Governance Lecturer of the Central University, Dr. Benjamin Otchere-Ankrah has condemned the government’s decision to pay wives of the President and Vice President.
Parliament has officially approved that the spouses of the President and Vice President will from now receive salaries.
The First and Second Ladies’ salaries are considered as part of the privileges of the President and Vice President.
“The President does approve salaries and benefits for the Executive. Under Article 71, the First Lady and Second Lady are not office holders so no one can determine their benefits under that article.
“However, a committee only recommended that an arrangement for the spouses be made formal and that received approval from Parliament.
“President Kufuor, in his wisdom, instituted this because of the bad situations of some spouses of some former Heads of States then. Presidents Mills and Mahama even increased the rates of these benefits during their time.
“The truth of the matter is that all surviving spouses of Heads of State, current and former, have always received salaries. Lordina Mahama, Naadu Mills, Matilda Amissah-Arthur, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, Faustina Acheampong, Fulera Liman etc have all been receiving salaries since President Kufuor’s time.
“What has happened now is that the arrangement has been made formal but that was done legally based on the recommendation by the Emoluments Committee,” Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah indicated.
But Dr. Benjamin Otchere-Ankrah disagrees with the arrangement, stating the State is already taking care of the two ladies.
Speaking on Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’ programme, Dr. Otchere-Ankrah insisted that paying the President and Veep’s spouses salaries is unnecessary.
“They don’t need it. The country takes care of them; their health, feeding and so forth. It’s the State that takes charge of the cost involved in everything they need to survive as human beings . . . Because the State already takes care of them, I think it’s not necessary for a sitting President’s wife to receive allowances . . . Everything they need, the country provides for them.”
‘” . . why give them allowance again?”, he asked.