The Constitution Review Commission, constituted by President John Evans Atta Mills in January last year to undertake a consultative review of Ghana’s 1992 Constitution, yesterday presented its final report.
The Report consists 15 chapters, and suggests measures that the Government might wish to take to translate its recommendations into constitutional, legislative and administrative actions that will improve national governance and the people’s lives.
Professor Emeritus Albert Kodzo Fiadjoe, Chairman of the Commission, in presenting the Report, said the “Current constitution is good and care must be taken not to engage it in an unwarranted amendment.”
However, in terms of substantive content, a review exercise must among other things cultivate and strengthen a culture of good governance, put national development planning on a firm and non-political pedestal , strengthen national culture as a source of national identity and recognise that the national diversity is a source of richness and wealth.
The Report recommends that a review exercise must strengthen Parliament, enhance the role of traditional authority in local governance, strengthen Independent Constitutional Bodies to better protect the institutions of State and the rights of people.
Finally, the Constitution must speak to the issues of corruption, ethnicity, dysfunctional politics, wastage of national resources, revenue leakages and unbridled government spending.
Professor Emeritus Fiadjoe made it clear that government must share the full contents of the Report with the people of Ghana in its entirety.
“I am happy to state that this Report represents the most comprehensive socio-political data base that Ghana has put together since independence. It contains the hopes and aspirations of the people of Ghana, even their fears and tribulations."
Later at a press conference in reaction to why many commissions’ reports were never made public, Professor Fiadzoe said: "This Report is yours; it is your intellectual property and carries your clear signature. The lifeless words embedded in these to me represent your living in vibrantly expressed public wishes and desires
"They also provide a reasonably safe and well considered road map to your new vision of retrofitted constitutional, architectural design which should guide Ghana’s future.
“Let no Government, State institution or political party deprive you of the fruits of your labour by taking these recommendations for granted.”
President Mills thanked the Commission for the work done.
Describing the document as consultative, he said, it incorporated views of Ghanaians both at home and in the Diaspora.
He said the Executive Provisions will be looked at, and assured the Commission that Government will make as many copies available.
President Mills expressed gratitude to those who laid the foundations of Ghana’s constitutional documents that have nurtured democratic governance to its present levels.
He commended the Commission with its supporting staff, which was given a two- year mandate, for finishing ahead of schedule, explaining it was a mark of discipline for rapid national growth and development.
The exercise, for which an amount of $2.7 million was budgeted, ended with $6.3 million in cash and logistics because of unanticipated additions like consultations from the Diasporan community and the need for more logistics.
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Photo: ISD (Enoch Norvor)