Government’s inability to pass the Right to Information (RTI) Bill has been cited as one of the reasons for the increasing high profile corrupt practices in Ghana.
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) which made the claim at a roundtable discussion on anti-corruption report held in Accra also said that the failure of government to give adequate human and material resources to anti-corruption institutions to fight against endemic corruption has contributed to the hampering of efforts to fight the canker.
The recent complains of the Special Prosecutor (SP) that he lacks the needed resources to work effectively, the CSOs said, lays credence to their concerns.
The offices of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO), Attorney General and Office of the Auditor General, the CSOs claimed, have also been denied resources to carry out their constitutional mandates of helping fight corruption.
They also added that so far, they are yet to see any practical actions that indicate that the two main political parties, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC), are committed to the fight against corruption in Ghana.
Speakers at the forum including the Director of Programmes at the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD)-Ghana, Dr Franklin Oduro, therefore called on the government to work to resource the various anti-graft agencies to ensure that the fight against corruption is strengthened.
“As a nation, we have developed a mind-set over years which do not help productivity and development. A mind-set, which actually makes people think about becoming rich through any means possible. Unfortunately, I see it to be the basic mindset of us Ghanaians and something that cuts across all boards; it is not only the politicians. It is a mind-set that needs to be changed,” he charged.
He noted that corruption had crept into the very fabric of the Ghanaian society, which should not only be associated with politicians, but civil servants as well.
Dr Oduro further expressed concern about how corruption had become a normal lifestyle of the Ghanaian, where paying and receiving bribes had become part of everyday operations in institutions.
“Each one of us must see this as a canker, whether we like it or not we have been caught up in this web, at times even the gifts we give to people end up corrupting them, so each one of us have to change our attitude towards eradication of the cancer from our society,” he said.
He, therefore, charged Ghanaians to build the nation with cardinal values including hard work, honesty, truthfulness, integrity, and time consciousness in the discharge of their duties to accelerate national progress.
The Director of Communications of the NPP who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Adentan, Mr Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, indicated that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was ready to equip the anti-corruption institutions, particularly the OSP, to work efficiently and effectively to help fight against corruption.
“I would want to assure the general public that President Akufo-Addo is committed to resource the OSP to work with the anti-corruption institutions such as EOCO, CHRAJ and Audit Service to sustain the agenda of the fight against the cancer in the Ghanaian society,” he assured.
The event was attended by the representatives of the ruling NPP, NDC, Office of Special Prosecutor (OSP), PPP, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), and Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).
Others included National Media Commission, Financial Intelligent Centre, National School Feeding Programme, Star-Ghana, Public Procurement Authority, National Health Insurance Authority, NCCE among other stated-owned institutions.