"Those who would judge us merely by the heights we have achieved, would do well to remember the depth from which we started" - Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
We are at that time of the decade again. That time when everyone, including non-citizens get counted. They say it is to enable to government get the data or information it needs to be able analyse, plan and distribute national development evenly and appropriately across the various geographical locations in the country. Good exercise and I cannot agree less.
The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has served notice that as part of its mandate as an institution, it is embarking on a national housing and populace census this month. Per their mandate, the exercise was supposed to have taken place last year but for Covid19.
The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) is the National Statistical office of Ghana with the duty to lead the official management and production of quality official statistics based on international standard, using competent staff for evidence-based statistics in support of national development.
Primarily, the GSS provides the executive arm of government with statistic information to guide the government in rolling out developmental projects.
In our bid to realize the full potential of the information that the GSS provides, the National Development Planning Commission was established under articles 86 and 87 of the 1992 constitution as part of the executive arm of government.
The NDPC Act 1994, (Act 479) and the National Development Planning (system) Act 1994 (Act 480), provide the core legal framework that establishes the Commission and the execution of its mandate. Other laws key to the performance of its functions are ; the local government Act 1993 (Act 463), Local government service Act 2003 (Act 656), petroleum revenue management Act 2011 (Act 815), civil service Act 1993 (PNDC Law 327) and Ghana infrastructure investment Fund Act 2014 (Act 877)
From time to time, the Commission embarks on Forums and engage stakeholders to come up with developmental plans and strategies to moves the country forward.
Unfortunately, these plans haven’t been implemented vigorously since the forth republic even after government had engaged the commission to come up with plans and strategies. It is sad to say, it keeps gathering dusts in the offices of the commission.
We have failed as a country or people to make laws or even accept calls by all and sundry to make the work / document of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) binding on government.
Over the years, we have totally disregarded the work of the Commission and have only resorted to policies that are not borne out of the commission.
The work of the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) would be more important and effective if we had a binding National Development Plan that gives us an idea beforehand of where the nation is headed.
We must make efforts to enact new or amend the current laws to make the NDPC document binding on all governments.
I dare say that, having a binding National Development plan would go a long way to reduce or fight corruption in the system.
It would also give way to a more impactful and sustainable policies that would heavily impact on the people and make life better.
Until it done as aforementioned, governments would continue to spend huge sums of the taxpayers’ money on housing and population census, but it would not yield the needed results we expect as people.
We can do better as a country when we have the will power. The GSS needs to NDPC’s output to be more effective.
This is my opinion and I believe you also have yours. By sharing in the comment section, we can all learn and speak to it for its realization.