The perception that is being held by many on corruption as an act that is performed by only political actors is fundamentally defective. There is a national corruption that has engulfed the entire populace of our republic. This act, to the greatest extent, is allowed to prevail for many decades. There are citizens in this country that garner privileges without responsibility. These people and their families enjoy the benefits and protection of the state without giving anything in return in taxes. Corruption is an undue advantage that a person enjoys as a result of his or her position and opportunities available to them. Many individuals in Ghana embrace corruption and are engaged in its very nature and acts unknowingly. Some people who can pay their taxes naturally do refuse to file their tax returns but complain about the security and the sort of development activities that are being undertaken by the state. Corruption is not an act that only politicians partake in. It can be identified with every nook and cranny in our country.
The enjoyment of the benefits of the activities of the state without contributing to their funding clearly signifies that people are certainly corrupt. Currently, only a few people pay income taxes as their quota to the tax revenue generation of the state. Meanwhile, a lot more people can and have the capacity to pay their taxes to help the state fund its economic activities. The irony then is, they and their families enjoy many benefits from the state without contributing to the funding of the projects undertaken by the state. This free-rider situation is an indication of national corruption that is indulged in our setting. People find it difficult to realise and perform the inherent responsibility imposed on them as citizens of the state. Elsewhere, people accept the payment of their taxes as a core responsibility that needs to be done. The lack of recognition of the obligation to pay taxes as a due of the people is symptom of corruption.
Even the Bible admonishes us to pay taxes and perform other responsibilities. Romans 13:7 commands us to render our due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honour to whom honour. Paying taxes has its roots from divine precepts. It is not a modern phenomenon or a product of globalization. All persons who do not find it a necessity to pay their taxes are corrupt and need not profit from the useful fruits of the activities of the state.
Patriotism that must be exhibited by all persons within the state is not shown. This again illuminates the corrupt nature of the people. Nationalism which is a basic element to instil foundations that can be relied on for nation building is not an alternative that is cherished by the Ghanaian any more. In the 1960s, nationalism was a virtue that almost every member of the state embraced and helped implanted in the youth of the country. Today, people live individualistic lives with an extreme bias to get rich at the expense of the state. Indigenization is a lost priority and people have rather developed egoistic behaviours and attitudes. This alone points to corruption on the part of the people in modern Ghana. It is about time we assessed our choices and behaviours in addressing the factors that lead to this corruption. The solutions to fighting corruption are not far from us. They are around us and can easily be identified.
Likewise, among the many resources available to the state, time has never been utilised well for many years. Punctuality is a soul of business. It is not just about punctuality. It is also about utilizing our resources in an economically wise manner after being punctual. Many state corporations need to change their reporting and leaving times from the work place. Perhaps, it is about time the state introduced time machines to accurately capture the time people report and leave their work places. Time as a resource is being wasted at public corporations by agents that work on behalf of the state. In the Asiatic regions and the Western Countries, time as a resource is not unexploited. It is properly used in an attempt to maximise the resources and the benefits that can be derived from them. The appropriate utilization of time for many public corporations needs deliberation to adjust to modern development practice and pace.
The endeavor being made by the state currently to formalize the economy should be supported by development-oriented citizens in Ghana. People need to erase the erroneous philosophies they have conceived about whether or not they should pay taxes. In this effort, the state needs to encourage, with the best possible education, people to properly channel their incomes in media that will assist the tax authorities apply the necessary laws on the incomes and properties of people working in the informal sector.
The reasons why there is a national corruption being perpetrated by every citizen in the country are properly explained in this exposition. The act of corruption is not an in-built feature of a politician. All persons within the state commit acts of corruption which has a national character.
Emmanuel Kwabena Wucharey.
Economics Tutor- Kintampo SHS.
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