The issue of the approval by Parliament of the Professor Ntiamoah-Baidu Committee Report covering the salaries and allowances payable to Article 71 office holders, which also added both present and former First and Second Ladies, is still raging.
The committee’s recommendation that First and Second Ladies be upgraded from allowances since 2001 to salaries, taking retrospective effect from 2017, sparked heated debate after some of the MPs who had endorsed the move, turned around to present a different picture altogether.
At least three individuals including two opposition NDC MPs whose enclave the report was approved, have petitioned the Supreme Court to declare as null and void, the decision to upgrade the spouses of the President and his Vice (both past and present) from allowances to salaries, to be equal to Cabinet Ministers – MPs and Cabinet Ministers – non MPs respectively.
Even before the court decides, there have been revelations about how much both the executive, comprising the President and his ministers as well as the legislature made up of the Speaker and MPs, are being paid monthly under Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution.
The June 2020 Prof. Ntiamoah-Baidu Report of the Presidential Committee on Emoluments for Article 71 Office Holders said while President Akufo-Addo is to be paid a salary relativity of GH¢47,277 for a month and Vice President Dr. Bawumia receives GH¢39,397, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin is paid GH¢35,021.
First Deputy Speaker shares award points of 48 with the Majority Leader and a Cabinet Minister who is also an MP with a monthly salary of GH¢33,270.
The Minority Leader is pegged with a Cabinet Minister-non MP with a monthly salary of GH¢32,832 which is also paid to the Second Deputy Speaker.
The Deputy Majority Leader is paid GH¢31,519 whereas his counterpart, the Deputy Minority Leader is paid GH¢31,081.
A Minister of State and Regional Minister, who are both Members of Parliament, and the Majority Chief Whip are in the same pay category, receiving GH¢30,644 monthly.
They are followed by the Minority Chief Whip and a Minister of State – non MP with a pay of GH¢30,206.
Regional Minister – non MP and First Majority Whip fall within the same salary category, according the emolument report, receiving GH¢29,768, while GH¢29,330 is paid to the First Minority Whip.
A monthly salary of GH¢28,893 is paid to a Deputy Minister – MP and the Second Majority Whip as well as Deputy Regional Minister – MP, whilst Second Minority Whip and Chairman of the Council of State receive a monthly salary of GH¢28,455.
MPs, with award points of 71, are paid GH¢28,017 monthly followed by Deputy Ministers and Deputy Regional Ministers who are not MPs with a salary pegged at GH¢27,579.
Members of the Council of State are paid a salary of GH¢26, 266 each, the report, covering January 2017 to December 2020 said, and added that all the salaries were adjusted to restore partially the original salary relativities recommended by the Prof. Ewurama Addy Committee in 2011.
The salaries are exclusive of other facilities, privileges and benefits for all beneficiaries.
Portions of the committee’s report had indicated that President Akufo-Addo “underlined the need to ensure balance between the emoluments of Article 71 Office Holders and those of the broader public sector,” adding that “the committee was tasked to ensure uniformity, particularly in the privileges of former Presidents.”
“The committee was tasked to correct all existing disparities in the emoluments of Article 71 Office Holders,” it said, adding “in this regard, the committee was entreated to build on the recommendations of the previous committees including being more specific and clearer on their recommendations.”
It also said “the committee was further tasked to determine the best way to treat spouses of former Presidents. It was revealed that the state in recent times assumed the responsibility of some of the basic needs of spouses of former Presidents, including the payment of monthly allowances.”
It said “the executive admits that this is a humanitarian gesture intended to support the spouses to lead decent lives befitting the status of their husbands,” adding “it was however, noted that this gesture is not supported by any legislative.”
The report also said, “the committee was therefore, called upon to advise on how to formalise the current arrangement through legislation and ensure that these benefits are clearly stated for the sake of transparency.”