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General News
... Kufuor Cancels Annual Celebrations 7/19/2007
The directive from H.E. President John A. Kufuor, that the celebration of the 2nd Public Services Week should be cancelled has generated a huge controversy in the Public Sector, as different meanings have been read into the Presidential directive. Whilst some public servants who had worked all year long to plan the programme complained of their effort having gone waste, others expressed worry that the several hundreds of millions that had gone into the planning could have been used for other things.

Already people are reading political motives into the cancellation, especially when it came in the wake of Dr. Nduom’s unexpected exit from government. What has fueled the controversy is that no official reason was given for the Presidential directive. The celebration, planned to take off from yesterday, Monday, July 16 to Saturday, July 22, 2007, was to project the role of the Public Service and recognise as well as award Public Servants who had excelled in various fields.

Last Friday, the outgoing Minister for Public Sector Reform, Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, told the staff of his Ministry that he had received a directive from the President to cancel the programme. The Minister also asked that letters should be written to all people who had been invited to inform them of the cancellation, in order to prevent any embarrassing situation.

As news of the cancellation spread, various people who had been involved in the planning as well as those who were to take part expressed strong misgivings.

Director of Communications for the Ministry of Public Sector Reform (MPSR), Richmond Keelson, explained that some people had already gone on a float to create awareness of the programme. He said this year’s celebration under theme; “50 Years of Public Services in Ghana: Prospects for the Next Decade” was originally slated for June 18, 2007, but had to be rescheduled to enable Ghana concentrate fully on the hosting of the Africa Union Summit.

This paper gathered from sources that money had been disbursed to various Ministries, Departments and Agencies to enable them bus their workers to the programme. In addition, about two million pieces of ‘T’-shirts had been printed for the programme. Adverts had also been placed in the print media, and radio stations were running the jingles.

Sources pegged money spent on the planning of the programme to be over one billion cedis.

Dr. Nduom, in a statement, expressed deep regret about the latest development. He apologized to everyone for any inconvenience caused and expressed his Ministry’s appreciation for the work and effort put in by many in the Pubic Service to prepare exhibition materials, presentations and organize personnel to attend the various sessions.

Source: C. Guide

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