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If thieves don't want to go into public service, we're better off – Prof Adei on corruption

A former Board Chairman of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Professor Stephen Adei has said a time must come where every government worker must publicly declare their assets to curb corruption.

If thieves don't want to go into public service, we're better off – Prof Adei on corruption

According to him, the country must tackle corruption frontally.

"We must tackle corruption frontally, it must start with modelling from the top. We must strengthen the anti-corruption institutions we must change our laws so that you can't say for example in our system when you say the giver and the receiver are equally culpable who will report? We know the receivers are the public officials let's make them the ones... so that when they get bribes from you and you report they will face the consequences."

“The time has come that every public official must declare their asset publicly. And if we say that people will not accept public office when we do that, my answer would be that if thieves don’t want to go into public service, we are better off,” he said while delivering the Keynote address at the maiden edition of the Governance and Business Leadership Awards in Accra last Friday night.

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Prof Adei laments how politicians acquire unexplained wealth overnight.

"We can't have some people occupy positions for two years and have five houses, it doesn't happen anywhere."

There have been widespread agitations among public sector workers and unions against government's decision to increase the 2021 Base Pay by four per cent and that of 2022 by seven per cent.

The agitators cite rising cost of living as basis to reject what some have described as peanut increment, with the Trades Union Congress initially proposing a 15 per cent increment at the start of negotiations with government.

While acknowledging the sufferings of the public amid the pandemic, Prof. Adei also urged public sector workers to exercise patience as the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the economy.

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“I think that the economy cannot support for some time, salary increases. When I hear about the need for more salary and other things and public sector employees; some of them the teachers who stayed home for six months without working were paid, and are now saying that if you increase my salary from four or seven per cent, I will go on strike," he said.

A total of 20 distinguished personalities who had excelled in their various endeavours and have made significant contributions to the development of the country were honoured at the event.

Organised by RAD Communications Limited, the ceremony was on the theme: “Leadership and nation building; realities, challenges, and the way forward in contemporary Ghana.”

The awardees included a former Board Chairman of the Volta River Authority (VRA), Mr Kweku Andoh Awotwi (Outstanding Industry Board Chairman of the Year); the Deputy Chief Executive responsible for Services at the VRA, Dr Irene Stella Agyenim-Boateng (HR Business Leader of the Decade); the Marketing and Corporate Relations Director, Absa Bank, Nana Essilfuah Tamakloe (Outstanding Communications Professional of the Year – Private sector), and the Head of Public Relations at the Ghana Education Service, Ms Cassandra Twum Ampofo (Outstanding Communications Professional of the Year – Public sector).

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