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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Comment: The noise about transition budget


Barely a week ago, the Minister of Finance, Dr. Kwabena Duffour, informed parliament that the total expenditure for the entire transitional process amounted to 361,924.41 Ghana cedis. In giving the breakdown, Dr. Duffour stated that out of the total amount honoraria paid to members came up to 208,800.00 Ghana cedis. But the NPP opposition and some Ghanaians have pounced on the total expenditure by the transition team stating that the amount spent was too high.

The outcry brought the Information Minister, Mrs. Zita Sabah Okaikoi, to explain or defend the transition team’s budget to Ghanaians. According to

a report filed by the Daily Graphic, Zita stated that the expenditure incurred on the team was in four categories, namely honoraria, refreshment, equipment renting and stationary.

Zita further went ahead and gave the breakdown of how the money was spent. Reading through the story I did not find anything striking about what Zita said. In fact there was not much difference between what she said and what Dr. Duffour told parliament.

I do not know Zita personally but ever since she was appointed as Information Minister I think this lady has performed below expectations or miserably. In fact she has not excelled at all giving the opposition ammunition to hammer on President Mills each time. Either she is slow to respond to issues or she does not know how to use good sound bites to expand on issues to calm the uneasy waters of the day. I will explain why I am saying Zita has not helped President Mills and to a large extent the NDC party.

In looking at the total expenditure we see that honoraria paid to members of the transition team accounted for 58 percent leaving roughly 160,000 Ghana cedis for other expenses like stationary, equipment hiring and refreshment. If we evenly divide the 160,000 between the remaining three categories we are talking about 53,000 Ghana cedis spent on each of them.

It is here that Zita should have informed Ghanaians that members of the various transition sub-committees were 98 in total, therefore if even each member received 2,100 Ghana cedis as honorarium it is understandable and makes sense because they drove from their homes to attend meetings during the two months period. But Zita failed to impress but was just throwing numbers around. This has given people the ammunition to question the rationale behind the expenditure.

As the Information Minister, it is Zita’s responsibility to sell the government positively to Ghanaians. But I can say with certainty that this lady has not endeared herself at all. As a matter of fact she has not been communicating at all, making the President struggle with his message. I am told she is a lawyer but being a lawyer is much different from being a good communicator.

I have watched Zita struggle and struggle each time to explain issues. There have been times that she had been impatient. If she does not know people are watching her performance and the earlier she concedes the fact that she needs help the better. Zita has to be coached to become a good communicator because at the moment she has ‘lots of items to sell at the market’, but she is selling nothing. Her message is hitting the roof and coming right back to her. It is important for Zita to know that in life it is when you concede that you have a problem that you get the much needed help to succeed in life. Just believing you are okay because you have acquired a certain knowledge or training would not help you at all. Believing and performing are two different takes.

I personally believe that President Mills and to a larger extent the NDC party cannot wait long enough for Zita to catch up. She is struggling big time. She needs to accept the fact that she has a problem or at best she does not know how to communicate. And her struggle is not helping to propel President Mills’s message. Zita has the sole responsibility to tear down issues to the barest level for Ghanaians to read and understand. Just dressing well with lots of make-ups would not cut it. She needs to perform. Period!

Just explaining the work, budget, number of people involved in the transition team should not have taken any sweat. As a good communicator or Information Minister Zita should not give answers that would make journalists or people come back with more questions. The information she provides should cover everything. Finito!

In looking at the figures provided by Dr. Duffour I personally do not see anything fishy about it considering the fact that it is 98 people who worked on the various sub-committees of the transition team. Therefore paying each member of the transition team roughly 1,000 Ghana cedis a month is nothing strange unless you think that amount is too much. There were 10 sub-committees therefore it makes sense to say that each committee had its own set of equipment and stationary to operate. We also have to throw in the staff which helped each committee. Is this economic rape or waste? I don’t think so. I can even do further breakdown to help Zita out.

Now I am going to do what Zita failed to do. Provide the list of the Transition Team as announced by President Mills days after he won the elections for Ghanaians to see. The Team had Mr. P. V. Obeng as Chairman, Mr. Alex Segbefia as Secretary and Ms. Hannah Tetteh as Spokesperson.

