Home » How Corruption Plagues Ghana’s Public Sector, UN Survey Finds

How Corruption Plagues Ghana’s Public Sector, UN Survey Finds

by Victor Adetimilehin

A quarter of Ghanaian adults who dealt with public officials in 2021 had to pay a bribe or were asked to do so, according to a new report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The report, based on a survey of more than 5,000 households, reveals the extent and impact of corruption in Ghana’s public sector. It shows that 26.7% of adults who had contact with public officials paid a bribe or refused to pay one. The average number of bribes paid by each bribe-payer was five, resulting in an estimated 17.4 million bribes paid in Ghana in 2021.

The report also shows that the average amount of each bribe was 82 Ghanaian cedis (about $14), which amounts to 1.4 billion cedis (about $240 million) in total. This means that corruption costs Ghana about 0.8% of its gross domestic product (GDP) every year.

The report says that bribery is more common among younger and more educated people, and that people aged between 25 and 34 are the most vulnerable to paying bribes. It also says that bribery is more prevalent in urban areas than in rural areas, and that the police, the judiciary, and local government officials are the most likely to demand bribes.

The report warns that bribery undermines trust in public institutions, erodes the rule of law, and hampers economic development. It also says that bribery affects the poor and marginalized groups disproportionately, as they have less access to alternative services and less power to resist corruption.

The report calls for urgent action to combat bribery and corruption in Ghana, and recommends strengthening the legal framework, enhancing the capacity and integrity of public officials, improving transparency and accountability, and empowering citizens and civil society.

The report is part of a global initiative by UNODC to measure corruption and its impact on people’s lives. The initiative covers more than 100 countries and territories and aims to provide reliable and comparable data for evidence-based policymaking.

Ghana is ranked 75th out of 180 countries in the 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International, a global anti-corruption watchdog. The index scores countries on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean), and Ghana scored 43.

Ghana has taken some steps to fight corruption in recent years, such as passing the Right to Information Act, establishing the Office of the Special Prosecutor, and joining the Open Government Partnership. However, many challenges remain, such as weak enforcement, political interference, and lack of public awareness.

The UNODC report hopes to inspire more action and dialogue among all stakeholders to tackle bribery and corruption in Ghana, and to promote good governance and sustainable development.

Source: [Ghana Web]

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