The government has shrugged off criticisms from mainly the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) that Tuesday’s ministerial reshuffle was a diversionary tactic designed to douse the flames ignited by the 30 per cent price hikes in petroleum products.
NPP Chairman, Mr Jake Obtsebi-Lamptey described the reshuffle as musical chairs which will not bring any significant improvement in the performance of the government.
But responding to the NPP Chairman, a Deputy Information Minister, James Agyenim-Boateng, said unlike the Kufuor government which was reputed for giving taxi drivers ministerial appointments, the Mills administration appointed only competent people to manage the nation’s affairs.
He wondered whether Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey’s own itinerant stops as Chief of Staff, Information Minister, and Minister for Tourism and Modernization of the Capital – where he only managed to modernize a state bungalow and bought it – was musical chairs.
Mr. Agyenim-Boateng told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show that the reshuffle will re-energize and reinvigorate the government in tandem with the President’s mantra that -”this is an action year.”
He said many of the Ministers who had been reshuffled had done tremendously well in their respective ministries and that the President wanted them to bring their experience to bear on other ministries.
The Deputy Minister maintained there was nothing punitive about the President’s action and for Education Minister Alex Tettey-Enyo, who has been dropped, Mr. Agyenim-Boateng said he had paid his dues to the state.
The Executive Director of policy think tank, Danquah Institute, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko, said simply moving Ministers with abysmal record to different ministries was not the solution to the government’s problem of incompetence.
Citing A-G Betty Mould Iddrisu, Gabby said for a Minister who earned the unenviable reputation for serially losing cases in court, because of either poor preparation or sheer incompetence to be moved to a very important and problem-ridden Ministry like education, posed serious problems.
If you replace Tettey-Enyo with a “Minister that the ruling party and its supporters…and even some in the opposition party were criticizing for taking to court cases she ought not to have taken to court in the first place, because the chances of winning were very slim, what can we expect,? Gabby asked.
He also took issue with Local Government Minister, Joseph Yieleh Chireh, who he accused of presiding over a messy, chaotic assembly elections and who has now been moved to the Health Ministry.
The Danquah Institute boss said given Mr. Chireh’s sluggish performance at the Local Government Ministry, he could not be relied on to prosecute the necessary reforms in the health sector.
Gabby said while making tepid changes at the ministerial level, a critical sector of the government – the public sector – had been completely ignored, a situation he believes partly accounts for the government’s below average performance.