Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has set a record at least in his country for appointing 110 ministers. Fifty six of them are full ministers, while fifty are deputy ministers, with the remaining four, ministers of state.
In contrast Nigeria has thirty five ministers and Britain has a total of 120 ministers for a population of about 65 million.
Akufo-Addo who was elected last December on a manifesto to fix a host of economic problems and fight corruption, said the appointments were necessary.
But critics believed that it was an overdo, describing the size of government as elephant for a country like Ghana.
It is the largest government since the country of about 27 million inhabitants, adopted a democratic constitution in 1992.
I’m aware that people are concerned about what they see as maybe the cost of this large government,” Akufo-Addo admitted in an interview on national television.
It is a necessary investment to make for the rapid transformation of this country. Ministers are coming to work, it’s not going to be a holiday.” he said
But the opposition party is less convinced about the benefit of having such a big government.
We’re confronted with an elephant size of government and Akufo-Addo has proven that he’s a politician rather than a president,” said Haruna Iddrisu, leader of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Parliament.
Akufo-Addo, who promised to cut superfluous government spending, has hit back at his opponents claiming it is a necessary investment for Ghana.
Following the new wave of ministerial intake, the agriculture ministry now boasts a minister, a minister of state and three deputies. Four other ministries also have three deputies and a minister.
Parliamentary sources told Reuters that top government appointees receive monthly salaries of about $4,000 (£3,326) in addition to at least two cars, free fuel, a house, free utilities and personal protection.
It’s a case of jobs for the boys,” said politics lecturer Geoffrey Molu, whose comment was echoed on social media and by commentators on Ghana’s radio and TV channels.
Government spokesman Nana Akomea said criticism would stop if the government delivers on its ambitious agenda.