Ethiopia: Taking a Firm Stand Against Bad Governance, Rent-Seeking

In GTP II, due attention has been given to ensure transparency and root out corruption from the government system. Though Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission so far did all rounded efforts to ensure transparency in most of service provider institutions, a lot still remains to totally confine good governance problems from the system.

For that reason, the House of Peoples’ Representative recently supervised good governance performances in some federal and city administrations. Following the supervision, the House discussed good governance reports with officials from Ethiopian Electricity Service, Customs and Revenue Authority, Ministry of Transport, Addis Ababa City Administration, and other institutions. In this regard, members of the House witnessed for earnest corrective measures commenced at Addis Ababa City Administration. But, some key problems on land administrations, housing development, shortage of transportation, and power interruptions were not taken for considerations. Most of the problems have well been known by government officials, and planned to be solved over time and throw extended root within the society.

The report had also stressed that illegal imports and trades are destructing legal ones besides it causes for losing the country’s major income from the sector. It also indicated that the commitment against eliminating such problems is so weak. Speaker of the House Abadula Gemeda highlighted that though the Addis Ababa City Administration started implementing good governance policy and strategic plan, there has been shortcomings across some governmental institutions.

As good governance problems are swaggering challenges combating poverty, all government entities need to work diligently with the community to implement integrated and interlinked structure from the Federal to state and up to wereda levels. Knowing its destructive outcomes, officials at all levels should work aggressively against rent-seeking attitudes and bad governance through implementing rules and regulations that can break the chain along service providers and brokers.

Thus, a positive result will come if government offers the public accountability and responsibility to fight against rent-seeking and corrupted services. While the administration took various corrective measures against crooked individuals, the public or civil servants may provide value for their participation and understand the decision-making process, and able to realize how good governance can come.

The other origin of rent-seeking in Addis Ababa City Administration is urban development management. The city government has accomplished various tasks to protect the new housing development programme from rent-seeking and bad governance. However, great numbers of residents have benefited from the housing programme, the construction speed did not compatibly fit with the growth of the population that matters most for the increasing need of shelter. Therefore, the administration needs to reduce shortages of houses in the city as fast as the population growth by constructing low cost houses to address the needs of low and middle income society.

Regarding the land management, it is essential to tied up with modernizing the system through creating competent ethics infrastructures, and expanding awareness raising trainings to several people towards ethics and anti-corruption. Of course, land administration requires proper and quality services for the entire society; and very crucial to handle the on going development of the nation. Thus, government should find out the requests of the community to balance challenging needs in a timely, appropriate and responsive manner.

On the other hand, tax administration is also among the sectors identified as severely exposed to corruption and rent-seeking practices. In GTP II, several reform strategies are laid to combat such problems and malpractices. The first strategy should focus on strengthening the administration of tax information system. Then, it is significant to reduce good governance problems and transform the tax administration system through empowering the tax administration authority with the right attitude and skills.

Indeed, in the last GTP period, a number of higher officials and other actors suspected of corruption were taken to the court. This effort shows the commitment of the government in fighting rent seeking and reducing good governance problems that should also continue further more.

In short, to ensure good governance, it is necessary and compulsory to eradicate corruption and rent seeking, establishing efficient and effective problem handling system. Measures should be taken against illegal beneficiaries in terms land acquisition, housing, tax fraud, rent seeking and other related acts.

In any case, leaderships should also implement rules and regulations that make the best use of available resources and ensure paramount upshots for the benefit of the government and the society at large. Thus, while the public give opinion and make recommendations in this regard, they will take ownership in tackling good governance problems thereby ensure the manifestation of good governance. Now is the time to take action to implement good governance’ directives and regulations, because there has to be dramatic change that can transform the society into modern and democratic culture.

Source: All AFRICA

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