- The news of paying First and Second ladies a monthly salary has created some controversy
- As expected, there have been all sorts of opinions shared
- YEN.com.gh has compiled some facts on the issue
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On Wednesday, July 7, 2021, YEN.com.gh reported the decision of the government to adopt the recommendation of an emolument committee to ensure that the spouses of the President and Vice President are paid for their roles on a monthly basis.
A lot has been said about what it is or isn’t. Find below the facts as they are.
Reason for allowances for First and Second ladies
Per a Daily Graphic interview with Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the money is to be given to the wives of the President and Vice President based on the bad situations of some of the spouses of some former presidents.
When It started
In a Daily Graphic Interview, Nkrumah shared that allowances for presidential spouses started during the era of former President John Agyekum Kufour.
He also added that all surviving spouses of both former and current presidents including Lordina Mahama, Naadu Mills, Matilda Amissah-Arthur, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, Faustina Acheampong and Fulera Liman receive salaries.
How much they are taking
The First and Second spouses are expected to receive the same amount as ministers of state. As of May 2021, it is reported that ministers are paid monthly salaries in the region of 15, 000 Cedis.
Article 71 office holders
One of the reasons behind the pushback for the allowances for the First and Second spouses is because they are not article 71 officeholders.
One may ask, so who are the people in this category?
According to the 1992 constitution of Ghana, they include the President, the Vice President, Chief Justice, Cabinet Ministers, Ministers of State, Speaker of Parliament and Chairman of the Council of State.
Allowances for First and second spouses approved or not
According to Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, per the Daily Graphic Interview, the allowances for the First and Second ladies has been approved by the parliament of Ghana. However, there is no record available to the public about this.
Henry Kwasi Prempeh, the Executive Director of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development and the Youth Wing of the National Democratic Congress have a contrary view on Nkrumah saying the payments have been approved.
“The political class cannot use the Article 71 process to smuggle in salaries or allowances for First and Second Spouses. If that's what they want done, they must get the Government to boldly introduce a Bill to that effect, making a case for such emoluments, and thereby allow and ensure public participation in the legislative debate on this matter. This is not something that can be done on the blind side of voters and taxpayers,” posted Prempeh on Facebook.
In a statement, George Opare Addo, National Youth Organiser of the NDC called the decision an attack on the constitution of the country.
“Indeed, the Constitution never clothed the Emolument Committee any power to introduce any category of persons to benefit from the Consolidated fund without due regard to article 108,” reads part of a statement.
Meanwhile, protesters who took part in the 'March For Justice' demonstration referred to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as a dictator.
Held on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, the demo organized by the Youth wing of Ghana's leading opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) seeks to 'demand justice for people killed or brutalized by security personnel in the past few weeks' per a statement.
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