Chop Chop At Castle!

Tony Aidoo and Kofi Kofi Totobi-Quakyi

There has been a massive pay rise for functionaries of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) who are working at the Castle Osu, the seat of government.

This is the third time that government is increasing salaries of Castle staff within four years in office, in spite of widespread economic hardships in the country, with some of the functionaries also working in some other capacities in government drawing huge allowances.

For instance, the Chief of Staff, John Henry Martey Newman, Dr. Cadman Dufu Atta Mills, brother of the late President Mills, James Bebaako-Mensah, Secretary to the President, and Dr. Christine Amoako-Nuamah moved up from GH¢ 5, 996.00 to GH¢ 7,195.20.

The revelation of the pay rise comes in the wake of the government order to increase salaries of the president, his vice, Ministers and Members of Parliament and other political appointees that sparked public outrage in the recent past, as recommended by the Ewurama Addy committee. They are also beneficiaries of the Ewurama Addy committee which will push their pay to over GH¢9,000, since the Chief of Staff draws more salary than the Ministers.

The initial pay rise, DAILY GUIDE learnt, was approved by the late President Atta Mills, with his two brothers, Cadman Mills and Samuel Atta Mills benefitting from the package.

Initial reports suggested that Dr Cadman Mills, who is a member of the government’s Economic Advisory Council headed by Ishmael Yamson, was serving on the council pro bono.

The late president’s brother, who lives in a bungalow at the African Union (AU) Village, at La Wireless/East Cantonments, was said not to be drawing any salary when the announcement was made but it has turned out that he is living fat on state largesse.

Cadman Mills and Alex Segbefia

President John Mahama, in an attempt to water down the effects of the government’s action, asked Parliament to review the Professor Ewurama Addy Committee report which had pegged his monthly salary at GH¢12,000 while his Vice will take home GH¢10,500 because he did not know anything about it.

Dr Tony Joe Aidoo, a Senior Presidential Staffer who started at a salary level of GH¢ 4,447.45 and jumped to GH¢ 5,766.00.00, now takes home GH¢ 6,919.20, with the latest pay rise recommended by the Ewurama Addy Committee pushing him to over GH¢8000.

Kofi Totobi-Quakyi, chairman of National Communications Authority where he is allegedly earning fat allowances, started at GH¢4,372.61, rose to GH¢5,996.00 and is now taking home GH¢7,195.20 while Brigadier-General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah (Rtd) has jumped from GH¢5,996.00 to GH¢7,195.20.

Dr. Eric G.A. Don Arthur, chairman of the NDC transitional team, and Commodore Steve Obimpeh, who started at GH¢4, 4475.45 and moved to GH¢5, 766.00, are now taking home GH¢6, 919.20.

Alex Percival Segbefia and Dr. Valerie Esther Sawyerr, the two deputy Chiefs of Staff, who started at GH¢4, 086.98 and moved to GH¢5, 996.00, now take home GH¢6,711.60.

Kwasi Sienti Baffoe-Bonnie, an aide to President Mahama and General Manager of Radio Gold, who started at GH¢4,107.96 and moved to GH¢5, 593.00, now takes home GH¢6, 711.60, while Mathias Akotia of Brand Ghana who started at GH¢4, 086.98 and moved to GH¢5, 593.00 now takes home GH¢6, 711.60.

Samuel Koku Anyidoho, Director of Communications at the Presidency who claimed on radio yesterday that he had not been to the Castle in the past months, Ludwig A. Hlodze, NDC Youth Organiser, Mike Obuobi, Aide to Mahama; Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuije, Director of Operations at the Presidency,  Bright Afeke, Kobina Abaka Quansah, Stanislav Xoexe Dogbe, Patrick Aniagyei, Samuel Atta Mills, former President Mills’ brother and Isaac Vanderpuije, now deputy Greater Accra regional minister,  who all started at GH¢3,882.86 to GH¢5,305.00, are now taking GH¢6, 366.00.

The latest increase endorsed by Finance and Economic Planning Minister Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, in a letter to the Controller and Accountant-General on May 30, gave approval for additional 20 percent payments effective January 1, 2012.

The letter, which was to be treated as “urgent”, requested that “the new salary levels and the associated arrears are to be paid in June, 2012.”

The NDC gurus have suddenly jumped three steps in their salary life within a short span.

By William Yaw Owusu