Source: Today Newspaper
President of Legal Advocacy Foundation, Dr. Maurice Ampaw, has stated categorically that about 72% of President John Dramani Mahama’s deputy ministers are still schooling in various tertiary institutions across the country.
“I have done my checks and I can say for a fact that most of the deputy ministers – precisely about 72% of the current administration – are still in school,” the legal expert said.
The outspoken lawyer could not fathom why tax payer’s monies should be spent on the education of government appointees.
He mentioned Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) and the University of Ghana, Legon as some of the institutions where many of these deputy ministers are having their tertiary programmes.
Dr. Ampaw made these observations on Ghana, Great and Strong, a flagship programme on Ghana’s premier internet-based radio-www.Hejorleonlineradio.com, in Accra.
According to him, there are some entrenched clauses in the 1992 Constitution that must be amended to ensure that Ghana has what he described as “democratic sanity.”
Contributing to the size of the executive arm of government, the vociferous lawyer blamed the framers of the 1992 Constitution for vesting too much power in the presidency.
That development, he stressed, tends to make whoever occupies that office [presidency] a “thin god.”
For instance, Dr. Amapaw noted that the powers for the president to appoint any number of ministers or deputy ministers without a ceiling must be critically looked at.
“In fact, in my view the 1992 Constitution needs a total amendment so as to ensure equity and fairness in our governance system,” he proposed.
He maintained that there is also the need for government to prune down the number of ministers, especially the deputies.
That, he said, will help cut down government’s expenditure and pave way for other social interventions to be implemented.
A development economist from the University of Education, Winneba, Dr. Theophilus Richardson, who was on the programme, underscored the need for the nation to conduct its affairs according to its financial resources.
Government appointments, he said, should not be “job for the boys,” adding that “people should be appointed based on their competence and expertise.”
He challenged President Mahama to do the right thing by pruning down the number of his ministers, particularly the deputies, who, according to him, do not even know their functions.
For his part, Vice President of Research and Economic Group Business of Africa, Emmanuel Darkwa, who was also on the show, argued that the size of government should be proportional to the growth of the economy.
“It is not about increasing numbers of ministers but how strong and buoyant a nation’s economy is; that should determine the number of ministers a country should have,” he said.
Host of the programme, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, registered his resentment on the enormous powers given to a president by the Constitution.
According to him, the current administration does not need to have all these number of ministers before it can deliver on its promises to Ghanaians.
He recounted that during his time as a minister of Public Sector Reform in the erstwhile Kufuor administration though he did not have any deputy minister he made sure that the job was always done.