Former Chief of staff Kojo Mpiani says President John Mahama must not succumb to party pressures to appoint ministers who are inexperienced and hence cannot function effectively.
Adding his voice to the debate on the size of President Mahama’s government on Multitv’s current affairs program, PM Express he emphasized that it was not how big or lean the size of a government is that was relevant but its efficiency. This, he said, should be of utmost importance. For him a minister’s ability to perform coupled with his or her experience should count.
‘’someone will come straight from the University and is made a Minister. Even in a private business no one will employ a fresh graduate to head the business because experience is required’’
He added that though the size of the current government is big, it could be reduced and still record efficiencies.
‘’We can go down on the number of deputies and have effective substantive ministers. Some ministries do not need deputies, because some deputies are mostly redundant, we can ask if regional ministries need deputies at all. Ministries like that of education can have deputies because it is a large sector’’.
Kojo Mpiani posited that some deputies are virtually holidaying because main ministers do not assign work for them to do and that has given room for redundancies.
Political science lecturer, Dr. Ziblim Iddi also speaking on the show called for pre-screening before appointment to eliminate inefficiencies. He added that appointed ministers must have sound minds, appreciate legislature and also have the ability to debate on issues as said in the constitution.
‘’the constitution has given us a guide and that must be followed: unfortunately it has not provided a number for sector ministers though a minimum of 10 maximum ceiling of 19 has been given for cabinet’’
Dr. Ziblim Iddi suggested that the civil society groups unite to bring together past chief of staffs to bring to bear their experience of building governments as far of the size is concerned.
Policy analyst, Atik Mohammed also registered his disappointed over the last appointment of 26 ministers by the president adding that inexperienced ministers cannot learn from substantive ministers who are also learning on the job.
He insisted that President Mahama’s government was big.
‘’ operationally you do not need about 86 ministers to run a government that is supposed to superintend over a 25million population. It does not make sense’’.
Atik Mohammed also called on the president not to only satisfy ethnic and regional balances in his appointments.
‘’Efficiency of the appointees is very critical, you do not need 3 people occupying ministerial positions and doing virtually the same thing, you do not need numbers to ensure efficiency. Politicians must stop appointing people based on personal interests’’.