The Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, Inusah Fuseini has underscored the need for Ghanaians to precise the efforts by all stakeholders in ensuring the passage of the Right to Information Bill (RTI).The legislator says although the passage of the RTI was done under President Akufo-Addo, he should not take all the glory for the passage.
He told Kwabena Agyapong on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that since 1999, the RTI has been championed by some major players till its passage especially the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).
He is, therefore, asking Ghanaians to be mindful of the efforts by all these persons and organizations and appreciate them for that.
Mr. Fuseini said the bill help Ghanaians have access to information from any of our state institutions.
He stressed Ghanaians can access information from all government institutions including the Jubilee House and private institutions using state resources.
President Nana Akufo-Addo on Tuesday, 21st May 2019, gave assent to Right to Information Act, at a brief event at Jubilee House, the seat of the nation’s presidency.
In his remarks, before giving assent to the Act, President Akufo-Addo expressed his satisfaction that the passing of the Act came into effect during his time as President, and in the time of the 7th Parliament.
“I want to congratulate the 7th Parliament for its courage, sense of responsibility and commitment to good governance in passing this significant piece of legislation,” the President added.
The purposes of the Act, as set out in its Preamble, is to provide for the implementation of the constitutional right to information held by any public institution, and to foster a culture of transparency and accountability in public affairs.
This, in the view, of President “should enhance the quality of governance of our country, and provide a critical tool in the fight against corruption in public life.”
With Parliament having provided that Act comes into effect in the next financial year, i.e. January 2020, because of the financial consequences in the implementation of the law, the President stated that this is to give the public treasury the opportunity to make the necessary allocations to enable the Act to be effective.
“I am very happy that this law has finally been passed, and I did make the commitment that, when it was brought to me, I would give my assent to it right away. It was, in fact, brought to me yesterday afternoon,” the President said.
He continued, “But, on second thought, I felt that I should sign it in the plain view of the Ghanaian people, for you to know that this long-winding parliamentary process has finally come to an end.”
The first Right to Information RTI Bill was drafted under the auspices of the Institute of Economic Affairs, IEA and 16 years since the Executive arm of government in 2002 drafted the first RTI Bill.
The draft Executive Bill was subsequently reviewed in 2003, 2005 and 2007 but was never laid in Parliament until February 5, 2010. Government came under massive pressure to get the bill laid following fears that government was deliberately delaying the process.