Dr Nana Ato Arthur, the Head of Local Government Service has called for more commitment from staff of the service to ensure the Ghana Productive Safety Net Project 2 (GPSNP 2) succeeds across the beneficiary communities.
The GPSNP 2, which is a continuation of the GPSNP, seeks to scale up interventions under the GPSNP for enhanced and expanded social safety nets to improve the income and productivity of the poor.
He called on staff of the various assemblies not to regard the GPSNP 2 as “A DCE or a political project,” and said the beneficiaries of the project, who were the poor and vulnerable in the communities, had no political colour.
“We must make sure that the livelihood of our people is improved. Poverty has no political colour, and that is the more reason why we want to see the staff well committed to this,” he said.
Dr Arthur, who spoke to journalists in Bolgatanga at a workshop for staff of the beneficiary assemblies across the Upper East and North East Regions, emphasised that the attitude of staff towards work, especially in the northern part of the country, was unprofessional.
“Every Thursday afternoon, staff leave the offices to travel, so on Friday, they do not go to work. They arrive at their workplaces late Monday afternoon.
“So effectively Tuesdays, Wednesdays and half Thursdays that staff work in the five Northern Regions. This should be a thing of the past if we want to succeed, as far as this project is concerned. That is very unprofessional,” Dr Arthur said.
The National Coordinator of the GPSNP from the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development (MLGDRD), Dr George Kwadwo Osei Ababio said the GPSNP was started by the MLGDRD and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
He said the GPSNP 2, which was a follow-up of GPSNP, had already started, noting that “The Ministries thought it wise not to leave any gaps in satisfying the beneficiary communities. The arrangements are almost the same.”
Dr Ababio said the MLGDRD had commenced the process to disburse about US$47 million into Productive Inclusion (PI), Labour-Intensive Public Works (LIPW) and project management.
He said the workshop was intended to equip participants with deeper understanding of the GPSNP, adding that the processes were the same with little changes on how the GPSNP 2 should be implemented, “So we expect effective and efficient implementation of GPSNP 2.”
Mr. Daniel Botwe, the Minister for Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development said apart from the four urbanised Districts in the Upper East and North East Regions, the project would be concentrated across the rest of the districts in the two regions.
He said a loan of US$100 million was acquired from the World Bank to undertake the project which targeted the welfare of beneficiaries to make them productive, “That is why there is a training component so that they can become more effective.”
He said out of the amount, about US$15 million was released to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to undertake the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme.
Mr. Botwe said the Ministry would soon organise training programmes for journalists and Chiefs to be well informed about the project and guide its successful implementation.