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General News of Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Source: The Finder

65-yr-olds hijack jobs: Presidency stands accused

Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah

Civil servants in the country are angry with the presidency for flouting the 1992 Constitution and offering contracts to over 65-year-old retired civil servants.

This practice by the government of enrolling persons 65 years and above onto the payroll further bloats the wage bill, thereby denying potential job seekers the opportunity to work.

According to the civil servants, the Flagstaff House has now resorted to appointing retired directors and chief directors of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) who are 65 years and above as advisers and consultants, even though the MDAs have not requested for such people.

These offers of contract flies in the face of the law, as those requiring contract extensions are to write to the Head of Civil Service, who has been mandated to execute that duty, and not the presidency. In addition, persons aged 65 years do not qualify for contract extension.

This action does not only deny the youth the opportunity to be employed but also endangers the demands of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for government to reduce the wage bill from over 50% of tax revenue to 35% of tax revenue.

This clearly violates Article 191, Section 1 of the 1992 Republic of Ghana Constitution, which reads: “A public officer shall, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, retire from the public service on attaining the age of sixty years.”

The constitution also provides that retired public servants whose services are critically needed by the state qualify for contract extension up to age 65. Information gathered by The Finder indicates that the Flagstaff House is divided over the issue.

While some aides to the President are against the practice on grounds that it is illegal, others are said to be supporting the illegality.

Some senior government officials at the presidency are said to be issuing orders directing the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to give approval for the over 65-year-olds to be enrolled onto the government payroll as technical advisers and consultants.

Mr David Yaro, former Chief Director at the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs, who is over 65-years-old, has been appointed Administrator General at the newly created Administrator-General of Presidential Estates Unit.

His office falls under Article 71 post which means he would retire again at age 70.

Mr Yaro’s contract letter was written by former Executive Secretary to the President, Dr Raymond Atuguba.

Mr L.B. Tusoe, 65, retired Chief Director, Office of the President, has been appointed Technical Adviser at the Presidency. Mr Tusoe was born on August 28, 1950.

He, therefore, turned 65 this month. Despite the fact that Mr Tusoe retired five years ago and worked under contract for an additional five years, he has been offered another contract, which is unconstitutional.

Mr Maurice Tanko Abissa-Seidu, former Chief Director at the Ministry of Agriculture, who was 65-years-old in January this year, has been appointed consultant to the ministry, and the Civil Service is being asked to process him onto the payroll.

Ministry of Agriculture retired engineer, J.K. Boamah, who is 63-years-old, has been offered a contract and is acting as Chief Director.

What is even intriguing is that Mr Boamah’s wife, Mrs Milly Kyofa Boamah, who has retired and has no contract extension, continues to receive salary as head of Plant Protection and Regulatory Service Directorate.

Information gathered indicates that Mr Boamah has written to the service seeking contract extension for his wife, Mrs Milly Kyofa Boamah, to continue to head the Plant Protection and Regulatory Service Directorate.

The civil servants alleged that suitable candidates who have been trained with taxpayers’ money and are capable of heading the Plant Protection and Regulatory Service Directorate have been deliberately transferred to the local government service in order to keep Mrs Boamah at post under the pretext that there is no one qualified to occupy that post.

Major Rtd. Tara Mahama, Chief Director of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP), is due for retirement when he attains 65 in October this year, but the angry civil servants suspect he could also be given an additional contract.

The Auditor-General’s report on the Public Account of Ghana for the year ended December 31, 2010 indicates that there were over 600 government workers aged between 60 and 110 years who were still on the government’s payroll.

Most of the public officers on contract, after retiring at age 60, are mainly in the state security apparatus; namely, the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF); the Ghana Police Service (GPS); the Ghana Immigration Service; Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS); and the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS).

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