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TIME TO ARREST CORRUPTION! - President courts support of CEOs

General News

Both local and foreign businessmen, who have capital to invest to boost the economy, are often discouraged from doing so because of corruption, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday observed.

Both local and foreign businessmen, who have capital to invest to boost the economy, are often discouraged from doing so because of corruption, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday observed.

 

He, therefore, added that the time to curtail corrupt practices is now, stressing: “The scale and level of corruption, especially in the Fourth Republic, needs to be arrested immediately.”

The president further stressed the need to have corruption-free institutions, to enhance the survival of businesses and also boost investment in the economy.

“Corruption heightens the cost of doing business and the resulting transaction cost discourages businesses and investment,” he said in a speech delivered on his behalf by Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo at the CEOs Summit in Accra yesterday.

The Summit, which is the biggest gathering of business leaders in the country, is under the theme “Digital Innovation Economy For Business Growth”.

“As president, I will not sing the chorus of the problem without addressing it. I’m not naïve about the enormity of the problem and how that continues to undermine efforts at development. We need to fight corruption collectively and the joint efforts of the captains of business will be most welcome. We need all hands on deck to fight corruption,” the said.

According to President Nana Akufo-Addo, to be able to actively court the support of the business community in the fight against corruption, his government will establish a Business Reporting Bureau, where corrupt activities of staff and officers of State Owned Enterprises, regulatory institutions, revenue agencies and the public and civil service will be reported.

“We need to go about this in a very transparent manner with time so that together we can fight corruption,” he stated, assuring that complaints received would not be swept under the carpet.

The president added: “To ensure that action is taken against persons reported and that heads of these institutions are held accountable, I’ll cause to be published, on quarterly basis or in certain periods, all complaints and steps that are being taken in respect of these persons. I encourage ideas on making this proposal more feasible and effective being submitted to my office through an avenue to be announced by the middle of June, latest by July.”

According to President Nana Akufo-Addo, his “administration believes that the fight against corruption must move into its new phase – a phase characterised by action, not words and one inspired by collective desire of our people to see a deadly but enduring practice ending. The work involved is much by our desire to succeed and your cooperation is counted upon without which we cannot succeed. We need to fight corruption and we need to do so jointly.”

The president reiterated the determination of his government to tackle the canker of corruption, stressing: “for no country in the world can achieve economic development in an atmosphere characterised by corruption, nepotism, incompetence, disinvestment in agriculture, distorted aid programmes, high politics and national fragmentation.”

He pointed out that Ghana must move to an era where good governance becomes the bedrock for businesses to thrive.

Stressing the need for proper administrative structures, the president stated: “Businesses must not succeed because we have connections to high places, because we have connections to custom officials, because we have connections to all sorts of places. Businesses must succeed because we have good governance prevailing in our country.”

He noted that it was important to ensure businesses thrived in an environment of “level playing field for all”, adding: “We should not put emphasis on connections to succeed, because when the connections are no more there what happens? Then you are likely to falter and fail.”