President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has been called upon to trim down the size of his government for prudent economic management and discipline of state resources.
Minority leader, Hon. Haruna Iddriss, who made the call indicated that Ghana has entered the Guinness World book of records as country with the largest size of government with 110 ministers of state and argued that nowhere in the world does any government have such number of ministers.
The Minority leader was concluding debate on the State of Nation Address (SONA) delivered by President Akufo-Addo to Parliament on 8th February, 2018.
He noted that the President attempted to assess his numerous ministers in the address but managed to mention just eight because of the size of government.
He questioned whether those who were not mentioned are not performing or simply because the President does not recognize their contributions to the success of his administration.
He argued that it is imperative for the President to reduce the size of his government to demonstrate his promise to defend the public purse against waste.
Management of the economy, he stated, is a matter of promoting economic and social development pursuant of the national development goal of the state and stressed that the 2018 State of Nation address was replete with new promises as well as tons of broken promises that where pledged in the 2017 address.
President Akufo-Addo, he said, appeared before the House in 2017 with many promises including a train starting from Takoradi to Paga and indicated that the minority expected the President to appear before the legislature on board that particular train but ironically work on this touted promise has not even started nevertheless reached a stage.
The Minority leader indicated that President Akufo-Addo promised Members of Parliament one million dollars under his flagship programme of one million dollars per constituency but failed woefully to deliver on that promise and yet the President in the 2018 SONA again promised what he failed to deliver in 2017.
He argued that at an exchange rate of GH¢4.20 for the United States dollar, every constituency deserved to receive an amount of GH¢4.2 million as their share.
“That did not happen, would not happen and has been promised again. We leave it to the President to decide where to invest that money. Such major promise that was made has not been honoured and has not been fulfilled.”
According to the Minority leader, President Akufo-Addo was more than eager to paint a picture that the economy he inherited was a mess as if the economy has seen dramatic transformation since the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) assumed the reins of government.
The state of the Ghanaian economy, he indicated, is far from being good because it is still a high risk economy in terms of debt management.
He noted that the NPP promised to build a viable strong economy and to grow the economy in double digits. However, in its 2018 budget the Akufo-Administration pledged to grow the economy at 6.2% in 2018, 7.3% in 2019, 5.6% in 2020 and 5.3% in 2021.
“Where is the promise of double digit growth promised in the manifesto? Even as we go into 2019, 2020 and 2021, you are already promising the people of Ghana a declining growth of the economy against the pledge and promise made in the manifesto for double digit growth,” he stated.
He cautioned that this kind of growth would not give the economy the composure to maintain and address rising unemployment in the country or support the growth of the private sector and queried whether this is the prudent management of the economy that President Akufo-Addo promised for the people of Ghana.
By Osumanu Al-Hassanfirstname.lastname@example.org