More

    Mahama wades into salaries for first and second ladies

    Former President John Dramani Mahama has waded into controversies surrounding the payment of salaries for the wives of the President and Vice President.

    In an article on his Facebook page, he described as ‘problematic’ “an attempt to sneak the First and Second Ladies into the article 71 office holders’ group”

    - Advertisement -Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

    According to him, the challenge is that the spouses of the President and Vice President are not captured among Article 71 Office Holders and, therefore, there is no legal or constitutional basis for it.

    “It should be noted that the recommended salaries for the Spouses in the Ntiamoa-Baidu report are captured as part of the emoluments of the President and the Vice President. This seems like an attempt to sneak the First and Second Ladies into the article 71 office holders’ group. This is clearly problematic.

    “Indeed, the Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee rightly makes the case on page 51 of its report as follows: “The Committee notes that neither Article 71 nor any of the provisions in the Constitution bestows benefits on spouses of Presidents and Vice Presidents. Similarly, no legislation mentions what the State should provide for spouses of Presidents and Vice Presidents.”

    “The question then is: if the Committee recognises the above, and therefore appreciates that there can be no legal or constitutional basis for seeking to bestow any such benefits on the spouses of the President and Vice President (VP), why then did it proceed to provide for the payment of monthly salaries pegged at the level of a Cabinet Minister to both the First Lady and wife of the VP who served in the period 2017 to 2020, even if it was conveniently enveloped as part of the emoluments of the President and Vice President?

    “And why did Parliament also approve, as has been reported, this recommendation without a review?”

    Read full article below

    First Lady’s Salary- John Mahama disagrees

    The issue of handling spouses of Political office holders is not a new one; it has engaged the attention of all governments since the advent of the 4th Republic.

    Under various administrations, considering their sensitive positions, there had to be a consideration of how to support the spouses of the President and the Vice President in fulfilling  the roles that our modern democracies expect them to play, such as empowering women, girlchild education, reproductive health issues, teenage pregnancy, assistance to widows, fighting early marriage, preventing mother to child transmission of HIV, STEM for girls, and even as far as the welfare of grandmothers banished to witch camps.

    The practice thus far, has been that some expenses of the spouses of the President and Vice President in carrying out their expected roles are funded by the Office of the President. This includes fueling of vehicles, security, clerical staff, stationery, hosting of local and foreign guests and all such expenditures.

    The distinction must be made, however, that this is separate from allowances payable to spouses of the President, Vice President, former Presidents, former Vice Presidents and former Heads of State.

    In the first Government of the 4th Republic (the Rawlings Administration), some recommendations were made to provide allowances to the spouses of the President and Vice President and additionally, as a gesture of reconciling with our past, the spouses of former Presidents and Heads of State.

    Since this convention was established by the Rawlings administration, issues in respect of allowances of the spouses of the President and Vice President and spouses of former Presidents and Heads of State have largely been handled administratively and provided for under the budget of the Office of the President.

    This week, a raging issue that has generated passionate debate among many Ghanaians, both on social media and in the traditional media space – TV and Radio – has been in respect of a report, confirmed by Government that the spouses of President Nana Akufo-Addo and Vice President Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia are to be placed on a monthly salary at the level of a Cabinet Minister.

    We are told that the 7th Parliament of the Republic of Ghana, which was dissolved at midnight of January 6, 2021, approved the recommendation in the Report of the Presidential Committee on Emoluments for Article 71 Office Holders (January 2017 to December 2020), chaired by Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu.

    The news, particularly at this time of austerity, has generated some level of outrage among the populace, and I can understand the anger of those opposing the recommendation of the Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee and its subsequent approval by parliament.

    It should be made clear, also, that the recommendation in respect of spouses in the Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee report, which covers the years January 7, 2017 to January 6, 2021, is solely in respect of the Spouses of President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Bawumia.

    The challenge, however, is that the spouses of the President and Vice President are not captured among Article 71 Office Holders and, therefore, there is no legal or constitutional basis for it.

    It should be noted that the recommended salaries for the Spouses in the Ntiamoa-Baidu report are captured as part of the emoluments of the President and the Vice President. This seems like an attempt to sneak the First and Second Ladies into the article 71 office holders’ group. This is clearly problematic.

    Indeed, the Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee rightly makes the case on page 51 of its report as follows: “The Committee notes that neither Article 71 nor any of the provisions in the Constitution bestows benefits on spouses of Presidents and Vice Presidents. Similarly, no legislation mentions what the State should provide for spouses of Presidents and Vice Presidents.”

    The question then is: if the Committee recognises the above, and therefore appreciates that there can be no legal or constitutional basis for seeking to bestow any such benefits on the spouses of the President and Vice President (VP), why then did it proceed to provide for the payment of monthly salaries pegged at the level of a Cabinet Minister to both the First Lady and wife of the VP who served in the period 2017 to 2020, even if it was conveniently enveloped as part of the emoluments of the President and Vice President?

    And why did Parliament also approve, as has been reported, this recommendation without a review?

    TRENDING

    - Advertisement -spot_img

    MORE NEWS

    %d bloggers like this: