The Dean of the University Of Cape Coast School Of Business, Professor John Gatsi has reiterated the need for a long-term National Development Plan (NDP) to guide the country’s development.
According to him, an economic management setup that did not put premium on long-term NDP of a national character could not deliver sustained benefits.
Speaking at the Centre for Social Justice 11th Leadership Dialogues series in Accra on the theme “Transforming Ghana’s Economy: Scape Goats, Root Causes and Hard Choices,” Prof. Gatsi, stressed the need for a well-developed long-term inclusive investment in human capital in an environment of upgraded use of technologies and real rule of law.
He said the various political parties should embrace an inclusive national development plan in the development of their manifestoes.
Prof .Gatsi said the political leaders were proud to seek fiscal glory for elongating the maturity profile of the country’s debts exceeding fifteen to thirty years and attempting a centenary bond but openly show disregard for a long-term national development plan as the basis for the country’s progress.
“Our leaders have over the years disregarded the long-term benefits of a development plan,” he said.
Prof. Gatsi observed that Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, delivered enduring developmental projects propelled by long-term national development plans.
He argued that economic transformation was a continuous long-term process of ensuring value addition to all sectors of the economy with the result of higher labour productivity, higher value added outcomes of economic engagements and making industry and manufacturing responsive.
“To some, economic transformation is about structural change with illusive productivity gain, increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), moving from agriculture to manufacturing,” he stressed.
To ensure economic transformation, Prof. Gasti said there was the need to address technological and skills inequality among young people with high density of the inequality manifesting in the apparent unbalanced development of the regions.
“It also requires that a better fiscal and monetary framework that creates value for debt is provided and ensure inclusive infrastructural investment,” he said.
Prof. Gatsi said the country’s economy was in distress due to high unsustainable public debt, high interest payment burden which dwarfed financial commitment to other sector, fiscal dominance, inefficient spending and low revenue performance.
“Over the years, real cost of debt on average has been higher than real growth rate hence the pronounced dependence on higher borrowing. In any fiscal management that the interest cost on debt is greater than real GDP growth, continuous borrowing to unsustainable path will be pronounced,” he said.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE