‘GH₵9.6bn swallowed by corruption in 3yrs’

Research by the Centre for Democratic Development-Ghana (CDD-Ghana) has shown that GH₵ 9.6 billion has been lost from the public purse as a result of corrupt practices in the country since 2017.

Conducted by the centre’s Corruption Watch Initiative, it discovered that GH₵ 9.6 billion was embezzled from the public purse, which indicated that individuals and organisations has an obligation to act with integrity, expose corrupt practices and help retrieve the embezzled funds.

Speaking at a ceremony to premiere an anti-corruption documentary of the centre’s Corruption Watch Initiative, Professor Henry Prempeh, the Executive Director of CDD, stressed that the citizenry had a shared responsibility to expose corruption saying, “Everyone, every individual and every organisation has an obligation to act with integrity, expose corrupt practices, and more importantly, help retrieve funds that have been embezzled.

 “Weak governance and corruption hurt every nation, the poor are often the hardest hit, over the years, the country has lost a great fortune to corruption, since its inception in November 2017, corruption watch alone has placed a high premium on the need for asset recovery,” he pointed out.

Referencing recent Afrobarometer data, Prof. Prempeh explained that almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of the citizenry wanted corrupt officials prosecuted, if found guilty, jailed, forced to return embezzled funds, which should be used to build public facilities with the culprit’s named, shamed and inscribed on them.

“Another one-fifth (22 per cent) favour the government retrieval of embezzled funds without prosecution only one in 10 (9 per cent) will opt for prosecution without retrieval of embezzled funds and it is our expectation that the new documentary will shed more light on the role of asset recovery and how it tackles corruption.

“Watch out for highlights on the challenges of asset recovery efforts in the country, the gains associated with it, as well as the role of the citizenry in the process, I hope the documentary will prompt discussions among activists in civil society, legislators, policy makers, public officials, and discussions in turn, will spur policy makers, implementers, relevant stakeholders and the public to play their significant roles towards strengthening efforts at asset recovery in Ghana.

“Corruption Watch is CDD-Ghana’s foremost anti-corruption campaign which seeks to promote integrity in public life by demanding, activating the responsiveness, accountability of all actors in the anti-corruption space to ensure corruption cases are investigated, suspects prosecuted and stolen funds recovered,” Prof. Prempeh observed.

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