New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for Effutu, Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin, says President John Dramani Mahama’s claim of no job cuts in the public sector despite an International Monetary Fund bailout, is not entirely true.
President Mahama at a national conference of Public Chief Directors, Chief Executives and Chairpersons of Governing Boards and Councils of the Public Sector Commission in Koforidua last Friday, said government was not going to do wholesale employment, but would employ people to fill vacancies created as a result of pensions, resignation and deaths.
The President further explained that the position taken by government is to streamline the public sector and the wage bill and indicated that a staff rationalization is ongoing to ensure that, the requisite human resource base is spread throughout the sectors and across the country.
But speaking on TV3’s New Day on Monday, the Effutu Legislator said the President was not being truthful claiming government may have succeeded in convincing the IMF to defer the retrenchment to 2017.
“I don’t think that Mr. President was telling the gathering the exact truth because even the Ministry of Finance has come to Parliament to talk about how they were going to carry out some retrenchment at least at the statistical service. They came to seek approval for a loan to pay severance packages for those who will be affected. I think all that Government has decided to do is to suspend the retrenchment to 2017 so that if it happens that they win the elections, then they will go ahead with it or that if a new government comes, it becomes a burden for them. If government wants to be sincere it should make a full disclosure of what the conditionalities are. If the President for the purpose of political convenience is telling us there will be no retrenchment, we live to see”.
“We are where we are because of abuse of state resources. It is very misleading for Mr. President to suggest to the people of Ghana that such a conditionality is not part of the IMF programme. Public sector workers are going to be laid off. They may have succeeded in convincing the IMF to defer that to 2017. I am so surprised and disappointed that Government didn’t accept what is in the public domain but rather came to say something different”.
But Deputy Communications Minister Felix Ofosu Kwakye vehemently disagreed with Mr. Afenyo Markins’ claims describing them as palpable falsehood that seeks to damage the NDC politically.
According to him, the conditionalities for the IMF programme are available in a document that is not hidden as has been suggested.
He said the President remains an authority as far as the agreement is concerned and that his words cannot be discredited merely for political expediency. He says the NPP must provide concrete evidence to support their claims of retrenchment or remain silent.
“The NPP is only engaging in scare-mongering. The IMF bailout is not new. Those who claim there is going to be retrenchment ought to bring proof. When the GSS goes to Parliament to seek a loan to restructure their office many months before the IMF programme how do you link that to what is happening now?” he asked.
Mr. Ofosu Kwakye also rubbished suggestions that Government was going to the IMF because of fiscal indiscipline and corruption.
In the usual act of equalization, he questioned whether the NPP under Ex-President Kufuor also went to the IMF twice because of corruption and mismanagement.
“When the NPP twice under Kufuor went to the IMF was it because of corruption and mismanagement? Government is only going to engage public sector workers in a rationalization programme and that has got nothing to do with retrenchment. If anyone has any evidence on the contrary they should provide it” he said.
By: Ebenezer Afanyi Dadzie/3news.com/Ghana