Member of Parliament for the people of Banda Constituency in the Brong Ahafo Region, Hon. Ahmed Ibrahim has thrown a challenge to Akufo Addo government to walk the talk by not introducing other bills in Parliament to pave way for the passage of the Right To Information (RTI) Bill into law.
According to the NDC MP, it is impossible to fight corruption as President Akufo Addo claims to be doing without the passage of the RTI Bill into law.
Speaking on Okay FM’s “Ade Akye Abia” Morning Show, Hon. Ahmed Ibrahim urged the government to consider the RTI Bill as its number one priority and focus on the passage of the bill into law by not bringing further bills for consideration until the RTI bill is passed.
He reiterated that it is welcoming to see NGOs and other media practitioners coming on board to pressurise the government into doing the needful.
“Media Coalition on RTI has started mounting pressure and showing concerns but I think that this is the kind of pressure we need. People thought it is the work of only the NDC to mount pressure on the government; the work is not for only the NDC. We are only a Minority in Parliament and all those who are not in government are part of the minority”, he averred.
“So the kind of pressure NGOs and citizens are mounting to see the passage of the RTI bill is welcoming news and that will make the government realise that RTI bill is a priority because the bill, whenever we decide to work on it, the government introduces new bill as its priority and then pushes aside the RTI bill,” he noted.
Hon. Ibrahim explained that the RTI law is the key to every public department to demand for information on their activities as it is the taxpayer’s money which is being used to run the operations of the public service.
“For instance, we need to know how state money is being used, how loans are acquired and the cost of infrastructural development and the kind of people involved in the contract? So if the work is not done well, you can confront the contractors and the government agency”, he explained.
He stressed that without the RTI law, Ghanaians tend to think any infrastructural development by a government is an act of favour, denying them the right to ask how the state resources were used as it is their tax being used to implement the projects.
“Without information, the work can be done anyhow but if the RTI law is in place, it is an access key to unlock every place of government to give proper probity and accountability. If the RTI bill is passed, every Ghanaian will have the right to ask for any information in the country…the work of investigative journalists will be easy and their lives will not be in danger”, he asserted.
“That is why we are saying that if the government is determined to fight corruption, it should stop all other bills until the RTI bill is passed into law, then we will know he [Nana Addo] is committed to fighting corruption. He must walk the talk”, he demanded.