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The focus on government as far as corruption fight is concerned apt – Yao Graham

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Executive Director of the Third World Network, Dr. Yao Graham Executive Director of the Third World Network, Dr. Yao Graham

Executive Director of the Third World Network, Dr Yao Graham, believes that the government should be at the centre of the corruption fight because it is the administration that controls the resources on behalf of the people.

He was speaking on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday, August 21, in relation to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s meeting with the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) leadership at the Jubilee House on Wednesday, August 18 2021.

The GACC had paid a courtesy call on the president to discuss a number of issues, including the Auditor General’s report for the year ending 2020, which shows consistent mismanagement and abuse of public funds over the years.

He asked the government to take steps to deal with the matters in the report.

Nana Osei-Bonsu, Chairman GACC, told the president, “The reports show that six different types of financial irregularities (cash irregularities, payroll irregularities, procurement irregularities, tax irregularities, stores irregularities, and contract irregularities) continue to plague the nation’s finances. For example, the Report of the Auditor-General on the Public Accounts of Ghana Public Boards, Corporations, and Other Statutory Institutions for the year ended December 31 2019, shows that the six forms of irregularities listed above cost the country up to GH¢608,670,447.

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“There is a more worrying picture in the subsequent report of the Auditor General, which is the “Report of the Auditor-General on the Public Accounts of Ghana-Public Boards, Corporations and other Statutory Institutions for the Year Ended December 31 2020.” According to the Auditor-General, the total irregularities stood at GH¢12,856,172,626, higher than the figures recorded for 2019″ the GACC Chairman added.

Mr Akufo-Addo responded by saying, “In my commitment to developing state agencies to act in the interest of whom they serve, I have not deviated from that. But there is something we cannot overlook, the highly political atmosphere in which some of these allegations are raised, in which some of the CSOs are privy to and complicit,” he said.

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A Deputy Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kamal Deen Abdullai, said that the fight against corruption in Ghana should not be limited to only persons in government or authority.

He said it is a fight that should involve all persons in the country.

Contributing to a discussion on this meeting on the Key Points with host Dzifa Bampoh, Mr Kamal Deen said, “Corruption itself is a canker we must all fight. In government or outside government, you have an obligation to fight corruption. All of us owe it a duty to ensure that corruption is fought to the fullest.

“But sadly, we narrow the fight against corruption or limit it only to people in authority; it is a very sad situation for all of us.

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“That brings to fore the polarization of our own system. So the fact that we have limited it to only people in authority, for that matter politicians, then it is only politicians who speak and we think we are all fighting against corruption; however, it ought to be broadened, let’s get all-inclusive in the fight against corruption.”

Dr Graham said, “The reason why people are focused on government is that governments control our collective resources and have been vested with power from national to the local government level across sectors to manage those resources for the benefit of all of us.

“My point is that the focus on government and corruption is correct because I don’t manage any budget.”

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