Ensuring completion of national projects - NDPC steps in
The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) will, for the next four years, focus on coordinating national projects to ensure that the issue of uncompleted projects becomes a thing of the past.
This is to promote efficiency, reduce waste and save resources in the execution of tasks by various government institutions.
The Director-General of the NDPC, Dr Kodjo Esseim Mensah-Abrampa, said the issue of coordination had become a priority area for the commission because although the country was carrying out many projects, the lack of coordination was affecting output, thereby making a lot of people think that the country did not have a development plan.
“The country has plans, and largely the plans are followed,” Dr Mensah-Abrampa said last Tuesday at a meeting between the management of the NDPC and that of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL).
Dr Mensah-Abrampa, who noted that there had been many overlaps and gaps in the implementation stages of development projects, explained that in terms of compliance with the national plan, the national level was achieving 70 per cent, while the districts were doing about 40 per cent and attributed the gap to the lack of coordination.
“This is our biggest problem,” he said, stressing that “we want people at the national level to implement, which is wrong”.
As an example, Dr Mensah-Abrampa said the NDPC wanted to improve sanitation at the country’s beaches.
“So the Ministry of Tourism says it is responsible; the Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation says no, it has the mandate to provide sanitation; the Ministry of Local Government says no, it manages the districts and the aspect of sanitation is theirs; Ports and Harbours says no, it is responsible for the beaches; the Fisheries Ministry says that no because its people operate at the beaches.
“So we have five ministries claiming responsibility for one project.
This is one of the things we encounter every day,” he explained.
The NDPC Director-General said the national level should basically take care of policy, building the capacity of those who were supposed to implement the policy because the implementation rested on the district assemblies.
He, however, said since independence it had been difficult changing the pattern of the national level doing more of the implementation instead of the district assemblies and called for change.
“When we get to the districts, the various institutions must coordinate and accomplish a task.
We need the road sector cooperating with the agricultural sector to implement Planting for Food and Jobs or even One-district, One-factory (1D1F); industries cooperating in the roads, water and energy sectors, and this cooperation has to do with implementation,” he said.
Dr Mensah-Abrampa said the many uncompleted projects seen across the country were all as a result of the lack of coordination and sequencing.
Some national projects, he said, had stalled not because of politics, as people perceived, but rather due to financial flow because many projects started without the full resources to complete them.
He said with the existence of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (PFMA) Act 921, issues of uncompleted projects would become a thing of the past because currently without the full resource, new projects could not commence.
The Director-General of the NDPC cited many new projects, including the Tema-Mpakadan Railway project, which had been completed because the resources were available for them.
Currently, all school building projects had clauses to ensure that there were enough resources, so that once those projects started, they would be continued to the end.
Dr Mensah-Abrampa said a collaboration between the GCGL and the NDPC would promote factual reportage of the work of the commission, especially as the nation entered into the political season, to promote the developmental agenda of the political parties.
“There are a lot of distortions in the media space, but we believe the GCGL has the capacity to put the right information out and set the development agenda with its factual reportage to push development forward,” he said.
The Editor, Graphic, Theophilus Yartey, said the publishing company had always been a pacesetter and wanted to remain the leader in the media space and in national discourse.
He, therefore, assured the management of the NDPC of the GCGL’s support as the commission embarked on rebranding its communication activities.
“We stand for balance. We will continue to open our doors to partners for content,” he said, and called on the NDPC to always provide the needed information to enable the GCGL brands to take the lead in pushing the national development agenda.
The Director, Finance of the GCGL, Samuel Essel, while assuring the NDPC of the company’s support, added that the commission must stand ready to inform the public on what was going on in its space.