The Looting Must Stop!

Feature Article of Friday, 30 November 2012

Columnist: Okan-Adjetey, Cornelius

28TH November,2012


Fellow well meaning Ghanaians, as the Grandson of the late Sergeant Adjetey, I had wanted to propose this system on the 28th of February 2013. This will be the day when the remains of my grandfather will be transferred from its present location to a new site as proposed by the Family and sympathizers.

The recent publication in the news papers pointing out how easy it has been for top executives at the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) to dip their hands into public funds to fund political party activities and birthday parties, has however pushed me to do this now.

As a concerned Ghanaian, I have sat down to deeply reflect on a way forward for Ghana, after the recent judgement debt issues came up. I have pondered over how few persons entrusted with the management of funds for millions, could dare to connive to loot those they claim to serve.

My conclusion from the above and recent events is that; the leadership have lost the conscience and moral authority and cannot be trusted with the resources of the state without adequate checks and balances. My proposal below therefore is a monitoring process for public expenditure by the public.

The system which is simple is founded on the legislation of the freedom of information bill. The telecos will play a major part in this process, which is:

1. Linking every single public account to their system via a short code

2. A list of all public sectors and their corresponding short codes will be published in the media.

3. Anyone who wants to monitor a particular account will text to a special short code and will be automatically assigned to that account-one can choose to monitor any one or more accounts he/she wishes to without limitations.

4. There will be an alert given either by email or text should any transaction be done on that account.

5. Ghanaians should insist that, prior to any transaction being carried on a particular account; information should be published so that monitors know why that particular amount is leaving the account when alerted.

6. In order not to get too detailed on daily bases to avoid the bureaucracy, a detailed account with explanation on total cost on expenditure for say a month should be published, putting the public in the known prior to withdrawal.

7. For example, in a local district, members of that district can decide to monitor their district account to know the following

• How much revenue comes in on monthly bases, either by tax or property rates, central government contribution.

• How many businesses are in the locality and how much tax is being taken (this allows them to calculate the income themselves)

• How many properties are in the locality and how much property taxes are being taken.

• How much expenses is done on monthly bases in totals and with explanations given in details on the districts website,

• How many employees or general over head cost per period, so that if that lump sum leaves the account there is no need to question.

Also, if there is a project, the cost of the project should be known before payments are made towards it. All sources of revenue must be made public and paid into the public account. There should be no account other than that which is monitored by owners of the account (members of the district or public)

8. Now there could be a charge on each text received by any subscriber, this should be very minimal and this amount could be reconciled and disbursed by the telecos and the use of this amount could be decided later.

I know we have computer experts in this country like Soft Tribe and others who can be sponsored to look further into this proposed system.

What I have Proposed is only here to set the bases for discussion to build on the idea .I strongly recommend that policy makers, the Tellico’s, local government ,ministry of finance and all stake holders should co-operate on non-partisan basis for an achievement of the objectives of the outlined monitoring process.

The people of Ghana deserve to know how their monies are being used. It should no longer be secret.

Fellow well meaning Ghanaians, a transparent system of governance, with the right systems of checks in place, in itself is revenue to the state.

Many at the helm of affairs will kick against this idea and give reasons why this should not happen. But the truth of the matter is that, the money is ours!

I can assure you that when measures’ such as these are put in place, the aggression with which people compete for public offices will halt. Our politics will attract the right calibre of noble men and women who genuinely wish to serve our dear nation. Ghana will be a nation of peace and prosperity.

The wealth of Ghana is for all and not just for a few greedy ones-GOD OUR HELPER!

Thank you

Cornelius Okan-Adjetey

[email protected]