Mr Jacob Osei Yeboah (JOY), an independent presidential candidate in the 2012 and 2016 elections, has called on the Special Prosecutor (SP) to tackle systemic state corruption as his first assignment.
He said Mr Martin Amidu should track systemic state corruption from the ministries, civil servants, sector ministers, parliamentary committees, Parliament and the Presidency.
“Mr SP, it will make no sense to use so many years to retrieve monies such as Woyome’s while the public purse continues to leak.
We will need pre-audit approvals before spending by various ministries instead of waiting for the report of the Auditor-General annually, which is an exercise of waste or futility,” he argued.
Sharing his perspective on the appointment of the first SP, Mr Yeboah, while congratulating Mr Amidu on occupying the much-awaited Special Prosecutor’s office and President Akufo-Addo on his courage to deal with corruption, he pointed out that “systemic state corruption must be interrogated and any weaknesses identified corrected”.
According to Mr Osei Yeboah, the President’s catchphrase of “protecting the public purse” situated very well with the timeless wisdom in the adage, “prevention is better than cure”.
Threats of corruption
He said there were three main threats of corruption destabilising national security, which were gargantuan inflated project cost approval, misappropriation of public funds and fraudulent pretensions.
He asked, “How can the public purse be protected by the President when mechanised boreholes quoted by another public institution under the same government will cost the Ministry of Education GH¢39,630 while the Ministry of Development and Special Initiatives’ budgetary cost is GH¢132,000?”
In the view of Mr Yeboah, the epicentre of the government that perceptively institutionalised corruption either through incompetence or unbridled greed against Ghanaians was Parliament and its failure to circumspectly do due diligence on project cost approvals.
He said parliamentary approvals were the main source of the high Corruption Perception Index (CPI) of 2017 by Transparency International under the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government of President Akufo-Addo.
Mr Yeboah indicated that the root cause of the derailment of macroeconomic indicators was this hyper-inflated project cost approval by Parliament.
The corruption money, he stated, competed with actual goods for foreign currency, a source of capital flight from the country, while inflation of goods ensued, gross domestic product (GDP) growth was incorrectly perked and astronomical debt grew, restraining the government from spending to facilitate job creation in partnership with the private sector for our teeming unemployed youth.
According to Mr Yeboah, his office associated with the appointment of the SP; but the euphoria of June 4, 1979 served as a pointer that even the barrel of gun failed to deal with corruption because no systemic antidote was developed.
“As a nation, we need to interrogate parliamentary budget approvals in order for her to diligently undertake one of her key functions of protecting the public purse,” he stated.
He wished the SP well and expressed the hope that he would not fail himself, his family, community and the country and would help Ghanaians interrogate the source and rationale behind such hyper-inflated project costs.