The Member of Parliament for the Bawku Central Constituency, Mahama Ayariga wants the Akufo-Addo government to review the list of 998 employees presented to Parliament as staff at the Presidency.
According to him, some of the names are not supposed to be on the list and must be removed as soon as possible.
He argued that some of those on the list are special assistants to Minister’s who do not operate from the Office of the President and must therefore not be considered as staff at the presidency.
The Bawku Central MP further argued that the presentation of persons who work for traditional ministries as staff at the presidency could only be described as “abuse of the Presidential Office Act, [1993 (Act 463)].
“The list that we have in my opinion reflects a certain behaviour that we need to check. There are people who are captured as presidential staffers who in my opinion are not presidential staffers. If you look at Appendix B (2), other junior political appointees, you will see names like Mumuni Abdulai Bawumia, Special advisor to the Minister of Interior,” he said on Citi FM’s current affairs and news analysis programme, The Big Issue on Saturday.
A report on the Presidency’s staff establishment submitted to Parliament, under the Presidential Office Act, 1993 (Act 463), shows that the presidency staff establishment totals 998.
The list has been criticized by many Ghanaian and CSOs who believe the list is enormous and will only put pressure on the public wage bill.
Ayariga who is also a former presidential staffer said it is wrong to present special aides or assistants to ministers such as Local Government and Rural Development, Attorney General and Ministry of Justice, Lands and Natural Resources, Roads and Highways among others as junior political staff.
“Many of them are assisting ministers who are under the office of the President; I’m not concerned about those. I’m looking at the Ministries who are on their own. The Presidential office Act, Section 2 says that the officers [on the list] are to assist the president and the vice president in the execution of their executive functions. When you go and employ people who are assisting ministers of mainline ministries, you are engaged in the abuse of the law. This is a clear abuse of the Presidential Office Act.”
He also chastised the Council of State for not drawing the attention of the President to the mistakes on the list before it was sent to Parliament.
“I feel scandalized that the Council of State did not spot this and advise against the inclusion of these people on the list of presidential staffers because legally, they are not presidential staffers.”
He said the development is very worrying and called on the president to take steps to either strike out such names from the 998 list or re-assign them.
“So this new development where we are hiding under the guise of presidential staffers and appointing people to ministries to assist ministers is worrying and must be stopped, and I think that as soon as possible, the president should review the list, withdraw all these people. If he is reassigning them to come and assist him personally, that is a different matter, but if they are there to assist ministers, they are not presidential staffers and must be taken off the list,” he added.
Meanwhile, a former Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, had earlier said that President Akufo-Addo is not as concerned about the size of his government as he is about the effective delivery of government’s development agenda.
At according to Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, who is a close associate of the president, “Akufo-Addo has never put lean government before a government that delivers.”
“Akufo-Addo had never promised to run a ‘lean’ government as some have claimed, the lawyer said, “I don’t think he has changed. None of his 3 Manifestos stressed on the concept of small government. To him, the capacity and ability to deliver is what matters most. Competent delivery is after all, cost-effective,” he added.
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