Article 71 needs thorough deliberations

The Presidential Committee on Emoluments (PCE) for Article 71 Officeholders set up by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is working round the clock to determine the gratuity of public officeholders as provided for under the 1992 Constitution. 


The five-member committee, which is chaired by Prof. Janet Ampadu-Fofie, is required, per the terms of reference, to make recommendations on the emoluments and other privileges for Article 71 Officeholders

Article 71 officeholders are 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.

Set up on August 31, 2023, the PCE is further mandated to examine any other relevant matters it deems appropriate to its work. 

Again, the PCE is required to review the work of previous PCEs and to take a critical look at public concerns on the issues that have arisen from the implementation of Article 71.

By implication, the committee will review works done by previous committees such as the Greenstreet Committee established by President J.J. Rawlings in 1993 and 1998;  Chinery-Hesse Committee set up by President John Agyekum Kufuor in 2004 and 2008;  Yamson Committee set up by President John Evans Atta Mills to review the 2008 report submitted by Chinery-Hesse Committee in 2009;  Ewurama Addy Committee set up by President John Evans Atta Mills in 2010;  Edu-Buandoh Committee set up by President John Mahama in 2016, and Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee set up by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in 2020.

After contacting prominent individuals for their input, the committee is currently engaging key groups and institutions for their views on some thorny issues to help make recommendations on the best way forward to the President.

At the latest public engagement on March 19 involving participants drawn from key stakeholders such as the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC), Ghana Medical Association (GMA), there was a popular view that allowances and other salaries associated with Article 71 Officeholders must be scrapped.

Those who belong to that school of thought vehemently stated that the benefits extended to that category of public officeholders under the 1992 Constitution is unfair as it has created a class system in the Ghanaian society.

They made a case that it was unacceptable for just a few officeholders in the Article 71 category to be given a colossal amount of money after a short stint in office while most public sector workers providing crucial services retire after almost three decades with virtually nothing to show in terms of gratuity.

The view by the participants in the forum for the scrapping of what has been described as ex gratia feeds into a wider concern by members of the public for Article 71 to be scrapped.

There is also a strong case being made that rather than waiting until the last year of the President to set up the PCE, the exercise must be undertaken in the first year of the President.

The proponents of this view say the current situation where the PCE is set up during the last year of the President’s tenure in office has created a trend where elected Members of Parliament (MPs) and ministers do not receive their ex gratia after they leave Parliament.

For instance, at the PCE public engagement, some MPs and ministers who left office about 20 years ago said they were owed ex gratia by the state.

The former legislators and ministers were worried about the erroneous impression being created in the minds of members of the public that they were given huge sums of money as ex gratia.

According to them, because presidents always set up the PCE in the last year of their tenure, the MPs do not get salary increment during their four-year term in office. As a result, when the salary arrears are calculated and added to the gratuity at the end of their term in office, it creates the impression that they were given huge ex gratia.

The Daily Graphic believes that building national consensus on the way forward on the matter of the gratuity for Article 71 Officeholders is crucial for us as a country.

We share in the view put forward by the Chairperson of the PCE that the conversation on Article 71 must be dispassionate, logical and devoid of emotions and unnecessary partisanship, given that a bold decision must be taken in the national interest.

We submit that after over 30 years of existence of the 1992 Constitution, it is imperative to have a critical look at the provisions of Article 71 within the context of the country’s current socio-economic context and take the best decision on the way forward.


When there is overwhelming case for a review of Article 71 of the Constitution in the national interest, all hands must be on deck.

This is especially so when Article 71 of the Constitution is an entrenched provision that requires a referendum for amendment.

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