Corruption still pervasive - Reverend Kennedy Okosun
Ghana is still not winning the fight against corruption. The phenomenon is increasingly becoming pervasive and the norm, rather than the exception, Reverend Kennedy Okosun, the Executive Chairman of Krif Foundation said at the 2nd Roundtable discussion of the Ghana Good Corporate Governance Initiative held this week in Accra.
He said recent surveys have found that around 60% of Ghanaians paid a bribe during the course of last year, (similar to Nigeria), and repeat surveys show an increase since the early 2000s.
“Perhaps even more worrying corruption is now rated as the second biggest constraint by businesses”.
Petty corruption denies ordinary Ghanaians access to basic services and a barrier to small and medium sized businesses, he added.
Rev. Okosun cited B&FT’s Ghana Economic Forum (GEF) held recently and said, it was interesting to hear the Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo, lament how one good corporate governance code, after another, has been infringed upon by state actors at all levels to the detriment of Ghana’s development.
The challenge with corruption and good governance in Ghana is however politicized, denying us of the opportunity to dispassionately dissect, analyse and find solution to it, he said.
Rev. Kennedy Okosun further said a citizen-led initiative involving all sectors of society is what Ghana needs at this time to introduce ethics and integrity in our business and commercial life.
This initiative will place the burden of a fair and just society, instead of always pointing accusing fingers at, and waiting for solutions from the government, he stated.
He also lamented how no corporate entity was ready to support, or sign up to the integrity commitment of the Roundtable discussion which was supposed to have been held in April.
“Isn’t it a said commentary on Ghana that for an initiative that seeks to create a business climate of integrity, this 2nd Roundtable is being funded by the American Embassy?” he questioned. Asking why can’t the Ghana Club 100 fund this initiative? Why should development partners care more about the development of Ghana, than Ghanaian individuals and corporate entities?
The American Ambassador, Robert Jackson, for his part said: “I can say with confidence that more American businesses are waiting in the wings to invest in Ghana to create opportunities for trade, and to bring much needed jobs. But businesses want to ensure that the money they invest will not go to waste”.