Dr. Ebenezer Kofi Hayford, the Chief Convener for the Coalition for Democratic Governance (CDG) has criticized the government for introducing a term he describes as ‘absurd ministries’ which are wasting the country’s scanty resources.
He indicated that, a country like Ghana does not need ministers numbering 110 to be able to manage the affairs of the country. He however cited some other African countries like Tanzania and Kenya that are three times bigger than the size of Ghana, but have up to 73 and 75 ministers.
According to Dr. Ebenezer Kofi Hayford, CDG’s assessment done on the government indicates that, government is rather over burdening the public purse with wasteful expenditures instead of protecting it.
“The country is now bleeding because, the ministry has no relevance and only exists to over burden the public purse,” he lamented.
He said, the MSDI only performs some basic functions of other existing ministries such as the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Works and Housing, thus the need to be scrapped.
Dr. Ebenezer also described as unnecessary the GHS1,010,239,700 budgetary allocation approved for the Ministry of Special Development Initiatives for 2018, since in his view, nothing in it is justifiable.
In the budget which was approved by parliament, 275 ambulances will be procured at a unit cost of GHS354,750 totaling GHS97,556,250. “What then is the work of the Ministry of Health and the National Ambulance Service?” he asked.
Fifty warehouses would be constructed at a unit cost of GHS1,652,469 totaling GHS82,623,480. Also, 1000 solar-powered mechanical boreholes would be constructed at a unit cost of GHS132,000 totaling GHS132,000,000.
Additionally, 1000 “water closet institutional toilets with mechanised boreholes and solar panels” would be constructed at a unit cost of GHS187,000 totaling GHS187,000,000.
Fifty micro-enterprises would also be constructed at a unit cost of GHS550,000 totaling GHS 27,500,000, and many more.
CDG is therefore calling on the president to scrap the Ministry of Special Development Initiative (MSDI) and divert their budgetary allocation towards the implementation of the Free Senior High School programme which would benefit the country.
The Coalition he said believes that ” President Akufu-Addo, instead of protecting the public purse as he would want Ghanaians to believe, he is rather protecting his own presidency by surrounding himself with relatives and family friends. Now prominent amongst the over 70% of government positions held by his clan and cohorts, are the Attorney General, the Chief Justice and the Minister of Finance.
And I can go to mention them but I’m only sticking to these three,” Dr. Ebenezer noted.
“Now, with this method, the President has introduced a new monarchical republic of Ghana. Originally, all the Presidents were ruling in the republic of Ghana, but now we the monarchical republic of Ghana which seeks to perpetuate him in office,” he concluded.
He was speaking at a press conference in Accra on Wednesday 4th January, 2018 at the international press centre dabbed “Protecting the public purse indeed”.
On his part in an explanation, Mr. Sylvester K. K. Mintah, a convener of the group, said the group is giving the government a three month ultimatum to scrap the SDI ministry and also withdraw and review the 2018 budget.
Saying, if government does not scrap the MSDI ministry, withdraw and review the 2018 budget, the group would be forced to hit the streets.
“We demand that government scrap the Ministry of Special Development Initiative and divert their budgetary allocations to the free SHS,” he stated.
“We are asking for the total withdrawal and review of the 2018 budget. We are going to hit this government to ensure that, whatever this government promised is delivered,” Mr. Sylvester Mintah stressed.
The conference saw a successful end with other officials from the CDG in the likes of Edward Mortey and others, and Journalists from across Greater Accra Region.