The President of policy think tank, IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, wants the roles of the spouses of Presidents and Vice Presidents to be clearly defined if they are to be captured under Article 71 officeholders.
He argued that since the presidential spouses are to receive salaries just like cabinet ministers, they should have specific responsibilities.
Speaking on Citi FM/Citi TV’s current affairs show, The Big Issue, Mr. Franklin Cudjoe said “I don’t want this conversation to be a sexist one. I am under the assumption that once we have decided to make them public servants, we have to define what exactly they do. If we are to pay them the same salaries cabinet ministers receive they must be given specific responsibilities. As far as I know, cabinet ministers have defined roles they play.”
“When this is done, we can hold them accountable. So if we are to go ahead and legalise the emoluments for them, then we should also make this consideration. Besides, I do not think they will be comfortable receiving salaries just because they are presidential spouses,” he argued.
Some Ghanaians are incensed after it emerged that the wife of the President, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, and the wife of his Vice, Samira Bawumia, are to receive emoluments just like cabinet ministers.
Some have directly chastised the Akufo-Addo administration for the development, but Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has explained that the payment of the said allowances is not a new phenomenon and that it was instituted under the Kufuor administration and had benefited others, but was only being formalised by the current government.
Meanwhile, former President John Dramani Mahama has described the new emoluments for Presidential spouses under Article 71 officeholders as “clearly problematic.”
Per the recommended emoluments, the spouse of the President is to be entitled to the payment of a salary equivalent to a Cabinet Minister-MP while in office.
After leaving office, they will be entitled to a salary equivalent to 80 percent of the salary of a Minister of State-MP if the spouse served one full term as President or 100 percent of the salary of a Minister of State-MP if the spouse served two or more full terms as President.
For the spouse of the Vice President, they will be entitled to payment of salary equivalent to a Cabinet Minister non-MP when in office.
After leaving office, the spouse of the Vice President will be entitled to a salary equivalent to 80 percent of the salary of a Minister of State non-MP if the spouse served one full term as the Vice President or 100 percent of the salary of a Minister of State non-MP if the spouse served two or more full terms as Vice President.
The emoluments were part of recommendations by the five-member Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu set up in June 2019 by President Nana Akufo-Addo to make recommendations on the salaries and other gratuities of Article 71 officeholders