still like to bury their heads in the sand, but the reality is, if we might re-echo it to them, that there is a chronic lack of leadership and expertise in these strategic development organisations to such an extent that any dealings that the ordinary citizen has with them, e.g. making applications, processing official documentation, seeking information, getting someone to take ownership of a problem, ends up in sheer frustration. This situation is killing our country and retarding its progress.

We know some ministers have done relatively well, but it should not be so much their mediocre initiatives, energy and dynamism but for gods sake there is the need to respond to real world concerns of the downtrodden ordinary Ghanaian in our broken cities, towns and villages up and down the country. As far as the ordinary Ghanaian is concerned the chaos and lack of proper management of most ministries and departments is proof that the Ministers are unable to manage their departments to deliver the services that will positively impact on their lives. There should be no more excuses this time. It is time MP's and Ministers listened to ordinary people to discover which of their policies should change to create an opportunity for them to also improve their lives and that of their families. Ordinary people however, and their hopes and aspirations, generally haven't featured, because they haven't risen through the ranks of political parties, they don't have doctorates. They are a bit- well ordinary so we shouldn't be shocked after all that the establishment has found it hard to listen to their experiences, harder to accept that their difficulties often stem from inept government policies and non performing ministers and harder still to do much about it. The current focus is not good sense and is guaranteed to end in tears everytime. Stephen Nyako Management Consultant Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

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