Statesman, Sir Sam Jonah has spoken about the current national economic challenges and corruption facing Ghana and has urged citizens to speak up.

In a keynote address at the 2023 annual general conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSG) in Takoradi, Sir Sam Jonah said Ghana was going through excruciating times and it was “only fair to be truthful and acknowledge that people are enduring immense hardship.”

He said “Confidence in key institutions is on the decline. Checks and balances, which are desperately needed for the progress of any nation are seriously compromised.”

“Corruption and greed have eaten deep into the fabric of our nation. Young people are fast losing hope and the dignity of labour. Public services, which are already paid for by taxpayers’ money, are subject to bribes solicited by public officials in order to speed up processes or to exempt people from necessary procedures.” 

Corruption examples echoed by ministers and quoted by Sam Jonah

Citing various examples of corrupt activities recently echoed by some government officials, Sir Sam Jonah expressed worry that, “today, despite all that is happening, one hardly hears from professional bodies regarding the welfare of the nation.”

“Most associations will only be heard when it concerns their salaries or businesses. Teachers’ associations, journalists, nurses, doctors, surveyors, lawyers, accountants, architects, planners, social workers, psychologists etc. are all present in this country.”

He said what was lacking was the ability of these bodies to assert themselves with the requisite patriotic zeal in matters of national concern.

“Your civic responsibility enjoins you to be active citizens in the affairs of the nation. Keeping silent is not the way to do that. If you see things going on that are not right expect your society to speak up so that your members become active citizens, he added.”

Adding, the senior citizen said “Any society which creates conditions for politics to become the easiest and, by far, the most lucrative means of enrichment and self aggrandizement, is a society that is doomed. Civil society and a few concerned and courageous individuals have raised their voices, but it appears it is not enough. Thankfully I am not the only one befuddled and unsettled by all this. Just last month, the Senior Presidential Advisor, Mr. Yaw Osafo Marfo lamented over the alarming rate of corruption in Ghana stating that it is going from bad to worse.

Within days after Mr. Osafo-Marfo’s speech, the minister of roads Mr Kwesi Amoako-Atta was also captured commenting on the pervasiveness of corruption in his ministry. “There are a lot of corrupt people; there are a lot of thieves in my Ministry. You sack them… you employ new ones, and when they come, the new ones are even worse than the old ones. What kind of country are we building for ourselves?” he said. What a terrible indictment.

Recently, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway stormed the passport office to chase out overstayed officers.

Of an agency under her ministry, she asked how passport services of 100 and 200 Ghana cedis were being charged illegally at 2000 and 3,000 Ghana cedis respectively. “The goro boys are outside the passport office, she said, but they need somebody inside to work with; they cannot do it on their own.” There are many instances of senior public officials in charge of affairs speaking of corruption.

Just yesterday, the Attorney-General Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame bemoaned how public officials responsible for procurement activities in public institutions continue to engage in insider trading, an act he says is having a significant negative impact on the economy, and the development of society.

Once again, I will like to quote what the current Finance Minister said on the power of Truth. “The power of truth is eternal; the comfort of falsehood and security of complicity are transient and unstable. As Ghanaians, we must learn to speak to truth to power; Truth is liberating; truth set free the mind burdened by falsehood. Truth is freedom . And our national enjoins us to be ‘bold to defend forever. The cause of freedom and of right.’ Truth is just, and it is right. Ladies and gentlemen, I must. Say I completely agree these sentiments.


The conference, held at the Airforce Base in Takoradi was on the theme “Pharmacist for National Development.” 

Sir Sam Jonah described the theme for the conference as “apt, judicious, and timely, given the circumstances in which our beloved nation Ghana has found itself in the last three decades under the fourth republican constitution.”