Some ministries must be merged and nonperforming ministers changed, former Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo has suggested.
In a yet-to-be-aired interview with Raymond Acquah of Accra-based Joy News’ Upfront programme, Ms Akuffo, who has been vocal in the past few days against the government’s addition of pension funds to the ongoing domestic debt exchange programme, said having too ministries is turning out to be counterproductive and, thus, supports trimming of the size of government and substituting nonperformers with fresh hands.
“I think there are many areas where there has not been much to show for and, therefore, somebody else should be asked to try it and then there are some ministries that also need to go back to their former partners, because there are some ministries which were split up”, she noted.
Explaining her point with an anecdote, she said: “I was explaining to my daughter that when I was growing up, there was ministry of transport and communication – that was just what came into my mind – and transport included air, land, sea; you name it”.
“Anything that is transportational was [under] transport and communication. I think they were even, at that time, in charge of roads for a bit before they split off roads and highways and so on and so forth; but now, we’ve taken everything apart: minister of this, minister of that, deputy minister of this, deputy minister of that and I think we’ve come to the point where it’s quite evident that, indeed, too many cooks do spoil the broth because each one thinks the other one is doing what they should be doing; or everybody is getting into the other person’s way and turf wars and so on and so forth”, she analysed.
DDEP: ‘Pensioners deserve compassion not compulsion’ – Ex-CJ Sophia Akuffo returns to MoF to continue picketing
Ms Akuffo on, Tuesday, 14 February 2023, joined her fellow pensioners to picket the finance ministry in their continued protest against the inclusion of pension funds in the ongoing domestic debt restructuring programme.
She was captured sitting down with a placard that says ‘pensioners deserve compassion not compulsion’.
This is the second time she has joined the picket.
Following her first participation,Mr Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, a cousin to President Nana Akufo-Addo, said Ms Akuffo did not understand the very issue she picketed about, at which she described the government as “disrespectful” and “wicked”.
Justice Akuffo said on Friday, 10 February 2023 that the government must show respect to the elderly rather than be wicked toward them by including their pension funds in the domestic debt exchange programme.
Speaking to journalists among the picketing pensioners, the former Chief Justice said: “We have had our ups and downs. A lot of us were from generations where we were encouraged to save for tomorrow and all that”.
“We have been through times where all your savings become nonsense because of some government policies, then over the years, bit by bit, people have become more confident in the economy and investments”.
“Quite a number of people here today, when they retired last two years, put everything into government bonds; it is a contract and, now, all of a sudden, you virtually want to force them to agree with you that the repayment of the yield of their investment should be as you dictate it. Why?” she asked.
“Why are we in the mess? Nobody has fully explained to us”.
“Yes, we took loans, what was it used for? And where is the accountability? Exactly what was it used for? You are not telling us about how you are going to be able to make things better but just that, ‘help me and I help you’. No, you help yourself first, let me see if you are doing something serious because we have seen these sorts of things too many times”, she noted.
“I am over 70 years now. I am no longer government-employed, my mouth has been ungagged, and I am talking, and I am saying that we have failed, and it is important that the elderly should be respected”
“I find this wicked, I find it disrespectful, I find it unlawful, I find it totally wrong.”