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Opinions of Thursday, 2 October 2014

Columnist: Obimpeh, Frank Owusu

Achievement Of P/NDC Government Over The Years

Many NPP commentators do always criticizes the achievement of the P/NDC government but in setting the records straight. ,, it is clear that ,the P/NDC achieved 20 years of consistent economic development and stability, stemming from the restructuring of policies and implementation of investor-friendly policies. Through this, Ghana enjoyed remarkable foreign direct investment and economic aid facilities. Executed the Economic Recovery Program under World Bank auspice, the P/NDC governments streamlined the economy, making it more attractive foreign investment (without frivolous travels on the part of the president).

NDC inherited a negative Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of -1.2 per cent while the NPP government inherited a 4.5 GDP from the NDC government, which they only raised to 6.8 per cent, after all infrastructures were firmly implemented, time-tested, and well proven.

Before the 1982, Ghanaians migrated to neighboring states in search of greener pastures, but in the 1990’s, Ghana became the home to millions of nationals from neighboring states, such as Nigeria, Togo, etc.

Instrumental in the creation of the West African Monetary Zone initiative in order to realize a common currency in the West Africa, with West African Monetary Institute located in Accra, Ghana.

Here are some list of loans contracted by NDC in 2000 and bequeathed to the NPP.

Korle Lagoon Rehabilitation Project …………………… $5 million

Korle Lagoon Rehabilitation Project Phase II…………….$37.15 million

Small Farms Irrigation Project II ………………………….$9.5 million

Volta Lake Debris & Shoal Removal and Dredging……..$3.75 million

Sogakofe District Hospital……………………………….. $19.5 million

District Towns III …………………………………………$5.2 million

National Functional Literacy Project …………………..…$30.7 million

Urban V Project ……………………………………..…….$10.5 million

Economic Reform Support Operation ……………………$50.4 million

Akwapim Ridge Water Supply Project ……………………$4.999 million

Achimota-Anyiman Road Rehabilitation Project…………..$7.0 million

Poverty Reduction Project ……………………………… $2.3 million

Akwapim Ridge Water Supply System …………………..$5.2 million

*source: page 99, Appendix 6 of NPP 2001 Budget*

On education implementation, an educational reform that brought about the standardization of elementary education, such as primary schools, JSS, SSS; of which I am a very proud pioneer.

Introduced a broad spectrum of curriculum, exposing all students to the liberal arts, technical skills, and entrepreneurial studies before reaching the tertiary level, thereby enabling students to make a more informed decision on their career choices. I wish educational authorities will revisit the laudable idea.

Establishment of one Polytechnic institute per region – a three-year certificate program that is recognized in the United Kingdom as equivalent to three years of tertiary/university degree programs, whereas an additional year of education confers upon them a bachelor’s degree.

Industrial Attachment – enabling tertiary students to work with companies in their field of studies before while in school, which enabled students to gain real world work experience before joining the job market.

Established the Ghana Educational Trust Fund (GET Fund) which revolutionizes the educational sector and continues to benefit millions of Ghanaians.

Established the University of Development Studies in Tamale, of which he used his World Hunger Award Prize money to buy books for the University’s library.

Upgraded the Winneba Advance Teacher’s College to a fully accredited public university status, namely, University of Education, Winneba. Thereby adding two universities to the three established since nation’s independence.

Liberalized the educational system to encourage the establishment of private tertiary institutions and universities across the country.

Successful efforts were made for every district in the nation to have at least two senior secondary schools.

On the area of telecommunication,he Liberalized the airwaves and television stations ownership to encourage democracy. Most of the FM stations, all independent TV stations, and private newspapers we have today, were established under the Jerry Rawlings administration. In the 90s we already had radio phone-ins, opposition papers (Accra Daily Mail,Statesman, Independent etc).

Partnered the Ghana Telecom with Telecom Malaysia to revolutionize the telecommunication industry with the implementation of about 279,000 fix phones lines, over hundreds of thousands public pay phones, and the inception of the wireless phone industry, which was noted to be second in West Africa to Senegal, in 2000 [(yes, Fela O Fela recalled reading!) Ghana market women were enjoying the benefits of a cell phone long before its popularity in much wealthier African states like Nigeria].

