‘We are a busy gov’t’; Frema Opare justifies list of presidential staffers
Chief of staff, Frema Osei Opare, has slammed critics of the 998 staffers at the Jubilee house.
According to her, the number is needed to complement the work of the ‘busy’ New Patriotic Party administration.
The Presidency has come under intense public criticism as it once against broke another record of having 998 staff serving at the presidency, the highest ever by any president.
Many including the Minority in Parliament have accused the president of recruiting party foot-soldiers among other members to serve irrelevant roles.
Also, during the presentation of the 2019 budget presentation by the Finance Minister, it emerged that the Presidency has plans to increase the number of presidential staffers from 998 to 1,614.
In what may be seen as a sharp contrast, the Information Ministry subsequently announced that the figure could be reduced by 69 in 2019.
Speaking on the issue for the first time to Citi News, Frema Osei Opare justified the number and said it commensurates the level of work government is doing.
“You can have ten people in an enterprise and they will all be overstaffed. But, you may have 20 staff and they will rather be understaffed. What is worrying is when the people are not seriously engaged but are loitering about. This is a government that is consistently having cabinet meetings even at midnight to work around the clock.”
“This is a government that has a lot of important initiatives that require our participation and engagement. What you do is that you hire people and if you citizens who have skills and talents you can accelerate development by just having the people to use those talents. So are they able to tell me that a ministry is idle. Go to any ministry and see if the appointees are loitering about. We are a busy government, she stressed.
Minority fights gov’t over moves to employ more staffers
The President in accordance with section 11 of the Office of the President Act presented the list of 998 staffers to parliament in April 2018, but debating the budget in parliament on Wednesday, the Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, said the government’s plan to increase the number of staffers by over 50 percent is insensitive especially as many Ghanaians continue to lament over difficult economic times.
“I am deeply, deeply worried about the refusal of President Akufo Addo’s government to listen to the people of this country. When the presidential staffers list of 998 was presented to this house, there was national outrage, we are informed that the office of government machinery, government intends to employ 1,614 people,” he said.