A former United Notions Governance Advisor Professor Baffour Agyeman-Duah, has urged the government to begin processes to stop the culture where every investor must meet with the President or the Vice President before they can get the necessary documents to begin the operations.
He expressed worry that the situation where close associates of the President and the Vice President begin to use their names to negotiate with investors may not stop anytime soon and future presidents may be caught in this web if immediate steps are not taken to address this mishap.
Professor Agyeman-Duah explained that, “we have structured our governance around the Presidency that anybody even including businessmen who are seeking to do business in this country have to get approval from the President or the Vice President and that is creating this problem, the Presidency should’ve been isolated from this kind of things”.
While sharing his thoughts on the latest expose by Investigative Journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas on Ghana Tonight on TV3, Professor Agyeman-Duah questioned why the Ministry of Trade and Industry and other related agencies usually don’t lead such negotiations with the investor community.
He also indicated that the issue of bribe paying was not only at Ministerial level but also within the various agencies where many Ghanaians are unable to register their businesses because they refuse to pay bribes or give in to other demands.
“If the President is not even aware that even at the Ministerial level these things are happening as well as certain lower level than we have a problem because if you listen to stories of even our own wanting to do business in this country and the kind of Merry go around they are subjected to and often times they even fail to get the registration all because they did not pay something or because the demand for certain shares were not fulfilled is awful so i do agree that this is an issue of National importance and that the president should take the lead in making sure this issue is addressed”, he stressed.
Professor Agyeman-Duah also added that the President’s decision to fire Charles Adu Boahen who was a Minister of State in charge of finance was good and “I wish he had acted decisively in similar cases in the past rather than refer them to the CID and other institutions who will always come out to say we didn’t find anything”.
He also urged the Office of the Special Prosecutor to do an independent investigation into the matter and inform the public on whether or not other officials were involved in this scandal.