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Salaries of Presidential Staffers: Okudzato Ablakwa Blows Cover On Huge Expenditure At Jubilee House Under Akufo Addo and Causes Stir -See Details



Salaries of Presidential Staffers: Okudzato Ablakwa Blows Cover On Huge Expenditure At Jubilee House Under Akufo Addo and Causes Stir -See Details

Until a lot of “amorphous” positions were created at the Jubilee House by President Nana Akufo-Addo, the state spent GH¢136.2 million on their wages and salaries but it has now shot up to GH¢823.8 million, North Tongu MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has said.

In a Facebook post, Mr. Ablakwa noted that some of those positions are Church Relations Manager and Diaspora Church Mobilisation Officer.

“It is significant to observe from the 2021 Budget Statement — the year most of these amorphous positions were created at the Office of Government Machinery that their Wages and Salaries shot up astronomically to GH¢823.8 million from just GH¢136.2 million in 2020 (an increment by a staggering 508.4%)”, Mr. Ablakwa noted.

He said that compared with that of the entire Parliamentary Service (including non-parliamentarians) — GH¢201.1 million was budgeted in 2021 from GH¢140.4 million in 2020 (representing an increase of 43.2%).

“Placed in perspective, the Office of Government Machinery’s salary increase by an additional GH¢687.6 million in one year (508.4%) is more than the GH¢672 million needed to pay NABCo workers for an entire year (see page 241 of 2021 Budget),” he noted.

“Sadly, NABCo workers remain unpaid for 7 months,” he noted.

Below is an earlier post of Mr. Ablakwa about the increasing staff strength at the presidency:

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After a great deal of struggle, we finally got President Akufo-Addo to comply with the Presidential Office Act, 1993 (Act 463) which requires him to report annually to Parliament on the staffing position at the Office of the President.

The report which was laid in Parliament yesterday — two months after the legal deadline, makes for interesting reading.

Pursuant to our oversight obligations as MPs, we shall scrutinize and debate the report in due course.

In the interim, since the report is now a public document, I make the following preliminary observations:

1) To have the total staff strength increase from 934 in 2020 to 995 in 2021 out of which a massive 337 are political appointees, particularly, under the current economic crisis is awfully insensitive and manifestly wasteful.

Despite creating the impression after his Ministerial appointments that his elephantine size of government is reducing, we are seeing, rather worryingly, an upward trajectory at the Office of the President. Compared with 2020, we have 26 more political appointees and an overall jump from 934 to 995.

Many of us had expected — at the very least — a freeze in the staffing numbers at the Presidency, bearing in mind claims by senior government officials that the public sector payroll is full.

2) There is an alarming duplication of roles purportedly being performed by multitudes which are not only dishonourable, it cannot be judicious use of taxpayer cedis when we are facing the harshest economic conditions in a generation.

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Using Comms to make the point: Many Ghanaians would be outraged to discover that we have 3 additional Directors of Communications — the same position Mr. Eugene Arhin occupies.

Their names are provided as Frank Adjei Twum, Awudu Moro Kabore, and Ali Adams.

Per President Akufo-Addo’s list, the Ghanaian Presidency has 4 Directors of Communications, 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.

3) Then there is the unethical— Why has the President created the unconventional position of “Church Relations Manager” at the Presidency? This smacks of an unholy mission to mix politics and the pulpit. Respectfully, is Rev. Ebenezer Saaka Ameyaw telling us this is a full-time job?

Why should the taxpayer be burdened with this unethical task? What really is the ToR for this church relations management? I hope the management outcome doesn’t include ensuring that the Church is silenced? Many more questions than answers.

Adding to the confusion is a role occupied by Fr. Nana K. Ellis who is said to be responsible for “Diaspora Church Mobilisation.” What does it entail and why do we have to mobilise the Church in the diaspora? Mobilisation for what exactly? How are we measuring his output? How did this become a priority and a full-time job? Is this the best use of scarce public funds?

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4) Who created the position of Youth Ambassador for Diaspora Affairs? What exactly is the mandate of Jake Obeng-Bediako who carries the rather curious title? What are his KPIs and how do Parliament and the Ghanaian people assess his output? Considering our development challenges, is this a portfolio to even contemplate?

5) Why has the President decided to erode the gains from his decision not to appoint Deputy Regional Ministers in his second term by creating a new category of Personal and Special Assistants for all Regional Ministers who are drawing salaries from the Presidency? Such putrefying levels of deception completely destroy the already low public confidence in the noble office of the President.

This country urgently needs a new leadership direction.



Hopeson Adorye Recounts How He Was Sacked From National Security



A one-time parliamentary aspirant of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for Kpone Katamanso, Hopeson Adorye, has refuted news publications that his removal from the National Security Secretariat was because he was not supposed to be working there after he was fired in 2017.

Hopeson Adorye

Speaking in an Okay FM interview, Hopeson Adorye said that the sack letter he received was dated November 17, 2022.

Adorye, who was previously the Deputy National Security Coordinator in Charge of Airports, added that the reasons for his sacking were not stated in the letter because it was President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who ordered his dismissal.

