Valentine Mensah

Corruption fight key to economic recovery — Dr Valentin Mensah

Ghana needs to deal decisively with corruption to help reduce its expenditures and cut debt accumulation for the economy to recover from the effects of the perennial large deficits and debts, a retired auditor and chartered accountant has said.

Dr Vanletin Kwasi Mensah said at a virtual lecture at the weekend that it would also help boost taxpayers’ confidence in the government, leading to increased revenue collection.


Addressing the lecture by the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana (ICAG) via Zoom, the Audit Committee Chairman of the Board of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) proposed the review of the 1992 Constitution, the asset declaration regime (ADR) and the strengthening of anti-graft institutions such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to make it more deterrent for people to fleece the state.   


The lecture was organised by the Accra West District of the ICAG on the theme ‘Ghana’s economic challenges: Is the domestic debt exchange the best option?’, and was broadcast to members across the country via Zoom and other social media platforms.

Addressing the participants, Dr Mensah said corruption was a number one cause of the economic challenges that the country found itself in.

He said the practice fuelled high expenditures, majority of which were unproductive.

With revenues underperforming, he said government officials normally engaged in borrowing, leading to the accumulation of high debts that then affect economic growth.

This, he said, created a vicious cycle where high debt was used to finance unproductive expenditures and corrupt practices.

Because the regime against corruption was less effective, he said, offenders went unpunished, resulting in increased losses to the state.

“Corruption has to be dealt with. If not, we will always have high expenditure.

Most of the office holders go for projects not in the interest of the state or citizens but in search of opportunities to make money,” he said.

“That is why shoddy work abounds and projects that should last 10 to 20 years end up lasting for just two to three years before starting to deteriorate,” he said.

Tax payment

He said high corruption also discouraged compliance with tax laws by the citizens.

“The perception that officials and politicians are corrupt reduces the legitimacy of the government in the eyes of ordinary people and undermines the sense of trust that is critical to the smooth running of state.”

“It has been shown that taxpayers are more likely to evade taxes when they believe their governments are corrupt,” he said, noting that in the least corrupt countries, revenue authorities collect four per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) more in tax revenues than similar countries with the highest levels of corruption.

“These are the things that an effective anti-corruption system can help us stop,” he noted.

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