A Professor at the University of Ghana Business School who is also a Human Resource Specialist, Kwasi Amponsah Tawiah, has said the First Lady Rebecca 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.
His comments come after Mrs Akufo-Addo has refunded all the allowances paid her since 2017.
On Tuesday July 13, she 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 Amponsah Tawiah told TV3’s Abena Tabi that “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?”