The Strategic Thinkers Network-Africa (STRANEK) is of the strong view that the list of staffers at the Presidency as submitted to Parliament in accordance with section 11 of the Presidential Office Act, 1993 (Act 463) results in a wasteful expenditure which is not in tandem with President Akufo Addo’s policy of protecting and saving the public purse from profligate expenditure and wanton abuse.
Without any special forensic financial audit, it is quite clear that increasing the number of staffers at the Presidency from 678 to 998 is a hooping 47% increase in the number of personnel which will be very difficult to justify considering the prevailing economic conditions and the enormous pressures on the public purse.
As unsettling as this increase is, it is also interesting when one compares the 2016 allocation of GHc719m for the Office of Government Machinery with that of 2017 of GHc1.55b, an increase of well over 215%.
Perhaps, this 215% increase may have massive contributions from the 47% increase in manpower at the Presidency.
Even if we were under conditions of accelerating tax revenues, which is not the case, does that necessarily warrant the astronomical increase in expenditure coming from a government that promised the Ghanaian taxpayer to be very prudent or efficient in the use of the country’s scarce resources and reduce tax burdens for the ordinary Ghanaian?
Also, which administrative model or school of thought preaches that upsizing management and downsizing workers is optimal for efficiency as this government is trying to preach? We have a situation in which not too long ago Senior Minister, Hon Osafo Marfo, on the 7th August, 2017 informed members of the public of plans by government to downsize the public service in order to reduce the impact of wages and salaries on the country’s fiscal space and create the needed efficiency to execute more projects for the masses. Is it the case that government wants to only create jobs at the top for political appointees?
Every now and then we keep hearing of government’s delays in paying ex-gratia for appointees of the erstwhile Mahama administration. Considering the difficulty in paying a smaller number as compared to the ballooning current figures, are we not heading to a situation whereby the exit of an administration will also lead to an exit of this country’s scarce resources as end of service benefit for all these appointees?
STRANEK will therefore want to urge President Akufo Addo to revert to his values of efficiency and his promise to protect the public purse so that revenues are adequately channeled towards productive use instead of creating jobs for an ever-growing list of government appointees.
We are all involved in building our motherland.
Nii Tettey Tetteh
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