‘The system forces us to be corrupt’ – Private businesses launch anti-graft initiative
The Private Sector Anti-Corruption Group (PSACG), an initiative of the UK Ghana Chamber of Commerce (UKGCC), has bemoaned the deep-seated corruption in leading state institutions that stifle the growth of businesses in the country.
PSACG was outdoored when over 30 heads of prominent private companies in Ghana met at the maiden edition of a safe space forum in Accra to discuss the impact of corruption on businesses in Ghana and the reforms needed to curb the canker.
Addressing participants at the forum, Chief Executive Officer of the UKGCC, Tony Burkson, said, “the reason why we took this initiative is because we feel that the private sector has been missing in the fight against corruption and, therefore, there is the need to get actively involved in the fight together with government and CSOs.”
The members revealed some subtle means used by the state regulatory and services institutions to force companies to oblige to corrupt demands.
“The system forces us to indulge in corruption. We are left with no choice as our competitors participate in it and their businesses are doing well,” said one of the participants at the forum.
According to PSACG, Ghana has adequate and stringent laws to regulate the conduct of business for the mutual benefit of government and companies.
They have therefore called for enforcement of these laws to serve as a deterrent to persons and organizations involved in the act. To encourage reporting of corrupt acts, they also urged government institutions to sign on to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
The government was also urged to take a critical look at the nation’s importation processes, where corruption is noted to be rife.
The members proffered other measures such as transparency of business processes, cultural change and fair remuneration packages as reforms needed to end corruption in Ghana.
On their part, however, members of PSACG committed to complementing the efforts of government and civil society organisations in the fight against corruption.
They also committed to review their own codes of conduct, compliance, and ethics along with all other corresponding policies and procedures in order not to give any chance to corruption in their business operations.
PSACG will be officially launched as an organization in May 2018 and the key recommendations and areas of reform for the Government by the 30 heads of prominent private companies will be published.
About the Private Sector Anti-Corruption Group
The Private Sector Anti-Corruption Group is driven by the UK Ghana Chamber of Commerce (UKGCC) with support from the Canada Ghana Chamber of Commerce (CGCC), European Business Organization (EBO), the Ghana Netherlands Business and Culture Council (GNBCC), and the American Chamber of Commerce, Ghana (AMCHAM).
Its members are multinational and local private companies that uphold the cause and principles of the group. It is opened to private companies that abhor corrupt practices and are willing to conduct their business operations in all fairness and genuineness.
The overarching aim of PSACG is to add value to the efforts of businesses and local aspirations in Ghana to reduce corruption.