How Akufo Addo Resurrected Dead Article 71 Emolument Report

-To Okay Fat Salary For Rebecca

Whatsup News can report that when President Akufo Addo contracted Professor Yaa Ntiamoah-Baidu to draw up recommendations for emoluments for Article 71 Office Holders, she went back to revive a dubious previous report to set the stage for First Lady, Rebecca Akufo to be paid wages equal to a Cabinet Minister. 

In 2009, late President Evans Atta Mills had rubbished the Dr. Mary Chinyere-Hesse report which had recommended that “taking into account the special position of the Spouses of a serving President, that payment should be equivalent to that of a Minister.”

Previously wives of serving Presidents, Vice Presidents and deceased former Presidents and Vice Presidents were entitled to allowances equivalent to that of Deputy Ministers. But the Chinyere-Hesse report, which was authorised by former President John Agyekum Kufour had sought to increase the wages and allowances.

After Kufour’s tenure elapsed, on November 5, 2009, a disgusted President Evans Atta-Mills had warned that the Chinyere-Hesse report should not be accepted because of its dubious nature and that it was fraught with “uncertainties, ambiguities, and doubts.” 

Atta-Mills then recommended that a similar report prepared by Mr. Ismael Yamson be used and the Chineyere-Hesse one discarded.

However, when President Akufo Addo has gone back to the discarded Chinyere-Hesse report and has even spiked the portion recommending fat wages for his wife and that of Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia.

In theProfessor Yaa Ntiamoah-Baidu Emoluments Committee Report submitted in 2020, First Lady Rebecca Akufo Addo is to be paid regular salaries (and not mere “humanitarian” allowances)at the same level as a Cabinet Minister.

And as part of the novelty, the Committee recommends that the First Lady Rebecca Akufo Addo and Second Lady Samira Bawumia be put on the same pay grade as Cabinet Ministers.

“…The Committee recommends that the support extended to spouses of Presidents/former Presidents/Vice Presidents be regularized and included in the privileges of Presidents/Vice Presidents/Presidents/ Vice Presidents/Former Vice Presidents,” stated the Committee in their June 2020 report intercepted by Whatsup News. 

The Committee headed by Professor Yaa Ntiamoah-Baidu justified their decision to hand over taxpayers money to wives of the President and his Vice, saying the John President Kufuor administration had introduced the extension of courtesies, including the payment of monthly allowances to spouses of former Heads of States/Presidents/Vice Presidents because they were “evidently struggling to subsist”.

The five-member Presidential Emoluments Committee is Chaired by Prof. Yaa Ntiamoah-Baidu with Hon. Abraham Osei-Aidoo, Dr. Edward Kwapong, Dr. Eric Oduro Osae and Mrs. Stella Segbawu, as members.

Already, the Committee’s recommendation of hefty salary adjustments for Article 71 office-holders, especially, the President and Vice President, has become a talking point in the country.

In respect of spouses of the President, the Committee recommends that the First Lady be paid salary “equivalents to a Cabinet Minister MP as currently pertains,” while her husband is still in office.

But when her spouse is out of office, she should be paid a salary equivalent to 80% of the salary of a Minister of State-MP if the spouse served one full term as President; or 100% of the salary of a Minister of State-MP if spouse served two or more full terms as President.

In respect of the Vice President, it recommended that his wife should be paid a salary equivalent to a Cabinet Minister non-MP as currently pertains, with her husband in office.

But when the husband is out of office, she should be paid a salary equivalent to 80% of the salary of a Minister of State non-MP, if the spouse served one full term as Vice President, or 100% of a Minister of State non-MP of spouse served two terms.

 “The committee notes that neither article 71 nor any other provisions in the constitution bestow benefits on spouses of Presidents and Vice Presidents,” the committee acknowledged but quickly noted that in their alleged consultations they found out that some former First Ladies struggle to survive in foreign lands.

“Incidentally, the Committee was reliably informed that the State has since the early 2000s been taking care of former First and Second Ladies, providing them with quarterly allowances and extending to them other courtesies… In addition to the quarterly allowances, the Office of the Chief of Staff receives several other requests in the form of Save Our Souls (SoS) which the State obliges,” the committee wrote.

Meanwhile, the Committee has recommended for the salaries of article 71 office-holders to be increased. President Akufo-Addo’s pay has been recommended for an increase from the current Ghc29, 099 to Ghc47, 273 using a 120 award point.

Vice President Bawumia’s monthly salary has also been recommended for an increase from the current Ghc26, 909 to Ghc39, 397 using an award points of 100.

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