President Akufo-Addo has been urged by the Minority in Parliament to reduce the number of his ministers from 86 to 65.

The Minority Leader, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, said yesterday at a news conference in Parliament that the president needs to combine ministries like Information and Communication, Transport and Railways, Chieftaincy and Tourism, Sanitation, and Local government to reduce the number of ministers.

The group also demanded the immediate removal of all amorphous creations and waste-pipe, job-for-the-boys appointments since President Akufo-Addo took office in 2017 and the reduction in the number of political appointees at the Office of the President.

In addition, the minority led by Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson stated that it would not support a consensus vote at the Appointments Committee level regarding the ongoing vetting of ministers and deputy ministers designates.

According to the minority caucus, it will guarantee that the full House will vote in secret on whether or not the nominees should be approved.

The statement comes after the National Democratic Congress (NDC) issued a press release in which it urged the Minority members of Parliament to reject the new ministers appointed by President Akufo-Addo.

It should be recalled that the government announced six new ministerial nominees to replace the previous ones, some of whom had reassigned while others had resigned.

The NDC urged its members to reject the nominees in a press release dated February 19, 2023, stating that their objective was to ensure a decrease in the size of the current government.

Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson says that the Minority will follow the party’s orders because the caucus wants the Akufo-Addo government to reduce the number of ministerial portfolios to reflect the country’s current economic crisis.

The minority maintains that, in light of the current state of affairs, which includes hyperinflation, a depreciating cedi, and a crushing cost of living, the president was obligated to re-align and merge some of the ministries in order to ensure cost reductions and greater efficiency.

However, he stated that the minority will spare no effort to safeguard the public purse and remain committed to ensuring increased scrutiny.

“In accordance with this, we are participating in the screening process so that we can, at the very least, examine the President’s decision to bring those nominees up.”

Government spending The minority also claimed that, despite the rising cost of living and economic crisis, the government had increased its spending by a staggering GHc82 billion in 2023 compared to 2022.

He asserted that the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia administration continues to engage in wasteful spending and that the presidency imposed the following on Ghanaians between January and September 2022 (a period of nine months):

A staggering GHc59.4 million was spent on the president’s “operational enhancement expenditure” by the afflicted Ghanaian taxpayers.

During the nine-month period under review, fuel payments made at the presidency cost the afflicted Ghanaian taxpayer a staggering GHc51.1 million.

Other claims include that the suffering Ghanaian taxpayer paid a staggering GHC16.9 million for the President’s most recent regional tours, as well as an unbelievable GHC15 million for official vehicle tires and batteries.

In the meantime, the Majority caucus has criticized the NDC for sending its members a letter urging them not to vet ministerial nominees.

Mr. Alexander Afenyo-Markin, the Deputy Majority Leader, says that the party’s actions disrespect Parliament, the Speaker, and the constitution.

Additionally, he asserted, it suggests that the minority members of the committee are incapable of independently making sound decisions.

He stated that future generations will consider the party’s efforts to impede the committee’s and parliament’s work.

He urged the party to behave well if they wanted to be the people’s choice in the upcoming election because their behavior lacks political maturity.