The National Communication Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Lawyer Sammy Gyamfi has broken his silence on the payment of salaries equivalent to cabinet ministers to the wives of the President and the Vice President.
According to Sammy Gyamfi, “the decision to pay wives of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia a monthly salary equivalent to that of a Cabinet Minister, is patently unconstitutional and reprehensible.”
He believes that because of the fact that the wives of the President and the Vice President are not Article 71 officeholders, the already approved recommendations mist be withdrawn.
The mandate of the Article 71 Emoluments Committee is limited to recommending the salaries and other benefits and privileges of those officeholders specified in Article 71, sections (1) and (2).
Since the wives of the President and the Vice President are not Article 71 office holders, the Emoluments Committee has no authority to recommend payment of any allowance or emolument to them.
His comments followed claims that President Akufo-Addo had given approval for his wife, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, and the wife of Dr. Bawumia, Mrs. Samira Bawumia to receive the same salaries as Cabinet ministers.
A five-member Emolument Committee was set up in June 2019 by President Akufo-Addo to make recommendations to him and to Parliament on the salaries and allowances payable, and the facilities and privileges available to article 71 officeholders.
The Committee, which was under the chairmanship of Prof. Ntiamoa-Baidu, also had former Majority Leader and former Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Abraham Ossei Aidooh, the Chief Executive of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, Dr Edward Kwapong, the current Director-General of the Internal Audit Agency, Dr Eric Oduro Osae, and a former Managing Director, Donewell Life Insurance Co. Ltd, Mrs Stella Segbawu, the committee had two terms of reference.
They were charged to make recommendations in respect of emoluments and other privileges for article 71 officeholders, as specified under the Constitution; and also to examine any other relevant matter which the Committee deemed appropriate to its work.