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General News of Tuesday, 13 December 2016


Transition office has no car, forced to use 'okada'

Ghana’s transition to a new government in January 2017, may face serious challenges as the office mandated to ensure a smooth process, the Administrator General, lacks basic resources to carry out its mandate.

The under-staffed office works without a car and resorts to the use of illegal commercial motorbikes popularly known as ‘okada’ to undertake its activities.

This situation has persisted for many years in spite of an amendment of the Transition Act in Parliament in October this year.

Among the tasks of the office, is to take stock of all government resources including cars, bungalows, furnishing, and lands. But according to David Yaro, the Administrator General, the office is greatly handicapped.

“Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to do our work. The volume of work is such that, it should have been commiserated by the resources, unfortunately, we don’t have the resources. A big office like that, we don’t have a single vehicle to make movement. If I am to go and check the authenticity of anything, I am crippled… I don’t have a vehicle; and in my office most of the time, we have to do dispatches with ‘Okada’ and taxis from our own pockets,” he explained.

The office lacks the required human resource

Mr. Yaro lamented that, the office is also understaffed. He said they were in dire need of persons with IT skills to handle some operations in the office.

“I have one director of administration and two junior officers. So with this magnitude of work, I need to have very easy and experienced officers to be able to help me keep the database. I need an ICT specialist and information officer and a Public Relations Officer who can project the office. I need a Human Resource Manager and all these things as it stands now, I don’t have that at all,” he said.

He said his office was yet to hear favourably from the Ministry of Finance after an appeal.

He said the office required an integrated technology system to enable it keep track of all government purchases, such that records of state assets are up to date to facilitate smooth handing over to new governments.

“Right now, I only rely on the integrity of the ministers and Chief Directors in updating the records.

He therefore appealed to civil society and donor organizations to support the office to work effectively.

Section 9.1 of the Presidential Transition Act requires the Administrator General to prepare a natural register covering all national lands and any other land vested in the president by the Constitution.

Transition process will face several challenges – Gyampoh warns

The concerns expressed by the office follows a revelation by a governance fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Professor Ransford Gyampoh, that the transition process was going to face several challenges.

‘Mahama inaugurates transitional team’

President John Mahama on Sunday inaugurated the government transition team comprising some members of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP).

The 16-member team is expected to account for government resources, agree on the deadlines for the vacation of official residences by government officers and payment of benefits.

The team is jointly chaired by President John Mahama and President-elect, Nana Akufo-Addo.