Sackey/Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA
Accra, Jan. 31, GNA - The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, on Tuesday expressed shock and dismay over the13.9 million dollars being expended on the construction of an accommodation for the Vice President.
He said such a huge amount could have been used to construct many boreholes and believed that the award of the contract might not have gone through competitive tender process, adding; “if it had, then Ghanaians would have known about it.”
He said this scenario showed many contracts in the country which were sole- sourced and were contracted to defraud the nation adding; ‘‘is the gate made of gold, pavement made of gold and blocks made of gold…. a house built in Ghana, I can’t believe it’’.
The Vice President made this known at the launch of the Good Corporate Governance Initiative organised by Krif Ghana in collaboration with Action Chapel International and in partnership with the United States Embassy in Accra.
Dr Bawumia gave the assurance that the Government would pursue the matter with the Public Procurement Service in order to ascertain the veracity in the contract awarded for the construction of the house.
He said government would ensure strict enforcement of the Public Procurement Act, (Act 663), since the Act had been abused regarding sole sourcing of contracts adding that the law was not designed to allow sole sourcing as witnessed under the previous administration.
The event was held on the theme: “Accelerating Ghana’s Development through Transparency and Integrity - From Talk to Action’’.
He said the theme was timely because it coincided with the Government’s vision and commitment to building a new Ghana founded on the pledge on value for money and economic opportunities for all Ghanaians irrespective of one’s background.
Dr Bawumia said the Government would amend relevant sections of the Criminal Offences Act of 1960, Act 29, particularly sections 3, 151, and 239-257, to make corruption a felony rather than a misdemeanor.
He said the Government would pursue to the end the act of impunity and monies that were fraudulently stolen by ensuring the implementation of the recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee in order to retrieve millions of Ghana cedis from individuals.
Dr Bawumia said such recommendations were gathering dust and indicated that he had asked for some work to be done to collect monies owed to the state.
He noted that organisational leaders must understand that acting within the law was not justification for acting unethically and immorally and said the initiative would attempt to convey the types of activities that could guide corporations and organisations to improve upon their governance.
Dr Bawumia said the Government created a society where every young person could work to achieve his/her potentials and that the country could not achieve its vision if we failed to promote good governance which encapsulated transparency, integrity, grassroots participation and accountability in all sectors of the economy.
“For the country to realise good governance, there is the need for the leadership at all spheres of life to ensure judicious use of resources while the citizenry do the right thing in all interactions,” he said.
He said leadership played a crucial role in the affairs of good governance in all aspects of the economy.
He said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, during the electioneering, sent a strong and clear signal of the importance of good governance for sustainable development, therefore, the Government was committed to establishing a solid and efficient machinery for good governance by ensuring accountability, the rule of law and respect for human rights.
He said government would fulfill promises made to Ghanaians in relation to good governance including establishing the Office of a Special Prosecutor who would be independent of the executive to investigate and prosecute certain categories of cases and allegations of corruption as well as other criminal wrongdoing including violations of the Public Procurement Act and cases implicating political office holders.
This, according to him, would enhance accountability of governance and promote effective separation of powers, secure the independence of the judiciary and strengthen the institutional capacity of Parliament to solidify the parliamentary oversight over the executive.
The Government would also pass the Right to Information Bill into law and would, therefore, push Parliament to make the necessary amendments to the provisions to bring transparency in governance adding that if he had his way, it would be passed within the first hundred days of the current administration.
The Vice President commended the Founder and General Overseer of Action Chapel International, Archbishop Nicolas Duncan-Williams, for such a noble vision.