The presidential candidate of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Dr. Edward Mahama has promised to reduce his government appointees to between 35 and 40 if elected into power.
According to him, there was too much bureaucracy in the structure of government hence the need to introduce reforms at the cabinet level to reverse the trend.
Dr. Mahama made these remarks when he paid a visit to the New Times Corporation, yesterday.
He emphasised on a strategic plan developed by him to either merge some of the ministries or close them down.
Citing the United States of America as an example, Dr. Mahama said even with a population of over 260 million USA as a country had very few cabinet ministers who were managing affairs efficiently.
“For instance, why should we have the ministry of land yet create another ministry for forest. In fact, there would be no forest without land therefore such ministries should be merged to reduce state resources used to pay ministers and deputies,” he said.
Outlining some of his campaign messages on the theme, ‘New beginning, new deal, new force’, Dr. Mahama said his team had developed many initiatives to enhance national development.
That, he said, included the reduction of rice importation by 50 per cent to promoting local rice production nationwide.
The PNC flagbearer intimated that the nation was spending too much money on the importation of many food crops that it could cultivate.
Dr. Mahama announced an agricultural initiative dubbed ‘National Coconut Festival’ which has been designed by him to highlight what he described as the 100 uses of coconut and how they could contribute to national development.
“We need to promote these benefits of coconut not because it is a symbol of the PNC but as an important crop apart from cocoa that could rake in more revenue for the state,” he said.
Dr. Mahama noted that to chart a course of sensitising Ghanaians about the importance of coconut was part of efforts to support farming activities in the country.
On election matters, Dr. Mahama indicated that the media had a role to play in the dissemination of accurate information to the public, especially before, during and after the general elections.
He called on the media to give equal opportunity to all political parties to use their platforms to inform Ghanaians about the ideas of political parties in order to make informed decisions.
In her response, Ms. Carol Annang, the Managing Director of New Times Corporation promised to create the platform for all political parties to propagate their messages.
She said the corporation as a commercial enterprise would remain neutral in all political discourse and be readily available to work with all and sundry.
By Charles Amankwa and Luther King Owusu-Amoah