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21.01.2005 General News

Prune Special Assistants -Kufuor Urged

By Palaver
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AN appeal has been made to President J. A. Kufuor to cut down the number of Special Assistants, loaded in his first Administration, to reduce costs.

In a letter to the 'Ghana Palaver', sent by one Kwame Awotwe, who described himself as a retired civil servant, the President was asked "to rescue the perishing unemployed youth", instead of creating jobs, for party colleagues, many of whom are already in business.

There had been earlier calls on the President to reduce the size of his Ministers and their Deputies.

The letter, addressed to the Editor, pleaded that the writer is given a hearing, as a concerned citizen, who also has the right to express his opinion on national issues.

"Please, let my voice be heard," it said.

He pointed out that the last Administration carried a load of 62 Special Assistants, apart from the Special Advisers and experts, and wondered whether this "huge burden" cannot be off loaded, without compromising efficiency.

The writer even expressed fears that some top civil servants virtually folded up their arms and chose to remain "redundant", as they found their schedules, being handled by these "outsiders", some of whom, chose to work in isolation.

There were cases, in which other Special Assistants chose to remain redundant, as they spent much of their time, engaged in their own business, while collecting their salaries, for no work done.

"In either of both cases, it is the state, which suffered losses, in terms of expenditure," he added.

Attached to the letter is a list of names of the Special Assistants and where they held their "portfolios".

It showed an impressive number of 19 Special Assistants, all working in the Office of the President.

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