March 7, 2018

As pressures mount from most Members of Parliament from the Minority side for the current government under the leadership of President Nana Akuffo-Addo to pass the Right to Information Bill (RTI), during the debate on the State of the Nation Address (SONA), the President Nana Akuffo-Addo has given indications that Parliament would pass the RTI bill before it goes on recess this month.

He noted, the RTI coming into being would help strengthen the fight against corruption. He made this remarks during the 61st Independent Day celebration on Tuesday 6th March 2018.

“Fellow Ghanaians, corruption, or, more specifically, the stealing of public funds, continues to hold back the development of our nation. Corruption is not a partisan matter and we must all act to protect the public purse. With the office of the Special Prosecutor now in place we can expect more prosecutions for corruption in the coming months and public officials, present and past, should be on notice that they would be held accountable for their stewardship of our public finances,” he remarked

He commented, “There is, however, one piece of the anti-corruption framework that is yet to be put in place; The Right to Information Act. It would increase transparency and add another critical weapon to the armory in the fight against corruption. After many years of hesitation, we intend to bring a Bill again to Parliament and work to get it passed into law before the end of this meeting of Parliament.”

“The protection of the public purse is a social common good, and it depends on all of us. It is in all our interest that corruption does not thrive, and we police each other’s behaviour. Going beyond Aid means Ghanaians should not serve as fronts for foreign companies to defraud our country. It will mean we all pay our taxes, and it will mean we all help to take care of government property as though it were our own.”

The RTI Bill first came to Parliament in 2013, but could not be passed by the sixth Parliament of the fourth Republic.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/