By Kamara Osman Faisal, GNA
Tamale, July 12, GNA - Mr Abdul-Kudus Husein, Communication Officer of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), has urged government to commit to fighting corruption in the country.
He urged government to resource anti-corruption bodies and law enforcement agencies to effectively combat corruption and to ensure that the citizenry had access to information necessary to restore confidence in government institutions.
This, he said would â€śrebuild the citizenâ€™s trust in government and enable the citizenry and government to work together to build a better future for developmentâ€ť.
Mr Husein was speaking at the regional launch and stakeholders dialogue series to mark this yearâ€™s African Union's Anti-Corruption Day on the theme: â€śWining the Fight Against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africaâ€™s Transformationâ€ť.
The event was organized by the GACC and funded by Strengthening Transparency Accountability and Responsiveness (STAR-Ghana) and Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) aimed at deepening commitment against corruption for sustainable transformation in Ghana.
Mr Husein said government must â€śImplement and enforce inclusive development planning and policy making that include open, participatory, and transparent budgets that allows citizens to participate in the governance processâ€ť.
He urged government to â€śEmpower anti-corruption agencies to promote their independence and effective functioning to enforce existing anti-corruption laws and research into new ways of preventing corruptionâ€ť.
He said the citizenry ought to desist from engaging in petty acts of corruption, including offering bribes and gifts to induce public officers, being civil and law abiding and demanding for accountability and transparency from duty bearers.
â€śFighting corruption therefore requires collaboration and partnership between government, civil society as well as stronger institutions willing to enforce laws to confront and fight corruption,â€ť he added.
Mr Salifu Saeed, the Northern Regional Minster, said the fight against corruption in the country was critical and government centred, and measures were needed to address the challenges for sustainable economic development of the country.
He said there was the need to develop and build a culture of voluntarism among the citizenry through the various institutions to enhance citizenâ€™s attitudes and moral behaviours towards contributing to the development.
He said every office holder was a potential corrupt person, saying, "we need to start teaching our little ones how to perform certain duties without receiving rewards, because the moment you give them something they will grow with it and perceive it to be part of life".
Mr Paul Osei-Kuffuor, Programmes Manager of CDD-Ghana, said Ghana had made strides over the years in fighting corruption, but stressed the need for a holistic commitment from all stakeholders to help win the fight against corruption.
He said progress had been made with the introduction of the Whistle Blowers Act, Public Financial Management Act, National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP), Office of the Special Prosecutor, and the enforcement of the laws on surcharge and disallowance against public officers, among others.
He said monetization of politics was breeding some form of corruption saying, "The recent Westminster Foundation and CDD Survey released on cost of politics revealed that MPs spend as much as USD85,000 or GHC390,000 to contest for both political party primaries and parliamentary elections in Ghana. All these have implications on the fight against corruption in Ghana".
Participants were drawn from the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Immigration Service, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), Ghana Police Service as well as Civil Society Organizations (CSOâ€™s).