Professor Baffour Agyeman-Duah, a former Senior United Nations Governance Advisor, claims that Ghana’s 1992 constitution has created jobs for persons who don’t really need them.
He was referring to the Council of State’s earning monthly wages and ex-gratia during and after their terms of service to the state, respectively.
According to him, the institution of the Council of State, with its high level of prestige, and its membership should be viewed as a volunteer activity rather than a full-time job.
In an interview with JoyNews’ PM Express, he said,
“You see the Council of State is not for riff-raffs. If you look at membership, even as prescribed by the constitution, members should be people of means, people who have served their nation to a very high level, who have accomplished whatever that they have tried to do, so normally you’re coming to that Council not as somebody from the street or somebody who owns nothing, somebody who has never built.
“So I take the word volunteer very seriously, but apparently it’s not a volunteer’s job. It’s a job, paid job. In other words, we have created or the constitution has created jobs for people who don’t need jobs, because most of them are presumably retired from their positions.”
His remark was in response to the Agbogbomefia of Asogli, Togbe Afede XIV, returning 365,000 ex-gratia for his service on the Council of State.
“I believe it was paid to everybody who served on the Council of State. However, I thought that extra payment was inappropriate for a short, effectively part-time work, for which I received a monthly salary and was entitled to other privileges. So, I was very uncomfortable with it,” Togbe Afede said.
Professor Agyeman-Duah emphasized the importance of the gesture , saying “it is such an honourable position to be, it should not be attached to a salary as if you’re waking up every morning five o’clock, preparing yourself to go to work. It’s not. Technically maybe 4 times a year, of course it can be a 100 times a year depending on the needs of the President.”