General News of Tuesday, 27 November 2018
The Minority in Parliament has chided Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah for telling Ghanaians “blatant untruths” regarding the number of staffers at the Office of the President.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah stated at a press briefing on Sunday, November 26 that government is rather reducing the number of presidential staffers by 69 in 2019 contrary to earlier claims by the Minority that there are plans to increase the number.
Speaking at a press briefing in Accra on Monday, November 26, however, Member of Parliament for North Tongu Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa debunked the claims by the Information Minister.
According to him, government has made a provision of GH?10, 000, 000 to engage a staff of 1,614 for 2019 as contained in the 2019 Budget Statement.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, it is therefore false for government to claim that the Office of Government Machinery is undergoing a programmed reduction. How can 1,614 in comparison to 998 be a programmed reduction?” he questioned.
“We have also noted another falsehood peddled by the Minister of Information Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah who said ‘The claim of an increase is because the Minority is comparing Office of the President(998 in 2018) which was part of the 1697 ceiling, with the entire Office of Government Machinery ceiling for 2019 (1614).
“This claim is totally false. The 998 figure cannot belong to 2018. The 2018 report will be presented to Parliament next year. The 998 figure can only belong to 2017 which had a ceiling of 953 and NOT 1,697. The Minister therefore either goofed badly or he set out to deliberately mislead Ghanaians.”
The Minority insisted that the NPP government is too “large”, “wasteful” and “humongous”
“We cannot continue on this reckless and insensitive trajectory. For a government that has already appointed a historic 111 ministers and yet living conditions are deteriorating as government itself concedes at Paragraph 10 of the 2019 Budget Statement, we owe it to the people who elected us and sent us here to raise these matters and more importantly mobilize resistance to stop this unwarranted plunder of the taxpayer’s money.”
According to the Minority, the large number of the NPP government contradicts the President’s pledge of protecting the public purse.
The Minority MPs charged government to amend downwards and significantly the number of staff at the Office of Government Machinery.