Support ministry to complete projects – Local Govt Dep. Minister urges MDCEs
A Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Collins Ntim, has charged municipal and district chief executives in the Upper East Region to support the ministry to complete all physical projects under the Ghana Productive Safety Net Project (GPSNP) by November 2020.
He equally entreated them to ensure that the project work plans and budgets were prepared and submitted to the ministry to facilitate the implementation of the GPSNP, which was aimed at complementing the government’s efforts to improve the living conditions of poor households in rural communities.
Mr Ntim made the remark when he addressed staff of municipal and district assemblies in the Upper East Region at a Sensitisation Meeting on the GPSNP in Bolgatanga last Thursday.
The GPSNP is being implemented in 11 districts in the region over a five-year period. The beneficiary districts are Bongo, Bawku Municipal, Nabdam, Talensi, Builsa South, Builsa North, Bawku West, Garu, Tempane, Binduri and Pusiga.
According to Mr Ntim, the ministry, in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, and with the support from the World Bank, started processes leading to the preparation of the new GPSNP to strengthen and improve social safety nets and productive inclusion of the poor and vulnerable in January 2018.
“It is the aim of the government to strengthen safety net systems to improve on the productivity of the poor in 80 selected districts across the country,” he noted.
He further explained that 25,000 individuals nationwide would benefit through a productive inclusion programme, while another 30,000 beneficiaries would draw from the Labour-Intensive Public Works.
Mr Ntim revealed that 350,000 households would also benefit from the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), a cash transfer programme.
The project, he said, would specifically boost the implementation of Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) under the supervision of the District Centre of Agriculture, Commerce and Technology (DCACT).
The minister also observed that the overall project implementation would contribute towards the goal of Ghana’s Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies (2017-2024) as well as the ‘Agenda for jobs: Creating Prosperity and Equal Opportunity for all’ (2018-2021).
The Upper East Regional Minister, Ms Tangoba Abayage, stated that safety nets were instruments of social protection that helped to improve productivity, empowered families to invest in human capital and broke the cycle of inter-generational poverty.
She, therefore, observed that “a productive safety net project comes in handy to generate more and better jobs for the youth to lift themselves and their communities out of poverty.”
The Head of Urban and Rural Development, Mr Inusah Shirazu, who made a presentation on Rural Development and Social Protection, indicated that the rural areas should not be neglected because they were a major source of the country’s food supplies.
According to him, the high incidence of poverty in rural Ghana accounted for 78 per cent of those classified as poor.
Some of the challenges in the rural areas, he observed, included inadequate job opportunities and degradation of the natural resources due to persistent poverty.
Mr Shirazu, therefore, called for conscious efforts to address the various forms of vulnerability among rural people.