The abolishment of seven ministries in his new government and the reappointment of more than 16 ministers by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo are some of the trending stories in the Ghanaian press on Friday.The Graphic reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has abolished seven ministries in his new government. They are the Ministries of Aviation, Business Development, Inner City and Zongo Development, Monitoring and Evaluation, Planning, Regional Re-organisation and Development, and Special Development Initiatives.
Three of the ministries have been realigned to operate from the Presidency, while the other three have been merged to operate under some other Ministries.
According to a press statement signed and issued on Thursday by the Acting Director of Communications at the Presidency, Mr. Eugene Arhin, the seven ministries were abolished “because virtually all these special-purpose Ministries have achieved the purposes for which they were established.”
The President has also abolished the office of the Senior Minister, and has announced the appointment of a Minister for Public Enterprises, as well as the non-appointment of deputy regional ministers.
According to the statement, the Minister for Public Enterprises, will be appointed to oversee a major restructuring of the entire state-owned enterprises sector to improve the productivity and profitability of the sector and would operate directly under the Office of the President and not from a Ministry.
It added that a Minister of State has been nominated, and, if approved, will be assigned to the Ministry of Works and Housing, in addition to the substantive Minister, to give special focus to the critical issue of affordable, mass housing, envisaged as one of the priorities of the President’s second term.
The newspaper says that more than 16 ministers have maintained their portfolios in President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s second term.
The presidency released the list of ministerial appointments for the next government in a press statement signed and issued by the Acting Director of Communications, Mr. Eugene K.B, Arhin Thursday evening.
The names have been submitted to Parliament for vetting and approval.
It includes new entrants Francis Asenso-Boakye for Works and Housing, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor for Lands and Natural Resources, Mustapha Yussif for Youth and Sports and Ebenezer Kojo Kum for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs.
Godfred Yeboah Dame and Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum have been elevated from their previous deputy minister positions in the Attorney General and Minister of Jusitce and Education ministries respectively.
Freda Prempeh has also been elevated to a Minister of State at the Works and Housing Ministry same as Anthony Cudjoe for Public Enterprises.
The Graphic also reports that the Electoral Commission (EC) has announced that it will conduct elections for new Regional Representatives to the Council of State on February 12, 2021.
Accordingly, it has asked all qualified and interested persons to submit their nomination forms between February 1 and 4, 2021 to the respective Regional Directors of the EC.
The statement said: “In accordance with Paragraph (C) of Clause (2) of Article 89 of the 1992 Constitution, the Electoral Commission will conduct Elections to elect Regional Representatives to the Council of State.
“All qualified persons who intend to stand for the said Elections should submit their Nomination Forms with two post-card size copies of recent photographs (bust) to the Regional Director of their respective Regions from Monday, 1st February to Thursday, 4th February 2021, between the hours of 9.00 am and 12.00 pm and 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm each day.”
“Every Nomination must be proposed and seconded by two (2) Registered Voters and supported by twenty (20) Registered Voters in the Region. The consent of the Candidate must be endorsed thereon.”
“Copies of the Nomination Forms may be downloaded free of charge from the Electoral Commission’s website (www.ec.gov.gh) and completed in triplicate.
“The Elections will be held in all Regional Capitals on Friday, 12th February, 2021 at venues to be determined by the Commission,” the statement added.
Ghana’s Council of State is a small body of prominent citizens, which advises the President on national issues.
The Times says that the Economic and finance think tank, Center for Economics Finance and Inequality Studies CEFIS’ has projected that the cedi will end this year at GH¢ 6.45 to a dollar.
According to the think tank’s Cedi Outlook report, the projection is based on the fact that the expected rebound of the economy will not be strong enough to support the stability of the cedi for 2021.
It argued that “the immediate effect of the COVID-19 pandemic will linger beyond 2021, which will also affect the cedi’s firm stability going forward.”
It also expressed worry that the cedi’s fortune would be affected by some financial commitments that the government made in the run-up to the 2020 election, and that would be felt this year.
This according to the report would consequently put some pressure on the Ghanaian local currency.
“This excess liquidity without a corresponding output, will destroy most of the gains especially the exchange rate stability in 2020, made in the prior election year,” it said.
CEFIS in the report noted that exports would still struggle this year despite the expected opening up of economies this year.