An anti-corruption report compiled by Penplusbytes, titled METOGU has indicated that nine out of 10 Ghanaians sampled in their survey perceive corruption to be on the rise.
Some 82 percent of respondents sampled in four regions – Western, Ashanti, Volta and Greater Accra – think that most Ghanaians are corrupt.
The respondents believed that one has to pay facilitation and illegal fees before accessing public services, adding “they do not see giving gifts to public officials as bribery.’’
The respondents also felt that corruption, was rather more pervasive in the public sector than in the private sector.
However, 74.1 percent of respondents are encouraged by government’s determination to fight the scourge of corruption.
The 2017 report released on June 20 said 95.2 percent of respondents in Greater Accra perceive corruption to be very high.
Comparing the results across the four regions showed that 97.5 percent of respondents in Ashanti and Western Regions believe corruption in Ghana was rather high.
The region with the least perception of corruption in Ghana is the Volta Region where 93.2 percent of the respondents felt that corruption was high.
The analysis of the report also focused on seven themes: General corruption, Creation of the Office of Special Prosecutor (OSP); Passage of the Right to Information (RTI) Bill; Reforms of the Public Procurement Act and Value for Money; Beneficial Ownership Title; Passage of the Public Officers’ Code of Conduct Bill and the Assets Declaration Regime; The National Health Insurance Scheme NHIS, and the School Feeding Programme.
The report noted that the creation of the OSP by President Nana Akufo-Addo to fight corruption received approval from seven out of 10 respondents.
However, three out of 10 respondents think there is bound to be some political interference in the work of the Special Prosecutor.
Another three out of 10 respondents also believed that government could starve the OSP of resources and make it redundant given the euphoria that greeted the creation of two similar offices in the past: Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) and Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), which are currently cash strapped.
For the passage of the Right to Information Bill, eight out of 10 respondents representing 79.6 percent think the bill if passed, will help in the fight against corruption.
However, a significant number expressed doubts about the bill being passed into law by end of 2018.
On the Public Procurement Act (PPA) and Value for Money audits, the study showed that 56.8 percent of respondents felt that competitive bidding through the PPA guidelines would ensure value for money in the procurement process.
Four out of 10 respondents also thought the Auditor General is not adequately resourced to undertake periodic value for money audits which helps identify potential corrupt acts.
These findings imply that people in Ghana are most likely to perceive the level of corruption as being very high.
The findings more than confirmed the 2015 Transparency International’s (TI), Corruption Perception Index (CPI) report in which almost eight out of 10 Ghanaians thought corruption had increased.
Ghana’s fall from the 56th position with a score of 47 out of a clean score of 100 in 2015 to the 70th position with a low score of 43 in the 2017 CPI, is an indication of the fast-rising perception that corruption is engrained into the politico-socio-cultural fabric of Ghana.
By Mawuli Y. Ahorlumegah