General News of Saturday, 22 December 2012

Source: Daily Graphic

Seat of Govt relocates to Flagstaff House 2013

The seat of government will be moved from the Osu Castle to the Flagstaff House, both in Accra next year.

President John Dramani Mahama, who gave the hint Friday, said he had directed the Chief of Staff to supervise the correction of defects at the Flagstaff House as captured in the report of the committee he had set up to assess the condition of the House.

Besides, he said staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who were currently occupying the administration block and other blocks at the Flag Staff House, would relocate to the their new office, which would be completed by the middle of next year.

"Staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are to relocate from the administration block so that we can make a complete move to the Flagstaff House," the President said to a thunderous applause at the end-of-year party for staff of the Office of the President at the Castle Gardens.

The Flagstaff House is a presidential palace in Accra, which previously served as a residence and office of Ghana's first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah. Flagstaff House was reconstructed and inaugurated with the name Golden Jubilee House in November, 2008, when construction was about 70 per cent to 80 per cent complete.

In January, 2009, the incoming government of President Mills decided to maintain the presidency at the Osu Castle and later changed the sign in front of the building back to its original name claiming that the previous government had not used a Legislative Instrument to effect the change as required by law.

The end-of-year party was attended by Vice-President Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur, the Chief of Staff, Mr Henry Martey Newman and some ministers of state. Awards were given to deserving serving and retired members of staff.

A minute's silence was observed in the memory of the late President John Evans Atta Mills.

President Mahama congratulated the staff for their hard work over the years, and asked them to continue to be loyal and committed to the government of the day.

"Your neutrality which ensures continuity in the presidency should be upheld," he advised.

He said the occasion marked the end of the current administration and the beginning of a new administration, and asked the staff to support the government to implement the programmes and policies to propel the country's socio-economic development.

President Mahama reminded the staff that they were the bridge between the Presidency and the people outside.

He, therefore, urged them to show respect and diligence in their dealings with all who visit the Presidency.

The President recalled that the year had been eventful, first with the demise of President Millls, then Vice-President Alhaji Aliu Mahama and the Melcom disaster which resulted in the death of 16 people.

He prayed that Ghana would witness massive development in the coming years and affirmed his resolve to continue with the good work of the President Mills.

The Chief of Staff, Mr newman said the Presidency had undertaken a programme to improve the capacity of the members of staff.

For instance, he said, 25 members of staff had benefited from skills development while three drivers had been supported to pursue a diploma course in Driving Management Science at the University of Cape Coast.