Former President John Mahama has said he pays his own utility bills and receives nothing from the state for his accommodation contrary to claims made by the governing New Patriotic Party’s Bono regional chairman Kwame Baffoe (Abronye DC) about a week ago that the 2020 flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has, since 2017, swallowed ¢15.6 million of state funds as part of his emoluments apart from receiving ¢14 million as ex gratia in 2013.
Mr Mahama, in an interview with Accra-based TV3 on Monday, 12 September 2022, said: “I receive only my monthly pension, like President Kufuor or President Rawlings was receiving until he died. That is all I get.”
“I pay the electricity bill for my house, for my office. I pay the water bill for my house and my office. I live in my own accommodation so the state does not pay me anything for accommodation,” Mr Mahama said.
According to the former President, contrary to the tall list of expenses Abronye DC claimed the state is making on him, the only lump sum he received was “¢230,000 as salary arrears in 2013”.
“Normally, when you leave, they approve what should be done for you, but it is not being done for me,” he added.
A few days ago, Abronye DC claimed the state has, so far, spent ¢15.6 million on Mr Mahama’s comforts in terms of salary and his end-of-service benefits since he left office in 2017.
In a counter-statement to one issued from the office of the former President in which Mr Mahama denied ever receiving GH¢14 million as ex gratia in 2013, Abronye DC computed that Mr Mahama, apart from the hefty sum, has, since 2017, received a total of GH¢15.6 million from the state as salary and emoluments combined.
In Mr Baffoe’s view, Mr Mahama must bow his head in deep shame for continuing to receive a fat monthly salary of GH¢35,000 and other huge sums in terms of end-of-service benefits as the country battles the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic that has led to President Nana Akufo-Addo and his appointees cutting their salaries by 30 per cent.
Read Abronye DC’s response to Mr Mahama:
MAHAMA TOOK GH¢14M EX GRATIA IN 2013 AND HAS RECEIVED GH¢15.6M SINCE 2017
I have read a statement from Mr John Mahama, former president and a member of the NDC denying, among other things, that he has not received an ex gratia of GH¢14M.
To start with, I will not sound fopdoodle (sic) like Mr Mahama sounded in his release; however, it is important to point out that the press statement, in its entirety, is nothing but an empty and insulting release against my good self and the government; and further, an intentional diversionary tactic to repress the statement made by the IMF emphasising that the current economic hardship in the country is not a creation of H.E President Akufo-Addo.
Mr Mahama’s press release sought to admit that he, indeed, received ex gratia but did not actually receive the stated GH¢14M as opined but, unfortunately, Mr Mahama failed to tell Ghanaians what he received as ex gratia in 2013.
Let me reiterate my position that Mr John Mahama, indeed, received GH¢14M as ex gratia in 2013, which was credited into his Agricultural Development Bank Account.
To add to that, Mr John Mahama is the only President in the Fourth Republic who has received the fattest ex gratia and, as a matter of fact, he continues to receive an unprecedented end-of-service package which no former president of this country has ever enjoyed.
Mr Mahama retired on a salary of GH¢22,809, up from the non-taxable salary of GH¢15,972 previously approved for presidents. However, he now receives GH¢ 35,000 monthly due to the recent increase in emoluments as recommended by the Presidential Emoluments Committee on the conditions of service of Article 71 officeholders’ report.
This means that since former President Mahama was voted out of office, he has received a non-taxable salary of GH¢1,934,832.00. Mr Mahama also receives GH¢9,123.00 monthly as rent. This means that since 2017, when Ghanaians voted against John Mahama, he has received an accommodation allowance totalling GH¢629,487.00.
Again, former President Mahama, while on retirement still receives benefits such as state-provided staff not exceeding four (4) 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 located at the Cantonments in Accra and communication equipment and staff support consisting of a cook, steward and gardener.
Salaries of Felix Ofosu Kwakye, Joyce Bawa Mogtari and 2 other staffers to the former President amount to GH¢ 2,484,000. 00 excluding salaries of cook and gardener.
For transport, President Mahama has been given two Toyota Land Cruiser V8 vehicles, a chauffeur, maintained and comprehensively insured by the State and changed every four years for life.
Each V8 cost GH¢ 800,000.00, therefore, for transportation, the state spends over GH¢1.6M on Mr Mahama, excluding the salaries of drivers.
Also, the state fuels each vehicle weekly at a cost of GH¢2,000, thereby amounting to GH¢324,000 since he was voted out of office in 2017.
For overseas official travel, the state will fully pay for all such trips with his spouse and two security persons.
The state will, however, sponsor only two of such travels per year and those not exceeding two weeks in duration. Each travel of the former President cost Ghanaians $80,000.00, therefore, since 2017, as required by law, the state has funded 12 trips of the former president amounting to about $960,000.00 equivalent to about GH¢8.6M. President Mahama and his wife are also entitled to free healthcare.
Since 2017, it is important to note that Mr John Mahama has since received an end-of-service package of GH¢15,612,319.00.
A breakdown of Mr John Mahama’s retirement package is provided below;
ITEM TOTAL SINCE 2017 (GH¢)
TRANSPORT (2 V8’S) 1,600,000.00
GRAND TOTAL 15,612,319. 00.
It is important to note that this amount excludes the salaries of 2 security personnel, a gardener, drivers and a cook for the former president, who are all paid by the government.
