"No post- retirement housing for the President" survey findings reveal
Majority of respondents to a study on the 1992 Constitution and Emoluments of Article 71 political office holders have called for the withdrawal of post-retirement housing for the president and other political office holders.
“Government should not provide housing for fairly adult citizens who are capable of providing for their own accommodation,” the report said.
This was disclosed at a public forum organized by the National Constitutional Reform Coalition (NCRC) at the Coconut Grove Regency Hotel.
Presenting findings of a focus group study which was conducted in Kumasi and Accra by the NCRC, Prof. Prempeh, Governance and Legal Policy Director of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development, CDD-Ghana said respondents also called for the public disclosure of emoluments, salaries and allowances of political office holders, including the president. He said the respondents had no idea how much the state is spending on these public officials and they find that to be unacceptable, as it does not promote transparency and accountability.
Respondents also proposed that the President’s salary should be linked to the minimum wage so that there is a valid, justifiable and transparent relationship between the national minimum wage and the salaries of these officers. Currently, this does not seem to be the case.
An interesting proposal from the study was the recommendation to build presidential memorials for all presidents of Ghana. To be part funded by the state and part by the president, the memorial could be a resource center or library where different papers, books and memoirs relating to the president’s tenure of office could be kept.
On the question of whether to continue to pay per diems and travel allowances for the president, majority of the respondents thought it was a complete waste of public resources. They argued that since the state bears the cost of all expenses of the president, it is completely unacceptable for the tax payer to pay for any additional presidential largesse. They also wondered why the state should be sponsoring the vacation of retired presidents, after all the vacations and travels the tax payer has already paid for.
The NCRC will publish the report and present it to the Constitutional Review Commission.