The unprecedented problems confronting Ghana demand a large government, President Nana Akufo-Addo has said in response to the criticism fired at him over the size of his government, which has seen him appoint or nominate 110 ministers.
“I don’t believe that my government in the Fourth Republic has big numbers in view of the swollen challenges,” the President said in an interview with the Daily Graphic and Ghana Television.
President Akufo-Addo on Wednesday nominated 50 deputies and 4 others to serve as Ministers of State at the presidency and ministries, bringing his total number of ministers to 110, the highest in Ghana’s Fourth Republic.
The President toed the line of the initial defence from his government which has insisted that the weak nature of the economy, required a competent army.
President Akufo-Addo said, the problems facing the country, including the decline in the agriculture sector, corruption, the low growth rate of the economy and the revenue leaks required bold measures to address them.
“These are the background and the circumstances that were facing my government and the people of Ghana, hence they need a new paradigm shift to solve the problems,” he stated.
In President Akufo-Addo’s view, the end will justify the means as he assured that his government was going to work for the people.
“We have a problem and what is the best way? It is better to have men and women capable of serving the nation’s interests and to work to grow the economy… If I succeed, you will soon find out the brouhaha is nothing compared to the success.”
All hands on deck needed for ‘huge challenges’
“I don’t believe that any government in the fourth republic has inherited the challenges that my government has inherited, President Akufo-Addo stressed to justify his 110 ministers.
“We are talking about a country with a 74 percent GDP-to-debt ratio, a GHc 2.4 billion debt overhang in the energy sector, persistent decline in growth rate, lowest rate of 2.6 percent growth rated in the agriculture sector over the past 20 years, widespread unemployment, the major issue of corruption and the persistent leakage of revenue in our system.”
Given the “huge challenges”, President Akufo-Addo said it was his assessment that all hands on deck where needed.
“We need the cooperation of my party and my country that will allow me to deal with all these issues and already the signs are that this government, in spite of these huge challenges, has begun to put some order in the circumstances of our country,” he stated.