Ho, May 30, GNA - Education and example are the best methods to wean Ghanaians away from corruptible tendencies, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Deputy Minster of Finance and Economic Planning, said at the weekend. He said intimidation and harassment, such as what happened in revolutions, with its attendant social turmoil had never succeeded anywhere in curbing corruption.
Mr Agyeman-Manu made the remark at a ceremony to swear in new executives of the Ho Polytechnic branch of the Tertiary Education Students Confederacy (TESCON) of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) at Ho. He noted that the tendency in Ghana to single out politicians for attention anytime corruption was discussed was improper saying, "the canker is a national one permeating all facets of life, manifesting in homes, churches and work places."
The Deputy Minister said it was sad to see Ghanaians with the responsibility to use state resources in the most efficient manner seeking to push thorough invoices with price tags five times higher than normal and "you wonder where we are going".
Mr Agyeman-Manu said as a result, 40 per cent of "our resources could be going not down the drain, but into peoples pockets." "If you want to curb corruption you don't kill anybody, you don't intimidate anybody, we must change ourselves and then seek to change others. Where there is evidence let us prosecute", he stated. He said President John Agyekum Kufuor's policy of "zero tolerance for corruption" was no fluke but was a process that would take time and the involvement of all to make an impact.
On the performance of the economy as against complaints of "no money in peoples pockets", the Deputy Minister said it was not the responsibility of government to put money in people's pockets but to create the enabling environment and equal opportunities for people to work to earn money.
Mr Agyeman-Manu said policies of government within the past three years had cut inflation down to a little above 11 per cent from about 40 per cent when it assumed office, reduced lending rates to between 25 and 35 per cent and hiked foreign reserves to 1.4 billion dollars.
He said government might not have to increase fuel prices to reflect rising crude oil prices, because its fiscal arrangements had built-in contingencies that could contain the shock for sometime. On the concerns raised by the opposition about the 300 million-dollar CNTCI loan agreement, Mr Agyeman-Manu said "they fear that the loan would enable the government to fund more projects to increase its creditability with the electorate.
Mr Benjamin Nodor Muyum is the new President with Miss Doris Ama Bansah, as Second Vice President while Mr Seth Kumi Asare and Mr Ishmael Kpodo are Advisors.
Mr Mustapha Hamid, NPP National Youth Organiser, who swore in the 11-member executive said the achievements of the government were "measurable and quantifiable" to win for it another term of office. He said for him, the 2004 election "was cut and done" and what the party was thinking of now was policies to pursue for progress of the nation in the second term.
Mr Hamid said the NPP's target in the coming elections in the Volta Region, which he conceded was a difficult terrain was 10 per cent of the votes, adding that the region must move to count itself as part of the impeding victory.
He commended the Ho Poly TESCON for persevering and going out for outreaches to win more people into to the party with little help and expressed the hope that their sacrifices would be rewarded.
Alhaji Rashid Bawa, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in an address read for him implored TESCON members to arm themselves with accurate and up-to-date information on government policies and programmes to enable them to explain the benefits of those policies to the people.
Mr Mawutor Goh, Ho District Chief Executive (DCE) observed that it was young people like the current members of TESCON who kept embers of the Danquah/Busia tradition glowing for 30 years until it attained power again.
He said that spirit made the Danquah/Busia tradition inviolable and prevented it from being fragmented and dismembered as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) did to the Nkrumah tradition. Mr Oscar Atikese, out-going President said the branch had planned a youth sensitisation programme to win more members into the fold of the NPP in the region.
He said but for the low-key support it got from party officials in the region, the branch, which undertook campaign missions to the northern districts of the region, would have done better. Mr John Regan Tepretu, Regional Youth Organiser said the wrangling within the party during internal elections sometimes only reflected its democratic nature. 30 May 04