President Nana Akufo-Addo has said his government intends taking the fight against corruption a notch higher by naming and shaming state officials who engage in graft.
Speaking at the CEO’s Summit in Accra through Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo, on Monday 22 May, Nana Akufo-Addo said he will create an office in at the presidency where businesspeople can directly report corrupt state officials whose names will, in turn, be published in the dailies along with whatever punitive actions were being taken against them.
Corruption, Nana Akufo-Addo said, “heightens” the cost of doing business and the resulting transactions cost “discourages business investments.”
“Both foreigners and indigenes who have capital to invest in our country are discouraged from doing so because of corruption,” the president noted.
Nana Akufo-Addo said the scale and level of “tolerated corruption” under the fourth republic and especially in recent times “needs to be arrested immediately.”
He said as president, he “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 of development. We need to fight corruption collectively and the joint efforts of the captains of business will be most welcome,” adding: “We need all hands on deck to fight corruption because corruption fundamentally is the giver and the taker – both are guilty.”
The president said to more actively court the efforts of the business community in the fight against corruption, “I will establish a Business Reporting Bureau at which corrupt activities of staff and officers of State Owned Enterprises, regulatory institutions, revenue agencies and the public and civil service will be reported to.”
According to him, “We need to go about this in a very transparent manner with time so that together we can fight corruption.”
He said complaints received will not be swept under the carpet. “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.”
Nana Akufo-Addo said his office is open to suggestions from the business community with regard to the establishment of the Business Reporting Bureau so as to uproot corruption. “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.”
“My 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,” President Akufo-Addo added.