Ghana’s new government is facing public scrutiny after a plan to cut down on spending has revealed that in fact 200 vehicles had gone missing from the president’s office.
President Nana Akufo-Addo who came into power last year has suspended purchase of any new government vehicles after authorities stated that they are trying to track down cars that were never returned by officials in the previous government.
However, an official in the former government has denied the allegations.
I was impressed, Even though I did not know the length of the suspension, because they did not tell us they were suspending it for two weeks.
A fiscal crisis saw inflation and the deficit rise sharply and the currency fall, forcing the previous government to enter the IMF programme.
Managing editor, at Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr said several of the new ministers and departments have already ordered very expensive vehicles.
“I was impressed, Even though I did not know the length of the suspension, because they did not tell us they were suspending it for two weeks, two months, three years or five years. But I was still impressed because it sent a signal that the government was not about to spend so much of our resources on the luxuries of its appointees and so on,” he added.
Akufo-Addo was elected on a promise to create jobs, fight poverty, promote development and boost free market growth through cutting taxes and red tape.
Local media reported that the president had now been forced to use a 10-year-old BMW following the missing cars claim.
The new government says it has inherited a budget deficit “closer to double digits” than the 5 percent targeted for 2016 by the previous government.
“You say you we should not order (government cars) yet you have so many ministers, it will not save costs, so for me I am not happy, I am not happy at all, it is not a right thing to do. If you have really come for the people, because we’ve been here in this nation and we’ve been hearing, the previous government are incompetent. So if this is what competency means then I don’t know the kind of competency that exists,” said Accra resident, Charles Norman.
“I would say it’s a new government that has come to power and he thinks having 110 ministers will help him accomplish his vision and dream then why do we allow him to do that?” said another resident, Yakubu Yaro.
According to parliamentary sources, Top government appointees in Ghana receive monthly salaries equivalent to around $4,000 in addition to at least two cars, free fuel, a house, free utilities and personal protection.