Let’s clean up Ghana’s political system …kick out money launderers, foreigners from political space – Mike Oquaye

The former Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, says Ghana’s political system is an impediment to its economic growth as it allows for rent-seeking tendencies and political financing leading to the control of natural resources.

According to him, despite the provisions of Article 55 (15) of the 1992 Constitution which stipulates that politics in Ghana should not be funded by money launderers and foreigners, the practice was highly dominant in the current political space due to lack of sanctions against such acts.

Prof. Ocquaye said these on Tuesday at a forum organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA-Ghana), a public policy think-tank on the theme “Ghana beyond the 17th IMF,our Natural Resources and Economic Challenges: The Constitutional Pathway.”

The forum was chaired by the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Rev Joyce Rosalind Aryee and hade other dignitaries from the legislature and academia present.

He said that “the global nouveau rich turn around and represent global interest in our gold, diamond, oil among others and get favour which is not in the interest of Ghana or Africa. Some are controllers of the commodity supply chain who will never allow us to grow our own commodities.”

As such, Prof. Ocquaye called for rigid sanctions to be provided in order to address the issue to its logical conclusion which the 1992 Constitution had failed to provide.

Similarly, Prof. Oquaye bemoaned the irregularities that was sometimes characterised by the contract agreements pertaining to the control of natural resources by states.

He said the Chapter II of the 1970 United Nations (UN) Resolutions clearly stated the economic rights and duties of states in the control of its natural resources.

The 1970 UN Resolution, Prof. Ocquaye explained, gave the host nation the right to apply its domestic laws when entering into a contract with a foreign state, hence, the need for Ghana to leverage it to its benefit.

Additionally, he underscored the need for the country to re-examine its contract management system while proposing the creation of a contract management board that would critically examine all proposed contracts affecting the national purse.

“Our contract management should be re-examined. There should be a contract management board nationally under the 1992 Constitution. Ministers and officials should refer to this our political body all proposed contracts affecting the national purse must end there and must be critically examined,” Prof.Ocquaye said.

The former Speaker of Parliament, opined that human right must assume a broader posture in a development oriented constitution which include the granting of bail for an accused person, citing the recent case between Mr Martin Kpebu and the Attorney-General.

Prof. Ocquaye explained that provision under the 1992 Constitution which allowed for bail for every offence, for instance, was not a developmental approach and must be reconsidered.

“Economic sabotage today as we glaringly see with ‘galamsey,’ for example, should mean a new bail approach. Offences which are economic and undermining the economic resources we have and other recovery efforts should be identified,” he added.


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