The Member of Parliament for North Tongu constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is calling into question the credibility of the government’s Annual Report on Presidential Office Staff for January to December 2019.
According to him, the list of staff at the presidency presented to Parliament in the document does not include some ministers of state at the presidency which suggests the under-declaration of the number of staff.
Speaking on Eyewitness News on Friday, the Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs said it was surprising that some ministers of state who were captured in the 2018 report and missing from the 2019 report yet were seen to be performing various duties in their capacities are ministers of state at the presidency.
“They have reported five ministers and it is clear that the president got it totally wrong. You don’t find quite a number of ministers…. You have Boniface Abubakar Sidick, Catherine Afeku, Sarah Adwao Sarfo, Bryan Acheampong and Dr. Kweku Afriyie [there]. Conspicuously missing from this list is the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo. In the 2017 report and the 2018 report which was presented last year, we were told they were 10 ministers of state. Now you have an extreme reduction to five which calls into question the accuracy and credibility of the data that is being presented,” Ablakwa told host, Umaru Sanda Amadu.
“Prof. Gyan Baffuour, Minister for Planning is missing from this list; the Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr. Anthony Akosto Osei is missing from this list; Mavis Hawa Coomson, Special Development Initiatives is also missing from this list,” he noted.
He said that to the extent that the presidency has not in any communication to Parliament indicated that some of the ministers had been removed from their offices, the Minority believes that the list of five presented means the presidency under-accounted for its Ministers.
“He [President Akufo-Addo] has not communicated to Parliament that he has effected any amendment so, so far as we are concerned, the record which we have should be 10 [ministers]. Dan Kweku Botchwey, Regional Reorganization Minister is also an example missing from this list.”
“We content that the ministers of state that the president listed as five is under-accounted for,” he said.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa further accused the government of creating duplicated roles to enable the employment of family and friends.
“Too many hands doing the same things. The duplication and amorphous and nebulous nature of roles these people occupy,” he said.
“We have Duke Ofori-Atta presented in the report as “Director of Programmes….Then there is Amina Sammo, who is “Director of Programme… There’s Ouborr K. Kutando, Director of Special Project and then Alexander Gyedu who is “Director, Special Projects.”
“You have a minister of state in charge of procurements, Sarah Adwoa Sarfo and yet from this list, we are amazed to realize that the president has appointed somebody in charge of procurement compliance who is in the category of other junior political appointees,” Ablakwa noted.
He further reiterated his call for the country to consider a constitutional amendment that will put a limit to the number of staffers at the presidency.
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