CEMAC dialogues on preventing Corruption in public goods and Service delivery
The Citizens Empowerment Against Corruption (CEMAC) has held a meeting to dialogue with heads of departments in the Upper East Region on preventing possible corruptible practices in the provision of public goods and services.
The meeting which, was held in response to corruptible practices in four key areas including; access to subsidised fertilizers under the government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme, the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), which is a cash transfer programme aimed at empowering the extremely poor and vulnerable populations, the Free Maternal Health (FMH) to encourage pregnant mothers to visit health centres for antenatal services, and the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to get more people hooked to the scheme.
The consortium, which comprises the Association of Church Development Projects (ACDEP), Rise Ghana, the Upper East Regional branch of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the Presbyterian Health-North has funding support from the Star Ghana Foundation. The deliberations looked critically at the structures and systems that established the pro-poor intervention projects and commitment of policy makers and implementers to ensure that the right citizens identified as vulnerable accessed the services. Mr. Rudolf Abanga, a Programmes Manager with the Presbyterian Health North and a member of the consortium who led the discussions to share the project objectives with the stakeholders in seeking their support, explained that vulnerable groups suffer the most when any form of corruption was successfully perpetuated in any of the targeted areas.
He cited, for instance, the smuggling of subsidized fertilizers to neighboring Burkina Faso and Togo and said such ills invariably affected the poor who were mostly farmers and targeted by the government for support and at the same time affected food production and defeated government intentions on such interventions.
The discussants examined the open-endedness of the LEAP programme, which they said admitted so many unqualified people and thereby shot up the numbers, which invariably increased the government purse.
They identified over politicization of the LEAP programme leading to able-bodied people benefitting and called on the policymakers to review the content to make the needy to access it to achieve the needed results.
Dr. Abdul Razak Dokurugu, a Deputy Regional Director of Health in charge of Clinical Care advocated a clear cut policy on the Free Maternal Health (FMH) intervention to ensure that the beneficiaries, the National Health Insurance Authority and the implementing health facilities of the intervention avoided conflicts and provided the needed support to the beneficiaries.
The participants called for the strengthening of all Regional Technical Committees on the various areas and work through regional structures to ensure that goods and services around the aforementioned areas are delivered without any corruptible element and persuasions.
The participants were drawn from the Ghana Health Service, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), the Social Welfare Department, the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), the Department of Women, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), and the Regional Coordinating Council as a coordinating body.