The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has bemoaned what he calls positions of dubious validity at the Presidency.
He singled out the position of Church Relations Manager contained in the latest report on Presidential Staff to Parliament as an example.
“We have, as a country, a Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs so religious bodies can interact with them if probably they want assistance for organising pilgrimages and what have you,” Mr. Ablakwa said in a Citi News interview.
“It is troubling that we are seeing public office being distributed like confetti under our current economic conditions,” he added.
Mr. Ablakwa also expressed concern that jobs were being distributed as political rewards.
“They really look like positions that are jobs for the boys and girls, and they have very dubious validity and credentials.”
“It is not even clear what their mandate is. We cannot continue this way,” he stressed.
Other positions he cited were Diaspora Church Mobilisation, Personal Assistants for Regional Ministers and Youth Ambassador for Diaspora Affairs.
In addition, Mr. Ablakwa said the presidency needed to be more sensitive to the economic climate.
“Don’t forget that we are currently having a cost of living crisis. This is a period where virtually every sector, you see arrears,” he said.
The current list pushes the number of political appointees to 337.
Because of the fiscal strain from the growing number of staffers, he reiterated his desire for a cap on political appointees.
“If you add the other non-political appointees to the political appointees of 337, we are talking of 995,” Mr. Ablakwa said.
Section 11 of Act 463 of the Presidential Office Act states that the President shall within 3 months after the end of each financial year submit to Parliament an annual report containing the number of presidential staff employed at the Office, the rank or grade of such staff; and employees in the other public services assigned to the Office.