The African Union estimates that 25% of the GDP of African states, or some US$148 billion, is lost to corruption every year on the continent and in Ghana, Imani, a civil society organization, says the country loses more than US$3 billion to corruption every year.
These startling statistics were made known by the General Secretary of the Ghana Mineworkers’ Union (GMWU), Abdul Moomin Gbana at its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Accra on December, 2.
Abdul Gbana said drawing from Imani’s conservative estimate, one can say that the country lost over US$90 billion to corruption since the inception of the Fourth Republic in 1992 with governance alternating between the two major political parties-the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
These two parties are contesting the upcoming general elections and Mr. Gbana noted that from trends, one of the two parties will emerge the winner of the 2020 polls which means the lesser of the two evils is likely to win, thereby continuing the vicious cycle of corruption.
Urging mineworkers to shy away from lackluster attitudes towards corruption, General Secretary Gbana noted that a much firmer hold on the canker would guarantee a much fairer and just society for all including trade unions and their members.
Speaking about the forthcoming elections, Gbana said that given the fact that disputes are inevitably associated with elections, he said it is therefore extremely important that the Electoral Commission (EC) makes internal dispute management platforms readily accessible to all actors and citizenry by providing a complaint desk at every polling station.
He also urged the EC to double its monitoring efforts on all media platforms, particularly social media, during the elections in order to timely and effectively deal with misinformation.
Mr. Gbana touched on the debilitating impact of COVID-19 to lives across the globe and expressed great relief that Pfizer, Moderna and a few other pharmaceuticals have discovered a vaccine that would be made available for consumers soon but worried whether it would be affordable.
He urged multilateral corporation and development partners consider subsidizing the eventual cost of the vaccine and make it accessible to everyone including the poor.
Finally, the GMWU used the occasion to pay glowing tribute to former President Flt. Lt. J.J. Rawlings for his singular role in the transformation agenda of the country’s mining industry and the country at large. GMWU is proud to have awarded the former President last year while he was still alive.