On social development ,110 districts were created through non-partisan district-level elections. Infrastructure development and health care supported on the district level. Annual government financial allocations go to all districts, for projects on that level.

Established the District Assemblies’ Common Fund, the GET Fund, the Road Fund, the EDIF and the Energy Fund for the respective sectors to encourage less dependency on the central government.

Implemented (a 10% in 1998, then 12.5% in 2000) Value Added Tax scheme to finance public expenditure.

On social crises and resolution ,Smooth integration of hundreds of thousands of Ghanaians expelled from Nigeria in 1983. Refugees were accommodated at El-Wak Stadium and systematically and strategically moved to their respective families and hometowns.

On health Built state of the art/ modern regional hospitals at Cape Coast, Ho, Sunyani

And Built hospitals in the district capitals all over the country. Started the Expansion Project and the Renovation of the 37 Military Hospital with Dr. Addo Kuffour (president’s brother and former Minister of Defense) as one its happiest employees until his party became the ruling government.

Establishment of Cardiothoracic Surgery Facility, which was championed by Dr. Frimpong Boateng (Former NPP presidential aspirant)

Eradicated several preventable diseases such as guinea worm, which Nana Addo tried to name Ghana worm

On foreign policy,Ghana maintained an independent position in its foreign policy. Instrumental in conflict resolution and peacekeeping efforts under ECOMOG in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and in cooperation with the UN in Lebanon, and Israel, etc.

Developed amicable relationship with its neighbors in the region and around the continent.

The NDC lobbied fervently to get the illustrious Kofi Annan elected as the Secretary of the United Nations.

Ghana become home to refugees from war-torn African countries such as Liberia, Togo, Ivorians and etc.

On internal security,Ghana Maintained a peaceful, tranquil, and business-friendly environment, ranked as one of Africa’s best countries to live in. Regulated an effective crime control mechanism throughout the country with low incidents of crime and drug trafficking.

Dispensed swift and accurate response to crisis and disasters all over the country.

On agriculture, Before PNDC, and shortly after assumed office, food shortage and famine was prevalent (Go Slow 1983), but aggressive measures were implemented to avert such crisis.

Government initiated numerous projects all over the country and provided countless subsidies for farmers, through the provision of fertilizers, tractors, and the award incentives for best farmers.

Under the agricultural policy and programme of the NDC from 1994-2000, the World Bank’s 1999-2000 Development Report recognized Ghana’s Food Production Index of 148% from 1995-1997 as the third highest achievement in its record, after Jordan (157%) and China (156%).

PNDC, and subsequently, the NDC, extended road construction to remote rural areas of the nation to accommodate the transportation of food stocks. Funded numerous irrigation programs in the lower Volta through the inception of the Kpong Dams; Kpong Farms – a subsidiary of VRA

On the energy sector,oil and gas,In 1996, the Tema Oil Refinery Ltd. began to procure and process crude oil for its own account as a result of an industrial restructuring programme.

In 1997, NDC contracted a $200 million loan from a Korean consortium to increase the installed capacity by 60% from 28,000 to 45,000 barrels per day; the first major improvement since plant was incorporated in 1960. As part of Modernization and Expansion Phase I.

Plant configuration was changed from a simple hydroskimming to a modern complex refinery with the commissioning of a 14,000 bpsp Residual Fluid Catalytic Fluid Catalytic Cracking (RFCC) unit to convert low value residuum into high value LP Gas and Gasoline, Kerosine, aviation turbine kerosene, automotive gas oil (diesel), premix fuel, Premium Gasoline, Residual.

West Africa gas pipeline,In 1995, Ghana led the four member states, Togo, Benin, and Nigeria to sign Heads of Agreement for the supply of transmission. In 1996, independent feasibility study was undertaken by a German company which concluded that the WAGP was feasible and economically viable.

In 1999, the four member states appointed a consortium of public and private companies which included Ghana Petroleum Corporation, Shell of Nigeria, and Societe Togolaise/Beninoise du Gaz. In 2000, an inter-governmental Agreement was signed by the four states to facilitate the pipeline development by harmonizing their legal, regulatory, and fiscal regimes.

In 2004, Ground Breaking Ceremony (front man: Ghana’s President John Kufour).

In January 1966, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah commissioned the Volta River Project with four turbine units with an output of 588MW. In 1972, two more units for 324MW were added to increase total output to 912 MW.

