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29.04.2005 Gossips

Kufuor & Co Pay Themselves Huge ESBs

By Lens

At a time that the Kufuor administration is dragging its feet over payment of severance packages, possibly including End of Service Benefits (ESB), to workers of Ghana Airways, the Kufuor-led NPP government has doled out huge sums of money to persons who served as Ministers in the first Kufuor administration as End of Service Benefit (ESB).

Documents sighted by The Lens show that for four years in government, variously, as Chief of Staff, Minister of Information and Presidential Affairs, and then Minister of Tourism and Modernisation of the capital city, Jake Okantah Obetsebi-Lamptey took home a cool forty-three million cedis (¢43million) as his ESB. Presidential Speechwriter, Mrs. Bampoe, took home sixteen million cedis (¢16million) for a year's service to Mr. Kufuor.

Whereas workers of Ghana Airways, some of who have served for decades, are languishing in penury as officials of the Kufuor administration continue to pass the buck of responsibility from one to the other over who was to deal with the fate of the Ghana Airways workers, Mr. Kufuor's Ministers are smiling all the way to their banks to draw their ESBs.

Obviously, when it came to paying of ESBs to Mr. Kufuor's Ministers, the system did not experience any of the “hiccups” that have dogged the efforts of workers of Ghana Airways as they try to get their severance packages paid to them. As President Kufuor continues to call on Ghanaians to “bite the bullet”, he and his Ministers continue to “chew on chocolates” and live in luxury and opulence.

They pay to themselves fat per diems whenever they travelled out of the country. Most observers believe that the size of the per diems is the principal motivating factor for most of the foreign travels of the President and his Ministers, especially when it is clear that our missions abroad could have handled some of these things.

A Ghana Airways worker who spoke to The Lens on condition of anonymity said, “the super efficiency with which the Kufuor administration has been able to process and pay ESBs to Ministers who served Mr. Kufuor is very admirable. We hope they will replicate that efficiency to solve our problems.”

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