Press highlights President’s stand on fight against corruption, others

The assurance by President Akufo-Addo that he has not shirked from the fight against corruption and will not retreat in…

The assurance by President Akufo-Addo that he has not shirked from the fight against corruption and will not retreat in ensuring that people manning state anti-graft agencies acted in the interest of Ghanaians is one of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Thursday.The Graphic reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated that he has not shirked from fighting against corruption and will not retreat in ensuring that people manning state anti-graft agencies acted in the interest of Ghanaians.

“I don’t think that any government has mobilised resources to give opportunity for the anti-corruption agencies of the state to function efficiently as possible as this government has done. It is a matter of record,” he said.

The President said public money had been invested in Parliament, the judiciary, police, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) and all the institutions whose job it was to be watchdogs of the state, without which investment a lot of the talk about fighting corruption would remain exactly talk.

President Akufo-Addo stated this when he interacted with the leadership of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) and allied national civil society groups working on governance issues when they called on him at the Jubilee House in Accra yesterday.

The group, led by the Chairman of the GACC, Nana Osei-Bonsu, raised issues about corruption perception, the need to revisit a constitutional review and the deepening of local governance.

The newspaper says that the Senior Presidential Advisor, Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, has urged industries to reposition themselves to tap into the opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to ensure Ghana becomes the centre of industrial establishments in Africa.

He said the establishment of the AfCFTA Secretariat in Ghana presented a bigger market to local industries which they must exploit by targeting markets within the continent to help put Ghana on the map as an industrial country.

That, he indicated, would help strengthen the national currency and reduce the high unemployment rate which had become a national security concern.

Mr. Osafo-Maafo was speaking at the 4th edition of the Ghana Industrial Summit and Exhibition (GISE) which took place in Accra yesterday.

The event, which was organised by the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), in partnership with the Volta River Authority (VRA), was on the theme: “Repositioning Ghanaian Industries to leverage the AfCFTA.”

It brought together the business community in the country to contribute to the discussion on leveraging the benefits the AfCFTA presents.

It also presented an opportunity for them to network and showcase their products and services to prospective clients and investors.

The Graphic also reports that the Ghana branch of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), has condemned the Anglican priest, Rev Father Balthazar Obeng Larbi, for kissing girls during a church service in a school.

The group in a statement on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, said “Sexual harassment and sexual abuse is not a laughing matter” and that “For far too long, the issue of sexual harassment has been at best side-lined and at worst silenced in the church.”

The President of FIDA-Ghana, Afua Brown-Eyeson, who signed the statement said “It is now time to challenge cultures of entitlement and abuse of power by clerics, which plague women and girls in religious settings.”

She added, “The reality though is that sexual harassment and abuse by clerics has been in the news for quite a while due to undue influence, duress and fear of religious authority. Though religious authority is regarded highly in Ghana, it should not be used as a cloak to oppress and abuse women and girls who most often need the protection of these clerics.”

FIDA, however, applauded the Anglican Church of Ghana “for taking this matter seriously by relieving Rev Father Larbi of his duties, providing counselling for the girls and investigating this unfortunate incident.”

The group also called on women and girls who have been sexually harassed in churches to come out with their experiences in order to raise awareness of these despicable acts.

Social media platforms went ablaze last Monday, August 16, 2021, when a video showing Rev. Fr Larbi kissing three female students of the single-sex college which trains teachers.

The Times says that the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) in 2019 overrun its budget by GH¢30,442,551 due to unplanned activities.

The amount represented 33.11 percent in excess of the GH¢91,939,573 budgeted for 11 expenditure heads during the year under review.

Budget for staff cost was exceeded by GH¢5.5 million; operational expenses, GH¢6.2 million; operations and maintenance, GH¢7.8 million; Marine Insurance, GH¢1,824; fuel, GH¢7.5 million; rent and rates, GH¢29,400 and honorarium, GH¢266,398.

The others were interview and expenses, GH¢94,998; Directors Allowance, GH¢61,962; Foreign Travelling and Transport, GH¢221,494 and security services, GH¢2.6 million.

This was contained in the Report of the Auditor General on the Public Accounts of Ghana – Public Boards, Corporations and Other Statutory Institutions submitted to Parliament on June 30 this year.

According to the report, lack of due diligence in the disbursement of funds by the company accounted for the irregularity.

It noted that the management misapplied the GH¢30.5 million on unplanned activities, a situation which could lead to delay in completion of other important planned projects.

The report said the actions by the management was in breach of Regulation 78 of the Public Financial Management Regulations, 2019 (L.I. 2378) which provides that, a principal spending officer of covered entity is personally responsible for ensuring in respect of each payment of that covered entity, that there is a sufficient unspent amount of an appropriation for making the payment.

Management, it said, was directed to justify the misapplication and further advised to desist from such act and operate within budget.

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