SONA 2021: Akufo-Addo says his govt does not shy away from scrutiny

SONA 2021: Akufo-Addo says his govt does not shy away from scrutiny

-President Akufo-Addo has said his administration accepts scrutiny

-He also said that under his presidency, Ghana will be defined by integrity

-He further pledged to protect the public resources

President Nana Akufo-Addo has stated that his administration does not shy away from public scrutiny, days after forcing the Auditor General, Daniel Domelevo, into retirement for taking a strong stance against corruption in the public sector.

“Ours is not a government that shies away from public scrutiny. Far from it. That is not the NPP way,” he stated on Tuesday when he delivered the first State of the Nation Address of his second term.

SONA 2021: Akufo-Addo says his govt does not shy away from scrutiny
SONA 2021: Akufo-Addo says his govt does not shy away from scrutiny...Photo credit: Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
Source: Facebook

According to him, his administration enacted in 2019 the Right to Information which was shirked by the previous administration to strengthen public scrutiny of the Executive.

He said Ghana under his presidency will be defined by “integrity, sovereignty, a common ethos, discipline, and shared values.”

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Moments after assuring that public resources will be managed with "integrity, fairness, openness, and accountability,” the president hinted that his administration wished to return the controversial Agyapa Royalties deal to Parliament.

Former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, flagged the deal after conducting a corruption and anti-corruption risk assessment report on it in 2020.

He said in his report that there was reasonable suspicion of “bid-rigging and corruption” as well as the likelihood for “illicit financial flows and money laundering” in selecting the deal’s transaction advisor(s).

Amidu resigned as the country’s special prosecutor following the report, citing threats on his life and a series of traumatic experiences.

Delivering his first State of the Nation Address of his second term on Tuesday, March 09, 2021, President Akufo-Addo said the botched deal will be back to the lawmaking chamber.

“The government will come back to engage the House on the steps it intends to take on the future of the Agyapa transaction,” President Akufo-Addo told the lawmakers.

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Parliament on August 14 approved the controversial deal despite a walkout by the Minority.

The approval would enable the country to use a special purpose vehicle, Agyapa Royalties Limited, to secure about $1 billion to finance large infrastructural projects.

Former Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Gloria Akuffo, reportedly never opposed the controversial deal despite her office declaring in 2020 that the agreement was not in the interest of Ghana.

The office further added it was unclear what benefits “will come to the Republic of Ghana and the fund other than the one-off payment,” considering that the agreement runs in perpetuity with stringent responsibilities of the fund throughout its lifespan.

Investment bank, Databank withdrew from the deal as transaction advisors.

The Group CEO of Databank, Kojo Addae-Mensah, said that the tumult generated grossly compromises the ability of the firm to execute such a market-sensitive and novel transaction, hence, the withdrawal.

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