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General News Tue, 12 May 2009

17 ex-govt appointees return state cars

... Govt not in the mood to buy new vehicles
A total of 17 former appointees in the Kufuor administration have returned their vehicles to the state after the ultimatum from the government to return the state vehicles in their possession.

Twelve such appointees had earlier returned their vehicles, followed by five others who did so over the weekend.

Those who have so far returned their vehicles include Mr Andrew Awuni, Press Secretary to the former President Kufuor; Alhaji Abubakar Sid­dique Boniface, former Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, former Northern Regional Minister, Mrs Mary Chinery-Hesse, Special Adviser to for­mer President Kufuor, Mr Owusu Ansah, former Ashanti Regional Minister, and Godfred T. Bayon, a former Minister of State.

Others are Mr Kwadwo Adjei-Darko, former Minister of Local Government, Prof. Gyan-Baf­four, former Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Benjamin Aggrey Ntim, for­mer Minister of Communications, Mr Frederick Opare Ansah, former Deputy Minister of Com­munications, Mr Clement Eledi, former Deputy Minister of Agriculture, and Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, former Deputy Majority leader and now Minority Leader.

The rest are Ms Cecilia Dapaah, former Min­ister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, former Minister of Regional Co-operation and NEPAD; Mr Kwadwo Agyeman, former Presidential Staffer, Mr Bafour Awuah, former Presidential Staffer, and Mr George Hikah-Ben­son, former Upper West Regional Minister.

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However, Messrs Albert Kan-Dapaah, former Minister of Defence; Mr Kwadwo Affram Asiedu, former Eastern Regional Minister, and Osei Asibey Antwi, former Presidential Staffer, returned their vehicles earlier before the directive was given.

A source from the Ministry of Information told the Daily Graphic at the weekend that other officials were negotiating with the government to return the state vehicles in their possession.

A couple of weeks ago, the government directed all former government appointees who served under the Kufuor administration and were still illegally in possession of state vehicles which were less than two years old to return such vehicles within a week from that date.

It also asked all other appointees who paid less than the value of the vehicles to top up their payments before they could legally take possession of them.

A Deputy Information Minister, Mr Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa, who gave the directives at a press conference in Accra, said more than 50 of such vehicles, includ­ing 18 which were less than two years, were still in the possession of former appointees.

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He said the government had made sev­eral approaches to the affected appointees, but only a few of them had responded, adding that the Presidency, as part of its cost-cutting measures, was not in the mood to buy new vehicles, as a result of which some ministers and deputy ministers have had to use their personal vehicles.

Fifty-two people in the former adminis­tration who reportedly applied to buy their vehicles were said to be keeping their vehicles even though they had not been given permission to do so before they left office.

According to the source, some of the vehicles returned were in good shape, while others had defects, ranging from bro­ken windscreens and dented doors to faulty bonnets.

The source used the opportunity to encourage the former officials still in pos­session of state vehicles to return them to enhance government business.

Source: Daily Graphic