Lawyer and Senior Vice President of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil has responded to the Corruption Projection Index (CPI) report for 2022 which placed Ghana 72nd in ranking.
According to him, Ghana’s poor ranking can be attributed to the fact that public officials mismanage state resources put at their disposal.
“We steal and waste in this country more than twice of what we borrow. There are fewer than 500,000 people leading this country out of the 30 million and those 500,000, that’s the ministries and whatever it is. They steal and waste more than twice what the 30 million of us borrow to survive,” he asserted on JoyNews’ Newsfile on Saturday.
Mr. Bentil lamented that the issue of corruption is becoming a huge problem for the country, especially as there seems to be no improvement in spite of the numerous anti-corruption agencies established by successive governments..
According to the lawyer, the perennial issue of corruption has been underpinned by the country’s “governance systems and structures” which largely is controlled by the Constitution. He explained that the flaws in the governance systems and structures, subsequently manifest themselves in “massive corruption which makes people give up.”
Explaining further, Mr. Bentil said that although it is possible to garner huge sums of monies by fighting corruption as promised by President Akufo – Addo during his campaign leading to his election, it is always the case that people in politics become indifferent when they assume power.
Ghana ranks 72 out of 180 countries according to the 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International. Previous reports have indicated that the country loses billions of dollars to corruption yearly. In 2018, it was reported that the country loses $3 billion annually. By 2021, reports indicated that the country lost a total of GH₵5 billion to corruption.
Meanwhile, latest discussions have been about government’s alleged misappropriation of Covid-19 funds. According to the Auditor-General’s report on the funds, out of a total of approximately $21 billion, only about $11 billion was used in the fight against the pandemic with the other $10 billion gone unaccounted for. However, the government said it used the $10 billion to support its budget.
Most recent revelation on the issue of corruption has been the topic of fraudulent placement of student into Senior High Schools after their Junior High School education. An investigative documentary conducted by the Fourth Estate revealed that students who based on merits would not have gained admission into category A and B schools through a computerized placement system, are able to afford same by paying huge sums of monies ranging from GH₵7,000 to GH₵20,000.
It is believed that the Computerised School Placement and Selection System introduced to ensure equity in the deployment of students into Senior High Schools has been compromised.
In response to the revelation, the former Ghana Education Service (GES) boss, Prof. Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa said that he and the Minister of Education, Dr, Yaw Osei Adutwum should be blamed for such irregularities.
In the wake of corrupt activities in the public sector, there have been calls for some changes to the 1992 Constitution. According experts and ordinary citizens, a change in the Constitution should mean that public sector workers are compelled to be more accountable and that the executive arm of government does not wield so much power.
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