The Centre for Democratic Development’s (CDD) says its studies show that GHc 9.6 billion has been lost from the public purse as a result of corrupt practices in the country since 2017.
Speaking at a ceremony to premiere an anti-corruption documentary the centre’s Corruption Watch initiative, the Executive Director of CDD, Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh, said citizens have a responsibility to expose corruption.
“Weak governance and corruption hurt every nation, and the poor are often the hardest hit. Over the years, Ghana has lost a great fortune to corruption, and since its inception in November 2017, Corruption Watch alone has discovered 9.6 billion Ghana cedis stolen from public purse. Everyone here – every individual and every organization – has an obligation to act with integrity, expose corrupt practices, and more importantly, help retrieve funds that have been embezzled.”
Prof. Prempeh noted that Ghanaians place a “high premium on the need for asset recovery.”
Referencing recent Afrobarometer data, he said: “almost two-thirds (64%) of Ghanaians want corrupt officials prosecuted and if found guilty, jailed and forced to return stolen funds, which should be used to build a public facility with the culprit’s name inscribed on it.”
“Another one-fifth (22%) favour government retrieval of stolen funds without prosecution. Only one in 10 (9%) would opt for prosecution without retrieval of stolen funds,” he added.
The CDD expects that the new documentary will shed a light on the role of asset recovery and how it tackles corruption.
“Watch out for highlights on the challenges of asset recovery efforts in the country, the gains associated with it, as well as the role of citizens in this process. I hope this documentary will prompt discussions among activists in civil society, lawmakers, and public officials, and your discussions, in turn, will spur policy makers, implementers, relevant stakeholders and the general public to play their significant roles towards strengthening efforts at asset recovery in Ghana,” Prof. Prempeh said.
Corruption Watch is CDD-Ghana’s foremost anti-corruption campaign and seeks to promote integrity in public life by demanding and activating the responsiveness and accountability of all actors in the anti-corruption space to ensure corruption cases are investigated, suspects prosecuted and stolen funds recovered.