The President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, yesterday in an unprecedented manner terminated the appointments of Chief Executive Officers of Bulk Oil Storage and Transportion Company Limited, the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and the Ghana Exports Promotion Authority.

In his first major dismissal of government appointees, the President cracked the whip on the officials, some of whom were reported to have indulged in maladministration and some unethical behaviour.

Although no reasons were assigned for the dismissals, it is obvious that those who were affected might not have lived up to expectations.

While we sympathise with the affected officers for their predicament, the dismissals clearly show that the President really means business and the perception that some of the appointments are “job for the boys” and for that matter some appointees are untouchable cannot be sustained.

Public service requires high degree of professionalism based on agreed code of conducts which cannot be toyed with. Consequently, appointees have no other option than to respect the office holders’ code of conducts.

We note in the government’s medium-term development framework, the Coordinated Programme of the Economic and Social Policies 2017-2024, An Agenda for Jobs: Creating Prosperity and Equal Opportunity For All, of the intention of the government to undertake institutional reforms to respond to the dynamism of governance.

The policy document states, among others, “specific strategies to improve leadership capability and delivery in the public service, improving accountability in the public service by introducing a Citizen’s Charter and restructuring State Organisations and Enterprises(SOEs) to make them more productive and efficient.”

The Ghanaian Times associates and backs the laudable reforms in the SOEs for enhanced service delivery. We recall countless complaints about poor service delivery in some state institutions as a result of some personality clashes and arrogance of some office holders.

We are not assigning reasons for the dismissal of the public officials but we hope that those still in service would draw lessons from the termination of the contract of their colleagues, and brace themselves up for the task ahead.

What is essential is that there are many equally competent people waiting to be called upon to render public service, so those who get the opportunity to  get a call must give it their all and excel.

In addition, public service holders must sign performance contracts that will hold them accountable for their stewardship. This, we believe would keep them on their toes and ensure that they deliver on the mandate of the organisations they have been appointed to serve.

Ghana has signed up to numerous international conventions, including the African Union Transformative Agenda 2063, the Sustainable Development Goals, the Open Society Initiative, to mention but a few.

Key to the attainment of the goals of these instruments is strong public sector institutions. We, therefore, cannot wish away the very laudable instruments we have committed ourselves to.

We hope that those the President is going to appoint to replace those dismissed would not betray the confidence that would be reposed in them.


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