Member of Parliament for Yapei Kusawgu, John Jinapor has reiterated calls for President Nana Akufo-Addo to reduce the size of his government.
He believes the troubling COVID-19 and the lockdown situation that is crippling the operation of businesses leading to job cuts do not warrant a large number of Ministers and Staffers at the Presidency.
Speaking on the floor of Parliament on Monday, Mr. Jinpor who is a former Deputy Power Minister insisted that the current turn of events should compel the President to exhibit his commitment to having the interest of Ghana at heart and reduce the size of his government to minimize expenditure to save money for other socio-economic activities in these trying moments.
“As the Minister said, hotels and businesses are laying off workers in order to ensure that they cover their cost. This is the time for President Akufo-Addo to reduce the size of his ministers. Mr. Speaker, the President must demonstrate leadership and commitment. He must send a signal to the people of Ghana that he is in charge and prepared to sacrifice. We cannot have a Ministry with four Ministers. We cannot have a system with all those bloated Presidential staffers feeding at the place of government.”
Coronavirus pandemic to cost Ghana GHS9.5bn
The novel coronavirus pandemic is set to cost Ghana GHS9.505 billion, according to Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister.
This will be 2.5 percent of Ghana’s revised GDP.
“Mr. Speaker, the total estimated fiscal impact from the shortfall in petroleum receipts, shortfall import duties, the shortfall in other tax revenues, the cost of the preparedness plan, and the cost of Coronavirus Alleviation Programme is GHS9,505 billion,” he said when he appeared in Parliament on Monday.
Ultimately, there will be a “fiscal gap of GHS11.4 billion,” the Minister added.
Import duties, for example, will fall short of its target by GHS808 million for the 2020 fiscal year, the Minister indicated.
The effect of the virus on the economy will worsen because Ghana just began a two-week partial lockdown of Accra, Tema, Kumasi and Kasoa.
NPP elephant-sized government
This is not the first time pressure has mounted on President Akufo-Addo to reduce the size of his government to bring efficiency and reduce government expenditure.
Members of the Minority side in Parliament and former President John Mahama have said the size of the Akufo-Addo government is only having a negative toll on the country’s budget arguing that there was no justification for the creation of some of the ministerial portfolios created by the Akufo-Addo government.
Nana Akufo-Addo’s government has a record of about 110 Ministers.
Government’s disclosure also has it that there are close to 1000 staff working at under the office of the president.
As part of this figure, there are nine Ministers of State, 27 Presidential Staffers, 256 junior political appointees, and some other 706 persons including domestic and household workers and civil servants.