…My Appointees Are Not Immune From Corruption Prosecution
By Frank Amponsah
President Nana Akufo-Addo has reiterated the call on the general public not to hesitate to report any of his appointees who embezzle state funds or are found corrupting their office and said he will not treat any of such cases with kids’ gloves.
According to the President, evidence of such corruptible individuals should be made available to the Special Prosecutor’s office for review, stressing that no corrupt official under his administration will be left off the hook if they are found culpable of the crimes they are charged with.
President Akufo-Addo was emphatic that anyone found guilty of corruption will face prosecution according to the law.
Speaking at the media encounter yesterday at the Flagstaff House in Accra to mark his one year in office, President Akufo-Addo assured that all allegations made against his appointees are now under investigation.
“I have made it publicly that anyone who has information of any act of corruption against any of my appointees should bring it forward and should be prepared to back it up with evidence”, he underscore.
He however noted that “I believe in my appointees that they are not corrupt. Produce evidence to back your allegation if any and let see what the outcome will be”.
Ghana’s Debt Stock
He also indicated that Ghana’s debt stock has improved remarkably within his first year in office and added that the debt situation has improved with the annual average rate of debt accumulation of 36% in recent years declining to about 13.6% as of September 2017.
As a result, the public debt stock as a ratio of GDP is 68.3% against the annual target of 71% for 2017 and end-2016 actual figure of 73.1%.
Nana Akufo-Addo also aveered that Ghana’s economy increased to an estimated 7.9% in 2017, buttressing on what Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said at a Conference in Accra that future looks bright, despite inheriting a gloomy economy.
“The arrears validated as outstanding at the end of 2016 was GH¢3.1 billion, Weakening of the Banking system, Cancellation of teacher and nursing training allowances, Return to cash and Carry under NHIS, freeze on the hiring of Extension Officers in agriculture, High and pervasive taxes, and Corruption,” Dr Bawumia said.
“Against this background, the Vice President said the President fulfilled key campaign promises including Free SHS, lowering of taxes, restoration of teacher and nurse training allowances, NHIS resuscitation, and creating jobs among others.” The President explained.
President Nana Akufo-Addo said his government saved GHS145million in 2017 by being strict on sole-sourcing.
According to him, the John Mahama government made zero savings in that regard since sole-sourcing of contracts became the norm rather than the exception during that administration.
Nana Akufo-Addo said the GHS145million saved provides incentives to open up government procurement.
He said: “You’ll recall that as part of the election campaign, we said part of the reasons for the difficulties with the economy was the sole-sourcing of procurement by government.
President Akufo-Addo has also given the assurance that he will be able to give an accurate data on how many jobs his government has created since coming to power in the next three months.
According to him, his government is in the process of putting together the statistics on the exact number of jobs that have been created his the NPP government came into office a year ago.
He said: “We are barely one year in office and so we are in the process of putting the data together. I cannot provide those statistics readily, but I think in the next three months or so we should be able to provide those statistics.”
Meanwhile, although he is confident of performing great in his first year in office and hopes to achieve more for Ghana, President Akufo-Addo has indicated his willingness to embrace an opportunity to contest as the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer for the 2020 elections if he’s given the opportunity.
He said he has no difficulty facing the Ghanaian people in 2020.
According to him, “I have been trying to do so all my life in various degrees of success and I do not have any difficulty, and especially with the opportunity that has been given me to serve them in this capacity. If at the end of the day, the NPP decides they want to renew my Flagbearership and to go the country, I will do so and I will do so with a great deal of confidence.”