Govt will exact accountability from institutions — Pres Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says his administration will expect accountability from all autonomous state institutions that do not have direct control of the government.

He said although the government would desist from interfering in the activities of autonomous public institutions, it would  not allow managers of such institutions to hide behind their autonomous status to deny the public of accountability.

The President made these remarks when the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) called on him at the Flagstaff House last Friday to discuss, among other things, issues relating to the welfare of university teachers.

In the course of the discussion, the association stressed the need for public universities to be totally autonomous to enable them undertake certain projects to facilitate the development of the universities.

But the President dismissed the suggestion and explained that although the government would guarantee academic autonomy of the universities without any interference, it 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, how can I  fulfill my duty of accountability,” he said.

He, however, pledged the government’s commitment to improve the condition of university teachers to enable them produce the needed workforce capable of contributing to the development of the country.

“Any organised society that does not pay attention to the quality of teachers is consigning itself to failure and backwardness,” he said and indicated that education was one of the major priorities of his government because it held the key to the country’s future.

President Akufo-Addo said the government was committed to building a developed labour force that could compete in the 21st century and added that the goal could only be achieved through quality education.

He gave the assurance that he would engage teachers on regular basis to know their plights and grievances to be able to resolve them and improve their working conditions.

“We will work to find solutions to the plights facing teachers so that society can get the value andfull benefit of what you are doing,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo said the economic situation he inherited was not the best but would not use that as an excuse not to solve the challenges facing teachers.

He said many of the problems facing teachers had to do with money and indicated that the government would put measures in place to check corruption, stealing and financial maleficence in public offices.

“If we are able to pluck the leakages in our system as a result of corruption, the monies that would be available to fund our development would be enhanced and we will not go about begging people”, he said.

The Minister of Education, Mathew Opoku Prempeh, said the ministry would dialogue with the teachers on matters relating to their welfare and conditions of service.

He said the government would not take arbitrary decisions on matters of welfare of teachers without engaging them to know their genuine concerns.

The association commended the government for the show of interest in the welfare of teachers and expressed its commitment to support the government to improve the quality of education in the country.

By Yaw Kyei

 

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