Issues of benefit payment to former President John Dramani Mahama continue to play out as the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) Earnest Owusu-Bempah Bonsu has debunked the National Democratic Congress (NDC) leader’s recent claims.
Mr Mahama had disclaimed enjoying privileges and pegs worth some GH₵15 million when he granted an interview to TV3. According to him, nothing more than his monthly pension is paid to him as a former President of the Republic.
“They [incumbent government] say they pay my electricity bills; that’s not true. I pay the electricity bills for my house and my office. I pay the water bill for my house and my office,” he stated.
“I live in my own accommodation, so the state does not pay me anything for accommodation. They haven’t given me an office; I rent an office in East Cantonment. I pay the rent myself.
“I pay [for] my own fuel; the state doesn’t give me fuel. I pay my own domestics. I pay my medical bills. I pay my own air tickets when I travel,” the Former President furthered.
Mr Mahama has a hunch that the Government is ensuring that former President John Agyekum Kufour is enjoying the talked-about privileges and pegs but maintained that “they are not doing it for me”.
Reacting to the claims, however, Ernest Owusu Bempah, the NPP Deputy Communication Director, said the government had been discharging its obligations to the office of Mr Mahama.
Speaking on Angel FM/TV’s Anopa Bɔfoɔ morning show on Thursday, September 15, 2022, he referenced payments made for 2017, saying that the total amount released for the NDC stalwart’s benefits was GH₵15,612,312.
Breaking the figure down, Mr Earnest said his salary for the year under review summed up to GH₵1,934,832. Accommodation stood at GH₵6,29,487. Whereas his fuel cost was GH₵324,000, cars delivered to him that year amounted to GH₵1.6 million. GH₵2,484,000 was paid to his staffers.
However, the air travels cost, Mr Ernest Owusu-Bempah noted, covered the period when the President left office to the present. According to him, the statesman has made a total of 12 trips. “The 12 trips have cost the taxpayer US$960,000…if converted to the Ghana cedis, it is GH₵8,640,000.”
The development follows allegations of NPP’s Bono Regional Chairman, Kwame Baffoe or Abronye DC who claimed that the former first gentleman of the land received GH₵14 million as ex-gratia and GH₵15 million as an end-of-service benefit.
“Let me reiterate my position that Mr John Mahama indeed received GH¢14 million as ex gratia in 2013 which was credited to his Agricultural Development Bank Account.”
“Since 2017, it is important to note that Mr John Mahama has since received an end-of-service package of GH¢15,612,319.”
He furthered that the President “still receives benefits such as state-provided staff not exceeding four including Joyce Bawa Mogtari and Felix Ofosu Kwakye who receive GH¢ 9,000 every month as allowances and a furnished and up-to-date office.”