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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

P.V. Obeng dismisses undue 'presidential influence' at NDPC

Prince Collins Obeng, chairman of the NDPC
Prince Collins Obeng, chairman of the NDPC

The newly appointed chairman of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) has dismissed suggestions that the location of the commission makes it less effective.

Mr P.V Obeng said rather the citing of the office helps it to get a better counsel from the president.

The NDPC, established under the Office of the President, sets development agenda for the country.

It advises the President – and Parliament upon request – on development policy and strategy, to prepare and ensure the effective implementation of approved national development plans and strategies.

It also coordinates economic and social activities country-wide in a manner that will ensure accelerated and sustainable development of the country and improvement in the standard of living for all Ghanaians.

Its place of operation has been criticised as a major impediment to its work, a suggestion Mr P.V. Obeng strongly disagrees.

“The location of the NDCP in the Office of the Presidency cannot be a limitation; it should be considered an enhancement, indeed, because the president is the head of the executive and if that position is used effectively, we should be able to get the output of the NDPC impacting on government activities at the highest level,” Mr Obeng said.

“Exactly how to do that is what we have to learn from our history and I think we, as a commission, will try and find how to do that.”
He said the commission will adopt what he called a “participatory approach in planning and in development and ensuring that all political stakeholders in national development process.”

Mr Obeng also buys into proposals that government’s development programmes be measured and evaluated annually as part of efforts to monitor national development.

“That is an interesting proposition and I think that it was conceived with the best of intentions and we will therefore study it and see the best way of [supporting] the whole process,” he indicated.

“I think essentially, we need a monitoring and evaluation system to ensure that, first of all, the output is acceptable and achievable and is able to impact on national policy.”

Mr P.V. Obeng is one of 40 persons individuals who were on Tuesday appointed by the President, in consultation with the Council of State, to fill various positions.

Story by Fiifi Koomson/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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