Hajia Alima Mahama, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development (MLG&RD) has stated that the National Digital and Property Addressing System (NDPAS) was aimed at promoting e-commerce, e-governance and economic growth.
She said there was the need to ensure that Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) identified their economic potentials for growth, especially within the framework of Government’s commitment to formalising the economy to improve e-commerce.
Hajia Mahama was addressing Metropolitan, Municipal and District chief Executives (MMDCEs), Coordinating Directors, Physical and Development Planners of assemblies at a sensitisation workshop on the NDPAS and Street Naming in the Brong-Ahafo Region organised by the MLG&RD in collaboration with the Land Used and Spatial Planning Authority (LUSPA) and the Ghana Post.
The sensitisation was con-currently on-going in the Upper East and Brong Ahafo regions on Tuesday January 23, and would also run in the Ashanti and Northern regions on Wednesday January 24, and also in the Upper West region on Thursday January 25, 2018.
Messrs Kwasi Boateng Adjei and Osei Bonsu Amoah, both Deputy Ministers of Local Government and Rural Development and Members of Parliament for New Juaben North and Akwapim South were in-charged for the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions and Ashanti region respectively.
The expected output of the workshop is to adequately educate the participants on the expected activities and outcomes of the initiative of Government and to prepare them to continue and successfully deploy the Ghana Post GPS and complete the Street Naming exercise.
She inaugurated the Regional Spatial Planning Committee in accordance with Section 26 of the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016 (Act 925) and would be replicated in all the other regions.
The committees included; the Regional Ministers as Chairpersons, Regional Coordinating Director, Regional Heads of LUSPA, Ghana National Fire Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Ghana Highway Authority, Forestry Commission, Water Resources Commission, Representatives of the Utility Service Providers and Regional House of Chiefs and the National Disaster Management Organisation as members.
The functions of the committees is to prepare a Regional Spatial Development Framework for their various regions in consultation with the MMDAs, prepare sub-regional or multi districts Spatial Development Frameworks for more than one district within the regions, adjudicate on appeals or complaints resulting from decisions, actions or inactions of the District Spatial Planning Committees of the Assemblies and Any other functions that may be assigned by the Regional Coordinating Councils within the region.
She said the Government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was committed to leveraging on the potentials of the MMDAs to deliver a well-functioning NDPAS and Naming and Digitisation of Property as a catalyst for achieving greater development in the country.
The Minister said an effective implementation of the NDPAS and Street Naming Programme had tremendous implications for revenue mobilisation for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) which was a major focus of the MLG&RD.
“As a Ministry, we are also focused on ensuring that Digitisation of Property would lead towards effectively opening up the economy and supporting MMDAs to improve revenue generation.”
She said one of the key Departments whose work was essential for an effective implementation of the NDPAS and Street Naming was the LUSPA, per the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016 (Act 925) which established the Authority with a Governing Board at the national level and Regional Offices of the Authority with a Spatial Planning Committees.
Hajia Mahama said the LUSPA was expected to provide sustainable development of land and human settlements through a decentralised planning system, ensure judicious use of land and to enhance the attainment of Ghana’s decentralisation programme by creating an enabling environment for MMDAs to better perform the spatial planning and human settlements management’s functions.
She said it was instructive to note that the vision of the Street Naming and NDPAS was to achieve nationwide use of Spatial Data Information for good governance and socio-economic development through the development, management and dissemination of a Property Addressing system linked with Postal Codes and to ensure total access to high-quality geographic information and related services for all organisations and individuals’ in Ghana.
This she said was also aimed at improving quality and reducing costs related to geographic information, reduce duplication of effort among agencies and to make geographic data more accessible to the public.
Mr Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, the Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, said the informal nature of Ghana’s economy was a major constraint to development efforts, thereby affecting the nation’s ability to broaden her tax base, deepen and widen financial inclusion and deliver services to those most in need.
He said, to create a formal economy, it was imperative to provide a platform for easy data generation, as well as identification of location of homes, and offices.
Mr Asomah-Cheremeh said, the successful implementation of the ‘GhanaPostGPS’ would help the use of landmarks as a traditional means of giving directions to various locations in the country.
“It would also lower the cost of doing business and enable security agencies to easily identify and deal with crime and other security situations.”
Mr Sylvanus Adjornu, a Director of the MLG&RD and a member of the National LUSPA Committee stressed the need for assemblies to own the project as it would enhance their development planning strategies and capabilities.
Mr Chapman Owusu-Sekyere of the LUSPA and Mr Ekow Paintsil from the Ghana Post took the participants through various stages for them to understand the processes and importance of the exercise.