Akufo-Addo And Dr. Bawumia Are Promise Keepers

INTRODUCTION:

In
2016 the Ghanaian people overwhelmingly voted the New Patriotic Party led by
Nana Akufo-Addo in an election many analysts believed was going to be tightly
contested. The NPP’s landslide victory heralded a new sense of hope that
governance anchored on integrity was about to be restored, that economic
prosperity was on its way with well-paying jobs as by-product of the expected
economic boom, that corruption would be fought and the most vulnerable of our
society catered for. That no child would be left behind because the
circumstances of his birth would not permit his parents to afford the cost of
his education. It was expected that the son of Mba Alhassan in Gbungbaliga in
the Yendi Municipality would have same opportunity to secondary education like
the son of Dr. Kwame Despite in Accra. 

In
fact, these were not hopes. They were the covenants that the NPP under the able
leadership of President Akufo-Addo took before the Ghanaian people gave them a
resounding victory at the polls.

On
7th January 2017, President Akufo-Addo and Vice President
Dr. Bawumia lifted the divine books, recited the sacred words of our
constitution and reaffirmed their commitment to meeting the hopes and
fulfilling the aspirations of the Ghanaian people.

It
is therefore important to examine the body of work done in the light of the
promises made to the Ghanaian people.

THE FACTS BEFORE THE CHANGE:

The
conditions in our country prior to the December 2016 elections had deteriorated
beyond description. The frustrations were high. The economy had collapsed! In
fact, it recorded the lowest growth rate in 20 years! The cedi had become the
standard reference for a badly managed currency globally. The energy crisis had
crushed many businesses leading to huge job losses. The debt levels were
unsustainable according to the IMF. We were running a double digit deficit!
There was a freeze on public sector hiring which culminated in the birth of the
Unemployed Graduates Association. For the first time in our history, teacher
and nursing trainees were not posted right after their training!

The
Agricultural sector, which in post-independent Ghanaian history, played a
pivotal role in providing jobs whiles contributing significantly to the
national economy had taken a nosedive. Inflation was high and interest rates
were high! The manufacturing sector suffered consistent decline.

In
sum, like the Northern Rap King, Maccassio would say things were basaaaa!!!!

THE FACTS AFTER THE CHANGE:

In
the last two years, the President and his dependable Vice President have worked
so hard to fulfill many of the promises they made to the Ghanaian people. The
facts from various sectors of the economy confirms this conclusion.

.
ECONOMY

The
economy under President Akufo-Addo has witnessed significant growth in all
sectors. Ghana in 2017 recorded the highest growth rate in the whole world. Prior
to this, President Akufo-Addo had promised to ensure a rebound of the economy.
For four years under President Mahama we saw the economy declined from over 7%
in 2008 to a little above 3% in 2016.

After
pursuing prudent economic policies in the last two years, the Ghanaian economy
has recovered and is now the wonder of the world. Inflation has seen a downward
trend, recording the lowest rate in the last four years. The debt to GDP ratio
has declined from 73% to below 70%. Budget deficits have significantly reduced.
Interest rates have gone down. The international reserves have improved to
cover for more than three months of import cover. The manufacturing sector has
seen a turnaround from its previously negative growth.

True
to the promises made, the NPP Government has ensured reliable power supply to
enhance economic productivity. Electricity tariffs have been reduced for both
domestic and industrial consumers.

The
NPP in its 2016 manifesto promised to abolish nuisance taxes to encourage
production. The Government’s maiden budget in March 2017 abolished and reduced
as many as 17 such nuisance taxes!

From
the economic data, it thus appear that President Akufo-Addo and Vice President
Bawumia have kept their promise of ensuring prudent economic management.

. JOBS

One
of the critical issues in the 2016 elections was graduate unemployment. In
fact, six out of the eight years mandate of the NDC was used to pursue IMF
inspired polices which exacerbated graduate unemployment to worrying levels. In
addition, the economy saw considerable decline in growth rate which had a
telling effect on new job openings.

With
an estimated 300,000 fresh graduates from the tertiary institutions every year,
the new Government inherited a six year old policy which had placed a freeze on
new public sector hiring.

In
the last two years, this Government has shown commitment in tackling the
problem of graduate unemployment. This commitment has manifested itself in the
number of public sector recruitments and new employment interventions as well
as new job openings in the private sector. The job statistics have been
impressive!

