Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Akufo-Addo proposes Constitutional Review Committee

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Presidential Candidate of New Patriotic Party (NPP), said he would propose the establishment of a Constitutional Review Committee if elected as President on December 7.
      He said such a body would seek a countrywide public view on amendments to the 1992 Constitution, which has operated for about 16 years now.
     Nana Akufo-Addo was answering questions during the second and the last in the series of "The 2008 Presidential Debates", organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in Tamale on Wednesday.
     Other presidential candidates, who took part in the event were, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom of the Convention People's Party (CPP); Professor John Evans Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Dr Edward Mahama of People's National Convention (PNC).
     Nana Akufo-Addo said the Committee as part of its work, would collate views as to whether the Constitution should be amended to create room for the creation of more regions; the position of a Prime Minister instead of a Vice-President among other considerations, to promote and strengthen good governance and ensure that the decentralization process was fully operational to enhance development.
      He said an NPP administration under his presidency would also ensure that metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives, were elected to further promote the decentralization process.
      Nana Akufo-Addo said Ghana, after 16 years of constitutional rule, needed a proper transformation in good governance to deepen decentralisation to benefit the broad masses of Ghanaians.
     On corruption, he said his administration would not hesitate to team up with the United Nations (UN) to institute measures that would help to eliminate the practice in the country.
     Nana Akufo-Addo said there was also the need to strengthen the anti-corruption institutions such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) as well as other State institutions by providing them with the necessary tools to operate independently to help the country to win the fight against corruption.
     He gave the assurance that stiffer punishment would be meted out to public officials, who would indulge in corrupt practices to serve as a deterrent to others.
     Nana Akufo-Addo also hinted on measures that would help to improve rural development and mentioned the rehabilitation of feeder roads to facilitate the movement of people, goods and services as well as modernizing agriculture to fight poverty.
     He said quality education would also be made affordable to Ghanaians and indicated that it was in the light of this that the NPP Government was making education from primary school to senior high school free.
     On waste management, Nana Akufo-Addo said his government would initiate "Clean Ghana Initiative" and would engage competent bodies to manage to ensure that Ghana became the number one country in cleanliness to attract more investors to boost the economy.
     On the issue of the lopsided development of the Northern part of Ghana and how to bridge that gap between the North and the South, Nana Akufo-Addo said there was the need for a coordinated and comprehensive plan to ensure that the North "catch-up with the South".
     "It is in this vein that the Northern Development Fund had been instituted by the NPP Government to ensure that the North is placed at where it belongs to," he said.
     On effective urban planning, Nana Akufo-Addo said his administration would revive and strengthen the Town and Country Planning Department to ensure that developers did not build haphazardly.
     He indicated that the NPP would resort to its concept of property owning democracy to ensure that every Ghanaian owned a house in the country.
     Other questions the three Presidential Candidates answered included Environmental problems associated with oil exploration and how to tackle them; how to solve conflicts; measures to address the issue of drug trafficking and how they would develop other sports other than the over concentration of soccer.
     Nana Akuffo-Addo said drug trafficking was a national problem and all stakeholders would be brought on board to ensure that the problem was solved.

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