A survey conducted by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has pointed some fingers at some state institutions for their level of corruption.
The survey sampled the views of Ghanaians in all ten regions and they were asked to rank institutions by their perceived level of corruption, as well as by the level of trust they had in them to perform their assigned roles. Not surprisingly, there s not very much confidence in the systems that govern us as Ghanaians.
And why should there be? Just look around the country and you can glean five reasons right there why Ghana is hell to live in.
Below are the most corrupt Ghanaian institutions, per the IEA survey…
10. Ghana Armed Forces
Our soldiers somehow found their way onto this list, despite being the one institution the public can be guaranteed to have very little dealings with. Considering though that some of them take great pride in abusing their power, perhaps that’s why.
9. Immigration Service
The only surprise is that they rank so low. When it comes to getting something done for you, the Ghana Immigration Service is one of the few places you cannot do without greasing a few palms.
Well, you might decide not to; but then you’re probably not getting what you need anytime soon.
8. Assembly Members
Well these guys receive little remuneration for their services to the state, so there’s that. Though I’m struggling to fathom what services people go to them for that they can then extort them. I guess I’m not in touch with my local government representatives.
7. Judges and Magistrates
There’s another obvious one. When you sit in judgement of human conflicts there is ample room for a little underhanded action; and a judge’s favour is more important than most.
6. District Chief Executives
As representatives of the government at district level, they wield a lot of power. It seems they aren’t averse to wielding it in whatever direction your ‘noko fio’ points them in.
5. Government Officials
Now we’re getting to the business end of things. Kicking up the top five are government officials, in whatever capacity they find themselves in. These officials kind of corruption is mostly pointed at the national coffers- and the rest of us suffer as a result.
4. Members of Parliament
Following closely on the heels of the executive is the legislature. These people are solely expected to be lawmakers, but they dabble in so many other things that give them the opportunity for some underhanded deals. You remember the imported chairs from China debacle? No wonder the public views them the 4th most corrupt.
3. Tax Officials
Ahh, the GRA- our own version of the implacable Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Now unlike the IRS, the Ghana Revenue Authority is not famous for anything, which makes their position on this list a bit perplexing to me. If anything I feel they take too little revenue, but maybe I’ve never felt the sting of their clutches so let me keep quiet.
2. Office of the President
Now when government officials are included in this list, yet the office of the president is also given its own little ranking; you have to know there’s something serious going on there. It could be that at the seat of government, people are turning all their ire there for the hardships plaguing the country.
Still, at least according to this survey, the Flagstaff House is the 2nd most corrupt public institution; nothing new.
1. Ghana Police Service
The alpha and omega, the beginning and the end; was there ever any doubt who would top this list? Within the past year alone, several surveys have reached this same verdict, and each time the police service makes big denials; but that’s the reality on the ground.
This is because they have perfected extorting the public to an art, to the point a policeman would take money from a driver in full glare of all passengers, without any trace of shame.
It’s the biggest open secret in Ghana.
So that’s the list for the ten most corrupt public institutions, per the latest IEA survey. One thing that must be said though, is that for some of the institutions the public plays a big role in their corruption, because we are often the givers to their takers.
It then seems a bit rich that we turn around and accuse them of corruption; but the question we must ask ourselves is that when corruption is so institutionalised, would you try to take the straightway and get nothing done, or just pay up and be on your way?