Story: Atta Kwaku Boadi
Businessman and a politician, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom has described as nonsense, the suggestion by the Health Facilities Regulatory Agency (HeFRA) Director for the Ashanti region and a member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government, Rashid Inusah that the law which bans Members of Parliament (MPs) from holding dual citizenship to be made to cover all Chief Executive Officer (CEOs) of State-Owned Enterprises (SEOs) too.
His argument is that persons who hold dual citizenship and run these state institutions are sometimes tempted not to give off their best as they have a second place to call home when they mismanage things.
The 1992 Constitution for example in Article 94 (2A) states that “a person shall not be qualified to be a Member of Parliament if he – (a) owes allegiance to a country other than Ghana”.
It goes further to state that holders of dual citizenship cannot hold certain specified offices in Ghana, including the following: Chief Justice and Justices of the Supreme Court, Ambassador/High Commissioner and Secretary to the Cabinet.
But the NPP man believes it should be extended further.
However, Dr Nduom is the Chairman of Groupe Nduom disagrees with him.
Sharing his perspective on the issue on his Facebook wall, the veteran politician noted that,“many Ghanaians including me work in countries other than Ghana. We have to obtain appropriate immigration status in order to work legally and gain valuable experience in those countries. We earn income that by necessity gets transferred from time to time to Ghana. Many have set up businesses in Ghana and employ people. Not all of us are dual citizens but we are all committed to doing the best we can for our birth country”.
Dr Nduom did not understand why Ghana should deny her own citizens who have experience and qualification but they are dual citizens?
“Why deny Ghana the experience and qualifications of those who are dual citizens? Why prevent them from becoming MPs and holding public offices in the first place”, he quizzed?
According to him, “we need all well qualified and experienced Ghanaians, dual citizens or not to make the country great and strong”.
In 2021, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Akim Swedru in the Eastern Region, Kennedy Nyarko, presented the Citizenship Amendment Bill to Parliament.
The bill, if passed, will amend the 1992 Constitution to remove restrictions imposed on dual citizens and persons who owe allegiance to a country other than Ghana from holding public office.
Positions dual citizens can occupy if the bill is passed will include Ambassador or High Commissioner, Secretary to Cabinet, Chief of Defense Staff, Inspector General of Police, Director of Immigration Service and MP.
It must also be noted that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in 2019 said the government would be laying a bill before Parliament to allow persons with dual citizenship to hold public office, described it as the Diaspora Engagement Policy Bill and was being worked on by the Office of Diaspora Affairs.