According to him, when the plan is fully backed by law, it will then becoming binding on successive governments and prevent the frequent changes in direction and focus of the national development agenda.
Togbe Afede who is also the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State in Ho, made the remarks through the Chief of Ho Dome and warlord of the state, Togbe Howusu when members of the NDPC paid a courtesy call on the Traditional Council.
Togbe Howusu said it is time for Ghanaians to take their destiny into their own hands instead leaving it to the whims and caprices of political parties who change polices at will. He said it will be disappointing for members of the commission and the citizens at large to toil and draw the plan only for one government to come and throw it overboard.
He recounted that if successive governments had pursued the plan developed by Ghanas First President, Dr Nkrumah, Ghana will be a paradise by now.
This assertion was backed by the Director-General of the NDPC, Dr. Nii Moi Thompson who also stressed that the proposed 40-year development plan envisaged by the Commission must transcend all regimes and be intrinsically relevant to the nation.
Dr. Thompson was speaking at the Sixth of the Regional Consultative forums on the Long-Term National Development Plan, held in Ho recently.
He said the plan should inform the fundamental structure of Ghanas development just like South-Korea which had the same economic growth indices with Ghana in the 1960s, but is currently far ahead of Ghana.
Dr Thompson noted that unlike Ghana, South-Korea did not allow the many regime changes there to significantly affect their developmental goals. He therefore mentioned infrastructure backup as the spine of Ghanas long term development plan. He listed law enforcement, civil registration, and land laws as other crucial components to spur planning.
He assured that apart from the regional consultations, the NDPC would thoroughly discuss the potential threats against the proposed plan, such as corruption, poor contract management, late and non-release of funds and weak monetary evaluation systems among others.
MPS Want Volta Development Authority
Members of the Volta caucus in parliament also pushed for the establishment of a Volta Region Development Authority as part of institutional frameworks in the long term national development plan.
Presenting the caucus proposal, the MP for Ketu North, Hon. James Klutse-Avedzi said such an agency will spearhead the implementation of the long term developmental agenda of the region in line with the national plan.
Mr. Avedzi further explained that the region has its own peculiar developmental issues, which needed an independent institution, in a form of the Central region Development Commission (CEDeCOM) and the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) to coordinate and drive the holistic development of the region.
“As you know the Volta region has the three ecological zones and if we have a development authority for the region, it will take into account all these factors in order to ensure that we have a proper development of the region, Mr. Avedzi explained.
He was hopeful that is such an authority is incorporated in the long term plan; it will be binding on all successive government.
Students Want Industry Focused Education
Students and the youth of the region also prayed for an education system that was industry inclined to make them employable and employers.
40 Year Plan is Critical
The Volta Regional Minister, Helen Adjoa Ntoso observed that the proposed plan offers a long-term perspective by defining a desired destination and bind every Ghanaian and the various agencies on their specific role in reaching that goal.
Dr William Ahadzi of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), said the drive towards was hopeful that the long-term national development plan move Ghana from the current lower middle income status to a higher one.
Mr Kwadwo Afari of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), said the plan should be definite on the role of the private sector.
Mr. George Agulijam, representing the Peoples National Convention (PNC), expressed disappointment in disregard for time in starting the Ho programme and emphasized the need for time consciousness.
Dr. Edith Tetteh, the NDPCs Volta Regional representative, who chaired the opening ceremony, said the contributions had been insightful and should help shape up national planning.
By Kwadwo Duodu