Editor-in-Chief of the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt has commended First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo and Second Lady Samira Bawumia for refunding their allowances to the State.
Prof. Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee
The Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee report dated the 18th of June 2020, submitted its recommendations to President Akufo-Addo in fulfilment of the Article 71 provision of the 1992 Constitution which enjoins every sitting President, before the end of his four-year mandate, to set up a Committee to make recommendations on the emoluments for Article 71 office holders.
As part of the five (5) member committee’s report, they recommended the payment of a salary equivalent to a Cabinet Minister who is a Member of Parliament (MP) to the First Lady while her husband is in office and the payment of a salary equivalent to 80% of salary of a Minister of State who is a Member of Parliament (MP) if the spouse served one full term as President or 100% of salary of a Minister of State who is a Member of Parliament (MP) if the spouse served two or more full terms as President.
With the Second Lady, the committee’s report, recommended the payment of a salary equivalent to a Cabinet Minister who is not a Member of Parliament (MP) to the Second Lady while her husband is in office and the payment of a salary equivalent to 80% of salary of a Minister of State who is not a Member of Parliament (MP) if the spouse served one full term as President or 100% of salary of a Minister of State who is a Member of Parliament (MP) if the spouse served two or more full terms as Vice President.
First & Second Ladies' Salaries Refund
First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, in a statement dated 12th July 2021, has "decided not to accept any monies that have been allocated to be paid to her pursuant to the recommendations of the Prof. Yaa Ntiamoa-Badu Committee, as approved by Parliament".
She cited the “extremely negative opinions” from critics which are seeking to portray her as a “self-serving and self-centered woman” as reasons for her refund.
In view of this, she "in consultation with the President of the Republic, has decided to refund all 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 GH¢899,097.84."
The Second Lady, Samira Bawumia has also indicated she will refund a total amount of eight hundred and eighty-seven thousand, four hundred and eighty-two (GHc 887,482) she's received as allowances from January 2017 to March 2021.
The decision of the two leading ladies of the Republic to refund their allowances is motivated by recent public backlash that has characterized the recommendation by the Presidential Committee on Emoluments for Article 71 office holders for the First and Second Ladies to be paid salaries.
Kwesi Pratt's Reply
Discussing the issue on Peace FM's 'Kokrokoo' programme, Kwesi Pratt welcomed the refund of the allowances, stressing it will be of great help to Ghanaians.
"Her Excellency Rebecca Akufo-Addo has helped us. She's come out to say she doesn't want the money and that we should take it back. We have done something. Haven't we? I've heard that Madam Samira Bawumia (Excellency) also says she doesn't want the money, so we should receive it back. We have taken our money back," he told host Kwami Sefa Kayi.
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