… GHc 62 Million On Foreign Travels Alone
The Presidency spent almost 180 million Ghana Cedis on foreign trips, hotel accommodation, telecommunications, refreshments, official National Celebrations, rental of office space and residential accommodation, fuel and lubricant among other related expenses in the first nine months of 2019.
A vaguely defined “Operational Enhancement Expenses” recorded the highest expenditure of Ghc68.9 million next to Foreign Travel Cost and Expenses in the nine months was 62.5 million.
Interestingly, over 5.9 million, was blown on maintenance and repairs of vehicles from January 2019 to September 2019, while over 4.8 million was spent on fuel and lubricant for the same vehicles for the nine months period.
Quite shockingly, the Vice President’s Office, also spent 1.285 million on maintenance and repairs of vehicles, and spent about over 290,000 on fuel and lubricants for the nine months.
The colossal expenditure of nearly 180 million Ghana Cedis, covered both the Office of President Akufo-Addo and that of Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, according to documents presented to Parliament as part of budget estimates for the office of government machinery.
The President, specifically spent in excess of GHc168 million – specifically GHC168, 908,262.73 – while the Vice President spent less than GHC9 million – specifically GHC8, 139,531.28.
It is not clear, what accounts for the huge discrepancy in the President’s figures to that of the Vice President in the nine months period.
Other breakdowns were that 5.8 million Ghana cedis was spent on hotel accommodation and 1.9 million Ghana cedis on refreshments by the President’s office.
Over 1.6 million was blown on printed materials and stationary, over 6.5 million on office facilities and accessories and over 1.8 million telecommunications from January 2019 to September 2019.
The office of the President, the document said, also supported some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) with over 7.2 million from January 2019 to September 2019.
Rental of Office and residential accommodation, recorded a little over GHc900,000, while Official National Celebrations recorded a little over GHC520,000 from January 2019 to September 2019, with refreshment costing nearly 2 million Ghana cedis.
The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson, said the extravagant expenditure cannot be justified.
He charged “This is something we do not have to encourage. I strongly believe that the time has come for Ghanaians to demand accountability from the office of the President in terms of the expenditure that goes on. Within the last nine month, it will surprise you to know that we were told that the President had spent 63 million Ghana cedis alone on foreign travels”.
He went on to say that “in fact, it will surprise you to know that apart from the foreign travel cost, he spent 5.8 million Ghana cedis on local accommodation which is in excess of 1 million dollars. Again, the operational enhancement support expenses, he spent 68.9 million Ghana cedis. What sort of operational expense is this? Is he buying a new plane from 62.5 million cedis. Refreshment, partying, tea 1.980 almost 2 million Ghana cedis on refreshment”, adding “the Vice President’s office is similar. We need to demand accountability.”
Dr. Bawumia’s office per the record, spent almost GH89,000 on printed material and stationary, GHc152,061.89 on Office facilities and accessories from January 2019 to September 2019.
Just like the office of the President, the Office of the Vice President, also had “Operational Enhancement Expenses” which got allotted over 1.8 million to spend. It spent over 1. 9 million on refreshment with over 2. 5 million blown on hotel accommodations for the nine months.