Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse.- Adlai Stevenson


Like most concerned Ghanaians, I was shocked by the startling revelations that 35,000 names were expunged from the National Service Scheme’s payroll (See Daily Graphic of 19 April, 2016). This means the names of non-personnel were inserted by a few greedy individuals.

The taxpayer’s money was paid to people who did not deserve it.

What is financial loss to the state more than this? Shouldn’t the perpetrators be brought to book and prosecuted in accordance with the laws of the state? Can the taxpayer afford the luxury of a few greedy bastards?

What happened at the National Service Scheme (NSS) is a tip of the iceberg; corruption is pervasive and endemic in this country. It is a disease that has infested most institutions both in the public and private sectors of our national life.

The government having recognized corruption as militating against national development instituted the National Anti-corruption Plan to tackle the menace. The NAP organized various forums to educate the masses about the dangers of corruption and financial malfeasance with a view to curbing the practice.
But beyond this not much has been done to punish corrupt officials.

Corruption is economic sabotage, a serious crime. In some countries it attracts capital punishment. Only quite recently an Iranian billionaire businessman, BabakZanjani, was sentenced to death for corruption. Can this happen in Africa which has been abundantly blessed by God, yet her citizens are living in deprivation because of the corrupt practices of its leaders?

We must all help in the crusade against corruption; it is the real enemy of progress. It diverts resources meant for the public good into private pockets.

The slogan “The worst affected from corruption is the common man” is so true. Corruption takes away money that should have gone into the provision of social amenities such as schools, health facilities, water, electricity, toilettes, public libraries etc.

It is always the ordinary man in the street who is hardest hit when prices shoot up as a result of corrupt practices.

Corruption also adversely affects the image of the country. It is a disincentive for foreign investment.

It can lead to political tension, coup d’états and civil wars as happened in Sierra Leone and other countries in Africa.

Corruption can destroy a country. The great Abraham Lincoln said it better when he once told his audience: “I see in the future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country…corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war.”
Anti-corruption agencies that have the mandate to fight corruption must be resourced and also given more training in modern methods of dealing with the canker.

The courts must deal swiftly with corruption cases and all stolen monies recovered from corrupt officials.

In conclusion, I doff my hat to management of the NSS and hope others will emulate their shining example. We must all get involved in the fight against corruption. We must inculcate in the youth virtues of nationalism, hard work, honesty, integrity and discipline. If we glorify corruption, Ghana will have no future.

Correction Officer, Priest & Author.


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