General News of Monday, 26 November 2018
The Minority in Parliament has accused the Information Minister of peddling falsehood when he suggested the number of staffers at the Presidency is going through a programmed reduction.
Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Sam Okudzeto Ablakwa at a press briefing Monday ripped into statements made by the Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah on Sunday.
Mr. Oppong Nkrumah at a bi-weekly press meeting in Accra on Sunday reacted to claims by the Minority that the government intends to increase the number of Presidential staffers from the already criticised 998.
“Contrary to the claim, staff numbers at the Office of the President and even the Office of Government Machinery are rather going through a programmed reduction,” Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said.
According to him, the claim by the minority of an increase was because they were comparing the Office of the President (998 in 2018), which was part of the 1,697 ceiling, with the entire Office of Government Machinery ceiling for 2019 (1,614).
But taking a jab at Mr. Oppong Nkrumah, the North Tongu MP said the Minister should be minded that Sundays are holy days and he should exempt them from the days he lies if he so wishes to carry on that way.
Mr. Ablakwa said the Minister’s claim that the Presidential staffers are 998 for the year 2018 is false because that figure was for 2017.
“The 998 can only belong to 2017 which had a ceiling of 953 and not 1, 697. The Minister therefore either goofed badly or he set out to deliberately mislead Ghanaians,” Mr. Ablakwa noted.
He also noted that the Minister’s claim of the number going through a programmed reduction is false.
“How can 1,614 in comparison to 998 be a programmed reduction; how,” he quizzed.
Mr. Ablakwa further stated “the claim [by the Minister] that 1, 614 is surely a reduction because of the 2018 ceiling of 1, 697 is rather erroneous. This is because the 2017 ceiling as contained at in the budget is 953.
“…so the report of 998 to Parliament confirms that the number was exceeded by 45,” the legislator stated.
He added that if the track-record was anything to go by, then one cannot be certain of a reduction from 2018 to 2019.