President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has indicated that his government is in the process of building water-tight evidence to ensure that the many alleged cases of corruption levelled against members of the previous administration stands the test of time at the court.
Addressing the media at his maiden press encounter at the Flagstaff House yesterday, the President said a lot of alleged cases of corruption have been brought to his attention, but indicated that these cases needed to be thoroughly investigated to gather concrete evidence for prosecution.
He was, however, quick to point out that “There are lots of allegations in our country, about people who were in office, many of them when you probe, turn out not to be the case”.
The President was emphatic on the fact of his commitment to the fight against corruption and the prosecution of the corrupt cases will be void of political witch-hunting of political opponents and also not “one just to satisfy the appetite of people”.
He said cases that will eventually end up in court “are going to be brought because they have been well-researched and there is a strong evidence of wrongdoing which a court of law can reliably use to convict,” he emphasised.
During the electioneering campaign, then candidate Akufo-Addo made a strong resolve to make corruption unattractive in the country by ensuring a timely prosecution of all corruption cases.
As president, one of his initial preoccupations with the fight against corruption has been the ongoing initiative to establish the Office of a Special Prosecutor to deal with all corruption cases.
At the event the President, the President encouraged parliament to speed up processes in passing the necessary legislation to get the law passed to establish that important office.
“I am glad to say that the Office of Special Prosecutor will be with us shortly. The Bill has currently been gazetted and will be in Parliament during this meeting. We all, in and out of Parliament, should take an interest and help with the rapid passage of a law that will serve us well”.
Fight against ‘galamsey’
Speaking of ongoing national effort at ending the destruction done to the environment by the activities of illegal miners across the country, the President reaffirmed his government’s commitment to end the menace with all the resources at his disposal.
He emphasised that although Ghana needs to exploit some of its natural resources to help provide its developmental needs, these resources must be exploited in a responsible manner.
“As I have said before since the Almighty has blessed our land with mineral resources, we cannot do without mining, and we have the right to exploit the minerals in our land. But we cannot and should not destroy our lands and water bodies and our environment in the search for gold and other minerals”.
The President also spoke about his government’s initiatives to bring the necessary innovations to modernise agriculture to make it a tool for creating jobs and wealth.
In furtherance of this, he said Extension Officers are being employed, for the first time in many years, to provide hands-on support to farmers, and we are generally paying extra attention to every stage of farming.
“The One Village, One Dam scheme is taking off in the three northern regions with the rehabilitation of the existing ones that are in sad states of disrepair. Planting for Food and Jobs, one of our flagship initiatives, has also started with increasing enthusiasm”.
Additionally, he said the programme has registered 185,000 farmers out of the 200,000 targeted of which government is bearing 50% of the cost of fertiliser for farmers.
He noted that to date, eighty thousand and thirty-seven (80,037) tonnes of fertiliser have been distributed to farmers enrolled on the programme. “Thirty-five thousand seven hundred and forty-seven (35,747) metric tonnes of seedlings have also been supplied to farmers. It is noteworthy that many of the suggestions for the ‘One District, One Factory’ initiative are agriculture based, and that tells me that my many sermons on agriculture and food processing as the basis for our industrial take-off are finding many converts”.
Speaking to government’s intervention in the latest army worm invasion of farms across the country, the President said government has mobilised the needed for the farmers to manage the situation.
“In dealing with this menace, government has mobilised support for farmers by supplying them 72,774 litres of insecticide. More are in the pipeline to confront effectively this scourge”.