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05.11.2019 Feature Article

Please Reduce The Over-Bloated Belly Of The Elephant!

Please Reduce The Over-Bloated Belly Of The Elephant!
NOV 5, 2019 FEATURE ARTICLE

I’m sure the heading would give you inkling about the topic under my microscopic lenses today. It is something I rarely do because I do not believe in washing one’s dirty linen in public. But since I have no other means of discussing the issue with Abusuapanin and other family members, I’m compelled to use this medium to unburden my heart.

Last week I told you about the visit to my septuagenarian friend. What I failed to tell you is the fact that he is nonpartisan but has a very soft spot for President Nana Dee because of his pro poor policies. He gave a favourable rating to the 34-month-old government but expressed grave concern about a few negatives, one of which is the over-bloated belly of the Elephant.

I share his sentiments and I’m sure many others do, too. I even had the occasion to subtly touch on it last year. Either it went unnoticed or fell on deaf ears.

When the Nana Dee government first came to power, one of the issues that generated a lot of hubbub in the country was the number of ministers and their deputies. I stand for correction, they were 110 ministers; I think. Many became concerned because the number was the highest by any government in this country.

Frankly, I was very concerned too. I wondered how a government with seemingly highly qualified persons from diverse backgrounds could be so bloated. “Where are the men who could do the job?” I soliloquized.

Indeed, many others began to question the popular ‘we have the men’ mantra. They wondered if it was only a political gimmick for winning votes. Justifiably so! Because having an over-bloated government amply portrays that fact.

The President subsequently acknowledged the concerns of his compatriots and asked for patience since the results would justify the high numbers. Many thus heeded his call and allowed the matter to rest for a while.

Almost three-years on, anyone with unbiased lenses would attest to the fact that the Nana Dee government has performed creditably. But one could also tell that some appointees are only a drain on the national coffers.

It is almost three-years into her appointment and the Minister of Procurement is yet to convince a single soul about the relevance of her ministry. Same could be said of the Monitoring and Evaluation Ministry. After overseeing the creation of the new regions, I struggle to understand what the Minister is now reorganising at the Regional Reorganization Ministry. Not to talk of other redundant ministries and inefficient deputy ministers whom we pay for doing nothing, except gracing social functions.

The creation of the new regions has even made the belly much more bloated by increasing the numbers to 120 ministers or so. Considering the size and population of the country, such high numbers should be a matter of grave concern to anyone who professes to love this country.

Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) recently gave the Nana Dee government very high marks in many facets of governance. Once again, the over-bloated belly of the Elephant featured prominently as one of the negatives. The institute further suggested the scrapping of some ministries, which do not give the country value for money.

I know Zu-za members are fond of engaging in propaganda to gain political points so the Nana Dee government would take their call for a reduction in the size of the Elephant’s belly with a pinch of salt. But trust me when I say many neutrals are not enthused about the much protruded belly of the Elephant. Even many of those who helped in putting the Elephant on the presidential throne are also not enthused.

It is the reason I refuse to be a sycophant and sing praises where there are none. I would rather point out the defects on the Elephant to ensure that they are corrected in readiness for the 2020 battle. After all, did our elders not say the one who truly loves you is he who would look you in the eye and tell you the bitter truth without blinking?

For once, I don’t want to believe Wofa Kwaku Bee. His allusion that our call for the reduction of the Elephant’s over-bloated belly would fall on deaf ears is worrying. It would mean Mr President is busily dancing to the “yen tie obiaa” tune on the matter and behaving like an intoxicated cock that has forgotten about the hawk. That is very worrying, isn’t it?

See you next week for another interesting konkonsa Deo volente!

Agya Kwaku Ogboro
Agya Kwaku Ogboro, © 2019

The author has 149 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: AgyaKwakuOgboro

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