A leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Yaw Dabie Appiah Mensah, has called for the scrapping of the ex-gratia paid to Members of Parliament (MPs) after every four years.
According to him, the present economic state of the nation (amidst surging cases of Coronavirus disease) required the immediate scrapping of the huge emoluments paid to the MPs.
“They are part of Article 71 office holders whose salaries and emoluments are determined by committees set up by the President, and are awarded huge lump sum as ex-gratia after every general election every four years,” he stated.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Odumase in the Sunyani West Municipality, Mr Appiah, who is a former organiser of the NPP, indicated that governments around the world were spending huge sums of money to manage and contain the COVID-19.
"It's urgent the nation considers a realistic approach and generates more funds locally to tackle the COVID-19 proactively and to make Ghana safe for her people. I strongly believe it is among this and other factors that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reduce his ministerial portfolio to save the national coffers.
"You agree with me that we are not in normal times and so everybody must sacrifice for the nationwide fight against this COVID-19, which has potential to devastate and drain the national economy. If we don't take radical measures, the nation will go into huge economic crisis which will be extremely difficult to repair", Mr Appiah added.
The former NPP organiser stressed that the COVID-19 had had a huge impact on the nation and thereby worsened the socio-economic conditions of many Ghanaians who were currently living in abject poverty, saying it would be unfair and unreasonable for the nation to continue to pay the MPs ex-gratia while their constituents suffered economic hardships.
"I am not painting the picture that the MPs and other Article 71 office holders don't deserve the ex-gratia, but my brother you will agree with me that President Akufo-Addo is struggling and spending too much to contain this COVID-19 and at the same time to meet the development needs of the people. - GNA