-Spio-Garbrah Decries Corruption Menace In Gov’t
By Patrick Biddah
Dr. Ekow Spio-Garbrah, has decried the growing level of corruption in the country, saying never in the history of Ghana, has the presidency been sold than under President Nana Akufo-Addo, who promised to drastically deal with the canker wherever he smells it.
The former Trade and Industry Minister, is sickened by the level of bribery and corruption scandals that have hit the presidency over the 18-month period that the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has been in-charge.
More pathetic is the failure of the President to personally make a statement to debunk the bribe-taking allegation about his presidency, Dr. Ekow Spio-Garbrah, lamented.
Kennedy Agyapong, who boast of being a financier of the ruling party once revealed that, relatives of the President, were charging US$20,000 to arrange meetings for people wanting to see him.
This was later followed by the famous cash for seat saga, where expatriate businessmen in Ghana, had to pay to receive awards and also sit by President Akufo-Addo.
There were later followed by claim of former Ghana Football Association (GFA) President, Kwesi Nyantakyi on the secret video by Anas that some US$1 million had to be given to Deputy Presidential Staffer, Asenso Boakye to get President Akufo-Addo to get them some government contracts to execute.
These and others Dr. Spio-Garbrah, suggests has cheapened the Presidency.
He adds “never in the history of Ghana .Not since Kwame Nkrumah, Afrifa, Kotoka, Gen Ankrah, all the way to Busia, Acheampong ,Jerry Rawlings One ,Jerry Rawlings Two, Limman in between ,Kufour ,Mills, Mahama, has the presidency of Ghana been for sale”.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Herald, the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Chamber, said President Akufo-Addo’s attempt at fighting corruption, has been worse.
“Currently what we are hearing is the Presidency for sale. It is the NPP people who are saying it. Kennedy Agyepong first came and alerted us that Mr. President open your eyes, shine your ears because some people in your office and he mentioned their names that deputy chief of staff are collecting $20,000 if someone want an appointment with you”.
According to the former Communications Minister under ex-President Jerry John Rawlings, the investigation into the $20,000, which proved nothing wrong created the ground for charging higher fees to see the President.
“BNI came and said there is nothing wrong. So fine and since there is nothing wrong then we would charge even higher .So if you want to sit by the President for dinner, you can pay $100,000, and you get the privilege to sit by the President”, he pointed out.
To him, the bribery at the presidency went higher in view of the fact that Parliament by a majority decision found nothing wrong in its investigation into the cash for seat saga.
“After investigation, nothing was wrong so people said the price may even go higher. So if now you want a contract to be approved by the President. He will take five million, Vice President will take three, the Minister will take two or one”, he said.
When reminded that by this paper that these cases were mere allegations against the Presidency and the police were investigating, he quizzed “but have you heard the President denying? Have you heard the Vice president denying?
In all of these, the failure of the president to deny all the corruption allegation, according to Dr. Spio-Garbrah, is to be expected in the sense that it will give the signal to the people to stop paying for which reason, he believes the president cannot openly deny.
“Have you heard the president saying I don’t take five million dollars? Have you heard Bawumia saying he does not take three million dollars? If they come out to say we do not take five dollars, we do not take three million dollars when people want contracts in Ghana, the people will stop paying these monies but they do not want them to stop paying “,he claimed.
“ First when people said they were taking US$20,000 he the President should have come out to say people of Ghana, people of the world you do not have to pay money to come and see me. I am available for all Ghanaians and all investors alike,” President Akufo-Addo could have made this statement to debunk the US$20,000, he said
“You should not have to pay money to get contract so please if you have a job in Ghana come and do you it and ignore all people who are trying to be brokers that you do not have to pay anything but he has not been able to do that”, he charged.
To further buttress his claims, he told The Herald of an encounter his foreign friend had with government people at the various Ministries which he said makes the corruption allegation more prevalent than what is in the public domain.
“I had dinner only yesterday with a certain foreign business person who confirmed that it is impossible to do business in Ghana these days”, he recalled.
“This person has got about five different business proposals to Ghana and every Ministry she goes to people are asking for money. Bring this and what she does not understand is, in this case it is not contract they are asking government to award to them. This are private investment projects “, he added.
“The person is coming to invest their own $20, 30, 40,50 million dollar cash in the Ghanaian economy and you are asking them for money “,he wondered, adding “So the business community are totally confused and dumbfounded, he posited, whiles recalling the complaints of the U.S ambassador who openly said U.S investors are refusing to come to Ghana because of corruption.
In his estimation, the inability for the government to even deny what the U.S ambassador said, was enough testimony of the level of corruption in the country.