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National: ‘It’s time for a lean and mean government’ – OcuppyGhana to Akufo-Addo

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Pressure group OccuppyGhana is demanding that President Akufo-Addo runs “a lean and mean government” to forestall the current economic hardship in the country.

In a press statement on Tuesday, the group said the hard times Ghanaians are going through is enough evidence that “there is no better time than now to reduce the size of government”.

“Times are hard. Things are hard. Very hard. Every Ghanaian is feeling the pinch and pain. To survive, citizens are forced to cut back on some essential things in life. The Government, which is largely to blame for the economic mess, must also cut back and more,” OccupyGhana said.

According to the group, President Akufo-Addo’s swashbuckling comments whenever the issue of the size of his government comes up for debate do not hold water.

“These are not normal times and ‘business as usual’ won’t cut it. The excuses for having and paying a large batch of ministers and other appointees to produce the results we see now, to the extent that they have ever been justified (which we deny), wear perilously thin in these times,” the group said.

OccupyGhana said, “Time has tested both ‘the investment’ and ‘the pudding,’ and they have not aged well and have been found wanting. The combined return, two years to the end of the President’s second term, is this debilitating economic crisis.

“Unless the President’s new and unacceptable argument would be that we would be in a much worse situation but for his still large coterie of ministers, it is time to get ‘lean and mean’. If as citizens, we are compelled to cut down on our private expenses, then it is time for the Government to do the same to protect the public purse.”

The group is, therefore, demanding “for an immediate and drastic reduction in size, not limited to ministers alone, but all of the President’s non-ministerial appointees.”

Below is the statement from OccupyGhana:

Accra, October 25, 2022

MR PRESIDENT, IT IS TIME FOR A ‘LEAN AND MEAN’ GOVERNMENT

There is no time better than now, to reduce the size of the Government.

Times are hard. Things are hard. Very hard. Every Ghanaian is feeling the pinch and pain. To survive, citizens are forced to cut back on some essential things in life. The Government, which is largely to blame for the economic mess, must also cut back and more.

When in early 2017, the sheer size of the Government was revealed, we were not convinced that that was what Ghana required. In our press statement dated March 17, 2017, we criticised the President for that, stating that while ‘a government bureaucracy must be big enough to achieve the aims of the government,’ it must be ‘lean enough not to waste the resources of the state.’

We also pointed out that the ‘considerable amount of money in salaries, allowances and benefits… (in addition to enjoying a range of ex-gratia benefits when they leave office) does not sound to us like a diligent attempt to protect the public purse.’

However, in one of several responses to this criticism and others like ours, the President said to some new ministers that ‘as you know there are some who say my government is too big and there are too many of you. I am a firm believer in the adage that the proof of the pudding is in the eating.’ Another time, the President called the size of his Government a ‘necessary investment’ and assured Ghanaians that ‘it is not going to be a holiday’ for the ministers.

Time has tested both ‘the investment’ and ‘the pudding,’ and they have not aged well and have been found wanting. The combined return, two years to the end of the President’s second term, is this debilitating economic crisis. Unless the President’s new and unacceptable argument would be that we would be in a much worse situation but for his still large coterie of ministers, it is time to get ‘lean and mean’. If as citizens, we are compelled to cut down on our private expenses, then it is time for the Government to do the same to protect the public purse.

This is therefore a demand for an immediate and drastic reduction in size, not limited to ministers alone, but all of the President’s non-ministerial appointees. If for nothing at all, the symbolism in the Government also taking a hit, just like the rest of us, is very strong.

These are not normal times and ‘business as usual’ won’t cut it. The excuses for having and paying a large batch of ministers and other appointees to produce the results we see now, to the extent that they have ever been justified (which we deny), wear perilously thin in these times.

Source: Myjoyonline

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National: 2023 Budget: TUC to reject government’s salary projection of ₵44.9m

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Deputy-General-Secretary-of-the-Trades-Union-Congress-TUC-Joshua-Ansah

After several attempts to reach an agreement with government over an increment in their base pay, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) is expected to meet government on Wednesday to finalise a deal.

But before that meeting gets underway, the Trades Union Congress is warning that it will not accept government’s projections in the 2023 Budget.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, reading the 2023 Budget in Parliament projected compensation of employees at GH¢44,990 million (5.6% of GDP).

Earlier, government also proposed a 12% salary increment during the last negotiation with Organised Labour but it was turned down.

 

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express on Tuesday, Deputy General Secretary of TUC, Joshua Ansah stated that they would not agree to the projected figure.

