Policy think-tank, IMANI Africa, has described as “waste”, the list of presidential staff numbering 998 presented to parliament Friday April 20.
President Akufo-Addo in accordance with Section 11 of the Presidential Office Act, 1993, (Act 463) presented to parliament a list of all staff assisting him in the administration of the country at the seat of government and its extensions.
The staff are made of nine (9) ministers of state, 27 presidential staffers at the Office of the President, 256 other/junior political appointees at the Office of the President and 706 employees of the public workers assigned to the Office of the President.
Many, including some leading members of the opposition NDC has condemned the numbers describing same as an attack on the national purse.
But commenting on the development on 3FM’s Midday News, president of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, said the numbers are an “official waste because we never really had a hold on exactly what the government wanted to do in terms of its efficiency and its productivity”
He continued by saying the appointment of 110 ministers by President Akufo-Addo was an indication of waste.
“And because we never had that in place in the first place, we saw the first signs of, if you like, waste with the 110 ministers. It was only a matter of time that we were going to get to this point,” he added.
“My reason for describing it as official waste is two folds: one, there was no coherent plan first of all in order to determine the optimal performance level of productivity that we needed from the government”, he continued.
Mr. Cudjoe feared that the numbers may soon grow beyond the 998 staff considering that the government has just created Local Development Authorities which will require more hands.
While bemoaning the ever rising budget of government expenditure on presidential staffers, the boss of IMANI questioned the skills sets of the 256 junior political appointees as contained in the list. He describes them as “noise-makers”.
“Looking closely at the list, we have 256 or 276 political junior officers, what are they doing there because most of them I knew are just noise-makers on Facebook, propagandists and all of that, I don’t know what special skill they had to be given those appointments”, he stated.
Meanwhile, public administration expert, Professor Justice Bawole, has said, before a government increases in size, it has to be sure that it needs to increase using efficiency as a hallmark. He says there is the urgent need to have that conversation whether or not there is the need to increase government size, if not, the public sector will continue to be a “dumping site”.