A lot of people have been employed in the public sector in Ghana but without appointment letters clearly describing their job functions, a Professor at the University of Ghana Business School who is also a Human Resource Specialist, Kwasi Amponsah Tawiah, has said.
He said these people are drawing salaries at the end of every month for no work done.
He mentioned this while contributing to a discussion on the decision of the First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo to refund all the allowances paid her to the state.
On Tuesday July 13, Mrs Akufo-Addo issued a Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited cheque for GH¢899,097.84 as a refund of all allowances received since 2017.
She had announced on Monday, July 12, that due to the “extremely negative opinions” which have laced conversations on her allowances, she was refunding every pesewa.
She also served notice not to receive any monies that have been allocated to be paid to her pursuant to recommendations of the Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee, which was tasked in 2019 to review emoluments of Article 71 office holders.
She found the public debate “distasteful, seeking to portray her as a venal, self-serving and self-centered woman who does not care about the plight of ordinary Ghanaian”.
Barely 24 hours after that, her office wrote to the Chief of Staff, Frema Osei Opare, to present the cheque number for the full refund of the monies.
“Her Excellency, the First Lady remains committed to her role as First Lady and is devoted to her charity work championing the wellbeing of women and children in Ghana,” wrote Mrs Shirley Laryea of the Office of the First Lady.
Professor Tawiah told TV3’s Abena Tabi that his comments do not mean that the First and Second Ladies do not play any function in the development of the country.
“This has been a practice in the country where people are assigned responsibilities without even being job descriptions and. That is the extent to which we have gone.
“Bringing it into the larger space and the where we find ourselves in now, you will reckon that the services being rendered by the First and Second lady ladies in the country, as we can all attest to, is quite valuable. If you look at their contribution to the country, quite valuable. But here we are now, discussing whether indeed they even have locus to perform certain functions in the country.
“In most public sector organizations we employ people without even appointment letters and job description and they are drawing salaries and that is what is playing out now.
“It is a truism that these people are offering themselves up to be of support to. If you look at the first lady and the things she did at KATH, quite super in terms of helping out the hospital with and also other activities she had been engaged in.
“If you look at what the second lady is doing as providing inspirations to the Zongo ladies and providing support, quite good. But the question we need to address is what their locus is?
He further said Mrs Akufo-Addo should not have returned the allowances paid her to the state.
In his view, Mrs Akufo-Addo should have held on with the decision until a committee is put in place to determine whether or not First and Second Ladies should be paid those allowances.
“I don’t think that it will resolve the issues. We all know that the First Lady the Second Lady occupy offices and they have staff who work with them.
“I guess what is actually happening now is because of the hullabaloo surrounding it, as a first step in trying to create some sanity in the system they decided to return it.
“But I would have thought that that could have been held on for some critical look, because at the end of the day perhaps if a committee is put in place and we look at all these things and say yes it was right for them to be paid and now we are going to back them back?”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana