Opinion
Ghana's Parliament

In part 1 of this article, I reported how much an MP costs the Ghanaian taxpayer using Prof Yaa Ntiamoa Baidu Report of the Presidential Committee on Emoluments for Article 71 Office Holders (January 2017 to December 2020).

I reported that the total cost per year for an MP was 2,167,526 GHS  ( 2 million, 167 thousand, 526 new Ghana Cedis).

For the 275 Chamber, the total was 275 x 2,167,526 = 596,069,650  GHS  (596 million, 69 thousand, 650 new Ghana cedis)

For the 4-year term tax payers spend on our 275 MPs 2,384,278,600 GHS 2 billion, 384 million, 278 thousand, and 6 hundred new Ghana cedis)

Cost computation

I compute the cost of each MP per year of service as follows where possible using very conservative estimates which may actually under estimate the cost.

1a. Salary 28,017 x 12  = 336,204 GHS

1b. Daily allowance to attend parliament 2,000 GHS….assuming 250 days in a year = 500,000 GHS

1c. Official accommodation (est) 2500 GHS a month x 12 = 30,000 GHS

• A functional constituency office (est) 20,000 GHS a year
• Constituency allowance per month 45,000 x 12 = 540,000 GHS

4a. Car loan interest payments for a year @ 30% for 4 years with a single payment each year 67,721 /4 = 16,930 GHS*1

4b. Free maintenance for new car (est) 4,000 GHS

4c. MPs driver salary 2,000 per month x 12 = 24,000 GHS

5. Police Officer for security salary 1500 per month x 4 = 18,000 GHS

6a. Travel allowance for official business..1 year business class \$4,000 US per year

6b. Four Star hotel accommodation for 7 nights (400 x7) = \$2,800 per year

6c. Per diem @ \$300 per day for 8 days = 2,400 a year

• Medical and dental for MP and 4 dependents (est) 10,000 GHS
• Other benefits Installation grant 28,107 x 2 = 56,214 GHS
• Gratuity or ESB per year is 28,107 x 4 =112,428 GHS

Total cost per year for an MP is as follows: 336,204 + 500,000 + 30,000 + 20,000 + 540,000 + 16,930 + 4,000 + 24,000 + 18,000 + 43,600*2 +30,520*2 + 26,160*2 + 10,000 + 56214 + 112,428 = 1,768,056 GHS (1 million, 768 thousand, 56 new Ghana Cedis).

For the 275 Chamber the total is 275 x 1,768,056 GHS = 486,215,400 GHS (486 million, 215 thousand, 400 new Ghana cedis)

Notes

*1Assuming the government services the car loan of 80,000 GHS at 30% for 4 years with a single payment each year the total interest will be 67,721 GHS

*2 US 1 dollar = 10.9 GHC

1. The cost of Office of MP and staff has not been computed
2. The computations for driver and police officer do not include SSNIT contribution and other emoluments and may actually be more

So for 4 years an MP costs the Ghanaian tax payer 1,768,056 x 4 = 7,072,224 GHS (7 million, 72 thousand, 223 new Ghana cedis)

and the 275 members cost 1,944,861,600 GHS (1 billion, 944 million, 861 thousand, 600 new Ghana cedis)

Thus additional 25 MPs being proposed by Deputy EC boss will at the minimum cost us 25 x 4 x 1,768,056 = 176,805,600 GHS (176 million, 805 thousand 600 new Ghana cedis) at a minimum for 4 years.

After all some say democracy is expensive but we can all agree that democracy should be sustainable.  I have already mentioned what USA and India did when faced with with similar problems more than 100 years ago. My question is how many 6-unit classrooms can this amount 176,805,600 GHS  build to educate our children in the classroom in the rural areas? Is anybody listening or are serious in this country called Ghana???

In the class system we have created  a permanent condition where village schools are deprived of basic amenities, they share classrooms with snakes, they have no classes during most of the rainy season and these citizens have limited future opportunities and remain forever our farmers, hewers of wood and have no lack of opportunities for social mobility.

To conclude, I am appealing to the conscience of all our 275 MPs, to vote on the record (no secret ballot please) and VOTE overwhelming “No” to this intended Legislative Instrument of creating additional 25 constituencies.

I pray the Speakers and their Deputies KILL this legislation and make moves to ensure this unwarranted and injudicious spending or creating new constituencies never resurrect again.

Only Guan aka SALL should be considered.  I don’t want you to be counted in the history books as one of the people when it came down to saving money to build basic classroom for our children to go to school in the rural areas, get good drinking water, have childhood vaccination etc  you decided to not care  but chose to vote against good conscience and the building blocks of democracy? The choice is yours as an MP and I humbly appeal to you all to do the right thing.

God save Ghana, God save the Republic.

The writer, Professor Anthony Mawuli Sallar, is a Professor of Epidemiology and obtained his PhD from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Apart from his academic discipline he has other interests in Political Economy, Ethics, and Governance. He can be reached via email on masallar@hotmail.com

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