Local News
Prove Your Claims, Apologise Or Resign – Minority Demands Of Information Minister
Article Posted on 2018-04-25

The Minority Caucus in Parliament has challenged Information Minister Mustapha Abdul-Hamid to provide proof of his claims that the erstwhile Mahama administration spent a whopping GHȻ3 billion on the Office of Government Machinery in 2016.

Failing to provide that proof, he should apologise to Ghanaians for peddling untruths, or as a final alternative, he should resign from office altogether.

The challenge is contained in a statement the Minority have issued Wednesday morning, signed by Ranking Member of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson, who also served as a Deputy Finance Minister in the Mahama administration.

A list by government to Parliament last week detailing names of 998 staffers as employees at the Office of Government Machinery (OGM) has left in its trail bitter exchanges across different segments of the Ghanaian society, most of the arguments underpinned by economic and political considerations.

In defence of criticisms labeling the size of government as unprecedented and wasteful, the Information Minister had countered that a commitment to protect the public purse should be the issue of concern rather than the number of staffers at the presidency.

He had argued that in 2017 for instance, the budget for government machinery was Gh₵1.5 billion under President Akufo-Addo as against President John Mahama’s Gh₵3 billion in 2016, even with a fewer staff numbers.

But the Minority, who are contending that the budgetary allocation to the OGM and the Ministry of National Security under President Akufo-Addo in 2017 was about GHȻ1.9 billion as against GHȻ719,108,911 under President Mahama, are disputing his claims and now want him to provide the evidence.

The group cites a number of what it says are government’s own accounts as evidence that the Information Minister’s claims cannot be true, and concludes that his claims “were uninformed, hasty and diversionary.”

“Consequently, we challenge him to produce evidence of his claims failing which he should render an apology to the good people of Ghana or resign his position.”