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Don’t divert attention from corruption report – GII

Executive Secretary of Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Vitus Adaboo Azeem as urged focus on the key issues emanating from the recent Transparency International corruption report which revealed that 76% of Ghanaians feel corruption in the country is on the increase.

The report dubbed “People and Corruption: Africa Survey 2015,” sampled 43,143 respondents across 28 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa between March 2014 and September 2015.

The report said the 76% of Ghanaians also said government is doing badly at fighting corruption especially in the last twelve months.

Mr. Azeem emphasized two key issues pertaining to the report; that corruption has increased in the past 12 months and that Ghanaians are not happy with the handling of corruption adding, “President Mahama should be worried about that.”

President John Mahama has described as “false” and what he said were “deliberate distortions” and accusations that Ghana was ranked as the second most corrupt countries in the survey, by some political leaders and the local media.

Mr. Azeem, speaking on Citi FM’s Breakfast Show on Thursday, acknowledged the distorted interpretations of the report but noted corruption could only be ranked by perception, stating the survey was not a perfect measure.

“For now, the CPI [Corruption Perception Index] is the most effective measure to rank countries in terms of corruption,” he added.

He pointed out the high perception of levels of corruption by Ghanaian was problematic and means something should be done about it, as this was a sign of the public’s low confidence in the government’s dealing with canker.

Mr. Azeem said the, “the purpose of the report is also to highlight the fact that corruption is a serious problem in a number of countries including Ghana, and that we need to address it and so we should not allow the accuracy or the way the report was handled to suppress the main purpose of the report, that is to let us know that corruption has increased in Ghana in the last 12 months.”

On the issue of fighting of corruption, Mr. Azeem said institutions had not worked effectively because “they are seen more as political institutions – branches of the presidency – and not independent corruption bodies”.

He added; “We already have the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, we have EOCO [Economic and Organized Crimes Office]. If we really want to fight corruption we should strengthen those institutions, give them the necessary resources and support to investigate and prosecute on corruption issues.”

He however stated the most effective to way fight corruption would be to “allow an independent body that is well staffed and well-resourced to do those investigations”.

This, he stated, is because the office of the p


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