A non-governmental organisation (NGO), Penplusbytes with support from Strengthening Action Against Corruption (STAAC) held a focus group discussion (FGD) on a project, Metogu, aimed at giving citizens the opportunity to support the fight against corruption.
The FGD brought together citizens from all walks of life including civil society, religious bodies, trade association, traditional leaders, local government, political parties and the media.
Regional Director of the Project, Mr. Harrison Belley at the event in Ho Municipal Assembly said Metogu, a Guan phrase meaning “keeping the pressure up” is not motivated by any political party nor inclined to any political party but designed to raise awareness amongst citizens to hold governments accountable to deliver on their anti-corruption promises.
He mentioned Ho Municipal was identified in addition to two other districts, Adaklu and North Tongu in the Volta Region for the FGD on the project and appealed to the participants to be objective in their submissions.
The discussion centred on various indicators developed from anti-corruption promises made by the current government in the run-up to the 2016 general elections amongst which included the setting up of Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP), passing into law of the age-long Right to Information (RTI) bill, amendment of the Assets Declaration Law, etc.
An Adapted Community Score Card was given to each participant to indicate likelihood of statements happening by indicating “low, moderate, highly” against them.
The participants gave justifications for the choices made and provided recommendations as well.
The Moderator, King Norbert Akpablie took participants through indicators such as creation of OSP, Assets Declaration, Passage of RTI bill, Value for Money Audit, compliance with the Public Procurement Act, Beneficiary Ownership Title, Attitudinal Change, Restructuring of NHIS, School Feeding Programme and General Corruption.
Speaking to voltaonlinegh.com, Jeremiah Sam, Programme Director at Penplusbytes said the Metogu forms part of a two-year project funded by DFID-Ghana which seeks to reduce the impact of corruption on poor citizens, saying, “corruption is taking resources from where it’s supposed to be for the benefit and growth of Ghana.”
He explained that citizens tend to forget promises made to them during campaign periods, thus, they are unable to hold governments to account for them, adding, the objective is to enable citizens to understand and get to know more about the promises government made with regards to the fight against corruption.
Mr Jeremiah Sam disclosed the FGD will be followed by a survey across the four regions (Greater Accra, Volta, Ashanti and Western) in which the project is being currently run to generate a national report that will be used to engage appropriate institutions on anti-corruption to enhance their work.
Penplusbyte since its inception has been committed to improving the governance process in African States and deepening citizen participation in the processes.
By: Ewoenam Kpodo/voltaonlinegh.com