Deputy General Secretary of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Obiri Boahen has justified the need for the First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, and wife of the Vice President, Samira Bawumia, to be paid monthly salaries.
Speaking on Dwaboase on Power FM, the former Deputy Interior Minister said just as the allowances for the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) are important for beneficiaries, it is equally important for the presidential spouses to be paid.
“Why not? Let’s be honest. In any case, it has approval from Parliament….Personally, I have no problem with it,” he told host Kwame Minkah. “I know before Parliament approved it, they might have debated it.”
Parliament has approved a recommendation by a five-member committee which was set up in June 2019 by President Akufo-Addo, to him and to Parliament on the salaries and allowances First or Second Spouses.
The Professor Yaa Ntiamoah-Baidu-led committee was tasked to make recommendations on the salaries of Article 71 officeholders for parliamentary approval, which now includes the spouses of the president and his vice.
The two are now going to receive a monthly salary of GHS 21,000 excluding their allowances.
The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has indicated that the last Parliament approved the recommendations by the Prof Ntiamoah-Baidu-led committee, sparking a debate on traditional and social media in the country.
“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,” The Minister indicated.
But asked if the decision sits well with the government which is controlled by his party, Obiri Boahen indicated that it was necessary for Mrs. Akufo-Addo and Mrs. Bawumia to earn monthly salaries without pointing out the work they will be doing for the country.
“It is one of the priorities that we need to implement, I totally agree with the decision,” he added and quizzed “why have you not questioned why the MPs are taking loans to buy cars?”
Meanwhile, the Media Foundation for West Africa has urged First and Second ladies, Rebecca Akufo-Addo and Samira Bawumia respectively to be prepared for public examination in whatever action they take following the parliamentary approval of their salaries.