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General News of Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Source: Class FM

40-year devt plan needless - Gyan-Baffour

A 40-year development plan for Ghana is irrelevant because it will not afford political parties the space to implement fully contents of their manifestos upon which they win an election to form a government, Professor George Gyan-Baffour, Minister-designate of Planning, has said.

Speaking during his vetting by the Appointments Committee of parliament on Monday, February 6, the Wenchi MP said: “Ghana needs a long-term perspective plan, Ghana needs a long-term view about where we want to be in 40 years from now, but Ghana does not need a 40-year development plan.”

“The simple reason is that the word plan connotes rigidity, it connotes the fact that when it is there and I come with my ideas I cannot implement those ideas because the plan will talk about the vision or the goals, it will talk about objectives, it will talk about the implementation of projects and programmes and it will talk about all these things, even including monitoring and evaluation.

“So if you do it that way the parties will then say that, what do I have left? There is nothing left for me but I went to the people to tell them with my manifesto that this is what I want to do. Now when you come in here and you have told me everything that I should do in 40 years, what am I going to do [with the manifesto]?

“If you do that there is nothing that they (parties) can do, they will violate it, so it is not a good idea to come out with a plan as such but yes, I am all for a development agenda, I am all for a set of goals.”

His comments fall in line with the position taken by Senior Minister Yaw Osarfo Marfo when he said any development plan beyond 10 years is bad.

According to Mr Marfo, exigencies of world economics do not support an idea of putting in a long term development plan that goes beyond 10 years, further stating that advanced economies no longer talk about long term plans that go beyond 10 years.

During his vetting by the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Friday January 20, he said: “I was involved in the discussion of the 40-yr development plan; in fact I was consulted and I made my views clear from day one that I did not believe in any plan in excess of 10 years because of exigencies of world economics and, therefore, I will prefer that we restrict ourselves to a 10-year development plan.

“Dr Nii Moi Thompson (Chair of the National Development Planning Commission) called me a couple of times to talk about this and I gave some specific notes of my mine particularly in the infrastructure side, but I haven’t seen the final outcome of the development plan although I have had some inputs into it relating to the blood of this system, which is power or energy.

They met a whole caucus in the NPP headquarters and I made my input clear [about] the 40-year development plan. The vice president (Dr Bawumia) and myself expressed our views on the length of time. Now that we (NPP) are in power we are really going to look at that programme, but as I said I made my view clearly that I did not believe in any plan beyond 10 years and I still stand by it.

“We will look at the 40-year development plan because it is important that every country has a plan particular in respect to infrastructure and where there is modification we will make it after thinking through. When you talk about planning in Germany, nobody talks about more than 10yrs.”

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