Inauguration Sub-Committee
1. Gbeho, Mr. Victor – Chairman
2. Adams, Kofi
3. Adjaho, Mr. Doe
4. Ayittey, Ms. Sherry
5. Bagbin, Hon. Alban
6. Bonsu, Mr. Kojo
7. Dansua, Ms. Akua Sena
8. Mensah, Hon. E. T.
9. Kwetey, Mr. Fiifi
10. Ocran, Mrs. Sati
11. Smith, Mr. Victor
12. Vanderpuije, Nii Lamptey
13. Hlodze, Mr. Ludwig

Sub-Committee on the Transfer of Executive Assets
1. Arthur Dr. Don – Chairman
2. Antwi-Boasiako Mr.
3. Kwesie, Mr. Ernest
4. Anyidoho, Mr. Koku
5. Asante, Mr. Richard Kwame

Sub-Committee on the Economy
1. Afede Asor XIV, Togbe – Chairman
2. Adom, Mr. David
3. Adu, Mr. Frank
4. Amissah-Arthur, Mr. Paa Kwesi
5. Annan, Mr. Eddie
6. Asaga, Hon Moses
7. Duffuor, Dr. Kwabena
8. Dzanie, Mr. Oko Nikoi
9. Kuranchie, Dr. Percival Yaw
10. Mensah, Hon. Sallas
11. Sipah-Yankey, Dr. George
12. Tekper, Mr. Seth
13. Thompson, Dr. Nii Moi

International Relations Sub-Committee
1. Gbeho, Mr. Victor – Chairman
2. Aidoo, Dr. Tony
3. Attor, Mr. Kofi
4. Danso-Boafo, Professor Kweku
5. Ohene-Agyekum, Mr. Daniel

Sub-Committee on Security
1. Nunoo-Mensah, Brigadier Joseph – Chairman
2. Aboah, Mr. William
3. Assassie-Gyimah, Naval Cdr. Baffuor
4. Dewornu, Mr. C. K.
5. Donkor, Mr. Yaw
6. Gbedemah, Brigadier. Wallace
7. Nanfuri, Mr. Peter
8. Obimpeh, Cdr. Steve
9. Owusu Ansah, Rear Admiral
10. Smith, General Joseph
11. Totobi-Quakyi, Mr. Kofi

Sub-Committee on Governance
1. Mumuni, Alhaji Muhammad – Chairman
2. Afriyie-Ankrah, Mr. Elvis
3. Avoka, Mr. Cletus
4. Barnor, Mrs. Marian
5. Dadzie, Nana Ato
6. Garba, Mr. Sam
7. Gariba, Dr. Sulley
8. Graham-Smith, Mr. George
9. Opoku-Acheampong, Mr. Kwasi

Social Sector Sub-Committee
1. Spio-Garbrah, Mr. Ekwow – Chairman
2. Adjei, Mr. Eric
3. Ahadzi, Dr. William
4. Amoako-Nuamah, Dr. (Mrs.) Christine
5. Annan, Dr. J. S.
6. Baffoe-Bonnie, Mr. Kwesi
7. Benyiwa-Doe, Mrs. Ama
8. Bissue, Dr. (Ms.) Hannah
9. Dodoo, Professor Francis
10. Nyantekyi, Mr. Kofi
11. Okaikoi, Mrs. Saba Zita

Sub-Committee on Legal Affairs
1. Mould-Idrissu, Mrs. Betty – Chairman
2. Adjetey, Mr. Larry
3. Agyei-Ampofo, Nana
4. Amidu, Mr. Martin
5. Ampofo, Ms. Nancy
6. Annan, Mr. David
7. Barton-Oduro, Mr. Ebo
8. Bram-Larbi, Mr. Kwaku
9. Dzirasah, Ken
10. Koney, Ebby
11. Kumbuor, Dr. Benjamin
12. Lithur, Mr. Tony
13. Sawyerr, Ms. Valerie

Sub-Committee on Energy
1. Peprah, Mr. Kwame – Chairman
2. Armar, Mr. Amarquaye
3. Ampofo, Hon. Dr. Kwame
4. Appiah-Korang, Mr. E.
5. Donkor, Dr. Kwabena
6. Ocran, Hon. Lee T.
7. Oteng-Adjei, Dr. J.

Sub-Committee on Nominations
1. Idrissu, Alhaji Mahama – Chairman
2. Addy, Mrs. Victoria
3. Adjei, Dr. Kwabena
4. Asiedu-Nketia, Mr. Johnson
5. Awoonor, Professor Kofi
6. Dodoo, Dr. Robert
7. Ennin, Mrs. Aanaa
8. Nkansah, Mrs. Esther Lily
9. Ohene-Kena, Mr. Fred
10. Owusu-Acheampong, Mr. J. H.
11. Seidu, Hajia Fati
12. Yahya, Alhaji Huudu

Credit: Ekua Kwansema
(email: [email protected])

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