President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has explained why new ministerial portfolios have been created under his administration.
The President has so far nominated 25 people to man various ministerial portfolios, out of which six are new creations.
The Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing has been split into two as Sanitation and Water Resources, and then Works and Housing. They are to be manned by Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, Member of Parliament (MP) for Navrongo and Mr Samuel Atta Akyea, MP for Abuakwa South respectively.
The other new creation is Monitoring and Evaluation to be manned by Dr Anthony Akoto Osei; MP for Tafo Pankrono in Kumasi.
Others are Railway Development which is to be handled by Mr Joe Ghartey, MP for Esikado-Ketan in the Western Region and Regional Reorganization and Development to be managed by Mr Dan Kweku Botwe, MP for Okere in the Eastern Region.
On Tuesday, the President also announced the creation of the Senior Minister's portfolio to be handled by Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo and National Security to be handled by Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah.
At a press conference at the Flagstaff House Wednesday, President Akufo-Addo gave explanations for the creation of the new portfolios.
Regional Reorganization and Development
As part of its manifesto, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) promised the creation of new regions and election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives.
It is for this reason that the president explained that the creation of the portfolio was ensure the restructuring of the governance system in the country.
“We believe that the nearer a government comes to the doorsteps of our people, the more efficient and more satisfactory its outcome. That is why we are insisting on competitive politics in local government and we are going to create the conditions that will allow district chief executives, mayors, metropolitan chief executives, municipal chief executives now to be directly elected by the people they are going to govern.”
“It is by the same token, the process of devolution of power, will require that we look again at the regional structures of our country all in the aim of trying to promote rapid development in Ghana,” he explained.
According to him, the Minister-designate would work to ensure the creation of four new regions from the Western, Brong Ahafo, Northern and Volta Regions respectively.
“For us to be successful I think that it is important for the more efficient governance that we are seeking for Ghana that we succeed for these efforts of creating these regions. And for me it means that the NPP, we have to find amongst ourselves a heavy hitter, a major political hitter within ourselves who has the extensive experience and capacity in mass mobilisation,” he added.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the development of the railway infrastructure in the country would go a long way to improve the economy by opening up the country for trade.
Expressing his dissatisfaction with the way the railway system had been abandoned following independence, the President pledged “to do everything possible to find the money and rebuild our railway system in Ghana”, adding that it would be one of the important capstones for determining the success or failure of his government.
“If we are going to be serious about the economic development of our country, we have to open it up. And it’s a railway system that is efficient to connect us to the Sahel and hopefully will one day connect us to the larger West African project that is in view,” he said.
Sanitation and Water Resources
According to President Akufo-Addo, the decision to split water and sanitation from the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing stemmed from the neglect of that zone.
“A major challenge facing our country is access to water to our people. Indeed, ‘water for all’ is one of our slogans for our 2016 manifesto. As much as that is a challenge, equal is the challenge of our environment,” he explained.
He said one of the slogans for the NPP during its campaign was to provide “toilets for all” and for that matter he saw it necessary to create a portfolio that would concentrate solely in ensuring that the country was clean and that each household was provided with a toilet facility.
“The structures we have for sanitation are not the best and that they require significant enhancement. We also made a slogan ‘a toilet for all’ and these are matters we take very seriously and as a result I have decided that I need a steady hand, an experienced hand it think that it is better standing with sanitation.”
Monitoring and Evaluation
It will be in the Office of the President and the Minister responsible will have the right to talk to everybody in all the Ministries to monitor and evaluate their performance.
The other two creations are National Security and Senior Minister.