By Gifty Arthur
The Deputy Minister of Energy and Petroleum, John Abdulai Jinapor, has said that he is prepared to let go, part of his month salary to help rescue the country’s “challenged” economy from total collapse.
He has respectfully challenged his former boss, President John Dramani Mahama, to take the giant step as he did last year, to urge Parliament to review his salary downwards, to serve as an example to push forward an opinion that government cuts a percentage of all its workers salary to help put the economy on a sound footing.
The former Spokesperson for the President explained that, the decision by the President then was that “once you reduce the president’s salary and it falls below the Speaker and the others, we would then have to find a way to bring everybody downwards and I think that it is not too late.
“In the interest of the nation and for the sake of sacrifice, I think that if it is possible, the president considers that option, some of us are for it.
“If we can have a 10 to 15 per cent reduction of salaries, knowing that it will definitely impact on our living conditions adversely, but eventually, it will put the country on a sound footing.
“We may have to consider that and I think that as political leaders, we should take the mantle, we should take the leadership and set example and I believe that if we do that it will go a long way”.
His submission comes on the heels of a call by head of Political Science Department at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, KNUST, that government cuts public sector workers’ salaries by 10 percent to save the economy from further decline.
The senior lecturer, Dr. Richard Baah, believed that was the only solution to stabilize and grow the economy.
“If we cut salaries by 10 per cent, it means one year alone, we can save one billion Cedis, following year up to five percent [should be cut] but how to bring it down, will depend on the decision makers.”
“It must start from the president, I hope the president cuts his even more; it is symbolic, the president and the political leaders must take the lead. If you do this, it means you are serious to bring your budget deficit down.”
Serving as a panelist on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana yesterday, Mr. Jinapor could not agree more with the lecturer, saying there was wisdom in that suggestion, adding he and other colleagues of his, are prepared to support that course.
He, however, implored Ministries Department and Agencies (MDA) like the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), where he is a Board member, Volta River Authority (VRA) and GRIDCO to reduce wastage in the system to enable the State save funds for other project.
He revealed that as a measure, the ECG Board has put on hold all procurement of pre-paid meters to enable them buy uniform meters for the country, instead of the current situation where there are about five different pre-paid meters in the system, making it difficult for customers to buy credit at preferred location.
In a sharp rebuttal, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Member of Parliament (MP) for Tema East in the Greater Accra Region, vehemently refuted the suggestion by Mr. Jinapor that salaries be cut to save the economy.
According to Nii Quartei Titus Glover, he could not support the call, because as MP, he is always inundated with requests from his Constituents, especially so when government in the past months has failed to allocate funds due them.