Governance expert, Dr. Benjamin Otchere-Ankrah has slammed the Members of Parliament over the latest twist on the issue of salary payment to the President and Vice President’s spouses.
Prof. Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee set up by the President of the Republic, Nana Akufo-Addo, to look into the emoluments of Article 71 office holders recommended that a salary equivalent to a Cabinet Minister who is a Member of Parliament (MP) should be paid to the First Lady while her husband is in office and a salary equivalent to a Cabinet Minister who is not a Member of Parliament (MP) be given to the Second Lady while her husband is in office.
Following the Committee’s report came intense criticisms regarding the decision to pay the First and Second Ladies salaries which compelled First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo to refund her allowances and Second Lady Samira Bawumia pledging to do same.
However, the shocking development is that, according to Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the MPs were not provided a copy of the Committee’s report.
Speaking on Okay FM’s ‘Ade Akye Abia’ programme, Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa stated that Parliament neither discussed nor approved salaries and allowances for Presidential spouses as being circulated.
“The Heavens can bear me witness I was a member of the seventh parliament and I did not see any committee’s report so I don’t even know where this claim of parliamentary approval is coming from because our standing orders is clear. Before the House approves something, members of parliament must have a copy and I can tell you authoritatively that no member of the House has a copy of the committee’s report.
“I challenge anybody who claims otherwise to come out to dispute what I’m saying. Parliament is a House of records and that is why we should not be joking with certain things,” he intimated.
Addressing Mr. Ablakwa’s revelations, Dr. Benjamin Otchere-Ankrah was outraged that the Committee’s report didn’t make it to the floor of Parliament.
He wondered why the report wasn’t broached at Parliament and yet there are moves to effect the Committee’s recommendations.
“Some MPs are on record to say that they, themselves, didn’t know the content of what they passed. This is an insult on the nation,” he fumed.
Dr. Otchere-Ankrah made these comments while making submissions on Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’ programme.