“Lawyers must support the fight against corruption ”-Akufo-Addo
President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has labeled corruption and environmental hazards as two of the most important challenges facing the country and has appealed to the Ghana BAR Association (GBA) to wholeheartedly support the fight against these social cankers.
He said: “If we do not tackle corruption, we will not be able to develop our nation; by the same token, if we don’t win the fight against environmental hazards especially the battle against illegal mining, we will have no nation to speak of. I am fully committed to do all in my power to confront these twin challenges and in this endeavour, I ask for the wholehearted support of the GBA to make it a success.”
The President alluded to the imminent establishment of the Special Prosecutor’s office as a landmark move underpinning government’s genuine commitment in fighting against corruption and environmental hazards.
“Members of the BAR will provide personnel to man the office. Much of its success will depend on their integrity and genuine commitment in the fight against corruption,” President Akufo-Addo said.
The President was addressing the opening session of a five-day annual general conference of the Ghana BAR Association held in Sunyani.
The event was under the theme “Saving the future generation from the scourge of corruption and environmental hazards-The role of the legal profession.”
The Attorney-General & Minister of Justice, Gloria Afua Akuffo, bemoaned the widespread of corruption as the major developmental challenge as well as a threat to democratic development and good governance despite the existence of many anti-corruption laws and enforcement agencies, thus contributing to the alarming destruction of environment.
“Some of the causes of the problems in our mining areas cannot be divorced from corruption. The corrupt activities range from embezzlement of funds for environmental protection programmes through major corruption in the issuing of permits and licences, which often leave environmental safeguards ignored or bypassed,” she said.
The GBA National President, Benson Nutsukpui, called on state institutions responsible for environmental protection to step up their game to help confront the ‘evil’ of environmental degradation, particularly the menace of illegal mining and logging.
On the issue of effective financial management of public resources, the GBA President said: “it is high time Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), in the spirit of transparency, started publishing their approved budgets and internal audit reviews on their websites or in approved formats that are readily accessible to members of the public to enable citizen tracking and monitoring of their expenditure.”