General News of 2014-01-25

Mahama angry over disregard for his directives

Intelligence picked up by The Informer from the seat of Government has it that, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama is not happy with the way and manner some of his appointees are still disrespecting his directives.

Our sources reveal one such case as the frequency at which the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, is often heard commenting on issues bordering on the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), when the agency is no more under the ministry Afriyie-Ankrah presides over.

Readers would recall when The Informer published an article last year, calling on the attention of the appropriate agency to the flagrant disregard of some presidential directives.

In fact, this paper made it explicit as regards a directive issued by the President through his Chief of Staff, Mr. Prosper D.K. Bani, on the re-alignment of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, to ensure better coordination and harmonization of activities of government, which is being flouted.

On 4th March, 2013, the Chief of Staff, acting on behalf of the President, directed the re-alignment of some Departments and Agencies to their original homes (ministries).

Per the letter with reference number OP/COS/106, the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) was supposed to take its rightful abode under the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, instead of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, as part of the re-alignment process: But Mr. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, with unconcealed disrespect for the President, seems to have refused to adhere to the directive issued from the Presidency, and still comments on issues bordering on GYEEDA, when indeed, he now has no capacity to do so.

Checks within the Ministry of Youth and Sports reveal that there is uneasy calm among employees of the ministry, placing them at each other’s throat as those not supportive of the conduct of the Minister hold the view that he is making things difficult for the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations to control and assume full responsibility of the management of GYEEDA.

The Informer has it on authority that whiles Mr. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah has assumed unofficial control over GYEEDA, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Nii Armah Ashitey, at last year’s ILO conference in Geneva, was being asked to report on the youth employment situation in Ghana.

Also, our Flagstaff House sources hints that Mr. Nii Armah Ashitey was made to sign the President’s performance contract on GYEEDA. So, therefore, the question is; why should Elvis Afriyie Ankrah continue to speak to all GYEEDA related issues when he will not be held accountable for any mishap in the operations of the above-mentioned agency.

Credible information available to The Informer also reveals that the Minister had ignored a directive from the Parliamentary Select Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises, to relocate GYEEDA to the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations since the sector’s (GYEEDA) budget has been captured under the Employment and Labour Ministry.

To buttress the above, the committee on Youth and Sports in its report on the 2014 budget, made it known that though GYEEDA is still captured as an agency under the Ministry of Youth and Sports, no allocation was made to the agency in the 2014 annual estimate of the ministry, following the re-alignment policy of government to position state agencies where they belong.

It is instructive to know that the placement of GYEEDA under the Ministry of Youth and Sports created a lot of public debate because the programme was directly related to employment.

The Ghana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) could be mentioned as one of the institutions that were not happy with the earlier arrangement.

In its statement commenting on the 2013 budget statement and duly published by the Daily Graphic on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, the TUC proposed that the government should consider relocating GYEEDA to its natural home, the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations since the programme was more about employment.

In that directive issued by Mr. Prosper D.K. Bani, and addressed to the ministries to be affected by the re-alignment, it indicated that any ministry or person with any question should contact Dr. Sulley Gariba, a Senior Policy Coordinator at the Presidency

It is, however, unclear whether the Ministry of Youth and Sports did any such thing; than to disobey the President.

The affected ministries per the re-alignment process, include Information and Media Relations; Environment, Science and Technology and Innovation; Gender, Children and Social Protection and Ministry of Energy and Petroleum.

The rest are; Trade and Industry; Employment and Labour Relations; Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs;

Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, and Fisheries and Aquaculture Development.