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General News of Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Source: GNA

Govt has drawn lessons from NPP's abysmal manifesto record

Accra, June 21 ,GNA- Government says it has drawn lessons from the NPP's abysmal record on how the NPP failed to implement over 77% of its manifesto promises it presented in the 2000 elections.

A statement signed by Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Deputy Minister for Information stressed that the government of President John Evans Atta Mills will not take the people of this country for granted and that serious efforts will continue to be made in fulfilling promises made to Ghanaians in its 2008 Better Ghana manifesto stressing that government was on course in this regard. Government said it remains conscious of the need to entrench political accountability and ensure confidence and trust in our body politic.

Government welcomed calls from sections of society especially its political opponents to fulfill all of its manifesto promises and assured Ghanaians that after studying the NPP's abysmal record and knowing that it is substantially for this

reason that the patience of the good people of Ghana for the NPP run out in 2008,

"we are minded not to repeat that unenviable first term feat with our fir= st term."

"It is also for this reason that President Mills established a policy coordination and implementation unit headed by a senior presidential advisor Dr. Christine Amoako Nuamah to ensure adherence to the most optimum level," the statement added.

Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa said 93it is important that our politics generates confidence among the citizenry and that political accountability is crucial to sustain our democratic experiment and ensure the rapid development of our nation. Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa said that while he does not begrudge the NPP for making demands home and abroad on the Government to fulfill all of its manifesto promises, it found the insincerity and sanctimonious piety on the part of the NPP troubling . It is for this reason that it is important to assess the NPP's own record to ascertain if they come to equity with clean hands especially as they are up and about again this

time in Europe making fresh promises to unsuspecting Ghanaians.

The statement asserted that 93it is for this reason that we seek to remind all Ghanaians

of the NPP's abysmal track record in fulfilling its lofty manifesto promi= ses as the

facts below reveal:"




1) Create jobs for all persons able and willing to work and to reward each of them appropriately 5

2) Reduce the tax burden especially on workers and pensioners 5

3) Empower all Ghanaians, especially our women and youth, by supporting their entrepreneurial initiatives 5

4) Ensure an even balanced development of all the regions in Ghana 5

5) Totally develop the rural areas through the pursuit of an aggressive integrated rural

development programme 6

6) An NPP government will cut the size and budget of the offices of the President

and the Vice President, the budget and the size of the cabinet secretariat, the number

of Ministers and other Presidential Appointees, and channel the resources t= o spur

greater economic growth 8 7) An NPP government will provide government loan guarantees under a new

programme called the Small Business Assistance Programme. Under this

programme, an NPP government will guarantee 80% of the loans provided to

qualified SMEs 10 8) Creation of Ghana Investment Fund. NPP government will contribute 30-50

billion Cedis each year for four years to raise 25 percent of the share capital 11 9) Large scale exploitation of Ghana's bauxite, clay and stone deposits w= ill be

commenced 12 10) Ghana's aluminium-based products will be promoted to penetrate the wider international market 12 11) Major fishing and processing ventures have been allowed to decay while European and Asian producers continue to prosper off Ghana's maritime resources.

Government will help to reverse this trend. 13 12) An NPP government will establish a Technologies Information Network,

involving our universities and research institutions, industry associations= , and key

government agencies=85..Qualified science and technology staff will be attached to

our Missions abroad to feed the Network with relevant information 13 13) NPP government will work with all our trading partners to negotiate an

Anti-Dumping Code to guide our trade relationships 14 14) Further, a National Subsidies Code, consistent with the rules and regulations of

World Trade Organization and the protocol of ECOWAS will be developed to

provide fiscal support and other subsidies to Ghanaian firms to enhance their ability

to compete in a global economy. In addition, qualitative and quantitative trade

restrictions will be used to support Ghanaian producers 14 15) Development of the tourist sector to make it less import intensive and

substantially increase its net foreign exchange earnings, granting special credits and

technical up-grading to 93chop bars", lower-end hotels and restaurants t= o improve

their surroundings and services to tourists 14 16) Up-grading of the numerous small garages and fitter's shops through a= ) access

to credits to acquire equipment and tools, b) making available technical training

through linkages with tertiary engineering institutions, to provide supporting services

to agriculture and industry 14 17) Rehabilitation of our urban markets, internationally famous as the home of the

enterprising West African 93market women", and provision of adequate dra= inage and

healthy surroundings to make them suitable places for trading and major tourist

attraction 14 18) Modernization and extension of railway network. Connection to the Northern

Regions within the next decade 15 19) Adequate drainage facilities particularly in the urban areas to protect life and

property 15 20) Adequate water supplies in the urban and rural centres 15 21) Programmes to ensure affordable energy and power sufficiency for domestic

and industrial consumption 15 22) Construction of houses and other facilities for such critical groups as teachers,

medical personnel and security services as well as for rural renewal 15 23) Reform the land tenure system and, in particular, facilitate the use of land by land-owners and traditional authorities as equity contributions for farming=, real estate, tourist and other commercial investments. This system will allow subsequen= t generations to benefit from the investment income from the land. 16 24) Facilitate entry of the educated youth into modern commercial farming by improving their access to land, capital, and farming support systems.

