NDC GOVERNMENT REJECTS CITIZENS’ RECOMMENDATIONS ON NDPC
The Chairman of the defunct Ghana National Constitution Review Commission (CRC), Professor Albert Kodzo Fiadjoe has expressed reservations on the government rejection of the commission’s recommendations on how to reshape and revamp the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and its functions describing it as unfortunate.
According to him, no political party finances national development projects with its own money and that the commission’s recommendations on the NDPC stemmed from the fact that there had been resource wastages in the forms of project abandonments, and alterations, and initiations of parallel projects and programmes which do not bring the needed development necessary to the advancement of livelihoods of Ghanaians.
Prof. Fiadzo who was responding to questions from journalists on the recommendations of CRC during a two-day’s media engagement organised by the Ministry of Information for journalists, members of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), and the Regional House of Chiefs on the report of the Constitution Review Commission (CRC) and the Government White Paper from the Upper East, West and northern regions held in Tamale said that, CRC noted with concerns unprecedented abandonment of projects initiated by governments for political reasons.
“All these projects are financed by the money belonging to the citizens of the country and not from a conference of political parties”, he said.
He said that the CRC’s recommendations that sought to revamp and reshape NDPC to end wastages and encourage situations where governments would follow national development agenda to facilitate the development of the nation.
The recommendations if accepted by the government would have avoided political parties’ outrageous manifestos and campaign promises some of which are feasibly not possible made to the people during electioneering campaigning period. NDPC document would have become the source of political parties’ manifestos and elections campaign messages. The document would if accepted by the government and bidding would push political parties to rather develop ideologies to meet national development as stipulated in the NDPC document. The document would have also empowered the citizenry to drag the government to court for unfulfilled promises.
However, the government had since issued a white paper rejecting the recommendations of the Commission on NDPC.
The government’s white paper on the report of the CRC said “The government does not accept the Constitution Review Commission’s recommendation for the Constitution to prescribe grass-root participation and wide range stakeholder consultation in the National Development Planning Process since these are already provided for in the National Development Planning (Systems) Act, 1994 (Act 480) and the Local Government Act, 1993 (Act 462).
However, the current provisions in the Constitution do not allowed citizens to participate and hold government check on development promises. The relaxed provisions made it easy for the government to follow her own development programmes and projects. This led to the abandonment of most programmes and projects started by one government or the other bringing a lot of wastage into the development systems in Ghana.
The former chairman of the defunct CRC said that, there was no clear health, youth and development policies for the country and that he was not in favour of anybody objecting to the proposals seemingly effective for the national development since national projects are not financed by political parties money.
The former Secretary to the defunct commission, Dr. Raymond Atuguba described the Constitution as pivotal to national stability and development. He hinted that, South Africa, delegation had indicated to the commission it was sending a delegation to learn lessons to support their Constitutional review process to avoid Egypt crisis. He also debunked assertion by section of Ghanaians that, about 6.8 million dollars which was both in kind and cash spent during the review process was too much. Dr. Atuguba disclosed that in Egypt, thought infrastructure development and spent closed to 200 million dollars but neglected the constitution as result the constitutional lapses plaguing that state into instability and Zimbabwe spent 50,000 million dollars only to come to Ghana to the review process and that participatory democracy is expensive but cost effective.
The Deputy Minister for Justice and Attorney General Hon. Barton-Oduro said that the government was committed to informing the public about the commission’s recommendations and that there were recommendation that affected the entrenched provisions of the constitution and would need a referendum to effect their amendment. He said that the government now establishing an implementation committee to have oversight responsibility for the implementation of the recommendations of the commission.
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