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There Is Too Much Corruption In Ghana...And We Make “No Apology For That” - Jon Benjamin To Nana Addo   
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Outgoing British High Commissioner to Ghana Jon Benjamin has highlighted corruption as one factor that has bedevilled development of the country.

He said the British government has “made and we will continue to make an issue of corruption”, insisting that they make “no apology for that”.

He emphasised that “corruption is a long and sophisticated word for which a much shorter and clearer word suffices, namely theft”.

The diplomat stated that “corruption so enriches the few and so impoverishes the many, and is therefore such a huge obstacle to Ghana fulfilling its true potential”.

He made these comments while delivering a speech at the Queen's birthday party in Accra on Thursday, June 1.

Mr Benjamin said those who steal state resources or abuse their positions of trust to enrich themselves, their families and their friends are effectively “robbing millions of their own Ghanaian compatriots of their best possible future”.

“When someone buys a luxury property here in Accra or overseas, it is perfectly legitimate to ask whether the money invested in this way was legitimately obtained. But it seems to me, after three years here, that everybody knows that these questionable practices are happening but few dare to talk about it openly,” he said.

“So, we end up in a scenario, like in that fairy tale about the emperor’s clothing, where it is simply taboo to talk openly about what is staring us right in the face, and a kind of hypocrisy risks becoming hardwired into the national discourse.

“There is, I submit however, a direct line to be drawn between, on the one hand a few people right here in Accra who own fleets of V8s - each one of those vehicles costing multiples of their official annual salary - and, on the other hand, the still far too many examples throughout Ghana where children are forced to go to school under a tree rather than in a classroom – a classroom, incidentally, that could cost much less than the value of just one of those V8s to build. That seems to me a particularly apt comparison today, the first of June, which is UN International Children’s Day.

“The moral of this story? It seems that for a few people, easy money is a better choice than hard work, and that self-interest hugely trumps the national interest,” he said.

Mr Benjamin commended President Nana Akufo-Addo on his determination “to address this scourge of corruption which has simply got worse in recent years and sometimes veered out of control, and your determination to punish – finally – its worst perpetrators with real sanctions”.

He assured the support of the British government if need be to collaborate with Ghana to curb corrupt practices.

“The UK stands ready and willing to help your efforts to combat corruption for the undoubted benefit of the whole of Ghana,” he added.
Source: classfmonline.com

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