Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin has urged the Ghanaian government to implement measures to ensure the effective functioning of institutions and spur development in key areas.
The traditional ruler expressed concerns over the current centralized administration, with most government ministries and headquarters concentrated in Accra, a state of affairs he believes is hindering progress and equitable growth nationwide.
According to Okyenhene, his plea for decentralization stems from his observation that certain ministries have little rationale for their location in the Greater Accra Region.
Speaking to a recent gathering, he highlighted that the Ministries of Agriculture and Lands and Forestry as two such examples of ministries that have to be removed from Accra.
“Baby step development, we talk about it but it doesn’t yield any response. 66 years after independence and if you are traveling from Accra to Kyebi or Kumasi then you are frightened because the roads are not good.
“So, I plead with you it is not easy for all of us, sometimes you see people asking that since you came as a chief what developmental projects have you embarked on?
“But how do I develop without a budget, all of the time, we are calling the assemblies for certain things and they tell you that there is no money? So, if the assembly says there is no money and Okyenhene also doesn’t have money then it means that we will suffer, and the people suffer.
“So, we have to have the guts to change how things work. Moreover, I have told the government that we should change things, for instance, the Ministry of Agriculture what is it doing in Accra? What form of agriculture is in Accra that the workforce is there?
“Ministry of Lands and Forestry what is it doing in Accra? The only one we can agree on is maybe is Defense and Fisheries and the rest can be distributed among the regions and when that happens, what you are doing is that you are developing the town and spreading the opportunity for people to work and stay where they are and by that, you are also increasing taxes and revenue,” he said.
He further stated that the current government systems are not functioning as they should and emphasized the need for change.
“What I am saying is I had written papers to Professor Mills and Kufour about how we can change this, but their fear is that when they distribute such an opportunity, they might lose something which is not true. The only thing they will lose is that they won’t get the opportunity to spend the money anyhow.
“We need to change this country and the change means that the systems that we have it is not working, it is not working. You can go to school and become a doctor, you will complete and for about five years no work, you can go to school and become an engineer, I haven’t seen anywhere that someone has gone to learn a mechanical engineer and for about two, three years the person doesn’t have work, engineering and you don’t have work,” he lamneted.