998 Staffers: Rise Up – Apaak To Ghanaians
A former presidential staffer Dr. Clement Apaak has charged Ghanaians to rise up and demand that the Akufo-Addo-led government protect the already stressed public purse.
“Ghanaians certainly have to rise up to be citizens as the president himself has called on us to do,” he called out in the wake of disclosures that the office of the President has a whopping 998 employees, including Ministers of State, Presidential Staffers and junior political appointees.
The number is some 220 staff more than the 778 employees presented to parliament by the erstwhile John Mahama administration in 2013. According to the report released to Parliament on the staffing position of the Office of the President for the period January 7, 2017 to December 31, 2017, the office had nine Ministers of State, 27 presidential staffers, 256 Junior Political Appointees and 706 civil and public servants.
The tall list has angered most Ghanaians with many accusing the President and his government of deceit and hypocrisy after the NPP complained about the 768 staffers which was maintained by the Mahama administration. Some notable civil society groups including IMANI Ghana criticized the numbers saying it is a drain on the national purse.
“So quite clearly, this is not the best way to expend the public resource,” Apaak noted on Morning Starr, adding forcefully that: “We cannot just sit by and allow the president and his party to create all of these fictitious positions, duplication of responsibilities as a conduit to satisfying their rank and file.”
Meanwhile, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko, a senior member of the New Patriotic Party and a former Executive Director of policy think tank Danquah Institute (DI) justified the number many believed is “recklessly humongous” stating, President Akufo-Addo prioritises results over a lean government.
“Akufo-Addo has never put lean government before a government that delivers. I recall in 2006, we were working on a speech and when I mentioned ‘lean government’, he told me point blankly that our situation in Ghana calls more for a well-resourced government machinery that can deliver,” he wrote on his Facebook Wall.