Corruption is too much in Ghana –U/E Minister

Mr James Zuuga Tiigah, Upper East Regional Minister

Mr James Zuuga Tiigah, Upper East Regional Minister

MR James Zuugah Tiigah, Upper East Regional Minister, has said corruption has become a major issue in the country today, affecting all facets of governance.

He said the negative effects of corruption in the country were not new to all and sundry.

The Regional Minister said this at a day’s dialogue with the staff of the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC), heads of department, boards and corporations on the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan at Bolgatanga.

The dialogue was at the instance of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and was aimed among others, at throwing more light on the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) and the role participants were expected to play during its ten year implementation period.

Mr Tiigah said in the quest to tackle the issue of corruption holistically, government had developed the NACAP to deal with the canker.

He said the plan, which was developed through broad consultations, emphasized a three-prong approach to fighting corruption, which comprised education, prevention and enforcement.

The NACAP was therefore, expected to contextualize and mobilize efforts and resources of stakeholders to prevent and fight corruption through the promotion of high ethics and integrity as well as vigorous enforcement of applicable laws, he added.

He said the fight against corruption would be meaningless without raising the awareness of public officials and the general public to the dangers of corruption.

The government, he said was resourcing state anti-corruption agencies such as CHRAJ, and EOCO among others, to enable them to carry out their mandate effectively and efficiently.

Mr Richard Quayson, acting Commissioner of CHRAJ, said NACAP has a national plan of action to combat corruption in Ghana within the next 10 years.

He said its main purpose was to create a sustainable democratic society in Ghana, which was founded on good governance and imbued with high ethics and integrity.

Mr. Quayson said in order to achieve its purpose, NACAP had four strategic objectives including, building public capacity to condemn and fight corruption and making its practice a high-risk, low-gain activity.

The other objectives, he said were to conduct effective investigations and prosecution of corrupt conduct and also to engage individuals, media and civil society organisations to report and combat corruption.

Mr Daniel Batidam, a Presidential Advisor on Corruption said if strong accountable principles were not put in place, it would be difficult to combat corruption.

He said the fight against corruption would only succeed when it was tackled from the bottom, adding that “the more corruption we have, the less development we get.”

The Presidential Advisor on Corruption described NACAP as a blue-print document government had made available to the people.

He said with the right systems to deal with issues concerning corruption, the desired objectives would be achieved, adding that it constituted a big investment to put the right systems in place.

Mr Charles Ayamdoo, a director at CHRAJ responsible for Anti-Corruption, talking on the role of MDAs/MMDAs under NACAP, said corruption remained a serious problem despite measures adopted in the past to tackle it.

He stressed on the need to raise awareness on the negative impact of corruption and also to continue to investigate and prosecute whoever was connected with corruption.

He said there should be non-interference, especially political in the investigative process of corrupt practices.

He said MDAs/MMDAs should institute appropriate ethical measures to minimize the opportunities and incentives for corruption.

From Ibrahim A. Mohammed, Bolgatanga

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