General News of Friday, 4 August 2017
Think Tank IMANI Africa has criticised the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) government for allocating a meagre budget to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development for compensation of its staff.
Founding President of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe said on Friday, August 4, that: “Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs with 725 staff receives GHS29.3m while the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development with 1,366 staff gets GHS18m as compensation. NO!”
He explained that the Ministry for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs is responsible for harnessing, developing and maximising the utilisation of chieftaincy and traditional assets and values to serve as a basis for wealth creation and socio-cultural empowerment.
“Although it appears to be the Ministry with the lowest budget allocation annually, the Ministry’s budget allocation increased significantly from GHS19.5 million and GHS20 million in 2015 and 2016, respectively to GHS34.3 million in 2017. Out of the GHS34.3 million, about 85 percent, which is GHS29.3 million has been allocated to compensation of employees.
“On the face value, this figure appears to be higher for 725 staff especially when compared to other ministries such as the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, which with its 1,366 staff, was allocated GHS 8 million as compensation. Further probing revealed that the government has increased the monthly allowance of paramount chiefs and queen mothers by 100 percent.
Paramount chiefs and queen mother would now receive GHS1000.00 and GHS800.00, respectively as against GHS500 and GHS350, respectively. The government has also increased by 100 per cent the sitting allowance paid to paramount chiefs and queen mothers.
“The main concern is why the government would increase the budgetary allocation of this Ministry. What has been the impact of the Ministry on the overall economy and development of Ghana to warrant such a huge increment? Is it for political gains or borne out of genuine concern for Ghanaians?” he questioned.