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General News of Sunday, 1 July 2012

Source: GNA

CPP flag bearer slams abject poverty in Ghana

Dr Abu Sakara, Flag bearer of Convention People’s Party (CPP) has noted that the “essential software to run the nations operating system” has been corrupted.

He said patriotism born of selfless commitment in pursuit of the national agenda, has been corrupted “by the virus of unbridled ambition and excessive greed”.

The observation formed part of the opening remarks by Dr Sakara at “An Evening Encounter” with Presidential candidates organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), a think-tank, in Accra.

He said the infrastructure “hardware” Ghana inherited has been neglected and is not keeping pace with current needs and trends.

“The opportunity for advancement at a critical moment in time has been lost forever. We must now create our own possibilities in our time when the world is less idealistic, less forgiving and more aggressive in the pursuit of individual nation interests,” he added.

He stressed his determination to make Ghana once more the pinnacle of Africa’s achievement to demonstrate that “we can manage our own affairs”.

“To achieve this we must find a new way forward to make Ghana work again.”

The CPP Flag bearer observed that the mass of the people live between abject poverty and the verge of civility on meagre rations of less than GH¢10 a day.

“The remaining 10 per cent live very well,” he said.

Dr Sakara said, amidst the euphoria of appreciable oil flows and a fast growing economy, the illusion of middle income status is punctured by the stark and bestial reality that 90 per cent of Ghanaians do not have access to toilet facilities and only five per cent have access to modern toilet facilities.

“In this regard, Ghana is the fourth worst in the world and the second worst in West Africa after Niger, this is unacceptable!”

According to Dr Sakara, the nation has failed to prepare the human resources required for knowledge based technological economy.

He said in 2011, 53 per cent of pupils taking the Basic Educaton Certificate Examination exam failed to go to Senior High School (SHS) whilst on the average only 20 per cent of pupils entering primary school reach SHS and only three per cent gets to the University level.

Dr Sakara said as a nation, the poorest people cannot afford the National Health Insurance Scheme subscription.

“Maternal mortality is unacceptably high at 350 deaths for every 100,000 live births. Those who survive join a population that remains protein deficient… living in poor sanitation conditions and afflicted by avoidable diseases.

“Together we are all gripped in a web of poverty that is spun by poor decisions, lack of patriotism, rampant corruption, insatiable greed and gross indiscipline.

“The sad reality is that increasingly many more of our citizens will never have access to these basic amenities and necessities of life for as long as the country remains on the path of a solely market driven economic development model that incapacitates the manufacturing sector.

“The market driven model’s ardent advocates, our two main opponents (National Democratic Congress and New Patriotic Party) are on the centre right of the political landscape. They have looked on in consternation as their interventions following the market model have failed to deliver expected results.

“Instead, things have fallen apart. Manufacturing has collapsed, borrowing has increased, imports have grown and the currency continues to depreciate (two million per cent depreciation in 40 years),” he said.**