President John Dramani Mahama has said government will not spare any official who engages in corrupt practices.
He said government will take all the needed measures, including suspension of salaries of the officials if they were found to be engaged in any form of corrupt practices.
“We will go after them…no matter whose ox is gored…we shall continue to fight corruption and will not be deterred by anybody,” he threatened. President Mahama, who was addressing the last meeting of the Council of State at the Peduase Lodge in the Eastern Region, said he had written letters to all Ministers to implement the 2012 Auditor-General’s Report.
He said as part of measures adopted to ensure transparency in the implementation, all cases of corruption would be investigated and all those who fell under the axe of the Auditor-General’s Report’s implementation that would be published would, among other sanctions, have their salaries withheld.
President Mahama also mentioned that apart from directing the national service personnel to take their allowances through e-zwich, government will device other ways of stemming ghost names on government payrolls.
He commended the Council for the advice provided throughout the year, adding that “2015 is going to be a pivotal year and am happy to have such an excellent Council that will offer me the power to ensure that Ghana becomes a model in West Africa and the entire continent.”
On leveraging the economy, President Mahama said government’s engagement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will offer the best options to make it resilient in the face of international challenges.
He said investments in Ghanaian industries will reduce the import bills, hence government’s determination to support the poultry, pharmaceutical and agricultural production to make Ghana self-reliant and a net exporter of food in the coming years.
Regarding the continuous load shedding of electricity though Ghana is now producing gas, President Mahama explained that low water levels had compelled both the Akosombo and Bui Hydro dams to shut down a turbine each.
He said the unreliable supply of gas from the West African Gas Pipeline had also become detrimental to Ghana’s electricity generation and gave the assurance that steps were underway to reverse the trend soon.
Cecilia Johnson, Chairperson of the Council, commended President Mahama for taking steps to fix the economy although there were still some rough edges to be smoothened.
She congratulated the President and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for a peaceful and successful National Delegates Congress over the weekend.
She, however, cautioned government to be wary of the energy challenges, labour issues and perceived corruption as that could tarnish its reputation.