Will NDPC’S 40-Year Blue Print Document Be Fanfare As Usual?

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Yesterday, the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) launched a 40-year development plan, which would be binding on all governments.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time such a laudable initiative has been launched; we have gone down this road before and after all the fanfare and speeches, then we go back to business as usual.

Our problem in this part of the world has always been implementation, we always have the most fantastic ideas, but how to implement them, has always been the problem.

Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS) policies are still just written notes gathering dust, what we need to actualize some of these fine prints is a leader, not just a president.

We have ratified everything that needed ratification we have assembled the best men and women this country can boast of, but still we have recorded a still-birth.
Last year, we had what became known as the Senchi Consensus, everybody who mattered in this country, from the legal profession, to the academia, to economics, to business, to finance, etc, were all assembled, la crème dela crème, to come out with a blue print for economic and social transformation.

A blue print was developed, the implementation is what was lacking and today, we are here again debating and discussing a 40-year development plan.

It is refreshing though that, President John Dramani Mahama, has demonstrated since he assumed office that, he is not a President, who is interested in taking adhoc measures to solving the problems confronting us.

I have absolute faith and confidence that, he will implement to the latter all that is contained in the book or plan that was launched yesterday.
We talk, that is all we do. We have developed a penchant for talking away our problems, we organize conferences, seminars etc, to discuss all that we already know.

How many development plans don’t we have, a cursory look at all the manifestoes of the various political parties, will reveal good programmes, policies, that can move this nation forward if half is even implemented, but what we see is that anytime, they come into office, all that is thrown in the dustbin.

Dr. Nii Moi Thompson gave inspiring outline of what is contained in the plan, he wowed everybody who watched and listened to him, but I am sure that, a year from now, we might be marking one year of the launch, without anything to show for it.

In order to get all these implemented, we have to enact a law that will ensure that the manifestoes of all the political parties, must be in sync with the development plan, that way, we can be assured that, this will not be another exercise in futility.

Since Independence, the only development plan that came close to reality was the 7-year development plan of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, our first President, after him, no president or head of state, had actually done anything concrete or tangible, regarding any development plan.

It is no secret that, our budget is heavily donor supported, more than 60 percent of our yearly budget, gets funding from both our bi-lateral and multi-lateral partners, in order for any development plan to achieve any results, we need to cut that umbilical cord that has fed us all these while.

We hear that our budget is approved in Washington, before our Honourable Men and Women get the opportunity to do so, are we by this development plan, saying that henceforth, we are no longer going to take money from our donor partners, who prescribe our development agenda for us?

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, have always poked their noses in our affairs, we are achieving stunted growth, because they are not allowing our leaders to fashion out policies that fits our situation.

They have prescribed privatization of state industries, we have done that, we have followed hook, line and sinker, every prognosis and solution and we are still where we are.

All that was done yesterday, will achieve meaningful results, if the Bretton Wood institutions, will allow us to follow through with our development agenda, but that is a dream, we can wish for tomorrow.

I pity all those who spent sleepless nights to put together this fine document, all those who went there yesterday to grace the occasion, all the various speakers, who gave a view of where Ghana should be after forty years, our former Presidents, who were looking frail, but yet had to sit through the launch.

Their time and efforts must not go to waste, they must wake up five or ten years from today, to say, we took part in the history launch that gave a paradigm shift to how things are done.

The people of this country, whose tax money was used for the launch, must also see the benefit of their money, when we take stock of what this day means for us.

We talk every day, we argue, but none of that, have any impact on the people, this document is the closest we can get to economic emancipation.

Our leaders must have the courage of conviction to present this document before our donor and development partners and tell them, that every conditionality that will be attached to any money they will give us must be in tune with the document; else we don’t need their money.

It is becoming obvious that, as things change, they need us more than we need them, we have to keep borrowing from them, for them to stay in business, the day we will say, we no longer need their money, will be the day they will cease to exist.

Their survival depends on us remaining poor, our leaders must recognize and accept this and so in negotiating, they should not go and be taking the conditionalities, like the Ten Commandment handed down to Moses.

Good job Dr. Nii Moi Thompson, good job to all the guys at NDPC; it is my fervent hope that, your work will not gather dust like all the ones that preceded yours.

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