The controversial list containing 998 staff said to be working at the Jubilee House is likely to double by end of 2018, former Minister for Trade and Industry, Dr. Ekow Spio-Gabrah has hinted.
Answering a question concerning the number of persons the current government has employed to work at the Presidency and their relationship to the President in an interview with Kwabena Kyenkyenhene Boateng on 21Minutes with KKB, Dr. Spio-Garbrah said, although President Akufo-Addo is not restricted from appointing people he trusts, he must be cautious with the number of relatives he gives public positions to.
‘’You have to be circumspect with people who are your blood relatives in public sector positions and if there are one or two who or are necessary for one reason, people may excuse that…Now nearly a thousand people in the Flagstaff House, the number apparently will jump to 1,600 in 2018,” he stated.
The National Democratic Congress’ 2020 flabearer hopeful, explained that the late former President, John Attah Mills during his administration, did not appoint a “platoon” of family and friends to run the affairs of the country, but only appointed his brother as his Economic Advisor because he was qualified for that position.
‘’if there are one or two who or are necessary for one reason, people may excuse that. President Attah Mills for example had one of his brothers as an Economy Adviser who worked at the World Bank and therefore had expertise, so he was there has an Economic Adviser,’’ the former Minister reiterated.
He disclosed that ‘’When I was minister of communications, 800 supposedly communication professionals some were good, some were not all that good but they were posted to the regions and also posted to almost all the Ministries department and agencies to help government in presenting its case to the media.’’
The list of 998 staffers was presented to Parliament as staff at the Presidency under the Presidential Office Act, 1993 (Act 463),
The list has been criticized by many Ghanaians and CSOs who believe the number of staff at the Presidency alone will only put pressure on the public wage bill considering that the same government pledged to secure and protect the public purse and prevent waste.
In defense of the list, Deputy Minister of Information, Nana Ama Dokua said President Akufo-Addo has done a yeoman’s job by recruiting these number of persons at the presidency as a form of employment creation and should be acknowledged in that regard accordingly.
“Some Ghanaians keep complaining that there is no job and so Nana Addo in a bid to make them happy has recruited that number to work. They should rather laud the President for creating jobs for people to also work instead of attacking him always” she is quoted to have said on Accra Based Okay FM.