Government has rejected some suggestions by the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) that it should scrap some Ministries due to their irrelevance to economic growth, ABC News can report.
A Senior Research Fellow at the Institute and a co-author of the 2018 State of the Ghanaian Economy Report, Dr. Charles Ackah, when launching the report on Tuesday stressed that some Ministries such as Inner City and Zongo Development, Business Development and Regional Re-Organization, among others, are not necessarily relevant “to the development of an economy beyond aid.”
But at a press briefing Wednesday, Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, while respecting the views of the academia, argued that the Ministries set up by the NPP Government are working as expected.
In the case of the Ministry of Regional Reorganisation and Development, Mr. Oppong Nkruma noted that apart from increasing the number of regions from ten (10) to sixteen (16), the Ministry is also working hard to ensure those new creations are at par with the existing ones in terms of development.
“We very much respect the view of academia and we encourage such reports that come up because it gives us an opportunity to interrogate these issues. Regional reorganization, of course, the first part of regional reorganization has taken place and now we have 16 regions but it’s regional reorganization and development.
“You go across the new regions, they now have to develop infrastructure and operations that they require to bring those regions to a fast track approach up to the level of the other regions. We are of the view that regional reorganization and development is done with its reorganization agenda but has a development task ahead of it, which it is currently embarking on,” he said.
Regarding the Ministry of Business Development, the Ofoase Ayirebi Legislator added that the Ministry has supported many young Ghanaians in the area of entrepreneurship and will, therefore, find it surprising if their impact is questioned.
“Business Development Ministry, for example, I’m not sure there’s anybody out there who can say that they’ve not seen the various interventions, the dedicated attention that the Business Development Ministry has towards entrepreneurial development. Funding and supporting young entrepreneurs so that they move to the next level and scale up their business. The government is of the view that we have dedicated attention to that space and that is why we have the business development ministry out there and I’m sure everybody will attest to the fact that the Ministry has been executing its mandate. So we very much respect these views but we disagree with them” he stated.
ISSER’s recommendations to Government also included reviewing some of its flagship social intervention programs such as the Free Senior High School policy in order to cut down its expenditure.
Dr. Ackah suggested that the policy should be targeted so that only parents who cannot afford to pay for the Senior High Education of their wards will benefit from it.
Again, the Information Minister argued that the policy direction of the Akufo-Addo administration is that every Ghanaian child, regardless of his or her family background, benefits from the intervention.
“The Government’s view at this point in time is that the Free SHS program is a heritage of the Ghanaian child. It’s not something that is being given necessarily to the poor parents today. It has nothing to do with the financial status of your parents, it is a heritage of the Ghanaian child as it stands now.