The 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says Ghana has been robbed of massive development because of the brazen theft of public resources and widespread cases of corruption under the watch of President Mahama.
According to the NPP flagbearer, “monies earmarked for Ghana’s development have found their way into the pockets of people in government.”
He queries: “Is it a surprise, therefore, that we are suffering in this country? A school which costs GH¢160,000 to construct by the private sector costs in excess of GH¢500,000 when done by government. Why won’t Ghanaians suffer?”
Nana Akufo-Addo was making reference to a Ghana News Agency story of November 8, 2015, which reported the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, together with the Kpone Katamanso District Assembly, to have inaugurated a 6-unit classroom block, with dual desks, at Katamanso Presbyterian School at a cost of GH¢510,000.
20 days later, on November 28, 2015, GNA, again, reported that the MTN Ghana Foundation had inaugurated a fully-furnished six-unit classroom block, an office and a store valued at GH¢ 170,000 for the Asikasu Methodist Basic School in the Upper West Akyem District in the Eastern Region.
“Government is ‘chopping’ our money ‘nyafu, nyafu’. My government is going to root out corruption and the brazen theft of public resources. Under President Kufuor, without the benefit of oil money, and with the right policies, he was able to pay teacher and nursing training allowances. Today, with the benefit of oil, this government has cancelled these allowances with the excuse that there is no money”, he said.
Nana was addressing the chiefs and people of Duayaw Nkwanta, in the Tano North constituency of the Brong Ahafo Region, at the commencement of a 5-day tour of the region.
“I am not into politics to steal the monies of poor Ghanaians. That is not why I am into politics. I am into politics so I can use the little knowledge and wisdom God has given me to help move Ghana forward,” he re-iterated to the nation.
The NPP flagbearer added that his government, God-willing from January 2017, would institute policies which will create an enabling environment for the private sector to flourish. This, he added, will ensure that the private sector can also be empowered to create jobs for the teeming masses of unemployed Ghanaian youth.
Urging Ghanaians not to be hoodwinked by the usual propaganda of ‘it cannot be done’ and ‘it is impossible’, he explained that any policy that has been introduced by the NPP, from the promise of the introduction of the National Health Insurance Scheme, the Free SHS policy, the Northern Development Authority and the recent ‘1-District-1-Factory’ policy, was initially said not to be feasible.
“Anytime we say we want to do something, they say it cannot be done. The NDC said it would take 20 years before Free SHS can be achieved. When they came into office, they then turned around and said they would also do it. In so doing, they promised to construct 200 community say senior high schools in 4 years. As I speak, they have only completed 5. So between me who said we can do Free SHS and President Mahama who said it cannot be done, who was lying to Ghanaians?” he asked.
He continued, “It is those who do not have belief in the can-do-spirit of Ghanaians who always say that it cannot be done. I have belief in the ability of the Ghanaian. I am confident that whatever the Ghanaian sets his eyes on to do, it will be done.”
Revival of NHIS
Also addressing residents of Nkrankwanta and Diaba in the Dormaa West constituency, Nana Addo assured Ghanaians that then when voted into office, in this year’s elections, he would revive the National Health Insurance Scheme, which has collapsed under the Mahama government.
According to him, the last NPP government, led by President Kufuor, introduced the NHIS to remove the constant fear of falling ill under the inhumane Cash & Carry system.
However, he noted that it had been painful to watch the NDC government, over the last 7 years, do its best to collapse the NHIS.
The NPP flagbearer added that the Mahama government had created so much instability in the system that Ghanaians no longer have confidence in the scheme.
“I am coming to revive the National Health Insurance Scheme, which ensured that the poor in society gained access to healthcare without the financial burden which used to be associated with healthcare delivery (under the cash and carry regime),” he said.
Nana Akufo-Addo recounted how the NHIS policy, when proposed by then candidate Kufuor, in the run-up to the 2000 elections, was bastardized by NDC stalwarts, who described it as not feasible.
“When President Kufuor won, he duly implemented the policy – a policy which was of immense benefit to all Ghanaians. God-willing, when I win this year’s elections, I will revive the NHIS for the benefit of all Ghanaians,” he assured.
Boost for Agriculture
On agriculture which happens to be the mainstay of the people of Nkrankwanta and Diaba , specifically the production of garden eggs, cashew and maize, Nana Akufo-Addo assured farmers of his commitment towards giving his government’s support to production of other cash crops, akin to the support government gives to the production of cocoa.
“We are going to establish a marketing board to help in the production of cashew, and other major cash crops. Cote d’Ivoire has given tremendous backing to the production of other cash crops, in addition to cocoa, which has resulted in a decent livelihood for their farmers. I am going to do the same when given the opportunity,” he said.
Nana Akufo-Addo bemoaned the declining levels of cocoa production in country, which he attributed to the politicization of interventions, such as the mass cocoa spraying exercise. He assured that his government would reintroduce these measures devoid of politicization so the production of cocoa can increase again.
Nana Addo denounces politics of division
With a few months to the holding of the elections, Nana Akufo-Addo urged residents of Nkrankwanta and Diaba not to give in to the politics of division which, he said, will be waged by the “message-less” opponents of the NPP.
“All the tribes in Nkrankwanta, including Krusasis, Dagombas, Dagartis, Grumas, Brong, all live together in harmony. However, when the time for elections is due, we see people coming amongst preaching divisiveness. They will even come and tell you that ‘Akufo-Addo will drive away all other tribes from the region’. Why would I do that? Are they not Ghanaians?” he asked
He continued, “This is nothing but outright lies aimed at putting fear in you. Pay no heed to these talks because nothing of such sort can ever happen. I am looking for Ghana’s development. When President Kufuor was in office, for 8 years, nothing like that happened. The hardship in our country is no respecter of tribe.”
Source: Daily Statesman