Devít Without Institutional Reforms Meaningless Ė Nii Moi Thompson

Director General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) says Ghana's development efforts would be futile without "extensive institutional reforms".

Dr Nii Moi Thompson says it is the reason the NDPC has incorporated work attitudes and core national values into its activities. Dr Thompson was addressing heads of development cooperation agencies in country on Tuesday.

The heads of development cooperation agencies had paid a working visit to the NDPC Director to familiarise themselves with the work of the Commission.

The visit, which lasted for over two hours, was organised at the request of the agency heads. It gave the director general the opportunity to explain the President’s Transformation Agenda, the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA II), as well as other development frameworks of interest to the international development community in Ghana.

The delegation was led by Mr. Jim Bever, country director of the USAID. It also included representatives from the United Nations System, the African Development Bank, the European Union, Germany, Denmark, France, and the United Kingdom, among others.

Dr. Thompson fielded a number of questions from the delegation, including the relationship between the Ministry of Finance and the Planning Commission; the implications of a possible IMF programme for Ghana’s growth and development prospects; the role of the private sector in national development; and efforts by government to address weaknesses in development management.

He explained that based on directives from President John Mahama, the Commission was in the process of taking over the planning functions of the Ministry of Finance (previously known as the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning) and that the two sides have met several times to determine the scope and nature of the transfer.

The transfer of functions, he said, “is meant to strengthen development management by more closely linking plans with budgets”, adding that ultimately all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) as well as Municipal, Metropolitan, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) will work with the Commission to align their plans with national development priorities before they are funded by the Ministry of Finance.

The director general disclosed that a legislative instrument that gives the Commission the power to sanction MDAs and MMDAs that do not comply with national planning and budget guidelines has been endorsed by the Attorney General’s Department and is ready for Cabinet.

With respect to a possible IMF programme for Ghana, Dr. Thompson assured the delegation that such a programme would focus mostly on short-term macroeconomic stabilisation, while the Commission would focus on medium-to-long-term economic growth to complement the programme. “In this regard”, he added, “the Commission is working closely with the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Ghana to ensure a successful programme”.

The leader of the delegation, Mr. Bever, expressed appreciation to Dr. Thompson and NDPC for granting them audience and hoped that the two sides would meet more frequently to share ideas.