Scrap Ex-gratia payments immediately – Kwabena Agyepong

Kwabena Agyepong

Mr Kwabena  Agyei Agyepong, a Flagbearer hopeful of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has called for the scrapping of the four-year ex-gratia payments.

He said the country did not have the needed resources to honour that arrangement.

The former General Secretary of the NPP said there should be arrangements where Members of Parliament for instance could be offered “something little” at the end of their term in office instead of giving them lump sums every four years under the current system.

“Ex-gratia should be like a parachute payment. When you have served your country like a member of Parliament…it’s a difficult assignment. I would say it is like marriage. When you elevate a lady to certain level as a wife and you want to leave, that’s why they let you pay alimony,” he said in an interview in Accra.

“It cannot be right on any moral standing. We should stop it immediately. We don’t have the money as a country,” Mr Agyepong added.

Ex-gratia payments are regarded as part of the end-of-service benefits for a certain class of public servants – and it is paid every four years.

The category of workers who benefit from ex-gratia payment is Article 71 office holders made up of the President, the Vice President, the Speaker of Parliament, the Chief Justice and other Justices of the Supreme Court of the country.

The rest are Parliamentarians, Ministers of State, political appointees and public servants with salaries charged to the Consolidated Fund, but enjoying special Constitutional privileges.

There have been conflicting arguments about the essence of the payment of ex-gratia to Article 71 Office holders, with some commentators and governance experts describing the practice as an “unfair arrangement.”

The debate resurrected when it emerged that Togbe Afede, the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, returned an amount of GH¢350,000 paid to him as ex-gratia for serving as a Member of the Council of State.

Togbe Afede described the amount as “outrageous” saying it was “inappropriate for a short, effectively part-time work.”

Nana Adjei Ampofo, a former member of the Council of State also called for a review of the payment of ex-gratia to members of the Council to meet the economic realities of the day.

Former President John Dramani Mahama recently pledged to implement recommendations of the Constitutional Review Committee as well as review ex-gratia payments in the next NDC administration.

Source: GNA

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