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General News Fri, 12 Sep 2008

Clash Over GNA Boss' $8,000/Month Salary

The remuneration of the general manager of the Ghana News Agency(GNA), Nana Appau Duah, may soon be subjected to a legal tussle as the National Media Commission(NMC) and the Auditor General battle over it.

Documents gathered by an Accra-based radion station - JOYFM - have revealed that the total monthly emoluments of the GNA boss stands at GH¢8050 (= $8000), more than twice the take-home pay of a cabinet minister.

This is salary approved by the NMC, the appointing authority in the GNA boss’ employment contract.
The Auditor General, following the revelation, has placed an embargo on the salary saying it cannot pay the said amount.
The Auditor General in a letter dated 31 July 2008, titled: “Certification of Salary Arrears for the General Manager of the GNA,” said the NMC had failed to bring to the attention of the President, the terms of agreement reached for the GNA boss, Duah.
According to the letter, seeking the consent of the President would have meant the NMC was keeping with its constitutional mandate of appointing heads of the state-owned media.
It would have also allowed the President to determine whether the state could pay the salary and allowances being offered the managing director of the GNA.
The monthly salary of the GNA boss as stated in the employment contract is GH¢3500 in addition to six separate allowances, amounting to GH¢4550 and equal to 138% of his basic salary.
This brings the total monthly emoluments delivered into his account to GH¢8050.
The Auditor General says the salary of the GNA boss exceeds those of cabinet ministers, including the information minister who earns less than GH¢4000 per month.
He has therefore instructed the NMC to submit the award of contract and terms and conditions to President Kufuor, for advice.
But the NMC has already furnished the Auditor General with a letter signed by its chairman Paul Adu Gyamfi expressing a strong rejection to the directive.
According to the NMC, the Auditor General in seeking to question the sincerity of the commission’s earlier consultation with the President “was attempting to interpret the meaning of the constitution.”
The commission maintains that the Auditor General’s submission interferes with the appointment process and could create problems between the NMC and the President.
“Any attempt to create problems between the NMC and the President will be vigorously resisted,” the letter emphasised.
The commission has meanwhile called on the Auditor General to remove what it calls “the unauthorised embargo” it has placed on the salary of the GNA boss.

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Source: JFM
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