The government of Ghana is broke and might soon have difficulties paying workers, honouring debt obligations and also meeting payments to contractors they promised a One Hundred Day payment plan by Nana Akufo-Addo, during the 2016 electioneering campaign, because he and his men know where and how to raise money.
Already, the Flagstaff House, has been hit by an avalanche of bounce cheques paid to the former officials of the John Mahama government as their ex-gratia.
The Herald is informed that, some of the Mahama appointees, have since the third week of February presented the Bank of Ghana cheques to their banks, but they are returned with the explanation that government has no funds to honour the payments.
One Senior Advisor to President Mahama told The Herald that, he had since April 24, this year lodged his cheque with his bank four times, but they were returned on all occasion with no funds.
Some of the Ministers and Deputy Ministers, who served in the Mahama government, had gotten theirs in the second and third week of February, but also could not get the funds transferred into their private accounts.
Another female presidential staffer confirmed the situation to The Herald via text saying “Prez Staffers got theirs 24th April…. Chqs bouncing more than Speed Rangers”.
Sources inside the Flagstaff House and close associates of Mrs. Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, revealed to The Herald that, she has told the victims of the bounced cheques that, they should keep presenting the documents to their banks, with the hope that it will be honoured one day.
Interestingly, President Akufo-Addo, appears to be responding to the concerns by being frank with the many, including agitating worker unions in the country by simply admitting that his government is cash-strapped.
But as usual, he laid blame for his administration’s inability to settle arrears of many worker unions at the feet of the erstwhile Mahama government.
“There are some things that should be easy to deal with but will prove difficult for some time to come largely because there is no money. But now arrangements are being put place that will enhance the generation by the state,” the president explained.
President Akufo-Addo, was speaking during a meeting with the leadership of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) in the wake of protests and threats of strikes from a number of labour unions.
“The economic situation my government and I inherited was not the best; both in terms of the growth of our economy and the balances available in the public treasury. Many of the problems you are putting here are the results of a poor office treasury.”
“If we had money in the public system, you would find that many of the issues that concern you would not be there,” he stated.
The President noted that one of the most apparent problems, money-wise, had to do with leaks in the system resulting from corruption, maladministration and the like.
Thus, he stressed the need to institute mechanisms to plug these leaks so that “the money we require to fund our own development will be immeasurably enhanced. Our need to go around begging people to help us will be reduced dramatically.”
In this stead, the Akufo-Addo administration, is looking to save some GH¢35 million monthly in payroll costs and a total of over GH¢250 million in 2017.
This followed the government’s identifying of close to 50,000 ghost names on the payroll and Pensions Registry.
The government has stressed its commitment desire to sanitise the public payroll system and rid it of ghost names thus, the Minister of Finance in April 2017 directed that names of 26, 589 public sector workers be removed from government’s payroll noting that those who were to be affected had not been registered on the new Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) biometric system.