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General News of Saturday, 19 November 2016


FULL TEXT: Nduom's opening remarks at Presidential Encounter Series

The PPP hopes to invest in fruit processing factories across the country The PPP hopes to invest in fruit processing factories across the country

Flagbearer of the Progressive Peoples Party, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom on Friday took his turn at the GBC's Presidential Encounter Series as he gave reasons why he remains the best candidate to lead the country in 2017.

The PPP flagbearer among others touched on his party's desire to create jobs for millions of Ghanaians who remain unemployed as well as his plan re-locate the petrochemical industry to the Western Region to boost development.

Here's a full text of Dr. Nduom's speech at the GBC Presidential Encounter Series.

My name is Papa Kwesi Nduom, born at Elmina in the Central Region specifically, from Teterkessim. My grandparents are from and lived in Elmina, Senya Breku, Gomoa Dago and Tarkwa. My parents were both primary school teachers. I am where I am today by the Grace of God and through the diligence of my parents and hard work. I am a Roman Catholic. I respect other religions but mine is Christianity. My life has been guided by my faith, family values and public service.

I know that many Ghanaians believe that it is God who determines who should lead this nation. Therefore, before I go any further, I wish to pray to God Almighty, the Maker of Heaven and Earth to touch the hearts and minds of all Ghanaians, give them life, good health as I continue to pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Angels and Saints to make it possible for the people to vote for me Papa Kwesi Nduom on December 7th 2016 to become the next President of the Republic of Ghana.

I am pleased to have this opportunity given to me and the Progressive People's Party (PPP) by the GBC and its collaborators to tell the people of Ghana what the nation and all of its people will gain by voting into office a PPP Administration led by me, Papa Kwesi Nduom and our Parliamentary Candidates.

My presentation is based on the PPP Policy Document which was officially launched during our Convention on Saturday, July 16, 2016 and the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.

The Party I lead, the Progressive People's Party is a forward looking, inclusive political party dedicated to making our nation Ghana great and strong and all of its people prosperous. We believe in 'Ghana First, Everyone Else Second'.

We are a people made poor by bad governance practices and a leadership prepared to accept less than what our God-given, abundant natural resources must provide. To be direct, Ghanaians have wasted their votes on leadership who have disappointed them. On December 7th, the people have another chance to vote for inclusiveness, unity, competence, practical experience and incorruptible leadership by voting for Papa Kwesi Nduom. That will be a vote which will bring many, many blessings to our nation.

A few weeks ago, we created a Presidential Policy Team (PPT) to prepare now so that we are ready to work for Ghana from day one. When Ghanaians get to meet or members and experience their competence, they will agree with us wholeheartedly the fact that this party, PPP, has available, qualified and experienced men and women - bankers, teachers, lawyers, engineers, entrepreneurs etc - we will offer as part of an inclusive team to take charge of Ghana in January 2017 and make it a better nation for all its citizens.

Our focus unique in Ghanaian politics- job creation through competent, incorruptible leadership. No political party in Ghana, not the NDC or the NPP has been so bold and clear about its focus.

As written in our Policy Document, "... the PPP seeks the opportunity to implement an efficient Agenda for Accelerated Change that is built on Incorruptible Leadership, Education, Healthcare and Jobs.
Highlights of some of our unique non-negotiable policies are:

1. Constitutional Reforms & Good Governance: reform our constitution to strengthen parliament, elect district, municipal and metropolitan chief executives; create a strong independent public prosecutor to root out government corruption; and make Parliament truly independent by ensuring that a Member of Parliament cannot serve as a Minister of State at the same time. Work with Parliament to pass the Right to Information Bill to bring transparency and encourage accountability in government.

2. Public Sector Reforms: reform state institutions, make government efficient and raise revenue to be able to pay public servants well to motivate them to facilitate the work of the private sector and Ghanaian society in general. Create a Ministry of Public Service to lead the task of continuous reform and modernisation of state institutions. Reduce the number of ministers of state to 40 and rely on professional civil and local servants to ensure efficient administration. We will abolish the position of regional minister.

3. Preventable Diseases: ensure a cleaner environment free from preventable diseases like malaria, cholera, monococal meningitis and guinea worm. Just like countries in the Americas, Europe and elsewhere became malaria free, so can Ghana with the right leadership from the PPP. Ensure emergency care throughout the country to save lives. Our focus will be in the area of prevention where education is the key.

4. Compulsory & Universal Education: provide Quality Education for Every Ghanaian Child. Standardize school facilities from kindergarten to Senior High, with libraries, toilets, classrooms, kitchen, housing for teachers, playground, etc.; and Ensure Free and Compulsory education in public schools from Kindergarten to Senior (including ICT training). We will deploy an “Education Police” to enforce the compulsory aspect of our policy. An integral part of this objective will be to significantly increase vocational training so that all school leavers gain employable skills.

