It has emerged that the Emoluments Committee recommended that, the existing module of paying the spouses of presidents and vice presidents is without a legal basis should be regularised.
According to a 113-page report available to GhanaWeb, the Prof Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu committee stated:
“The Administration of President Kufuor introduced the extension of courtesies, including the payment of monthly allowances to spouses of former Heads of State/Presidents/Vice Presidents. Subsequent administrations have continued the gesture and even extended them to incumbent First and Second ladies. The gesture remains purely humanitarian, to support, and in some cases, rehabilitate former First Ladies who were evidently struggling to subsist.
“However, there is no legal basis for this support. Thus, the Committee recommends that the support extended to spouses of Presidents/former Presidents Vice Presidents/former Vice Presidents be regularized and included in the privileges of Presidents/former Presidents/Vice Presidents/former Vice Presidents.”
The committee further stated, the salary level recommended for President/former President has facility/benefit to include office accommodation, residential accommodation, security, transportation, security among others.
It added, when a President is out of office, the state is to provide a fully furnished office with up-to-date communication equipment and staff not exceeding four.
The said office will revert to the state should the person die. Also, a fully furnished residence in the nation’s capital or at a location in Ghana of the person’s choice will be provided.
Also, a four-bedroom house plus a study and a two-bedroom guest accommodation.
Again, two vehicles, chauffeur-driven, maintained, and comprehensively insured by the state, and two dispatch motorcycles for travel in-country must be provided. This fleet is to be changed every four years for life.
On the level of the Vice President, a fully furnished office is to be provided when they are out of office provided, they are not occupying public office with 30% of their salary to be paid for accommodation.
Two vehicles comprehensively insured, chauffeur-driven with an allocation of 450 litres of fuel per month was recommended.
Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament for the South Dayi Constituency, Rockson Dafeamakpor, and his counterpart for Builsa South, Clement Apaak, have jointly filed a suit at the Supreme Court to challenge recommendations for emoluments to the spouses of the president and the vice president.
The two want the court to declare that the Professor Ntiamoah-Baidu Committee tasked to make recommendations in respect of salaries, allowances payable to Article 71 officeholders, exceeded its mandate by making that recommendation.
They want to stop the government from making any payment of emolument to the spouses of presidents and vice presidents.