Deputy General Secretary of the ruling NPP, Nana Obiri Boahen, is calling for a well-structured and effective decentralization of the various public institutions for the benefit of people at the grassroots and to give meaning to the country’s decentralization process.
He wondered why a lot of public institutions to date are still located only in the national capital Accra, while several others also have offices in a few selected areas; thereby impeding easy access to some essential services by the majority of the people.
Nana Obiri Boahen, who is also a private legal practitioner, told modernghana.com in an exclusive interview in Sunyani that it completely out of date for people to still travel long distances from their districts to Accra on issues relating to promotions, non-payment of salaries, transfers, and pension.
He wondered why GETFund, the National Scholarship Secretariat, for instance, and some other key government agencies have centralized their operations only in Accra whilst their core mandates are to touch lives at the local level.
“All projects being executed by GETFund are supposed to take place in the various districts and so how does it ensure effective supervision of the execution of such projects when it does not even have regional offices?”
“The Ghana Revenue Authority does not also have an office in the Sunyani West district. It rather has a few offices in two or three towns in the Bono East, Ahafo and Bono regions and so under the circumstances, how can they effectively mobilise adequate revenue for the state?” he asked.
He was of the view that for Ghana to accelerate the pace of her developmental agenda, efforts must be made to strengthen the decentralization of the work various ministries, departments and agencies.
On the over-reliance on the District Assemblies Common Fund for development projects, Nana Obiri Boahen stated that all metropolitan assemblies and some municipal and district assemblies, especially those located in mining areas should be disqualified from accessing the fund.
He called for reforms that would ensure that only deprived districts such as Tain, Banda, Jaman North, and Jaman South, among others, only benefit from the Common Fund.
Lawyer Obiri Boahen said there are several sources of revenue available to metropolitan and municipal assemblies, and mining districts and so such areas must explore such avenues rather than depending hugely on the central government for financial support.
Touching on the re-election of former president John Mahama as the NDC flagbearer for the next elections, the deputy NPP scribe noted that “2020 is not going to be a match. The NDC is not a competitor of the NPP at all”
“If you ask me about the NPP’s competitor, it’s poverty, our competitor is under-development, unemployment and the other socio-economic challenges facing our people”, he said.
According to Nana Obiri Boahen, the NPP led government is much more concerned about implementing programmes and policies that would benefit the larger population and future generations and not necessarily about elections.
“We are thinking about the next generation and we’re putting in place structures and policies that would inure to the benefit our people”, he added.