The First Lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has issued a statement claiming she is refunding all the salaries paid to her since 2017.
She claims the amou t is a total of GHS899,097.84.
The decision to refund the money is coming after the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had revealed that the First and Second Ladies have received salaries equsl to cabinet ministers and had been backdated to 2017.
This sudden backtracking is principally coming following a heavy backlash after revelations that the Prof. Yaa Ntiamoah-Baidu committee on Presidential emolument had clandestinely sneaked in the First and Second Ladies into the status of the controversial Article 71 officeholders.
A statement released today and signed by Korkor Bleboo, Director of Communications at the Office of the First Lady reads: “The First Lady in consultation with the President of the Republic has decided to refund all the monies paid to her as allowances from the date of the President’s assumption of office, i.e., from January 2017 to date, amounting to GHS899,097.84.”
“The First Lady has also decided not to accept any monies that have been allocated to be paid to her pursuant to the recommendations of the Ntiamoa-Baidu committee, as approved by Parliament. She is doing this as a purely personal decision, without prejudice to the rights of others, and not to undermine the propriety of the process undertaken by Parliament.”
According to the statement, the wife of the president took the decision because the discussions that greeted the announcement of the allowance payments have been laced with some extremely negative opinions, which she finds distasteful and that the commentaries only seek “to portray her as a venal, self-seeking and self-centered woman, who does not care about the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian.”
It is unclear tbe calculations that sum up to the amount the First Lady is refunding, as her total salary from 2017 to date will be in excess of GHC1.5 million. It is also unclear if Second Lady Samira Bawumia will be following suit.
The recommendations made by the five-member Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu committee set up in June 2019 by President Nana Akufo-Addo have been accused of unconstitutionally sneaking in the First and Second Ladies to the status of Article 71 officeholders even though they are neither elected or appointed state officials.