Politics of Thursday, 11 April 2013
Source: CPP Communication
The Convention People’s Party (CPP) says its absence in Parliament would not prevent it from scrutinizing government’s policies and programmes.
In a press statement issued in Accra on Tuesday, the party said the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has done little to resolve the country’s economic issues, adding that it is high government instituted steps to reverse the trend.
Below is the full statement of the CPP
NDC HAS FAILED ON ITS DELIVERY PROMISE – CPP
The Convention People’s Party (CPP) has dubbed the next 4 years as an “Era for Delivery”. The CPP has also stated that “In or out of Parliamentary we would put Government under unprecedented scrutiny”.
7 months ago in September 2012 President John Mahama outlined his “Critical Policy” Action Plan at which he made a bold commitment on “DELIVERY”.
“The way we do business in Government must change; Ministries, Departments and Agencies need to change. Too often, our bureaucracy is slow, sometimes appearing not to be responsive to citizen’s demands and needs. Targets set are either too low, or when the ministries plan these targets, they are not achieved” The President went on to say that he has instructed key Ministers – health, education, water supply and electricity, to provide his office with a delivery plan for the commitments he makes.
That a Delivery Unit has been established at the Office of the President which will guide the implementation of delivery and review performance on a bi-weekly basis.
The country has since witnessed crisis in all these areas and a number of questions thus arise – Was the Delivery Unit setup?, What Delivery Plans were provided to it?, What review mechanism was put in place by the Delivery Unit against any plans submitted?.
Among the priorities that the President set for his Government were:
- Maintaining discipline in government expenditure so as to avoid unbudgeted expenditure that can distort the economy.
- Effectively implementing the single spine salary structure for public services so that improved remuneration for our public servants can lead to increased productivity in their performance.
Given the recent revelation about massive overspending at several Ministries including the Office of The President; and the spate of industrial action that has engulfed the country, associated with the SSSS, most Ghanaians would conclude that the government has failed on these priorities.
Under Various Headings – MACRO-ECONOMIC STABILITY , GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURE MANAGEMENT , SINGLE SPINE SALARY STRUCTURE, AGRICULTURE , INDUSTRY AND PRIVATE SECTOR DEVELOPMENT , JOB CREATION, ACCELERATING INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT , OIL AND GAS , SPECIAL DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITIES , HEALTH , EDUCATION, SOCIAL INTERVENTIONS , GOVERNANCE AND ANTICORRUPTION etc., the President had issued various directives :
- The Economic Management Team should maintain discipline in government expenditure “so that we do not incur unplanned expenses, especially in an election year”
- Completion by the MOFEP of the comprehensive database for all MDA contracts to improve the management of central government commitments.
- Completion of the migration and payment of arrears under the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) by the end of 2012.
- Minister of Finance to recommend short and medium-term measures to restore the balance among government expenditures on personal emoluments, goods and services, and capital and infrastructure development that is consonant with our middle income status.
- No new projects are allowed to be undertaken without strict adherence to the discipline of the national budget.
- Each sector minister” has to give an account of their compliance with this directive. I am convening a Cabinet meeting next week to receive briefings from each sector on this directive. On the basis of these briefings, the Minister of Finance will also brief Cabinet on the outlook for government expenditure over the remainder of this year.“
- The Minister of Finance and the Controller and Accountant-General were required to ensure completion of the biometric records of public servants throughout the country by the end of 2012.
- “Contractors who have done their projects will be duly paid without any further delay and I have instructed the Minister of Finance to provide Cabinet with a detailed presentation of any arrears owed to contactors this month and to indicate the steps being taken to effect payments forthwith.”
- The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission take remaining steps towards completion of the single spine salary structure by the end of 2012.
- The Public Service Commission to furnish him with a revised framework for performance in all public service institutions, which must be completed at least quarterly.
The government has failed on discipline in government expenditure, payment of arrears to workers and contractors, new framework on performance. They need to confirm to the nation delivery against the remaining directives.
- The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry to extract from the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA) and the trade statistics potential manufacturing activities, review with the ministries, the Association of Ghana Industries and the Private Enterprise Foundation. Thereafter, a transparent program instituted to market the manufacturing opportunities to Ghanaian businesses. “I expect the identification of the potential manufacturing activities to be completed this week and for the discussions with industry to commence next week”, the President said.
