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15.07.2004 General News

Fear of corruption affecting GPRS implementation

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Accra, July 15, GNA - Professor George Gyan-Baffour, Director General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) on Monday said the lack of commitment to attain political and financial decentralisation were hampering effective implementation of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy programme (GPRS).

The GPRS medium term development plan, which represents comprehensive policies, strategies and programmes to support growth and poverty reduction, was to span from 2003 to 2005.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency on some factors hindering the implementation of the programme, Prof Gyan-Baffour cited the fear that officials in the districts would use corruption and fraudulent activities to wreck the state.

"These have tied government's hands to effectively implement its decentralisation programme thus decisions regarding developments in poverty areas had most often tarried or were abandoned.

"Political and financial decentralisation is non-existent and is killing most initiatives and the GPRS programme is no exception. "There is no doubt that the local people in the poverty districts and towns are the best to determine their needs and programmes, but once they do not have direct control, things become difficult for them," he said.

Prof Gyan-Baffour said having the political will to fully carry out government's decentralisation policy was imperative not only because the local people would be empowered to take their own decisions but also placed them in a position to create their own wealth for development. Briefing Journalists on a Poverty and Social Impact Analysis (PSIA) studies, Mr Jerry Odotei, of the NDPC said the Commission was finalising presentation of the study to government.

He said the presentation would provide recommendations on the policy implications and options of the GPRS.

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