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General News of Tuesday, 28 January 2020


We’re still committed to fighting corruption - Govt

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Information Minister

Government has re-affirmed its commitment to fighting corruption at every level of national life and would continue to improve the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) and the Global Corruption Barometre (GCB) scores.

“The Akufo-Addo administration wishes to remind Ghanaians and its major stakeholders that it remains committed to fight against corruption especially in the Public Sector,” Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Information Minister, told journalists in Accra, on Sunday.

“The government of Ghana pledges to continue with the recent efforts that have led to the improved scores in the recently released Corruption Perception Index and the Global Corruption Barometre,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah stressed.

The Minister said government had demonstrated its commitment to combating corruption by increasing resource allocation, strengthening anti-corruption institutions and increased budgetary allocation to anti-graft agencies such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Auditor-General Department and Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP).

He noted that the establishment of the Office of the Special Prosecutor and the appointment of Mr. Martin Amidu was a clear indication of the President’s commitment towards uprooting corruption.

More so, government had conducted thorough investigations into all corruption allegations leveled against government appointees by the relevant institutions.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah was of the conviction that Akufo-Addo’s administration was committed to continue with efforts to build the institutions that could make a difference in the anti-corruption fight since the fight against corruption is best won by building strong institutional mechanisms.

“Government has also instituted measures to minimise corruption tendencies in the Public Sector; including the digitisation of some key public institutions like the Ports, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), Passport Office and Registrar General’s Department and urged the broader society and stakeholders to complement government’s efforts in the corruption battle.

“Now if we critically look at that content of the CPI report, it is laughable when the NDC says President Akufo-Addo and this administration have failed in fighting corruption.

“The report assessed the perceptions of corruption across the country from 2015 to 2019. Interestingly, it means it captured the first three years of Mahama’s Government and also captured two-and-half years of Akufo- Addo’s government,” he explained.

The Minister explained that the report released indicated that, corruption had declined significantly in Ghana in all spheres of the corruption survey assesses.

For instance, the CPI survey showed that Ghana was pegged at 45 in 2012, 46 in 2013 and 48 in 2014 then declined to 47 in 2015, 43 in 2016 and 40 in 2017.

Then in 2018, the CPI indicators showed the country’s rating had begun a steady climb up from 40 to 41 and that figure was maintained in 2019, which Mr Oppong Nkrumah believed a number of factors contributed to the score being repeated in 2019.

Regarding the Global Corruption Barometre (GCB), it benchmarked from 2015 to 2019, and asked people who used public facilities.

The survey showed that citizen’s perceptions of corruption have declined significantly since 2015, while the report suggests that under Akufo-Addo’s government, citizens felt more empowered and could make a difference in the fight against corruption with the percentage moved from 53 per cent in 2015 to 60 per cent in 2019.

Apart from the citizens feeling empowered to fighting corruption, they similarly know that government is empowering and motivating them to fight corruption, the Minister pointed out.

Expectedly, in 2019, 60 per cent of the citizens felt that the Government was doing a good job in fighting corruption. However, in 2015, only 25 per cent felt that way.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah, however, said under Mahama’s administration, 71 per cent of the citizens felt that government was not doing anything to fight corruption, but only 30 per cent of the people felt that way about President Akufo- Addo’s administration, according to the report.

In terms of corruption by institutions, most Ghanaians felt Mahama and his appointees were very corrupt. Indeed, the index on corruption by institution reveals that the presidency (47 per cent) and Government officials (53 per cent) were the most corrupt in the country.

In 2019, only 27 per cent of Ghanaians feels that the presidency was a corrupt institution while just 35 per cent felt that Government officials were corrupt.

On the index of bribery rates, the current government has done far better.

For instance, in 2015, 58per of the Police were deemed to be taking bribes, however, in 2019, only 34 per cent were deemed to be doing so.

Bribes were rampant even in the sensitive public clinics and health centres in 2015 (17 per cent) while by 2019, it had declined to 12 per cent.