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Ghana Bans Public Officials From First Class Travel

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In a renewed effort to cut wasteful spending in Ghana, the country’s President , John Mahama has placed a ban on first class air travel by public officials.

This ban comes into effect as Ghana implements an International Monetary Fund (IMF) aid deal aimed at reviving state finances, the government disclosed yesterday.

Ghana is preparing to hold presidential and parliamentary elections next year and, with the opposition accusing government ministers of inflating contract sums, inappropriate spending will be a top campaign issue, APF reported.

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The presidency issued the directive this week asking all ministers and other top officials to avoid “unwarranted” foreign trips on the public purse, Communications Minister Edward Omane Boamah told the media.

Ghana, a major producer of cocoa, gold and oil, began a three-year programme with the IMF in April to fix its economy.
The country’s economy has been dogged by high deficits, a widening public debt and unstable local currency.
Finance Minister Seth Terkper told the press yesterday that the cabinet was also discussing a financial accountability bill.

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The bill would impose penalties such as dismissal or jail term for public officials who are found to violate it.
“It is expected to be clear enough to enable the general public to see malfeasance if there is any and hold the agency involved accountable,” he added.

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