General News of Thu, 26 Apr 20183

998 controversy: Government is attentive to concerns of Ghanaians - Herbert Krampah

The government has welcomed the call by the Centre for Democratic Development for Parliament and the Council of State to intervene in the list of presidential staffers controversy.

Spokesperson on governance and legal affairs, Herbert Krampah told Joy News’ Emefa Apawu on Top Story, Wednesday, the government is attentive to the concerns of the Ghanaian people.

He said the government has taken cognizance of the concerns raised by Ghanaians over the large size government controversy and will take necessary steps to ensure the country benefits fully.

He was responding to the scandal that has attended the 998 list of presidential staffers at the presidency presented to Parliament.

Critics and some members of the opposition National Democratic Congress have taken the government to the cleaners, accusing it of appointing an elephant size government.

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The appointment they say will be a drain on the country’s scarce resources and a slap in the face of the president’s own commitment to protecting the public purse.

But the government spokespersons have been vehement in their defence of the list of 998 presidential staffers.

The Information Minister Mustapha Hamid has suggested that even with larger numbers at the presidency the NPP government spent half the amount the erstwhile NDC government spent even though they had a smaller number at the presidency.

According to him, the NPP government in 2017 spent only 1.5 billion cedis at the presidency but the NDC government spent 3 billion cedis in 2016.

But the CDD is disappointed at the turn of events in the country as far as the presidential staffers list is concerned.

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In a statement the Centre found it worrying that governments continue over padding officials at the presidency.

The think tank, therefore, charged the Council of State as well as the presidency to intervene to prevent the cycle of over padding.

Kojo Asante of CDD told Joy News instead of politicians getting into the process of equalization “we must fix the problem.”

The way to go is for the Council of State and Parliament to play their roles as effectively as possible to rein in the government.

He said Parliament must also take steps to review the presidential staffers' law that encourages over padding at the presidency.

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In responding to the criticisms, Herbert Krampah said perhaps if there were in-depth role definitions for some of the appointees then maybe people would know exactly what the new appointees will do at the presidency.

He also stated that if critics want to find the amount of money payable to the appointees, it should be possible for a request to be made and the information provided.

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