National Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) Stephen Ayesu Ntim has said that the NPP government is the most listening government in the 4th Republic.
Setting the record straight on issues being “disingenuously propagated” during a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, April 4 to respond to an earlier address by the National Chair of the NDC Johnson Asiedu Nketia who accused the NPP government of running a bloated goverment said the government has addressed the call to reduce its size.
He revealed that between the NPP government’s first and second terms, the number of Ministers and Deputy Ministers has been significantly reduced from 126 to 86. “This is because we are a listening Government. Additionally, the government has taken a difficult path by implementing further cost-cutting measures, including the following:
a. A 30% cut of the salaries of the President, Vice President, Ministers and Heads of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs).
b. A discretionary 20% cut to central government spending.
c. A 50% cut in fuel coupon allocation for all political appointees and heads of government institutions to ensure efficient use of energy resources.
d. Suspension of the purchase of imported vehicles for 2022 to reduce total vehicle purchases for the year.
e. Suspension of all foreign travels except pre-approved statutory travels or critical travels.
f. Moratorium on the establishment of new public sector institutions.
g. A ban on using V8s or its equivalent, except for cross-country travels.
h. Meetings and workshops should be held within the official environment or government facilities.
i.Government-sponsored external training and Staff Development activities at the Office of the President, Ministries, and SOEs have been put on hold.
j. A freeze on tax waivers for foreign companies while tax exemptions for companies in the free zone will be reviewed, including mining and oil and gas companies.
k. No Ministry, Department or Agency, including SOEs, is permitted to use public funds to purchase and distribute hampers.
l. There shall be no printing of diaries, notepads, calendars, and other promotional merchandise by MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs.
m. A moratorium on bonus payment for SOEs that record losses in the year for which the bonus applies.
n. All non-critical projects that can wait for a year have been suspended.
o. Expunged “ghost” names from Payroll through periodic payroll audits and the link of the Ghana Card to the Payroll.
p. Address off-budget expenditures by making sure all government expenditures go through GIFMIS.
q. Enforce commitment control within the various ministries, i.e., eliminate unauthorised expenditure, as well as ensure that MDAs do not sign contracts without an approved budget.
r. Establish inter-sectorial working groups to address cross cutting issues; review contracts and ensure standard reporting among ministries.
Mr Ntim revealed that it is not true that the government has ignored calls to reduce its size. Instead, the government has been listening to Ghanaians, establishing a more robust control mechanism to manage expenditure while maintaining a dynamic team of ministers and appointees to deliver on its mandate.