Decentralization can make Ghana an economic hub – Prof Adei

By Sumaiya Salifu Saeed, GNA

Ho, Sept. 26, GNA – Professor Stephen Adei,
Dean of Arts and Sciences, Ashesi University, has noted that a well-coordinated
decentralized system can open up Ghana to become an economic power hub.

He said intervention policies such the One
District One Factory, Planting for Food and Jobs, among others held the key in
transforming the economic fortunes of the country only if decentralization was
firmly rooted at the local level.

Prof. Adei who was speaking at the fourth
Local Government Service Professional Conference in Ho on the theme:
“Transforming Ghana through Effective Leadership, Coordination and
Implementation of Government’s Policy at the Decentralized Level in the 30
years of Ghana’s Decentralization” said Ghana’s economic power could
potentially attract both local and foreign investors.

He said “Ghana beyond aid” would be
possible if Ghana reached a point where it had a much more coordinated
resources from harnessing its local potentials to sustain it for about 50 years
with a plan to utilize the resource and its developmental and infrastructural

Prof. Adei said though borrowing seemed to
have come to stay with the country, the yolk must be broken to allow Ghana
attain her financial sovereignty and bring her to a level where she would not
be dependent on others but a partner to reckon with on the global economic

Mr Yaw Osafo Marfo, Senior Minister, Office of
the President, said effective implementation of government policies thrived
best on game changing leadership who were able to resolve and harmonize efforts
to maximize the returns of resources at their disposal.

He urged the professionals to be the “game
changers” in Ghana’s transformational agenda and stand up against the negative
status quo attached to public service delivery that had no positive change at
all levels of decentralization.

Mr Osafo Marfo said over the years, the public
had lost the trust and confidence in public officials because of their
inability to live up to the principles of transparency, accountability and
diligence in the application of resources in the various institutions.

He challenged them to expose wrong and
fraudulent deals in their institutions as the seemingly acceptance and
protection of “bad nuts and bad practices” had enabled them to fester.

Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister for Local
Government and Rural Development, whose speech was read on her behalf called
for synchronization of resources and energy of members of the community to
deliver on agreed priorities as the traditional source of resources continued
to be restrained.

She called for a more innovative ways to
improve revenue mobilization in the various Metropolitan, Municipal and
District Assembly (MMDA).

Hajia Alima said revenue received from the
central government and development partners was meant to augment their revenue
mobilization efforts at the local level.

Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta Regional
Minister, said efficient and timely service delivery at the Regional and
District levels required competent and dedicated professionals as key
ingredients to prosecute planned programmes and projects of government towards
a successful achievement of the decentralization process.

He said quality leadership and management were
critical requirements for Professionals in the Local Government Service (LGS)
to respond to the needs of the citizens and emerging challenges in the
provision of quality services.

Dr Letsa said the successful achievement of
the Service’s Performance Management Systems would largely depend on competent
officers and professionals supported with logistics and funds to be able to
discharge their duties effectively and efficiently.

Dr Nana Ato Arthur, Head, LGS, said the
sustainability of all government interventions could be realised if local
authorities were made to manage, supervise and maintain their implementation.

He said the geographical reach of local
government made the Service a strategic partner in ensuring sustainability of
the innovations.

Dr Ato Arthur noted that the structures at the
local level were usually underutilized by development partners with the excuse
that they lacked capacity, professionalism and logistics among others.

He however, assured that the Service was
poised to support all programmes towards the development of communities.


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