Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, 15 April 2015
An advocacy group based in the United Kingdom called CENAB wants the office of the Chief of Staff to be probed by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).
The pro-NPP group claimed there was “obscene overspends” of the Presidency’s budget and that had “become the norm over the past few years.”
A statement issued from London by the group yesterday said “this call has been necessitated by last week's confession by the ousted National Organiser of the NDC on Kumasi's Hello FM that the Office of the President is responsible for paying NDC activists, including party agents for elections and registrations.”
The group said “this blatant abuse of public funds for party activities by the Office of the President is one of the many ways in which the taxpayers' kitty is being mercilessly looted, leaving ordinary Ghanaians poorer.”
They said the “budgetary outruns” by the President's own office “peaked in 2012 and have continued year on year with staggering figures ranging from GH¢40m to GH¢600m.”
“Just last week, the nation was shocked by the revelation of Mr. Yaw Boateng-Gyan that the NDC executives receive cash from the Presidency to undertake party activities and that he lost his re-election bid because cash expected to pay party activists for voter registration was delayed or deliberately withheld to help him lose favour with delegates. Before the 2012 elections, this same National Organiser was caught on tape saying how the coffers at the Ministry of Finance are also abused to keep foot-soldiers happy.”
Additionally, CENAB-UK said the persistent budget outruns by various MDAs and the recent growth in ghost names on the public payroll can also be attributed “to these party linked expenditures thus allowing the NDC to use state funds to fund their party activities and activists.”
“In 2012, the Office of the President overspent its budget by as much as GH¢600 million. The budget for Social protection programs was overspent by GH¢700 million. The Ministry of Youth and Sports overspent its budget by GH¢300 million and NADMO by GH¢300 million. These over-expenditures were recorded in just the last quarter of 2012 to help John Mahama stay in office at all cost.”
Just last year, the Office of the President overspent its budget by GH¢40m. While the Office of the Chief of Staff was allocated GH¢7, 487,048 in 2014 it actually spent GH¢48, 811,722.
By September 2014, office of President had already overspent its allocation by GH¢44 million. The office had spent GH¢76 million, as opposed to the GH¢30, 929,343 approved by Parliament for the whole year.
They group posited that “as we approach 2016, it is clear that these over expenditures will increase to astronomical heights because once again President John Mahama intends to stay in power no matter the cost to the nation. We believe the confession by Yaw Boateng Gyan provides clear evidence of this criminal abuse of public funds for party work.”
They appealed passionately to CHRAJs to probe into the confession of the former National Organiser of the NDC and institute an investigation into the spending patterns of the Office of the Chief of Staff.
“CENAB UK is calling on all progressive alliances and all civil society groups in Ghana to join hands with us in this call on CHRAJ to institute a probe into this grave matter. Even without a suo-motu investigation of the matter by CHRAJ, CENAB UK will be prepared to sponsor an investigation into this profligate outruns before CHRAJ.”