The North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa says the First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo’s rejection of the salaries is just a bait to look good in the eyes of the public.
“I do not have any evidence to fall for that bait. What I also know is that payment had already been effected which actually will amount to double payment because they have already received allowances,” she said.
This comes after Mrs Akufo-Addo declined the offer for her to be paid allowances.
According to a July 12 statement, she has also “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.”
This comes on the back of recommendations by the Prof Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu-led Presidential Committee on Emoluments for Article 71 officeholders.
The committee had recommended that the First Lady be paid a salary equivalent to a Cabinet Minister who is an MP while her husband is in office and the Payment of a salary equivalent to 80% of the salary of a Minister of State who is an MP if the spouse served one full term as President or 100% of the salary of a Minister of State who is an MP if the spouse served two or more full terms as President.
The committee further suggested that the Second Lady be paid a salary equivalent to a Cabinet Minister who is not an MP while her husband is in office and the Payment of a salary equivalent to 80% of the salary of a Minister of State who is not an MP if the spouse served one full term as President or 100% of the salary of a Minister of State who is an MP if the spouse served two or more full terms as Vice President.
However, the past few days have been rife with concerns by the general public over the implementation with many questioning the capacity in which such an allocation would be made to the said spouses.
The First Lady described some of the reactions as distasteful and seeking to portray her as “a venal, self-serving and self-centred woman” who is insensitive to the plight of Ghanaians.
According to a statement signed by the Director of Communications at the Office of the First Lady, Mrs Akufo-Addo indicated that her decision to refuse the offer is a personal one “without prejudice to the rights of others and does not undermine the propriety of the process undertaken by Parliament.”
While explaining her will for her decision to restore attention back to the President’s ongoing tour of some regions, the First Lady further added that she will continue to support her husband in the execution of his mandate as President to ensure the development of the country.
But the Member of Parliament for North Tongu says the payment amounted to double salaries that should never have happened.
“I cannot understand how come a committee that recommending rationalisation and institutionalisation and regularisation whatever terminology used and yet they decide to backdate and decide to pay them from 2017 which will amount to double salaries. I mean we shouldn’t have gotten to this point,” he said.