The special ministries created to allegedly reward party boys and girls when President Akufo-Addo assumed office on January 7, 2017, are going to be scrapped to make it possible for a leaner government.
They include Aviation, Office of the Senior Minister, Planning, Zongo, Special Initiatives, Regional Reorganisation and Development, Public Procurement Ministry, Monitoring and Evaluation which left in its wake 125 ministers serving in the Akufo-Addo government aside special assistants, consultants among others.
It is unclear when the first list of ministerial appointments will be released by the Presidency to end the lobbying, anxieties within the ruling NPP, and speculations in the country, especially amongst the business community.
The explanation has been that the ministries to be scrapped were specially created to help establish and give focus to the President’s priority projects.
Seven specialised 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.
Asaaseradio.com, says it can confirm that they are set to be collapsed because they have accomplished the purpose for which they were set up, which was the work of establishing those priority projects and programmes.
Secondly, the change is said to be in response to public criticism of the record size of the president’s first-term government.
The Akufo-Addo first government had 36 substantive ministers and 7 ministers of state overall.
It also had 48 deputy ministers, as well as 16 regional ministers and 16 deputy regional ministers, which took the number of ministers and deputy ministers high.
This number is expected to go down by at least 30percent as President Akufo-Addi seeks to cut down the numbers, especially deputy ministers, sources close to the Office of the President have confirmed to Asaase News.
According to highly placed sources, the one-seat majority enjoyed by the governing New Patriotic Party in Parliament with the support of the independent MP for Fomena, also brought with it unusual pressure.
The challenge will be to uphold the constitutional dictate of choosing a majority of government ministers from Parliament while making sure that the work of Parliament will not disadvantage the Executive, even though a large proportion of MPs, will be busy with ministerial work.
Among the ministries affected, according to our sources, are Aviation, which had Kofi Adda (the former MP for Navrongo in the Upper East) as its minister. Aviation’s functions are expected to be added to those of the present Ministry of Transport.
The Ministry of Inner-City and Zongo Development, which had Dr. Mustapha Abdul-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 subsumed 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 functions.
As part of President Akufo-Addo’s agenda to create new regions during his first term, he set up the Ministry of Regional Reorganisation and Development, which was led by the MP for Okere, Dan Botwe. The ministry supervised the creation of six new regions – Bono, Bono East, North East, Oti, Savannah and Western North – in line with the processes laid down in the 1992 constitution.
The Regional Reorganisation and Development Ministry essentially having completed its work, will also be collapsed. All aspects of its work which are yet to be completed will be handled by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
The Ministry of Monitoring and Evaluation, which was responsible for conducting research on the performance of all ministries, will also no longer exist. Asaase News hears that the research department of the Office of the President at Jubilee House will probably be revamped to perform this function.
The name of a reputable researcher, Dr Isaac Owusu Mensah, has been pencilled to lead the research office.
Adwoa Safo, the former Deputy Majority Leader, who also doubled as the minister of state in charge of procurement, will also have her ministerial portfolio collapsed. Sources say that she is likely to hold another, pre-existing portfolios. She is the MP for the most populated constituency in the country, Dome Kwabenya.
In line with the work to reshape his second-term government, President Akufo-Addo will not be maintaining the Ministry of Planning, which was led by Professor George Gyan-Baffour. The Planning portfolio will devolve to the Ministry of Finance.
The Ministry of Special Development Initiatives, which was led by Mavis Hawa Koomson (the MP for Awutu Senya East), will also no longer be a substantive ministry, our sources say.