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Opinions of Friday, 25 July 2014

Columnist: Sarpong, Justice

Ministers In Ghana Earn More Than $10,000 A Month

My fellow countrymen and women, Ghana is on the precipice of Economic meltdown and our leaders are in an arsy- varsy way of correcting the problems. Even a jss student in Ghana is aware all our problems stem from the imbalance of our revenue and expenditure account so why do we keep tackling one side of the balance sheet, the revenue side without doing anything about the expenditure side?

Let's look at one how outrageous our politicians are dissipating our scant resources on themselves. A cabinet Minister in the present administration if you add all the benefits he receives earns more than GHc34,683 a month excluding some other benefits break down as follows

• Basic Salary – GH¢10,000 10,000
• Duty Allowance – 50% of basic salary 5,000
• Special Allowance – 30% of basic salary 3,000
• Entertainment Allowance – 35% of basic salary 3,500
• Wardrobe Allowance – 10% of basic salary 1,000
.Ex-gratia fixed at GH¢400,000 (for 48 mos) 1 400,000 8,333
• 45 Gallons of fuel a week 45 18 3,510
>>Subtotal >> >> 34,683

This does not include furnished accommodation, two cars, one 4x4 and a saloon car ,• One Chauffeur (est. Ghc800) 1 800 800
• One Cook (est. ghc600) 1 600 600
• One Garden Boy (est.Ghc500) 1 500 500
• One Steward (est. Ghc 350) 1 350 350
• One Security Guard(est. Ghc 350) 1 350 350
• Police Escort (est. Ghc 1200) 1 1,200 1,200

If a Minister of state is earning more than $10,000 in salaries and benefits a month, how much more is the President earning and our President has the audacity of telling Ghanaian Teachers, Nurses, Doctors, Farmers, civil servants and others that he has personally sacrificed by reducing his salary by ten percent(10%) when he is earning close to $15,000 a month in salaries and benefits with his own Airplane he has been using as a 'Trotro' when even some Western countries like Sweden, Norway, Finland leaders don't have their own Airplanes and travel on Commercial Airlines? The British Prime Minister travelled to Miami about two years ago on commercial Airline with his family for vacation but our President travelled to Dubai for his Christmas vacation on his own plane for more than two weeks with the plane parked at a hangar incurring parking charges taxpayers have to pay from their meager salaries through taxation and this man is talking about sacrifices. What sacrifices is he talking about?

General News of Sunday, 20 July 2014


Our partners ditched us in trying times – Mahama

President John Mahama says Ghana’s development partners have left the cocoa-producing West African country in the lurch, at a time when their assistance is desperately needed.“It is in challenging times that one needs their friends. Unfortunately, our development partners have not been as responsive to our homegrown fiscal stabilisation policy as I would have hoped,” he stated.

What a disgraceful and tumultuary way for a President of a sovereign country to beg for arms when these Politicians are living like Sheiks with their own fiefdoms Ministries and Constituencies.

Almost sixty years after independence, we are still talking about our developmental partners. What is the meaning of developmental partners? Folks, Mahama is talking about countries that give us free money and technical assistance in the form of grants but this "YENTIE OBIAA" President with tarantism itch to Daddy Lumba's "Yentie obiaa" song don't want our developmental partners advice. To Mahama, it is " SHOW ME THE MONEEEY!!!, BUT DON'T GIVE ME ANY ADVICE.

Friends Ghanaian countrymen, Ghana cannot and I repeat cannot solve our problems without cutting frivolous benefits to our Politicians and other top civil servants. Out of the over 700,000 public employees, more than 10,000 of these people receive free housing and car benefits and these are those who earn enough money to pay for all these freebies. Our Politicians, both in power and opposition are not ready to cut down on these expenses because all of them including DCE's who also receive at least $35,000 every four years as ex-gratia are waiting for their turns to suck it to the poor Ghanaian taxpayers.4,500 housing units about 80% completed for low income people like Teachers, Nurses, Civil servants have been left to rot because those houses were started by the Kufuor government. Even Tony Aidoo, the Ndc loudmouth and Ghana Ambassador to Netherlands appealed to Mills administration to abandon all projects started by Kufuor government and instead fulfill Ndc manifesto. Is this how to administer a country?

The constitution of Ghana stipulates that political appointees and Parliamentarians should declare their assets not more than ninety days after assuming office, because of corruption, these people have refused to declare their assets.

Don't think it is only the Ministers who receive the outrageous benefits, the Members of Parliament, Deputy Ministers, Council of state members, all political appointees receive ex-gratia every four years.

These freebies mentality passed to us by Colonial administrators have passed their usefulness and should be stopped. Even Britain that enslaved us with this freebies don't practice it in Britain. They don't give Ministers free houses and cars as a benefit package and it is time we look at the expenses side of our budget and cut down on expenses to balance our balance sheet.

I appeal to our developmental partners not to give the government of Ghana a dime until we cut down on our expenses and corrupt practices. How can a country like Ghana lose $597 million from our Central bank without a trace and expect countries like USA, Britain, Germany and others to give us their citizens taxpayers money that does not even benefit the poor in Ghana society? Until we learn to live within our means, no country should give Ghana government a dime and all contributions to the poor citizens should be channeled through their NGO's in Ghana and UN agencies.

Ghanaians have had it with these corrupt politicians who only care about winning elections and not making a meaningful life for its citizens. NO MORE DEVELOPMENTAL PARTNERS DONATIONS, Ghanaians don't benefit from these donations. Maybe these countries can also do something when these Politicians start buying houses and other properties in their countries if they really want us to start walking after crawling for 57 years.

Justice Sarpong