CHRAJ, GII engage chiefs in the fight against corruption

Wa- The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) have engaged the Upper West Regional House of Chiefs on unique ways of dealing with public sector corruption and safeguarding national resources.

The two anti-graft bodies are an enhanced collaboration with local authorities to stem the tide of growing corrupt practices which has become widespread in the society.

Corruption has become a major problem because we have become hospitable and tolerant with corruption. Every aspect of our society somehow is corrupted and we see corruption as normal, Mr Richard Quayson, Deputy Commissioner of CHRAJ, said.

He was speaking at the National Anti-corruption Action Plan (NACAP) engagement with the Upper West Regional House of Chiefs in the regional capital, Wa.

Corruption is estimated to cost African economies about $100 million annually or even higher, according to recent reports.

However, in Ghana, Mr Quayson said, activities of corruption is projected to cost 20 to 25 percent of the country’s annual budget which is more than government’s annual expenditure on education.

He said corrupt dealings particularly happen in procurement and that when an item is bought at 100, the actual value might be 70, stressing: 30 is wasted, we have inflated the cost in everything, even the school feeding programme.

Mr Quayson said corruption was undermining the rights of individuals and called for deliberate action to arrest the situation.

He said, If we don’t fight and bring corruption under control, then our development agenda will suffer.

Our resources are being wasted through corruption, today, we still have children learning under trees and in dilapidated buildings which are danger to their lives.

Mr Quayson urged traditional rulers to use their natural powers to inculcate traditional values and ethics that spurn dishonesty, cheating and greed into their subjects, saying: as natural leaders our society, our people look up to you.

He said to bring corruption under control, the leadership role of chiefs is very crucial as they could ensure cultural values and traditions that insisted on honesty.

Mrs Mary Awelana Addah, GII Programmes Manager, also called on traditional rulers to report and act on corrupt practices in their local areas and ensure their subjects adhere to traditional values that insisted on good behaviour.

She said GII was implementing a two year project that focuses on increasing the capacity of Ghanaians to understand, resist and report on corruption.

It is also focusing on stronger and more robust collaboration between GII and institutions to ensure speedy redress of complaints of acts of corruption.

Kuoro Richard Babini Kanton, the President of UWR Houses of Chiefs, said corruption is the biggest challenge of the country and commended CHRAJ and GII for enlightening the chiefs on the matter.

He declared support of the chiefs in helping the state to deal ruthlessly with the canker saying, no single institution can fight corruption alone.

Source: Ghana News Agency