Business News of Tuesday, 25 September 2018
Former Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Dr. Nii Moi Thompson, has said the cedi wouldn’t be struggling against major currencies like the dollar if the Akufo-Addo government had implemented the 40-year development plan.
According to him, the then NDPC envisioned such challenges and had put together a road-map to avert such challenges.
Dr. Nii Moi Thompson, who is also a development economist, however, said the NPP government seems to have shelved their plan instead of implementing it.
“Every single problem we are having with the cedi today, we diagnosed and prescribed the solution, [but] they [NPP government] just put it aside,” he said on Citi TV’s The Point of View on Monday.
In recent months, the cedi has depreciated by 7% translating to an exchange rate of about 5 cedis to a dollar.
Businesses and even the cost of fuel have been affected by the fall in the value of the cedi against the dollar.
But government says the economic fundamentals are strong and that efforts have been put in place to rescue the cedi from further fall.
The NDPC under the chairmanship of economist Kwesi Botchwey within a period of two years, put together a long-term National Development Plan for the country which was to span a period of 40 years.
The plan, which was spearheaded by the NDPC, is aimed at shaping Ghana’s future and complementing the existing medium-term development plans of the country.
Dr. Botchwey had prior to the December 2016 general elections advised the various political parties not to neglect the implementation of Ghana’s National Development Plan.
According to him, the plan must be incorporated into political parties’ manifestos to ensure the country’s set development targets are met in spite of political transitions.
But according to Dr. Thompson, it seems the advice has not been adhered to.
“We spent two years preparing a long-term development plan, a vision document. I find it strange that the president himself supported it in public. When he appointed the Minister for planning, Professor George Gyan-Baffour, the president said I’m in favour of this and that is why I’m appointing a Minister of State for planning only for a Senior Minister to go to Parliament and run it down. And later Gyan-Baffour himself then says long-term planning is needless.”
“Meanwhile, guess what, we are promoting the long-term development plan for other countries. They just opened terminal 3 at Kotoka [International Airport], are you aware that it’s part of Turkey’s long-term national development plan to project its power around the world including Karpower? Do you think it’s just an accident? No. It’s part of Turkey’s long-term plan. They are building mosques all over. They are now teaching Turkish language in our schools, at Galaxy International. That is a long-term plan and Ghana is willingly promoting that,” the development economist lamented.