The Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Ms. Josephine Nkrumah, has posited that Ghanaians require a new consciousness on value systems as part of efforts to combat corruption in the country.
She said the situation where duty-bearers had failed to make right choices in conflict of interest and issues bordering on ethics indicated that the nation had a big problem with its value systems.
She noted that the failure, particularly of duty-bearers, to determine what was wrong and what amounted to conflict of interest could be traced to the deterioration of the country’s value systems.
She called for a campaign that amplified the importance of positive value systems of honesty, hard work, kindness, truth and patriotic living in all areas including business, sports, media, and governance “as we seek to achieve socio-economic advancement.”
Ms. Nkrumah told the Daily Graphic after she had addressed a focus group discussion organised by the Central Regional Directorate of the NCCE under its Accountability, Rule of Law and Anti-corruption programme (ARAP) in Cape Coast last Tuesday.
The programme was organised with support from the European Union (EU) to sensitise the citizenry to the effects of corruption while giving them a platform to make contributions to solve the problem.
Ms. Nkrumah said the inability of leaders to choose ethical behaviour over unethical conduct was building a foundation of corruption.
“Every Ghanaian should be worried about the level of corruption among the ‘high and low’ and begin to support campaigns to fight corruption.
We must not just be worried but be part of campaigns to collectively condemn corruption to minimise its devastating effects on our country,” she said.
She added that it was important to make citizens aware of acts of corruption and make them watchdogs to fight the canker.
Ms. Nkrumah said for all Ghanaians to support the fight, duty-bearers must first present to Ghanaians a sanctioning regime that worked to ensure people found culpable of corrupt practices were sanctioned.
“There are way too many instances of ‘big cases’ of corruption that have gone unpunished so it is difficult to get people to support anti-corruption campaigns,” she stated.
She urged all to first think of the collective good of the country and work to stamp out corruption in order to accelerate the nation’s development.
The Regional Director of the NCCE, Mr. Nicholas Ofori Boateng, said the discussion would promote good governance by reducing corruption and improving accountability and compliance with the rule of law.
Effects of corruption
The participants noted that corruption affected the quality of services, the dispensation of justice, health service delivery, reduced foreign direct investment and the general well-being of the people.
They urged leaders to lead by example and have a commitment to fight corruption by punishing offenders.