23.08.2004 General News

Ghana needs a National Plan - Prof. Adjepong

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Takoradi, Aug. 23, GNA - The Reverend Professor Samuel K. Adjepong, chairman of the National African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Governing Council, has requested for the formulation of a National Plan to compel governments to implement programmes or polices and complete all ongoing projects initiated by previous governments.

Prof. Adjepong who was speaking on "Economic Governance and Management," at a day's sensitisation forum organised by the Governing Council in Takoradi on Monday, said the abandonment of policies and projects on by Governments on political grounds affected the country's development.

He called for a review of the curricula of training institutions to make civil servants "less political yet very vocal and ready to demand accountability from politicians".

Prof. Adjepong said "passive civil servants", could not assist in facilitating economic growth and asked them to be guided by the principle of accountability.

He said the lack of the requisite personnel to manage resources coupled with the ineffective financial regulations at the district level, could result in the misappropriation of funds.

Prof. Samuel K. B. Asante, a member of the council, speaking on "Democracy and Good Governance" said the APRM would not succeed if student groups, trade unions, the district assemblies and other stakeholders at the grassroots were ignored.

He said grassroots involvement of the people would enable them to accept policies and objectives of the APRM to ensure the success of its programmes.

Prof. Asante said the concept was meant to prevent conflicts and protect civil, social, political, economic and cultural rights of all Ghanaians.

Prof. Asante called on the authorities to ensure transparency in the recruitment, training, promotion and management of the public service to guarantee accountability among workers.

Prof. Miranda Greenstreet, a member of the Governing Council, called on Ghanaians to support the APRM to enable it to achieve its objectives. "The APRM is not meant to assess any government or political party but to assess the citizenry and it should be supported,"

Prof Greenstreet said though efforts had been made by the Government to eradicate poverty, poverty was still dominant in the northern part of the country especially women engaged in farming.

Dr Francis Appiah, Executive Secretary of the Governing Council, said both the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and APRM were expected to assist in eliminating coups, tyranny, abuse of human rights and the criminalisation of legitimate business from the country.

Mr Joseph B. Aidoo, the Western Regional Minister, said the forum must be used to assess the needs and capacities of the country and build bridges to link all sectors and called on Ghanaians to uphold good governance.

He said the Government's programme aim at reducing poverty would not achieve the expected results if policy implementers failed to perform their functions effectively.

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