The First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, says she will not accept the emoluments approved for her by Parliament. She has also decided to refund to the state all the monies paid to her since 2017 when her husband assumed office which amounts to GHS 899,097.84.
This was captured in a statement signed by Korkor Bleboo, Director of Communications at the Office of the First Lady.
“The First Lady in consultation with the President of the Republic has decided to refund all the monies paid to her as allowances from the date of the President’s assumption of office, i.e., from January 2017 to date, amounting to GHS 899,097.84.”
“The First Lady has also decided not to accept any monies that have been allocated to be paid to her pursuant to the recommendations of the Ntiamoa-Baidu committee, as approved by Parliament. She is doing this as a purely personal decision, without prejudice to the rights of others, and not to undermine the propriety of the process undertaken by Parliament.”
In the statement, the First Lady reminded Ghanaians that she did not request to be paid any allowance and that “she only received that which existed and attached to her status, albeit informally.”
According to the statement, the wife of the president took the decision because the discussions that greeted the announcement of the allowance payments have been laced with some extremely negative opinions, which she finds distasteful as such commentaries only seek “to portray her as a venal, self-seeking and self-centered woman, who does not care about the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian.”
The First Lady’s action comes on the back of the backlash the government is receiving after it came to the fore that a recommendation for the First and Second Ladies to receive monthly salaries had already been approved by Parliament.
Ghanaians were further livid because it was disclosed that the First and Second Ladies will be receiving salaries equivalent to cabinet ministers and that those payments will be backdated to 2017 when the Akufo-Addo government was first installed.
The recommendations were made by the five-member Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu committee set up in June 2019 by President Nana Akufo-Addo “to make recommendations to him and to Parliament on the salaries and allowances payable, and the facilities and privileges available, to article 71 office holders”.