President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo last Tuesday swore 10 deputy regional ministers into office, with a warning that he would not fail to axe any member of his administration who placed personal interest above the national one.
“We must jealously guard the commitment we have made to the Ghanaian people that we have come to offer public service and not to advance our personal cause,” the President declared.
Their role, he said, was to assist substantive regional ministers in carrying out the agenda of economic transformation, progress and prosperity that formed the basis for the election of the government.
Deputy regional ministers
The deputy regional ministers are Amidu Ishaq for the Upper West, Frank Fuseini Adongo for the Upper East, Solomon Namliit Boar for the Northern and Evans Opoku Bobbie for the Brong Ahafo.
The others are Elizabeth Agyemang for the Ashanti, Joseph Tetteh for the Eastern and Eugenia Gifty Kusi for the Western.
The rest are Thomas Adjei Baffour for the Central, Maxwell Blagogee for the Volta and Elizabeth Sackey for the Greater Accra.
‘Be committed to your regional minister’
President Akufo-Addo urged the deputy regional ministers to be committed to their regional ministers, saying their loyalty ought to be to the regional ministers first, and warned them that he would not countenance any act of disloyalty or subversion.
He warned that any such behaviour would be deemed as being against him, the party and the state.
“Any deputy who thinks that the route to advancement lies in your ability to subvert and undermine your minister will be sadly mistaken. You will not benefit from the Akufo-Addo government,” the President said.
He urged them to declare their assets in line with constitutional requirements, saying all those who were appointed before them had already done so.
The President had already sworn in 10 regional ministers.
So far 55 ministers of state and deputies have been sworn in, made up of 35 ministers, 10 regional ministers and 10 deputy regional ministers.
The President recently submitted the names of 54 people to Parliament for vetting and approval as ministers of state and deputy ministers.
Fifty of the nominees are for the positions of deputy ministers, while four are ministers of state.
Criticisms over size of government
The President, after naming 110 ministers and deputy ministers, came under heavy criticism for making what has been described as the largest list of appointees.
Concerns were that the big number of appointees was going to have a rather negative impact on the national purse, as they all had to draw their salaries from the national kitty.
But the President remained unfazed, explaining that about 70 per cent of the appointments he had made for the position of ministers and deputies were Members of Parliament (MPs) who were already being paid by the state.
He further explained that he needed that corps of competent personalities who were capable of working extra hard to resolve the myriad of challenges facing the national economy.