You Are Not Patriotic – Ablakwa Jabs President
The Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu Constituency, Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa, has said that the “bloated” staff at the presidency shows that the current government does not have the interest of the nation at heart.
The former deputy minister of education under the erstwhile John Dramani Mahama government indicated that, with all the issues been raised so far, what should be considered is efficiency and output and if that is not the issue at hand, then the president does not love his country as he claims.
“We must ask ourselves what the fundamental issues been raised are? To me it’s about efficiency. It’s about the judicious use of our resources and the tax payers money. We should ask ourselves as government in power that how many people can efficiently work for the benefit of the country without wasting money and the output will still be the same. In other words, if a particular job can be done by four (4) people and it’s been given to hundred (100) people, then you do not love your country as you claim.”
Speaking on Okay FM’s morning show, Ade akye Abia, Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa told host, Kwame Nkrumah Tikese that, even the 998 figure is an understated one because there are people who are working at the presidency whose names are not on the released list adding that, “looking at the 2018 budget read by the Finance Minister to parliament, the minister said they will need more staff this year at the presidency which will be about 1,697 so this 998 figure is even an understated one.”
His submissions come on the heel of a public outrage that has greeted the number of staffers at the Presidency.
The release of the list is in compliance with Section 11 of the Presidential Office Act, 1993 (Act 463), which requires the President to submit annually to Parliament, a report of the staffing position of the Office of the President.
The breakdown was given as 9 ministers of State, 27 presidential staffers, 256 other junior appointees and 706 employees of public and civil service staff.
Comparing other presidencies across the world to that of Ghana, the legislator posited that countries like the United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK) whose population are far more than Ghana, have less than 400 and 170 staffers respectively at their presidencies , adding that “…considering our economic and financial standings, the 998 is causing more harm than good.”
The former deputy education minister in charge of tertiary education, further questioned the rationale behind the current government’s argument about the output of these staffers asking if these people at the presidency are the ones going to do the actual construction in terms of building the factories and dams they promised Ghanaians.
“Our brothers from the other side will always say that we should consider the job they are going to do which is the one district one factory among others…this one district one factory we are talking off, is it these Flagstaff House staffers who are going to build the factories? Are they the ones going to build this project in terms of actual construction? Are they the ones going to do the masonry and electrical works?” he queried.
“Let’s stop talking about output because per your targets, you have not been able to meet any of the timelines you gave us,” he finally added.
Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Akuapem North Constituency, Hon. Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah Agyei speaking on the same program explained that Ghanaians should see this as an employment opportunity that the government has given to citizens of this country asking if is bad for the president to employ people.
“If the president gives employment to the unemployed is it bad? We should see this as an employment opportunity that the government has given to the citizens of this country.”
The Deputy Minister of Information further revealed that the 998 staff at the presidency comprises of the free SHS secretariat, the One District One Factory Secretariat amongst others, adding that, “so this simply means that the president is giving jobs and creating portfolios for people who matter and are capable of delivering and meeting timelines and targets set.”