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Opinions of Monday, 13 February 2017

Columnist: Abdulai, Alhaji Alhasan

Fierce tussle over government cars; eye opener on data base in RTI law

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The conduct of the 2016 presidential and parliamentary election is held highly worldwide as very peaceful thereby improving the country’s political profile.

Because the government of National Democratic Congress NDC led by John Mahama was defeated by the New Patriotic Party NPP the nation relied on the transitional act of parliament to move over power and state assets from the NDC to NPP under the leadership of H.E Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo.

However, the handing over process as revealed daily in the media is not smooth sailing.

While the outgone NDC appointees provided a memo indicating the number of cars bequeathed to the NPP government the new government of NPP say the 426 vehicles that were expected to be in the presidential pool of vehicles have gone, down to 218.

This means that just like the acting press secretary of the new government said more than 200 of the vehicles are missing. As a writer am in no position to give support to the outgone government or the new one. All I can say is that both parties need to meet as they did during the transition meetings to iron out the issues further.

This can lead to them discovering the missing cars perhaps as some of the cars have been transferred to some government officials who bought them. If some of the cars are in the custody of other persons illegally, those cars may also be found.

The media exchanges will continue to give us bad press and dented image locally and globally. The ruling NPP and NDC must take it easy as the issue can be resolved. While struggling to find solution to the issue of cars, we must not lose sight of other important government properties spread throughout the country that need to be handed over to the current government.

Do we have no problem regarding the houses and other government properties?

Unless we get the hint from government or the transitional team, we might take it that there is nothing amiss.

The hullabaloo over the cars and other government properties is an eye opener for all of us especially the ruling government and the outgone government. since both the NDC and NPP are the main parties in parliament they must hurry up with the passage of the RTI bill into law. It is their best opportunity to avoid conflict over state assets in future.

An important aspect of the law is the establishment of info desk in all government offices that have the mandate to keep records of government properties.

Such records would then be transferred periodically to a central data base that can be made available on line and can be obtained by any Ghanaian for a small fee. You would agree with me that if the RTI law were in place not only the transitional team but central data base could have been tapped for information on the cars and other state properties.

This will in turn save us from embarrassing conflicts over cars and other state assets

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR eanfoworld for sustainable development 0244370345/0208844792/0274853710

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