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Regional News of Thursday, 22 November 2012

Source: GNA

NPP to use oil revenue to fuel free SHS policy

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, New Patriotic Party (NPP) Presidential Candidate, has said revenue accrued from oil would be used to fund the proposed free Senior High School, when elected to form the next government.

Responding to a question on “how to use the country’s oil resources for the benefit of the people, Nana Akufo-Addo said “the most equitable manner in which Ghanaians would benefit from the oil revenue is to ensure that they are used on the two most critical aspects of our national life – education and health care.

“We would use the oil revenue in these critical areas of our lives such that at the time the oil resources run out, we would have transformed the Ghanaian population through education and good healthcare.

“We now have the basis to sustain the development of our nation, not for one year, not for two years but for generations to come”, Nana Akufo-Addo stated at the second Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) debate in Accra.

The IEA debate, which was limited to Presidential Candidates of political parties with representation in parliament, was on the general theme: “Upholding Electoral Accountability”.

The NPP Presidential Candidate said the oil revenue offers Ghanaians an opportunity to transform the economy.

On how to ensure that Ghana gets the best deals out of contracts relating to our natural resources, Nana Akufo Addo explained that under the previous NPP Administration the parameters was to attract investors to field, but now that we are producing oil the parameter are different.

Mr Hassan Ayariga Presidential Candidate of the Peoples National Convention (CPP) blamed past and present governments for signing contracts that have deprived the nation from enjoying the fruit of its natural resources.

“Under my Presidency, I will review all such contracts...taking inspiration from former President Jerry John Rawlings, a Hassan Ayariga led government would review all contracts to ensure that the nation and generation unborn benefits from our natural resources”.

Dr Michael Abu Sakara Foster, CPP Presidential candidate, said a CPP government would pass the local content law, build the technical capacity to deal with the knowledge gap in the field. On how to make science and technology the core of Ghana’s economic development,

Dr Sakara said a CPP government will set up a 10 million cedi Research and Development Fund dedicated to innovations.

This, he said, was aimed at moving “ideas from the shelf to the factories” and to drive the economy forward.

Dr Sakara explained that the “science and technology gap is reflected in the poverty gap saying “if we do not have science and technology driving the economy, then you will find that we are not able to close the income generation and the other measures that we need to take to improve people’s lives.”

He also pledged to improve the quality of technical and vocational institutions. On his part, Nana Akufo-Addo promised that institutions offering science and technology as core subjects were going to be made to refocus to boost their effectiveness.

Mr Ayariga on his part said a PNC government will totally change Ghana’s educational curricula to “start with science and technology rather than free education" because science and technology is core to Ghana’s economic development.

“Our government will re-emphasize and change the curricula of education rather than making it free,” he said.

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