President Akufo-Addo’s Regional Tours Last Year Cost The Suffering Ghanaian Taxpayer GHS16.9 Million- Ablakwa
Feb 1, 2023 3:26 AM
Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has disclosed that President Akufo-Addo’s regional tours last year cost the “suffering” Ghanaian taxpayer a staggering GHS16.9 million.
According to him, expenditure documents from the Presidency between January and September 2022, firmly justifies the call from the venerable Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference. He indicated that the plea, which to be honest, many others within civil society organizations, the NDC Caucus in Parliament and former President John Mahama have been ingeminating, is very necessary.
Mr Ablakwa stated that he couldn’t agree more with the revered and celebrated Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference following their timely appeal to the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government to “present a posture that is consistent with the fact that the country is in dire straits or crisis” and their further demand for “drastic government expenditure control”.
“President Akufo-Addo’s regional tours last year cost the suffering Ghanaian taxpayer a staggering GHS16.9 million (16,906,272.45)”Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
Describing a summary of the presidential expenditure as “most gut-wrenching”, Mr Ablakwa noted that the President’s “operational enhancement expenditure”, also cost the suffering Ghanaian taxpayer a mind-boggling GHS59.4 million.
Summary of expenditure by government last year
Additionally, he indicated that the fuel bills paid at the presidency within the 9-month period under review, cost the Ghanaian taxpayer a colossal GHS51.1 million.
“Empirical analysis conducted reveals that government failed abysmally in its promise to slash fuel expenditure by 50%. Tyres and Batteries for official vehicles cost the suffering Ghanaian taxpayer an unbelievable GHS15 million.”Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
Commenting on the last Cabinet Retreat held by government, the North Tongu legislator highlighted that the cost was a whopping GHS4.8 million.
Additionally, he stated that payment for new vehicles cost some GHS6.5 million and that this is particularly distressing considering Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta’s, announcement of a ban on imported official vehicles in March last year.
“Payment for Networking and ICT Equipment cost the suffering Ghanaian taxpayer an impressive GHS6.6 million (6,600,000.00). An additional expenditure on Office Equipment/Furniture and Fittings cost the suffering Ghanaian taxpayer a fantastic GHS7.07million (7,070,315.28).
“Telecommunications and Internet Services from January to September alone cost the suffering Ghanaian taxpayer a shocking GHS20 million.”Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
Furthermore, Mr Ablakwa underscored that the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, appears determined not to be left out as his office on three occasions between January and September 2022, demanded what is simply described in the expenditure documents as release of funds for “urgent and other emergencies activities”. To this, he wondered why emergencies and not emergency, and most importantly what exactly those emergencies and urgent matters were.
“For the period under consideration and from GIFMIS Code 2210909 — a whopping GHS4.05 million of taxpayer funds from suffering Ghanaians was cumulatively released for the Vice President’s ’emergency activities’. Quite obviously, the Ghana Fire Service, NADMO and the National Ambulance Service would wish they were as resourced for real emergencies as the Vice President’s office is.”Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
In the true spirit of transparency and accountability, Mr Ablakwa revealed that he expects the Vice President’s office to immediately clarify to the Ghanaian people what those emergency expenditures are. He hoped that Ghanaians aren’t witnessing blatant abuse of incumbency where taxes are being funneled into the Vice President’s presidential campaign under the dubious claim of emergency activities.
Moving forward, hw emphasized that the NDC Caucus in Parliament shall be paying keener attention to these strange expenditure patterns both in the President’s office and the Vice President’s office.
Instructively, Mr Ablakwa underscored that the 10-item expenditure summary which amounts to a massive GHS191,522,061.68 represents a tiny sample selection from more than 250 expenditure items contained in the Expenditure Documents currently under parliamentary scrutiny.
“The Akufo-Addo/Bawumia/Ofori-Atta government must definitely listen to the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference and indeed all Ghanaians by sincerely departing from the obscene profligacy, particularly at the ostentatious Presidency where we will expect true burden sharing and frugal leadership by example at this time of government-inflicted economic crisis.”Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
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