You are here: HomeNews2017 05 17Article 538396

General News of Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Government to demand accountability from state institutions

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has served notice that he will ensure full accountability from all institutions of state that depend on the Consolidated Fund.

He said the manner in which the national treasury had been handled with its attendant issues of corruption, malfeasance of various sorts and outright theft of public funds had led to an impact that had become obvious to all, evident in the state’s inability to fund some crucial developmental challenges.

“So we all have a collective responsibility to make sure that the monies in our country are properly used,” President Akufo-Addo pointed out.

UTAG

The President said this when the leadership of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) called on him to discuss matters regarding the welfare of university teachers last Friday.

“All of us will have to concern ourselves very closely with how our country is governed and how we can all together make sure that monies raised by public authorities are spent in an intelligent and accountable manner,” the President maintained.

During the interaction, UTAG stressed the need for public universities to be totally autonomous to enable them to undertake certain projects to facilitate their development.

Autonomy

However, the President was emphatic that it could not be the case that organisations and institutions that lived on the public purse were beyond the control and management of those that managed that purse.

“I am trying to understand the whole issue of autonomy. What does it mean? That for people who live on the Consolidated Fund, we cannot exact accountability from you? That cannot be the case,” he stressed.

President Akufo-Addo said the government would guarantee academic autonomy of the universities without any interference, but would strictly demand accountability on financial matters.

“When it comes to the use of public funds, you cannot say that you have total autonomy. At the end of the day, the accounting officer of the people of Ghana is me. So if I cannot insist on accountability from you, I cannot fulfil my duty of accountability,” he said

Commitment to teachers

The President indicated that steps would be taken to improve the conditions of university teachers to enable them to produce the needed workforce capable of contributing to the development of the country.

Any organised society that failed to pay attention to the quality of its teachers was consigning itself to failure and backwardness, he emphasised.

“You are at the very centre of the occupations in our country. We want to develop a labour force that will propel us fully into the 21st Century. If we are going to have that labour force, it will be because you are going to do a good job for all of us,” the President said.

Real independence

The Minister of Education, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, who was present at the meeting, said the ministry would dialogue with the teachers on matters relating to their welfare and conditions of service and that no decisions on matters of welfare of teachers would be taken without engaging them to know their concerns.

The association expressed satisfaction with moves by the government that showed that it had interest in the welfare of teachers and also expressed its commitment to support the government to improve the quality of education in the country.