Ministers banned from unwarranted foreign trips

The Presidency has issued a directive cutting down on ‘unwarranted foreign trips’ by ministers and govern­ment officials.

According to a reminder sent to all ministers and heads of government departments, the state is incurring huge cost from unwarranted foreign trips by officials who mostly fly first and business class.

A notice from the Office of the Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, to that effect stated “you may refer to letter num­ber OPGA 56 of 26th October, 2015 addressed to all minis­ters by the Secretary to the cabinet on the above-stated subject [foreign travels],

“It is needless to emphasise the serious impact the cur­rent frequent travels abroad by ministers and public offi­cials are having on .government finances.

“To arrest the situation, all ministers are reminded to restrict foreign travels in their sectors to mandatory inter­national assignments only.

“All non-essential travels are to be stopped. All minis­ters are to take notice of the foregoing directive for strict compliance.”

However, critics have questioned the directive saying that the President, John Mahama, and his wife Lordina also travel too much, mostly with a large entourage.

On some of the trips, the president goes with a large retinue including cooks and pastors as well as non-essential staff at heavy costs to the state.

A typical example is the president’s several travels with Akua Donkor, who only goes to sleep at functions she attends on such trips.

Not too long ago, Madam Akua Donkor was spon­sored by the state for a private visit to the United States where she was the guest of the Ghana Consulate in New York.


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