Samira Bawumia refunds allowances, rejects new ones

Mr. and Mrs Bawumia

The wife of the Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has decided to refund all state allowances paid her since 2017.

Mrs Samira Bawumia has also said she will not accept any monies allocated to her pursuant to the recommendations of the Ntiamoa-Baidu-led committee as approved by parliament on 6 January 2021.

Mrs Bawumia, in a statement, however, said she remains committed to the service of the nation and will continue to deliver humanitarian intervention and initiatives in the areas of health, education, and economic empowerment.

Her decision comes hours after First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo took the same position.

The two women have received public backlash over the government’s decision to pay them salaries equivalent to that of cabinet ministers.

Although the culture of paying allowances to first ladies and the wives of vice-presidents has existed since the era of former President Jerry John Rawlings, the Ntiamoa-Baidu committee set up to recommend the salaries and emoluments of Article 71 holders recommended that Mrs Akufo-Addo and Mrs Bawumia be paid salaries.

The majority of Ghanaians from civil society groups, opposition parties, media, and the general public kicked against the recommendation.