Only change of attitude can fight corruption
The latest (that is, 2022) report released by Transparency International ranks Ghana 72nd out of 180 countries on the global Corruption Perception Index (CPI) on a score of 43 over 100.
Interestingly, the country has repeated its score of 43 since 2020, that is three consecutive years, but on different rankings though.
In 2020, the country was ranked 75th whereas it was ranked 73rd in 2021.
Considering the CPI score as being the perceived level of public-sector corruption on a scale of 0-100, where zero is interpreted as highly corrupt and 100 very clean, we share the view that Ghana has not improved in its anti-graft fight.
It is sad to hear, for instance, that in 2020, the U.S. News & World Report, a multifaceted digital media company dedicated to helping consumers, business leaders and policy officials make important decision, rated Ghana as the third most corrupt country, according to its 2020 Best Countries rankings, a characterisation of 73 countries based on a survey of more than 20,000 global citizens.
It is also worthy of note that a 2018 warning from the Ghana Integrity Initiative, the local chapter of the Transparency International, said the country had been losing up to US$3 billion annually to corruption.
After three years, the 2021 Ghana Integrity of Public Services Survey (GIPSS) report showed that GH¢5 billion (over $833 million at the rate of GH¢6 to a dollar then) was paid in bribes alone to public officials that year.
This means under- and over-invoicing and other corrupt practices in the public sector were yet to be added.
Even though we cannot deny that successive governments have been making efforts to fight corruption in the country, reports of persistent corrupt cases mean the efforts are not enough or they are just charade adopted by the country’s managers to bamboozle the citizenry into believing that the fight against corruption is being upheld.
Let us face the reality that it is difficult, if not impossible, to eradicate corruption, but the fight becomes murkier once public officials, especially the top brass, are involved in the acts of corruption being fought.
We should always bear in mind that it is very difficult to fight corruption in any country where public officials, including frontline politicians, the police and members of the judiciary, are themselves neck-deep in corruption but come public to pontificate against it.
This is the situation in the country and the efforts, including prosecutions, would hardly work due to numerous factors.
Is it not said that “justice delayed is justice denied?”, yet corruption trials are among prosecutions that delay the most?
We need the bearers of the justice system to educate the public as to why the state of affairs. We think sometimes only scapegoats are made.
We believe that perpetrators of corruption in the country have identified ways of escape from any serious punishment.
Therefore, we should look at what fan corruption and kill them.
One such thing is the proclivity of the Ghanaian to hail wealth and riches no matter the sources.
We also have to build patriotic love for the country and ensure progress for all, particularly the vulnerable.
Above all, those of us who profess to worship God or Allah should live by His word against corruption such as the scripture in Joshua 1:8 (King James Version of the Bible) which emphasises “good success”, meaning there is bad success, which is all that we gain from corruption.