A day’s workshop on the Ghana Productive Safety Net Project (GPSNP) focusing on the technical review of two of its components- Productive Inclusion (PI) and Labour Intensive Public Works (LIPW), for 18 selected districts has been held in Kumasi.
The districts, located in the Ashanti, Ahafo, Bono, Bono East, Western and Western North Regions, constitute the Kumasi zonal office of GPSNP.
They are Offinso North, Sekyere Afram Plains, Ejura-Sekyedumase, Sekyere Central, Ahafo- Ano North, Tain, Banda and Bodi.
The rest are Nkoranza North, Dormaa East, Wenchi, Mpohor, Wassa Amenfi Central, Asutifi North, Kintampo South, Pru West, Tano South and Sene East.
Topics discussed by the participants namely district chief executives, district co-ordinating directors, district finance officers, planning officers and engineers included, ‘Productive inclusion implementation-Delivery process, targets/ expected results and way forward’, ‘LIPW implementation- Delivery mechanism, targets/ expected results and way forward’ and ‘Status of implementation by districts, challenges and way forward’.
Addressing the opening session, Mr Augustine Collins Ntim, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development underlined GPSNP which also covers the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme and Strengthening Social Protection Delivery Systems as “unique and very dear to the Akufo-Addo government”.
“It’s unique because it is strategically designed to make the poorest of the poor and vulnerable productive and more important, link up with vital government interventions especially rural development initiatives with the goal of economically empowering the rural folks and opening up those areas,” he stated.
Expressing disappointment over the slow pace of GPSNP implementation in the 18 districts, Mr Ntim noted that “all indications are pointing at the wrong directions and the government can’t be happy at all when our rural people continue to wallow in a quagmire of poverty while monies meant to remedy their plight have been made available but remain unutilised” .
He just could not understand why, for instance, the climate change mitigation interventions slot under the LIPW component expected to have started in January is yet to get off the ground.
“The funds are there for the project so let them flow to the districts for work to go on,” the Deputy Minister told the project co-ordinators, warning that “the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development which is the implementing agency, can’t afford to be part of any failure in the implementation of this project”.
The ministry, he said, would not countenance any unnecessary bureaucratic tendencies in the project’s implementation especially in the release of funds.
Dr J. Osei Ababio, National Co-ordinator of GPSNP described the meeting as very critical for the 18 districts which are lagging behind in the implementation of the project remarking that “we can’t play with projects and keep on deceiving ourselves that things are alright”.
Touching on the ‘Overview of GPSNP״ and ‘Poverty Profile and Inequality in Ghana’, Dr Ababio attributed poverty in Ghana and Africa in general to a multiplicity of factors including bad leadership, bad choices by governments and low productivity.
From Times Reporter, Kumasi