The Bishop of the Tamale Diocese of the Anglican Church, Right Reverend Dennis Debukari Tong, has said that growing levels of corruption in all sectors of the national economy is due to greed and self-centredness among Ghanaians.
According to him, corrupt practices had become the order of the day among politicians, civil and public servants since people wanted to use their positions to enrich themselves at the expense of the general growth and development of the country.
He said “the unending instances and cases of corrupt practices are what has brought the country to its present situation where funds that could have been channelled into other sectors are lost as a result of corrupt deeds”.
Bishop Tong was delivering a sermon on the theme: “your duty towards your neighbour”, during a confirmation service to confirm some members in the Anglican Communion at the Saint Cyprian’s Anglican Church in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region last Sunday.
“The impression is only created that it is only politicians who are corrupt. It is not true and that all of us as Ghanaians in one way or the other engage in corrupt practices in our various workplaces for our personal benefit,” he said.
He explained that the country’s slow pace of development could partly be blamed on corruption and that if it was nipped in the bud, huge sums of money would be saved to accelerate the progress of the nation for the benefit of all.
Bishop Tong indicated that a worrying development was the situation where people in leadership positions used the office they occupied to enrich themselves instead of rendering the required services to the citizenry.
He said “it is a privilege that an individual is appointed to occupy a position and that it is totally unacceptable for such persons to take advantage of their portfolio to rather amass wealth while others wallow in abject poverty”.
He stated that with the abundance of natural resources the nation was blessed with, we should have been witnessing a high level of development for the benefit of all, saying “if our natural resources are well managed and evenly distributed, it would lead to creation of many jobs to better the lives of the people’’.
The Tamale Diocesan Bishop noted that although per the population census, 70 per cent of the population were Christians, they had failed to abhor bribery and corruption and were also neck deep in it.
“If the 70 per cent of Ghanaians who are Christians detest corrupt practices, it will go a long way to contribute to the growth of the nation”, he said, adding “obviously, corruption is an enemy to societal growth and development”.
He lamented the situation where prospective students seeking admission to nursing training colleges and colleges of education allegedly paid bribes before gaining admission while others, desperately looking for jobs, paid some amount before being employed.
"How do we expect such persons to behave when they also find themselves in higher positions in the future?” he asked, adding that “as a country, we must do everything possible to make corruption unattractive to propel the forward march of the country”.