Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity. I beg to associate myself with the Statement made by the Minister of State, Hon Alhassan Azong, in respect of the AU having its activities taking place in Accra under the theme “African Public Service in the Age of Open-governance, Giving Voice to the Citizens.”
Mr Speaker, listening to deliberations and looking at issues that are out, especially in the media today, it is realised that both public and civil servants have a lot to do, especially the public service.
Mr Speaker, today, in the newspapers, there is this issue in the Daily Graphic, having to do with some kind of malfeasance -- Certain activities that have taken place at the ports and it is reported that Anas Aremeyaw Anas is behind the scenes and doing his work as expected.
It is disheartening to have read a story where three people happened to be apprehended, including a national security officer. Notwithstanding the fact that the names of that national security officer and the two other people have not been mentioned, it gives us room to think and note with pain that although -- During the tenure of the Late Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, there was an issue of bribery and corruption which came up from the same reporter and it was believed that a lot of action would have been taken, so that such practices, if not eradicated,
be reduced but unfortunately, it is getting worse.
Mr Speaker, I hope that this conference that is taking place in Ghana, will send down a very good message to our Civil Service, that it is not a matter of coming to the conference, taking decisions and only leaving them there. Whatever decisions that are taken, should not be a nine day wonder.
Mr Speaker, there is this issue of two trucks loaded with alcohol supposed to be taken to Togo, only for these containers with their contents, which on paper, states alcohol being offloaded in Ghana. This goes to tell us that there is a lot of mischief going on.
I would want to disagree with the fact that we should only punish those who take bribe. It takes the two. The fact is that, if the one who is supposed to give whatever bribe, does not give, the one who would be taking it would not have it. So, why should one person be punished? We are all supposed to do the right thing and the right thing does not start with any particular individual; it rests with all of us.
If some containers containing alcohol that were supposed to be offloaded in Togo are being offloaded in Ghana, what happened, who gave that chance and what is the problem? Mr Speaker, this leads us to make sure that our machinery, especially at the ports, work well.
It is unfortunate that we hear that even scanners are not working properly. Meanwhile, we know very well that these scanners are those that can help us know whatever is brought through our ports. We should make sure that these scanners get back to work; They should be able to work, they should be put back to work so that at least, whatever is being brought
into the country, is seen. We should also note that no matter where you are working. If we do not put our foot on the ground, what would simply happen is that, we would not be able to make good revenue.
This is because people would continue to capitalize on the weakness of some individuals who are involved in bribery and corruption and we would not have enough revenue.
Revenue would be properly collected because the scanner will tell you whatever is in the container and what should be taken.
So, Mr Speaker, I urge all of us to get involved, participate in the conference and make sure that we do things as expected of us.