General News of Friday, 23 November 2018
The Member of Parliament for Builsa South Dr Clement Apaak, has slammed President Nana Akufo-Addo, for breaking his oath to protect the public purse when he was sworn-in as president on January 7, 2017.
The former presidential staffer under former President John Dramani Mahama raised concerns over the decision by the Nana Addo led administration to increase the number of presidential staffers from 998 to 1, 614.
In his view, this will deplete the public purse; increase Nana Addo’s family, friends and cronyism at the presidency.
He told sit-in-host of Frontline Kwabena Agyapong-on Rainbow Radio 87.5FM that, the president is on a mission to recruit additional 616 presidential staffers despite the public outcry over his oversized government.
He accused the president of always increasing his work force whenever Ghanaians complain about the number of people working under his presidency.
He also disclosed on the show that the lack of seriousness and interest by this administration has increased beyond measure and so he has taken time to read the budget and in spite of the complaints Ghanaians made over the lists of presidential staffers, the Nana Addo led administration has made provision to employ more people.
‘’On what basis do you seek to increase the number if presidential staffers from 998 which is already colossal to I, 614? What is the purpose, what is the reason and what are they going to do? Clearly this cannot be a government that is committed to protecting the public purse. We will say it and say it again. By and large this is an avenue to create opportunity for family and friends. This cannot be justified.’’
When asked if he does not see this as a means of providing employment for Ghanaians he disagreed but said, ‘’if you say you this is providing employment for friends, family, concubines and girlfriends, I will agree.’’
He noted that, there are family and political influences when it comes to the recruitment of presidential staffers and so, the issue of it being an avenue for creating employment for the unemployed does not come in,’’ he added.
Dr. Apaak explained that a presidential staffer is at the same level of a minister and deputy minister and they get all the benefits as stipulated under Article 71.
‘’Why must we do that? Is that the best way to protect the public purse? What has been the performance of the 998 staffers and why is the president employing more? Ghanaians should wake up and smell the coffee. We told you so, we told you that this administration will not be able to protect the public purse.’’
In April 2018, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in compliance with Section 11 of the Presidential Office Act, 1993 (Act 463), presented to Parliament a total of 998 as workers at the Jubilee House.
The release of the list was in compliance with Section 11 of the Presidential Office Act, 1993 (Act 463), which requires the President to submit annually to Parliament, a report on the staffing position of the Office of the President.
The breakdown was given as nine ministers of state, 27 presidential staffers, 256 other/junior appointees and 706 employees of public/civil service staff.