Members of the Right To Information [RTI] coalition, Action Campaign, have asked President Akufo-Addo to fulfill his promise of having the RTI Bill passed into law before the current session of Parliament ends.
The members took to the principal streets of Accra on Monday morning, distributing flyers to get citizens involved in the advocacy to get the Bill passed.Speaking to Citi News, the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Anti-corruption Coalition, Beauty Emefa Narteh, said all their engagements with the government have been fruitless, so they have no option than to take the campaign to the streets.
“Previously, we have always done the engagement, we have sat with them to talk about it, it has not worked, so I believe that going to the streets and reminding the President to fulfill his promise is important,” she said.
According to her, the involvement of citizens in getting the bill passed is crucial.
“This bill is very important to them, that is why today we are sensitizing, eliciting and soliciting support from citizens to join and demand that the bill is passed,” she said.
She noted that politicians are able to pass bills they consider as important with urgency, but have failed to pass the RTI Bill for seventeen years.
Background of RTI Bill
The RTI Bill, which is expected to make information easily accessible by the media and Ghanaians to boost the fight against corruption, has been in legislation for well over 17 years now, because successive governments have failed to implement it despite several assurances.
Efforts by several advocacy groups to put pressure on duty-bearers to have the bill passed have also not yielded any positive results.
At his last address to Parliament, outgoing President John Mahama begged Parliament to pass the bill at the last minute but his call was ignored.
Although the incumbent New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has promised to pass the bill, it is unclear how soon that would be.
Cabinet yet to hold talks on RTI bill – Hamid
Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid, in January 2018 claimed that Cabinet had not held discussions on the RTI bill.
“Cabinet has proposed to have a special session to look at this particular bill because of the importance that it has before we then pass it and take it to Parliament…The bill is before Cabinet. It will be discussed. If you ask me when, I will not be able to say, but I am sure pretty soon the Cabinet Secretary will get a day when the entire Cabinet will retreat in order to look at this bill properly and then when we have a final consensus on it, we can then take it to Parliament,” he added.
By: Farida Yusif/citifmonline.com/Ghana