President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has challenged Parliament to exercise full authority over public finances.
“I belong to the group that feels strongly that our Parliament should be able to exercise full authority over our public finances,” he stated.
The President, who threw the challenge at a forum organised by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) in Berlin, Germany, yesterday, bemoaned Parliament’s inability to exercise effective oversight over the Executive arm of government.
President Akufo-Addo stated that it would be necessary to amend the Constitution to ensure Parliament exercise its responsibility, adding: “If this were done, it would enhance significantly Parliament’s oversight capacity.”
He acknowledged the fact that the amendment of the Constitution was not something that could be easily done.
“We take our politics very seriously; we are passionate about our beliefs and it will not be easy to make such a change or any change, for that matter, to the Constitution,” he added
On the role of the Judiciary, the President stated that Ghanaians “have not yet lived down the trauma of the excruciating shock and embarrassment of seeing officers of our courts in such compromising situations” following the Anas exposé on corruption in the Judiciary.
“But I am glad to be able to say that our former Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, Ghana’s first female Chief Justice, quickly rose to the occasion and introduced reforms to restore some dignity to the Judiciary,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo was confident that the Chief Justice nominee, Ms Justice Sophia Akuffo, “will be an effective leader of the Judiciary and guard jealously its independence. She will bring honour to the Judiciary and to our country”.
He described Ghana’s media as one of the most vibrant in Africa.
“We probably have one of the most vibrant media on the African continent, if not in the world. Like many of the other institutions of state, the media in Ghana came into their own in the Fourth Republic, where the Constitution guarantees freedom of the media.
“It is a loud and crowded media that we now have, and some feel that many journalists err on the side of recklessness. There is a lot to teach and to train those who practise journalism in our country, but, I must say, I would much rather have loud and reckless media than the meek and praise-singing one that used to characterise our newspapers, radio and television,” he stated
President Akufo-Addo acknowledged the training of media personnel by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Ghana.
According to him, “it is one of the many things for which we owe you the foundation a debt of gratitude”.