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General News of Monday, 23 April 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

Akufo-Addo’s 998 staffers make Mahama a ‘saint’ – Franklin Cudjoe

President of policy think tank, IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe says the number of presidential staffers President Nana Akufo-Addo presented to Parliament makes his predecessor, John Mahama seem like a frugal saint.

A list containing 998 names was submitted to Parliament in accordance with the Presidential Office Act as people who work at the presidency.

A comparison between the list presented by Mahama and that of Akufo Addo shows an increase of about 300 personnel.

Many have criticised the list urging the government to adopt a lean government instead.

Speaking on Citi FM’s news analysis programme, The Big Issue, Franklin Cudjoe said the number is only a testament to what he calls the numerous unplanned policies.

“When Mahama was in office between 2012 and 2016, the budget that the office of the government machinery was receiving was actually high but when Mahama was leaving office in 2016, he had spent almost a billion Ghana cedis and he overran that budget by GHc50million. In some years in 2012 and 2013, Mahama overran his budget by in some regards GHc200 million and GHc99 million.”

Franklin Cudjoe said when the NPP came into office, “they ballooned that figure to GHc1.5 billion [in 2017]. As we speak, we don’t know what the overruns were in 2017.”

The IMANI Africa president noted that the Akufo-Addo in 2018 allocated about GHc3 billion to be expended by the government machinery.

“In 2018, they’ve allocated GHc3 billion that is GHc2 billion more than Mahama had to the office of government machinery. There is nothing sensible about this arrangement and it is only making Mahama look like a saint,” he added.

Franklin Cudjoe also stated that the vast number of the presidency only institutionalizes waste.

“Anytime we talk about the issue about waste and corruption, corruption is not just stealing money and putting your hands in the kitty, it’s also actually officialising waste. This is a clearest example of an officialized waste and we need to speak up against these things.”

“I’ve heard some people in government saying that these are people who have been employed previously or civil service so they shouldn’t do anything. But the list we see, I know a lot of the people over there and it’s not as if they are communicating anything thing important anyway and it’s worrying. These are the hallmarks of having an unplanned policy guideline programmes. That is why when we were asking for quantification of political promises, people thought we were made, because we knew that we will get to this stage.”



Akufo-Addo focused on delivery, not lean gov’t – Gabby

But a former Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, has said that President Akufo-Addo is not as concerned about the size of his government as he is about the effective delivery of government’s development agenda.

According to Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, who is a close associate of the president, “Akufo-Addo has never put lean government before a government that delivers.”

In a Facebook post reacting to the raging debate over the increasing government size, he said:

He [Akufo-Addo] told me point blankly that our situation in Ghana calls more for a well-resourced government machinery that can deliver…None of his 3 Manifestos stressed on the concept of small government. To him the capacity and ability to deliver is what matters most. Competent delivery is after all, cost-effective.