By Papisdaff Abdullah.
Over 95 percent of the respondents in the study affirmed that corruption is high in Ghana and is highly pervasive in the public sector where a vast majority have had to pay facilitation or illegal fees to access services.
The study carried out by Civil Soceity Organisation Penplusbytes and dubbed METOGU! on anti-corruption indicated that corruption perception remains very high among many Ghanaians who believe the current government has done little or nothing in the fight against corruption.
Furthermore, the Sustainable Development Goal 16 specifically mentioned the issue of corruption and the need to deal with it. Based on this assertion, Penplusbytes under the UK-AID funded “Strengthening Action Against Corruption” (STAAC) programme embarked on the METOGU! (Keeping the pressure on!) project to create awareness about the current government’s promises on anti-corruption.
Also, it carried out research to gauge citizens’ perception of how government is performing in implementing its anti-corruption promises through a comprehensive participatory monitoring and evaluation tool.
In all, four out of the country’s 10 regions were selected for the study namely Ashanti, Volta, Greater Accra and Western regions in order to capture varied and divergent opinions. Nearly 800 respondents drawn from a wide spectrum of the population of Ghana participated in the study.
The METOGU!! Report covered seven key anti-corruption themes: General Corruption Issues, the Creation of the Office of Special Prosecutor, passage of the Right to Information Bill, compliance with the Public Procurement Act and Value for Money, Beneficial Ownership Title, a Public Officers’ Code of Conduct and Assets Declaration Regime, the National Health Insurance Scheme and the School Feeding Programme.
According to Kwami Ahiabenu II, Executive Director of Penplusbytes, “This report is to serve as a basis for dialogue between ordinary citizens and the Executive where the former gets the opportunity to inform government of what they think about its efforts in fighting corruption and proffer recommendations to review and address what progress it is making on its anti-corruption promises in a collaborative way which takes citizen needs into consideration and involves wider stakeholders.”
Penplusbytes’ 2-year METOGU! Project aimed at creating awareness among citizens on government interventions to fight corruption and create pathways for citizens to hold the government accountable to deliver on its promises.