Friday, November 08, 2013

GHANA: Minister Axed For ‘Make A Million’ Claim

 Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama fired his deputy communications minister after she was recorded saying that she would stay in politics only until she had made one million dollars.

ACCRA - (AFP) Ghana's president on Friday fired his deputy communications minister after she was recorded saying that she would stay in politics only until she had made one million dollars. 

Local media obtained a tape purported to be of Victoria Hammah criticising another deputy minister and saying she would “not quit politics until I make one million dollars”. 

The information ministry announced her dismissal without providing a reason and government spokesmen were not available to comment further. 

On Thursday, police in the capital Accra arrested Hammah's driver after she complained that he was recording her, said police spokesman Freeman Tetteh. 

“The minister believes he made the tape,” Tetteh said. Police released the driver, who is also her cousin, after concluding that he had not committed a crime. 

“There is no element of criminality in” recording, said Tetteh, but added: “We are still investigating.” 

The scandal came as President John Dramani Mahama tries to restore confidence in his stewardship of the country and its gold, cocoa and oil-producing economy after months of rising deficits and a credit rating downgrade. 

Fitch said last month that it had downgraded Ghana's debt rating to “B” from “B+” due to concerns over its rising deficit. 

The world's second-largest producer of cocoa and Africa's second-largest producer of gold, Ghana has experienced rapid economic growth in the years since oil production started in 2010. 

The country's economy grew a staggering 14 percent in 2011 and eight percent in 2012. 

But revenue from oil production, $541 million last year (400 million euros), was about half of what the government had originally been expecting from the sector. 

-----SAPA, AFP
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