Ghana@61: ‘Expect More Corruption Prosecutions’- Akufo Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reiterated his commitment to fighting  corruption in the country.

According to him, the corruption level in Ghana has crippled the development of the nation and the economy, and that, the fight against the canker should be seen as a “social common goal” whose progress “depends on all of us.”

Speaking at the National Independence Day parade in Accra to commemorate Ghana’s 61st anniversary, he encouraged Ghanaians to help curb corruption and warned that public officials who are caught in the act will not be spared.

“Corruption is not a partisan matter and we must all act to protect the public purse. . . .With the office of the Special Prosecutor now in place we can expect more prosecutions for corruption in the coming months and public officials, present and past, should be on notice that they would be held accountable for their stewardship of our public finances,” he added.

He continued that: “There is, however, one piece of the anti-corruption framework that is yet to be put in place; the Right to Information Act. It would increase transparency and add another critical weapon to the armoury in the fight against corruption. After many years of hesitation, we intend to bring a bill again to Parliament and work to get it passed into law before Parliament rises.

According to Nana Akufo-Addo, a recent foiling of the payment of a “fictitious” GHS5.4 billion by the Auditor-General as liabilities for Ministries, Departments and Agencies is one of the numerous steps his government is taking to fighting the canker as well as the appointment of the Special prosecutor.

Describing what the saved GHS 5.4 billion could do for the country, he said it could fund the Free SHS programme for five years.

Corruption Growing

The growing corruption in the country made the president appoint Martin ABK Amidu, a former Attorney General under the erstwhile NDC government, as the country’s first Special Prosecutor.

Mr. Amidu’s swearing in comes at a time that public perception on corruption in the country is on the ascendancy.

According to Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), a subsidiary of Transparency International, corruption in Ghana is on the rise.

According to the 2017 Corruption Perception Index (CPI), Ghana dropped 11 places from the 2016 ranking with a low score  of 40% and ranked 81st of the 180 countries surveyed during the period of survey in 2017.

The latest score represents a drop in three points in the corruption index, the lowest since 2012.  The CPI 2017 ranked Botswana first in Africa and New Zealand and Denmark first globally.

Out of the 9 data sources only 2 were available for Ghana in 2016 and 7 for 2017.

Announcing the results at the launch of the 2017 Index in Accra on Wednesday, the Executive Director of Ghana Integrity Initiative, a local chapter of Transparency International, Linda Ofori Kwarfo said: “the 2017 CPI scored Ghana 40% out of a possible claim score of 100.”

She added that the survey ranks countries annually by their perceived levels of corruption,  and was conducted by “independent institutions with high level of credibility to compute the index for Ghana.”

“. . .the index shows that Ghana;s performance has dropped by 3 points from its 2016 score of 43. . . This score is the lowest in Ghana’s CPI score since the year 2102. . . Ghana performed not too good,” she added.

The recent CPI score comes on the back of the 2016 Corruption Perception Index in which  Ghana dropped four (4) points, scoring 43 out of 100. Ghana’s performance was worse than countries such as Rwanda, Namibia and Senegal.

 

Source: Henryson Okrah/Ghana/myxyzonline.com