Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, the First Lady of the Republic of Ghana, has decided to refund monies paid her for allowances from January 2017.
A letter has been issued out through her Director of Administration, Kokor Baidoo.
The attention of the First Lady of the Republic, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has been drawn to the recommendations of the Committee established according to Article 71 of the Constitution (the Prof. Yaa Ntiamoa-Baido Committee), which, among other things, seek 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 to the President and Vice President under Article 71 of the Constitution.
The First Lady has taken note of the ongoing conversation in the nation, following on from these recommendations and their bipartisan approval by Parliament, as mandated by the Constitution as the body that approves the Executive’s emoluments.
It is important to state that payment of such allowances existed and was made to previous First Ladies in the course of the 4th Republic, before 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.
That notwithstanding, the public discussion has been placed with some extremely negative opinions, in some cases, which she finds distasteful, seeking to portray her as a venal, self-serving and self-centred woman, who does not care about the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian.
Because of this, the First Lady, in consultation with the President of the Republic, has decided to refund all monies paid her as an allowance from the date of the President’s assumption of office, ie, from January 2017 to date, amounting to GHC899,097.84.
The First Lady has also decided not to accept any monies that have been allocated to be paid to her according to the recommendations of the Ntiamoa-Baido 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 property of the process undertaken by Parliament.
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 war nation. As she has always done, the First Lady will continue to support the President in the execution of the mandate entrusted to him by the good people of Ghana.