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Opinions of Friday, 24 March 2017

Columnist: Andani, Alhassan

Make the 'horn of strength' a minister or what do you think Mr. President?

By: Andani, Alhassan

I have monitored the army of ministers brouhaha with keen interest and I must confess that every part of my body is sad including the thumb that voted for this change.

The Akufo Addo government decided to balloon the number of ministers to a record 110 ever since the inception of the fourth republic. I became dejected upon the reason His Excellency came out with in defense of this sharing is caring appointments. The reasons for my let down cannot in anyway contradict the reasons of those who are also disappointed.

My reason is cost and our bleeding economy. The cost of feeding the stomachs of these army of ministers and the nourishment of their V8 vehicles with fuel is weightier enough to cause mass disappointments among the citizens including myself. The New Patriotic Party campaigned with a message of change which the discerning Ghanaian voter bought into and helped effectuated. Change means new ways of doing things that are logical. Change means protecting the public purse against unscrupulous greedy bastards. Change means minimizing cost by eliminating unproductive cost centers for profit maximization. Change doesn’t mean Akufo Addo’s way of doing things. Change doesn’t mean the putting up of lame arguments in defense of a bloated government.

The New Patriotic Party has consistently pride itself through their talking parrots as the party with competent men and woman who can convert the blessings bestowed on the country into a fortune. You made us believed that you had people with brains and no problem in the country can floor their intelligent quotients. Deputizing some of the ministries with three ministers is absolutely unwarranted especially in a country with economy on dialysis.

The vice president has said that Ghana in June, will migrate to an e-procurement platform which I think is a laudable idea. Quite apart from this step, you have appointed a minister of procurement to perform duplicated functions and run concurrently with the national procurement authority which is a government institution mandated for this. I appreciate your effort in uprooting corruption but these appointments will provide the necessary conditions for corruption to germinate into a plant. This Akufo Addo’s way of doing things is economically unrewarding and coffers milking. Must we reward any campaign effort with gift even when the gift to reward it with is unavailable? Must you create a meaningless portfolio to appease a party functionary without any scintilla of commiseration to the plight of the national pairs?

This dolling out of provoking appointments can never be described best with a qualified adjective than cronyism. It means the awarding of party loyalist who contributed resources to make your vision of shamming the Ghanaian voter with change a reality. Unless I am told a cock and bull story, what’s is economically prudent with having many ministers responsible for Agric? Don’t provoke me more by telling me one is not running on a budget but the budget of the office of the president. Will his salary be paid with that budget? Will his undeserving per diems and allowances be catered for in the budget? “Kaman how”? To wit I mean how.

I will crave the indulgence of the mathematics enthusiasts with Dr. Bawumia as the chief enthusiast to do the cedis and pesewas mathematics to help you know that such unilateral way of piling pressure on the wage bill is completely unrooted in the efficient management of things. So many problems and as such deserved so many corresponding problem solvers is not a justification.

The problems of some countries are mightier and troubling than our own and can make ours a reserved player on the problems’ bench but they run lean governments. The funniest fashion with how people run to the defense of this indefensible way of doing things is totally shocking to the core. They rattle with vocabulary that is yet to receive the blessing of queen Elizabeth and same to be added into the lexicon by lexicographers forgetting that the human brain is the powerful tool that assists him in drawing a thick line between rights and wrongs.

The relationship between running a business and the running of a government is a trite knowledge and as such needs no employment of any rocket science or voodoo. We know our problems are many and you must address them. Not because you are paid with our taxes but to whom political power is given; tackling developmental challenges head-on is expected. These problems cannot be solved with the leaves of a cocoa tree but monies from generated revenues which currently is almost consumed by the wage bill.

In the process of trying to solves the problems with this meagre resource, you have succeeded in spending chunk of the resources on the payment of emoluments of undeserving ministers of senseless ministries. Can’t you merge the information ministry with the communication ministry? Because the functions of these ministries are interrelated and intertwined. We will not be spectators by waiting for the future bearing of fruits of these needless and senseless created portfolios with no job descriptions.

Please if you think the problems of Ghana are enormous and as such deserved this cronies, then make the “horn of strength” from your spiritual father a cabinet minister and deputized it with the “battle is the lord’s”!

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