Ms Mary Awelana Addah, the Programmes Manager of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Local Chapter of Transparency International made the disclosure at a capacity building training workshop organized for the Social Auditing Club members at Navrongo.
It had the theme” Citizen Participation in Local Governance: A Tool For Strengthening Transparency and Accountability at the Local Level”.
The Project is sponsored by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) and being implemented by the GII, in collaboration with the NCCE in the Builsa South , Bawku West and the Kassena Nankana Municipal Assemblies in the Upper East Region.
Also among the sponsors are some selected Districts in the Northern and Upper West Regions, and its aimed at forming Social Auditing Clubs at the District Levels to act as anti-corruption crusaders and perform the role of holding duty bearers, accountable to ensuring checks and balances of public spending at the District Assembly level.
The Programmes Manager stated that records had proven that as a result of some key authorities at the District Level demanding kick-backs from Contractors, it affected their expenditure during execution of projects hence the poor works.
She cited for instance that many Projects that were executed under the first President of the Republic of Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumah were still strong, whilst those that were executed after that period were in a very deplorable state.
Ms Awelana Addah said the canker did not only lead to shoddy work of projects but to the loss of development funds, retardation of economic growth, inflation of administrative lists as well as undermined democracy and good governance, leading to low productivity.
She said Corruption in Ghana was increasing and cited for instance that in the 2014 Corruption Index Ghana scored 48 points out of 100 points and placed 61st, out of the 170 countries, and placing 8th in Africa.
She noted that Ghana would benefit a lot if corruption was minimised and called for recommitment and attitudinal change of all to help reverse the trend, stressing that, “the giver and the receiver were both guilty and when caught would be dealt with according to the law.”
The Programmes Manager impressed upon all institutions, including the Government and private sector, Traditional Rulers and Religious bodies to use the National Anti-Corruption Plan Document developed by her outfit to fight corruption.
The Upper East Regional Director of the National Commission of Civic Education (NCCE), Mr Pontius Pilate Baba took the participants, who were drawn from the traditional authority, heads of decentralized Departments, the Security Agencies, Market Women, and Representatives of the various political parties, among others, through the topic “Enhancing Citizen’s Participation through Social Auditing for God Governance”.
He said Social Auditing was founded on the constitution of Ghana, which empowered the citizenry to demand accountability from public office holders in order to prompt them to deliver effectively and efficiently.
The Municipal Chief Executive for the area, Dr Stanishluas Alu Akadingdi, lauded the GII and the NCCE for choosing the District to benefit from the project and stressed that it would help the District accomplish its mandate.
The Municipal Assembly is supposed to serve as a Patron to the Kassena-Nankana Municipal Social Auditing Club.