A cross section of Ghanaians have sided with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s decision to ban ministers from travelling abroad until further notice.
The move which according to Deputy Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah is part of government efforts to cut down on expenses and the negative effects foreign travels have on domestic roles will see all appointees except the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey
Although it is entirely not clear what informed the head of state’s decision, part of a statement signed by the Chief of Staff, Frema Osei-Opare, read that the temporal suspension on foreign travels is aimed at minimizing “disruption to government’s work.”
Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and all Heads of Government Agencies have also been affected by the ban.
Some Ghanaians, who spoke to www.ghanaweb.com, voiced their sentiments about the frequent foreign travels by government officials when they should be more stationed in the country, seeing to their designated fields.
According to them, most of the ‘holiday’ trips embarked on by government officials only have negative effects on the ‘pockets’ of Ghanaians.
“I think it’s in order in the sense that Ghanaians, we are suffering. When you look at how the money is just going into the drain just like that. If the president has noticed that money is of waste and therefore has put a stop to it, I think it’s in order.”
Lauding the move by the president another opined that: “…I think if the president says they should cut down on the travels, I think it is fair. Sometimes there is a lot of productive work to be done at the ministry including signing documents, but he or she would not be there. I think it’s fair.”
Nonetheless, the compatriots suggested that state officials should be permitted to travel only if the reason for their movement will be beneficiary to the nation.
“He needs to put some measures in place to restrict them because some of them go out to do their own business from the country's coffers which doesn’t speak well.”
On whether it was just for the president to exempt the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, the popular assertion was that it was okay for her to be excluded from the ban.
The reason being that it was necessary for her attend to global meetings since her duty is to directly deal with international counterparts.
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