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Speaker defends President on Ghana Beyond Aid saga

PThe Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, has stressed the need to deepen parliamentary scrutiny of the budget process in Africa in its entirety.

This, he said, would help raise income to provide for government expenditure efficaciously to ensure true accountability for government expenditure to avoid abuse and corruption.

Prof Oquaye said this at the fourth Africa Network of Parliamentary Budget Officers in Accra on Monday.

He referred to the remarks recently made by the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Ron Strikker, as ill-informed, misplaced and woefully unbefitting and an attempt to ridicule the president’s concept of Ghana Beyond Aid.

According to Prof Oquaye, the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda conceptualised by the President was for the entire Africa; hence, the need to embrace it.

“The present World Economic Order makes Africans as continuing drawers of water and hewers of wood. We produce raw materials such as gold, diamond, bauxite, cocoa, fruits, timber and vegetables without corresponding end-product benefit,” he added.

Prof Oquaye indicated that, the president wanted a new partnership and not dependency and donor support of budget deficit from time to time.

In addition, he stated that, the president’s call was also a paradigm shift for a partnership which would allow promotion and protection for new industries from the dumping of cheap products from other developed nations as dictated by current World Trade Organisation arrangements.

“No nation in the world is industrialised without protectionist strategies. Now Africa is being asked to do so. Our president wants genuine partnership to wean us out of this dilemma and it is clear that certain colonial powers are against this,” he noted.

Prof Oquaye emphasised that a Ghana Beyond Aid was coterminous with the country against corruption.

He mentioned that, currently, the Law on Public Prosecutor, the Right to Information and others, which the President had led in passing, imposed sanctions against corrupt officials, saying, “These are ongoing and are worthy of commendation and encouragement to do more.”

BY TIMES REPORTER

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