A Governance expert, Dr. Kodjoe Sumney has called for the overhaul of salaries and end-of-service benefits for Article 71 office holders, especially the Council of State salaries to be able to revamp the economy.

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

Dr. Sumney a Human Rights Activist and Philanthropist said this in a 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 overhauled for now.

“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, this country wastes resources,” he said.

Dr. Sumney further made a very telling point about how the elites in this country are dissipating the scarce resources we have., stressing that members of the Council of state or the representing in parliament or what we call members of parliament are people already well resourced and their work is purely voluntary and you know members of the Council of State are people of accomplishment in their lives.


“Most often retired in their positions with their pensions and emoluments then you come on a Council, and as I said in my earlier statement, you pay him regularly every month with other privileges, then after all that, you send huge money of over three hundred thousand cedis to him 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 bringing the 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, so much is on the small roof of citizens serving the country, and a tip is given to the large majority of people who toil day and night,” he stated.

He 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, take an active role, and 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, but because many people with integrity stand unconcern, made those who Have no heart for the nation to lead and loot the state resources.

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 the citizens though sometimes is not satisfactory.

He also commended the Speaker, 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 is due to his experience and a long stay in parliament.”

Mr. Edem Senanu, Chairman for Advocates for Christ, the lead Organiser for the National Christian Forum to review Ghana at 65,  said it was high time  Christians take the central role in politics and not for persons with ungodly character to manage the nation and its resources.

He said despite the abundant resources given to us by God, the country lacks behind a community of nations in terms of development because of the lack of persons with pure moral character and integrity to lead,

He explained that the National Christian Forum 2022 is to evaluate the performance of the three arms of government and the Church in promoting and consolidating good governance for accelerated national development.

The forum, Mr. Senanu noted is necessary because it is being organized at a time the nation’s economy is crawling, the cost of living is rising, and the poverty gap is widening.

With that, he added the National Christian Forum and accepted the challenge and responsibility to lead a discussion on reviewing the quality of Governance we have experienced identify the gaps and distill God-inspired strategies, solutions and innovations to move the country forward.

It provides thought leadership space for the Christian community including professionals, ministers and activists to contribute to national policies and to own the agenda for progress.

The forum also takes an in-depth look at the impact of the 3 arms of government, thus the Legislature, Judiciary, and Executive on Ghana’s development over 65years of nationhood.

Though Ghana is celebrated globally for its democratic credentials and provides exemplary political leadership in the West African sub-region, many Ghanaians are dissatisfied with the quality of governance and believe it could be better than what has been experienced.

Mr. Senanu bemoaned the high levels of reported corruption and waste of public resources, even though all the organs of Government are supposed to be functioning and fulfilling their constitutional mandates.

He said Ghana’s problem isn’t the fact that leaders are human, the problem is not being honest about a leader’s humanity and Churches and Christian organizations must stop ignoring red flags that indicate leadership integrity gaps.

The forum focuses on what has worked. What has not worked? What can we do better moving forward? as a nation and as Christians?

Some other lead Speakers were and include legal luminary Mrs. Clara Beeri Kasser-Tee who will be assessing the Effectiveness of the Judicial Arm of Government for the past 65yrs.

Mrs. Clara Beeri Kasser-Tee is the founder and Head of Kasser Law firm and a member of the Ghana Bar Association.

Nonpartisan/Independent Presidential Hopeful, Mr. Jacob Osei Yeboah(aka JOY) – will be evaluating the Effectiveness of the Executive Arm of Government for the past 65yrs

An Engineer, Entrepreneur and astute Strategist – Mr. Osei- Yeboah contested the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections.

Earlier on Thursday, August 26, the General Overseer of the Great Commission Church International, Rev. JFK Mensah evaluates the Church’s role in the governance of the nation over the past 65yrs.

Rev Mensah  who has been in Ministry for over three decades, disciples many state and non-state actors and is a celebrated international leadership trainer  called on Christians to uphold integrity in both public and private lives


Source: expressnewsghana.com

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