Investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni has urged Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia to take a firmer stance against corruption, emphasizing that addressing corruption is crucial for the country’s economic development.
Speaking on JoyNews’ The Probe, he stressed that the government’s commitment to fighting corruption could significantly impact tax reductions and overall national progress.
“I believe strongly that in opposition, the NPP said that instead of taxing Ghanaians, they were going to reduce corruption. And then those savings would make us free. SML alone, what we are throwing away is more than what we are getting from the entire e-levy collection per year. So I’m saying that if you get a government that is serious about fighting corruption, some of these nuisance taxes wouldn’t be there.”
Manasseh Azure acknowledged Dr Bawumia’s mention of corruption in his speech on digitalisation but urged for a more proactive approach to tackling corruption across various sectors.
“I did a course here last semester at the Harvard Kennedy School and it’s on corruption – finding it and fixing it. In one of the lessons, we did a case study on a country called Estonia. I was so amazed sitting there and listening to how they can register a business in this country within 15 minutes. You can do everything, almost everything from the comfort of your home.”
“What we sometimes forget is that when these things happen and then we save the money, those monies can now be channelled into other productive sectors and the economy will grow. But those may tackle petty corruption but the grand corruption is in dubious contracts and others. I think going forward, I would want to hear Dr Bawumia very strongly on how he’s going to deal with some of these corruption issues that have been passed on from one government to the other,” Manasseh Azure said.
This follows an address by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Ghana’s Next Chapter: Selfless Leadership and Bold Solutions for the Future’ at the University of Professional Studies in Accra.
In the lecture, he outlined his goals for the country as the flagbearer for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) while urging Ghanaians to vote for him in the upcoming general elections.
Among the many policies promised were the abolishing of the E-Levy as part of efforts to make Ghana a cashless society and the introduction of policies that would help eliminate VAT on electricity, emissions tax and betting tax.
“As Vice-President, I am like a driver’s mate. But if, by the Grace of God, you make me President, I will be in the driver’s seat with constitutionally mandated authority to pursue my vision and my priorities.”
“The initial conditions that we inherited in 2017 are not the same as will be in 2025. Therefore, my priorities will be different. We have done many good things and I will be seeking to build on them,” he noted.
Dr Bawumia has however been criticised for this analogy by many who believe as the chairman of the Economic Management Team he could have made more impact.
But, Manasseh Azure believes it is not surprising to see the Vice President distance his campaign from this government despite being a part of it.
“If you want to lead Ghana, and we have a president or a government that has performed so badly, you cannot come and tell us you want to continue what is happening, not to be suicidal,” he explained.
The Investigative journalist said he however expected Dr Bawumia to at least admit, in his speech, that some of the promises the government promised did not go as planned.