President of policy think tank IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe, believes government’s realignment of some ministries which has led to the introduction of a Ministry for Railways Development is misplaced.
Mr. Cudjoe argued that, the engagement of prospective private sector beneficiaries of enhanced railway services would be a more prudent move towards developing infrastructure for railway development. His comments came as he criticized the high number of ministries under the Nana Akufo-Addo government which currently stands at 25 with more expected to be added.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, the IMANI President opined: “It seems to me that the mantra of trying to be a leaner in government business seems to be faltering away. If we don’t take care we might hit probably 30 ministries.”
The latest list of ministerial nominees revealed that, there will be two new ministries introduced under the Nana Akufo-Addo-led administration, namely the Ministry of Monitoring and Evaluation, and the Ministry of Re-organisation and Special Projects, in addition to the new National Security Ministry which is backed by law.
Out of the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, a new Ministry to be known as the Ministry for Sanitation and Water Resources has also been created leaving the Works and Housing Ministry on its own.
Some ministries have however been merged with the Power Ministry coming back under the Energy Ministry.
Mr. Cudjoe lauded the condensation of the energy ministry as “great” but noted that the consolidation had not been “compensated properly” in other areas.
The MP for Essikado-Ketan, Joe Ghartey (L) will head the Ministry of Railways Development
Mr. Cudjoe singled out Ministry of Transport, Ministry for Railways Development and Ministry for Roads and Highways and described them as “a festival of Ministries for a single monolithic entity.”
“The Ministry of Railway Development is entirely needless because what you do need for railway development is money. You need $2 billion in order to fix the railway,” he said.
Mr. Cudjoe further suggested that, what was needed was the proper influence of the private sector and the most practical approach, in his view, is to ensure that beneficiaries of the railway put together that funding.
“How you go about it is to speak to the heavy users of railways. So miners; let them get involved and help you raise money. Cocoa producers; let them get involved and help you raise money and then you are gone. You don’t need a ministry to integrate railway development,” he explained.