“The news publication is wrong. Why will someone be sacked and leave his post after 4 years? What happened was that in 2017, I had to leave my post at the airport and go back to the ‘blue gate’ because the security at the VIP section of the airport, which the National Security was in charge of, was being taken over by the Foreign Affairs Ministry. I was never sacked; what ‘The Herald’ is saying is false,” he explained in Twi.

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“How can one person be sacked from the same job twice? Tomorrow will be exactly two weeks since I received the letter indicating my appointment had been terminated with immediate effect. The letter was dated 17th November 2022 and I received the letter on 21st November, a day after my birthday,” he added.

He added that many elders of the NPP have advised him not to talk about the circumstances surrounding his dismissal, and he will for now heed their advice.
Hopeson Adorye had previously announced on live radio this week that he had been fired from his government job.

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He said during a discussion on Oman FM’s Boiling Point programme, on which he is a regular guest, that he had been fired purposefully because of his support for Alan Kyerematen.

Adorye is a vocal supporter of the Trade and Industry Minister in respect of the minister’s rumoured bid to lead the NPP as flagbearer when elections take place next year.

“God will cater for us; we will eat, Uncle (referring to the show host); God has got us. How we toiled in opposition for Akufo-Addo to come to power, we will do same for Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen to come.

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“I’m not a zombie, uncle, I was told that my support is not towards a particular camp, so I should be dismissed. I have been dismissed. ‘Your appointment has been terminated with immediate effect.’ That is why I am stressing that God will cater for us; we will never die,” he stressed.

Watch the interview below:


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Maradona Would Be ‘Super Happy’ I Broke His Record – Lionel Messi



Diego Maradona was Argentina’s most used player at World Cups for a long time, but that honour now belongs to Lionel Messi.

Lionel Messi says Diego Maradona would be “super happy” after he overtook the late Argentina great as his country’s most capped player at a World Cup.

Paris Saint-Germain superstar Messi played a full part in Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Poland that secured Argentina top spot in Group C and a last-16 tie with Australia.

Messi, who had a penalty saved by Wojciech Szczesny with the game level, was making his 22nd appearance in the competition – one more than his former coach Maradona.

“I only learned about this record recently,” Messi said when told about his latest achievement. “It’s a pleasure to be able to continue achieving these kinds of records.

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“I think Diego would be super happy for me because he’s always showed me a lot of affection. He was always happy when things went well for me.”

Messi could yet take another record from Maradona, as the 63 chances he has created at World Cups in recorded history is second only to his compatriot, who created 67.

The 35-year-old’s blank against Poland came on the back of netting in the shock 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia and 2-0 win over Mexico in Argentina’s opening two games in Qatar.

The seven shots he amassed against Poland is his highest tally without scoring in a match for Argentina since a 1-1 draw with Iceland at the 2018 World Cup (11).

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Second-half goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez ensured Argentina secured the win they needed, though, and they are now strong favourites to overcome Australia.

“After the first goal, everything went our way,” said Messi, who was part of the Argentina squad that finished runners-up to Germany at the 2014 World Cup.

“We started doing again what we had been trying to do since the start of the World Cup, but which we hadn’t been able to achieve for various reasons.

“Having been able to do it today, it gives us confidence for the future.”

Messi will be looking to score in the knockout stages of the World Cup for the first time on Saturday, with all eight of his previous goals coming in the group stage.

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He has had 23 efforts without finding the net beyond the first round, though he did assist in the last 16 in each of the 2010, 2014 and 2018 editions.

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List of NPP MPs Chilling At Qatar World Cup While 2023 Budget Is Being Considered



The Minority Caucus in Parliament on Tuesday raised concerns about the non-attendance to the House of members on the Majority side of the House.

The concern was anchored on the premise that the debate on the 2023 budget as presented by the Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta was expected to start with a race to pass the Appropriation Bill in time.

Though no official reason was given for the mass absence of the Majority members, GhanaWeb checks show that some of the Majority Members of Parliament (MPs) were out of the jurisdiction.

At least three of them were spotted in Qatar where the 2022 FIFA World Cup is ongoing.

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One of the MPs who has been in Qatar for the past two weeks is Mustapha Ussif of Yagaba-Kubori, who doubles as Minister of Youth and Sports.

He has been with the team through their training cap in Dubai through to their arrival in Doha for the games. He was among the delegation that received President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo when he met the team before their match against Portugal.

Minister of Communications and Digitalisation who doubles as the Member of Parliament for Ablekuma West Constituency, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful was also spotted in Qatar according to social media posts.

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On Wednesday, November 30, Ursula took to her Facebook page to share a ‘unique’ photo of herself and former Dutch footballer, Patrick Stephan Kluivert.

She captioned the photo: “With Patrick Kluivert; for those old enough to remember this legendary footballer from the Netherlands!! Loving the atmosphere in Qatar!!”

Minister of Energy and Manhyia South MP, Matthew Opoku Prempeh is also in Qatar cheering on the Black Stars.

He spoke in a recent interview with Metro TV reporters after the Black Stars defeated South Korea by 3 – 2 at the Education City Stadium on Monday.

Patrick Yaw Boamah, Okaikwei Central MP is also in Qatar, where he has been sharing photos of himself on the streets and at the stadium supporting Otto Addo and his charges.

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