Ghana’s Parliament is expected to reconvene on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 for a weeklong meeting that will end the life of the sixth Parliament of the 4th Republic.
Key on the agenda of the outgoing Members of Parliament (MPs) will be the retirement packages for the nation’s soon to be former president, John Dramani Mahama.
The House is expected to consider and approve the package for Mr. Mahama who lost a re-election bid some two weeks ago.
President Mahama per the 1992 constitution is also obliged to approve a new pay levels and a retirement package for the nation’s lawmakers based on the recommendations of a committee he set up in January 2016 to look at the conditions of service of Article 71 office holders including that of the Chief Justice and many others of the judiciary.
It is unclear how much will be going with the soon to be former President Mahama when he retires from office in January 2017 but insiders say the defeated Ghanaian leader will retire on his salary and that there may be additional perks based on the performance of the Ghanaian economy.
The committee that the president appointed for the report finished its work in August 2016 and in the first week of September submitted its report to the presidency for consideration.
That report is to be forwarded to Parliament which the MPs will review it within the next few days.
Although it is unclear the details of the report, insiders say the committee recommended that the amount of money to be paid to retiring public officials should not be held in secret and that details of the report should be published.
Sources very close to the situation further suggest that MPs have not seen an upward review of their salary since they started receiving new salary levels based on the recommendations of the Ewurama Addy Committee report guided by the performance of the economy.
MP unhappy over delay in bringing report to Parliament
The Member of Parliament for the Sekondi Constituency in the Western Region, Papa Owusu Ankomah, in an earlier interview with Citi News’ Richard Dela Sky in October 2016 complained about the delay in bringing the committee’s report to Parliament.
“It’s like every four years a president is bound by the constitution to set up a certain committee who will recommend to the President and Parliament to determine the emoluments, salaries etc of certain public officers. Particularly for those of us within the political class, it’s almost always embroiled in controversy, because as we speak, the president has not determined the salaries and emoluments of that class of offices including the Chief Justice, MPs etc.
But anytime there is a controversy about it, it is the political class that is held responsible.”
“And Article 71 (2) also talks about Parliament on the recommendations of that committee determines the emoluments of the president, vice president, ministers of state and deputy ministers but as at now, the report hasn’t come to Parliament so Parliament has not been able to perform its constitutional duty under Article 71 (2),” he lamented.