RTI Bill Will Be Passed Before Parliament Rises

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has given the strongest assurance yet that his government will take the necessary steps that will lead to the passage of the Right to Information (RTI) bill.

The president noted the passage of the bill will add to the fight against corruption in the country.

Addressing the 61st Independence Day parade in Accra on Tuesday, the president hinted that in addition to the creation of the Special Prosecutor’s office, his government will champion the passage of the Right to Information bill.

“There is, however, one piece of the anti-corruption framework that is yet to be put in place; The Right to Information Act. It would increase transparency and add another critical weapon to the armoury in the fight against corruption.”

He noted the bill which has stalled in previous parliament will be passed before the current parliament rises.

“After many years of  hesitation, we intend to bring a Bill again to Parliament and work to get it passed into law before Parliament rises,” he stated.

He also indicated that corruption is a major non-partisan phenomenon which continues to derail the development of the country as such it must be a concern for all.

“Fellow Ghanaians, corruption, or, more specifically, the stealing of public funds, continues to hold back the development of our nation.  Corruption is not a partisan matter and we must all act to protect the public purse”, he noted.

He reiterated that the protection of the public purse requires a concerted effort and that it inures to a collective interest for which reason it must be treated with all seriousness.

“The protection of the public purse is a social common good, and it depends on all of us. It is in all our interest that corruption does not thrive, and we police each other’s behavior”, the president said.

In line with the theme for 61st independence anniversary: Ghana beyond aid, the president urged Ghanaians not to connive with foreigners to steal from the national purse.

“Going Beyond Aid means Ghanaians should not serve as fronts for foreign companies to defraud our country. It will mean we all pay our taxes, and it will mean we all help to take care of government property as though it were our own”, he noted.

He added that attaining a Ghana beyond aid “will also require that we break from a mentality of dependency and adopt a confident can-do spirit, fuelled by love for our dear country, Ghana”

He cautioned “We cannot subordinate the common good to build a prosperous nation to the selfish interest of a few”.

The Right to Information (RI) is a fundamental human right guaranteed by the country’s 1992 Constitution and recognized as a right under International Conventions on Human rights. The bill will give substance to Article 21 (1) (f) of the Constitution which states that “All persons shall have the right to information subject to such qualifications and laws as are necessary in a democratic society”. The right to information bill has in the past been introduced to parliament but always expired on the resolution of parliament.

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