Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, Deputy Chief of Staff, has urged Ghanaians not to give up on the fight against corruption although it had become a canker in the society.
He said: “We should hope against hope that all is not lost in dealing with corruption as it is possible to deal with it”.
“We must and can win the fight, let us roll up the sleeves and work,” he charged.
Mr Jinapor was speaking at the launch of the annual African Union (AU) Day against corruption held at the British Council under the auspices of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) in collaboration with the National Commission Civic Education (NCCE), Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) African Parliamentary Network against Corruption (APNAC).
This year’s celebration is on the theme “Winning the fight against corruption: a sustainable path to Africa’s transformation,” with support from the Global Affairs Canada through the Transparency International.
The Deputy Chief of Staff said corruption was a global phenomenon but reiterated government commitment to the fight.
This is shown in the creation of the Office of the Special Prosecutor as well as the declaration of the Ghana beyond Aid by Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo, the President.
Fighting corruption requires exemplary leadership to make it successful and the President had demonstrated that in the past four decades, he said.
Mr Jinapor said ‘it takes an honest, courageous, transparent and incorruptible leader to eliminate if not to reduce its impact on the people.
He was quick to add that since the President was not everywhere only systems, policies and national orientation could make that successful.
He said it was worrying that eight out of the world’s top ten corrupt countries came from the Sub-Saharan Africa, noting that about $148 billion were lost as a result of corrupt activities within the region.
The guest speaker said, the fact that the AU has set aside a day in every year to create awareness on the fight against corruption means the continent was bent on dealing with the situation.
However, he said that Africa was marking time in terms of the fight and encouraged GII, among other Civil Society Organisations to keep up with their patriotic way of keeping an eye on Ghana in that direction.
Mr Joseph Whittal, Commissioner for CHRAJ suggested that Ghana used the non-conviction approach in dealing with corruption where assets would be confiscated and the owners be asked to prove how they acquired them, especially with the public servants who earned meagre salaries but became rich overnight.
Mr Whittal said, sending them to court would make them gain upper-hand as they could get themselves lawyers to defend them and as a result get off the hook.
Mr Samuel Akumoah, Deputy Chairperson, NCCE advised that Ghanaians went back to the olden days to pick up their values which included integrity.
In attendance were; representatives including; the Ministry of Defence, Registrar General’s Department, National Sports Authority, Local Government Services, National Road Safety Commission, students, Judicial Service and Ghana Gas.