The implementation of a long-term national development framework, will create more job opportunities for Ghanaians, the Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Dr. Nii Moi Thompson, has said.
Addressing the maiden monthly interaction with journalists in Accra yesterday, Dr. Thompson said the National Infrastructure Plan envisaged in the long term development framework, would create more opportunities in the construction sector.
He, has therefore, challenged the construction sector operators to brace themselves for the challenges ahead to build their capacities to enable them to compete for high profile construction work on the international scene.
The monthly interaction with journalists has been instituted by the commission to periodically brief the media about the progress of the processes towards formulating a national development framework to guide the country in the socio-economic development efforts.
Touching on the financing of the long term development framework, the Director General enumerated the possible funding sources as the Ghana Investment Fund, GETFUND, donor support and other international financing.
He said about one trillion dollars was available with the international financing entities who were prepared to invest the money anywhere, once they were assured of a coherent development framework to convince them to invest.
Besides, Dr Thompson said the Municipal Financing Authority was in the offing for passage by Parliament to create the legislative environment for municipal assemblies to source funding to carry out development projects.
On the regional tour, the Director General said the consultative meeting with stakeholders in the Ashanti Region was highly patronised and the contributions were very useful, adding that it had “unleashed the patriotism in Ghanaians both home and abroad”.
He said thousands of Ghanaians both within and outside, were responding well to the processes towards formulating the long term development framework, to be incorporated into the framework.
“We are inspired by the response from Ghanaians both within and in the Diaspora, we appreciate their sense of patriotism, this will inspire us to do our utmost best to meet this high expectation we have set for ourselves,” he said.
Dr. Thompson praised the participation of the six political parties that contested the previous election whose representatives were on the NDPC team that was touring the country to seek the views of Ghanaians to incorporate into the framework.
He said the representatives of the political parties had learnt useful lessons from the consultative processes which they said would guide them in the formulation of their manifestos.
Dr Thompson said there had always been a gap between manifestos and what political parties did when they assumed power, explaining that manifestos were often formulated in a vacuum and when the political parties came to power the reality on the ground was different.
He said the next stop of the committee of NDPC officials and the six political parties holding the regional consultations, would be in the Upper East Region this week to be followed subsequently by the Northern, Upper West, Brong-Ahafo, Volta, Eastern, Central and Greater Accra regions before the end of the year.
The Director General said the Ashanti Regional consultation had brought the need to deepen the processes further down to the district level adding that the budget estimate for the regional consultations was GH¢10 million, adding that additional resources would have to be obtained for the district consultations.
President John Mahama on August 4 launched a national process towards the formulation of a 40 year national development framework for the country that would be binding on successive governments, but allows them the flexibility to implement the plan according to their manifestos and political ideology while working towards high- level goals.
This follows the recommendations of the Constitutional Review Commission and calls by Ghanaians on the need for a national development framework to guide the socio-economic development processes.
The calls and the recommendations of the commission, follow what has been described as “the tragedy of policy discontinuity,” where successive governments did not find the need to continue with development plans initiated by previous governments.
Ghana has no history of long term development framework because past development plans had been on medium to short term plans and the envisaged 40-year long term development framework, would succeed the current medium term plan, the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda that comes to an end in 2017.
The envisaged long term development framework, will span from 2017-2057 when Ghana would mark 100 years of independence, and the plan would be broken into ten medium term plans to fit into 10 elections.
By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman