Cabinet has given approval for the Right to Information Bill to be laid in Parliament for debate and approval, the Vice President of the Republic, H.E. Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has announced.
The Bill, which has been on the drawing board for the past 17 years, is set to receive a parliamentary attention as soon as possible and will greatly aid in the fight against corruption, according to Dr Bawumia.
Speaking at the opening session of the Norway-Ghana Business and Investment Forum in Accra on Monday March 19th, 2018, Vice President Bawumia deplored the debilitating effects of corruption, especially in developing countries, and outlined a number of measures the Nana Akufo-Addo Government is putting in place to combat the menace.
“For many countries including Ghana, corruption has become a curse that afflicts many. In fact, it is said that the worst disease in the world today is corruption. And there is a cure: transparency and accountability. Between the rise and fall of many nations is the bridge called corruption. Ghana has taken cognizance of the mistakes of others.
“Since coming into office, President Akufo-Addo has deployed some bold initiatives at curbing the corruption menace in order to assure the investing public of the safety of their investments.
“The establishment of the Office of the Special Prosecutor backed by an act of Parliament says it all. This month also, cabinet has given approval for the Right to Information Bill to be laid in parliament for debate and approval. It is our hope that this will be an additional feather in our cup in the fight against corruption.”
The oil and gas sector, which is also amenable to corruption, is also receiving serious scrutiny.
“One major milestone we have reached in the fight against corruption as a government is transparency in terms of good governance. In the oil and gas sector, for instance, government has launched The Ghana Petroleum Register in February this year. The register contains petroleum agreements and permits which have been published online.
“All 17 active Petroleum Agreements have been published. This makes Ghana one of the leading examples in Africa in resource contract transparency. It is also a demonstration by the President to fight corruption in the oil and gas industry.”
In another development, the West African Office for the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund), Norway’s Development Finance Institution, has been established in Accra. In many countries, Norfund has facilitated economic growth and poverty reduction by investing risk capital in profitable businesses.
The Norwegian Minister of International Development, Mr Nicolai Astrup, officially opened the Ghana office on the 19th of March 2018.