Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, a former MP for Tamale Central, has stated that the 1992 Constitution of Ghana does not give room for Article 71 officeholders to be paid what is known as ex-gratia.
He indicated that it is only retirement benefits that these public servants are entitled to thus after their term of office – something that has been given the nomenclature ex-gratia by the general public.
Fuseini, therefore, called for the scrapping of the retirement benefits of Article 71 officeholders.
He argued that they are misplaced due to the fact that MPs and other Article 71 officeholders are contract workers and as such must receive their retirement benefits at the end of their tenure.
“There’s no ex-gratia, there’s nothing like ex-gratia. Ex-gratia is a lexicon taken from the ordinary people and put on the payments to Members of Parliament. There’s no ex-gratia in the constitution. The constitution says they should pay you retirement benefits,” Alhaji Inusah Fuseini speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, Wednesday, June 8.
He explained that the pension scheme Members of Parliament contribute to should not be confused with retirement benefits.
“…No, because you’re a contract worker. You’re working for four years and at the end of the four years, you’re gone. So your retirement benefits will be calculated on the basis of your salary.
“This is not the case, the principle is quite different. With the greatest respect, it’s all over the world. In fact, in Britain, it’s called gratuity. Even the court in Apasera called it gratuity.
“Gratuity means you’re working, you’re being paid salary and when your contract ends they pay you a percentage of your salary as gratuity,” Alhaji Inusah Fuseini stressed.
He continued: “I agree there is some kind of conspiracy and that is what is evoking the anger of the people that you can’t bring together a class of people and treat them differently. So when His Excellency John Mahama was in power, I remember this matter came out very seriously, very prominently, and he thought that committee [Presidential Emoluments Committee] should be a standing committee.
“And it should not be at the instance of a sitting President. And any time there’s a new parliament, you don’t need to change the members unless you replace some who are dead or who cannot perform then they take decisions.”