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Mahama boys blow 10% pay cut

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Former President John Mahama
Former President John Mahama

Unfolding events after the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) lost power in 2016 clearly show that former President John Dramani Mahama was not in control as his ministers defied many of his orders.

Prominent among those orders was the 10 per cent salary cut initiative which former President Dramani Mahama in 2013 announced that his ministers would do to support the construction of CHPS compounds in the rural areas for healthcare delivery.

But our investigations have shown that some past ministers of the previous administration saw the initiative as a ploy to make the presidency rich instead of improving health delivery in the rural areas, hence pulling out of the 10 per cent salary cut, and subsequently withdrawing their contributions.

At the Public Accounts Committee on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 it became known that accruals from the initiative for the year 2015 and 2016 could not be accounted for per the Auditor General’s report.

As at the end of December 2015, a total of GH¢800,000 which was accrued in 2014 was released to the Presidency through the then Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, on request.

Our checks at the Controller and Accountant General (CAG) showed that there was pressure from the then government for the money, for which reason they did not know.

Deputy Controller and Accountant General, Kwasi Owusu, told the committee that the money was being held in trust for the then government but they requested for it.

It further emerged at the committee sitting that some former government appointees at a point resolved to opt out of the initiative without public announcement of same.

According to the Auditor General, an order from Julius Debrah instructed the Controller and Accountant General to cease deductions from the salaries of those former appointees and their monies refunded.

Those appointees were said to have later withdrawn their contributions.

Deputy Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Edward Kaale-Ewola Dery, who is an NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Lambussie Karni, told journalists that he was unaware that some former ministers opted out of the initiative and took back their contributions.

Meanwhile, former Deputy Communications Minister, Kwakye Ofosu, said any claim that monies realised from the 10 per cent pay cut cannot be traced was misleading and inaccurate.

He said as at December 2016, a total of GH¢2,190,718.30 had been deducted, but said GHC¢2,130,718.30 was paid to contractors who had either completed or were working on the CHPS compounds.

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