Ghana Still Reeling From Corruption - Bagbin

Despite several interventions that have been made by the government to stem corruption, it persists in the country, Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nadowli/Kaleo, has admitted in Parliament. “In spite of moral crusades, executive instruments and the declaration of zero tolerance for corruption, corruption remains a serious issue in the country,” he said. Mr Bagbin on Thursday was tabling a motion for Parliament to adopt the report of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) 2012–2021, of which he is the Chairman. Efforts at fighting corruption While acknowledging the fact that the country had not been able to take a hold on corruption, he said it was the desire to nip it in the bud that gave birth to the Ghana Integrity Initiative and Anti-Corruption campaign in 2002. He said the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) had also led in the organisation of workshops for the working group on corruption since 2009, adding that an action plan had also been drawn to conceptualise and mobilise all stakeholders to structure laws on ethics. Mr Bagbin observed, however, that human resource capacity and funds were needed to implement the action plan. He said the public also needed education on corruption, so that the canker could be effectively dealt with, as it did not only exist among public officials but private people as well. Recommendations To effectively deal with the issue of corruption, Mr Bagbin said NACAP had recommended, in its report, the need to re-emphasise the policy of zero tolerance for corruption and also define corruption to encompass and capture all aspects of corruption. Calling for a second look at the practice of winner-takes-all in governance, he said the committee had also proposed the implementation of all-inclusive participatory and good governance. Other recommendations were the passage of a comprehensive code of conduct and rules of ethics, the curtailment of wide discretionary powers and the strengthening of Parliament as an institution to play its role effectively, he said. Mr Bagbin also tabled a motion for the House to adopt the report of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, which he also chairs, on the Annual Report of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice for 2010. He said the report claimed that 64 per cent of people who were interviewed said women were still being abused. The House unanimously agreed to defer debate on both reports to enable MPs to adequately acquaint themselves with the details.