General News of Sunday, 1 October 2017
The Northern Regional Minister is demanding GHC5,000 from each of the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies in the region to sponsor a three-day tour of the region by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
A letter from the Northern Regional Coordinating Council dated September 29 and signed for the minister by the Chief Director, Alhassan Issahaku, asked the assemblies to pay the money by close of day Monday, October 2. A copy of the letter sighted by 3news.com explained the money is being taken “to put together the required arrangements for a successful tour” of the president between October 6 and 8, 2017.
“Each assembly is required to contribute an amount of five thousand Ghana cedis (GHC5,000) payable by Monday, 2nd October, 2017,” the letter read in part.
It is unclear whether the presidency is aware of and or sanctioned the collection of the money to sponsor President Akufo-Addo’s trip to the region, which is considered one of the poorest in the country.
Already, people are questioning the basis for the Northern Regional Coordinating Council’s decision to levy the assemblies, especially so when the Presidency was allocated over a billion cedis in the 2017 budget.
Government’s allocation of GHC1.5 billion to the Presidency sparked public outrage in March this year, and was criticised by the Minority in parliament, which described it as high and unprecedented.
However, government officials and members of parliament in the majority side defended the decision, indicating that there were several ministries under the office of the president. Those ministries, they explained, were going to be run from the GHC1.5 billion budget of the presidency.