This was the idea. To reduce corruption, public workers should be well paid.
If they are well paid, they won’t be tempted by bribery and corruption.
The fear of losing well paid and secure job would logically outstrip the temptation of a quick ill gain.
Following such a well thought out, World Bank backed ideology, the togolese government chose to keep a small public administration with well paid agents.
During the last decade, wages in Togo had doubled and tripled for public sector workers, making public administration work the best paid job in the country.
For every position opened for application, there are at least two hundred people competing.
Things were working as planned until the banks came in and hijacked everything.
The banks started giving unconditional loans to anyone working in the public administration. ‘free money, come and take’, they advertised.
Quickly, the banks lured close to 98% of public workers into high interest, securitized loans, making some workers go home only with 30% of their wages at the end of the month.
Private loaners also designed clever schemes to lure many of these people into heavy loans. Often, the private loaners seize the workers bank cards and checks, and are the first to withdraw their monthly installment.
At this very moment I’m writing this post, the local banks are luring public workers with newly minted crushmas loans. ‘enjoy crushmas, get one month salary loan. Life is short, give smiles to your side chicks’.
Slowly, the beautiful anti-corruption policy is falling. Public workers burdened by loans, barely have enough to make ends meet. Slowly corruption crawled back in, with never ending creativity.
Long live good idea. Long live the banks.