How over 10 million cedis was paid as Ex-gratia to Council of State Members; Togbe Afede exposes “ridiculous” practice in a poor country.
Do you know that nearly 10 million cedis was paid to Council of State Members who served between 2017 and 2020? That’s according Togbe Afede who served as ex-officio member of the Council of State. (Each of the 24 members is reported to have received 365.392.67 cedis).
The Agbomefia of Asogli State and President of National House of Chiefs has criticized the practice of politicians doling out huge amounts of money to each other as ex-gratia every four years. The revered traditional Chief, who himself was a beneficiary of nearly 400,000 Ghana cedis said he refunded the amount to the Controller and Accountant General’s Department Account after he noticed some strange credit to his account.
In a letter published on June 6, Togbe Afede said he did not find it right to receive such huge amounts of money after four years when he was paid monthly.
“I received tax receipts from the Council of State Secretariat that indicated that some money was paid into my bank account in July,2021 as ex-gratia for my four-year work as a member of the Council of State,2017 – 2020.
According to him, he only did a part time job for which adequate compensation was paid in the form of salaries and other privileges.
“I did not think the payment was made to trap me, as is being speculated. 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 monthly salary and was entitled to other privileges”.
The Volta Region Chief said his rejection of the payment was consistent with his general abhorrence for the payment of huge Ex Gratia to people who have by their own volition offered to serve our poor people.
In a Facebook comment on the matter, Lawyer Ace Ankomah agreed with the respected chief, saying there is no provision in article 71 that mandates the payment of huge ex gratia every 4 years. “It merely says the salaries, allowances, facilities, and privileges payable certain states offices are expenditure charged on the consolidated fund and shall be determined by the President or Parliament on the recommendations of a committee that the President appoints on the advice of the Council of State.
While many continue to advocate a review of the constitution, Lawyer Ace Ankomah is of the view the problem may not be the constitution after all but rather politicians.”. The constitution does not need to be amended. It is the conniving political class that needs amendment”. Said Lawyer Ankomah.
Other notable names on the council of state are Nii Kotei Dzani,.Mr Sam Okudzeto, a former President of the Ghana Bar Association, Mr Stanley Nii Adjiri Blankson, a former Accra Mayor, Nana Otuo Siriboe II, Juabenhene, Dr Margaret Amoakohene of the School of Communication Studies at University of Ghana, Legon, amongst others.