Senior Vice President of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil has agreed with the principle that wives of Presidents and their Vice should be paid allowances for the service they render to the country alongside their husbands.
He, however, wondered when the enjoyment of those benefits will end. Mr Bentil, therefore, suggested that government should think through the issue and introduce a policy to address the issue.
“I will explain that the principle that there should be some sort of allowance for First and Second Lady in the Republic is a very sound one, I can defend it anywhere, but there is nothing I can say to defend that they should continue to enjoy it after their husbands leave office, that won’t make sense.
“When we look at the specific issue of paying spouses of Presidents, we should focus more on the principles, it matters that the public has lost that confidence. We should interrogate the principles of that idea.
“Let us find out the merits of the principle and we find out how do we do this legally and in a way that does not lead to a situation where one day, someone awards themselves a million dollars a month,” he said.
Speaking on JoyNews‘ Newsfile Mr Bentil said the subject of legalizing spousal emoluments was necessary not only to gain the trust of Ghanaians but also to bring transparency in government.
“This is illegal on the face of it, we don’t have to be doing illegal things so let us figure out a way to do it properly and then also make it future-proof.
“Today, as we speak, there are all sorts of payments being made including some allowances to First Ladies and I am not against it.
“It is not everything that must necessarily go through Constitutional Amendments and the Law, there can be ways,” he said.
‘Development is thinking intensively’ and for that reason, he says government should be motivated to quench the protests and hate surrounding the payment of spousal emoluments in a very intelligent way while coming up with guiding policies to regulate such spousal salaries being paid.
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