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10 January 2017

Retirement home for Ex presidents a vital incentive – Avedzi

james-kluste-avedzi-650x406Parliament approved the provision of accommodation for the immediate past President, John Dramani Mahama, because it found it prudent that office holders such as Presidents, ought to be motivated in this manner in order for them to be committed in their service to the nation, Deputy Minority Leader in Parliament, James Avedzi has said.

Mr. Avedzi’s remarks followed a statement from former President Mahama’s office informing the new administration that he will maintain his current residence following discussions by the transition team.

The statement also argued that the sixth Parliament, before its dissolution, approved the former President receiving a house as part of his package as a former office holder.

But the spokesperson of the current government on the transition team, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah in a Citi News interview, said there has been no approval given to the former president to keep the house.

Assurance of accommodation prudent

This notwithstanding, Mr. Avedzi explained on Eyewitness News that, Parliament was unanimous in its reasoning that it was prudent to reward an outgoing president with accommodation, given restraints that kept the office holder from improving him or herself financially.

“On the other hand, Parliament felt that denying the outgoing president accommodation “was not the best because you do that, people cannot give up their best to be president and somebody who is president can say; if don’t make money now and build my own home when I leave, I will not be provided with accommodation,” the legislator said.

“That is why we thought that [a house] must be part of the provisions so that if I know I am a President today and I am serving this country, if tomorrow I am no longer the President, at least the state can provide for my accommodation. It is an incentive for me to work harder and not think about finding a way to amass wealth in order to build my own home. This is the idea that Parliament used,” Mr. Avedzi said.

Conflict with committee recommendations

It should be noted that the sixth Parliament’s stance on the matter was in contrast to the recommendations made by the Prof. Dora Francisca Edu-Buandoh committee tasked to review emoluments of Article 71 office holders.

The committee recommended that the former president should not be given a house in Accra and another location of his choice outside the capital as has been the norm but instead be given 40 percent of his salary to be paid monthly.

Source: citifmonline.com

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