Ghana government has approved a staggering amount of GHC800,000 ($177, 216) for the development of a website for the Ministry of Special Development Initiatives.
The amount was captured in a breakdown of the ministry’s 2018 projected expenditure.
In February 2017, the Minority caucus in Parliament described as unprecedented, the size of the Executive.
They said the number of ministers named by President Akufo-Addo for his government was too high.
The Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu while contributing to a motion on the approval of some minister-nominees said they were concerned about the implications of the size of the government on the public purse.
He said, “as we approve this, we would have been approving 36 ministers so far. That is unparalleled, that is unprecedented; it is the largest under the fourth republic. When we add the ten regional ministers, it will be 46. That will mean that it would have an effect on the public purse. We are concerned about it.”
Public outcry over large size of new government
A section of the public have criticized the Akufo-Addo government over the seemingly large size of government after the President made announcements of new ministerial portfolios and offices, some of which, hitherto, never existed.
They expressed concerns that these new creations will mean more government spending in acquisition of resources for the new appointees and payment of salaries.
A five-member committee chaired by Prof. Dora Francisca Edu-Buandoh to review the conditions of service and emoluments for article 71 office holders including Presidents, Ministers and Members of Parliament, recently recommended the following monthly salaries for the various ministerial offices;
Cabinet Minister (MP) – GH¢16,423
Cabinet Minster (Non-MP) – GH¢ 16,195
Minister of State (MP) – GH¢ 15,967
Minister of State (Non-MP) – GH¢ 15,739
Regional Minister (MP) – GH¢ 15,967
Regional Minister (Non-MP) – GH¢15,511
Deputy Minster (MP) – GH¢ 14,826
Deputy Regional Minister (MP) – GH¢14,598
Deputy Minister (Non-MP) – GH¢ 14,369
Dep. Regional Minster (Non-MP) – GH¢ 142,142.
The recommendation was approved by Parliament to take effect from January 2017.
New Ministry and Website
For a new Ministry with limited content, it is expected that it will build its content size gradually and therefore would not need this huge amount.
The smell of corruption rearing its ugly head
The new Ministry led by the Awutu Senya East MP Mavis Hawa Koomson presented a total budget of GH¢71, 059, 970.00 for approval by parliament for its operations in the ensuing year.
Meanwhile, the minister has assured the Ministry it will ensure value for money in the execution of all projects.
According to her, all the projects that would be undertaken by the Ministry were selected by the communities themselves after a 10-member committee visited each of the constituencies to interact with the people on their specific needs.
But anti-corruption crusaders have raised issue with the amount and have called for judicious use scarce state resources.