Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Senior Minister at the Office of the President, has called for a renewed mindset among citizens if the country is to realise its Ghana Beyond Aid objective and attain national development.
The Minister said the country’s high rate of corruption coupled with the seeming lack of respect for basic laws are major threats that could derail efforts at attaining the policy’s goals and eventual development.
He said the country loses so much to corruption as a result of inflated costs of projects, particularly in the public sector, adding that a renewed mindset would trigger attitudinal change by ensuring that citizens become patriotic, honest and disciplined.
“In education processes, you need classroom blocks but there are cost disparities; because for instance if you compare the cost of a Catholic Church’s six-unit classroom block or an NGO’s six-unit classroom block to that of one built by the state the costs are vastly different. And the difference is not that, one is 100 and the other is 101; but the fact that one is 100 and the other is 210 -and so you realise immediately that there is a problem, and the problem is corruption.
“Anytime you compare expenses incurred at the public sector windows with other windows like the churches the difference is unacceptable.
“Therefore a lot of money goes waste through the public sector. It is an area we have to fight, take steps to protect our own resources,” he said.
The Senior Minister was speaking at the just-ended 71st New Year School and Conference organised by the University of Ghana in Accra held under the theme: “Attaining Ghana Beyond Aid: Prospects and Challenges.”
Presenting the outline of the Ghana Beyond Aid policy to participants, Mr Osafo-Maafo who is also the Chairman of the Ghana Beyond Aid Committee, urged Ghanaians to embrace the policy and contribute their quota towards achieving development.
He said even though the policy was a government initiative, reducing poverty and attaining national development should be the major concern for all and ensure its objectives materialised.
“Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda seeks to build consensus of the Ghana we want. We may disagree on how to achieve that but the end product that we all want is Ghana developed, transformed, etc must be the concern of everybody irrespective of political lineage,” he said.
The Ghana Beyond Aid is a government initiative that seeks to harness the country’s resources and deploy in a creative and effective manner for rapid economic and social transformation.
Dr Yaw Adu Gyamfi, President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), on his part urged government to make the manufacturing sector a priority as it has the prospect in driving the government’s Beyond Aid agenda and facilitate economic development.
He said the contributions of the manufacturing sector to the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) has reduced significantly over the years which required immediate assistance to address the numerous challenges such as high cost of credit, electricity, infrastructure deficit and raw materials shortfalls, among others.