SONA2016: Mahama touts progress in fight against corruption

The indifference to the fight against corruption in the past has given way to a ‘refreshing blast of sunlight’, the president has told Parliament.

Touting his government’s achievement while reading the State of the Nation Address, President John Dramani Mahama said prosecutions ongoing are evidence that his administration is determined to ‘stamp out corruption’.

He stated that his government has “tackled corruption with determination and fortitude in an effort to stamp out systemic indiscipline” in the country.’

President Mahama in Parliament, Thursday, February 25

He cautioned that the exposure of corruption by his administration should not be misconstrued as evidence of massive corruption in his government.

He enumerated a number of corruption cases and the progress made so far in dealing with them.

Savannah Accelerated Development Authority-SADA
SADA was established in 2001- as a government Agency responsible for coordinating a comprehensive development agenda for the savannah ecological zones.

But the project was smeared with allegations of financial malfeasance and corruption.

Citing progress made in ensuring accountability and transparency at the authority, the President said a new board and management of SADA has ‘comprehensively’ addressed the concerns raised in the 2013 audit report regarding the use of their resources.

“The financial account of SADA from 2012 to date has been audited and the 2014 account will be published as part of SADAs annual report,” President Mahama said.

He added that a comprehensive report on the audit including recommendations to address financial malpractices is ready and will be published in due course.

In addition, the president indicated that an external independent body has conducted a comprehensive institutional assessment of SADA and steps have been outlined to strengthen the institution’s performance and accountability.

Youth Employment Authority –YEA
The National Youth Employment Programme was established by the Kufuor administration to target the unemployed youth in the country.

The name was changed to Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) under the late John Evans Mills administration.

It was marred by some shady ‘deals’ ‘fraudulent’ deals that caused the nation millions of cedis.

The name was later changed to Youth Employment Agency (YEA) and an investigation was ordered into the corrupt deals at the agency.

Former Youth and Sports Minister handing over GYEEDA report to President Mahama

According to President Mahama, over Gh È»50 million has been recovered from the agency’s debtors.

“Following the passage of the YEA act, measures have been taken to install strong systems to ensure probity transparency and accountability in the agency’s work,” he stated.

He assured that measures are being put in place to ensure that transactions that take place in the YEA are placed on electronic payment platforms.

“I have no doubt that these measures will strengthen the systems and procedure in the agency to avoid the recurrence of the challenges that its predecessor encountered,” he added.

Judicial scandal
A two-year-long investigative piece by ace journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas cited 34 judges and judicial service workers for corruption-22 lower, Court Judges and 12 High Court judges.

Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood set up a committee to probe into the scandal.

President Mahama indicated that he approved the dismissal of 23 judges from the bench.

Read also: Full list of dismissed judges
Financial misappropriation at the National Service Secretariat

Following receipt of a report from the Bureau of National Investigation, the Board of the National Service Scheme authorized a Disciplinary Committee to initiate hearing of the staff involved in the “ghost name scam” at the secretariat.

Executive Director of NSS, Mr Kpessa Whyte
President Mahama indicated that four of the persons involved in the act have been convicted, 35 officials including a former Executive Director and his deputy have been arraigned before court.

He stated that 130 staff are being processed for court while 163 other officers who were neck deep in the fraudulent act have been dismissed.

Read also: 163 National Service staff dismissed over financial malfeasance

Bus rebranding saga
The Chief of Staff ordered the Attorney General to recover an amount of Gh È»1.9million out of the 3.6 million cedis paid to Smartty’s management and production company for bus branding. The 1.9 million cedis was deemed to be excess amount paid to the company for rebranding 116 buses.

Selasi Ibrahim, CEO of Smartty’s Management and Productions

The company said it would pay the money back to the state in installment.

According to President Mahama, the first installment of Gh Ȼ300,000 has been paid to the Attorney General.

Read also: A-G ordered to recover Gh È»1.9million from Smartty’s

President John Dramani Mahama emphasized the commitment of his administration to expose and take action on allegations of corruption that are brought to their attention.

Story by Ghana || Akosua Asiedua Akuffo| [email protected]

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