Wages, salaries of ‘amorphous’ presidential staffers shot up to ₵823.8million from just ₵136.2million – Ablakwa

Prior to the creation of numerous “amorphous” positions at Jubilee House by President Akufo-Addo, the state spent GHS136.2 million on their wages and salaries; this figure has since increased to GHS823.8 million, according to North Tongu MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.

Mr. Ablakwa added that some of these posts include Church Relations Manager and Diaspora Church Mobilization Officer.

“It is significant to note from the 2021 Budget Statement — the year in which the majority of these amorphous positions were created at the Office of Government Machinery — that their Wages and Salaries skyrocketed to GHS823.8 million from GHS136.2 million in 2020 (an increase of a staggering 508 percent),” Mr. Ablakwa noted.

According to him, the budget for the Parliamentary Service as a whole (including non-parliamentarians) increased from GHS140.4 million in 2020 to GHS201.1 million in 2021. (representing an increase of 43.2 percent ).

“In context, the Office of Government Machinery’s wage rise of GHS687.6 million in one year (508.4 percent) is greater than the GHS672 million required to pay NABCo employees for a complete year (see page 241 of the 2021 Budget),” he stated.

“Sadly, NABCo employees have been unpaid for seven months,” he said.

Below is an older post from Mr. Ablakwa regarding the expansion of the presidential staff:

We finally convinced President Akufo-Addo to comply with the Presidential Office Act, 1993 (Act 463), which mandates him to report annually to Parliament on the Office of the President’s employment situation.

Yesterday, two months after the statutory deadline, a report was sent to Parliament, and it makes for intriguing reading.

In accordance with our oversight responsibilities as legislators, we will examine and discuss the report in due time.

Since the report is now a public document, I will make the following interim observations:

1) Increasing the overall number of employees from 934 in 2020 to 995 in 2021, of which 337 are political appointments, is incredibly callous and inefficient, especially in light of the current economic situation.

Despite giving the appearance through his Ministerial appointments that his elephantine government is shrinking, the Office of the President is on an alarmingly increasing trajectory. The total number of political appointments has increased by 26 since 2020, from 934 to 995.

Considering the claims of senior government officials that the public sector employment is at capacity, many of us had anticipated at the very least a freeze in employee levels at the White House.

2) There is an alarming duplication of responsibilities ostensibly performed by a variety of individuals, which is not only dishonorable, but cannot be a prudent use of public cedis given the current economic climate.

Many Ghanaians would be outraged to learn that we have three extra Directors of Communications, the same job that Mr. Eugene Arhin currently holds.

Frank Adjei Twum, Awudu Moro Kabore, and Ali Adams are mentioned as their names.

The Ghanaian Presidency has, according to President Akufo-list, Addo’s four Directors of Communications, five Deputy Directors of Communications, two Communications Specialists, three Communication Officers, five Technical Communications Assistants, a Media Aide, an Assistant Media Liaison Officer, a Communications Consultant, a Presidential Advisor on Media, and a Technical Director to the Presidential Advisor. This swarm excludes the social media fighters and the Information Ministry’s army.

It appears that the Akufo-Addo presidency was always intended to prioritize costly rhetoric over tangible results.

3) There is also the question of unethical behavior: Why has the President created the unorthodox job of “Church Relations Manager” at the White House? This appears to be an unholy attempt to combine politics with the pulpit. Reverend Ebenezer Saaka Ameyaw, are you telling us that this is a full-time job? Why should the taxpayer shoulder this unethical responsibility? What are the actual terms of service for this church relations management? I pray that the managerial solution does not include silencing the Church. There are significantly more questions than answers.

Fr. Nana K. Ellis is reported to be in charge of “Diaspora Church Mobilization,” which adds to the existing misunderstanding. What does it imply, and why do we need to mobilize the diaspora Church? Mobilization for just what? How do we evaluate his output? How did this become a top focus and your full-time occupation? Is this the most efficient use of limited public funds?

4) Who established the Youth Ambassador for Diaspora Affairs position? What precisely is Jake Obeng-mandate, Bediako’s given his very peculiar title? What are his key performance indicators, and how do Parliament and the Ghanaian people evaluate his output? Given our development challenges, is this portfolio even worth considering?

5) Why has the President opted to undermine the benefits of his choice not to appoint Deputy Regional Ministers during his second term by establishing a new category of Personal and Special Assistants for all Regional Ministers who are paid by the Presidency? Such putrid levels of deceit absolutely damage the already low level of popular confidence in the presidency.

This nation requires new leadership direction immediately.

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