General News of 2014-01-07

Govt lays foundation for people-centered dev't — P.V. Obeng

Presidential Advisor and Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Mr Paul Victor Obeng, says the Mahama-led administration has laid a strong foundation for accelerated people-centred national development.

He said the government would not be presumptuous in saying it had fulfilled all the promises made to the people of Ghana, but it had successfully laid a strong foundation for the prosecution of people-centred development that would underpin moves to advance the Better Ghana agenda.

According to him, the first year of the administration was comparable to walking through water and mud, where the visible image of footprints would not be readily seen, but with the foundation laid, the achievements of the administration would be seen from this year when much-awaited programmes and activities were rolled out.

He also said even though critics of the government might only describe the first year of its administration as relegated to the dustbin of history, the successes chalked up formed the platform on which future development would be built.

Mr Obeng made the remarks at a public forum marking the first anniversary of the administration of President John Mahama in Accra yesterday.

Standing in for Vice-President Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur as the chairman for a public forum on the theme: “Advancing the Better Ghana Agenda: Prospects for 2014”, Mr Obeng said “through the prosecution of aggressive agenda from the beginning till now, we will be able to accomplish the vision of the President”.

For him, much had been achieved in a year of the Mahama-led administration in the critical areas of building a resilient economy, investing in people, development of infrastructure and good governance.

The Government’s focus, he said, was building a resilient economy that remained the trusted source of income-generation for the people of the country, as well as the creation of employment avenues for many of the unemployed youth in Ghana.

The electorate who voted President Mahama into power, he said, constituted a sacred entity who deserved the best visionary and achievement-oriented leadership, which the government was ever-prepared to provide.

The good people of Ghana, the Presidential Advisor said, were those who must be served and given the platform to propel themselves to a new and higher level while bearing in mind also that not all were capable of pulling themselves up by their bootstraps.

Such inequalities in society, he said, needed to be addressed by the institution of systemic interventions to address the vulnerable and less-privileged, hence the mandate of the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection.

In the area of development of infrastructure, he said the vision of the government was to provide the needed infrastructure to all areas of the country, stressing that lack of access either through the absence of road networks, power or other facilities would soon be a thing of the past. Mr Obeng, however, called for an objective, frank and multi-partisan analysis that would produce positive results to spur national development on, adding that if that was not done, we would lag behind.

He underscored the need for the removal of all barriers to the nation’s infrastructural goals to create a competitive platform on which productivity would grow for the betterment of all.

In the pursuit of good governance, he said the focus had been to empower the people of Ghana politically, administratively, commercially and financially, adding, “we intend giving true meaning to freedom and justice in a multi-party democracy”.

That quest, Mr Obeng said, derived its inspiration from the Directive Principles of State Policy enshrined in the 1992 Constitution, which spells out the format for national development.

He said the government’s commitment to enhancing accountability, transparency and social justice were non-negotiable but cautioned that the mechanisms for ensuring good governance called for vigilance and entreated all to keep watch over state institutions to ensure that the system worked.