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General News of Sunday, 24 May 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Ghanaians react to MPs' demand for salary arrears


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It was a mix-bag of reactions from sections of Ghanaians who voiced their opinions about a request for salary arrears by some Members of Parliament, under the then Kufour-led administration.

The Auditor General, Daniel Yaw Domelevo, in a letter to the Chief of Staff, Madam Frema Osei Opare, dated May 8, 2020, stated that his office will not be able to carry out the audit verification on the request for payment of salary arrears amounting to over Gh¢29.7 million to some former Members of Parliament.

Mr. Domelevo described the request as invalid adding that it amounts to a conflict of interest since some persons who have their names in the list including President Akufo-Addo are still in government.

“It may also amount to abuse of power or conflict of interest to make additional payment of (20% salary increase per annum for four years) to former Members of Parliament (covering a period of 10 to 14 years ago) especially when some of them are now executives,” the Auditor General stated in the letter.

Ghanaians have since reacted to the issue with some in support of the payment of these arrears. Some others however, also condemned the move which came at a time where the nation is battling with the Coronavirus pandemic.

When GhanaWeb visited some parts of Greater Accra to get responses on the matter, this was what some people had to say;

“They don’t have the nation at heart. We should rather use the monies for the virus treatment. Why are they after these monies despite the huge sums of monies they earn. They can't help the nation. We will not pay them those arrears,” a trader, Kwame Anim told GhanaWeb.

“Every worker deserves his or her salary. They need to pay all the government officials who have their monies locked-up. After this crisis, their monies must be refunded,’’ said a food vendor at Achimota.

“They deserve their salary arrears but certainly not at a time when the country is in crisis. The government is faced with so many challenges; there are projects to be completed. We are in an election year. These MPs should relax as there are other government workers who are faced with similar problems. They are not better than them. Some even have their monies locked-up at SSNIT,” said a taxi driver.




Despite these claims, leader of the Forum for Former Members of Parliament (FFMP), David Apasera, who is a former MP for Bolgatanga in an interview on Citi FM explained that they are entitled to those salary arrears adding that they will pursue the appropriate quarters for redress.

"We were not properly paid and because of that, a whole lot of people [former MPs'] are not in good shape and so we can’t get our entitlements because somebody thinks that it is a conflict of interest. We did it on our own because it is legitimate," Mr. David Apasera, leader of FFMP.

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