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General News of Sunday, 29 April 2018

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

‘Noisy facebookers’ at Jubilee House doing research to inform government policy - Hamid

Comments that the list of 998 Presidential Staffers which was presented to Parliament included some “noisy Facebookers” of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) is certainly not a bother to the government as Information Minister, Mustapha Abdul-Hamid has justified their inclusion saying, they are activists of the party whose efforts are needed to shape government’s policies.

A list of appointees at the Presidency has been submitted to Parliament in line with Section 11 of the Presidential Act 1993 (Act 463). The list includes 9 Ministers of State at the Presidency; 27 Presidential Staffers, 256 junior appointees and 706 employees of the public sector assigned to the Office of the President.

The list has led to a controversy with several prominent personalities expressing dissenting views. While some say that Akufo-Addo’s ability to deliver on his promise will depend on the quality of people he employs and not the quantity, others say the result is what matters; not the numbers.

President of IMANI Ghana in questioning the competence of some of the staff wondered if the inclusion of some persons was for gratification purposes.

“I am wondering what 276 [256] junior political officers are doing at the Flagstaff House. I have looked through the list and some of them I know them. Most of them were facebookers, making noise on Facebook. I don’t know whether it was a reward…” he told Joy News.

But speaking on ’21 minutes with KKB’, Dr. Abdul-Hamid vehemently defended the list. According to him, activities of persons on the list are geared towards making government effective and efficient.

“If whoever is an NPP activist has been given a piece of job to do in the Jubilee House… they are Ghanaians. I’m also a social media commentator but I am a minister. I don’t qualify to be a minister merely because I’m on Facebook?” he queried. “They are not propagandists. They do a lot of research; research that informs government policy.”

The minister further dispelled assertions that all the 998 workers were going to be stationed at the Jubilee House.

“There are various organisations and agencies in our country which are not directly under any ministry or organization except under the Office of the President. The Department of Parks and Gardens, GIPC, Ghana AIDS Commission etc… Let’s not continue to bandy the erroneous impression that every morning when you wake up, from Monday to Friday, there are 998 who have filed up and entering the gates of the Jubilee House” he noted.