After reading the news report below tell me if I am making the wrong decision to become Ghana’s next president in 2013.
Ghana is rewarding its former president with a grandeur retirement package that is already raising serious concerns in the West African country. The presidential committee on emolument recommended a lavish living for ex-president John Kufuor, who stepped down voluntarily on January 7 2009.
The committee recommended that the former president of this third world country should be given fully furnished residences that befit a former president at a place of his choice – one in the capital Accra and another out of the national capital.
He is also going home with six fully maintained comprehensively insured, fuelled and chauffeured-driven cars to be replaced every four years. The fleet comprises three salon cars, two cross country cars and one all-purpose vehicle, the website of a private radio station Joy FM reported.
The Chinery Hesse Committee’s report was approved by the Fourth Parliament before it was dissolved. The Minority Leader of the current Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu has justified the recommendations saying it is “the country’s gratitude to the former president.”
Applies to all past presidents
The recommendations also apply to all former presidents of Ghana elected constitutionally including ex-president Rawlings. The Committee said the facilities that would be accorded the president would be maintained by the State but would not revert to the state when the former president dies.
The former president would also have access to police escort due to the traffic congestion in the country as well as for security reasons.
According to the report, the former president and spouse are entitled to one oversee travel once a year with a maximum duration of 45 days, but if he had served two consecutive terms, he would be entitled to 65 days.
The former first couple, in addition to their privileges will travel on diplomatic passports and courtesies accompanied by three professional and personal assistants and adequate security.
The ex-president will have a 24-hour security services, entertainment package for his leisure among others at the expense of the state.
The committee also recommended that the former president would receive a non-taxable ex-gratia award equivalent to 12 months consolidated salary for each full year of service but where the president serves a second consecutive term, an additional non-taxable resettlement grant of six moths consolidated salary for each full year of service or pro rata would be paid together with non-taxable ex-gratia of 12 months consolidated salary for each year in office.
Are we as a developing country being too extravagant or just being grateful to our past leaders? I’ll love to hear your thoughts.