First Lady rejects emolument; to refund allowances received

Accra, June 12, GNA – First Lady Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo has 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 said she was doing that as purely a personal decision, without prejudice to the rights of others and not to undermine the propeity of the process undertaken by Parliament.

Mrs Akufo-Addo also said, she had in consultation with President Akufo-Addo, decided to refund all monies paid to her as allowances from the date of the President’s assumption of office – from January 2017 to date.

It amounts to GH¢ 899,097.84.

A statement signed by Madam Korkor Bleboo, Director of Communications, Office of the First Lady, and issued on Monday night announced in Accra.

The statement explained that the decision was taken by the First Lady following the public discussion on the issue that had been “laced with some extremely negative opinions, in some cases”.

It said, Mrs Akufo-Addo considered such statements as “distasteful, seeking to portray her as a venal, self-serving and self-centered woman, who does not care about the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian.”

The statement referred to the recommendations of the Prof Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee that was established, pursuant to Article 71 of the Constitution, which, among other things, sought to regularise the payment of allowances to spouses of the current President and the Vice President, former Heads of State, Presidents and Vice Presidents, respectively, as part of the privileges due the President and Vice President under Article 71 of the Constitution.

It said the First Lady had taken note of the ongoing conversation in the nation, following on from the recommendations and the bipartisan approval by Parliament, as mandated by the Constitution as the body, which approved the emoluments of the Executive.

It explained that the payment of such allowances existed and was made to previous First Ladies in the course of the Fourth Republic, prior to Mrs. Akufo-Addo becoming the First Lady.

“Mrs. Akufo-Addo did not request to be paid any allowance. She only received that which existed and attached to her status, albeit informally.”

The statement said the First Lady “does not want these matters to serve as a distraction from the good work that the President, who is currently touring the Savannah and Upper West regions, is doing to develop our dear nation.”

It also stated that the First Lady would continue to support the President, as she had always done, in the execution of the mandate entrusted to him by the good people of Ghana.

Source: Ghana News Agency