President Nana Akufo-Addo is being frank with the many agitating worker unions in the country by simply admitting that government is cash-strapped. But he did lay some blame for his administration’s inability to settle arrears of many worker unions at the feet of the erstwhile Mahama government.“There are some things that should be easy to deal with but will prove difficult for some time to come largely because there is no money, but now arrangements are being put place that will enhance the generation by the state,” the president explained. President Akufo-Addo was speaking during a meeting with leadership of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) in the wake of protests and threats of strikes from a number of labour unions. “The economic situation my government and I inherited was not the best; both in terms of the growth of our economy and the balances available in the public treasury. Many of the problems you are putting here are the results of a poor office treasury.” “If we had money in the public system, you would find that many of the issues that concern you would not be there,” he stated. Plugging the leaks The President noted that one of the most apparent problems, money-wise, had to do with leaks in the system resulting from corruption, maladministration and the like. Thus, he stressed the need to instute mechanisms to plug these leaks so that “the money we require to fund our own development will be immeasurably enhanced. Our need to go around begging people to help us will be reduced dramatically.” In this stead, the Akufo-Addo admistration is looking to save some GHc 35 million monthly in payroll costs and a total of over GHc 250 million in 2017. This followed the government’s identifying of close to 50,000 ghost names on the payroll and Pensions Registry. The government has stressed its commitment desire to sanitise the public payroll system and rid it of ghost names thus, the Minister of Finance in April 2017 directed that names of 26, 589 public sector workers be removed from government’s payroll noting that those who were to be affected had not been registered on the new Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) biometric system.