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Opinions of Saturday, 8 January 2011

Columnist: Lonto-Boy

The Reshuffle: Game-Changing or Same Old Tired Brains?

President Atta-Mills delivered his New Year resolutions for 2011 in the form of a reshuffle. Reshuffle is normally carried out after a serious introspection through continuous monitoring, evaluation and public opinion of performance of government ministers. So far, the President has not been helped by the performance of some of the execrable and incompetent ministers and series of mediocrity in his government.

Fundamentally, radical change is needed-Not just a reshuffle! Certainly, reshuffle is needed not just for the sake of a reshuffle in itself, but to revitalise and increase the Government’s efficiency. The NDC government has serious problems in fully-formed national policies, executing and implementing ideas because of lack of coherent, pragmatic and effective strategy in service delivery. There has also been lack of coordination between ministries and other government agencies.

The NDC government’s reshuffle should be aimed at restructuring , reorganising and reenergising the machinery of the government to meet the serious national challenges in key areas such as security, justice, energy and natural resources, economy and youth unemployment, education and technology to ensure effective service delivery and national development. Given the fact that Ghana still faces serious inequality, discrimination and regional imbalances in the government, the reshuffle should have gone a long way to reflect the wishes and aspirations of this nation. Personally, I view this reshuffle as a result of intense internal political pressure to change hats, head scarves and locations than carrying out a desired change. President Mills has stumbled. This should have been his finest chance to regain public confidence and to appoint new and competent fresh brains with fresh and bold policies in the various ministerial portfolios towards his “Better Ghana Agenda”.

More so, the reshuffle should have been an opportunity to embark on serious austerity measures to downsize the number of deputy ministers wasting resources in the corridors of power. An opportunity lost to form a “unity government” to reflect the ethnic diversity and address the regional composition of his government. This is yet an indication that President Mills has abandoned his promise to carry out “the work of change and national unity” he so much preaches.
Interestingly, how could the President take for example [Betty], the same person who has by default, failed to provide effective justice delivery and move the same person to the portfolio of education? Please, explain that logic? Is this another second, third or fourth chance for these corrupt, inept, incompetent and under-performing ministers to screw up somewhere else? Reshuffling the same old tired brains in the government is basically pursuing the same old narrow objectives dressed up as “change”. This is farcical and cosmetic exercise.
There’re fundamental flaws in the government that go far deeper than swapping office desks and the “surgical mantra” of Mr. Ablakwa. It needs forensic analysis! Whatever one’s political views, the country cannot carry on like this. We need renewed sense of national purpose for progress and development.