Influence peddling is now a disease in Ghana – Political analyst
The issue of influence peddling per political risk analyst Dr Theo Acheampongs view has become glaring from the recent investigative piece by Anas Aremeyaw Anas dubbed “Galamsey Economy”.
Delving into the issue on TV3 on 15th November 2022, he indicated that the culture of influence peddling has been quite pervasive due to the investors’ quest to be ahead to secure their projects.
According to the petroleum economist, “it is supposed to be that systems and structures are meant to work but currently, though they are working in some respect some investors also feel that if I am bringing some investment related project or anything related I have a chance if I see the President first because if you get the blessing of the Presidency it is easier to work your way more on the other administrative structure of the state and this has become quite pervasive under the fourth republic”.
“This situation is also because we run the executive style of the presidency with power overly concentrated at the top so everybody wants to go straight to the top and their issues resolved to try to bypass the other structure.”
Originally, the laid down procedure an investor is supposed to go through according to Dr Theo Acheampong is “Typically for any investor that comes in your first point of call or reference is the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC). They are the one-stop-shop that directs investors to the relevant Ministries, Department and Agencies and though to a large extent they are doing their job it is just that sometimes when some of the investors come in they feel like they want to go beyond the GIPC and even beyond the ministry to seek audience with the President to brief them on their project and in essence sort of get the blessing of the President which is not supposed to be the norm and have made it a norm which in turn is putting a lot of pressure even on the presidents time because there are other things the President could have done but some times you see every Tom, Dick and Harry wants to see the president for one reason on the other”.
Further complaining about some of the contributory factors that lead to influence peddling he notes that “these are issues which could have been handled by other administrative structures within the governance chain”.
Also, Dr Osae Kwapong Of the Centre for Democratic Development Ghana (CDD) analyzing the fallout from the exposé by Anas Aremeyaw Anas regarding an alleged issue of influence peddling by a Minister of State at the Finance Ministry Mr Charles Adu –Boahen noted that “if there are laws that have been broken in this video which is alleged that there was an issue of influence peddling, bribery and other corrupt activities going on and the Special Prosecutor believes the evidence presented to him is enough grounds for prosecution then he will decide on what to do next”.
Explaining further Dr Kwapong cited a model former Executive Director of CDD Ghana Prof Kwasi Prempeh came up with to curb the issue of corruption saying “the mode he came up with is the certainty of punishment when people are certain that they cannot go away with acts of corruption it will gradually reduce such acts. But when people think they can get away with it it is likely to increase the act so you just hope that when some of these things happen there are consequences for those who are involved it sends a signal that it is unacceptable”.