Governmentâ€™s spokesperson on governance and legal issues, Herbert Krapa, has noted that ministers and their deputies are still at liberty to travel if they follow proper procedure.
President Nana Akufo-Addo on Saturday, June 24, released a statement suspending all foreign travels by ministers of state, deputy ministers and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assembly Chief Executives (MMDCEs) with the exception of the Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister.
Speaking on 3FMâ€˜s Sunrise, Mr Krapa said once the travel has to do with government business, considerations can be made for a minister to travel, despite governmentâ€™s ban.
â€œIf the minister has to travel outside of the country even in the next couple of days for a programme, workshop or meeting, and it is part of government structure and governmentâ€™s effort to help achieve the mandate that we have, then, of course, that would be brought to the attention of the Chief of Staff. She would look at it and if it is the case that requires that the person be allowed to travel, the order would be given for the person to go.
â€œIt is not a permanent matter, and to that extent, the Chief of Staff and the Central Government has the discretion to say that, well, this is a matter that requires that this minister should go,â€ he added.
According to Herbert Krapa, ministers have always been under a directive not to travel without informing the central government.
Hence, the new one is just to extend it to the deputies and serve as a reminder to ensure that the directive is stiff and in force.
He stated that governmentâ€™s decision to ban travels is only a temporary measure which would be resolved in coming days after guidelines to guide travels are released.
â€œA minister cannot travel without first giving prior notice to the Chief of Staff, Presidency or Central Government. But the Chief of Staffâ€™s Office is about to issue the guidelines to help with enforcement and compliance with this directive in the future.â€
He added that the new directive is also to ensure that there is greater coordination in terms of government human capital that is present in the country, and to ensure that there is no disruption in the coordination of government work.
â€œIt is not occasioned by any particular matter so that there will be a ban. The president says that â€˜Hold on to any travel, we are about to issue guidelinesâ€™.
â€œSo, the reason why we are calling it a ban is because the guidelines are just about to be released, and once they are released everybody can appreciate it.â€
According to Herbert Krapa, government appreciates that some of the travels that appointees go on are supposed to help in achieving governmentâ€™s objectives, and government has no problem with that.
â€œOnce the travel, agenda and objective is to further government programmes, government has no trouble with that, but it has to be done in a more centralized manner,â€ he noted.