The Director of Advocacy at the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Dr. Emmanuel Kojo Asante has added his voice to calls for government to cut down on its expenses by reducing the number of ministers and appointees.
Dr. Asante said the current number of ministries with 86 ministers and deputy ministers is a huge drain on the public purse as the government is in desperate need of economic relief.
He said the solution to the government’s economic distress largely lies in simply cutting down on the size of ministers and deputies.
Speaking on the back of proposals for reducing the size and cost of running government released by CDD-Ghana on The Point of View on Citi TV, Dr. Asante acknowledged that though some ministries are considered important and relevant, the current economic dynamics of the country require that some pruning is done to save the government some funds.
“In terms of our practice, some ministries have become sort of important and relevant and if you are going to do any rationalization then you have to think more deeply about how you merge them so that they don’t lose their essence.”
He further cited that government does not need to have some ministries created with assigned ministers to have certain policies executed but can be supervised and executed by a larger ministry.
“This idea that having a ministry and a minister is what is going to deliver the agenda for you has proven to be wrong. A ministry was not created to manage Free SHS for example, but the policy is being run and being funded, so I don’t buy the idea of creating more ministries.
“We have had so many examples that these things don’t work. It is also at a huge cost to the taxpayer because we waste money because every time you set up a ministry, you will need to have departments and directors and that is problematic because they come at a cost.”
The CDD’s proposals estimate that a cut in the size of ministries will “reduce the amount paid to ministers in salaries by GH¢8,528,316.00 annually, a figure that is 33.73% of the total amount paid in salaries to ministers, assuming the figures from the recommendations contained in the report on Emoluments for Article 71 office holders by the Prof. Yaa Ntiamoah-Baidu Committee.”
The proposals also recommended, “for the dissolution of the Ministry of Public Enterprises, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and the Ministry of Railways as their functions are integrated in the functions of other ministries.”