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General News of Friday, 12 April 2019


Government misleading Ghanaians on presidential staffers list – Ablakwa

Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has accused government of deliberately misleading Parliament and Ghanaians on the updated number of Presidential Staffers in the country.

According to him, there are certain inconsistencies in the 2018 annual report on the Presidential Office staff signed by the Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.

The report was presented to Parliament on Thursday.

“It is troubling that the Vice President would seek to mislead Parliament in the manner he has done,” Mr. Ablakwa stated in a post on Facebook.

Among other things, Mr. Ablakwa complained about Government’s delay in submitting the report as well as the President’s inability to sign the document as enshrined in section 11 of Act 463 of the country’s constitution.

Section 11 of Act 463 of the Presidential Office act states that; “the President shall within 3 months after the end of each financial year submit to Parliament an annual report containing the following information; the number of presidential staff employed at the Office, the rank or grade of such staff; and employees in the other public services assigned to the Office.”

Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa in the write-up questioned Government’s inability to offer explanations as to why government was unable to submit the report within the first quarter.

“No explanation provided for the blatant violation of Act 463 occasioned by the President’s inability to submit the report within the January to March obligation imposed by the law.”

“The report was submitted and signed by the Vice President, H.E. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia. A departure from the practice where the President submits under his signature consistent with section 11 of Act 463. It remains to be seen what view the Right Honourable Speaker would take on this matter.”

Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, who is also a member of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs committee questioned the reason behind Government’s decision not to add some Ministers to the list of Political Office holders at the Presidency.

He cited Mustapha Abdul-Hamid and Mr. Kofi Adda who head the Ministries of Inner City and Zongo Development and the Ministry of Aviation respectively as two individuals whose ministries operate under the Presidency but were not included in the numbers released by Government.

“The report claims the number of political appointees is 292 out of a total staff of 957. This 292 figure is the same number presented to Parliament for the 2017 Annual Report. That acknowledged, however, there are clear and obvious omissions. Appendix C and Appendix D3 are strikingly incompatible.”

“The list of Ministers of State presented in Appendix C does not include the Minister of Inner City and Zongo Development, Hon. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid and the Minister of Aviation, Hon. Kofi Adda considering that Appendix D3 states that the Ministries of Inner City and Zongo Development and the Ministry of Aviation operate under the Presidency.”

“Also, conspicuously missing from the list is the name of the Deputy Minister of Regional Reorganization and Development, my good friend Hon. Martin Adjei-Mensah Korsah. The number of Ministers given as 10 and for that matter the total number of Political Appointees provided as 292 in Appendix C is therefore inaccurate and undoubtedly understated.”

Mr. Ablakwa raised concerns as to why Mr. Charles Bissue who was indicted in the Anas Aremeyaw Anas expose on illegal mining was still named as a Presidential staffer.

“Item 20 of Appendix D1 reveals rather surprisingly that Mr. Charles Bissue is still a Presidential Staffer contrary to the impression created earlier following his indictment in the Anas Galamsey exposé,” he added.

The total number of staff at the Presidency as of December 31, 2018, was 957, according to the annual report on Presidential Office Staff presented to Parliament.

The report was submitted to the House in accordance with Section 11 of the Presidential office Act 1993.

The latest number is a reduction from the 998 which was reported to Parliament for the year 2017.

The list pegs the number of ministers of state at the presidency at 10, presidential staffers at 28 and other junior political appointees, 254.

The total number of civil service and public sector employees at the Presidency stands at 665.

Parliament is expected to consider the report when it returns from recess.