Government will set up a Project Development Fund to give every project initiative the opportunity to proceed beyond the concept stage.

Mrs. Mona Helen Quartey, Deputy Minister of Finance in-charge of Economic Strategy, said such a fund will be used to prepare projects.

“If we prepare our projects well, we predispose ourselves to making the right decision about the best ways to implement them,” she observed.

Mrs. Quartey made the announcement on Friday in Accra at the maiden National Project Management Conference, organised by the Project Management Institute (PMI) Ghana Chapter.

The aim of the conference was for project managers to discuss current project management perspectives and initiate the commencement of a transformation agenda for the nation through value for money project deliveries with effective project management practices nationwide.

“Though we understand that every project must bring us value-for-money, we also appreciate that for certain social projects in areas such as health, water, education, security, and rural intervention programming, we may need to provide financial support.

“When necessary, we will administer viability gap funds under a scheme to be managed strictly on project management basis,” the Deputy Minister said.

She said government has already launched a public-private partnership (PPP) policy, and is implementing the programme.

She indicated that, under it, government is considering PPP implementation projects which could demonstrate economic and financial viabilities and value-for-money.

Mrs. Quartey said sometimes though projects do not show financial viability, government can implement them as PPP projects if they fall within government’s priorities and meet other pre-determined criteria.

She mentioned the efforts to dualise the Accra-Takoradi and Accra-Kumasi highways, the expansion of Takoradi Port to handle increased businesses, and extension of the Accra-Tema motorway as part of projects being processed for PPP delivery.

Other projects under consideration for PPP execution include the bulk water treatment plant for development at Asutsuare, a sport facilities complex at Winneba Sports College, and two health facilities at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.

The Deputy Minister noted that government is using all these projects as learning incubators for the aggressive roll-out of a long-term national development programme.

Mrs. Quartey said the PPP policy introduces private sector efficiencies in public infrastructure delivery and management; and also brings in the necessary funds for investment.

She said the benefits of PPP include job-creation opportunities, increased economic activities and economic growth.

She urged PMI Ghana to make the profession relevant to the country by customising the PMI Global Standards for the country.

Mrs. Quartey suggested professional bodies such as PMI Ghana should create a link between industries and schools, so as to offer opportunities for students to practice what they learn.

Mr. Augustine Harrington-Nunoo, PMI Ghana Chapter President, said research shows that globally for every billion-dollar project, 10 percent is lost through inadequate project management.

He said public complaints about project execution in the country are due to the failure of professionals to adhere to best practices, adding: “Ghana needs to institutionalise project management practices”.

Mr. Moses Tetteh, Chairman of the Advisory Council of PMI Ghana Chapter, said project management is key to Ghana’s socio-economic development.

Mr. Rockson Dogbegah, Chartered Institute of Building, Vice President, said professionals owe it as a duty and responsibility to improve on their time management, since every project is time-bound.

Dr. Agyeman-Badu Akosah, former Director General of Ghana Health Service, advised all professionals to live up to the task.

He urged leadership of professional bodies to desist from party politics, and rather promote the image of their profession by speaking out the truth at all times.

Mr. Joshua Odai, Executive Director, MERJJA Technologies Limited, and Mr. Mike Awuah were both honoured by PMI Ghana for pioneering the organisation’s establishment in the country.

An elated Mr. Odai, expressed his gratitude to the organisation for the honour done to them.

He advised the leadership of PMI Ghana to promote project management by getting top executive management schooled.

Source: bft