Corruption becoming cultural problem in Ghana – Dr Akwetey

Dr. AkweteyThe Executive Director of the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, has observed that corruption is becoming a cultural problem in Ghana.

“Ghanaians now tolerate corruption.  It is a habit that has become a culture. It is like fire that is engulfing us. Money has become our greatest value which we have traded with integrity, honesty, moral code and so on. We need to fight the culture of corruption,” he said.

Dr Akwetey was speaking in Accra, yesterday at the launch of “Speak–Up Accountability Media Watch Project”, an anti-corruption campaign aimed at educating Ghanaians on the anti-corruption laws and encouraging the public to report corruption.

He stated that, “our society had become so engulfed by corruption that people no longer condemned those who stole from the public purse but rather praised them.”

“People now know that when they go to jail and come back they will be treated as super stars,” he said.

In politics, he added, politicians gave money to the electorates to get their votes “the understanding is that once you give me money to vote for you, when you are elected you must give me more money. That is why we hear our members of Parliament crying that the demands from the public are too many.”

Under-resourced Institutions

Dr Akwetey observed that the presidency, instead of empowering the anti-corruption law implementation agencies, were the focus whenever the issue of fighting corruption emerged.

He said the implementation agencies were not living up to expectation because of the lack of resources and political interference.

“We must advocate for the implementation agencies which are under-resourced to be resourced and strengthened, then we can monitor them to ensure that they work,” he said and added that those institutions were to fight corruption by investigating and making sure that corruption was punished.

Speak-Up Project

Speak–Up Project is a 14-month campaign by the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition and the Global Media Alliance, with support from Star Ghana to curb corruption, especially in the educational and health sectors.

It is also to influence policy change relating to anti-corruption issues and would be implemented in the Western, Greater Accra and Ashanti regions of Ghana.

Using the media platform, the project would educate the public on the Whistle Blowers Act 720 (2006) with the aim of encouraging people to ‘speak-up and stand up against all forms of corruption’

Anti–corruption agencies and other stakeholders in the fight against corruption would be engaged in radio and television series on some selected media channels with the objective of educating the public on the Whistleblower Act and the appropriate channels of reporting corruption issues.

The Communications Officer of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, Beauty Nartey, explained that the public had little knowledge of the Whistleblowers Act “but with this campaign, we will increase public education on the effect of corruption and let people know what the Whistleblowers Act is all about and the role they have to play.”

Source: Daily Graphic

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