The Executive Director for the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) Sulemana Braimah has asked the First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo and the wife of the Vice President Samira Bawumia to be ready for “massive” public scrutiny in their respective works since they are both now on Cabinet Minister-level salaries.
According to Mr. Braimah, since the two wives of the President and his vice are being paid such salaries they have become employees of the taxpayer and, thus, need to account to the people.
“Now that the First Lady and Second Lady are on Cabinet Minister-level salaries, they should be ready for massive public scrutiny. They are now our employees too,” Mr Braimah stated in a tweet.
A section of Ghanaians have kicked against the idea of the First Lady and Dr Mahamudu Bawumia’s wife taking Cabinet Minister-level salaries but Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the arrangement is not new and did not start under the current regime.
Mr Nkrumah explained that this arrangement was introduced by former President John Agyekum Kufuor during the start of his Presidency in 2000.
According to him, spouses of Presidents and Vice Presidents, since then, enjoy allowances, though there was no formal documentation to support that.
The allowances given the two ladies of the executive Mr Nkrumah said were considered as part of the privileges of the President and Vice President.
“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,” the Information Minister emphasised.
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