Minister angry over radio phone-in programmes

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Tamale, Oct. 17, GNA – The Northern Regional Minister, Mr. Moses Bukari Mabengba has expressed dismay at the phone-in segment of radio discussions stressing that many faceless individuals have been hiding behind such programmes and denigrating personalities.

He said the media instead of helping to fight corruption and instill accountability in public sector workers, had rather turned to be tools behind which disgruntled individuals hid to attack politicians on corruption allegations without showing any evidence.

Mr. Mabengba suggested that radio stations must stop the phone-in segment if they did not have a proper means of preventing unscrupulous individuals from hiding behind the scene to denigrate others.

The Minister expressed this frustration in Tamale on Wednesday during a public consultative forum for national action plan on Open Government Partnership Initiative-Ghana, a new programme being implemented by the government to instill transparency and accountability among citizens.

The forum was supported by the World Bank and initiated in September last year with full implementation likely to begin in 2013.

Mr. Mabengba who said he had been working as a Lecturer before being made a minister emphasized that he could not be tagged as corrupt as was being peddled by some people, adding that “I will prefer television to see those faceless people”.

Mr. Alhassan Azong, Minister of State at the Presidency Responsible for Public Sector Reform said Ghana signed onto the Open Government Partnership (OGP) initiative in September last year and was expected to develop a national action plan for submission to the Global Secretariat of the OGP in New York by December 2012, and demonstrate its implementation by 2013.

He said the Steering Committee had been inaugurated with the mandate of planning, developing, and implementing Ghana’s action plan in accordance with the process of multi-stakeholder consultation agreed by OGP member countries. He said the country had made a lot of progress towards the fight against corruption and was committed to that fight to promote public trust and integrity.

Mr. Kwesi Jonah, a Consultant to the Programme and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Democratic Governance said the main aim of the programme was to deepen democratic governance with organic linkages with national programmes that were ongoing.

He said it was a continuous governance process that would improve the lives of the people, stressing that Ghana had already made progress in maintaining fiscal budgetary expenditure but suggested that there was the need for a mid-year review of the country’s budget.

Mr. Jonah expressed dissatisfaction with government about its inability to fulfill its promise of passing the Right to Information Bill, saying “I am not sure the Right to Information Bill will be passed before the end of the year”.

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