Founding President of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe says that specific roles must be assigned to the spouses of President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia if they are to earn the same salaries as Cabinet Ministers.

According to him, Cabinet Ministers have defined roles that come with their emoluments and therefore are assessed by their performance thereof.

“If we are deciding that we need to pay first ladies, then let’s give them specific roles as H.K Prempeh has suggested, must come by way of a bill,” he said.

“Cabinet ministers, they have work they do. That’s why they go to Cabinet and report. Will the first and second ladies be reporting as well?” he quizzed.

According to him, although he acknowledges the ceremonial duties of the First and Second Ladies, he believes that some work must be fashioned out to them before they receive emolument.

“Already they receive allowances. Don’t they? I don’t know the quantum though but for me, I think if you want to retrieve a salary, you must have worked for it. It’s not simply because you are a spouse.”

“Let’s not explain it away by saying it’s done in the past for which there were no specific roles, can only then be equated in the level of cabinet ministers,” he added.

This comes at the back of Parliament in January 2021 approved reports of the Prof Yaa Ntiamoah-Baidu-led Committee recommending emoluments for the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature.

Provisions were made for the spouses of the President and Vice President to receive the same monthly salaries as Cabinet Ministers with retrospective effect from 2017.

This decision has, however, been challenged by the Youth Wing of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). The NDC youth contend that the attempt to institutionalise payment of salaries to Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo and Mrs Samira Bawumia is an affront to the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.

Hence, its decision to seek redress at the Supreme Court if the decision is not rescinded.

“The Youth Wing will in the coming days invoke the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to declare this cancerous and insensitive act unconstitutional,” said the NDC National Youth Organiser, George Opare Addo.