Planning Minister-designate, Professor George Gyan-Baffour, has observed that Ghana’s 40-year development plan, put together by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), is irrelevant.
This is because it will not afford political parties the laxity and space to implement their manifestos, which propelled them to power, Prof. Gyan-Baffour, a former Chairman of the NDPC noted.
The NDPC put together the 40-year development plan, which cuts across all sectors of the country’s economy, in consultation with all stakeholders including the NPP.
The development plan is expected to take off next year and end in 2057 when Ghana will be a century old.
The idea of the long-term development plan was borne out of recommendations of the Constitution Review Commission of 2010.
With the position taken by Prof. Gyan-Baffour, which is in line with that of the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Mafo, who would prefer a 10-year development plan, it is unclear if the current government will pursue the 40-year plan.
“We will look at the 40-year-plan; it is important that every country like Ghana gets a long-term plan, particularly with respect to infrastructure, so that there will be continuity. So we will definitely look at it and where modifications are necessary, we’ll make it after going through,” Mr. Osafo-Maafo hinted at his vetting.
Answering questions at his vetting in Parliament on Monday, Prof. Gyan-Baffour, who is also MP for Wenchi admitted that Ghana needed a development plan but not one that binds governments 40 years into the future.
“Ghana needs a long-term perspective plan; Ghana needs a long-term view about where we want to be in 40 years from now, but Ghana does not need a 40-year development plan.
“The simple reason is that the word plan connotes rigidity, it connotes the fact that when it is there and I come with my ideas I cannot implement those ideas,” he stated.
The 40-year development plan, he said, talks about visions, goals, objectives, implementation of projects and programmes over the period, which will in the end tie the hand of the government from pursuing its policies.
“If you do that there is nothing that they (parties) can do; they will violate it, so it is not a good idea to come out with a plan as such but yes, I am all for a development agenda, I am all for a set of goals,” he maintained.
He said the NPP government was committed to the development of the country and will do everything possible to ensure efficient and sustainable development was delivered to the people.
By Julius Yao Petetsi