By Iddi Yire
Accra, March 06, GNA – Dr Eric Oduro Osae, the Director-General, Ghana Internal Audit Agency, has advocated a 34-year National Development Plan for the nation.
This, he reiterated would ensure that Ghana becomes a democratic self-reliant and developed country by the time it attains its centenary anniversary in the year 2057.
Dr Osae suggested in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra as part of activities marking Ghana’s 66th Independence Day.
The event on the theme “Our Unity, Our Strength, Our Purpose”, seeks to drive home the need for Ghanaians to come together in nation building.
The national event for the Celebration was held in Ho, the Volta Regional Capital.
Dr Osae, who is a Governance and Public Financial Management expert, a Chartered Accountant, and a Lawyer, said some years ago, Ghanaians put in place a 50-year development plan and a 40-year development plan.
“I think it is about time at 66 we can develop a 20-year development plan or even a 34 year development plan, so that by the time Ghana is at hundred, we will be able to make a lot of progress towards developing this country from the lower middle level income to a near developed country,” he said.
“We started with Malaysia, we started with Singapore and the rest, now they have gone very far.”
Adding that it takes leadership, commitment, and strategy to be able to get there.
“So, I urge all of us as Ghanaians to think along those lines, Government should help us plan along these lines, so that by the time Ghana is at hundred, we will be able to hit our chest that we’ve been able to achieve the milestone by moving away from agricultural raw materials producing country to a developed country capable of manufacturing its own raw materials,” Dr Osae said.
Concerning Ghana’s export and import of commodities, Dr Osae said it was unfortunate that Ghana at 66 was still over reliant on imported commodities.
“I think it is unfortunate that we are still producing raw materials to feed the industries in developed countries,” he said.
“At 66, if the way Dr Kwame Nkrumah and others started we were to follow those lines, we should be adding values to our raw materials and even processing the raw materials and then developing a Ghanaian brand, like gradually we are now developing a Ghanaian chocolate brand, we should move towards that direction.”
He said at 66 Ghanaians’ reflection and commitment should be that never again should they be the suppliers of raw materials to developed countries.
Dr Osae urged Ghanaians to establish factories and industries that would be able to add value to their raw materials through processing for the export market.
He explained that value addition to raw materials from Ghana before export would ensure that most of the foreign exchange that Ghanaians use to import finished products from other countries would stay in this country.
He reiterated that the overdependence on importation of foreign products was putting pressure on the local currency (the Ghana Cedi), which was affecting the development of the country.
Touching on the nation’s educational system, Dr Osae called for its review to produce more engineers and entrepreneurs, who would be able to set-up small to medium scale industries for development.
“At the movement, our educational circular is such that it is tuned towards the arts and most of the training we give to our children is for them to go and look for jobs and these jobs are not in existence,” the Director-General stated.
“So, we should look at our educational circular and make sure that our educational circular will meet the developmental needs of our country.”
He said reviewing the nation’s educational system to focus more on technical and entrepreneurship would help address the unemployment situation in the country; saying “we should not be importing a lot of materials like toothpick”.