In 1988, a study was initiated and completed, to determine the extent of the retrofit work required, and in 1989, the Akosombo Generation Station Retrofit Project was started on 6 turbines, that did not only replaced the turbines but also increased total output from 912MW to 1020MW.

Electricity was expanded from 20% of the country in 1983 to approximately 83% of the entire nation by the year 2001.

Expanded electricity to the northern part of Ghana the most aggressive project embarked upon since nation’s independence.

Kpong hydroelectric project: Groundbreaking Ceremony- Nov. 30, 1977; Project officially inaugurated by the Head of State, JJ Rawlings on July 1, 1982. All Generating Units commissioned on December 15, 1982 Total output of VRA 1,180 MW. In 1997, the Takoradi Thermal Power Station, (located at Aboadze near Sekondi-Takoradi) went into operation with 550MW of electrical power output.

On transportation, Urban Road Sector— Reconstruction of the entire Accra city roads, Kumasi city roads, and Sekondi-Takoradi city roads. In Accra, constructed a six-lane dual carriage road leading to a four-lane dual carriage from Tetteh-Quarshie interchange to Independence Avenue; Kanda Highway Secured loans for Tema-Aflao dual carriage road, before leaving office.

Constructed the Kumasi-Sunyani asphalt roads, the Kintampo-Tamale-Bolgatanga-Paga Faso asphalt road, double resurfacing bitumen Bibiani-Awaso-Sefwi Wiawso road

Besides the main trunk roads leading capital towns and major cities, the NDC was instrumental in the construction and recoating, and, at least, the periodic resurfacing of roads to accommodate rural areas where 80% percent of the nations food stock is cultivated.

Donor fund secured by ndc and committed to specific trunk roads handed over to npp Government.

Accra-Yamoransa …………….$54.10 million (committed) for 76.7 km

Kumasi-Anhwia Nkwanta……..$11.0 million (committed)

Achimota-Apedwa………………$75.0 million (for 60 out of 90 km)

Tema-Sogakofe ………………..$30.0 million (secured)

Sogakofe-Aflao…………………$27.0 million (secured for 46 out of 70km)

Apedwa-Bunso ………………..$14.0 million (secured)

Awaso-Nobekaw ………………..$6.0 million (committed)

Nobekaw-Gambia #2 …………….$4.0 million (committed)

Kumasi-Techiman ……………….$ (secured)

Axim-Junction-Takwa……………$ (secured)

Bibiani-Abuakwa ……………….$ (secured)

Takoradi-Agona Junction $14.29 million (committed)

Bunso-Anyinam………………….$9.0 million (secured)

Gyato-Zongo-Yeji ………………..$43.4 million (committed)

**source: Government of Ghana Presentation to the Consultative Group of Donors Meeting held in Accra.

On an Aviation,Initiated and completed the phase I of the Kotoka International Airport Renovation Project, with loans secured for phase II before 2001, which NPP came to meet and assumed credit for the entire initiative.

Ghana Airways became one of Africa’s most notable airlines, dominated the West African routes, with 4 flights per week to JFK, one flight per week to Washington, DC, with additional flights to Atlanta, Georgia. Not to mention flights to London, and other parts of Africa. It is critical to note that, under the administration of the Kuffour government, Ghana airways colapsed.

On housing development PNDC and NDC, alike, embarked on the massive project of estate development such as Adenta Housing, Sakumono, Lashibi, on the Sprintex road, and SSNIT Flats, other popular communities introduced all over the country.

PNDC partnered Ghana Cement Works Ltd. with Norwegian Scancem to form the Ghacem to accommodate the demand for cement in the country in 1991.

NDC contracted a World Bank loan to established the Diamond Cement Factory at Aflao, in the Volta Region in 2000 in order to offer competitive prices to the consumer.

On governance, Installation of democracy in the political process through the administration of free and fair elections, in 1992, with a new constitution and an election, the 1996 elections, and the 2000 elections and a peaceful transitions to the opposition party, NPP, which won the run-off election. This was a first of its kind in the African continent of a civilian government handing over to another civilian government.

On Sports,Ghana won an African Nations Cup; Two U17 world soccer championships; two African club championship; Four world boxing titles.

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