It has emerged that In December 2020, when the Ghanaian parliament was winding down and more and more MPs, especially on the Minority NDC side were taking liberties to hit the campaign trail, Prof. Aaron Mike Ocquaye, the then-Speaker of Parliament presided over a session that approved the Professor Yaa Ntiamoah Baidu report.
The recommendation that has set up massive public uproar saw the President, his Vice, their wives and other Article 71 officeholders greased with fat salaries as the government slap killer taxes on Ghanaians and ask them to “tighten their belts” in austerity because of COVID-19-related economic downturn.
That suspicious session in Parliament overseen by Prof. Ocquaye was said to be mostly made up of NPP MPs and so the Committee’s report, with all of the contentious indulgences lavished the Article 71 officeholders passed easily.
Ghanaians who have realized what has happened, are beside themselves with anger with the most popular venting avenue being social media. President Akufo-Addo, his Vice, Mahamudu Bawumia and now Speaker of Parliament are at the receiving end of the public anger for what is seen as an Orwellian arrangement.
President Akufo-Addo’s salary has increased from the little over Ghc29,000 that former President Mahama was paid in 2017 to almost Ghc50,000. In addition, he is lavished with a yearly traveling allowance of US$50,000.
His Vice, Mahamudu is now on a monthly salary of almost Ghc40,000 from the previous Ghc26,000 that former Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur was paid to over Ghc39,000 a year.
And their wives are now to be paid like Cabinet Ministers to boot.
Top of the contention with the report is the placement of the President’s wife, First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo and the Vice President’s wife, Second Lady, Samira Bawumia on fat payrolls unconstitutionally, and as Article 71 officeholders.
Even though the spouses are not recognized in the Ghanaians constitution as public office holders, Professor Ntiamoa-Baidu placed them on payrolls on the same level as cabinet ministers.