Parliament approved allowances for Presidential spouses – Oppong Nkrumah
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, does not approve salaries and benefits for the Executive and, by extension, for the First Lady and wife of the Vice-President, the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has said.
He has, therefore, described as misleading, information making the rounds that President Akufo-Addo had given approval for Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo and Mrs Samira Bawumia to receive same salaries as Cabinet ministers.
While confirming that there had been an increment in allowances for the spouses of the President and the Vice-President, Mr Oppong Nkrumah emphasised that that was an approval given by the Seventh Parliament.
“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,” he indicated.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah explained that an arrangement that was introduced by former President John Agyekum Kufuor during the start of his Presidency in 2000 had seen 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 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.