State of the Nation’s Address: Anti-graft campaigner scores low for Mahama

Anti-corruption campaigner, Linda Ofori-Kwafo, says President John Mahama’s fight against corruption has not been satisfactory.

The Executive Director of Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) puts the President’s efforts to tackle graft within government – since the 2015 State of the Nation address – at average or below.

“On a scale of zero to ten, I don’t think I will score anything above average,” Linda Ofori-Kwafo said Wednesday on PM Express, aired on the Joy News Channel on MultiTV.

President Mahama’s State of the Nation address on Thursday February 25 will be the last for his four-year term.

The President’s address to Parliament will focus on the economy, the power situation, education, roads, health, water, agriculture, corruption and other key sectors.

During last year’s address the President promised to minimise corruption at the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) with the help of Information and Telecommunications Technology (ICT).

He also promised to push Parliament to strengthen legal frameworks of anti-corruption institutions such as CHRAJ and EOCO to enable them to work effectively and also champion the prosecution of corruption cases.

Speaking on the news analysis programme, Mrs Ofori-Kwafo said many of the promises by the President last year has not materialised.

“I would want to agree with Transparency International’s ranking for Ghana so far as fight against corruption is concerned because I believe in that survey,” she told show host

Transparency International, a global corruption watchdog, revealed in the 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index that corruption perception in Ghana has worsened by one percentage point.

She, however, admits some progress has been made to minimise graft in the public sector.

“I would also be wrong to say nothing has happened. Government and the President have contributed their quota to helping minimise corruption so far as the State of the Nation last year is concerned,” she said.

She said the President’s promise to set up the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) and a high-level implementation committee has been realised.

Click audio to listen to more of Ofori-Kwafo’s submissions on the programme.

Sleeping giant

Deputy General Secretary of the Agricultural Workers Union, Edward Karewah, said the agric sector has suffered many setbacks since last year’s State of the Nation address by the President.

Speaking on the show, Mr Karewah said it is unfortunate that the sector has been left to decline.

 “Certainly agriculture is something that is our talent, it’s our strength, but we don’t know. It is just like a sleeping giant. You don’t know you are a giant until you are awakening to that reality,” he said.

He has asked to the President to follow through with the promises he will make during Thursday’s address.

Click audio link for more.

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