These are the ministries Ghanaians criticized the most for poor performance in 2022
The president of the republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was elected by the people of Ghana to rule them because of the vision he has for the country, which was outlined in his manifesto.
But the actualization of the president’s vision is done by ministries and their agencies, which are headed by his (the president’s) appointees and public servants, through the enactment and implementation of policies and programmes.
So, not only do Ghanaians hold the president accountable for the promise he made, but they also scrutinize ministers and their ministries for the effectiveness of policies and programmes they are implementing to attain the president’s vision.
This article looks at the ministries out of the 30 central government ministries that were criticized the most in 2022 for the poor execution of policies and programmes of the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government.
Ministry of Finance:
The Ministry of Finance, which is headed by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, was arguably the most criticized government agency in 2022 because of the poor performance of Ghana’s economy.
Some Ghanaians, including leading members of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), have accused the minister of being the cause of the hardship in the country due to his reckless borrowing and poor management of the country’s resources.
The sector minister was also berated by Ghanaians for the implementation of the government’s Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy).
Ofori-Atta also came under heavy scrutiny after the government decided to seek an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout after the minister categorically stated that Ghana as a proud nation would not go to the IMF for a bailout.
Members of Parliament from the ruling NPP even demanded that the president fire him if he wants them to support the government’s business that comes before the House. The main reason they gave was the poor performance of the economy and the government’s U-turn to seek an IMF bailout.
The minority caucus of Parliament also filed a vote of a censure motion against Ofori-Atta accusing him of corruption and misrepresentation of figures on the economic fundaments among others.
Ministry of Food and Agriculture:
Another ministry heavily criticized by Ghanaians was the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, which was led by Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto.
The ministry was heavily criticised for the implementation of the government’s flagship Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme which many say was poor and was the main reason for the continuous rise in the prices of staple foods in the country.
Some notable Ghanaians, including the Executive Secretary of the Media Foundation for West Africa, Sulemana Brimah, accused the ministry of grossly misrepresenting Ghana’s food production levels.
The ministry’s move to sell food products under the PFJ Market initiative, which involved the transportation of agricultural products from farm gates to urban centres in order to sell them at relatively low prices, was also heavily criticized.
Ministry of Communication and Digitalization:
The Ministry of Communication and Digitalization was also heavily criticized by Ghanaians, particularly for the implementation of the SIM card re-registration exercise.
The sector’s minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, was heavily criticised for insisting that the National Identification Card of Ghana (the Ghana Card) should be the only identification document needed for the registration exercise.
She was also chastised for imposing a registration deadline despite the fact that many Ghanaians lacked the Ghana Card required to register their SIM cards, and for restricting communication services to unregistered SIM card users.
Ursula got on the bad side of Ghanaians for some comments she made in the wake of the implementation of the E-Levy. She was particularly criticised for saying that Ghanaians who can make transfers worth over GHS100 a day are rich.
Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources
The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, which is headed by Samuel Abu Jinapor, was also in the news in 2022 for the wrong reasons.
Ghanaians have slammed the ministry in particular for leading the country’s fight against illegal small-scale mining (galamsey), with many calling the effort a failure. The ministry was also accused of protecting politicians behind the menace. One example is Bernard Antwi Boasiako, a.k.a. Chairman Wontumi’s handling of the alleged involvement of Akonta Mining, the NPP’s Ashanti Regional company, in illegal mining.
Again, the ministry was also berated by Ghanaians for the declassification of portions of the Achimota Forest Reserve land after allegations that the land was sold to some politicians. A purported will of the late Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie (Sir John), showed that he had willed portions of the Achimota Forest Land that were declassified.
Ministry of Education
Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, Minister of Education, and his ministry were heavily chastised in 2022, particularly for the implementation of the Free Senior High School (SHS) program.
Many Ghanaians were not happy with the frequent shortage of food in public senior high schools in the country, which led to parents sending food to their wards and some schools closing down.
The ministry was also heavily criticised for its failure to distribute educational material, including textbooks, to both basic and secondary schools, as well as the failure to pay allowances to trainees of colleges of education and nursing in the country.
The sector minister was also accused of misusing US$1.2 million in World Bank funds intended for a teacher training program.