Former Senior United Nations Governance Advisor, Professor Baffour Agyeman-Duah says the 1992 constitution of Ghana has created employment for citizens who technically do not need employment.
He was speaking concerning the Council of State in relation to their receiving monthly salaries and ex-gratia during and after their term of service to the state, respectively.
According to him, the institution of the Council of State, taking into consideration its very high level of prestige, and its membership should be considered an act of volunteerism and not a full paying job.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, he said, “You see the Council of State is not for riff-raffs. If you look at membership, even as prescribed by the constitution, members should be people of means, people who have served their nation to a very high level, who have accomplished whatever that they have tried to do, so normally you’re coming to that Council not as somebody from the street or somebody who owns nothing, somebody who has never built.
“So I take the word volunteer very seriously, but apparently it’s not a volunteer’s job. It’s a job, paid job. In other words, we have created or the constitution has created jobs for people who don’t need jobs, because most of them are presumably retired from their positions.”
His comment was in reaction to the return of ¢365,000 ex-gratia by the Agbogbomefia of Asogli, Togbe Afede XIV for his service on the Council of State.
According to the Agbogbomefia, it is not appropriate to receive the said amount when he already took monthly salaries for serving on the Council.
“I believe it was paid to everybody who served on the Council of State. However, I thought that extra payment was inappropriate for a short, effectively part-time work, for which I received a monthly salary and was entitled to other privileges. So, I was very uncomfortable with it,” he said.
Commenting on the gesture, Professor Agyeman-Duah stressed that “it is such an honourable position to be, it should not be attached to a salary as if you’re waking up every morning five o’clock, preparing yourself to go to work. It’s not. Technically maybe 4 times a year, of course it can be a 100 times a year depending on the needs of the President.”
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