10 June 2019

Ghana: Discontinuing Projects Undermines Tenets of Constitution - Prof Gatsi

A Professor at the University of Cape Coast Business School, John Gatsi has described as worrying the creeping culture where national infrastructural projects and programmes initiated by previous governments are abandoned by successive ones.

The practice, he explained undermined good political and economic governance and was against the tenets of the constitution of the country.

Prof Gatsi, who made the observation at the Third Revolutionary Lecture Series to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the June 4 uprising, noted that "the constitution of Ghana economic management objectives, among others, enjoined the government to secure maximise economic benefits for the country in all national development projects to improve the lives of the citizenry".

The lecture was on the theme, 'Developing a national character for sustainable good governance.'

Prof Gatsi, who was a discussant, indicated that the practice of discontinuing national infrastructural projects did not promote value for money since such national projects were financed by loans procured by the state.

He said "in spite of the fact that incumbent governments abandoned projects started by the previous one, the incumbent government went ahead to pay for the loans procured for the projects, paying loans on abandoned projects is not good governance".

Prof Gatsi called for the development of Article 35 (7) into a law which would require newly elected governments to, within their first nine months into office, to submit to Parliament for approval a comprehensive report and justification on projects, policies and programmes it wished to continue for debate and approval or disapproval.

He intimated that such a situation would contribute to fairness, transparency, responsibility, discipline, good governance, rule of law, probity and accountability.

Prof Gatsi suggested a new law that would require the creation of a publicly accessible National Contract Project Management Register with key features of contracts, projects such as amounts, location, execution time, date of commencement and level of execution.

He said macroeconomic indicators such as inflation, Gross Domestic Product were not only the indicators for good economic governance and advised the citizenry, especially the youth, to demand accountability, transparency and probity from duty bearers and those in charge in managing the economy.

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