The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has admitted there were some names wrongfully expunged from government’s mechanised payroll as part of government’s bid to rid it of ghost names.
Speaking at the National Policy Forum in Accra today [Monday], Mr. Ofori-Atta explained that the exercise to clean the payroll was necessary to protect the public purse, but was quick to apologise to persons whose names were mistakenly deleted.
“Going through the numbers I actually found one or two of the Directors at Ministry of Finance have been included in that list they don’t exist. So there are mistakes,” he added.
The Minister of Finance in April directed that names of 26, 589 public sector workers be removed from government’s payroll noting that those who were to be affected had not been registered on the new Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) biometric system.
The Akufo-Addo administration has committed to cleaning out the public payroll and ridding it of ghost names and it said the directive resulted from the identification of close to 50,000 ghost names on the payroll and Pensions Registry.
The exercise is expected to save the country some GHc 35 million in payroll costs on a monthly basis or a total of over GHc 250 million in 2017 alone.
The Ministry had assured that those workers whose salaries may have been mistakenly blocked would be rectified and paid on the 15th of May 2017.
Gov’t to undertake reforms
Mr. Ofori Atta also reiterated government’s commitment to implementing reforms in the economic management of the country so as to lay the foundation for the country’s industrial take-off.
“The issue that keeps resounding in my mind is one of irreversibility. How do we create other institutions or policies which do not enable too much political freedom on core things that we as a country believe in? The capping of the earmarked funds is a sign of that type of irreversibility and therefore it is in that same vein that we should begin to look at whether it is revenues or expenditures or wages to reduce that operative margin, especially in election year to ensure that we do not go back to the bad old ways.”