Politics of Monday, 19 September 2016
A New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) has described as a white elephant a decision by governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) to create four more development authorities.
Francis Addai Nimoh who is also development expert says there are already authorities and government agencies responsible for what the party is proposing to do if voted for a second term.
The NDC in its 2016 manifesto is promising to create the Coastal Plains, Western corridor, Eastern corridor and the Forest Belt Development authorities to oversee investment and infrastructural development in the selected regions.
Modelled around the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) concept, the authorities will be tasked to develop master plans to suit the peculiar needs of the regions.
This according to President Mahama will harness the potentials of the regions to make them attractive to investors.
In the NDC manifesto, the Coastal Plains will include developments in the Greater Accra Region and its environs including Ada. There is also the promise of the industrial city rejuvenation project which is for the redevelopment of the Tema city and would see the development of an Industrial Park and Free zones in Tema and in Sekondi Takoradi among others.
However, Mr Nimoh is questioning the initiative saying it will only create bureaucracy and prevent national cohesion.
He said the development of such institutional bureaucracies should be given a mandate that would address a specific need of the countries human or infrastructural development.
“It is not the question of creation of the public institutions which will end up being bureaucracies but how we can strengthen existing public institutions which are to deliver certain developmental needs of our country,” he said.
He questioned what core functions the new Authorities will play that would be so special for the country citing how government agencies like the Ghana Highways Authority, Department of Feeder Roads, which are mandated to look at the conditions of the road networks in the country, to development as well as maintain them.
“If you propose to set up three different authorities, geographically dividing the country into three zones, they may end up being white elephants/bureaucracies that would not offer any developmental needs to our country,” he noted.
He said the argument that they give government to focus on developing specific geographic areas is flawed because he said, “in terms of decentralization we have the District Assemblies which are responsible for the development of each district.”
He said the regional coordinating councils are also there to see to all the developmental needs in the various regions adding with the history of SADA didn’t help much.
Mr Nimoh argued that SADA is different from Nana Akufo-Addo’s proposed Northern Development Authority, which he said has a specific mandate to deliver.