News of Ghana’s previous parliament approving an arrangement for spouses of Ghana’s President and the Vice-president to receive monthly salaries has sparked outrage among citizens.
Ghana’s Minister of Information, Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah told local media that since 2001, there has been a precedent where all surviving spouses of presidents and vice presidents received monthly allowances.
Africa Feeds checks revealed that those allowances were paid from funds allocated yearly to the office of the president.
The allowances given to the the first lady and second lady were considered as part of the privileges of the President and Vice President.
“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 [in 2019],” the Information Minister clarified.
Ghana’s first lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, and the second lady, Mrs. Samira Bawumia are now expected to receive an increased salaries just like Cabinet ministers.
Local media reports that, the current presidential spouses could be receiving about $3,500 (GH 21,000) which is to be back-dated to 2017.
But not all citizens are happy with news that per the current arrangement the presidential spouses will be receiving the same salaries as Cabinet ministers.
The President, Nana Akufo-Addo has been criticized by a sector of the populace for allowing for the new arrangement.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah however rejected those criticisms saying Mr. Akufo-Addo can’t be faulted since “The President does not approve salaries and benefits for the Executive.”
“That recommendation was then forwarded to the Seventh Parliament, which then gave the approval, and it is now to be implemented. It is, therefore, not true as it is being circulated that the President has approved of emoluments to the First Lady and Second Lady,” he added.
On social media Ghanaians have been reacting with outrage.
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
— Sulemana Braimah (@sulemana) July 7, 2021
It was only a matter of time before we were made to pay for the dresses from Pistis, make up and the photo shoots of our hard working First Lady and the wife of the Vice President. pic.twitter.com/smKZQ8yhwX
— Cement Slayer (@Bridget_Otoo) July 7, 2021
How does Rebecca feel as First Lady – she’s going to collect Gh¢ 7.4m as back pay just for being the wife of Mr Akufo-Addo. How does she feel that women across the country deliver their children on bare floors and she’ll collect Gh¢ 7.4m of these women’s monies for doing nothing.
— Che🇬🇭🇳🇬🇬🇧 (@CheEsquire) July 7, 2021
The First Lady and second lady will now receive GhC 21k every month and it will be back paid from 2017? 😳
Why are presidential spouses taking money which is at the level of the ministers we voted for? Herh
— KELEWELE JOINT 🍟 (@ANKAMAGYIMI__) July 7, 2021