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General News of Thursday, 22 December 2016

Source: 3news.com

Mahama’s last-gasp decisions, appointments pure 'wickedness' – Minority

The minority members in Parliament have condemned the last-gasp appointments into key state institutions by the outgoing John Mahama-led government, describing it as “wickedness”.

Their leader, Osei Kye-Mensah-Bonsu, argued despite the net freeze on recruitment into the public service as per the government’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund, the outgoing government is making appointments.

Per the agreement, except in the health and education sector, he said the government cannot recruit the people into the public service until in 2017.

The president on Tuesday swore into office two people to head the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the National Commission for Civic Education.

There are reports of recruitments into the National Service Secretariat, the COCOBOD, and other state institutions. Again the outgoing government announced about 63 per cent increment in the allowance of National Service personnel to take effect from January 1, 2017 But at a news conference in Accra Thursday, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu wondered why the outgoing government is making appointments into the service, especially so when the 2017 budget has not factored such recruitments.

“We are aware of the agreement between the government and the IMF in respect of net freeze in employment until 2017 except in the health and education sectors.

“Neither the 2016 budget nor the budget for the first quarter of 2017 that is the vote on account for the first three months of 2017, which was submitted on behalf of President Mahama by the Minister of Finance Seth Terkper in November 2016 made provisions for these latter day recruitments,” Mr Mensah-Bonsu said.

The minority is thus questioning where the incoming aAkufo-Addo-led government would get money for the remuneration of those being appointed in the last minute. They also want to know the criteria on which these appointments and recruitments are being made.

According to the minority, they believe the action by the outgoing government could partly be because the president-elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has boldly stated his government wont engage in witch-hunting. Mr Mensah-Bonsu said Nana Akufo-Addo’s statement should rather be a foundation for transparent and accountable governance and not the events that are unfolding over the past few days.

Meanwhile, the minority have also condemned the attempt by the majority in parliament to rush some loan agreements and bills through the House for approval passage respectively.

“This spirited attempt to get Parliament approve of loans in the injury time of John Mahama administration do not inure to good democratic governance,” Mr Mensah-Bonsu stated.

He underscored the need for the outgoing government to be open and transparent with the incoming government on some of these last minute decisions to reach a consensus, which would avoid a situation where the Akufo-Addo government would be forced to review those decisions.