At a time Ghanaians are complaining about the size of government and increased wage bill, President John Mahama is making more appointments.
He has appointed Thomas Kwasi Quartey, deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, as the new Secretary to the President.
He takes over from Dr Raymond Atuguba who left the presidency under bizarre circumstances and returned to the University of Ghana at the end of his two-year sabbatical leave last month.
A statement issued in Accra and signed by new Chief of Staff Julius Debrah said Mr Quartey’s appointment takes immediate effect.
DAILY GUIDE sources said Ken Kanda, an experienced diplomat, who until recently was Ghana’s Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) in New York, was tipped for the job but media exposÃ© might have caused the President to change his mind.
The statement said the President also appointed former Deputy Chief of Staff, Dr Valerie Sawyerr, as Senior Policy Advisor and Head of the Presidential Delivery Unit—a position some critics have described as ‘glorified’.
Dr Sawyerr, a lawyer by profession, according to the statement, will be responsible for ‘tracking the execution of all Government policies, projects and programmes and ensure the fulfilment of the President’s social contract with the people of Ghana.’
‘The newly created Presidential Delivery Unit will ensure the timely execution of projects envisaged by the President and Government,’ the Chief of Staff explained in the release.
Dr Sawyerr’s immediate task is to monitor and evaluate the timelines set by the power sector with the view of ameliorating the effects of the current power supply shortfall.
Some critics have accused the government of packing the presidency with appointees, most of whom they claim do not have well-defined roles.
The critics were quick to point out the three ‘wise men’—Enoch Teye Mensah, Alban Bagbin, and Cletus Avoka—who were appointed by the President to co-ordinate the implementation of presidential priority projects, as an example.
They also said the appointment of Valerie Sawyerr was duplication since the three wise men are still holding on to their title and have an office at the Castle.
BY William Yaw Owusu
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