According to Mr Ansah, government must expect a fight if they turn up at the meeting with the same proposal.

JoyNews/AdomNews · TUC to reject government’s salary projection in 2023 Budget
“There is no way Organised Labour is also going to accept what has been put in the budget. Well, if the government has made up its mind that it is the way it thinks that he can actually force down the throat of workers, then we are in for a big fight, because there is no way government can pay anything below what we are expecting,” he said.

He noted that Organised Labour will not compromise on their demand for 60% increment in their base pay.

Meanwhile, the President of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr. Justice Yankson says government has created a problem by not reaching an agreement with the labour unions earlier.

JoyNews/AdomNews · Dr Yankson on organised labour and government’s negotiations
He believes the current mess could have been prevented.

“These are some of the problems that sometimes we create for ourselves. We had a whole period in which we could have sorted these things, we waited to the last end. Now we can see that we are on a collition course, it is clear,” he said.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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Politics: Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory

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A Wenchi High Court has thrown out a petition against New Patriotic Party (NPP) legislator in the Techiman South 2020 election.

The petitioner was seeking the nullification of the poll which saw the NPP candidate, Martin Agyei Mensah Korsah, emerge victorious.

But at the hearing Wednesday, the court explained that the NDC 2020 Parliamentary candidate, Christopher Bayere, who was pursuing the matter, failed to prove the burden of petitioning.

The court was attended by some leaders of the NDC including General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
He was sighted leaving the court premises a few minutes before the judgement.

The NDC Parliamentary candidate had contested the EC’s verdict which gave the NPP’s candidate victory with 49,682 votes representing 50.2 percent of the total valid votes cast, whilst the NDC’s candidate had 49,205 votes representing 49.8 percent of the total valid votes cast.

The NDC Parliamentary candidate insisted that the figures were not a true reflection of the election.

According to him, per the pink sheets of the NDC agents at each of the 267 polling stations, he garnered 50,306 votes in the Parliamentary election whilst the 1st Respondent polled 50,013 votes.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
Electoral Commission fined in 2021

In August 2021, the Electoral Commission of Ghana was fined GH¢4,000 by the court after the Court refused to grant the EC’s request for a stay of proceedings in the dispute on July 30, 2021.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
The EC’s application for a stay of proceedings was to enable it to file a motion to challenge the ruling of the Court at its previous sitting, when it granted the petitioner a motion to amend the title of the writ.

TCounsel for the EC, Emmanuel Addae said the stay of proceedings was to enable him to file supplementary statements in support of the application filed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate, Mr Christopher Beyere Baasongti.

However, reacting to the EC’s stay of proceedings, the Counsel for the petitioner, Justin Teriwajah argued that the motion was frivolous and unnecessarily geared towards delaying the adjudication of the case.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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Football: Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style

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It was the much-needed win for Ghanaians who were largely sitting on tenterhooks for the final quarter of the game.

And from the reactions, after the South Koreans netted a quickfire double between the 58th and 61st minutes, something had to definitely happen.

Kudus rose to the occasion, found himself at the end of a Gideon Mensah cross and curled the ball past the goalkeeper to restore Ghana’s lead and eventually sealed the game for Black Stars.

Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style
The 68th-minute winner triggered a thunderous celebration across the country and on social media.

Despite late attempts from the Koreans, the game ended 3-2 with Ghana earning a vital win in Group H.

Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style
Alban Bagbin

The jubilation started right from Ghana’s legislative arm where the Speaker, Alban Bagbin was caught on camera dancing to one of the goals on the day from his office.

The ecstatic Speaker punched the air while clad in his Black Star jersey in the company of other officials of the House.

Asamoah Gyan runs

Former Black Stars captain, Asamoah Gyan was on punditry duty at SuperSports TV.

However, the ethics of being on a live set could not suppress his excitement when the deciding goal was scored.

Filled with elation, the former skipper run out of the set in jubilation shouting atop his voice.

His iconic goal celebration was his response when asked about his reaction to some moments of the game.

Fans in clean-up mode

Now, supporters of Japan’s national team have been earning praise in Qatar for their zeal toward cleanliness after each game.

This win seems to have presented Ghanaian fans with the opportunity to emulate this off-pitch tradition.

While many celebrated the win at full-time, other fans were seen moving boxes around to collect the waste left by their colleagues.

South Korea’s Son not in selfie mood

Another interesting sight came from an official from the Ghana dressing room posing for a selfie.

The subject Son Heung-min was almost in tears after his team lost at full-time.

Otto Addo’s side will now face Uruguay in their last game looking to secure qualification to the next stage of the competition.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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