In his remarks at the 4th Africa Network of Parliamentary Budget Officers on Monday, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, the Speaker of Parliament emphasised the need to deepen Parliamentary scrutiny of the budget process in Africa.
He said this would be a way of raising income to provide for government expenditure efficaciously and also ensuring true accountability for government expenditure so as to avoid abuse and corruption.
In the process, he took a swipe at the remarks recently made by the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Ron Strikker, describing them as ill-informed, misplaced and woefully unbefitting a diplomat of a friendly nation.
He told the participants at the conference that what Ghana’s President has conceptualised is for Africa and should be embraced.
“No nation in the world industrialised without protectionist strategies. Now Africa is being asked to do so. Our President wants a genuine partnership to wean us out of this dilemma. And of course, it is clear that certain colonial powers are against this. Period!” He charged the Africans assembled to re-think deeply on these.”
The Speaker emphaised that a Ghana Beyond Aid is coterminous with A Ghana Against Corruption.
He pointed out several policy measures including the Procurement Act, the abolition of the Criminal Libel Law etc initiated by this President when he was once Attorney-General.
“Currently, the law on the office of the Special Prosecutor, the Right to Information and others which the President has led in passing, imposes sanctions against corrupt officials etc. These are on-going and are worthy of commendation and encouragement to do more. But this ridicule must seriously be eschewed by all right-thinking members of society.”
The Dutch Ambassador to Ghana has since clarified his “Ghana beyond Corruption” comments.
In a statement on Monday, he said he did not call for the ‘Ghana beyond aid’ agenda to be replaced by a ‘Ghana beyond corruption’ agenda.
”Nothing could be further from the truth. The Netherlands has been and will be a staunch supporter of the Ghana beyond aid agenda initiated by President Nana Dankwa Akufo-Addo in 2017.”