Clearly, from the press statement signed by Mad Joyce Bawa who is being paid by the Government, I am convinced that Mr John Mahama is suffering from hyperthymesia and a delusion of self-grandeur because not too long ago, Mr Mahama while speaking at the 24th African Business Conference of Harvard Business School noted in his speech that, ‘data from the Economic Commission of Africa shows that, the Covid-19 pandemic created the continents worst recession in 50 years, with real GDP shrinking by an average of 3% in 2022....”
Again, Mr Mahama, while addressing the African Economic Congress at Abuja in 2021 noted in paragraph 12 of his speech that, ‘revenues have been closely affected because the demand for African commodities has sharply declined due to Covid-19”.
Ghana is no exception from what the rest of the African counties are experiencing, hence it is unintelligent and ignorant for Mr Mahama to suggest that the current economic hardship in Ghana is a creation of Nana Addo but the hardship in the rest of our neighbouring African countries is because of Covid-19.
Additionally, Mr Mahama, also in paragraph 7 of his release stated that the current government is incompetent. This claim is extremely laughable and hot air as Mahama is seeking to give his world title of incompetence to President Akufo Addo.
Mr Mahama went to IMF in 2015 with the following reasons as stated on page 3 of the attachment of the letter of intent submitted to the IMF. The reasons included;
* Shortage of electricity supply
* Depreciation of the cedi
* Ebola Outbreak
If Mahama is describing President Akufo-Addo as incompetent for seeking a bailout from IMF due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russian-Ukraine war which has deepened the disruption of world economies and has increased unemployment globally, then how should we describe Mr Mahama, who went to IMF for a bailout due to Ebola which Ghana never recorded a case?
In paragraph 9 of the release, the former President mentioned that in his next government he will reduce the size of ministers and run a lean government. It is important to point out that, Mahama made the same promise in 2012 but ended up with over 86 ministers.
Let me state emphatically that Mr Mahama is a pathological promiser and suffering from logorrhea because in his 2012 manifesto he promised Ghanaians an energy-for-all programme but we ended up witnessing the darkest moments in our country’s history with 'dumsor' after he won power in 2012.
In furtherance of the above, Mr Mahama mentioned in the last paragraph of his statement that he will implement the constitutional review report of the 1992 constitution.
The same promise was made in the 2012 manifesto by John Mahama on page 11 under 'governance' where he promised Ghanaians to implement the constitutional review report to involve Ghanaians in electing MMDCEs.
However, in 2018 when Nana Addo proposed that MMDCEs be elected, we had minority MPs instigated by Mr Mahama to vehemently resist the proposal made by Nana Addo to elect MMDCEs.
Again, Mr Mahama must understand that no ex gratia of any former president has been captured in any of the Auditor-General’s reports since 1992.
Mr Mahama should bow down his head in deep shame as he still receives huge monies from the government as salaries and benefits even in a time of a pandemic where the President and all his appointees have cut their salaries by 30%.
I am, therefore, challenging the former President to as a matter of urgency refund all monies received from the State since 2019 to date if he truly feels Ghanaians are in difficult times and suffering hardships.
Kwame Baffoe Abronye
Earlier, Mr Mahama's office had denied the GH¢14 million ex gratia allegation describing it as false.
Read below the full press statement issued from Mr Mahama's office:
JOHN MAHAMA DENIES GH¢14M EX-GRATIA CLAIMS
The Office of HE John Dramani Mahama has become aware of another false and scurrilous claim by a member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwame Baffoe, that former President Mahama “… took home the fattest ex gratia of GH¢14 million in 2013…”
We urge the public to ignore the unintelligent rants of the said Kwame Baffoe who has gained notoriety for fabricating and propagating falsehood on behalf of Nana AkufoAddo against John Mahama. His claims are false.
President Mahama never took any such ex gratia payment of GH¢14 million in 2013 or at any other time during his 25 years of distinguished public service. Fortunately, exgratia payments are a matter of public record and are available in the office of the Chief of Staff or the Controller and Accountant General’s Department.
We challenge the office of the Chief of Staff and the Presidency to provide proof of the payment of any such amount and stop using idle miscreants among its ranks to spread falsehood.
It will be surprising if any such payment had been made to the former President and has not been reflected in any of the numerous Auditor General’s reports presented to Parliament since 2013.
We know that it is a stock in trade of President Akufo-Addo and his cronies to launch a campaign of calumny and false allegations against the personality of President Mahama anytime they have their backs against the wall.
As usual, this latest falsehood is a failed decoy to suppress the national discussions about the hardship Ghanaians are going through because of the clueless, inept, hopeless, incompetent and poor governance of the Akufo-Addo and Bawumia administration.
It is a porous response to John Mahama’s promise to urgently re-look and review issues related to the emoluments of Article 71 office holders including ex gratia payments.
We want to reiterate the points made by President Mahama recently that a next NDC Government will run an administration with a leaner government and far less ministers than Ghana has ever seen and ensure a cut in waste and exercise of frugality in everything Government does.
The NDC is also committed to the implementation of a review of the 1992 Constitution, which should among others, place a cap on the number of Supreme Court Justices and face the issues of Article 71 head-on.
Joyce Bawah Mogtari
Special Aide to HE John Dramani Mahama
Monday, September 05, 2022.