5. Agriculture & Food Security: provide a market to sustain our farmers and fishermen. We will use the state’s purchasing power to provide the assurance that the labor of our farmers and fishermen will not be in vain. Construct good roads that link farms to market centres to ensure that our farmers are able to transport their produce for sale easily, as one way of reducing poverty. Address post harvest losses by reviewing specific crops and potential for processing, value addition, effective storage schemes etc. Instead of the corruption infested political gimmicks like giving out outboard motors and premix fuel, introduce and implement policies that yield aquatic abundance.
One way to provide ready market is to ensure that all basic schools on the school feeding program as well as Senior High Schools patronize strictly, made in Ghana commodities for cooking.

6. Financing Energy: implement solutions with a sense of urgency to meet domestic needs for industry and residential use. To enable us achieve this objective, we will provide tax incentives to enable development of alternative sources of fuel and power – bio fuels and solar. Aim to ensure that the contribution from renewable sources of energy reaches in a decade, a minimum of 10% of what we need. Provide adequate funding to deal with generation, transmission and distribution challenges.

7. Economic Infrastructure: To accelerate job creation nationally, build an inter-region highway with the same high quality throughout the country to open up the country for investment and development. In the same way, implement with a sense of urgency plans to extend railways to the four corners of the country to facilitate the movement of goods and people.

8. Sports: a comprehensive sports programme to instill discipline and promote better health. The comprehensive sports programme will ensure that with government support, we begin to develop future world and Olympic champions.

9. Domestic Enterprise Development: improve Ghana’s business climate to enable investment in job creation so that our people will stay at home to help develop the country and its economy. We will be relentless in providing support to Ghanaian industry and our farmers and fishermen using low interest loans, technical assistance, tax incentives and priority access to the Ghanaian market.

10. Women's Enterprise Development: to train, encourage and promote the growth and development of women entrepreneurs in the country. This will include technical assistance, low interest loans and the setting aside of portions of government contracts to enterprises founded and managed by women.

11. Technology: ensure application of technology to enable the implementation of national objectives in areas such as national identification, drivers licensing, passports, criminal information systems; provide support to ICT entrepreneurs to make Ghana a hub for technology product development and innovation.
These are also the same reasons to vote for PPP's parliamentary candidates. They will be crusaders for strengthening Parliament to become a strong effective institution to ensure strong checks and balances exist between Parliament, the Presidency and the Judiciary.

I wish to be even more specific in the area of jobs, jobs, jobs to emphasize the point that if you are a business owner in Ghana or a young man or woman looking for a job, your only choice on December 7th is the Progressive People's Party, the bright red sun and Papa Kwesi Nduom, Number 4 on the ballot.

1. We will encourage rice farming and milling in Ghana so that in four years, we stop the importation of rice - we will save the more than $1.2 billion we will spend this year and every year to import rice. This alone will mean one million well paying jobs in virtually all the ten regions. I know that this can be done because my company Gropu Nduom has invested in a rice mill in Worawora in the Volta region and is building a new one in Assin Breku in the Central Region.

2. We will invest and support cashew growing and local processing in the Veomg Ahafo, Central and other regions - especially in towns such as Sampa, Wenchi, Tuobodom.

3. We will invest in fruit processing factories in the Central, Western, Eastern and Volta regions and promote the export of their output.

4. We will promote the large scale cultivation and processing of palm oil to feed existing factories in Ghana and for export.

5. In the Western Region we will ensure the development of a petrochemical industry and the movement of the headquarters of oil and gas producers including GNPC to that region. (Petrochemicals are organic chemicals made from crude oil and natural gas for use in industrial processes. Examples are methanol, ethylene, propylene, butadiene, tuoluene and xylene. Used to make plastics, PVC panels, bullet proof vests, solar panels, medicines, consumer electronics, wind turbines and automobile parts.)

6. We will develop the Central RegionS Kakum National Park, the Forts and Castles and the Mole National forest as major international tourist attractions and destinations with nearby airports and enabling infrastructure.

7. We will invest in the processing of yam into international quality chips for domestic consumption and export in the Brong Ahafo and Northern regions.

In conclusion, it is clear that the PPP's brand of politics is unique, exceptional and just what Ghanaians need to give them hope and confidence. Our inclusive approach will ensure that we select the best men and women to find and implement the solutions needed.

"We believe in Ghanaian excellence. We believe in Ghanaian prosperity. We believe in all of the Ghanaian people. Our pact with you is that, once elected, we will fight for dramatically accelerated developmental progress. We will fight to move Ghana away from the maintenance of mediocrity, the culture of indiscipline, the constant failure of leadership, the cruelty of resource mismanagement and the tragedy of low expectations for developing African nations such as Ghana."

The PPP is asking for your votes so that we can create an inclusive, united Ghanaian society – TEAM GHANA. It is this new national unity that will reinvent Ghana. We, promise to build one solid Team Ghana by re-inventing our Ghanaian selves, our attitudes and our way of life. The PPP has emerged with the courage to stand up and say we are not just here to give empty promises to win power.
All the presidential candidates are talking about job creation but there is only one DOER when it comes to jobs, jobs, jobs. Edwumawura, Papa Kwesi Nduom.