CONNECTING THE ECONOMIC DOT: THE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS OF 1992 CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA

Photo Credit To Ghana Library

[PREAMBLE]

It is a treasonable offence, when men without in-depth letters of Law but in a spirit of youthful exuberant and an act of emotional expression to favour a public outcry of some measure of inequality in State welfare offering, due to weak Institutional frameworks, which is required to carry out sound economic policies beneficial to citizens, then proceed to jump onto Public podiums to cast insinuations on the validity of the 1992 Constitution and define the binding Laws as fraudulent working documents, without any empirical evidence, or justification wherever but an act of populism.

The sin of this nature is not only an insult to the competency and integrity of the framers of the 1992 Constitution, but as well as all the Citizens, including themselves.

Ignorantly, not recognizing the fact that the Constitution was passed out as a binding law in acceptance and the ‘will’ of the people through the referendum held on 1992, and then amendments through 1996.

Possibly, these group of men do not understand the vulgar use of the term, the entire 1992 Constitution is ‘Outdated’ and ‘Invalid’ as a choice of words in their perceptional interest, is a scornful abuse to the minds and hearts of over thirty (30) million citizens on the Landmark of Ghana, who admitted it to Law through referendum.

However, my effort and submission is to humbly present observed cogent facts in terms of the strength and weakness of the 1992 constitution in a strict economic contextualization, as a component study of my post-doctoral work, with special emphasis and exemplify cases of its weakness in the composition of rules. Which the next sub-topic will make references to the appropriate articles and clauses.

[EVALUATION OF APPLICABLE LAWS AS ECONOMIC POLICIES]

In the Act (36) of 1992 Constitution, in reference to 1996, Section (1) to (11) stipulates the Economic Objectives required of the State to fulfill to the Citizens as outlined;

  1. The State shall take all necessary action to ensure that the national economy is managed in such a manner as to maximize the rate of economic development and to secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every person in Ghana and to provide adequate means of livelihood and suitable employment and public assistance to the needy.
  2. The State shall, in particular, take all necessary steps to establish a sound and healthy economy whose underlying principles shall include;

 2.a  The guarantee of a fair and realistic remuneration for production and productivity in order to encourage continued production and higher productivity;

2.b. Affording ample opportunity for individual initiative and creativity in economic activities and fostering an enabling environment for a pronounced role of the private sector in the economy;

2.c. Ensuring that individuals and the private sector bear their fair share of social and national responsibilities including responsibilities to contribute to the overall development of the country;

2.d. Undertaking even and balanced development of all regions and every part of each region of Ghana, and, in particular, improving the conditions of life in the rural areas, and generally, redressing any imbalance in development between the rural and the urban areas;

2.e.  The recognition that the most secure democracy is the one that assures the basic necessities of life for its people as a fundamental duty;

3. The State shall take appropriate measures to promote the development of agriculture and industry.

4. Foreign investment shall be encouraged with in Ghana, subject to any law for the time being in force regulating investment in Ghana.

5. For the purposes of the foregoing clauses of this article, within two years after assuming office, the President shall present to Parliament a co-ordinated programme of economic and social development policies, including agricultural and industrial programmes at all levels and in all the regions of Ghana.

6. The State shall afford equality of economic opportunity to all citizens; and, in particular, the State shall take all necessary steps so as to ensure the full integration of women into the mainstream of the economic development of Ghana.

7. The State shall guarantee the ownership of property and the right of inheritance.

8. The State shall recognise that ownership and possession of land carry a social obligation to serve the larger community and, in particular, the State shall recognise that the managers of public, stool, skin and family lands are fiduciaries charged with the obligation to discharge their functions for the benefit respectively of the people of Ghana, of the stool, skin, or family concerned and are accountable as fiduciaries in this regard.

9. The State shall take appropriate measures needed to protect and safeguard the national environment for posterity; and shall seek co-operation with other states and bodies for purposes of protecting the wider international environment for mankind.

10. The State shall safeguard the health, safety and welfare of all persons in employment, and shall establish the basis for the full deployment of the creative potential of all Ghanaians.

11. The State shall encourage the participation of workers in the decision-making process at the work place.

And as a Constitution, which does uphold the Presidential System of Government for the Republic of Ghana, through the Executive Instrument of Act (58) of 1992 Constitution in reference to 1996, Section (1) to (5) stipulates:

  1. The executive authority of Ghana shall vest in the President and shall be exercised in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.
  2. The executive authority of Ghana shall extend to the execution and maintenance of this Constitution and all laws made under or continued in force by this Constitution.
  3. Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the functions conferred on the President by clause (1) of this article may be exercised by him either directly or through officers subordinate to him.
  4. Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution or by a law not inconsistent with this Constitution, all executive acts of Government shall be expressed to be taken in the name of the President.
  5. A constitutional or statutory instrument or any other instrument made, issued or executed in the name of the President shall be authenticated by the signature of a Minister and the validity of any such instrument so authenticated shall not be called in question on the ground that it is not made, issued or executed by the President.

[WEAKNESS EVALUATION]

Acknowledging the fact that the Constitution uphold a governmental system of [Presidentalism], I thereby present the following valid questions for an extensive examination;

[1] Why is Clause (1), (2),(3), (6), (9) and (10) of Act 36 of the 1992 Constitution in reference to 1996, chose to use the term [State], instead of [The Executive] ? A construct in that nature provides an arbitrary rule to evade rigorous assessment of performance on expected ‘Function Unit’ nemo tenere tenetur required to respond thereof.

[2] What are the metric assessment methods as a policy Instrument adopted to measure the performance of the Economy towards development in accordance to Clause (1) of Act 36 of 1992 Constitution in reference to 1996?

[3] What are the benchmark assessment methods as a policy instrument used to measure performance level of Clause (2) to (11) of Act 36 of 1992 Constitution in reference to 1996?

[CONCLUSION]

The submission hereby concludes, if question (1), which is elucidated as a weakness of the 1992 constitution on matters of economic principles is addressed, it will be easier to resolve the additional questions of (2) and (3) as performance checks and balances to lay a foundation of a statute that will become a cornerstone of a Public Law in Ghana.

REFERENCE

The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, with Amendments through 1996. pp.1-107

Emmanuel Tweneboah Senzu, Ph.D., is professor of Economics and Finance, with speciality in monetary economics, Banking Law, Econometrics, investment and risk analysis. Member of World Economic Association. President of Frederic Bastiat Institute Africa, Mercatus Center fellow; Law and Economics, George Mason University-USA, Fellow of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Makeni-SL, Faculty Fellow of University of Management and Technology, Sierra Leone.  Research Fellow of West Africa Monetary Institute, Ghana.

Post source : Frederic Bastiat Institute Library

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