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998 Staffers: It’s the quality that matters, not numbers – Akwetey

Executive Director of the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, has said that as far as the number of presidential staffers is concerned, “It is not the quantity but the quality of people and their tested ability to deliver what he [President Nana Akufo-Addo] wants” that matters.

“If we have a thousand people and we can also prove that the quality of the work they do generates much more than they spend on them, then we can say it’s worth it, but if not, then exactly what are they doing?” Dr Akwetey said on Monday on MultiTV’s PM Express.

His views tie in with that of academician Professor Stephen Adei who told Accra-based Starr FM on Monday that: “On the surface, almost 1000 presidential staffers seems too big. The big questions is, what are they doing? In these things, the numbers per se are not the most important because it’s about input and output. The line of interrogation should be what the number of staffers are producing and not just talk about the numbers. I think Ghanaians must demand accountability”.

Meanwhile president of policy think tank, Imani Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, has said the number of presidential staffers presented to parliament by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo makes his predecessor John Mahama seem like a frugal saint.

The list was submitted to parliament by the president in accordance with the Presidential Office Act as people who work at the presidency.

A comparison between the lists presented by Mr Mahama and that of Nana Akufo-Addo shows an increase of about 300 personnel.

Speaking on Accra-based Citi FM, Mr Cudjoe said government is rationalising waste.

”When Mahama was in office between 2012 and 2016, the budget that the office of government machinery was receiving was actually quite high, but when Mahama was leaving office in 2016, he had spent almost a billion Ghana cedis and he overrun that budget by GHS50 million Ghana Cedis.

“In some years in 2012 and 2013, Mahama overrun his budget by, in some regard, GHS200 million and GHS99 million. Now when the NPP came into office in 2017, they ballooned that figure to GHS1.5billion, but as we speak, we don’t know what was the overrun in 2017”.

“In 2018 they have allocated GHS3 billion and that’s GHS2 billion more than Mahama had to the office of government machinery and there’s nothing sensible about this arrangement and it’s always making Mahama look like a saint.”

Mr Cudjoe also stated that: “Corruption is not only about stealing money and putting your hands in the kitty, it’s also officialising waste. This is a clear example of officialising waste and we need to speak out about this…”

However, Information Minister Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid has contrary views to Mr Cudjoe’s.

According to him, although the current government’s list is taller than ex-president Mahama’s, the Akufo-Addo government is spending half the amount used in paying Mr Mahama’s staff.

“Our list, for example, is a little above the President Mahama list but if you look at the budget for office machinery under President Mahama, it is way above our budget,” he told Accra-based Joy FM ON Monday, 23 April, adding: “For 2017, they had about GHS3 billion but we came in 2017 with about GHS1.5 billion”, he told Accra-based Joy FM on Monday.

Source: Class FM

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