Government’s quest to develop an economy of Ghana hat would not depend on aid (Ghana-beyond-aid) would become a pipe-dream if pervasive corruption is allowed to fester in the country, Vice-President Mahamamudu Bawumia has cautioned.
In his message at the commemoration of the United Nations (UN) Anti-Corruption Day, organized in Ghana by the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) on Saturday the Vice President therefore reiterated the resolve by government to tackle corruption head-on in order to remove or reduce its risks to socio-economic development.
“Corruption breeds inequality and distorts incentive for work. Corruption undermines the code of conduct of institutions and also results in a loss of legitimacy and respect for legally constituted authority. Therefore the failure to confront corruption with all the seriousness that it deserves undermines our ability to pursue our ambitious development goals in our pursuit of continental Agenda 2030 and our vision of Ghana-Beyond-Aid,” the Vice president’s message read.
Parliament, last month passed the Office of The Special Prosecutor Act, which the Vice President said would specifically be in charge of investigating and prosecuting acts of corruption of public servants and political office holders.
He underscored the need for strong stakeholder cooperation no one institution can fight corruption alone and succeed.
The Vice President announced that in 2018 a committee shall be established by government to follow up on recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of parliament while steps are taken to pursue the passage of the Right To Information Bill (RTI) and the Conduct of public Officers Bill which are all steps aimed at enhancing the fight against corruption.
Paulo Salvia, Charge D’Affairs of the European Union Commission in Ghana said the EU shared in Ghana’s understanding of Corruption as a major deterrent to growth of the country.
“We have followed closely the establishment of the Office of the Special Prosecutor and have particularly appreciated the effort in conducting a consultative process involving stakeholders and civil society which came up with relevant recommendations on the set-up of the office including the prosecutor’s appointment,” Salvia noted.
He urged that the capacity of existing law enforcement agencies be enhanced to ensure that corruption and connected crimes are investigated, prosecuted and ruled on effectively.
In July 2014, the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) was adopted and implementation commenced in 2015. The progress report on this was released during the week-long National Anti-Corruption conference.
Richard Quayson, Deputy. Commissioner for CHRAJ urged government to resource and strengthen CHRAJ adequately to enable it provide effective support to Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs), local government authorities, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Faith Based Organizations (FBOs), and Media Organizations for the implementation of NACAP.
“The real reason we are not fighting corruption well enough is that we have never developed the mindset to fight corruption,” First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Wusu who chaired the function pointed out.
He said Ghana needed a cultural review which will review, activate and renew the thinking process, redefining national ethics and develop a new mindset for Ghanaians if the sermonizing on corruption must bear fruits.
Osei-Wusu noted that since politicians and public office holders emerge from the same Ghanaian society, if these leaders are corrupt it means these are values they picked up from society long before they got into office.
He called for a focus on punishing those who have misconducted themselves in positions of trust to serve as a standard for all to follow. Enditem