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NGO calls for review of Article 71 of Constitution

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

Mission of Hope Society, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has called for the review of Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution.

The Chief Executive Officer of the NGO, Mr Gabriel Gbiel Benarkuu,  said a national policy guideline on emoluments for public sector workers was urgently needed to bring sanity to the labour front.

Article 71 of the Constitution determines certain emoluments for public sector workers, including the Speaker of Parliament, Chief Justice, Auditor General, Commissioners and Members of Parliament, among others.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Sunyani on the issue of the ex gratia paid to Members of Parliament, Mr Benarkuu explained that the policy would spell out specific fringe benefits for all Article 71 office holders, more especially after their term of office.

He explained that the Constitution gave more powers to ordinary citizens, hence the need for government to seek public view on issues such as payment of such emoluments

Mr Benarkuu said the Local Government law also enjoined the government to involve the citizens in the  decision making process.

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“It is unfortunate that the President just went ahead to establish a committee to work on emoluments of public sector officers without consultation with the citizens,” he said.

Mr Benarkuu pointed out that for the nation to have a sustainable road map, the government needed to resource and empower constitutionally established organisations such as the National Commission for Civic Education to embark on a nationwide public education for the citizenry to appreciate how the government managed the nation’s resources.

“The Ministry of Information should also be very proactive at the regional and district levels so that the public would be abreast of plans and activities of the government,” he said.

This, he said, would empower the citizens to contribute to national issues. - GNA