Ex gratia demands debate about emoluments for Article 71 officeholders: President Akufo-Addo

Ex gratia - Rapid News GH

In light of the public’s concerns, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called for a debate to reach a constitutional resolution on the entitlements of Article 71 Officeholders.

Ex gratia

He set the tone by stating that the nation should, among other things, look at how other countries, like the United States of America, have created their ideals and automatically altered them in accordance with certain objective standards.

In addition, he urged the newly established Committee of Emoluments for Article 71 Officeholders to take into account public concerns regarding whether or not such officeholders, despite the constitutional requirement, merited what they were paid in light of the current economic difficulties.

The request was made by President Akufo-Addo last Wednesday night at the Jubilee House in Accra when he swore in a five-member Committee of Emoluments for Article 71 Officeholders.


Dr. Janet Ampadu-Fofie, a lawyer and recently retired chair of the Public Services Commission, serves as the committee’s chair.

The members are Professor George Gyan-Baffuor, chairman of the National Development Planning Commission, Gloria Ofori-Buadu, an attorney and women’s rights activist, Prof. Isaac Osei-Akoto, research fellow at the University of Ghana’s Institute of Statistical, Social, and Economic Research (ISSER), and Benjamin Arthur, chief executive of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission.

The Official Oath and the Secrecy Oath were taken by them.

The committee’s mandate is to suggest changes to the emoluments and other privileges granted to Article 71 Officeholders in accordance with the Constitution.

The committee is required to look into any other pertinent information that it deems acceptable for its task.

President Akufo-Addo said that recently, there has been public discussion over public officials’ compensation that has been predominantly focused on those of Article 71 Officeholders.


The argument, according to the President, was focused on “whether or not we are deserving of what is being paid to us in light of the challenges currently facing our national economy, notwithstanding the Constitutional imperative.”

In light of this, he advised the committee that it’s possible that their work should also concentrate on those issues and offer suggestions for how to resolve them. Ex gratia

According to President Akufo-Addo, it appears that the constitutional mandate to create the Committee of Emoluments for Article 71 Officeholders, which will evaluate the emoluments of Article 71 officeholders, binds every President of the Republic. Ex gratia

“I believe it could be worthwhile for us to look at how other jurisdictions operate.

For instance, the American system, where the rules are set and automatically altered in accordance with specific objective standards,” he continued.

Article 71

Article 71 (1) of the Constitution authorizes the establishment of the five-member committee and directs the President to appoint it in order to establish the facilities and privileges available to his office, the Vice-President’s office, the Speaker’s office, Members of Parliament, and a group of nine officeholders listed in that Article. Ex gratia

The President and Parliament must approve the recommendations of the five-person committee.

The Council of State’s recommendations are followed when deciding the committee’s makeup.

President Akufo-Addo stated, “I have chosen you to this committee on the advice of the council of responsible Ghanaians as ideally qualified to execute this vital role, and I sincerely congratulate each and every one of you on your appointment.

In order to establish some consistency, he urged the committee to draw upon the work of earlier committees, specifically those led by Yaa Ntiamoah Badu, Marian Ewurama Addy, Mary Chinnery Hesse, Ishmael Yamson, Miranda Greenstreet, and Francisca Dora Edu-Buandoh.

The committee members will have difficult work ahead of them, but the president emphasized that he expected them to be up to it and submit their reports quickly.

The committee was guaranteed by President Akufo-Addo his complete support for the task and the support of his government at any time while they worked on it. Ex gratia

On behalf of the committee, Dr. Ampadu-Fofie thanked the government and the Council of State for their trust.

She assured them that they would work quickly and diligently to carry out their duty.


The money awarded to Members of Parliament (MPs) and other Article 71 Officeholders every four years is cumulative salary arrears (gratuity), not ex gratia, according to a recent statement by Speaker of the House Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin.

He claimed that most lawmakers, including himself as Speaker, did not know their actual salaries until the end of their four-year terms, a practice he called “wrong” at the start of every new parliament.

The Speaker said that whenever Ghanaians discussed the parliamentary budget, they thought of it as funding for the wages and working conditions of the members of parliament, “especially what people refer to as ex gratia.”

“Gratuity is different from ex gratia; what they pay MPs is gratuity, and it is another wrong practice because as we sit here in our third year, which is three years down, I as the Speaker do not know my salary,” he said.

Unstable salary

Mr. Bagbin added, “My salary has not yet been fixed and so every month I am paid something based on what my predecessor was earning,” during a visit to the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL).

But as we are all aware, the labor movement tries to renegotiate with the government each year, and at the end of the four years, the government announces your wage.

And since that will undoubtedly be larger than the first year, they must pay you back pay.

The Speaker stated that it is these arrears that balloon to the amount that the Members of Parliament receive at the conclusion of four years, which is known as ex gratia.

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