The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Local Chapter of Transparency International in partnership with the National Commission for Civic Commission (NCCE) have established Social Auditing Clubs in three Districts in the Upper East Region.
The Social Auditing Clubs, already in established in the Builsa South, Kassena-Nakana Municipal and the Bawku West Districts, are expected to act as anti-corruption crusaders and would perform the role of holding duty bearers to ensure checks and balances of public spending at the District Assembly level.
Other Social Auditing clubs had been established by the two Organizations in Jirapa District, Wa Municipal, and Tumu Districts in the Upper West Region and the exercise is expected to be replicated in some Districts of the Northern Region.
Speaking at a capacity building training workshop, organized for the Social Auditing Club members at Fumbisi, in the Builsa South District, on the theme,” Citizen Participation in Local Governance: A Tool For Strengthening Transparency and Accountability at the Local Level,” Ms Mary Awelana Addah, the Programmes Manager of GII said it was not only Politicians who were corrupt but other members of society including homes, churches and chieftaincy institutions, among others.
She said among the major causes of corruption was greed, fuelled by lack of transparency, accountability and integrity and indicated that apart from the phenomenon hindering development and depleting the nation’s resources, it also erodes business confidence of investors, break down law and order, creates lack of trust in institutions, leads to poor performance, low productivity and a threat to national security.
The Programmes Manager explained that to help deal with the menace, her outfit in collaboration with the NCCE, with sponsorship from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), had taken the initiatives to form the Social Auditing Clubs in some selected Districts in the country on a pilot basis to empower them to work as a check at the District level.
Ms Awelana Addah regretted that most Ghanaians often complained about corruption and yet did not report such cases and impressed upon all to report as victims and as witnesses to the appropriate quarters and also shun the taking of bribes.
She called on participants and Ghanaians in general to continue speaking against the canker, embark upon education programmes against corruption and to nature in children, the values of transparency, accountability and integrity.
The National Director of NCCE, in charge of Programmes, Mr Samuel Akuamoah , who took the club members through the topic “ Enhancing Citizen’s Participation Through Social Auditing for Good Governance” said corruption had denied many Ghanaians, particularly the poor, of social infrastructure, such as good schools, road networks and health facilities, among others.
He said taking part in decision-making and in governance at the local level would help fight the canker and told the club members that the 1992 constitution empowered the Citizenry to demand performance from duty bearers.
He stated that the Directive Principles of the State Policy of Chapter six empowered the Citizenry to expose and combat the misuse of public funds and property and urged members of the club to do that.