President John Dramai Mahama says efforts made by his administration to fight against corruption clearly prove that the canker can be tackled.
Addressing Parliament on Thursday in his last State of the Nation Address, the President said the fight against corruption is winnable, adding that his government has done enough to nip the canker in the bud, contrary to perceptions that the administration has done very little to tackle it.
“We have tackled corruption with determination and fortitude in an effort to stamp out systemic indiscipline in the fabric of public and social service. We have refused to bury our heads in the sun like the ostrich or adopt a defensive posture. The indifference of the past has given way to a refreshing blast of sunlight, a proven potent and enduring disinfectant for the canker of corruption. Mr. Speaker, this firm position and commitment has heightened public hope and confidence that the fight against corruption is winnable,” the President explained.
Mahama’s administration the most corrupt?
President Mahama’s government has come under intense criticism for what many say is a selective approach when it comes to prosecuting officials deemed to have engaged in one corrupt practice or the other.
Others have also criticized the approach where officials who have embezzled funds or caused financial loss to the state, are only asked to repay the amounts within their own time-frame and sometimes without interest charges.
Several government programmes such as the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), Gyeeda, Subah Info Solutions and others, have been embroiled in allegations of corruption.
The latest corruption scandal was that which hit the judicial service when investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, exposed judges in a video, allegedly taking bribes to influence justice.
But the President’s defense is that, the mere reports of cases of corruption in itself, does not mean the government is corrupt, saying it is rather an indication that it is weeding out the canker.
He however believes corruption can be significantly dealt with, if Ghanaians mobilize their efforts to fight the canker.
“Corruption is a disease if not checked can choke off and kill a nation . It is an enemy of progress and development and a threat to peace and security. Mr. Speaker, it is therefore an obligation on all of us to mobilize our efforts in the fight against corruption. “
The President says government’s National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP), will help in tackling the canker effectively.
“We decided in 2009 that the ten-year action plan that addresses corruption in a more strategic, scientific and more sustainable manner is the right way to go; and that the plan should be integrated into the National Development Planning. The nation was unanimous in support of the National Anti Corruption Action Plan, and that is partly why the nation was united through our honorable representatives here in Parliament in adopting the NACAP.”
The President further indicated that a high level implementation committee to facilitate the implementation of the NACAP plan will soon be inaugurated.
The committee, according to him, will basically be responsible for providing strategic policy direction and advice to implementing bodies assisting CHRAJ and NDPC in monitoring and coordinating the implementation of NACAP.
The committee consists of representatives from key state institutions, the private sector and civil society.
By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana