Public perception on corruption is high under the fourth republic according to a survey by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) on “Corruption and Accountability.”
The result of the survey was determined by people’s perception of the extent of corruption under the Fourth Republic. It noted that “up to 83 percent of respondents said corruption has been high under the Fourth Republic.”
The responses appeared largely homogenous among both men and women of similar age groups, but there were some moderate regional variations in the perception of corruption, the survey said.
The survey revealed that the perception of corruption was highest in the Eastern Region, with about 91 percent of the respondents indicating that corruption has increased under the Fourth Republic.
This is followed by the Greater Accra Region, where about 86 percent of the respondents think corruption has been high under the Fourth Republic.
The Volta and Upper East Regions recorded the least percentage of about 78 percent each while the Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo Regions recorded 82 percent each.
Furthermore, about 83 percent of males and 81 percent of females agreed that corruption has been high under the Fourth Republic, indicating a higher perception of corruption among males and females, but the difference is not significant.
The survey also points out that there was not much difference in the perception of corruption among different age groups although this was higher among those above 65 years and those aged 36-45 years than their counterparts in the other age groups.
Contributing to the factors that account for high incidence of corruption among public officials, the survey noted that about 27 percent believed that excessive politicization of issues of accountability was the main factor to blame.
Another 27 percent blamed it on poverty; 20 percent blamed it on the absence of a culture of moral probity, and 15 percent blamed it on mass illiteracy. Ethnicity was cited only by 3 percent of the respondents as the main factor responsible for high incidence of corruption among public officials.
About 4 percent of respondents also gave other reasons including the society’s craving for wealth and lavish expenditure, poor salaries for government officials, under resourcing and governmental control over state institutions that are meant to check corruption; and a cultural acceptance that you cannot go to see a person in authority with empty hands as factors responsible for corruption.
A further 32 percent of the respondents think that the mandatory declaration of assets by public officials within a stipulated time could not help reduce the high incidence of corruption among the public officials.