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Okudzeto unhappy over new appointments at Jubilee House

The Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has raised concerns about the annual report on Presidential staffers.

According to him, the duplication of offices and irregularities in the report raises credibility questions.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP’s post suggests that there are currently 934 Presidential staffers, with 311 being political appointees.

“It is significantly strange to observe that when compared to the 2018 Annual Report, a number of Ministers of State are missing from the 2019 Annual Report. Ministers such as Yaw Osafo Marfo, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, Dan K. Botwe, Mavis Hawa Koomson, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei and Prof. Gyan Baffuor do not feature at all.

“Indeed, only five Ministers of State appear in the report, raising credibility concerns and if Parliament is being presented with accurate data, especially as in this case, there would be no IMF opportunity to seek redress,” he said in a Facebook post.

The MP who is also a Ranking Member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee listed some of the offices which had been duplicated describing them as “foggy designations”.

“Even more troubling are the foggy designations. For example, we have Duke Ofori-Atta presented in the report as “Director of Programmes.” Then there is Amina Sammo who is “Director of Programme.” There’s Ouborr K. Kutando, Director of Special Project; and then Alexander Gyedu who is “Director, Special Projects”.

“In addition to the controversial portfolio of Minister of State for Public Procurement held by Sarah Adjoa Sarfo, there’s listed a “Director for Procurement Compliance” in the person of Samuel Kwaku Adu. In a similar vein, though Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed Awal continues to function as Minister for Business Development, the taxpayer is further burdened with a “Director of Business Support” named as Franklin Owusu-Karikari,” he added.

The report was submitted to the House in accordance with Section 11 of the Presidential office Act 1993.

The Presidential staffers have always generated controversy as the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress blame each other for a bloated list of staffers at the expense of the taxpayer. It is justified depending on who is in office.

In 2016, there were 768 staffers under Mahama administration.

The total number of staffers at the Presidency as of December 31, 2018, was 957, showing a reduction from 998 in 2017, according to the annual report on Presidential Office Staff presented to Parliament in April last year.

During the Mahama era, the report submitted to Parliament in February 2014 indicated that the  Office of the President had 678 employees, including Ministers of State, washermen and sanitary labourers, in 2013.

 

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