For
example, data released by the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations gives
a breakdown of jobs created by the Akufo-Addo Government. As of March 2018, the
Works and Housing Ministry had created 4,039 jobs. The Youth Employment Agency
recruited 15,000 Community Protection Personnel and 3000 Arabic instructors.

The
Forestry Commission recruited over 200 permanent graduate employees as well as
over 50,000 graduates and non-graduates jobs for a three year period. The Ghana
Airport Co Ltd coupled with Ghana Civil Aviation Authority have recruited 667
people as of March 2018. In the transport sector, 894 jobs have been created
since January 7, 2017. These are mainly jobs by Government agencies under the
transport ministry not from private sector players under the Ministry.

The
Trade and Industry Ministry as of March 2018 had created 31,171 new jobs! The
cocoa pollination by the COCOBOD has created 20,000 new jobs and Codapec (Spray
Gangs) created 56,991 jobs.

More
importantly, the Ghana Education Service under the Ministry of Education has
created almost 30,000 teaching and non-teaching jobs. The Ministry’s
partnership with Buffer Stock Co Ltd has led to 1000s of supply contracts under
the Free SHS policy which has created substantial number of jobs! The new FPSO,
according to Deputy Energy Minister, Dr. Mohammed Amin Anta created 12,000 new
jobs in the upstream sector. There has been a great number of new jobs in the
downstream sector with agencies like NPA, BOST, GO ENERGY etc leading the way!

Our nation’s most ambitious job creation intervention has been the
Nation Builders Corps. This intervention has provided 100,000 jobs to
graduates. Nkrumah had the Workers Brigade, Mahama had the Looters Brigade and
Nana Addo has NABCO!

Admittedly, much more ought to be done to continuously address the issue of graduate unemployment in Ghana. While these numbers are very impressive for a two-year-old government, there are still many graduates without jobs. I have no doubt that if this Government is allowed to govern for long, the story of our nation would be different!

Also READ: Dr. Bawumia is Prudent, Patient, Purposeful and I admire him- Rev. Eastwood Anaba

.PRO-POOR INTERVENTIONS

Apart
from the laying a solid economic foundation which has birthed decent jobs for
young Ghanaians, President Akufo-Addo has fulfilled some of his major promises
which were designed to provide safe haven for the poor in our society. To this
end, Government has increased capitation grants, expanded the school feeding
programme, increased allocations for LEAP, and revived the dead NHIS.

The
most important social intervention programme in our nation’s history has been
the FREE SHS POLICY. It is the uncompromising view of the President that cost
should never a barrier in the pursuit of knowledge. Prior to the elections, he
forcefully canvassed the view that the nation’s resources ought to be directed
to the funding of education to allow Ghanaian children, regardless where and
how they were/are born, to have access to FREE QUALITY SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL
education.

In
the last two years, the NPP government has implemented the policy. This has
benefited over 180,000 students who would have been left on the streets simply
because their parents cannot afford the cost of Senior High School education.

Further,
President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Bawumia have kept their promise to restore
teacher and nursing training allowances which were scrapped under President
Mahama. This intervention is benefitting nearly 80,000 students from public
teacher and nursing training institutions in Ghana. It has further brought huge
economic relief to parents of these students.

CONCLUSION:

Vice
President Dr. Bawumia rightly stated during a National Policy Summit in  Tamale, “What is incontrovertible is that without Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo,
there will be no restoration of teacher training allowances, no restoration of
nursing training allowances, no Zongo Development Fund, no Planting For Food
and Jobs, no National ID Cards, no Digital Address System, no paperless ports,
no Development Authorities, no strong macroeconomic fundamentals, no Rehabilitation
of VALCO, no US$2 billion innovative infrastructure financing arrangement with
Sinohydro, no steps to establish integrated bauxite and aluminium industry, no
mobile money interoperability, no reduction in electricity prices, no Change in
the driver’s license applications, no Special Prosecutor on Corruption, no
revival of Ghana’s railways, no transparent allocation of Ghana’s oil blocks.”

From the foregoing, it is reasonable to conclude that the NPP needs to be supported to continue its transformation agenda. It has to be maintained for the good of Ghana. To paraphrase Sister Afia’s song, if you see the economy j3 j3, if you look at the job numbers j3j3, if you see everything j3 j3, j3 j3 oooo j3 j3!!

By
Akbar Yussif Rohullah Khomeini,

Deputy
Communications Director, NPP.

Accra.

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