As part of plans by government to cut back on the administrative overhead of all public institutions, including State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta has revealed that production of diaries and calendars by public institutions will be halted.
Presenting the highlights of the 2018 budget to Parliament on 22nd November, 2017 Mr Ofori Atta stated that “the production of diaries and calendars by public institutions will be discontinued in 2018”.
In the 2018 budget, Ofori-Atta stated that government would undertake comprehensive rationalization of all administrative costs, including vehicle running cost, capacity building, printing, workshops and seminars.
It is estimated that public institutions, including State Owned Enterprises, spend millions of cedis on printing of diaries and calendars each year. Critics say public institutions, including State Owned Enterprises, grapple with inadequate financial resources each year, and, therefore, should not be spending scarce resources on gifts for clients.
Benefits of a branded calendar and diary
Branding experts say there are many benefits associated with having a branded calendar and diary printed for an organisation.
According to them, diaries and calendars remain some of the most popular corporate gift items to give to clients or staff and corporate bodies.
The experts argue that the popularity of calendars, diaries and notebooks has endured, in spite of the increasing use of technology – their ubiquity within the office is proving to be remarkably impervious to the digital age.
In view of this, public institutions, including State Owned Enterprises, have also taken advantage of the benefits of printing calendars and diaries at the end of each year for their staff and external publics. Festive season gifts
It is common practice in Ghana for individuals and businesses to send hampers packed with consumables and non-consumables to friends and people in authority during the festive season.
Gifts and favors
While some gifts signify traditional sharing, others are given out in appreciation of past or future favours.
The cost of official Christmas hampers presented by ministries and departments to board members and others, which came into vogue in a big way a few years ago, kept rising, increasing government’s expenditure at alarming rates.
Those charged with organising hampers on behalf of public institutions, including State Owned Enterprises, are said to be making a tidy annual profit from that assignment.
Little wonder, during the tenure of President John Atta Mills, he banned the giving of hampers bought with state money, but despite that move, many public institutions, including State Owned Enterprises, continued to print diaries and calendars every end of year.
The ban, imposed by the Finance Minister in the 2018 budget, means public institutions, including State Owned Enterprises, will not have any gift for their staff and external publics next year.