Ghanaian Chronicle

NPP HAS TRACK RECORD… of protecting the public purse, says Nana Addo

From Chronicle Report, Kumasi

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), says his party has a track record of tackling corruption, and has, therefore, asked Ghanaians to return it to power to clean the mess created by the inefficient and indecisive regime of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), which has perfected corruption into an art.

The NPP flagbearer was addressing students and party members at the Great Hall of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi on Wednesday, as part of his visit to the Ashanti Region.

Nana Addo advised members of his party to look elsewhere if their intention was to make illegitimate money under his presidency, stressing he would make corruption an expensive enterprise. Recounting the positive efforts made by the erstwhile NPP administration, he said: “The NPP government of President John Agyekum Kufuor showed its commitment to fight against corruption through the enhancement of anti-corruption legislative framework.”

According to the NPP flagbearer, the party in government passed as many as six different laws to curtail corruption, these include the Public Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663), Financial Administration Act 2003 (Act 654), Internal Audit Agency Act 2003, (Act 658), Financial Administration Regulations, (L.I. 1802), Whistle-blowers Act 2006 (Act 720) and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2008 (Act 749).

Admitting the shortcomings of some of these laws, Nana Addo said: “I do not claim that these sets of laws solved the problems, but they certainly helped to begin to change attitudes. Unfortunately, with the coming into office of the NDC, a cavalier attitude has been adopted to these laws, and deliberate attempts have been made to frustrate the intentions behind the legislation. I refer, in particular, to the bastardisation by the NDC of the Public Procurement Act.”

He told his audience that the fight against corruption ought to begin with the national leadership, and challenged Ghanaians to entrust the presidency of the nation into his hands.

“I can assure you, in all humility, that I am not, have never been, and will never be corrupt. I can also assure you that as president, I will not condone corruption of my government.

“I bring to the table and to the Office of the President of this great country, an unblemished track record of personal integrity and fortitude. I invite you to bank on my essential leadership attributes and make me your President. I will lead a strong fight against corruption in the country.

“If your idea is to make corrupt money in government, then there will be no room for you in my government. If you think of public office as a short-cut to making money, then find some other venture to engage your time and energies, because there will be no room under an Akufo-Addo government for self-enrichment in politics,” he warned.

He described the NPP as a pro-business and pro-people party, and assured the rank and file that his administration would provide avenues for genuine businesses to thrive.

Nana Akufo-Addo tore into the Mills/Mahama/Amissah Arthur’s three and a half year rule as promoting corruption on a grand scale. “Governments all over the world are plagued with corruption.”

Except under a government like our current one, the disease becomes a raging epidemic. Corruption on any scale is expensive, and has been especially expensive to Ghana’s development under the third NDC government.

As I speak, the 2011 Auditor-General’s Report has not been laid before Parliament. This ought to have been done by the end of June of 2012. If one recalls that it was the 2010 report which was laid on the due date that exposed the judgment debts scandals, one wonders if there are more of such scandals lurking within the report to explain the delay in the laying of the 2011 report.

Nana ventured into what he described as “inexplicable rises in the cost of government projects. “A six-classroom block that was being built at some GH¢85,000 four years ago under the NPP, is now priced at over GH¢240,000.”

This means the NDC is spending three times more money to build the same type of schools that the NPP was building. These are the types of things that undermine confidence in the government and limit our capacity to develop.

Corruption, he said, ought to be defeated. “It reduces revenue to the state. It holds back our economic growth; it leads to the flight of capital out of the country, and inflates the cost of government. Corruption demoralises honest people and leads to a loss of legitimacy,” Nana Addo noted.

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