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Council of State supports move for national development plan

July 29, 2015, 8:39 a.m.

By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman

Members of the Council of State have expressed optimism that a long term national development framework "will move the country forward."

The Chairperson of the Council, Cecilia Johnson, who articulated this view yesterday on behalf of the members, said, "This is something the country needs."

Mrs Johnson said this when officials of NDPC briefed the Council members on the August 4 launch of a process for collation of views for the formulation of a long-term development framework to guide the socio-economic development of the country.

She said it was refreshing to hear that so far all views expressed by stakeholders "are virtually focusing on development."

"We can assure you that you have our full fullest support. We are going to take this excercise seriously and we shall actively participate in the processes towards the formulation of the framework," Mrs Johnson said this at the meeting with NDPC at the Castle.

She said it was also laudable that NDPC would undertake nationwide consultations to elicit views of Ghanaians on the long-term frameworkthat would reflect the views of the ruralpeople for the socio-economic development of the country.

"Often we only listen to the urban population, forgetting that we have a greater number of the people who live in the rural areas and whose voices also matter," she noted.

Mrs Johnson urged the Commission to invite members "who are also the representatives of the people on the Council, to participate in the discussions at the grassroots, toward the formulation of the long-term development framework."

Dr Nii Moi Thompson, Director-General of NDPC, briefing the Council on the framework, said the initiative was informed by the work of the Constitutional Review Commission, and subsequent calls by Ghanaians for such a development framework because of the deficiency in short and medium-term plans that were discontinued with the changes of government.

He said all political parties had supported the need for such a high level framework and articulated their views, adding that the Petroleum Revenue Management Act has set out the basis for a long-term development framework for the utilisation of the oil revenue.

Dr Thompson explained that the envisaged 40 year national development framework will set high level goals and objectives reflecting the directive principles of state policies towards achieving a "just, free and prosperous society."

He added that the high level framework would be broken into 10-4 year medium-term plans for the political party that comes to power to pursue its plans based on its ideology and manifestoes, and work toywards achieving the high level goals set out in the framework.

Dr Thompson said parliament will have the opportunity to review the framework every ten years to take into consideration changing times.

The Chairman of NDPC, Prof Kwesi Botchwey, said the long-term development framework "will reflect our political plurialism and ...to avoid discontinuity in the way we do things."

He said for instance the framework will state that within a particular period, we should have a centralised sewerage system, adding that how to go about it will be left to the political party in power.

Prof Botchwey envisaged that one party might choose to pursue it through the annual budget allocation while another party might choose to implement it through public-private-partnership.

Source:The Ghanaian Times

Disclaimer : The views expressed in this news report do not necessarily reflect those of the National Development Planning Commission

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