Former President John Dramani Mahama has blamed the freeze in employment for the public sector announced in the 2023 budget on the reckless spending and mismanagement of President Akufo-Addo and his appointees.
Speaking at the 13th Congregation of the Accra Business School on Saturday, the former President painted a gloomy picture for the country in the coming years and urged the graduates to venture into entrepreneurship or look to the private sector for employment.
“Unfortunately, parastatals that were thriving a few years ago have been run into the ground by political appointees who have mismanaged the affairs of the state-owned enterprises. These constraints further the ability of the public sector to employ.
“Let me put our situation in a better context. Compensation cost for 2022 was estimated at 55.3 percent of tax revenue, which means off all the taxes we collect we spend 55.3 percent to pay wages and salaries for the public sector alone, amortisation and interest payments consumed the rest of our taxes,” the former president said.
Mr Mahama added that the “situation has compelled the government this year to announce a freeze or a ban on public-sector employment. This makes the situation rather dire for you…unfortunately due to mismanagement and reckless expenditure by the government over the last five years, the private business environment is also in a very poor state today.”
The former President’s comments follow the government’s announcement of a freeze on hiring into the public and civil service effective January 2023 as part of cabinet directives for expenditure rationalisation in the 2023 Budget as the country readies itself for a bailout from the International Monetary Fund.
There have been similar freezes on public sector employment in 2008 and 2014.