Almost all the ministries created when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo assumed office on 7 January 2017 to help establish and give focus to his priority projects are set to be collapsed into existing ones, Asaaseradio.com can confirm.
Seven specialized ministries plus Ministers of State were created in addition to what are known as the ‘traditional ministries’ for the President’s first term in office. They are being absorbed for two reasons, according to Asaase Radio sources.
First is because they are said to have accomplished the purpose for which they were set up, which was the work of establishing those priority projects and programmes. Secondly, it is said to be in response to public criticism of the record size of the President’s first term government.
The Akufo-Addo first term administration over all, had 36 substantive Ministers and seven Ministers of State. The administration also had 48 Deputy Ministers as well as 16 Regional Ministers and 16 Deputy Regional Ministers, which brought the total number of Ministers and Deputy Ministers to 123. This number is expected to go down by at least 30% as the President seeks to cut down numbers, especially that of Deputy Ministers, sources close to the Office of the President have confirmed to Asaase News.
According to highly placed sources, the one seat majority being enjoyed by the governing NPP in Parliament, with the support of the independent Fomena MP, also brought with it the pressure of upholding the constitutional diktat of choosing majority of Ministers from Parliament while making sure that the work of Parliament does not disadvantage the executive with several MPs being busy with ministerial work.
The affected ministries
Among the Ministries affected, according to our sources, are Aviation, which had Kofi Adda (former MP for Navrongo Constituency in the Upper East Region) as the Minister. The functions of the Ministry are expected to be added to the Ministry of Transport.
The Inner City and Zongo Development which had Dr. Mustapha Hamid as the substantive Minister will be collapsed. However, Inner City and Zongo Development will become an agency under the Office of the President and its remaining functions will be inculcated into the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
The Ministry of Business Development, according to the source at the Presidency, will no longer be a substantive Ministry in the yet-to-be constituted Akufo-Addo second government. The Ministry of Trade and Industry will have Business Development added to its function.
As part of President Akufo-Addo’s agenda for the creation of new regions during his first term, he created the Ministry of Regional Reorganization and Development which was headed by MP for Okere, Dan Botwe. The Ministry went ahead to supervise the creation of six new regions in line with the laid down processes in the 1992 Constitution namely the Oti Region, Savannah Region, Western North Region, North East Region, Bono Region, and Bono East Region. The Regional Reorganization and Development Ministry having essentially completed its work, will also be collapsed and all aspects of its work which are yet to be completed will be handled by the Local Government and Rural Development Ministry.
The Ministry of Monitoring and Evaluation which was essentially responsible for conducting research on the performance of all Ministries will also not exist anymore. Asaase News’ information is that the research department of the Office of the President at the Jubilee House is expected to be revamped to perform this function. A renowned Ghanaian researcher, Dr. Isaac Owusu Mensah, has been penciled to lead the research office.
Three more ministries going
Adwoa Safo, the former Deputy Majority Leader, who also doubled as Minister of State in charge of Procurement, will also see her ministerial portfolio collapsed. Sources say that she is likely to hold another of the pre-existing portfolios. She is MP for the most populated constituency in the country, Dome Kwabenya.
As part of the reshaping of his second term government, President Akufo-Addo will not be maintaining the Ministry of Planning which had Professor Gyan Baffour as the Minister. The planning portfolio will be added to the Ministry of Finance.
The Ministry of Special Development Initiatives, which was headed by Hawa Koomson (MP for Awutu Senya East Constituency), will also no longer be a substantive Ministry in the next Akufo-Addo government.
By Wilberforce Asare || Asaase Radio