Politics of Friday, 6 July 2012

Source: GNA

Network calls for passage of bill

The Brong-Ahafo Network of Non-Governmental Organisation (BANGO), on Thursday expressed worry about the inactiveness of the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Right to Information Bill (RTI) towards the passage of the bill.

The Network, at a sensitization workshop in Sunyani expressed disappointment about the work of the committee, chaired by Mr. Twumasi Appiah, Member of Parliament (MP) for Sene and entreated other MPs in the region to contribute to the passage of the bill.

Mr. Gbiel Gabriel Benarkuu, Regional Chairman of BANGO, emphasized that the delay and failure as well as the unwillingness of the committee to expedite action on the passage of the bill was not the best.

More than 51 members of the network attended the workshop, which was aimed at updating participants on the current state of the bill and the unnecessary delays of the committee.

Mr. Benarkuu, who is the Regional Coordinator of the Right to Information Coalition stated: “There is no need for the committee to fear because the bill when passed will not target public office holders alone as it will rather seek to help deepen the country’s democratic systems”.

He noted that the delays in the passage of the bill was an indication that the perceived corruption within the legislature was true and called on the committee to work hard to prove skeptics wrong about this perception.

Mr. Benarkuu emphasized that Ghana was not the only country that was yearning for the passage of the RTI bill and cited Nigeria, Liberia India and other developing countries that had passed similar bills.

The bill, when passed, will show that Ghana is actually the gateway to Africa and will also attest that the country is seriously yearning to reach the middle income bracket and achieve specific targets in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), he added.

Mr. Benarkuu commended Civil Society Organisations and all state actors for their contributions to the current state of the bill and asked Parliament to be more proactive and pass the bill for the supreme interest of all Ghanaians.**