The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) in collaboration with the Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee on Decentralisation Secretariat organized workshops for all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to sensitize them on the new Legislative Instrument (L.I) on the National Development Planning Commission (L.I 2232).
The Legislative Instrument was passed in 2016 to empower the NDPC in the execution of its core mandate as outlined in the NDPC Act 1994, Act 480.
Since the passage of the NDPC Act 480 in 1994, the Commission relies on the goodwill of planning authorities and other agencies mentioned in the Act to execute its legal duties. The absence of regulations hindered the effectiveness of the Commission. Hence, the passage of the L.I 2232 in February 2016 was seen as a relief and a boost to the Commission, which performs oversight responsibilities over all planning and coordinating units in the country. The sensitization of MMDAs on the L.I was to increase their understanding of what the Commission expects from them as enshrined in the NDPC Act 480 and NDPC Regulations L.I 2232.
The NDPC divided the country into northern and southern zones of five regions each. The northern zone consisted of MMDAs from the Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Brong Ahafo and Ashanti regions and the southern zone composed of district assemblies from the Greater Accra, Volta, Western, Central and Eastern regions.
In an address read by Dr. Mensah Bonsu on behalf, of the chairperson of the NDPC, the statement stressed the need to sensitize planning coordinating units (PCUs) on the new Legislative Instrument. This, he said will inform them about how their functions will be regulated to streamline their relationship with the Commission to ensure orderliness, eliminate friction and ultimately bring about effective planning and coordination from the local level (DPCUs) through to the regional (RPCUs) and to the national level (NDPC). He urged participants to pay keen attention to the provisions of the L.I and take the opportunity to clarify their doubts. He emphasized that the L.I 2232 empowers the NDPC to sanction planning units that default in discharging their constitutional and legal duties.
The participants were from District Planning Coordinating Units and Regional Planning Coordinating Units. Not only were the participants sensitized on the roles and responsibilities of various actors under the L.I, offences and their corresponding sanctions, they were also advised to be decorous and diligent to avoid sanctions against them.
The participants took the opportunity to discuss challenges and constraints they face which hinders their work. The NDPC duly took note of them and promised to effectively address them through technical support and capacity building.
Facilitators were Dr. Mensah Bonsu and Nana Opare Djan, both from the National Development Planning Commission.