CSO dialogues on preventing corruptible practices

The Citizens Empowerment Against Corruption (CEMAC) has held a meeting to dialogue with heads of departments in the Upper East Region on preventing possible corruptible practices in the provision of public goods and services.

The deliberations looked critically at structures and systems that established pro-poor intervention projects and programmes commitment, determination and dedication of policy makers and implementers to ensure that the right citizenry identified as vulnerable, access goods and services.

The meeting, was held in response to corruptible practices in four key areas including access to subsidised fertilisers under the government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme, Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP); a cash transfer programme aimed at empowering extremely poor and vulnerable populations, the Free Maternal Health (FMH) to encourage pregnant mothers to visit health centres for antenatal services, and National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to get more people hooked to the scheme.

The consortium, which comprises the Association of Church Development Projects (ACDEP), Rise Ghana, the Upper East Regional branch of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the Presbyterian Health Services-North, with funding support from Star Ghana Foundation.

The discussants examined open-endedness of the LEAP programme, which they claimed admitted unqualified people, thereby shot up numbers, which invariably increased the government purse.

They identified over-politicisation of the LEAP programme leading to able-bodied people benefitting and called on policymakers to review the content to make the needy access it to achieve improved livelihoods.

The participants called for strengthening of Regional Technical Committees through regional structures to ensure that goods and services around the aforementioned areas were delivered without corruptible elements and persuasions.

Rudolf Abanga, Programmes Manager with Presbyterian Health Services-North and member of the consortium, who led the discussions to share the project objectives with stakeholders in seeking their support, explained that vulnerable groups suffered most when any form of corruption was successfully perpetuated in targeted areas.

He cited, for instance, the smuggling of subsidised fertilisers to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Togo and said, “Such ills invariably affect the poor who are mostly farmers and targeted by the government for support and assistance, at the same time, it affect food production and defeat the government’s intentions on such interventions.”

Dr Abdul Dokurugu, a Deputy Regional Director of Health in charge of Clinical Care, advocated a clear cut policy on the Free Maternal Health intervention to ensure that the beneficiaries, the National Health Insurance Authority and the implementing health facilities of the intervention avoided conflicts and provided the needed support to the beneficiaries. –GNA

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