By Anthony Apubeo, GNA
Bolgatanga, Sept. 10, GNA – Participants at a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) in Bolgatanga have advocated the implementation of policies geared towards changing public attitudes to help fight corruption.
They said corruption was a major threat to national development, which had resulted in the country losing huge sums of money.
The FDG was organised by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) with funding from the European Union, on the theme: “Accountability and Environmental Governance.”
It brought together stakeholders from Civil Society Organisations, political parties, faith-based organizations, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), as well as assembly members and Persons with Disability.
Participants said most sectors including education, agriculture, and health would have witnessed massive infrastructure development were issues of corruption properly dealt with.
They attributed the lack of adequate classroom infrastructure, lack of medical equipment and poor execution of government projects and policies to corruption and called for radical attitudinal change to help address the canker.
Mr Abdulai Jaladeen, the Regional Director of CHRAJ, said corruption was becoming rampant in Ghana evidenced by exposés in the media.
He said 30 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was lost through corruption annually and that until serious measures were taken, development would continue to elude the country.
Mr Jaladeen, who described the various forms of corruption as grand, petty and political, said it was not about the quantum of money some public officials embezzled or misappropriated but about the act itself.
“Corruption does not only thwart economic development but could also lead to widespread poverty, thus triggering the violation of fundamental human rights and freedoms,” he said.
Mr Jaladeen entreated Ghanaians to join the crusade in addressing the phenomenon and that one of avenues was through the Whistle Blower Act.
He said the Act did not only protect the individual from attack but gave 10 per cent of the quantum of money retrieved from corrupt officials to the person who gave the information.
Mr Pontius Pilate Baba Apaabey, the Regional Director of NCCE, said the inputs gathered from the FGD, which had been developed into a communiqué, would be used by the directors of the Commission in the 13 Municipal and District Assemblies of the Region to organise durbars and dramas to help reduce the canker.