President John Dramani Mahama has observed that the fight against corruption is not the responsibility of only the President, but a shared duty that all Ghanaians must endeavor to contribute towards its realization.
“Corruption is not the responsibility of only the president. I am not everywhere in your entire establishment to supervise and make sure nobody is taking any money”, President Mahama told the 8th Conference of public service Chief Directors, Chief Executives and Chairpersons of Governing Boards and Councils at Koforidua,
President Mahama, who doubles as ECOWAS Chairman, appealed to heads of the various state corporations and organizations to take lead roles in the fight against corruption.
He said year in, year out, Chief Directors find themselves in an embarrassing position whenever they have to face the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament to answer questions bothering on mismanagement and abuse of public funds.
“I normally feel very sorry for you when you appear and you are being quizzed …and so one would think that after leaving that uncomfortable situation when you go back you will take control and make sure you are not summoned back.”
"Look for all people mentioned in the auditor-general's report and take effective action against them....that is what you are required to do" the president schooled the directors.
The president, several times in his address expressed frustration at the lack of leadership in the public service in fighting corruption.
The President expressed worry about the reported tendency of some Ghanaian professionals to demand monies before rendering a public service.
He cited a story of a foreign national who despite a complimentary report about Ghana still recalled his experience of having to pay a fee at the airport to get prompt service.
"It is not ethical, absolutely unethical" the president said. He could not understand how a public servant paid a salary could act selfishly to dent the image of the country.
"That is the memory he [foreign national] has taken about Ghana. Just one single person at the airport has destroyed the reputation of the country"
He said he felt "pained" by the reported action of the airport official. "We destroy the moral fibre of this country" he bemoaned. He charged the public officers to ensure that officers indicted in the Auditor-General’s report are held to account.