Kufuor exits in posh

Former President J.A. KufuorThe presidential committee on emolument has recommended a lavish living for ex-president John Agyekum Kufuor for serving his two consecutive terms as president of Ghana.

The committee recommended that the former president should be given fully furnished residences that befit a former president at a place of his choice – one in Accra and another out of the national capital.

In addition, the former president would be entitled among other privileges to six fully maintained comprehensively insured, fuelled and chauffeured-driven cars to be replaced every four years. The fleet comprise of three salon cars, two cross country cars and one all-purpose vehicle.

The recommendations cited by Joy News are contained in a strictly confidential report of the Chinery Hesse Committee which reviewed the facilities and privileges for constitutional office holders.

The committee’s report was approved by the Fourth Parliament before it was dissolved.

The recommendations would, however, not be applied to only ex-President Kufuor but to all former presidents of Ghana elected constitutionally.

The facilities that would be accorded the president would be maintained by the states but would not revert to the state when the former president dies.

The report also noted that travelling in congested traffic by the former president would be facilitated by police escort bearing in minds security considerations.

According to the report, the former president and spouse are entitled to one oversee travel once a year with a maximum duration of 45 days, but if he had served two consecutive terms, he would be entitled to 65 days.

The former first couple, in addition to their privileges will travel on diplomatic passports and courtesies accompanied by three professional and personal assistants and adequate security.

The ex-president will have a 24-hour security services, entertainment package for his leisure among others at the expense of the state.

The committee also recommends that the former president would receive a non-taxable ex-gratia award equivalent to 12 months consolidated salary for each full year of service but where the president serves a second consecutive term, an additional non-taxable resettlement grant of six moths consolidated salary for each full year of service or pro rata would be paid together with non-taxable ex-gratia of 12 months consolidated salary for each year in office.

Even before former President J.A. Kufuor starts enjoying these privileges, critics are raising eyebrow over the benefits with recourse to the treatment he handed to his predecessor, former President J.J.Rawlings.

Story by Isaac Essel