Has Prez Mahama Received His Ex-Gratia?

National Youth Organizer of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Abu Ramadan, is questioning whether Members of Parliament for the 5th Parliament of the Fourth Republic, who have been paid in excess of Ghc40m as end of service benefits really deserve that quantum of money as ex-gratia.

Government is reported to have released monies to be paid to former Members of Parliament as their gratuity. The 230 MPs who served in the fifth Parliament will collective bag home Ghc47m.

Those who lost their seats will each take home Ghc311, 000 while those who retained their seats will each get Ghc277, 000.

But the news has been received with negative feelings from the public with the legislators coming under severe criticisms especially in the wake of the agitations for better conditions of service and salary arrears by University Teachers, Doctors, Pharmacists and Judicial Service staff.

Contributing to discussions on Peace FM’s “Kokrokoo” Morning Show, the concerned PNC National Youth Organizer quizzed government whether such payments are necessary eventhough it is constitutionally mandatory. He also questioned whether the MPs have done any meaningful job to deserve that amount of money as ex-gratia.

“In totality, do our MP’s really deserve this quantum of ex-gratia payment? It’s not about what the constitution says, it’s about whether or not the MP’s have done due diligence and have served mother Ghana the way they must do. That is what we are supposed to ask. Because, seriously, our Members of Parliament can approve budget without doing a proper scrutiny of the expenditure, and receive such an amount? This is worrisome,” he said.

He wondered whether an average teacher who has been teaching for over two decades will even receive half of the monies given to each MPs when they go on retirement.

“It wouldn’t be possible for the teacher to even receive such an amount of money upon retirement……this is almost about twenty to thirty years of the teacher’s salary and,…all this is being given to just one politician. So then the teacher will ask whether his profession is important. It also begs the question; must we all now go into politics? Because now surely politics is the quickest means of amassing wealth,” he said

The PNC National Youth Organiser sought to find out if the “President or the government is really serious? Looking at the state of the economy now and government disburses such an amount of money to former MP’s; for what? Though it is mandatory, the timing of the payment is wrong. So has the President also received his ex-gratia?” he quizzed.