This prompted the Gospel writer to pen the most famous verse in the Bible, that “for God so love the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that who so ever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life”.
Jesus whilst on earth used the spiritual and material resources available to Him very well. On the spiritual side, He never wasted any time either to proselyte, pray, teach, heal and give hope to the people.
Materially, He did not encourage the abuse, misuse or dissipation of resources. When He fed the thousands of people with a few fishes and loaves of bread, He ordered that the crumbs and the leftover were gathered.
“Nyankopon na ehwe nnipa,” so says the Akan adage, to wit, it is God who cares for humans. Rightly so, but God would not be, and is not happy when resources are dissipated through stealing, misapplication or misappropriation, any form of financial malfeasance or fraud.
Neither is He happy when record books are not well kept or handled to cause a mess in the administration of the financials of the state.
Ghana, is endowed with gold as well as other minerals and material resources, which are entrusted into the care of appointed men and women in positions of public trust.
Will there be need for foreign aid to the development of Ghana, Sikaman, if all the holes in the state purse are plugged? Can the nation of Ghana go beyond aid, as prescribed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo?
If God should descend from heaven, and come to audit the public accounts of Ghana, what would he find?
When the master Jesus was on the earth, he gave the Parable of the Talents, from which a lesson could be learned when applied to the use and management of state resources and public funds.
In the parable, a master endows his servants with talents and journeys abroad.
On his return, he calls his servants to account on how they have made use of the talents.
Two of them accounted well, and they were highly commended for the judicious use of the talents. Their reward: to enter into the joy of their master.
But as for one of the servants, he buried his talents, accused and insulted the master when called to accounts for them.
Despite the fact that received the least, he could have worked hard to multiply the talents to the joy and admiration of his master.
He was not faithful in a little thing; how could he be faithful in greater things? Jesus said that wicked slave received the appropriate punishment.
And so if God Himself should come down to audit the public accounts of Ghana, what will he find?
Will all the books be intact? Would proper accounts have been rendered to His admiration and the joy of all Ghanaians that people in charge of the public purse would rightly say, “Come Lord Jesus?”
At a recent capacity building workshop organised by Parliament and the GIZ at Koforidua, for members of the Parliamentary Press Corps, it came to light that it was not in all cases that people in trust of the public purse could be said to have mishandled state resources.
What is necessary most is that proper procedures must be followed in the use and management of public resources.
Where infractions are detected, the trustees must remember that the wicked servant in Jesus parable did not go scot-free.
How is a person who takes something that does not belong to him or her without the owner’s consent or approval be called?
Ghanaians are very religious people- Christians, Muslims, Traditionalists, and People who belief the religions of the East. Which of these religions teach “go and steal state money, go and misapply state resources, defy the procurement rules and do your own thing?”
A friend of this writer at the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, a traditionalist to the core, once proffered a solution to check public officials from engaging in the abuse and misuse, stealing of state resources.
His solution, he calls “sa wonom nyinaa line” meaning line them all up, before a deity and let them take an oath not to engage knowingly in any form of public malfeasance when in public office. Otherwise, the deity should strike them.
Seems to be too harsh, but Christians should remember the story of Ananias and Saphira. When they lied about their money, they were struck dead. Great lesson. No striking dead, but there may be forms of sanctions as hosts of problems are likely to hit anyone who defies the commandment “thou shall not steal”.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has held public hearings. It does not have prosecutorial powers, but exists as a fact finding mission.
The public appearance and the subsequent live transmission of proceedings to some level is a check on how effectively state resources are used.
The Ghana News Agency (GNA) has learned that some monies detected not to have been applied in the rightful way have been retrieved, though on the quiet.
The Chairman, Dr James Klutse Avedzi, has announced that the Ghana Health Service has paid GHC 61, 000 to the Non Tax Revenue Account to the Bank of Ghana, which it was holding following its invitation to appear before the PAC.
It expected that the PAC is clothed with powers to prosecute offences detected in the Auditor General’s Report as in Uganda and India.
When will those aspects of the 1992 Constitution be amended to empower the PAC to prosecute?
As these reforms are worked on, one may ask what God Himself would do when he comes to audit the public accounts of Ghana, and detects infractions.
By Benjamin Mensah