Ghana Integrity Initiative sensitizes public on corruption
Mr George Amoh, Coordinator at the Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC), on Tuesday said, despite Ghana’s move up on the corruption index from 3.9 in 2009 to 4.1 in 2010, out of a maximum score of 10, does not mean Ghanaians should overlook the rate of corruption in the country.
Mr Amoh said this when the ALAC, as part of its nationwide outreach programme, held a one day seminar in Bolgatanga, to enhance the publics understanding of corruption, its nature, causes and effects, as well as mobilising the people to become anti-corruption monitors and crusaders.
Speaking on the theme, “Effects of corruption on National Development in Ghana”, Mr Amoh said it was important to understand what corruption is all about by increasing knowledge on its negative effects.
This he said, would and position the country’s future leaders to reject and fight against any sign of corruption, saying that, “until we reorient ourselves and start teaching our children the fundamentals of corruption and its effects, they would not depart from it when they grow”.
Mr Amoh listed fraud, petty corruption, administrative corruption, political corruption and grand looting, as some of the many types of corruption that the country was bedevilled with, which is evident in the difficulties people went through when they needed favours from people, as receiving such favours went with giving out money, valuable goods, gifts or promises in return.
He said corruption brings about the loss of legitimacy and respect for legally constituted authority, among other things, and also undermines the integrity of the socio-legal foundations of that authority.
Mr Amoh said no nation could develop when resources intended for projects went into the pockets of a few, since that could lead to the lack of social developments such as roads, hospitals and schools.
He said corruption undermined democracy and good governance as well as the rule of law, which many a time, influenced judgement in favour of wrong people.
He encouraged everyone to shun corruption and report all such cases and always stand up for the truth as well as, observing values such as integrity, honesty and love for one’s neighbour.
He said such corrupt cases can be reported to the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAG), the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Parliament, Auditor-General’s Department (AG), the Police and the ALAC.
He said the whistle blower act, (Act 720), provides protection against victimisation of people who disclose information and will protect everybody.
Mrs Gifty Ofori, Programme Officer of the Ghana Integrity Initiative, who briefed participants on ALAC, said it provided avenue for people and corporate bodies, who will either become victims or witnesses to corrupt practices, to pursue them at the appropriate institution for redress.
She said ALAC was pioneered by Transparency International (TI) in 2003 and since 2009 had been established worldwide with the aim of providing legal advice and assistance to victims and witnesses of corruption, empower the citizens, and residents to pursue corruption cases and set up a data base on corruption in the country, based on complaints received from public.