Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ghanaians must decide to eradicate corruption

A Council of State member has appealed to Ghanaians to decide to avoid taking part in corrupt practices as a step to reduce poverty in the country. Mr Emmanuel Adzei Annang, the Greater Accra Regional Member of the council, urged the public to make a resolution not to offer nor receive bribe or create the impression that they need to be bribed in order to favour somebody."Until the public see themselves as agents of corruption in order to purge themselves from it, it would be difficult for us to eradicate corruption and poverty from Ghana," he said.Mr Annang said this on Tuesday when he opened a two-day workshop in Ashaiman to promote democracy and good governance in Ghana. The workshop, which was organized by Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) in collaboration with the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), Ashaiman was on the theme, "Fighting corruption - a contribution to poverty reduction and the achievement of the millennium development goals in Ghana."He said it was unfortunate that people always point accusing fingers at politicians and public servants whenever corruption is mentioned. "It mostly starts from the classrooms as some teachers aid pupils to cheat during examination without knowing that they are teaching them corrupt practices."Mr Annang, who is a former Chief Executive of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA), said anybody who engaged in any activity in an effort to please others or anybody who tries to take undue advantage of others is a corrupt person.Mrs Linda Ofori-Kwafo, Programmes Manager of GII, said to achieve good democratic governance in a country, corruption must be at the minimum if it cannot be eradicated. She said corruption undermined democracy and good governance by subverting formal processes while it weakens economic development by generating considerable distortions.She suggested the introduction of a strong code of conduct for civil and public servants as well as political appointees To minimize corruption in the country. Mrs Ofori-Kwafo appealed to government to strengthen existing laws to include imposition of stiffer punishment and urged parliament to enact the Freedom of Information Bill to encourage the exposure of wrongdoing in the workplace and foster transparency in governance.

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