The malfunctioning and sometimes the ineffectiveness of many of the country’s critical state institutions, came to head on Monday, January 23, 2017, when President Nana Akufo-Addo’s attempt to declare his assets at the Auditor General’s Department, was halted because the Department had no receipt booklets. Sources at the presidency who made this known to Citi News, say the President was shocked and highly disappointed that the public sector system, had been ruined to such levels. Following his swearing-in as President on January 7, 2017, the President was eager to visit the office of the Auditor General’s Department, to fulfill the constitutional requirement of declaring all his assets. A presidential staffer, who interacted with officials of the Auditor Generals Department on behalf of the President, said he was told that the receipts which are issued as proof of assets declaration have run out, and they were unsure when some would be made available. Citi News further learnt that, when the presidential staffer asked the officials to call on the office of the President when the receipt booklets are ready; he was again told that even the landline phones at the Department were not functioning – which means placing that call to them, would be difficult. Citi News can however confirm that the officials of the Auditor General’s Department were not aware that the request was being made on behalf of the President who wanted to declare his assets. The Auditor General’s Department, has a mandate to promote transparency and accountability in the country’s governance system, to help deal with the ever worsening corruption menace much more effectively. It now remains unclear when the President would be able to carry out this constitutional requirement, and what action could be taken against the leadership of the Department. Nana Addo, has on his topmost priority a fight against corruption, and would perhaps want to lead by the example of being transparent and accountable to the citizenry. On several occasions, public office holders have been criticized for disregarding the law on assets declaration. But situations such as these, clearly shows that there’s very little importance attached to that exercise. Bawumia pays unexpected visit to Registrar-General’s Department Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, on Wednesday January 18, paid an unexpected visit to the Registrar-General’s Department to identify the bottlenecks to acquaint himself with the activities of the state institution, and also to find out its challenges. Dr. Bawumia interacted with owners of businesses and Ghanaians who were at the Department to register their businesses. He met a lot of people at the registry who also expressed their frustrations with the “bureaucratic processes” in registering their establishments.
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