Ghana bans first class travel for public officials

President John Mahama

​G​hanaian government on Tuesday announced ban on public officials from first class air travel.

The government said that the measure was part of renewed efforts to cut wasteful spending as the country began the implementation of an International Monetary Fund aid deal.

Communications Minister Edward Boamah, who announced this in Accra, said the presidency issued the directive, asking all ministers and other top officials to avoid unwarranted foreign trips on the public purse.

According to Mr. Boamah, inappropriate spending would likely be a top campaign issue as Ghana is preparing to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in 2016.

The opposition in the country had accused government officials of inflating contract sums.

Ghana, a major producer of cocoa, gold and oil, began a three-year program with the IMF in April to fix its economy, which has been dogged by high deficits, a widening public debt and unstable local currency.

Mr. Boamah also said the cabinet was discussing a financial accountability bill which would impose penalties such as dismissal or jail term for public officials who were 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 said.



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