Minister Samuel D. Tweah (pictured) explained that the significant share in the increase of the wage of central government came from the health pool drive of US$11 million.-But Sen Morais challenges Min Tweah over number of people currently employed In what appeared to be a rebuttal to Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweah’s disclosure of the number of persons employed by this Government, Senator H. Dan Morais on Thursday, September 5, 2019, told Senate plenary that government has employed additional 14,800 on its payroll, and not 1,200 as claimed the Minister.Senator Morais, cross-examining the Finance Minister who has been on the witness stand for three days, reminded him (Tweah) that, based on his own survey, “the grand total of employees to include public and civil servants at this moment is about 71,800.”The Maryland County Senator furthered that in 20 months, “if we can be truthful and honest to ourselves, we could graduate from where are. I took what you presented us on Tuesday home and put it under the microscope and I noticed from my simple arithmetic, and from a document sourced from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, the IMF and the World Bank, that this thing though partially true, there are lots of omissions.”Senator Morais, a former Superintendent and Minister of Internal Affairs, put it to Minister Tweah that, after all the interventions, “this government, under your watch has employed an additional 14,800 persons instead of 1,000, instead of 2000 or 3000.”Morais continued: “Taken from your own analysis, by January 2018, total monthly wage bill for the public sector, including civil servants hovered between 21.6 million to 22.5 million.”Still grilling the embattled Minister, Senator Morais further observed that by the end of fiscal year 2017/2018, “total public sector compensation increased to US$308.6 million, this is principally credited to the government policy of additional employment and pay increases. By this time, as of June 2019, this is what we have — a payroll with approximately, including civil servants, 72,000, instead of what is being presented to us.”The soft but outspoken Senator further put it that the total number of public sector workers as of January 2018 stood at 57,000, including public servants of 44,000, “but when you tie that to what you have done over the last two years, the variance and employment we see here says you have employed 14,800 new persons to our payroll, that’s what our figure shows.”However, responding to the Senator’s cross-examination, Minister Tweah firstly bragged that, besides being an economist, he graduated Magna Cum Laude in mathematics from the University of Liberia. He displayed through power-point what he claimed to be the authoritative figure from central government which shows that 70,000 workers as of January 2018 in all of the government systems, which includes 43,000 civil servants plus 25,000 people on general allowance, central government.Minister Tweah explained that the significant share in the increase of the wage of central government came from the health pool drive of US$11 million; and the government hired the rest of the people. “It is not mathematically possible in any one fiscal year for this central government to employ 14,800 persons on payroll.”The heated argument to determine the correct number of government employees as of January 2018 to June 2019, ensued between Minister Tweah and Senator Morais.Senator Morais then reminded Minister Tweah that the IMF intervention came about when that institution observed that the government wage analysis/bill was way up, it suggested that it needs to be harmonized. “Let’s be fair and honest to ourselves in how we treat this matter; Ghanaians years ago stood in line to buy sardines, what we are using now as our litmus test, but they were honest and fair to themselves; once we identify our problem and speak to it, we can find a way to solve it. If we have added 14,800 persons,,let’s defend why we added 14,800, we can’t stay in the state of denial.”Meanwhile, the Minister was relieved from the witness stand, through a motion proffered by Senator J. Alphonso Gaye.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Public Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes presents a certificate to Athalia Griffith during the Code Camp graduation ceremonyScores of teenagers of Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) can now boast about the new skills they have acquired after participating in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Code Camp 2019.The programme commenced on February 9 and saw 48 youths from the Corentyne district taking advantage of the course and another 21 participating from the town of New Amsterdam. The courses concluded on July 27, 2019.On Thursday, both batches received their certificates at separate graduation ceremonies, marking their successful completion of the six-month IT journey.Kashnarine Seepersaud, one of the top students from the Corentyne Coast, was not hesitant to speak about his new-found knowledge, which he believes will benefit him in the future.Seepersaud was among the group of individuals who participated in the intermediate training. “I did HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and Python, but I enjoyed Python more. Every week that I came, it helped me to improve a lot in school. When I am older, I want to become a web designer with this knowledge I would have received.”Fifteen-year-old Simeon Jonas, who underwent the level one training, was adjudged the top student. The award for most improved pupil went to Yogita Mangru, and the best attendance award was received by Dharshan Samlall. The special awardees received a digital tablet each, compliments of the Public Telecommunications Ministry.Over at New Amsterdam, the highly-anticipated graduation and award ceremony was held in the auditorium of the Technical Institute. Isaiah Chand, Atonio Ramcharran, Nashon Mahadeo, and Dhanesh Ramnarais were acknowledged for their efforts in gaining 100 per cent passes.“Throughout this course, we achieved so much. For me, I now know how to create and develop websites; we learnt coding and many other lessons which can help young people. The course is beneficial because it will help me with my SBAs (School-Based Assessments) and my upcoming examinations,” the aspiring IT teacher said during an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI).Meanwhile, Ngoshe Simon noted that at first, it was hard coping with the various instructions and lessons, but she was glad for the opportunity and improved by studying hard.She too was gifted an electronic tablet for being the most improved student in her class.Public Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes stated that the Code Camp initiative was aimed at exposing youths to technology at an early age.“Many of you know that the whole world is moving in all kinds of technological directions and technology really has an opportunity to transform. So, for us, we (Government) felt that there are so many things that Guyana will be able to do in a more efficient manner if we start to embrace technology.”Minister Hughes emphasised that the Government continued to invest in the ICT sector, which will put Guyana in a better place.According to the Minister, other regions in Guyana will benefit from similar training and the Ministry will continue working to enhance the sector.