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Stop taking facilitation fees; lawyer advises public, private sector workers

The Ghana Integrity Initiative(GII) recently held an advocacy forum in Accra on the theme ‘’promoting Good Business Environment through Ethics, Integrity and Accountability to the enable the private sector  to grow as a means of increasing employment and also fighting corruption.

Delivering the keynote, Mrs. Clara Beeri Kowlaga Kasser-Tee, Head of chambers, Kasser Law firm said, it was unfortunate that as a nation, Ghana is still discussing corruption after 62 years of independence.

Mrs Kasser- Tee intimated that, ‘’Ethics, integrity and accountability need to be natured to support the legal system and until then we talk one thing and in practice do the opposite. More or less we have institutionalized dishonesty and hypocrisy.’’

Freedom and Justice was a core nationalistic value, the endemic nature of corruption in the country is a complete contradiction of those values.

She said the country had gotten to a point where both the public and private sector needed to instill in their workers the need to desist from taking ‘’facilitation fee’’(corruption and bribery) before they perform their  duties which they are required to perform by virtue of their job mandate.

‘’If their salaries are not good enough, they should demand for better salaries instead of indulging in corruption’’.

She added that, Ghanaians had to go back to cherished values, which frowned upon anti-social and illegal behavior.

‘’In the fight against corruption, if we do not come back to address the issues of values, we will be chasing the wind,” she added.

In place of paying facilitation fee, we should demand accountability.

The GII Project Coordinator, Michael Okai in his presentation on emerging issues from the regional engagement noted that there were some acts of corrupt practices in the some agencies at the regional level. And some of those service providers included the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), the passport office, the Registrar General, Registrar of birth and death, the police service.

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Ing. Kenneth Ashigbey said, the fight against corruption needs to start with the individual.

What values are we saying when we are getting exams questions for ‘’our child to study and go and write exams at the basic level! What are we saying when you know your child is not qualified for a particular school but you facilitate (bribe) your way through for the child?” Mr Ashibey quizzed.

He suggested that holding the individual accountable is the “only way we will get corruption out of the way,” adding, “We should name and shame those involved in corruption by publishing their names and pictures in the media.”

 

By Latifa Carlos

 

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