A novelty has happened in Ghana. A process that is totally strange in the vast majority of Africa.
An Independent State Institution has performed a Risk of Corruption Analysis on an agreement sponsored by the Government in Power. And this was done at the discretion of that Institution, called The Office of the Special Prosecutor, OSP, and not through a petition from any quarters
This Institution called the OSP, like the Free SHS, 1V1D, 1D1F, etc, is yet another fulfillment of a promise the President made to the People of Ghana when asking for their votes in the 2016 polls.
He reiterated this pledge in Cape Coast on 26th August 2017 at the NPPs National Delegates Conference, when he was President, and indeed set it up in 2018.
His vision in opposition reiterated and implemented when in Govt, was to set up an Independent Office that would seek to prevent and also prosecute corrupt deals mainly by politically exposed persons WITHOUT let or hindrance or the long arms of a Government in Power, playing strings puller.
A Risk of Corruption analysis is simply a sort of Corruption Risk Assessment which analyses loopholes in agreements and arrangements that may be taken advantage of by officials to perpetuate corruption.
Corruption Risk Assessment, like any assessment, is not an investigation. It simply tells you where loopholes are and how to seal them. The OSP has done exactly that, and the President has accepted it in good faith.
Pursuant to this, The President has noted the points and red flags raised by the OSP. He has queried his Finance Minister, who has replied and the President, Nana Addo, in the greatest show of transparency, has promised to make that confidential response public.
Furthermore, he has directed that the whole process should be taken back to parliament afresh and given time to be debated thoroughly, especially because the minority in parliament complained about the time gave them to scrutinize it.
What makes me happiest in all this is the fact that Nana Addo is pushing for this innovation of a Risk of Corruption Analysis and Anti-corruption Risk Assessment to be institutionalized for future agreements and contracts in Ghana as a way to fight corruption. How many African leaders will do this?!
President Akufo Addo is a colossus in Ghanaian politics. He has realized that screaming and grandstanding will not solve the issue of Corruption. We are remarkably corrupt, whether in private Institutions or the public. So what we need to curb the menace are the right structures.
Digitization, for example, has greatly minimized corruption at the Ports in Ghana, far more than the storming of President Mills of the Tema Port and proclaiming how angry and serious he was at fighting the Corruption there, or the videos of Anas could and would.
The OSP is another giant stride in setting up structures and Institutions to fight Corruption in a genuine and much more efficacious and substantial manner.
With the Agyapa agreement, I affirm my earlier stance that it is one of the best and most innovative ways to raise money for the country in a more sustainable way. It shall receive its tweaks and it shall be passed.
As for our NDC friends, they can decide to see it as they want, but I will admonish them to take all such processes of the OSP with the same glee and joy.
And if they would listen to Bawumia and read, they should please turn their attention to page 53 onwards of the OSP’s Agyapa report, where he states without equivocation that the bribe-taking gov’t official 1, is John Dramani Mahama, that he has been involved in forgeries with his brothers.
He adds that definitely after the elections he will be interrogated and processes will start.
I hope when the same OSP they are quoting copiously and whose report they are jumping around with, turns his guns on JM, they will react with the same mature, intellectual, decent response and acceptance as the NPP, led by the President, to the lowest footsoldiers like us.
Nana Addo remains the biggest and most effective fighter of corruption in this 4th Republic. If you think otherwise and have facts to buttress, let’s hear u.