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General News of Monday, 12 October 2015

Source: Class FM

I’ll declare my assets as President – Akufo-Addo

Nana Akufo-Addo - NPP Presidential Candidate Nana Akufo-Addo - NPP Presidential Candidate

Nana Akufo-Addo has promised to publicly declare his assets if elected as President of Ghana in the December 2016 elections.

He said he will follow the example of President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, as a way of shoring up confidence of the citizenry, in a future Akufo-Addo Government, and fighting corruption, simultaneously.

“Yes, we are going to do that,” Mr Akufo-Addo told Citi Breakfast Show host Bernard Avle Monday October 12, 2015, when asked if he will follow Buhari’s example.

“I believe it’s an important step towards accountability in our system,” but added: “…I mean I’m not a great believer in grandstanding on these matters.”

In early September, Buhari declared he had $150,000 (£100,000) in his personal account. It was a gesture by the former military leader and self-appointed Minister of Petroleum, to promote transparency, by letting his country know of his “Spartan lifestyle,” as his spokesman Garba Shehu told the BBC.

Buhari, elected in March this year, said he has five homes and two mud houses, as well as farms. He owns an orchard and a ranch with a herd of cattle numbering 270, 25 sheep, five horses and a variety of birds. Additionally, he owns shares in three firms, has two undeveloped plots of land and two cars, which he bought from his savings.

Buhari’s Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, per his declaration, is wealthier than his boss. The Lawyer and Pastor declared he had $1.4m (£900,000) in his bank accounts, as well as a four-bedroom residence, a three-bedroom flat, a two-bedroom flat and a two-bedroom mortgaged property in Bedford, UK.

Buhari, whose election has brought some sanity into the corruption-riddled economic giant of Africa, has begun measures to tighten the noose on the problem.

In his interview, Mr Akufo-Addo acknowledged the progress made by Mr Buhari, in tackling corruption within the few months of his leadership, and said: “I think it is important that those of us who are going to be involved, hopefully in the next government, there’s clear understanding amongst us, of the need for us to make these important gestures so that the country can have confidence.”

“Yes, the personal example is absolutely critical,” in fighting corruption, he said.

Ghana’s Public Office Holders (Declaration of Assets and Disqualification) act-1998, ACT 550 requires that a category of public office holders, including the President, his Deputy, Ministers of State, amongst others, “…shall submit to the Auditor-General a written declaration of-

(a) all properties or assets owned by him; and

(b) all liabilities owed by him; whether directly or indirectly.

(2) The declaration shall be made on the form provided in Schedule II to this Act.

(3) It shall be the responsibility of the officers required to make the declaration under this Act to obtain the forms from the office of the Auditor-General.

(4) The declaration shall be made by the public officer-

(a) before taking office;

(b) at the end of every four years; and

(c) at the end of the term of his office and shall in any event be submitted not later than six months of the occurrence of any of the events specified in this subsection.”

Such public officers, however, do not declare their assets, a situation, which anti-graft body Ghana Integrity Initiative, the local chapter of Transparency International, has always had cause to complain about, yet to no avail.

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