The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) in collaboration with the Coalition of Muslim Organisations, Ghana (COMOG) has held a national Muslim Leadership Consultative Forum to deliberate on key issues pertinent to the long term national development plan.
The forum held in Accra was themed: “Planning with unity, integrity and Patriotism; the Ghanaian Muslim Perspective”.
Dr Nii Moi Thompson, Director General of NDPC, said the University of Ghana has rejected over 17,000 qualified applicants for the 2015 academic year due to lack of adequate infrastructure.
He said this problem is because the operation of the University has not been based on a long term vision for many years.
He also said in 2008, the University similarly admitted only 11,700 students out of 22,000 and in 1999 rejected 8,500 qualified applicants due to lack of infrastructure while the University of Cape Coast reduced admission by 19.7 per cent in 2006 due to similar reasons.
“We need to create an opportunity for every simple child without thinking that planning a long term vision for the country is not necessary in the midst of national problems such as power crisis”, he said.
The Director General said although Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy and Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda were formulated from 1996 to 2017 to ensure growth and development in the country, it did not work out because it had weak links, no long-term vision to guide medium-short term decisions and budgets which later yielded poor overall results.
Dr Thompson said an image of the Accra, the capital city of the country, does not look appealing with its filth and un-tarred roads; therefore, the plan which will include infrastructural development will ensure the development of the nation.
He advised the general public to help the Commission in implementing the demands of the plan adding that: “There may be rising and falling as we try to implement the demands of the framework, we still have to be persistent no matter the challenges the nation would be going through”.
Major Retired Alhaji Mohammed Issah, Chairman for the occasion, said every serious nation had a long-term development plan with no political sentiments attached to it such that every political party that comes to power would follow its demands to ensure sustainability in development.
Dr Hussein Zakaria, President of COMOG, urged all Muslims in the country to offer their immense support towards the development of the long term policy framework to ensure its success.
He said: “As a nation, we have been overtaken by short sightedness and change in culture, therefore we need a change and most especially that of the NDPC”.
He urged the Commission to consider promoting the local industries and industrialization of the nation as a whole in the framework.
Alhaji M. G. Mohammed, Representative of the National Chief Imam, asked the NDPC to give due consideration to the Ghana Railway Line, Ghana Airways and the Black Star line which used to be the pride of Ghana in the framework.
He also advised the general public to refrain from being too reliant on the government or leaders to secure their welfare saying “when there are minor problems in our communities such as potholes on our roads, we don’t need to wait for government to fix it for us, we must learn how to depend on ourselves”.
Alhaji Mohammed also appealed to the Muslims in the Zongo communities to transform themselves especially when it comes to maintenance of good sanitation, to trigger assistance more quarters to their communities. GNA