General News of Wednesday, 23 January 2013
Outspoken critic and founding member of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby has pooh-poohed President John Mahama’s latest ministerial appointments, describing them as unnecessary duplications.
He criticized the president for appointing a number of ministers at the presidency in charge of specific areas, asking what those ministers would do that the substantive ministers cannot.
In President Mahama’s latest ministerial appointments, he nominated Mr. Alhassan Azong, Minister of State at the Presidency in charge of Public Sector Reform; Mr. Rashid Pelpuo, Minister of State at the Presidency in charge of Public-Private Partnerships; Alhaji Mustapha Ahmed, Minister of State at the Presidency in charge of Development Authorities in the Office of the President; and Fiifi Kwetey, Minister of State at the Presidency in charge of Financial and Allied institutions in the Office of the President, amongst others.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Wednesday, January 23, 2013, Dr. Wereko-Brobby accused the president of simply giving out titles by unnecessarily packing the executive branch with ministers of state at the presidency.
“I wish our people had gone to Parliament and asked, ‘what is it that the ministers are going to do at the presidency that sector ministers in well established ministries cannot do?’ What is it they are going to do?” he asked.
He rejected the suggestion that the ministers at the presidency are responsible for the president’s priority areas, insisting that there is lack of clarity and confusion of roles.
For instance, he proffered, “what is the difference between what Fifi Kwetey is going to do and what Seth Terkper (Finance Minister) is doing? Who has got the overriding responsibility? Who has? They are both ministers; is Fifi Kwetey sitting next to the President more important than Seth Terkper sitting at the Ministry of Finance or what”? Dr. Wereko-Brobby, also known as Tarzan asked.
Commenting on Rashid Pelpuo’s Public-Private Partnership portfolio, Minister of State at the Presidency in charge of Public-Private Partnerships, Tarzan said that was another unnecessary duplication. “What is Haruna (Iddrisu) going to do? Haruna is Minister for Trade and Industry; what does Trade and Industry minister promote”? he asked and quickly supplied, “Public-Private Partnership.”
He said the president must explain to the Ghanaian people the basis for his duplication of ministerial functions.
The former Chief Executive of the erstwhile Ghana@50 Secretariat said if the president doesn’t like any ministers he must sack them instead of creating duplicated ministries.
“Becasuse of our colonial antecedence, we are stuck in our thinking that ministers have got policy making powers; they don’t have tiing (anything); they are all advisors to the president; the executive authority of Ghana rests with the president of Ghana so it doesn’t matter where he puts the ministers; whether he puts them to also administer sector ministers or he puts them at the presidency, it doesn’t matter to me; all I don’t want is duplication and jobs for the boys; giving titles to people simply because you want to give the title, Minister,” he stated.