General News of Sunday, 2 March 2014
The Deputy Education Minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is imploring Ghanaians to have confidence in President John Mahama who he says has an outstanding record of achievement.
According to him, Mahama as the chairman of the economic team, among other successes, led Ghana to achieve its highest GDP growth rate of over 14 per cent. He was speaking on Joy FM and MultiTV news analysis programme Newsfile on the issues that came up during the president's state of the nation address to Parliament on Tuesday.
The opposition New Patriotic Party has been quick to tag the address as empty, promising no hope and future for the country.
In a growing industry of cynicism, some critics say the many years of unfulfilled promises by politicians make it difficult for them to believe the president's promises delivered on Tuesday.
But the deputy Minister thinks otherwise. "It is important that we have confidence in the president," he admonished, adding the president has been in "motion" since winning the election in 2012.
He said as chairman of the economic management team then as Vice President, John Mahama made giant strides in macro- economic stability and was able to grow the economy in leaps and bounds.
Under his chairmanship "Ghana recorded the highest cocoa production in history; he was chairman when Ghana had its longest sustained single digit inflation; he was chairman when we had the highest reserves at the Bank of Ghana," Ablakwa chronicled.
As president, he said John Mahama's confidence in the local industry has been phenomenal and was able to cede part of the printing of text books to local printing industry.
Ablakwa said in few years to come, the local printing press "will go into 100 per cent printing of text books."
Given the president's commitment to achieving results and having assessed the performance of his appointees, the deputy minister said John Mahama will begin firing people who fail to achieve the results for which they are paid. He said it is now up to civil society and the media to support the president's vision to develop the country.
But a former Communications Director of the opposition New Patriotic Party, Nana Akomea said the president cannot call for confidence.
On the contrary confidence is "generated from a track record of achievement." He said the president's poverty of achievement does not inspire confidence from any Ghanaian.
Nana Akomea said Ghana's economic growth of over 14 per cent cannot in any way be attributed to economic brilliance of the president who at the time headed the economic team of the late president John Mills.
He said more than half of the percentage growth was because of Ghana's oil proceeds and not because of the president's wizardry in economics.
"All he did was just to dig our oil and export," he stated, adding it was under the same John Mahama that dubious judgements debts were paid to cronies of government.