Citizens urged to collaborate with the media to combat higher cost of corruption

By Rashid Mbugri/Kamara Osman Faisal, GNA

Tamale, Sept 27, GNA – Mr Richard Quayson, the
Deputy Commissioner, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice
(CHRAJ), has called on citizens to collaborate effectively with the media to
help combat the higher cost of corruption in the country.

He said the country loses about three billion
US dollars, an equivalent of 13.8 billion Ghana cedis, annually through
corruption, which needed to be curbed to ensure the promotion of citizens’
well-being.

He made the call on Wednesday in Tamale,
during a regional corruption sensitisation forum, organized by the National
Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP), to educate journalists and other
stakeholders on the need to extricate themselves from corrupt practices and its
impacts in the society.

The sensitisation forum formed part of
activities under the Integrity, Mobilization, Participation, Accountability,
Anticorruption and Transparency (IMPACT) Ghana Project, supported by the Global
Affairs, Canada.

It was being implemented by CHRAJ, Ghana
Integrity International (GII), local chapter of Transparency International and
the Ghana News Agency.

Some of the participants included
Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), the private sector,
Civil Society Organisations, some media houses and other stakeholders.

Mr Quayson said the 13.8 billion Ghana cedis
was over 300 per cent of all the foreign aids Ghana received, with terms and
conditions and higher interest rate, within a year.

He said these huge sums was also about 20 per
cent of Ghana’s annual national budget, which could be used to improve the
health and education sectors, roads and transports, communication and
agricultural sectors among others, without borrowing from international
organisations.

Mr Quayson said these huge sums could equally
be used to invest in the economy to reduce the high rate of unemployment,
provide sufficient money for economic development, and pay public sector
workers salaries.

He, however, urged journalists not to relent
on their efforts, but continue in their course of work to expose all corrupt
activities and persons as well as create public awareness of the dangers of
corruption in the country.

Mr Quayson appealed to all stakeholders to
re-visit and re-examine the country’s moral values by ensuring that the
necessary citizens’ education on morality were given the needed attention to
assist in the fight against corruption.

Mr Francis Ameyibor, a Deputy News Editor of
the Ghana News Agency, speaking on the role of the media in the fight against
corruption said, journalists should avoid the use of sensationalism and
stressed the need to ensure effective monitoring of corruption trends and
practices in order to guide people’s acts and actions.

He said media organisations must also
collaborate and give free air time and newspaper space to Anti-corruption
bodies to help sensitise the public on corruption. 

Mr Ameyibor urged all public servants to come
out and champion the fight against corruption by changing their attitudes
towards work since most public servants were being accused of corrupt acts on
daily basis.

He said all public servants were vulnerable to
corruption, but they shouldnot let their own conscience be compromised with
anything given to them in kind or cash, to ensure effective management in their
workplaces. 

Mr Ameyibor also called on all citizens to
make efforts in collaborating with the media to help in naming and shaming of
all persons engaged in corrupt acts and actions and this should be both at home
or workplaces.

Madam Mary Awelana Addah, the Programmes
Manager of GII, in a presentation on the topic: “Examining the Work Plan
of NACAP for 2018/2019 and the Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting
Framework” said it was realised that at the end of the 2017 annual
progress report, only 87 institutions had reported on the action of corrupt
cases and had a relationship with anti-corruption bodies in their institutions.

She said there was therefore the need to bring
stakeholders to understand that they all had roles and actions to take to
ensure that they reported on the actions of corrupt cases from their various
institutions to reduce corruption.

Mr Salifu Saeed, the Northern Regional
Minister, urged all stakeholders and key actors in the public and private
sector to collaborate with each other to collectively fight the corruption
canker in the country.

He said the government was also making efforts
through the establishment of the Office of the Special Prosecutor to help fight
against corruption menace in the country.

GNA

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