Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has said the government is putting in place the necessary safeguards, reforming the existing systems and putting in place measures that reduce human interface in the work process, in a concerted effort to fight corruption and has, therefore, urged Ghanaians to join forces with the government in uprooting graft.
According to Dr Bawumia, the government is convinced that these reforms, anchored on the back of digitisation, would also ensure efficiency, contribute to reducing revenue leakages and ensure faster turnaround in service provision.
Dr Bawumia shed more light on the government’s fight against corruption when he participated in activities commemorating the International Anti-Corruption and Human Rights Day in Accra on Monday 10th December, 2018. The occasion also marked the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights as well as the 15th Anniversary of United Nations Convention Against Corruption.
“It is very important in the fight against corruption, to understand that we need to have the systems in place that would help us prevent corruption in the first place. We’ve been working in a very informal system since Independence some 61 years ago. Our system of governance and general interactions within society has been highly informal, and the existence of that level of informality, the lack of systems, only serves to breed more and more corruption.”
The NPP government, he maintained, is determined to formalise the Ghanaian economy, and is leveraging on technology to effect reforms such as a paperless clearing system at the ports which has reduced the number of inspection agencies from 16 to 3, infusion of technology in the acquisition and renewal of drivers’ licences and passports, digitisation of land records, issuance of a national ID card, and the implementation of Mobile Money Interoperability to make banking services available to all and perhaps more importantly, be able to reduce revenue leakages.
“We have been very clear in our minds that we need to put in place systems that reduce human interface. Systems that allow for the digitisation of the work process, so that people can have a much more efficient experience in the obtaining of public services,” he explained.
The implementation of these measures, Dr Bawumia said, had begun to yield remarkable results due to reduced human intervention in the processes, resulting, for instance, in the eradication of middlemen in licence acquisition and the abolition of the infamous ‘Long Room’ at the Tema and Takoradi ports, making for faster turnaround times at the ports.
“These are things that we haven’t done since independence. In the more advanced countries where corruption has tended to be less, it is because they have the systems in place, by and large, and that is what we are also trying to do: to put in place these systems, and we think that systems such as the E-Justice, E-Procurement and the digitisation across various public institutions would contribute to reducing revenue leakages and ensure faster turnaround in service provision”.
He urged all to join the fight against corruption, saying: “The fight against corruption is a collective responsibility. It cannot, and should not be left to the government alone. We must be willing and able to question poor behaviour, poor performance, administrative obstruction, dishonesty, mal-administration, improper use of discretion in administrative decision-making. We must collectively fight corruption in a responsible and sustainable manner.”
The Commissioner of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mr Joseph Whitall, commended the government for its commitment to the fight against corruption, noting that the fight must be systematic, deliberate and strategic.