Eminent public officials publicly humiliated, and sentenced to be porters of night soil, with pictures of their undignified errands splashed on front pages of Ghana’s daily newspapers, as penalties for corruption. All these have not been enough to slow down the pace of the social canker called corruption.
It is what everyone is preaching against, but has forgotten the root causes of corruption and how best they can address the root problem.
There has been high dependency rate, house owners increase their rate every day making it financially burdening for tenants, low salaries, lack of ethics, the get-rich-quick attitude, high tithes and Offerings at church, socio-cultural demands, lack of clear rules and laws and lack of punitive and deterrent sanctions as some of the root causes of corruption in Ghana.
Since individuals would always want to satisfy their basic needs, they would go to any extreme to make money so as to address their challenges.
Therefore, before we can address corruption, we need to address the economic hardship and improve the current condition of living. Creating a decent work environment can improve the living condition of Ghanaians which is the best step to address corruption. Corruption is tied to poverty, so it is imperative that every step is taken to ensure that poverty is addressed before we can uproot the canker of corruption.
Poverty eradication is only possible if more people, especially young people, have stable and productive employment.
Decent jobs mean safe working conditions, with fair wages, that provide opportunity for people to lift themselves out of poverty. Society, as a whole, benefits when more people contribute to Ghana’s growth. This can be done best when serious measures are put in place to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) eight (8) which aims to offer productive employment and decent work for all women and men by 2030.
Measures to take note
Despite the fact that, some people abuse or mal-us power in the public sector coupled with excessive bureaucracy, greed and selfishness, I believe and I am optimistic that, the factors below can go a long way to address corruption significantly.
Government must be committed by putting in place practical measures to improve the enabling environment for business, to make it easier to invest and create more jobs.
Employers must provide decent working conditions: ensure work that is productive and delivers fair income; guarantee work place safety; participate in social benefit schemes, health insurance and pensions; invest in training that improves workplace productivity and prospects for personal development; pay your employees their due wages and benefits; mentor young entrepreneurs; encourage creativity and innovation in the workplace.
Stakeholders must enhance industry-school relationship for improved skills training. We can encourage entrepreneurship, increase and promote Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) by some non-governmental organisations such UNILIME Foundation, equip TVET schools for quality skills training and improve standards, and especially support girls in TVET.
If you are a business owner, register your business, pay your taxes, and demand quality public services in return – in public safety, schools, infrastructure, water and sanitation, parks and green spaces.
Additionally, ensure that policymakers make youth employment a priority, making the transition from education to a decent job easier by investing in education and training of the highest possible quality that provide youth with skills that match the labour market demands.
Ensure employees enjoy social protection, and advocate for more extensive, well-managed social protection programmes that promote the public welfare, women’s economic empowerment, and decent work for all.
When government take pragmatic measures to ensure SDG goal eight is being achieved, it would go a long way to curb corruption in the country.
There is a root cause to every situation, hence stakeholders must address those basic problems before we start to name and shame culprits.
Mr Louis Owusu