THE Government has been called upon to improve the current economic situation as incomes are inadequate, thereby reducing the purchasing power of the people.
The call was made by participants at a day’s workshop to validate the Sunyani Municipal African Peer Review Mechanism’s (APRM), Monitoring and Evaluation Report drafted by the Municipal APRM Oversight Committee.
According to the participants, the difficult economic conditions had also resulted in the increase of prices of goods and services in the country and the Government must act fast to reverse the trend.
They also contended that access to justice had not improved and people continued to pay bribes for justice, thereby eroding the confidence the people had in the justice delivery system.
However, they agreed that access to health care and education at the basic level had improved tremendously as a result of government’s intervention at that level.
Same, however, could not be said at the secondary and tertiary levels, because according to the participants, many students who completed junior high school (JHS) could not continue with their education.
They also noted that access to housing sanitation , such as toilets and dumping sites, had not improved and the Government must do more to ensure an improvement in these sectors, especially in housing delivery.
The validation workshop attended by a cross-section of the people in the municipality and organised by the National African Peer Review Mechanism –Governing Council (NAPRM-GC) uses non-partisan approach to promote democracy and good governance, economic governance and management, corporate governance and socio-economic development which are the four thematic areas of the APRM process.
It also formed part of several workshops to be held across the country, and according to the Executive Secretary of the NAPRM-GC, Dr Francis Appiah, 20 districts nationwide, with two from each region, had been selected for the validation workshops which serve as a prelude to a national validation workshop that would be held in Accra.
The report would finally be presented to President J.E.A. Mills, who would also present it at the African Union (AU) Head of States summit, next year.
The views expressed by the participants at the workshop were also based on the report by the Sunyani Municipal APRM Oversight Committee after a survey conducted in September 2009 on the four thematic areas of the APRM process in 10 communities in the Sunyani Municipality, namely Atronie, Abesim, Sunyani Estates, New Town, Wawasua, Yawhima, Sunyani Zongo, Penkwase, Akora Kwadwo and Bakoniaba with 200 people as respondents.
Some of the findings of the report which were presented by Mr Paschal A. Edwards, the Vice-Chairman of the Sunyani Municipal APRM Oversight Committee, said the police were the most corrupt public institution in the country, followed by the Judiciary and the Driver Vehicle Licence Authority (DVLA), with the least corrupt as the Ghana Armed Forces, Social Welfare and Fire Services, in that order.
The report also said there had been an improvement in the road network and transportation in the municipality, while freedom of expression, the municipal assembly and the media had improved tremendously.
Mr Edwards said the respondents for the survey were randomly selected and they were not coerced to speak or belong to any political party, but spoke as Ghanaians, and noted that the concerns raised at the workshop by the participants would also be factored into the report.
Dr Appiah, Executive Secretary of the NAPRM-GC, earlier in his address, said the APRM was a mutually agreed instrument voluntariy acceded to by members of the African Union (AU) as a self-monitoring mechanism, and the purpose of it was to ensure good governance and socio-economic development of a country and Africa as a whole.
He added that Ghana had been a trailblazer and shinning example in the APRM process, being among the first African countries to submit themselves to be peer reviewed.