The Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye has directed the House Committee to take immediate steps in setting up a Pension Scheme for Members of Parliament.
The Committee is expected to work hand-in-hand with the Majority and Minority Chief Whips of the House to ensure that the proposed Pension Scheme becomes a reality.
It is also expected to examine other welfare matters to take care of former MPs and those who go retirement after their tenure of service.
“Hon. Members, it is important for us to seriously consider matters relating to former Members of the House. We all know that the lives of many former Members are not as we would like to see. In fact, it pains me personally to see how we look like after we have served and people think these are people who are making money in this country. It is painful”, the Speaker noted.
The move will compliment an insurance package the House is working on with the State Insurance Company (SIC) for its Members.
Prof Oquaye’s directive follows a concern raised by the Member for Pusiga, Hajia Laadi Ayamba on the floor of House about the poor living conditions of former legislators.
The Pusiga MP was contributing to a statement made by Majority leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu eulogizing Dr Kwabena Adjei, a former Majority leader of the House who died recently.
According to Hajia Ayamba, the deceased contributed significantly to Ghana’s democratic dispensation but was unfortunately neglected and forgotten.
The very emotional Speaker urged the current lawmakers to be guided by the poor living conditions of former MPs to enable them put their houses in order before going on retirement.
“We all know that it is more true than what has even been said but we don’t do anything about it – we don’t see it. Unfortunately, the public office even don’t sympathize with us”, he added.
Matters bothering the poor living conditions of retiring MPs have long been discussed by the House but very little or no effort has been made to address them.
It therefore remains to be seen whether there would be a change this time around considering the public reaction which has often greeted such discourse whenever they are raised.
The public consider the MPs to be enriching themselves while in office and also take very fat End-of-Service Benefit after every four years regardless of the retention or otherwise of the legislator.
Dr. Kwabena Adjei, a former Majority Leader of Parliament and Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) was a pioneering legislature when the fourth republican constitution was birthed.
Profile of Dr. Kwabena Adjei’s
1978/1979: Elected Council Member: Jasikan District Council, Jasikan, Volta, Region, Ghana.
1979-1981: Parliamentary Candidate Biakoye for the Popular Front Party
1986-1987: PNDC Deputy Secretary (Deputy Minister of State) for the Volta Region, Republic Of Ghana.
1987-1992: PNDC Deputy Secretary (Deputy Minister of State) for Industries, Science & Technology, Republic Of Ghana.
1998/1992: Member Of Committee Of Secretaries (The PNDC Cabinet),
1992: Key Member since the founding of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in 1992.
1993/1996: Member of Parliament (MP) for the Biakoye Constituency, Parliament of the 4th Republic Of Ghana.
1993/1994: First Deputy Majority Chief Whip: Parliament of the 4th Republic of Ghana.
1994: Majority Chief Whip: Parliament of the 4th Republic of Ghana.
1994: Deputy Minister for Lands & Forestry: Republic Of Ghana.
1994/1996: Minister for Lands & Forestry: Republic Of Ghana.
1996/2000: Member of Parliament (MP) for the Biakoye, Parliament of the 4th Republic of Ghana.
1997/1998: Cabinet Minister for Lands & Forestry, Republic of Ghana.
1998: Cabinet Minister for Food & Agriculture, Republic of Ghana.
1998/2000: Leader of The House (Majority Leader): Parliament of 4th Republic of Ghana.
1998/2000: Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Forth Republic of Ghana
Chairman of Business Committee, Parliament of the 4th Republic of Ghana.
Member of Select Committee, Parliament of the 4th Republic of Ghana.
2001/2004: Member of Parliament (MP) for the Biakoye Constituency, Parliament Of The Fourth Republic of Ghana.
Member of Finance Committee, Parliament, Republic of the 4th Republic of Ghana
Member of Health Committee, Parliament of the 4th Republic of Ghana.
2005: National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC)
2009: Chairman of Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund).