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Scrap Council of State, payment of ex-gratia to free Ghanaians -Governance Expert tells Akufo-Addo

Scrap Council of State, payment of ex-gratia to free Ghanaians -Governance Expert tells Akufo-Addo

A Governance expert, Dr. Kodjoe Sumney has added his voice to the calls by a cross-section of the Ghanaian public for the scrapping of the Council of State and payment of end-of-service benefits (ex-gratia) to Article 71 holders.

He also advocated strongly for the abolishment of the Council of State which according to him adds nothing to the governance architecture of Ghana.

He described the continuous payment of over 30 people as Council of State and ex-gratia to Members of Parliament and key government officers every four years as insensitive and irrelevant.

Dr. Sumney, who is also a Human Rights Activist and Philanthropist made the call in an exclusive interview with Gbcghanaonline, after his presentation on the topic,” the Effectiveness of the Legislative Arm of Government for the past 65yrs,” at the 2022 Edition of the National Christian Forum in Accra on Friday, August 27, 2022.

According to him, the payment of ex-gratia and other emoluments to Article 71 office holders amounts to squandering the country’s resources and should be scrapped.

“We are a poor country, going around the world begging and borrowing yet we have money to waste on unproductive institutions. Can you tell me the use of the Council of state members? They are about 30 or 31 and we are paying each of them about 26 Thousand Cedis every month. So how can we go about begging? What is the use of that council of state? , as I have said, the handlers of this country are just wasting resources,” he said.

Dr. Sumney further revealed how the elites in this country are dissipating the country’s scarce resources. Stressing that members of the Council of State Members of Parliament, and ministers of state are people already well-resourced and, therefore, their work should be purely voluntary.

“Just take a very good assessment of all 31 or so people constituting the Council of State and you realize that these are people of accomplishment in their lives”. He added.

“Most of them have retired from their various organisation as Chief Executives, or head top positions with their pensions and emoluments pay to them and then they come on to the Council, and as I said in my earlier statement, you pay them regularly salaries every month with other privileges, then after all that, you send huge money of over Three Hundred Thousand Cedis to each one of them as ex-gratia?

Dr. Sumney, therefore, called for an overhaul of the policy, describing it as a drain on the economy, pointing out that, there is a need for the citizenry to invoke their constitutional powers and call for a referendum to change the constitution.

He said when the citizens rise, they would succeed because, “Those who are in the position to change the system will not do so, because they stand to benefit…Today, we are running a system where the elites continue to exploit the country. Go to other state-owned agencies and the kinds of packages they have to walk away with and we can’t pay our workers and they have to demonstrate, that we can’t pay our teachers. I think we need to overhaul the system” he reiterated.

Dr. Sumney also called for a paradigm shift of national focus, from all especially Christians, and that if the Christian majority sits unconcern for the few who in his view does not have the mindset of nationalism and patriotism to lead the nation, the entire populace would continue to suffer.

He charged Christians to rise, and take an active role in politics, so as to have the deciding right as to who leads the nation, emphasizing that the role of a Christian is to stand for the right and moral thing to be done.

“Ghana finds herself at the dead end of the road because many Christians with integrity stand unconcern, and allow those who have no heart for the nation to lead and loot the state resources” Dr. Sumney alluded.

Asked if the current “hung” Parliament of Ghana was doing what is expected of the Legislative arm of government, Dr. Sumney said so far the legislators have distinguished themselves creditably and have been able to hold the government to account to an extent though the citizens sometimes are not satisfied especially those from the ruling party.

He also commended the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin for the good work so far, saying, “so far the speaker has been able to steer the affairs of parliament very well and I think this is due to his experience and a long stay in parliament.”



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