General News of Friday, 29 March 2013

Source: XYZ

Mahama is “so insensitive” - Apraku

A former Presidential Aspirant of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku has described President John Mahama’s appointment of 86 ministers and Deputies as “so insensitive and incredible”.

Dr Apraku told XYZ News on Thursday March 28 that he expected the president to have had a lean government as one of the means toward fighting the 12.0 per cent budget deficit recorded for 2012.

“Last year in the budget, it was estimated the government machinery…run a budget deficit in excess of 600 million; the ministry of youth and sports, 300 million; National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), 200 million and on and on and on…these are unauthorized, unbudgeted expenditure that should not even be tolerated, but we did, it did happen so when they came in with the budget, I was hoping that they will to address some of the cuts particularly in the less harmful areas such as such appointments”, Dr Apraku bemoaned.

He asked: “Eighty-six ministers to do what in a struggling economy?”

According to him: “Practically every ministry has two deputy ministers”, adding that: “I thought there would have been consolidation not expansion”.

Dr Apraku explained that: “Consolidation in the sense that we have run these ministries for a long time; the world has changed; our economy has changed, I thought our government would have gone back to the drawing board and examine critically what ministries …we need to accomplish what we need to do in this country and how do we do it and who can help us do it [than] just to go on a whole sale appointment of 86 ministers”.

The former minister in the Kufuor administration said the expenditure that will be made on the 86 ministers could worsen Ghana’s economic status than help correct the high deficit of last year.

He averred: “The average Land cruiser that a Minister is driving is US$140,000; imagine providing US$140,000 per minister and the two deputy ministers”, wondering: “How can Ghana tolerate this? How can the ordinary Ghanaian, the teacher that is upset, people who can’t live for two weeks on their salaries [and are] going through…difficulties [tolerate this]”.