- Instituting a hot-line system, which will receive complaints of bureaucratic impediments to accelerated private sector operations, for both domestic and foreign investors. These complains will be investigated and actions taken forthwith.
- The creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit charged with investigating unfair trading practices in this country. More inspections to prevent counterfeit or unsafe goods from crossing our borders. Government will make sure that no foreign company has an undue advantage over Ghanaian manufacturing when it comes to accessing financing or new markets.
- The Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare to “provide my office with a comprehensive list of all job-creation initiatives that are scattered all over the government system. We will begin the process of harmonizing all these into a more coherent, predictable and verifiable agency for job creation.
We are not aware that manufacturing opportunities are being marketed to Ghanaian Businesses, Unfair trade practices continue unabated, and as you read this a major National Park is being destroyed by Chinese loggers. Ghanaian businesses continue to struggle to access finance or new markets. The country is still waiting for the “Verifiable Agency for Job Creation” and the hotline system for complaints.
- Immediate steps to address the load-shedding challenge, with Inter-Ministerial committee chaired by the Minister of Energy to engage the critical consumers of electricity, health and water supply facilities and key private industry establishments, to implement measures that will ensure that the nation’s strategic services and industry are not unduly disrupted.
- The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURC) to strengthen their citizen complaints unit, and publish what measures they have taken when citizens complain of poor service from Electricity Corporation and Water Supply service providers.
- By the end of October, we will have an additional 300 megawatts of electricity production that will come online for distribution, and this should greatly reduce the inconvenience of load-shedding.
- Oil Companies to be held to compliance with provisions in the agreements that they have entered into that require them to employ Ghanaians to the maximum extent possible in all aspects of their operations. The targets that were set for employment of Ghanaians as well as their training in the Development Plan approved for the Jubilee field in July 2009 have to be adhered to, with the Minister of Energy to communicate with the companies in respect of compliance with commitments they made.
- A team in The President’s office and the NDPC to work closely with the two Regional Coordinating Councils and relevant stakeholders towards establishing the Western Corridor Development Authority, covering the Western and Central regions.
- Putting mechanisms in place for the investigation of the death of persons who die in our health posts under suspicious circumstances are addressed.
- Evaluating and determining the adequacy of the cost containment strategies of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA).
- Presenting within a month, a list of additional sources of funding for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
- Engaging critical stakeholders for an open consideration of options for the long term sustainability of the NHIS, including a discussion of the One Time Premium policy.
The public is fully aware how the situation unfolded on this front and the deterioration in power and water supply, and responses when they complained. The country awaits the setting up of the WCDA and an update on progress.
After 4 years of the Jubilee Development Plans the country needs to know how many more years before the Companies are compelled to comply.
We also need to know if the investments in banking, industry, and the mineral sector in our country is targeting local job creation and the development of local capacity.
The recent crisis on the NHIS would testify that there has been no progress on the NHIS directives.
- Consolidating and coalescing LESDEP, LEAP, the School Feeding Programme, the one laptop per child policy, Free School uniform project, as the basis for a new initiative for Ghana’s Social Protection Program
- The Department of State Protocol to immediately produce new protocols for the management of national events to include roles for key officials of all political parties and the awardees of national awards, no matter their political coloration.
- Meeting within one month Political Party leaders at an ice-breaking meeting.
- The Minister for Justice and Attorney-General to ensure that all monies paid to persons and institutions that do not deserve them are retrieved through all legal means at the disposal of the State.
Most Ghanaians would agree that the government has failed on all the above.
On SADA the President had said that “SADA through its greening the Northern Savannah ecological zone agenda, has partnered with a private sector group to grow and nurture 5 million trees in the next 12 months.”
We are now aware of the nepotism involved on this and that only 5 to 10% of this had been carried out to date, 7 months into the President’s 12months timeline.
The President had said about his directives that- “These urgent actions are directives from the Office of the President. They will have verifiable outcomes which will be reported to my office on a monthly basis. Performance against these will be verifiable
The nation awaits the verdict of the “Delivery Unit”;the nation can then make up its own mind .
Nii Armah Akomfrah
CPP Director of Communication