Minority spokesman on foreign affairs Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has taken a swipe at the Chief of Staff, Mrs. Frema Osei Opare accusing her of sitting aloof while government appointees traverse the nooks and crannies of the globe for no profitable and productive ventures at the cost of the taxpayer.
According to him, the chief of staff has proven to be ineffective and weak in stamping her authority because she is unable to regulate and control what he described as incessant foreign trips being embarked upon by government appointees.
The frequency and usually large size of government appointees and their delegations on foreign trips he said has become a drain on the national purse.
He said under former chiefs of staff Henry Newman, Prosper Bani and Julius Debrah, government appointees were restricted and controlled with respect to the number of foreign trips they embark on.
“In our time if you dare travel without clearance as a government appointee, you will be sanctioned severely and can even lose your job” he told a local radio station in Accra.
He accused the current government of carrying large-sized delegations when they are embarking on foreign trips, arguing that the trend must be checked to curtail further depletion of the national coffers.
But his stance on the matter is in sharp contrast to what his colleague Member Parliament for Yapei Kusawgu John Jinapor thinks.
According to him, the various people who accompany them on these foreign trips have specific roles to play and enhance the quality of discourses and discussions they engage in, with the international community while on such trips.
This comes on the heels of accusations that the vice president Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and his wife the second lady Samira Bawumia who are traveling to Geneva Switzerland for separate engagements have as their delegations, 20 people each, an accusation that later turned out to be false.
Mr. Jinapor who is also the a member of the finance committee of parliament and a former deputy energy minister said ‘’there are some of the trips the president embarks on that requires the presence of technocrats, private sector practitioners, and key players in particular sectors’’
According to him, the president or the vice president necessarily must travel with their medical teams or personal physicians and a host of others.