General News of 2014-06-29

Minority angry over Chief of Staff's NPA rent directive

The Minority in Parliament is angry with a directive from Chief of Staff Prosper Bani for the dissolution of the committee investigating how officials of the National Petroleum Authority rented an office apartment at a whopping sum of $63,000 a month.

The MP for Afigya Kwabre South and Member of the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, William Owireku Aidoo, described the decision as a "sad day for Ghana."

A five-member committee was instituted by the Ministry of Energy few days ago to unravel the circumstances under which the office was rented.

The sector minister, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, described the $63,000 a month rent for an office space for the Authority as not representing "prudent use of state resources".

The wings of the committee have been clipped even before it would begin any investigation.

A statement from the Chief of Staff ordered the dissolution of the committee stating, "the Presidency is reviewing the approval processes that went into the decision to commit state funds to rent an office when the upfront payment involved could have completed a permanent office building for the NPA."

The chief of staff again directed the Energy Ministry to direct the NPA not to renew the rent agreement at the end of the current tenure.

The intervention by the Chief of Staff has angered the minority in Parliament.

William Owireku Aidoo wondered how the chief of staff would intervene in a matter like this without any punitive measures against the perpetrators.

He said for a state agency to pay an amount of $700,000 a year for rent in a country reeling under harsh economic pressures, was the height of financial indiscipline and heads must be made to roll.

"We cannot go forward with such a conduct," he indicated.