Speaking to Citi News at the launch of the first Assurance Report of the Sekondi-Takoradi CoST Infrastructure Transparency Initiative, the Executive Secretary for the Coalition, Beauty Emefa Nartey, said, this would prevent public officials from using public resources to finance their debts by the time they leave office.
“Ghana’s constitution has outlined that in terms of asset declaration, it should include liabilities and so we are not supposed to only declare assets but we are also supposed to be declaring liabilities as well. This is with the expectation that when somebody comes into public office and they are indebted, they do not use public office to pay off their debts. So it is important for people to declare even debts that they owed before they came into public office and at the same time the assets they have, which Act 550 also talk about.”
“But in terms of interpretation and understanding, people only see it as asset declaration and the few people that declare their asset, only declare their asset and do not include the liabilities and it is difficult for monitoring.“
The Sekondi-Takoradi CoST Infrastructure Transparency Initiative is a six months programme aimed at promoting transparency and Accountability in Public infrastructure project delivery at STMA.
The Cheif Executive of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, Anthony K. K. Sam, speaking on the first Assurance Report of the CoST initiative said it is an antidote to reducing corruption perception and improve citizens participation in tracking public projects which the STMA has enjoyed since joining the CoST initiative.
“When it comes to procurement, the first is that you must make sure it is transparent from the beginning. We engage the community when we have a project so that they become part, and when it gets to the procurement stage, then we publish for everybody to hear. Some of the benefits we have acquired are that, hitherto, there were not enough qualified procurement officers in place. Thankfully we have some in place now. So when we go there, we let them know what they have to do from day one. These people have been policing and monitoring the assembly not to go wayward. Because the auditors are there to come look through our books. So if you falter, it would go against you. Hitherto, the situation was not like this, so when you look at the league table of Ghana, STMA was far below but with our joining the CoST initiative, we are moving up the league table,” the MCE said.
Counting some of the CoST initiative achievements, Isaac Aidoo who is the Manager said it has enabled the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis to develop the necessary transparent infrastructure to promote accountability to benefit the masses.
“For us at Sekondi-Takoradi, we have our Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) in place as a result of the CoST initiative and we have built their capacity. The MSG now has its charter, so these are the things that have been put in place to make sure that the MSG gets going so that the CoST initiative becomes a success. So STMA is part, the private sector is part, the civil society organisations are part so that we all come together to help promote transparency and accountability in infrastructure delivery”.