Ghana receive commendation for taking steps to reduce corruption

By Yaw Ansah/Danis Osei
Gyamfi, GNA

Accra June 26, GNA –
Mrs Diana Acconcia, the Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union
to Ghana has commended the government of Ghana for taking bold measures to deal
with corruption in the country.

She said the
implementation of the paperless port system and the migration of some public
institutions, including the Lands Commission, Ministry of Tourism and the
Passport Office onto the various digital platforms were remarkable inroads
aimed at enhancing productivity.

Mrs Acconcia gave
the commendation at the second National Dialogue on Public Accountability:
Abuse of Office, organised by the National Commission for Civic Education
(NCCE) on Tuesday in Accra.

It forms part of the
European Union – Ghana Anti-Corruption, Rule of Law and Accountability
Programme (ARAP), a five year programme of EUR 20 million, aimed at supporting
the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) of Ghana.

The programme of the
EU is aligned with NACAP objectives to build the capacity of civic education
providers such as the –National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), Civil
Societies and the media– to conduct campaigns, advocate and lobby for increased
accountability and a reduction in corruption.

Mrs Acconcia said
such measures strengthen and improve the delivery of service within the
country’s public sector and the ease of doing business.

Professor Stephen
Adei, the Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC),
commenting on the theme, called for legislations that could allow State
institutions to investigate into average individuals, who display wealth
overnight.

“I believe that we
must look at our laws and make it easier for those who are corrupt to be fished
out and punished. We must come to a point where the average Ghanaian must be
asked to explain their source of wealth,” he said.

Professor Adei said
the country must move away from talking about corruption perception and accept
that there was endemic corruption, in order to focus attention on what to do to
eradicate it.

Mr Daniel Domelevo,
the Auditor-General said people had gone unpunished for abusing public offices
over the years for their personal gains and that had increased the appetite for
others to do same.

He said there should
be an enforcement on the existing laws against corruption, which had remained
dormant all these years.

“People have gone
into public offices not because of the burning desire to serve the Nation or
because they have the competence to be there but it’s only an opportunity to
improve themselves,” he said.

He said the report
in the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) was a true reflection on
the grounds and called for urgent actions to end corruption.

Madam Clara
Kasser-Tee, a Board Member at the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD)
said the complaints mechanism for the fight against corruption was not
encouraging enough.

She said the country
needed to effect the necessary changes to ensure that corruption complaints
were treated differently and effectively.

“We will have to
separate a complain mechanism for corruption differently from other complaints.
So we have two complaints mechanisms; one for unrelated corruptions complaints
and then the other complaints related solely on corruption,” she said.

The Board Member
said “we will not achieve anything if the mechanisms are there, the reports are
made and nothing comes out of it – people will very soon get tired,” she said.

Madam Josephine
Nkrumah, Chairperson of the NCCE said it was a worrisome trend that the abuse
of office has become the order in the governance system.

“In the public
sector and in some instances in private sector, it finds expression in
cronyism, nepotism, abuse of facilities and benefits associated to one’s office
and through intrusion and collusion with private sectors,” she said

She said the menace
had also been perceived to characterize appointments in the public sector as
friends and families of governments that have plagued successive governments
through the country’s democratic journey.

Madam Nkrumah said
those accepted “norms and practices” had led to mediocrity and the weakening of
public institutions and in effect, stagnating national development.

She urged citizens
to be mindful of their duties and work effectively and conscientiously in their
chosen occupation to develop the country.

GNA

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