Cut down budget of Office of the President – Mahama
Former President John Dramani Mahama, has urged the government to show leadership in the current economic crisis and cut down the budget of the Office of the President.
He said it was untenable that the budget of the Office of government machinery had ballooned over the last six years from a little over GH¢700 million to GH¢3.1 billion in 2022 amid the economic crisis.
“Expenditure rationalisation, to be successful, must first start in the President’s office. Substantial savings of GH¢1 billion or more can be made by slashing the budget of the Office of government machinery,” he said.
The former President said this when he proposed some cost cutting measures in an address on the current state of the economy on Thursday on the theme: “Building the Ghana We Want”.
He said government needed to trim down the size of government made up of a relatively large number of ministers and deputies with over hundred political appointees at the presidency and others attached to ministers and State organisations.
“This will reflect the necessities of the time and the need for modesty and prudence,” he added.
Mr Mahama said it was not necessary to increase public expenditure through the creation of certain agencies and secretariats that had overlapping functions.
He observed that there were also too many agencies created “overnight without any functional necessity” that must be scrapped or merged for efficiency to ensure savings to the public purse.
“The National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme, National Employment Agency, MASLOC, Ghana Enterprises Agency and many others should be merged into one entity, under the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations,” he proposed.
He also called for the scrapping of the free SHS secretariat, One District, One Factory’s Secretariat, Special Development Initiative Secretariat and the accompanying Development Authorities to allow for the Ghana Education Service, the Industrial Development Unit of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, as well as the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to respectively take over their functions.
Mr Mahama called for stricter public financial management guidelines and regulations, which must be rigorously enforced to curtail the waste and corruption the Auditor General reported annually.
“A tougher sanctions regime must be introduced to check the haemorrhage of over GH¢17 billion yearly,” he added.
The former President also called for the suspension of “all non-essential” projects such as the 116 million Euro new Accra International Conference Centre and construction of new embassy buildings for new missions abroad.
He also called for the shelving of proposed building of constituency offices for Members of Parliament, stop in the use of public funds to build the national cathedral and a possible pull out of hosting of the All Africa Games.