Daily Graphic, Wednesday, August 8, 2018
By Shirley Asiedu-Addo,
Cape Coast
The Commissioner for the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mr. Joseph Whittal, has urged the government not to engage in putting up symbolic efforts in fighting corruption if it really wants to make significant strides in combating the practice.
He said institutions established to fight corruption were not receiving the necessary support to make them effective and that had left a gap that allowed millions of cedis to go down the drain due to corrupt practices.
He was of the view that if the government ably empowered institutions set to check and fight corruption, it would not need to go round the world in search of money to develop the nation.
According to him, anti-corruption institutions, including the newly established Office of the Special Prosecutor, would amount to nothing if they were not properly resourced and empowered to punish wrongdoers.
Mr. Whittal was speaking at the seventh Annual Sandwich Conference organised by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Cape Coast last Thursday.
He spoke on the topic: “The Effects of Corruption on Ghana’s Peace and Security”.
Mr. Whittal said there was no doubt that corruption was a stain and a burden on developing societies which also undermined the very principles of democracy and good governance which were the bedrock of modern society.
Institutional weaknesses, poor ethical standards, skewed incentive structures, lack of reporting systems and insufficient enforcement of laws remained some of the major causes of corruption, he indicated.
He called for high ethical standards on the part of leadership and citizenry to win the fight against corruption.
“There is too much culture importation and ways of doing things in public service to the neglect of the public service code and ethics. There’s also too much nepotism to the neglect of merit-based compensation and so we have a duty to bring back ethics into public service,” he said.
Threat to security
The Commissioner for CHRAJ noted that increasingly corruption had been seen as a major threat to stability and peace and added that besides corruption being the cause of military coup d’etats in years past in the country, the land guard phenomenon, haphazard development activities, pollution and degradation of the environment could all be traced to corruption.
Mr. Whittal said it was important for Ghanaians to have a change of mindset adding that, “it’s not about making laws, it’s about changing mindsets.”
The Commissioner further called for strict implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) to achieve the desired results.
Realistic Wages
In her presentation, Ms Gloria Ofori-Boadu of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration ((GIMPA) called for realistic wages to be paid since the meager salaries workers received were motivation to engage in corrupt practices.
She also called for systems to recover looted resources.
A broadcast journalist of the multimedia Group, Mr. Manasseh Azure Awuni, in his presentation expressed worry that the private sector was increasingly becoming guilty of grand corruption in that “crooks and thieves are now being celebrated as businessmen” and called for collective efforts to fight the menace.
The Central Regional Minister, Mr. Kwamena Duncan, urged the society to put pressure on public officers with regard to the wealth they acquired through fair or foul means.
The Dean of the Faculty of Social Science at the University of Cape Coast, Prof. Francis Amuquandoh, stated that corruption had caused the nation to stagnate with its development, particularly in the areas of education and health, and discouraged many investors. There was, therefore an urgent need to tackle it.
 

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