Ex-gratia must be scrapped; it's oudated - Alban Bagbin

Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament, has reiterated his stance on ex-gratia payments to Article 71 officeholders, insisting it no longer serves its intended purpose.

Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin

According to him, the original intention behind ex-gratia payments for certain public servants and political officeholders was to combat corruption, but this is no longer the case in the current dispensation.

Speaking at a public forum in Kumasi to mark the 30th anniversary of the Fourth Republican Parliament, Alban Bagbin emphasised that the payments were initially to assure public servants and political officeholders that their needs would be taken care of after leaving office, encouraging them to prioritise the people’s interests over personal gain.

However, he acknowledged that in practice, this has not been the case, and the payments have not effectively curbed corruption.

The Speaker expressed his support for amending Article 71 of the Constitution to abolish ex-gratia payments, which he believes have become unnecessary.


“The issue of ex-gratia is a very thorny issue. The founders envisaged a situation where they wanted some particular category of public servants, including political officeholders. The ex-gratia is not for members of Parliament and it’s not even ex-gratia, it’s gratuity. There’s a difference between ex-gratia and gratuity and it’s not for members of parliament alone. It cuts through a category of public servants and political officeholders, including the Auditor General, including the chairpersons of all the constitutional commissions, including ministers of state, the presidency, judiciary, and all others, it’s not just members of parliament.

“But the concept was to assure them, because of the importance of the position they occupy, and the decisions they take on your behalf, the concept was to assure them, don’t think about yourself, think about the people you represent because, after your office, we will take care of you. So it was to assist us to contain corruption. And I’m happy that a number of industrial chiefs from this region were members of the consultative assembly.

“Unfortunately, in practice, it has not served its purpose. It has not been able to assist us to curb or contain corruption. And so when I made an attempt to contest as a presidential candidate, I did announce that if elected as president, I was going to ensure that that article is amended from the constitution. So I agree totally with anybody who comes to say that we should do away with Article 71 of the Constitution. It hasn’t served its purpose, there’s no use maintaining it.”

Rt. Hon Alban Bagbin was touring and it included several engagements within the Ashanti Region, aiming to foster dialogue and reflect on the progress made over the past three decades of Ghana's Fourth Republic.


The Speaker acknowledged the Asantehene’s concerns, noting the intense competition and sacrifices involved in political pursuits.

He explained that the perceived power of Parliament, influence, and opportunities that come with being a legislator are mainly the reasons there is always a mad rush by many people to be an MP.

The Speaker also emphasised the importance of public service and the impact parliamentarians can have on national development.


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