Public office holders must sign code of ethics- Prof Adei

Accra- Professor Stephen Adei, Chairman, National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) says the time has come for all public office holders and senior public servants to sign a code of ethics and declare their assets openly.

He said the discussion has been that, on insisting on such public declaration of assets, people would not accept high offices- but these are the people who were not needed in those offices.

He said an important part of development was improving the material wellbeing of the people, however, people must become rich on the sweat of their brow and brain and not through thievery which corruption was all about.

Prof Adei said this during the seventh National Development Forum in Accra, organised by the NDPC.

The Forum on the theme “Confronting the Menace of Corruption in Ghana, registered more than 200 participants, including anti-corruption campaigners, academics and economists.

Prof Adei said he has no doubt that Ghana must generate higher gross domestic product (GDP), collect revenue at least to a minimum of 17 per cent of that, undertake value for money development, however, the leaky basket of corruption must be mended.

He said in doing so, there could be a surety of a Better Ghana Beyond Aid.

Prof Adei, who is also the Board Chairman of the Ghana Revenue Authority said: I want to pledge as Chairman of Ghana Revenue Authority that I will not receive a pesewa of bribe from anyone and those who attempt will be given law enforcers, I will subject myself to assets verification by anyone, anytime now and at my exit.”

Mr Abdallah Ali-Nakyea, Managing Partner of Ali and Associates, who delivered the key note address, said with regards to ways of fighting corruption, the ‘name and shame’ was not enough; and that it is time to adopt ‘name, recover and punish’.

He said for such people the punishment should even be custodian sentences; they should be seen cleaning the streets, and this would send a signal to the youth.

Mr Ali-Nakyea said there was a need to also have Ghana’s educational curricular highlighting some of the consequences of corruption so the young ones would help in the fight against corruption.

Prof Henry Kwasi Prempeh, Executive Director, the Ghana Centre for Democratic (CDD-Ghana), who chaired the event, said corruption is and has been bad for Ghana’s political development.

He said corruption undermines the rule of law, turns democracy into ‘moneycracy’, feeds a winner-takes-all rivalry for power, and distorts the choices people make in elections.

Prof Prempeh said people spend too much of their political energy and time trading accusations against each other, instead of focusing our energies and time to think through and devise public solutions to the myriad public problems we faced as a nation.

Dr Isaac Adupong, Director of Lead-It Africa, Ghana, said there is the need to build institutions and as well put in systems in place that would help curb corruption.

He cited that for instance the Passport Office has introduced online application and this had reduced human interface, also the Driver and Vehicle License Authority (DVLA) had put in systems to check some corrupt practices that occurred for several years.

He said at their premises a system had been introduced, informing clients not to deal with ‘goro’ boys or middlemen, and this was one of the innovative ways of confronting the menace of corruption in that institution.

Source: Ghana News Agency