Majority leader in Parliament, Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has debunked claims that former First and second Ladies including the current First and second ladies were going to be put on a monthly salary.
Earlier reports speculated indicated that it was only Rebecca Akufo-Addo and Samira Bawumia who were going to be paid.
However, that has been quickly shut down.
Reacting to this in an interview on Peace FM’s morning show ‘Kokrokoo’, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu who doubles as the Member of Parliament for Suame constituency and Parliamentary Affairs Minister said there is the need to support the first and second ladies financially because it will not be inappropriate for them to be seeking for jobs to survive after their service to the nation.
According to him, the first and second ladies who are already on a monthly allowance are not going to receive a monthly salary but financial support as stated by the Emolument Committee.
“The first ladies are already receiving allowances since 1993, but it had not been made official . . . this was creating issues with the Auditor General and so it was decided that legal backing will be given to it,” he explained.
He added that the recommendation for the formalization of the allowances made by the Emolument Committee, was subsequently taken to the 7th parliament, and approved by both sides of the House.
The Majority leader further explained why the allowance for the first and second ladies was going to be backdated to January 2017.
Information Minister, Mr Oppong Nkrumah has explained that an arrangement that was introduced by former President John Agyekum Kufuor during the start of his Presidency in 2000 had seen spouses of Presidents and Vice Presidents, since then, enjoy allowances, though there was no formal documentation to support that.
The allowances given the two ladies of the executive were considered as part of the privileges of the President and Vice President.
“President Kufuor, in his wisdom, instituted this because of the bad situations of some spouses of some former Heads of States then. Presidents Mills and Mahama even increased the rates of these benefits during their time.
“The truth of the matter is that all surviving spouses of Heads of State, current and former, have always received salaries. Lordina Mahama, Naadu Mills, Matilda Amissah-Arthur, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, Faustina Acheampong, Fulera Liman etc have all been receiving salaries since President Kufuor’s time.
“What has happened now is that the arrangement has been made formal but that was done legally based on the recommendation by the Emoluments Committee,” the Information Minister emphasised.
The Emolument Committee
The five-member committee was set up in June 2019 by President Akufo-Addo to make recommendations to him and to Parliament on the salaries and allowances payable, and the facilities and privileges available to article 71 office holders.
Under the chairmanship of Prof. Ntiamoa-Baidu and which also had former Majority Leader and former Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Abraham Ossei Aidooh, the Chief Executive of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, Dr Edward Kwapong, the current Director-General of the Internal Audit Agency, Dr Eric Oduro Osae, and a former Managing Director, Donewell Life Insurance Co. Ltd, Mrs Stella Segbawu, the committee had two terms of reference.
They were charged to make recommendations in respect of emoluments and other privileges for article 71 office holders, as specified under the Constitution; and also to examine any other relevant matter which the Committee deemed appropriate to its work.
Similar committee, set up in the past, were at various points chaired by Prof. Miranda Greenstreet, Mrs Mary Chinery-Hesse, Mr Ishmael Yamson, Prof. Marian Ewurama Addy, and Prof. Francisca Edu-Buandoh