President of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, says should President Akufo-Addo heed calls for a ministerial reshuffling, he should use the opportunity to cut down on his appointees.
According to him, the problem with the government is not only about the ministerial personnel at post, but also includes the size of government and the number of ministries operating in the country, hence merely changing ministers would not solve the problem.
He explained that taking into consideration the current poor state of the economy, a reduction in the size of government would save the country some 6 billion Ghana cedis in expenditure in comparison to the 200 million the 30% cuts in ministerial spending will save the country.
“There are too many of them, there are too many ministries that could be collapsed into fit-sized ministries and just have agency heads that could do the work,” he said.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, Franklin Cudjoe noted that a proper reshuffling would thus have to be policy-led and personnel-led in order to make any significant change in the economy in the shortest possible time.
“And I think that if we had taken a cursory look at the numbers and the kinds of cuts that we wanted to see, major cuts will therefore lead to a rationalization of the ministries that we have. I mean, from 86, we could as well do about 40.
“Really, there can still be stiffer alignment if the President wanted, but the President is an expansionary thinker. He thinks in bigger terms and so we may not necessarily have to quarrel with that. But if I were looking at the numbers, my reshuffling is not just about changing or reordering personnel, it’s actually about cutting the size of government to fit exactly what the economy is looking like now,” he said.
He continued, “And as I’m saying, if we took a staple and cut 6 billion discretionary spending, you’re actually going to cut down on the number of ministries, and that will force realignment or a rationalization of these ministries. So these persons may find themselves in other departments or they may just be taken out of the system entirely.”
He added that the first target for such a reshuffling is the Finance Ministry.
“So my reshuffling is actually in two folds; one, that deals with the department that said we were never going to go to the IMF when indeed the numbers were showing clearly. But, a larger reshuffle will be for me, one that accompanies deeper cuts, and deeper cuts should lead the reshuffling. The reshuffling is not just in terms of personnel but in terms of the reconfiguration of the government system that we have right now,” he said.