The New Patriotic Party “never” promised a lean government during the 2016 electioneering campaign, presidential spokesperson Mustapha Hamid has said.
Mr Hamid’s comments follow criticism by a section of Ghanaians about the large number of ministers and deputy ministers appointed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
According to critics, the number of ministers will put a stress on the public purse as Nana Akufo-Addo named 54 deputy ministers for the various ministries on Wednesday March 15.
In an answer to a question posed by Class News’ Kwesi Parker-Wilson at a press conference in Accra on Wednesday 15 March, Mr Hamid said it was better to have a large government with men of integrity who will be efficient on the job than a lean, corrupt government.
“We never promised a lean government. Nowhere did we promise a lean government, because in our view it is not the leanness or bigness of a government that determines its output and its ultimate performance,” Mr Hamid stated.
He justified the size of Nana Akufo-Addo’s government, saying: “We have had, in the history of this country, governments that are smaller that have landed this country in bigger debt and bigger mess than governments that have had bigger ministers. For example, the Kufuor government, apart from this Akufo-Addo government, would have been the government that had the biggest number of ministers and deputy ministers. But everybody knows President Kufuor’s record in this country. Everybody knows what we did for this nation at the end of President Kufour’s government. Those who came subsequently after that and created all the financial mess that we have on our hands which we are still dealing with had a smaller government.
“So I can purport to run a government with 10 ministers and still create an avenue to loot our nation if that is what the Ghanaian people want or to have a government that is bigger than that but which has people of integrity, honesty who are on the job and doing the things that ought to be done.”
The Nana Akufo-Addo-led government has the largest number of ministers and deputy in the country numbering over 100.