The New Patriotic Party (NPP) did not promise Ghanaians a lean government during its campaign, Minister of Information-designate Mustapha Hamid has said. So far, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has nominated 36 persons to fill various ministerial portfolios pending approval by parliament with some more names expected to be announced next week to fill various deputy ministerial positions as well as regional ministerial positions. Critics of the government have argued that Mr Akufo-Addo’s ministers are already too many although they promised Ghanaians a lean government if voted into power. However, speaking to Jonas Ofori-Yeboah, host of the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class 91.3FM on Friday, 13 January, Mr Hamid said the NPP never promised a lean government. According to him, it was better to have a large government which will protect the public purse than a lean government which will superintend over corruption. “I don’t remember anywhere that we promised a lean government. We never said that. We promised a government that is efficient, that will deliver, that will protect the integrity of the state and protect the public purse, that’s what we promised. We didn’t promise a lean government,” he stated. As for the size of government, he added, “every president has his vision and his understanding of how the nation should go, and, therefore, it is the vision that determines the number of ministers that would be required to deliver on that vision. So, I don’t think that we should box ourselves into an utopia of lean government which at the end of the day superintends more waste and more corruption than anybody can imagine,” the president’s spokesperson added. According to him, “of what use is it to have 10 ministers and then set up institutions that basically eat up the state resources like the kinds of things we saw under SADA, GYEEDA, Woyome etc?” In his opinion, therefore, it was better to have a government of whatever number of ministers who will protect the public purse than to have 10 ministers who will loot the state, “so, it’s not so much about the number of ministers but it’s about integrity with which people would work in order to protect the public purse”.
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