Newly appointed Chief of Staff Mr John Henry Newman, on Friday observed he was quite impressed with the curriculum vitae of a good number of presidential staffers, however he would expect them to prove their worth practically.
He said by virtue of their impressive CVs, the staffers have acquired substantial education, and it is the knowledge and experiences from those endeavours he expects them to demonstrate in solving problems and serving the nation, even as they serve the president.
Henry Newman was holding his first official interaction with heads of departments and units of the Office of the President at the Castle, Osu, to express his expectation of the staff to reciprocate his gesture to team up with him to serve the nation.
He said that office of Chief of Staff carried an onerous responsibility and noted that all the staff had gone through some political decisions, but at the end of the day, they were happy with their service.
He cautioned that he would not spare the rod. “I push people to work. I push people to develop. It’s not an issue about obtaining degrees or acquiring knowledge; but you’ve got to use it to the benefit of the people of this country,”
At the meeting were Commodore Steve Obimpeh (rtd), who is in charge of Transfer of Executive Assets of the Transitional Team, Mr Mahama Ayariga, Presidential Spokesperson, and Mr Koku Anyidoho of the Office of the President.
Mr. Newman, who is a former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) from 1996 to 2001, viewed his appointment by President John Evans Atta Mills, as the work of God, and said he was excited to be in his new, challenging position.
“I suppose it’s the work of God, I’m excited to be here; but I also know that the position goes with challenges,” he said. “I come with open arms. I expect reciprocity, so that I can serve the people of Ghana by serving the President.”
The Chief of Staff, a lawyer and administrator, said he was unnerved initially when he was called for the position, but he would rely on divine assistance and the support of the heads and staff of the office of the presidency for the effective discharge of his duties.
He recalled the time he served as the COCOBOD Chief Executive when the President was the then Vice President and said he at that time initially felt unsure to be up to the task. Mr Newman added: “I will aspire to the grace of God to enable me to perform. In that case I will need your support.”
The Chief of Staff urged the staff to effectively discharge their duties as the office of the President was the “nerve centre” of the country.