A Deputy Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mr Joseph Whittal, has stressed the need for Ghanaians to join hands to tackle corruption as a means of securing and sustaining the nation’s development.
He said the fight against corruption in society should be a shared responsibility among all citizens, adding that a way must be found to build public capacity to condemn and fight corruption and make its practice a high-risk, low-gain activity.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra, Mr Whittal said the commission had adopted a comprehensive multi-sectorial anti-corruption action plan to make the fight an integral part of the regular annual activities of public institutions.
He explained that the plan was developed taking into account the limitations and shortcomings that characterised previous anti-corruption strategies.
He said the action plan constituted the benchmark to assess the performance of stakeholders, especially the government, in the fight against corruption.
He said the plan also went beyond controlling corruption in the public sector, as it targeted the private sector and embraced the activities of state and non-state actors, regardless of gender, age, local or international status.
Mr Whittal said the private sector was undoubtedly part of the corruption problem, as it constituted the supply side of the equation which fuelled public sector corruption.
He, therefore, tasked professionals and regulatory bodies in the private sector to play a dynamic role in raising awareness among players in the private sector of the need to inculcate best business practices in their work, as well as establish and implement a code of business practice.
“The private sector must improve financial management procedures, while adhering to good corporate governance systems,” he said.
Mr Whittal said civil society was also targeted to serve as anti-corruption watchdogs and it would be supported and encouraged to report corrupt practices to the appropriate anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies.
“Citizens must demonstrate integrity and be empowered through education and sensitisation to put the nation first by saying no to vote-buying, bribe-giving, bribe-taking and all forms of corruption,” he added.