Stop building houses for ex-Presidents – President Mills

President John Evans Atta Mills has proposed the immediate scrapping of the current arrangement which enjoins the state to build houses for Presidents of the country after they have served their tenure.

Instead, he suggested that rent allowance be paid to former Presidents to cater for their accommodation, beginning from the end of his tenure.

The President made the proposal to the Professor Ewurama Addy Committee which he set up to deal with the whole issue of emoluments for Article 71 office holders.

Indications are that the committee accepted the President’s proposal, which he submitted in August this year.

The committee’s report also contains other recommendations aimed at cutting expenditure on the state on ex gratia package.

A Deputy Minister of Information, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, told the Daily Graphic that President Mills was of the view that the state should be sensitive to the general conditions of its citizens in considering ex gratia for Article 71 office holders.

He said the President, in making the input, also considered the sustainability of the packages, since, as democracy grew in the country, there would be more former Presidents who must be satisfied under whatever package was available.

Media reports indicate that former President J. A. Kufuor has also rejected keys to a mansion at the Trassaco Valley Estates offered him by the government.

Similar reports also suggest that former President J. J. Rawlings had also refused a temporary mansion at the same venue offered him by the government.

According to the Spokesman for former President Kufuor, Mr Frank Agyekum, the former President rejected the keys to the mansion that were presented to them four weeks ago because Mr Kufuor had not been given the opportunity to make an input into the house.

The issue of ex gratia for former Presidents has generated controversy. While some people say the package of two houses, a number of cars and other pecks for former leaders were too expensive, others think such a package should be accepted for the comfort and dignity of former Presidents.

Source: Daily Graphic

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