There are calls from a section of the public to amend portions of the Transition Act, Act 845, to allow government business to proceed smoothly without undue hitches.
The Executive Director of the Institute for Energy Policies and Research (INTEPR), Kwadwo Poku, is championing this move because, according to him, the economy and country at large are hugely dependent on the Finance, Education and Health Ministries, as well as Energy and Agriculture.
Hence, when there are delays in the transition period some form of a void is created – And consequently, even though the president appoints caretakers as stipulated in the Transition Act 845, 2012, section 13 (5), those individuals cannot make policy decisions.
Mr. Poku believes the Transition Act, Act 845, needs to be amended to allow for the appointment of five key substantive ministers within the first 21 days after constitution of a new parliament.
“INSTEPR strongly believes that the Transition Act 845, 2012, should be amended to remove section 13 (5) to replace it with the appointment of at least five substantive ministers for Finance, Health, Energy, Education and Agriculture.”
To be fair to INSTEPR, we have experienced some unanticipated delays in our transition process due electoral processes like run-offs and the like – which hadn’t been anticipated when the constitution was being written.
“The authorities, corporations and companies under the sector face the same problem of inaction and no policy direction, since their boards were dissolved as per the Chief of Staff’s letter dated January 12, 2021,” Mr. Poku has observed.
Citing instances, Mr. Poku noted that such gaps cost the country dearly and mentioned the past week when Ghana missed a deadline to take over operation and maintenance of the AMERI Plant, which he said came at an extra cost to the state.
More worryingly, he said, the problem is not only felt in the energy sector but across the entire government. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the president does not have a Cabinet or a Health Minister to steer the country through these difficult times.
These are genuine concerns which require a national consensus, and we are happy that the INTEPR has highlighted these gaps in our governance system which require some attention. We believe these are concerns that affect government business, and the earlier we address them the better government business will be.