The President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, has called on civil society organisations and other stakeholders to help fight the canker of corruption and its negative effects on the Ghanaian society.
He said in spite of measures put in place to arrest the situation, including criminalisation, law enforcement measures, prevention and public awareness of the evil effects of corruption, the canker still persisted.
“We are making progress as a nation in that direction, though, admittedly, we expected the various efforts to have yielded better dividends as far as the development of our country is concerned,” he added.
This was contained in a speech read on the President’s behalf by the Chief of Staff, Mr Julius Debrah, during a training and planning workshop for members of the High Level Implementation Committee (HILIC) of the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) (2015-2024).
President Mahama said the measures adopted to fight corruption had been assessed, adding, “We need an approach that addresses corruption in a more strategic and sustainable manner and that is why the nation was united in the development and adoption of NACAP and its unanimous approval by Parliament in July 2014.”
He said the government continued to be committed to the implementation of NACAP and that was why structures were being put in place to ensure that the plan was implemented and progress evaluated on a regular basis.
President Mahama said the government was determined to play its role under NACAP and would not hesitate to deal with any head of institution who did not comply with the directives.
He gave an assurance that the government would continue to do its best to improve on its support for the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and used the opportunity to appeal to development partners who had supported CHRAJ in the past, as well as new ones, not only to continue to support it but also increase their assistance to the commission.
The President indicated that the role of the members of the committee would be challenging, since it required hard work and a sense of urgency, innovation and perhaps some personal sacrifices.
“As public officers providing strategic guidance for others to implement anti-corruption measures, you must show evidence of the highest ethical principles and be persons of integrity,” he said.
The acting Commissioner of CHRAJ, Mr Richard Quayson, was happy that President Mahama had issued directives to all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) to ensure the full implementation of NACAP and to submit quarterly progress reports to CHRAJ, with copies to the Office of the President
He said although it was a good start, a lot more was needed from the government and called for more funding for CHRAJ, since, apart from being the implementing agency, it had also been given the responsibility to coordinate, implement and monitor NACAP activities.
Mr Quayson was grateful to the United Nations Development Programme and the Office of the President for providing the funding for the workshop.