General Secretary of the ruling New Patriotic Party(NPP), John Boadu, has described as half-truth the press statement released by the Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Dr Yaw Baah on the salaries of the spouses of Presidents and Vice Presidents.
According to the statement of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), as they have followed the ongoing spirited public debate on the payment of salaries to spouses of Presidents and Vice Presidents, they have gathered the facts that salary arrears dated back to January 2017 have since been paid to the wives of President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Bawumia.
The press statement further recounts that the salary arrears have been paid to First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo and Second Lady Samira Bawumia under the Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee’s recommendation which was approved by the NDC and the NPP Members of Parliament.
Reacting to the press statement of the TUC on Okay FM’s 'Ade Akye Abia' Morning Show, the NPP Chief Scribe reiterated that the salary arrears were not paid only to the wives of President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia as indicated in the press statement of TUC, but rather the wife of former President Mahama and the rest of the former Presidents and their Vices have received their salary arrears.
“What Trades Union Congress (TUC) has written is the half-truth; the money was not paid to only President Akufo-Addo’s wife and that of Vice President Bawumia but also Lordina Mahama, Fulera Limann, wife of Atta-Mills and that of Amissa-Arthur have all received their back-pay, and so if the TUC wants to report about the spousal salary arrears, they have to be factual,” he debunked the report.
However, he was emphatic that the payment of money to the First and Second Ladies in Ghana is not the initiation of President Akufo-Addo but rather inherited from his predecessors.
“The payment of the First and Second Ladies in Ghana is not the initiation of President Akufo-Addo. It is neither Bawumia’s initiative and so it is not fair for anybody to sit somewhere to say that President Akufo-Addo is paying salary to his wife . . . it is a program that former President Rawlings started and successive Presidents are continuing,” he posited.
He added that the salaries given to the First and Second Ladies are an intervention from the Office of the President through the Chief of Staff, indicating that the recent promise of President Akufo-Addo to pay for the surgery of the conjoined twins is part of the intervention from the Office of the President.
Regarding the salary arrears, John Boadu explained that the Emolument Committee as part of its norm presents its recommendations for Parliamentary approval at the end of the 4-year term of the government, hence, arrears are accumulated if the recommendations suggest a salary adjustment.
He stressed that every successive government from 1992 to date goes through this ritual of late presentation of the recommendations made by the Emolument Committee; thus, the government later has to calculate the differences per the approval of Parliament to the Article 71 officeholders.