The TUC also rejected the Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee’s recommendation that wives of Presidents and Vice Presidents be paid monthly salaries.
According to the group, the spouses have not been assigned any specific roles in the constitution and, as a result, “are not qualified to receive salaries from the public purse.”
The TUC stated this in a press statement issued on Sunday, July 11, 2021, and signed by TUC Secretary-General Dr. Yaw Baah.
According to the TUC, while Ghanaians appreciate the First and Second Ladies’ efforts, the constitution does not assign them any official responsibilities.
As a result, paying them salaries is “just not right.”
“Ghanaians value what the first and second ladies are doing to support women’s rights, children’s rights, and other noble initiatives aimed at our country’s social and economic development.” However, neither the Ghanaian Constitution nor the laws of the land assign them any official duties or responsibilities.”
“As a result, even if the Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee recommended it, the Trades Union Congress cannot support the payment of salaries to the spouses of presidents and vice presidents.” It is simply not right to pay monthly salaries to anyone who has not been officially assigned duties and responsibilities in the public sector. The Committee’s recommendation to convert such allowances into salaries was most likely motivated by a desire to rationalize or regularize allowances that were already being paid. However, you cannot regularize or rationalize the payment of illegitimate salaries.”
Meanwhile, the TUC revealed that the First and Second Ladies’ backdated salaries from 2017 have already been paid in accordance with the committee’s recommendation.
“In accordance with the Committee’s recommendation, which was approved by NDC and NPP Members of Parliament, salary arrears dating back to January 2017 have since been paid to the wives of President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Bawumia.”
Ghanaians are furious.
Some Ghanaians are outraged after learning that the President’s wife, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, and the Vice President’s wife, Samira Bawumia, will receive emoluments 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 aforementioned allowances is not a new phenomenon and that it was instituted under the Kufuor administration and benefited others, but was only formalised by the current government.
Recommendations for emoluments
The President’s spouse is to be paid a salary equivalent to that of a Cabinet Minister-MP while the President is in office, according to the recommended emoluments.
They will be entitled to a salary equivalent to 80% of that of a Minister of State-MP if the spouse served one full term as President, or 100% of that of a Minister of State-MP if the spouse served two or more full terms as President.
When the Vice President is in office, his or her spouse will be entitled to a salary equivalent to that of a Cabinet Minister who is not a member of Parliament.
After leaving office, the Vice President’s spouse will be entitled to a salary equal to 80% of that of a Minister of State non-MP if the spouse served one full term as Vice President, or 100% of that of a Minister of State non-MP if the spouse served two or more full terms as Vice President.
The emoluments were part of the recommendations made by the five-member Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu committee, which President Nana Akufo-Addo established in June 2019 to make recommendations on the salaries and other benefits of Article 71 officeholders.