Credibility of government’s Presidential staff list questioned - Ablakwa
The Member of Parliament for the North Tongu constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has questioned the credibility of the government’s Annual Report on Presidential Office Staff for January to December 2019.
According to him, the list of staff at the Presidency presented to Parliament does not include some Ministers of State at the Presidency, which suggests a possible under-declaration of the total number of staff.
Speaking on Friday, the Minority spokesperson on Foreign Affairs said it was surprising that some ministers of state who were captured in the 2018 report and missing from the 2019 report were seen to be performing various duties in their capacities as ministers of state at the presidency.
“They have reported five ministers and it is clear that the president got it totally wrong. You don’t find quite a number of ministers [on the list]… You have Abubakar Saddique Boniface, Catherine Afeku, Sarah Adwao Safo, Bryan Acheampong and Dr. Kweku Afriyie [at the presidency]. Conspicuously missing from this list is the Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo. In the 2017 report and the 2018
report which was presented last year, we were told there were 10 ministers of state. Now you have an extreme reduction to five which calls into question the accuracy and credibility of the data that is being presented,” Ablakwa told host, Umaru Sanda Amadu.
“Prof. Gyan Baffuour, Minister for Planning is missing from this list; the Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr. Anthony Akosto Osei is missing from this list; Mavis Hawa Coomson, Special Development Initiatives Minister is also missing from this list,” he noted.
He said that to the extent that the Presidency has not in any communication to Parliament indicated that some of the ministers had been removed from their offices, the Minority believes that the list of five presented means the Presidency under-accounted for its ministers.
“He [President Akufo-Addo] has not communicated to Parliament that he has effected any amendment. So, so far as we are concerned, the record which we have should be 10 [Ministers].
Dan Kwaku Botwe, Regional Reorganization Minister is also an example missing from this list.” “We contend that the ministers of state that the President listed as five is under-accounted for,” the North Tongu legislator insisted.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa further accused the government of creating duplicated roles to enable the employment of family and friends. “Too many hands doing the same things. The duplication and amorphous and nebulous nature of roles these people occupy,” he said.
“We have Duke Ofori-Atta presented in the report as Director of Programmes…Then there is Amina Sammo, who is Director of Programmes… There’s Ouborr K. Kutando, Director of Special Project and then Alexander Gyedu who is Director, Special Projects.”
“You have a Minister of State in charge of Procurements, Sarah Adwoa Safo and yet from this list, we are amazed to realize that the president has appointed somebody in charge of procurement compliance who is in the category of other junior
political appointees,” Ablakwa noted. He further reiterated his call for the country to consider a constitutional amendment that will put a limit to the number of staffers at the Presidency.