The presidential candidate of the Convention People's Party(CPP), Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, has pledged to run a government with not more than 40 ministers and deputies.
That, he explained, was to ensure an efficient and cost-effective administration.
Speaking during a visit to the offices of the Daily Graphic on his arrival in Accra from the Central Region, Dr Nduom stated that he would consolidate some ministries and abolish others to ensure that he run a lean and cost-effective administration for the benefit of the country.
In that connection, he said the pre-requisite would be to select the best human resource available and depend on competence and efficiency.
“This will also mean that I will have some ministers who will be CPP members and others who are non-CPP members to do the work,” he stated.
He explained that having been in charge of Public Sector Reforms stood him in good stead to do with not more than 40 ministers of state, including deputies and regional ministers.
"I am also going to employ and make use of appropriate technologies that can galvanize the country's efforts at accelerated national development,” he said.
Dr Nduom said he was going to place premium on decentralisation and would insist on the election of district chief executives so that they would be accountable to the people.
He said the state had the responsibility to protect its people, and that was why even in the United States of America, the most liberalised economy in the world, farmers were protected, a situation which, he noted, ensured guaranteed prices.
Dr Nduom pointed out that it was not prudent for the state to leave public transport in the hands of individuals and cited the UK, the US and other advanced economies where city authorities were in charge of transport, hence the idea of the present government introducing the metro mass transport system.
He said 2008 would be an exciting year and dismissed propaganda that he was a New Patriotic Party (NPP) plant.
He explained that if any of the political parties was scared of his entry into the presidential race, then it must be the NPP because “I worked with them and they know my capability and what I can deliver”.
He looked forward to the NPP congress on Saturday and expressed the hope that the winner would certainly have an experience in government.
He explained that if that happened, then the three most important political parties in the country would have elected presidential candidates with experience in governance and dared all of them to put their experiences on the table and raise issues to enable Ghanaians to decide who was more capable of taking Ghana to the next stage of its development.
He said all governments, since 1992, had done their best to consolidate democracy “but our best so far has not been good enough to alleviate poverty and create jobs for the people”.
On the argument that he and Prof Mills were from the Central Region and so that would split the votes in that region, Dr Nduom said the 2008 elections would not be a tribal game but one based on issues and the concerns of all Ghanaians for a better Ghana.
Touching on the influence of money at the just-ended CPP congress, he said he would not deny spending money during his campaign tour but explained that he had done so to strengthen the structures of the party at the regional and constituency levels and even at the national headquarters.
“Indeed, my campaign team and I personally got involved in the election of the regional and constituency officers and even sponsored their activities,” he said.
He added that while “my opponents were waiting in Accra to touch base with the delegates, I was with them in the trenches”.
On efforts to unite the party, Dr Nduom promised to reach out to all the losing aspirants and work with them in the interest and progress of the CPP.
He said he had received congratulatory messages from some of them, while others were yet to do so.
He thanked the Daily Graphic for covering the CPP congress and pledged that the good relationship existing between the party and the paper would be continued.
The Editor of the paper, Mr Ransford Tetteh, explained newsroom processes and working ethics to Dr Nduom and his team.