President Akufo-Addo, yesterday, fulfilled one of his major campaign promises to set up Development Authorities to drive development in the 275 constituencies spread across the country.
This was when he swore-in members of the governing Boards of the Northern Development Authority which is chaired by Dr Hakeem Ahmed Wemah with Abdul-Majeed Haroun as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Zongo Development Fund which has Alhaji Mohammed Saini Dari as its Chairman and Alhaji Mohammed Baba Alhassan as CEO, Coastal Development Authority which has Edmund Anang as Chairman and Samuel Atta Mensah as CEO and the Middle Belt Development Authority which has Alex Kweku Korankye as Chairman and Joe Dankwah as CEO, at the Jubilee House [presidency].
The NPP promised to make available an amount of $1million to address the needs of each of the 275 constituencies spread across the country.
The money would be dispensed under the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEG)
This is to enable the Development Authorities tackle issues of development at the grassroots level.
Considering how the infamous Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) implemented under the previous Mahama-led NDC administration ended in shambles, leaving the several thousands of potential beneficiaries rather impoverished, President Akufo-Addo warned members of the governing Boards of the various Development Authorities to focus on their mandate.
“You have to make sure that you don’t overrun the budget because at the end of the day, the bigger the administrative cost of your work, the lesser the opportunity there is for the investments in development of your various regions”, he admonished.
He said “we have an opportunity to start off on a clean slate and build something that will inure to the benefit of the people of Ghana and that has to be the guiding principle for all of us in this room.”
The President revealed that the Ministry for Special Development Initiatives, headed by Hawa Koomson, has already done considerable amount of the initial work that they would be required to do, including a needs assessment across the country, and had already identified the basic needs confronting the people including the issues of sanitation, roads and educational infrastructure.
Touching on the need for the establishment of these organs, he indicated that “we are doing this because we believe if these Authorities succeed in their task, it will enable us to have a much more evenly balanced development of Ghana and that the inequalities, the imbalances that has unfortunately, been a feature of our national development [the imbalances between rural and urban]…we would, through the agency of these Development Authorities, be able to address those imbalances and ensure a much more even and coherent development of our nation.”
He expressed confidence in the capability of members of the various Development Authorities to deliver on their respective mandates, but with a charge in tow; “you have to cooperate with each other…we want the benefit of your thinking, the benefit of your experience, the benefit of your expertise. But when the discussions have taken place and concluded at the level of the Boards, then there is unity in purpose about carrying out those decisions; that is the unity I’m seeking from you.”
On his part, Chairman of the governing Board for Coastal Development Authority, Edmund Anang, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, thanked the President for the honour done them and for the opportunity to serve the people of Ghana.
He assured that the various Boards would work to ensure the fulfillment of the promises the President made to the people of Ghana to make certain the holistic development of the country.
“We commit ourselves totally to the cause to which we have been appointed…. And we would carry out successfully the mandate given us to make the vision of ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ a success”, he said.