Mr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, the Minister of Information has stated that the President Akufo-Addo led government was committed to running the affairs of the state on two important pillars; competence and integrity.
He noted that what was more important in the governance process was the integrity of those who controlled the public purse as that would determine whether or not the nation would develop.
Mr Abdul-Hamid who stated this during a press soiree in Wa stressed that if the people who run the affairs of the state had no integrity, then all laudable programmes and objectives would come to not.
“For everything we do, we ask ourselves, how inimical is it to the public purse? And anything that is inimical to the public purse, we ought to eschew it”, he noted.
The Information Minister said when government took over the governance of the nation in January 2017, it was bequeathed with debts in almost all sectors of the economy, adding that it was important for them to audit such debts and be clear in their minds that they were only going to spend public money on debts that were genuine and were accrued in the interest of the state.
Mr. Abdul-Hamid said it was based on this that government sanctioned the Auditor General to subject all those debts to an audit process and that in doing so, the Auditor General had produced about a 310-page audit report.
“Because of that audit, we have saved the public purse 5.7 billion Ghana cedis”, he said and explained that for most of the debts, the Auditor General revealed that government officials were simply unwilling to enforce the contract terms and conditions while on the other side it was the private sector people who were insistent on enforcing their side of the public contract.
“So most of the times, the private people went away smiling while the public purse gets poorer”, he said and emphasised that he did not think that this was the attitude President Akufo-Addo was going to countenance.
“If for nothing at all, the appointment of Mr Martin Amidu will put the fear of God in all of us based on the fact that he is an independent minded person”, the Information Minister noted.
Mr Abdul-Hamid clarified that the audit was not done for government to score any political point, but rather to let the public know that they were there to protect the public purse which they would do base on the principles of competence and integrity.
He urged the public to hold government accountable by all means but said they should do so based on substance and not on speculation and the desire to be malign.