President, Mr John Dramani Mahama says the fight against corruption is a very complicated one but has given an assurance that the government is determined to battle it to the fullest.
He said in dealing with the canker, the government was looking at two fronts — “exposing and dealing with corrupt practices when they come up, to serve as a deterrent to others; and tightening the systems to prevent corruption from occurring in the first place”.
Speaking at the opening of a meeting with the Council of State at the Peduase Lodge on Friday, the President said, “People are corrupt because they get the opportunity to be corrupt. That is why we need to put in place procedures that will make it difficult for people to engage in corruption.”
Purpose of meeting
The meeting with the Council of State was meant to give the President and the members of the council the opportunity to share ideas on matters of national importance.
Mr Mahama said the meeting was very important, since it was taking place at a time a number of things were happening within the country and in the surrounding international environment.
He mentioned the economic challenges confronting the country as one of the developments.
The President acknowledged the importance the Council of State attached to the promotion of nationalism and patriotism in the country.
That, he said, came up strongly during his last meeting with the council, saying since then Ghanaians had come to appreciate why the council had raised the issue of nationalism and patriotism.
He asked the council to take the matter to the next step by developing it into a full campaign to educate the people on responsible citizenship.
While commending the council for the rich advice and cooperation given him on various issues, including certain appointments he made, the President said, “I want to say I have benefitted from my interactions with you.”
“The Constitution enjoins me to consult you on many appointments and I appreciate your input in all that,” he said. Mr Mahama said the input made by the council was beginning to show in the delivery of some of the management boards of state-owned enterprises (SOEs). ”
A lot of the boards are working to turn around the SOEs,” he said, adding that he was always open to suggestions from the council.
The Chairperson of the council, Mrs Cecilia Johnson, said her group appreciated the efforts the government was making to extricate the nation from economic tentacles.
She said some of the measures might be harsh but expressed the hope that there would be light at the end of the tunnel.
Mrs Johnson spoke against corruption and said everything must be done to tackle it head-on.
While commending the government for its efforts at instilling sanity in the operations of the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Agency (GYEEDA) and the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority ( SADA), she also called for the prosecution of all persons connected with various criminal acts within the two organisations.
The prosecution, she said, would serve as a deterrent to others who might want to use their positions to fleece the country.