There is no real desire by Akufo-Addo to deal with corruption – James Agalga

Mr. James Agalga, Deputy Minister of Interior
Mr. James Agalga, Deputy Minister of Interior

The Member of Parliament
(MP) for Builsa North in the Upper East Region, James Agalga says there is no
real desire by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo to deal with corruption
in his government and the country at large.

Mr. Agalga’s comment
follows the recent appointment of the former Managing Director of the Ghana
Maritime Authority, Kwame Owusu as the new Board Chairman of the Ghana Revenue
Authority (GRA).

The appointment of Mr.
Owusu, who is facing investigations into allegations of abuse of office and
conflict of interest, was met with intense public uproar when it was announced.

The Ghana Integrity Initiative
(GII), the
local chapter of Transparency Initiative, has waded strongly into the condemnation
of Mr. Owusu’s appointment.

It has reminded the
President of the sections of his oath of office that enjoins him to dedicate
himself “to the service and well-being of the people of the Republic of Ghana
and to do right to all manner of persons.”

“The said service which
the President swore to all Ghanaians,” according to the antigraft body,
“include holding himself and appointees accountable to the people of Ghana and
making information on his accountability available to the people whose mandate he
holds to govern.”

The GII is also urging
the President to be guided by country’s commitment to the Open Governance
Partnership (OGP) which the Government of Ghana signed onto in 2011. The OGP
commitment revolves around the pillars of transparency, empowering citizens to
participate and harness new technologies to promote good governance.

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It further stated, “Therefore,
publishing reports of the investigation into the conduct of public officers is
an evidence of good and open governance practice which would be consistent with
their oath of office.”

The antigraft body has
also said it is out of place for the President to appoint an individual whose
integrity has been questioned to the Board of such a sensitive entity as GRA.

The GII, has therefore,
asked the President to publish the report of investigations that contradict the
allegation of conflict of interest and financial misappropriation made against
his appointee, if he wants to stand by his decision.

“Failure by the
President to revoke Mr. Kwame Owusu’s appointment or publish the report that
clears him will only contribute to negating all the efforts of GRA to promote
voluntary compliance of the country’s tax laws and hence leaving the country to
mark time at Tax to GDP ratio of 12.6 percent (Ministry of Finance 2018 fiscal
data Jan – Dec).” GII stated.

Responding to the
development on A1 Radio’s DayBreak Upper East show on Tuesday July 16, 2019,
Mr. Agalga, who was also a deputy Interior minister in the erstwhile NDC
administration, said, “This is evidence to show that there is total lack of
commitment on the part of government to fight corruption. Apart from witch-hunting
the political opponents of the NPP, there is no real desire to deal with
corruption; I mean this is factual. And the issue of the former boss of
Maritime Board Authority is very classical.”

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