Tighten noose around corruption – NCCE
The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) on Wednesday called for major transformation towards the fight against corruption, saying the noose around corruption must be tightened through pragmatic actions.
“The NCCE is therefore raising up the fight against corruption through relentless intensive public and civic education towards changing our attitude, inject public accountability and personal responsibility across the country to help promote good governance.
“We are building the capacity of new crop of civic educators as frontline soldiers to conduct campaigns, advocacy and lobby for increased accountability aimed at eliminating the fertile grounds for corruption,” Ms Josephine Nkrumah, NCCE Chair told the Ghana News Agency in an interview.
Ms Nkrumah noted that civil society activities, anti-corruption campaigners and governance bodies must also discourage and disarm the ‘Giver,’ from offering enticing packages aimed at influencing public servants, “Not all people have the capacity and integrity to withstand the smallest influence, they will fall so please don’t offer it”.
She noted that under an European Union (EU) Grant Contract through pro-active anti-corruption weapon called “Anti-corruption, Rule of Law and Accountability (ARAP) NCCE and other stakeholders “wants to disarm corrupt officials and expose their tracks”.
She said ARAP is an EU Ghana project that focuses on supporting the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) of Ghana and seeks to contribute to current reform processes in the area of rule of law, accountability, anti-corruption and environmental governance.
The project also seeks to support key institutions to increase the ability of citizens, civil society organisations and the media to hold government and duty bearers accountable.
Ms Nkrumah said the NCCE has built effective synergy with other key partners including the Judiciary, the Ghana Police Service, the Attorney General’s Department, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the fight against corruption and towards execution of the ARAP project.
Explaining activities of NCCE under the ARAP project, Ms Nkrumah noted that a Nationwide Research on Public Perception on the State of Corruption and Accountability in Ghana, has been rolled-out, which has formed the basis for pragmatic civic and public education engagements.
Ms Nkrumah noted that corruption is an insidious plague that has a wide range of corrosive effects on societies and undermines democracy and the rule of law, leads to violations of human rights, distorts markets, erodes the quality of life and allows organised crime, terrorism and other threats to human security to flourish.
“It impedes efforts to alleviate poverty, undermines political stability and economic growth and diminishes the country’s attractiveness for investment, that’s why we all have to work together to fight against corrupt officials,” she said.
The NCCE Chair therefore commended institutions and bodies who helped in the formulation of the NACAP which was facilitated by a group of experts and anti-corruption practitioners.
She commended the NACAP Working Group which comprised representatives from CHRAJ; Office of the President; Parliament; Judicial Service of Ghana; Attorney-General’s Department; National Development Planning Commission; Public Services Commission; and Ministry of Finance.
Others are Africa Peer Review Mechanism; Economic and Organized Crime Office; Ghana Integrity Initiative; Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition; Ghana Centre for Democratic Development; The Justice and Human Rights Institute; and the African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption (APNAC-Africa).
Ms Nkrumah also lauded the efforts of Development Partners including the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA); Department for International Development (DFID), and Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for their role for in the development of NACAP.