Public reactions to the deputy ministerial appointments by President John Mahama are mixed. The President’s list of 26 deputy ministerial nominees has raised some eye brows, but others, however, are happy with them.
The Energy & Petroleum, Food & Agric, Education, Information and Gender, Children & Social Protection ministries each have two deputy ministerial appointments. The concern for many has been whether there’s need for two deputies for these ministries.
But speaking on JOY FM’s Super Morning Show Wednesday, Dr. Mawai Zakaria, a development and organisation policy analyst stated that the concern should not be about the numbers, instead on the contents of the policies nominees have been tasked to manage as well as the strategic direction of the relevant ministry.
According to him, “if you take the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, you realise that generically it has two legs: Gender and Children as one leg and Social Protection as a major leg of the ministry. In designing an implementation strategy, you need personalities to be able focus on these two legs at the implementation level”.
He explained that the substantive minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection will focus on the overall policy direction while the deputies focus solely on the two sections.
On the agric ministry, he stated that the two main strands (crop and livestock) needed personalities who will focus on implementing policies relevant to the two strands.
Dr. Mawai Zakaria said in theory, there are divisions in the Energy and Petroleum Ministry even though the two areas of focus of the ministry have not been split. He was of the view that there was need for a person with the capacity to concentrate on petroleum (oil and gas) and another solely on energy.
Dr Zakaria said it will be difficult to ascertain whether the nominees have the capacity to undertake the tasks assigned them without access to their CV’s or a chance for them to demonstrate their capabilities during vetting.
But Mr. Franklin Cudjoe, Founding President of IMANI Ghana said the appointments were largely influenced by partisan political factors instead of the capabilities of nominees.
“The list doesn’t appear to me like that of a 21st century advancing country”.
His view is that if the nominees have been assigned to the relevant ministries to learn on the job, that may not be a good thing because there is no time for that.