‘Emoluments C’ttee report not appearing before Parliament unfortunate’

Dr Benjamin Otchere-Ankrah, a governance expert, has slammed the Members of Parliament (MPs) over the latest twist on the issue of salary payment to the President and Vice President’s spouses.

He was outraged that the Committee’s report did not make it to the floor of Parliament and wondered why the report was not broached at Parliament and yet there were moves to effect the Committee’s recommendations.

“Some MPs are on record to say that they, themselves, did not know the content of what they passed which was unfortunate and an insult on the nation,” Dr Otchere-Ankrah fumed.

Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu, Committee set up by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to look into the emoluments of Article 71 office holders recommended a salary equivalent to a Cabinet Minister who is a Member of Parliament (MP) should be paid to the First Lady while her husband is in office and a salary equivalent to a Cabinet Minister who is not a Member of Parliament be given to the Second Lady while her husband is in office.

Following the Committee’s report came intense criticisms regarding decision to pay the First and Second Ladies salaries which compelled First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo to refund her allowances and Second Lady Samira Bawumia pledging to do same.

However, Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu in the Volta Region, revealed that MPs were not provided a copy of the Committee’s report and Parliament neither discussed nor approved salaries and allowances for Presidential spouses as being circulated.

“I was a member of the seventh parliament, I did not see any committee’s report, I do not even know where the claim of parliamentary approval is coming from because our standing orders is clear, before the House approves something, members of parliament must have a copy and I can tell you authoritatively no member of the House has a copy of the committee’s report,” he intimated.

Mr Ablakwa challenge anybody who claimed otherwise to come out to dispute what he stated because Parliament is a House of records and issues of national in character and which touched on sensibilities of the citizenry must not be taken for jokes.–peacefmonline.com

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