Former President John Dramani Mahama has again called on Nana Akufo Addo to show sensitivity to the worsening economic crisis by slashing the huge budget for his office.
The former President in a tweet described as overboard the sharp increase of allocation from
¢700million to a whopping ¢3.1billion in 2022 alone.
“The budget for the Office of the President has ballooned, over the last six years, from GH¢700m to GH¢ 3.1bn in 2022,” he tweeted on Tuesday November 8.
He added “For expenditure rationalization to be successful, it must first start in the President’s office. Substantial savings of GH¢1bn can be made by slashing the budget.”
His comments come in the wake of growing concern about the reluctance of the President to heed to clarion calls by experts to drastically cut down expenditure.
The annual report on Presidential Office Staff (2021), which was laid before Parliament on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, in line with the Presidential Office Act, 1993 (Act 463), for example revealed that in spite of the economic crisis that showed signs after the over expenditure during the 2020 elections, President Nana Akufo Addo increased his staffers from 934to 995 which included new portfolios such as Church Relations Manager, one Rev. Ebenezer Saaka Ameyaw and ‘Diaspora Church Mobilization’ headed by Fr. Nana K. Ellis, who were assigned to facilitate the National Cathedral project.
Directors of Communications at the Presidency were increased to four compared to one in the previous Mahama led administration.
Per President Akufo-Addo’s list presented to Parliament, offices had been created for 5 Deputy Directors of Communications, 2 Communications Specialists, 3 Communication Officers, 5 Technical Communications Assistants, a Media Aide, an Assistant Media Liaison Officer, a Communications Consultant, and a Presidential Advisor on Media who also has a Technical Director to the Presidential Advisor.
This swarm doesn’t include the social media warriors and the army at the Information Ministry. It does appear the Akufo-Addo Presidency was always set up to place a premium on expensive rhetoric and not concrete deliverables.
Mr Mahama who has been consistent in his call for a national dialogue on the current economic crisis has described the 30% cut in expenditure across board announced by the President, ineffective.
On 27th October, 2022 the former President who spoke on the Ghanaian economy on the topic ‘Building the Ghana we want’, intimated that some austerity measures ought to be taken including reducing the size of government, scrapping or merging needless secretariats and agencies, and cutting the Budget of the Office of Government Machinery among others.