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02 February 2017

Persons Engaged In Corruption Must Not Be Spared – Prof. Adei

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Professor Stephen Adei, a former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), has stated that politicians, political office holders and persons who had been involved in corruption in the past must not be allowed to go away with it.

He insisted that they must be investigated and brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others, saying ‘‘this is not a political witch-hunting’’, adding that political office holders in the immediate past government must be investigated and dealt with in accordance with the law.

‘‘There must be a legislation to ensure that political office holders declare their assets publicly so that Ghanaians would know what properties they came with and how much they were taking away’’.

He called on the Transparency International and other spirited-organisations to take the matter up and go to court to enforce it.

‘‘It is inconceivable that deputy ministers in just four years had three houses in East Legon and the rest,’’ he stressed.

Prof. Adei said this at the launch of Good Corporate Governance Initiative in Accra organised by Krif Ghana in collaboration with Action Chapel International and the United States Embassy in Ghana.

The event was held on the theme: ‘Accelerating Ghana’s Development through Transparency and Integrity-From Talk to Action’’.

Addressing the forum on the topic: ‘‘Implementing Integrity into Ghana’s National Development Agenda’’, Prof. Adei urged the government to tackle the recommendations of the Auditor-General’s report and apply the rules accordingly.

According to him, corruption in the previous government reached unacceptable levels, therefore, it was a good omen that the current administration had shown commitment to hold public office holders to account.

However, he said, the public often criticise politicians and political office holders for corruption but lose sight of the pervasive corruption in the public sector, saying bureaucratic corruption has reached unacceptable levels in the country and must be tackled systematically.

He said the principle of transparency, accountability and integrity were the cornerstone for the progress of any nation, therefore if the leadership of the country lacked these fundamental elements things would deteriorate.

He said the AG’s report, last year, made startling revelations that the country had lost GHS6 million through various financial malfeasance in the public sector, adding that considering the fact that the report covered just about 10 percent of the sector annually, then it meant that the nation was losing much higher amounts.

He said: ‘‘For instance, both the Ghana Revenue Authority(GRA) and Lands Commission and many other places, some of the rates of taxation are very high so when people go there to transact business, they negotiate and stay loose for three-quarters of the revenue and then the officials get about 10 percent for their pockets.

‘‘For example, if someone had to register land for GHc40,000, he ends up registering it for GH?5,000.00 and the official also pockets GHc5000.00,’’ he opined.

He observed that since the workers at the public sector remain there even after a change of governments, some of them engaged in all sorts of shady deals.

He noted that though the country had made progress in certain areas such as education and health while the average life expectancy is around 60 years, the nation, however, had not realised its potentials in view of the human and natural resource endowments compared to some of the countries we started developing with including Malaysia and South Korea.

In addition, he observed that the country had retrogressed in areas like tackling of corruption, integrity, accountability, environmental degradation, sanitation management and even show of patriotism.

He said there was the need to simplify the rules for accessing public services in order to reduce the bureaucratic bottlenecks in order to accelerate national development.

 

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