You are here: HomeCountry2018 06 25Article 663248

General News of Monday, 25 June 2018


Temporary travel ban not because of excessive travels – Abu Jinapor

The temporary ban on Ministers, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives from trips abroad, is not because of excessive travelling, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Samuel Abu Jinapor has explained.

He instead explained that government is seeking to streamline the guidelines for foreign travels by appointees.

This is despite suggestions the ban was put in place because appointees were spending too much time abroad at the expense of work, and also draining the public coffers.

“It is not because ministers are travelling too much. That is never the case. You can do that comparative analysis over the years as to how travel has been and also on the usefulness of the travels,” he said on the Citi Breakfast Show.

“The President does not frown upon foreign travels per se… what the President wants to do is bring sanity and certainty to foreign travels,” he added.

“Over the years, we have had this situation of no proper regulation or modalities within which foreign travels are embarked on. We think we should take it a step further and put together that framework,” Abu Jinapor explained.

With the impending framework, he said government officials will be “appraised of the sort of travels they will be permitted to embark on and those that will be frowned upon.”

In a memo sighted by Citi News, signed by the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Opare, the presidency noted that the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor-Botchwey, was the only appointee exempted from the directive.

“The President of the Republic has directed that, all foreign travels by Hon. Ministers, Deputy Ministers, MMDCEs and Heads of Government Agencies be temporarily suspended with immediate effect. Guidelines in respect of future foreign travels aimed at minimizing disruption to Government’s domestic work will be communicated to you shortly. The Hon. Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration is however exempted from this temporary ban on foreign travels.”

A similar travel restriction was placed on government officials in December 2015 under the Mahama government.

He banned public officials from first-class air travel to cut wasteful spending.

At least, one official has complained about incessant travels on the taxpayers’ book.

Akua Djanie, who resigned from her position as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourist Development Company, alleged among other things that her boss, was fond of travelling outside the country, neglecting the core duties at the company.