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Former Trade and Industry Minister, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah says the release of a list of some 998 employees, including ministers of state, presidential staffers and junior political appointees by the presidency has turned Ghana into a laughing stock.
According to the diplomat who was also the country’s former ambassador to the United States, the development has put the country in a bad light overseas.
Since the Nana Addo led-administration presented its list of presidential staffers to parliament for approval, the president has received massive backlash with some describing the governing party as 'insensitive' to the country’s alleged financial crisis.
Some policy think tanks including Strategic Thinkers Network-Africa (STRANEK) and Imani Ghana have called on the president to reduce the number of staffers or risk breaking his 2016 campaign promise to protect the public purse.
While some government officials have come out to defend the list arguing that it was helping to reduce unemployment, Mr. Spio-Gabrah tells Kwabena Kyenkyenhene Boateng on ‘21minutes with KKD’ that, the NPP government could have done better since there are other alternatives to reduce unemployment.
“The objective of creating jobs is to do it through the public sector, especially for a government like the NPP that has traditionally believed that the private sector was the engine for growth,” the Presidential hopeful noted.
He added, “You can’t say we are going to create jobs, and create it at the ministries and the flagstaff house. You can’t say we have created 110 ministers and deputies. This makes Ghana a laughing stock”.
For Spio-Garbrah, “It’s a shame. As a former ambassador of Ghana to the United States I understand when you are representing your country and things are going wrong and people point at you that this is the guy from that country.”
He further alleged that, government was bloating up some public sector departments because of pressure from party supporters.
“You cannot force the police, the fire service and the flagstaff house to just get bloated after you have won an election because your supporters are crying out through the invincible forces and the delta forces that if you don’t give them jobs they will come to Accra and cause mayhem by ceasing offices. But that is not the basis for job creation.”
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