President Nana Akufo-Addo’s side of the transition team has said the government is yet to approve former President Mahama’s request to keep his current place of abode as his retirement home.
In a statement from Mr. Mahama’s office, the former Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, duly informed the new administration that the former president will keep the facility following discussions by the Joint Transition team.
The statement also argued that, the sixth Parliament, before its dissolution, also approved that Mr. Mahama maintains the house as part of his retirement package.
But the spokesperson to Akufo-Addo’s side of the transition team, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah in a Citi News interview, said there’s no approval yet for the former president to keep the house.
“The former president has made a request, that request will be decided on and a decision will be communicated. As I speak to you, a decision is yet to be communicated on it. Mr. Omane Boamah’s statement is that they in the previous administration took a decision and communicated that decision. Obviously that cannot be the case.”
[contextly_sidebar id=”Va8XleNZdMOvTItCdtlT3KlBH5XTLWj7″]“As per their own letter, it is a request; because they expressed a wish that this is what they would like. That needs to be decided on and communicated. We don’t need to create a farce about this; lets just take it easy, let the decision be made and communicated. All I can say is that, the request has been made, President Akufo-Addo and his team will take a decision and that decision will be communicated,” he added.
A letter signed by former Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, dated December 19, 2016, requested that the NPP allows Mr. Mahama to take the current bungalow he occupies as part of his retirement package.
“Reference our (Osafo-Marfo/Debrah) discussion of 19th December, 2016 on the above-stated subject, we wish to indicate that H.E. President John Dramani Mahama would like to have bungalow No. 3, Prestige Link, Cantonments, Accra and its adjoining facilities as his official retirement home.”
“H.E. also wishes to have Bungalow No.6, 3rd Avenue, Ridge, Accra as his office. We count on your usual cooperation in this matter,” the letter added.
Don’t give Mahama bungalow
Mahama’s request came on the back of recommendations made by the Prof. Dora Francisca Edu- Buandoh committee tasked to review emoluments of Article 71 office holders including the former president’s retirement package.
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 Mahama should rather receive “40 percent of [his] salary to be paid monthly.”
This was a deviation from the Chinery-Hesse Committee Report (2001-2005) which said; former Presidents should receive “one fully furnished residence in the national capital and one out-of-capital residence at a location of the former President’s choice; all of which should not revert to the state in the event of the demise of the former President.”
The committee’s report sighted by citifmonline.com also recommended that John Mahama should retire on a salary of GH¢22,809, up from the non-taxable salary of GH¢15,972 previously approved for presidents.
By: Godwin A. Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana