The Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak, has expressed reservations about President Nana Akufo-Addo’s decision to exclude the Local Government and Rural Development Minister, and the Senior Minister from his Cabinet.
Alhaji Muntaka said their exemption was indicative of the fact that these portfolios were not considered priority areas by the President.
The President also excluded the Works and Housing, Communications, and Parliamentary Affairs Ministers from his Cabinet, while the Tourism, Special Development Initiatives and Regional Re-organisation, featured in the list of nineteen persons announced on the Floor of Parliament on Monday.
Alhaji Muntaka expressed particular concern about the absence of the Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Hajia Alima Mahama, given the Akufo-Addo administration’s pledge to oversee the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives.
“You look at the issue of local development and the way it cuts across, and they don’t find representation in the Cabinet. They [Senior and Local Government Ministers] may be attending as participants, but it is surprising that for the first time, you don’t have the Local Government minister and the Senior Minister.”
“I know others who are not on it,but you could gloss over it; but to have two ministers of state on it yet you don’t have the senior minister and the local government ministers were a bit surprising,” the MP added.
On another level, Alhaji Muntaka also noted that, being a member of Cabinet, or not, was the difference between some key perks.
“It comes with salary, it comes with other conditions of service, it comes with participating at cabinet sub-meetings. It comes with a lot of influence. If you know the emolument structure and a number of things, you will know that for Cabinet ministers and non-Cabinet ministers, the weight allotted to them is different.”
The Cabinet is constituted in conformity with Article 76 (1) of the 1992 constitution. The Constitution enjoins the President to have a Cabinet of not less than 10 and not more than 19 ministers.