By Pascal Kafu Abotsi ([email protected])
The New patriotic Party (NPP) says the ruling government cannot take credit for making progress in the fight against corruption, as captured in the recent Transparency International (TI) report on the canker, which is fast gaining currency among public officials across the country.
According to the opposition party, the progress the country made was due to “increased civil society and individuals’ activism in anti corruption activities,” stressing that “This has nothing to do with government. The credit for this belongs to civil activists like OccupyGhana and lmani Ghana, and to individuals such as Martin Amidu and Anas Aremeyaw Anas.”
A statement signed and issued in Accra by the party’s Director of Communication, Nana Akomea, described corruption in the country, not just as a perception but also in stark reality, as it cited the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Agency (GYEEDA), Woyome, the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), Suba, Waterville and Smarttys, as cases in point.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) had on a regular basis discredited reports of corruption by the very international body, TI, it is now full of praise for, following an improvement in the fight against the menace. Even in the face of the resounding feat, the ruling government expressly regards that as a perception, tied to a “paradox of exposure”, caused by false allegations in the media.
Adding flesh to the perceptive description of the report, the opposition party explained, “This is supposed to mean that it is the government’s great fight against corruption and the attendant media reportage that fuels the perception that corruption is rampant,” while posing the rhetorical question: “If the governments fight against corruption is really great, how can the media reports of this positive and great fight lead to negative perception against the government?”
Commenting on government’s resolve to continue the implementation of some “national anti- corruption action plan”, the NPP advised it to “just implement the laws, such as AFRCD 58 (as advised by the Attorney General), the Financial Administration Act, the financial administration regulations, the law on causing financial loss, the procurement law etc.”
To effectively fight corruption, Transparency International made two recommendations–transparency/accountability and prosecution–which the NPP is skeptical about the ruling government’s ability to achieve.
For example, the party, while describing the NDC government’s drive in the two areas as appalling, said “Major financial dealings such as loans for the GNPC, floatation of ADB shares and the IMF loan agreement are not taken to Parliament,” adding that “Value for money audit for the many sole sourced public works are largely not done. Mandatory reports on public procurement to parliament are not done.”
For the NPP, when it comes to prosecution, the situation is worse. The drama surrounding the Woyome affair, Waterville, GYEEDA, SADA, Suba and Smartty’s, were brought to the fore.
“Ghanaians are, therefore, still in a state of shock and disbelief over the twists and turns that have led to the loss/siphoning of millions of dollars of taxpayers monies in the Woyome affair, in the Waterville affair, in Gyeeda, in SAdA, in Suba, in Smartty’s, etc,” the statement revealed.
It further stated that: “President Mahama’s government, this time, will not prosecute. Even when court orders it to recover taxpayers monies which are secured through the efforts of others, the NDC government is unable to recover the monies,” adding that “even where the government goes into agreements for mere refunds of taxpayers monies, very little refund is reported. Massive payments of taxpayers monies for no work done have been regular.”