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NDC to establish anti-corruption mechanism — Mahama

A national Democratic Congress (NDC) government will set up a value-for-money office as part of an elaborate anti-corruption mechanism for national governance, should the party win this year’s December 7, election.

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"One of our key policies will be to set up an independent value-for-money office to scrutinise all government procurements above the $5 million threshold or as shall be recommended by Parliament," the flag bearer of the NDC, John Dramani Mahama, has said.

The former president, who made the pledge during an encounter with the media in Accra last Sunday night, also gave assurance that he would maintain the Office of the Special Prosecutor and strengthen other existing anti-graft institutions to enable them fight against corruption comprehensively.

Mr Mahama arrived at the event hall in the company of his former appointee and current running mate, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, who sat among party stalwarts, including the head of the flag bearer’s campaign, Prof. Joshua Alabi; the party’s General-Secretary, Fifi Fiavi Kwetey; former Minister of Education, as well as Trade and Industry, Dr Ekwow Spio Garbrah; a former Deputy General-Secretary, Dr Peter Boamah Otokunor; Member of Parliament (MP) for Ningo-Prampram, Sam George, and MP for Adaklu, Governs Kwame Agbodzah, among others.

In the three-hour event, the former President projected the party's governance plan for various sectors, with job creation, stabilisation of the economy and the fight against corruption as central themes.

The former President made an initial 30-minute opening address before sitting through to answer rounds of questions from the media for more than two more hours. He answered questions on improving the Free Senior High School policy, creation of an enabling environment for youth employment, auditing the financing of the National Cathedral project and stabilising the economy through sound fiscal actions, among others.

Mr Mahama, however, hinged his campaign for another four-year mandate on his experience, visionary leadership for economic revival, commitment to job creation, as a champion of social justice and equality, and his disposition to national unity.

Transparency

Mr Mahama said: "The use of public finances will always be compliant with national laws, transparent, justified by contemporary value-for-money tests, and solely in the interest of citizens."

"If we want to eliminate corruption, we must increase accountability in government procurement processes. Accountability gives power back to the people,” the NDC flag bearer said.

He accused the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government of presiding over open corruption and other forms of ill-governance. "After almost eight years under the deplorable leadership of the Akufo-Addo and Bawumia administration, we have seen our country sink into a serious economic abyss. The current economic mess sums up the verdict of this NPP government”.

"The harsh reality is that, for most citizens, the piteous journey over the period has been a bitter experience of economic and social deprivation, the unprecedented levels of poverty, unemployment, deterioration in livelihoods and social inequity which have exposed the dubious strategy of hiding incompetence under slogans.

"It confirms without hesitation that the disruptive and hasty experimentation with the lives of citizens was underpinned by naïve exuberance, arrogance, and selfishness," former President Mahama said.

24-hour economy

Mr Mahama further explained that the party's 24-hour economic policy was a panacea to reshape the local economic system by stirring domestic production of different kinds of goods across sectors.

"The 24-hour economy is a solid way to replace imports with homegrown production of goods and thus create a solid base for a vibrant Ghanaian industry. In many instances, we don’t import goods because they’re better than ours; we import them because nobody produces them here, in Ghana, in the first place or because the local production is insufficient," the former President said.

"The stimulus package for companies wanting to participate in the 24-hour economy will convince businesses, and I am sure of it, to start producing import substitutes. Do you know why? Because the market for such products already exists,” former President Mahama stated.

The NDC flag bearer said it was time to reset the economy from the current "destructive tide" onto a path of growth and progress, with the additional perks of equitable opportunities for all.

"The challenges of today might seem insurmountable, but I urge you to look beyond the present and dream with me of a reset Ghana, the Ghana we all want, where your talents and hard work determine your success," Mr Mahama said in reference to the youth.

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