The Deputy Chief of Staff Abu Jinapor says President Nana Akufo-Addo is not an extravagant leader as claimed by the opposition which has pointed to GH¢62m he spent on foreign travels.
Abu Jinapor has denied the figure but has not provided any counter amount. He has however pointed to the president’s lifestyle as a public assurance of his frugality.
“The man drives in his own car which he bought in the year 2011 and everybody who works with him, everyone who is around him, knows that this is a man who is not into all sorts of extravagant expenditure,” Mr. Jinapor said in an interview on Joy FM monitored by theghanareport.com.
The Minority in Parliament is gearing up to bring under fresh scrutiny, the president’s promise to protect the public purse.
After parliament ended its sitting on Thursday, ranking member on parliament’s Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson pointed to ‘excessive and insensitive’ expenses on items such as refreshments, accommodation, and travels.
The travels were within the past nine months, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam indicated.
But justifying the GH¢169m spent by the Office of the Chief of Staff, Mr. Jinapor said the amount was approved by Parliament which included the Minority.
He argued that Mr. Akufo-Addo “runs a very lean system as a president most of the time to the displeasure of his security operatives”.
He continued: “When the President is in Accra or on official duties, the President has insisted on a convoy of not more than five and it has been a battle between the President and his handlers and he has insisted on that”.
The number of vehicles that follow government officials during trips became a public discussion after the Akufo-Addo-led government took office. Some critics indicated that the state spends a significant amount of money on the maintenance of such vehicles instead of allocating such funds to other sectors.
Former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Prof Stephen Adei, was one of the persons who kicked against the practice.
“So far, government is doing well, except that if you go to the right quarters, tell them that the next time I see Bawumia or any of them traveling with 16 four-wheel drives, occupying the two lanes, I’m going to do a one-man crusade,” he said at the 20th-anniversary celebration of an international audit firm, Morison and Associates in 2017.