Akufo- Addo: President of Ghana under fire over 998 staff at the seat of government

The President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has come under intense criticisms following a recent published list which revealed that he had a total number of 998 staff assisting him in the administration of the country at the Jubilee House: the seat of government.

This was contained in a report from the President to the Speaker of Parliament pursuant to Section 11 of the Presidential Office Act, 1993, (Act 463).

The staff are made of nine (9) ministers of state, 27 presidential staffers at the Office of the President, 256 other/junior political appointees at the Office of the President and 706 employees of the public sector organisations assigned to the Office of the President.

President of policy think tank, Imani Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, has said the number of presidential staffers presented to parliament by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo makes his predecessor John Mahama seem like a frugal saint.

Speaking on Accra-based Citi FM, Mr. Cudjoe said government is rationalising waste.

“When Mahama was in office between 2012 and 2016, the budget that the office of government machinery was receiving was actually quite high, but when Mahama was leaving office in 2016, he had spent almost a billion Ghana cedis and he overrun that budget by GHS50 million.

“In some years in 2012 and 2013, Mahama overrun his budget by, in some regard, GHS200 million and GHS99 million. Now when the NPP came into office in 2017, they ballooned that figure to GHS1.5 billion, but as we speak, we don’t know what was the overrun in 2017”.

Mr. Cudjoe also stated that: “Corruption is not only about stealing money and putting your hands in the kitty, it’s also officialising waste. This is a clear example of officialising waste and we need to speak out about this…”

Meanwhile, a former Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, has come to the defense of the President stating, “President Akufo-Addo is less concerned about the size of his government, but more interested in the effective delivery of government’s development agenda.”

According to Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, who is a close associate of the president, “Akufo-Addo has never put lean government before a government that delivers.”

“He [Akufo-Addo] told me point blankly that our situation in Ghana calls more for a well-resourced government machinery that can deliver….To drum home the point, he said the whole of Brong Ahafo had one senior prosecutor when he was appointed AG.. The consequences of that is the delay and denial of justice to both the accused and victims of crime. I want to focus on the delivery machinery, on results.”

While stressing that Akufo-Addo had never promised to run a ‘lean’ government as some have claimed, the lawyer said, “I don’t think he has changed. None of his 3 Manifestos stressed on the concept of small government. To him the capacity and ability to deliver is what matters most. Competent delivery is after all, cost-effective.

The President is yet to officially address Ghanaians on the several concerns raised about the size of his government.

Report by Gideon Sarpong | Wake Up Africa

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