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‘We are fighting corruption through digitisation’– Bawumia defends

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia

Vice-President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has defended the government’s record in fighting corruption, despite criticisms over a lacklustre fight.

Dr. Bawumia said the government had leveraged technology to eliminate corruption at a slew of state institutions such as the ports, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority, the passport office, and hospitals.

“We have started automation of our hospitals and we have seen efficient and improved service deliveries at hospitals that we have implemented this. We want to make sure that we go paperless in the health sector so that you don’t have to move from one hospital to the other carrying files, or one department of a hospital to another, it will all be digital.”

“For example, Cape Coast teaching hospital is 100% paperless, Ho and KATH are 50% paperless, Korle Bu is 86% paperless. Tamale teaching hospital is starting the process of going paperless. We are making progress,” he said.

He said the Akufo-Addo government would work to digitise land ownership managed by the Land Commission, another institution fingered for corruption.

The government’s commitment came under fresh scrutiny following the sudden resignation of the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, from an office that the NPP government created in fulfillment of its 2016 campaign promise.

That promise was to create a special office firewalled from political interference and given greater security of tenure. But Martin Amidu who traces his political career to the president’s rival party the NDC resigned citing presidential interference, a claim the government has denied.

Taking to the podium to address the 12th Nation Building series, Vice-President Dr. Bawumia ventured into the area of corruption where an Afrobarometer report suggests the government has not been doing well.

Ghana’s worst score under the John Mahama administration was 43 while the country’s best score in the three years of Akufo-Addo’s presidency is 41. John Mahama’s best score was 48 in 2014.

The Vice-President however insisted, the government’s commitment has been ‘the best in years’ pointing to the resourcing of anti-graft institutions such as CHRAJ, Office of the Special Prosecutor.

He said there are at least 40 officials and ex-government officials standing trial over corruption-related offenses for a collective amount of some 2.25billion cedis.

Six of them have been found guilty, he said. “We have demonstrated leadership in fight corruption,” Dr. Bawumia said.

While no exhaustive list was provided, it is known that last May three former government appointees at the National Communications Authority have been jailed for wilfully causing financial loss of $4million to the state.

Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, a former board chairman of the National Communication Authority (NCA) will serve six years imprisonment for his part in the $4m NCA scandal.

William Matthew Tetteh Tevie, a former Director-General of the NCA, and Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman, a former Deputy National Security Coordinator were each sentenced to five years imprisonment for also causing financial loss to the state.

Dr. Bawumia’s statement comes several hours after a University of Ghana survey revealed that only 4% of voters would consider corruption-related issues in the 2020 election.

It says corruption would influence the decision of only 4% of voters in the 2020 polls. The voters said in the research that they would rather vote based on campaign messages of political parties.

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