Make NDPC independent to ensure continuity of devt - Religious leaders advocate
Some dignitaries and religious leaders after the seminar. Picture: ERNEST KODZI

Make NDPC independent to ensure continuity of devt - Religious leaders advocate

Some religious leaders have added their voices to the quest for a review of the 1992 Constitution to ensure that the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) becomes independent and stronger.

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This, they said, would ultimately halt the frequent abandonment of development projects by successive governments.

They emphasised that when that issue was also resolved, it would ultimately protect the public purse, ensure continuity in development and prevent both ruling and past governments from embarking on “unrealistic development projects".

The leaders were the president of the Worldwide Miracle Outreach, Rev. Dr Lawrence Tetteh; the spokesperson for the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Armiyawo Shaibu, and the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church Ghana, Most Rev. Dr Paul Kwabena Boafo.

They made the call in Accra last Wednesday at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) seminar series on review of the 1992 Constitution. It was on the topic: “reviewing Ghana's 1992 Constitution: views and reflections of religious leaders".

In all, there were five religious leaders that discussed the topic. The other two were the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission, Maulvi Mohammed Bin Salih, and the Chairman of the Christ Apostolic Church International, Apostle Samuel Amponsah-Frimpong.

The event attracted political parties, Members of Parliament, Civil Society Organisations, and a prominent lawyer, Sam Okudzeto, among others.

Rev. Dr Tetteh, who set the tone for the discussions, intimated that “there are worries about the creation of a thorough National Development Plan which has not been effectively carried out".

He called for urgent steps to integrate national development planning into all facets of governance and that the plan must be in line with the nation's long-term development vision.

He further pointed out that “a review of the Constitution will ensure that the document is still applicable and responsive to the needs and aspirations of Ghanaians".

On gender, Rev. Dr Tetteh said although the Constitution guaranteed equal rights and opportunities for all, women were significantly under-represented in politics and leadership positions.

On women participation in governance, Most Rev. Dr Boafo stressed that gender played an active role in development hence the need to ensure gender equity at all levels adding that “women participation in governance and education must be clear in the Constitution”.

Composition

Sheikh Shaibu stated that for the country's development agenda to be sustained, there was the need for concrete steps to review the composition of the NDPC to make the institution more independent.

He, therefore, explained that efforts must be made to review the Constitution to make the NDPC so strong that its activities and national development agenda would be binding on any government or political party  that wanted to assume power.

Other religious leaders

Two other religious leaders, Maulvi Salih and Apostle Amponsah-Frimpong, both called for constitutional reviews to limit the excessive powers of the President, deepen culture of rule of law, democracy, good governance and ensure inclusiveness in the country's democratisation.

Former Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo, chaired the event.

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