Kufuor Rejects Six Months Salary Cut Report
The Office of former President John Agyekum Kufuor has debunked claim that he has asked for a six-month suspension of his salary, in solidarity with government and Ghanaians, in the wake of the current economic downturn.
The Office insists there is absolutely no truth in the said claim and, thus, the public should disregard it.
According to one Sarpong Adu Acheampong, from the Office of the former President, who spoke to The Anchor, in a phone interview yesterday, there is no substance in the statement currently making the rounds on the internet.
“It’s fake; just disregard it,” he said, in the brief conversation with the paper.
Hisresponse followsa poorly written statement making the rounds, purportedly coming from the former President.
The purported statement,shared by some government functionaries, was first sighted on the Whatsapp status of a certain Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), name withheld.
Some had even gone to town with the information, saying it was a good gesture of the former president, considering the biting economic hardship the country and the rest of the world are facing at the moment.
According to the statement, dated October 11, 2022, titled “Suspension of my monthly salary” and addressed to the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei Opare, the gesture was to support government in these trying times.
It went on to express optimism and confidence in President Akufo-Addo and his government to bring the economy back on track.
Like the others, it blamed the current hardship on the twin global crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and the raging Russia-Ukraine war, as the main reasons the world is experiencing serious economic challenges.
It was hopeful that the President, together with his Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia,is capable and has the competence to change the current economic downturn.
“I want your office to suspend my six months’ salary as a former president of Ghana to support the government of Ghana during this global economic challenges caused by covid and Russia Ukraine attack as being reported by the World Bank and government.
“I want Ghanaians to thank God for having NPP government at this time because I know what Nana Addo and Dr.Bawumia can do to turn the economy around. We should support the government to take us out from this global economic challenges.
“Russia and Ukraine attack has attacked the global economic market with covid19 challenges and as a former leader, who understand the situation, I will always support my government to find the alternative means to improve the situation better for us. I hope my request will be granted by your office,” the statement said.
Recall that President Akufo-Addo in July, this year, announced a salary cut by 30 percent for all ministers and appointees of his government as a result of the harsh economic situation.
Speaking at this year’s Eid-ul-Adha celebration at the Independence Square in Accra, he said, “We are all going to have to make some sacrifices to afford us the space to navigate the troubled waters of the current economic difficulties.
“The expenditure of ministries, departments, and agencies has been cut by 30 percent. The salaries of all appointees including myself have been reduced by 30 percent. Fuel coupon allocations have been slashed by 50 percent and other expenditures suspended.”
Subsequently, the President on Sunday announced some measures to curb the rising cost of living, especially on fuel and food, to boost the country’s faltering economic growth.
In a televised address to bring the country up to speed on the economy, President Akufo-Addo outlined with optimism a raft of new measures, which he said would break the pace of the current economic downturn.
The actions include improvement in revenue collection from the current tax-revenue to GDP ratio of 13 percent to between 18 and 20 percent, review of the reforms in the energy sector, capping of statutory funds, implementation of the exemptions Act and a new property rate regime.
He said the government would also continue with the policy of 30 percent cut in the salaries of political office holders, including the President, Vice President, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives, and State-owned Enterprises appointees in 2023, as well 30 percent cut in discretionary expenditures of Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
The plan also targets a reduction of total public debt to GDP ratio to some 55 percent by 2028, with the servicing of external debt pegged at not more than 18 per cent of the country’s annual revenue also by 2028.