25) Review policy on the balance between importation of fish and the development of our own indigenous fishing industry 17 26) The NPP government will take specific actions to raise productivity in food

production;=85and to introduce a Farmers' and Fisherfolk's Security Tru= st to cater

for them in their times of need and in their old age. 17 27) Designating the Afram Plains (in the Eastern Region) as a grain basket of Ghana,

and conferring on it a special food production programme on pilot scale for

replication to other regions of the country after two (2) years 17 28) Investing in and promoting cost-effective water-harnessing facilities, such as

large and small scale dams, drip irrigation, etc. and to make irrigated and prepared

land blocks available for rent 17 29) The establishment of constituency-based small-scale private companies dedicated to the rehabilitation, maintenance and construction of feeder roads will be


30) The NPP government will put in place well-equipped community-manned Fire Control Service to rid the rural areas from the perennial scourge of bush fires

31) Establishment of a National Youth Corps to create at least 100,000 jobs by the end of its first year and even more in subsequent years. This will involve the provision of affordable credit and supporting services for engaging young people in productive economic venture 19 32) The National Mobilization programme will be reorganized and given proper policy direction. It will be encouraged to operate as a co-operative and to become self-supporting and profit-oriented

33) The establishment of Ghana as a platform for producing for export to neighbouring and the international markets will generate employment avenues for technically skilled labour in the electronics and electrical appliances assembling industry

34) Ensuring modernization and availability of urban housing. For instance, subject to the agreement of stakeholders, slums shall be replaced with 93apartment houses" with modern conveniences, which will be cost-effective and environmentally friendly

35) Re-siting of automobile and other service workshops to make them economically viable through inter-dependent and productive linkages

36) The NPP government will therefore give priority attention to the protection of the country's 960 km coastline from erosion by the sea. It will systematically make provision for the construction of sea defences structures where the coastline is threatened.

37) 85.the NPP is aware of the annual flooding of large parts of the North= ern and Upper Regions as a result of the opening of spillways of dams in Burkina Faso, especially when this happens during the rainy season. The NPP government shall embark on a very comprehensive programme to provide structures to protect these regions

21 38) The NPP will substantially increase the domestic budget allocation for Rural Wter Development. By 2010 at least 90% of all Ghanaians will have access t= o clean water supplies, and water borne disease will largely become a thing of the past

39) The NPP proposes to launch a special Housing The People Scheme which shall focus on low-cost housing, urban renewal and rural housing 23 40) Measures will be taken to remove constraints on housing development, such as land disputes and litigation, corruption in land administration and other abuses which

inflate construction costs. 23 41) Tourism=85..other initiatives of NPP government will include the downwa= rd

review of the cost of entry visa acquisition and airport taxes

42) The NPP government will provide government loan guarantees under a new programme called the Small Business Assistance Programme. Under this programme, an NPP government will guarantee 80 percent of the loans provide= d to qualified SMEs

43) Indeed, the trend around the world today is for nations to fund and implement policies to give their industries a competitive edge on the increasingly competitive world markets. An NPP government will actively support the gathering, financing, administering and diffusion of new technologies for our firms

44) To this end, an NPP government will help establish a Technologies Information Network, involving our universities, research institutions, industry associations, and key government agencies. The purpose of this Network will be to gather information on technology and related services from around the world and make it easily available to industry. Locally generated technologies will be critically assessed and included in the Network's database. The Network will also help firms identify, acquire, and adapt the best technologies. Qualified science and technology staff will be attached to our Missions abroad to feed the Network with relevant information

45) To encourage technological innovation by Ghanaians, open competitions will be held at regular intervals, at regional levels, aimed at rewarding persons or groups of persons for outstanding interventions, through the application of science and technology, which will provide solutions to clearly defined problems

46) NPP government will establish a subsidized apprenticeship scheme of a national dimension to enable those who fail to receive university education acquire skills for worthwhile vocations.

47) The NPP government will seek to alleviate this pressure by rapidly establishing decentralized polytechnics. High quality institutions offering focused courses in built-up areas will be encouraged to facilitate commuting from existing residential facilities

48) Promote science and technology at grassroots level, through science exhibitions and fairs in villages as well as urban centres, popularize income-generating technologies, and facilitate interaction between entrepreneurs and

scientists/technologists 30 49) Institute annual science and technology awards for innovation and best

performance in key areas from district to national level to bring out the best in all categories of learners and practitioners

50) Encourage innovators and inventors through a scheme for funding the development of new ideas for solving practical problems and the recognition of merit by suitable awards at regular intervals

51) NPP government will ensure that at least a community health nurse is located in every hamlet of the country

52) Overseas Treatment of Top Government Officials: The incoming NPP government shall abolish this practice. Currently, the budget provided for this type of treatment is shrouded in secrecy, and so also the method of selection of patients and the types of diseases treated abroad. NPP government will rather put emphasis on improving health facilities in Ghana so that overseas treatment at public expense can be curtailed

53) Strengthening the Audit Service and insisting on regular and timely audits of government ministries and agencies (including the District Assemblies) and expeditious applications of appropriate sanctions to offenders

54) The NPP disagrees with the present arrangement for the appointment and removal of District Chief Executives; ultimately, they will have to be freely elected

55) NPP government will take steps to amend Article 248 of the 1992 Constitution to make Local Government elections partisan

56) Give high priority to Police housing 42 57) The NPP government will, through such centres, establish 93half-way" houses to

smoothen the re-integration of discharged convicts into society. 43 58) 85the NPP government will provide some financial support for the operations of

political parties and will co-operate with all other political parties as essential organs

in the governance of the country 43

The statement said, 93In as much as the President Mills led government has vowed

not to repeat this scandal, we believe constant reminders will help all of us deepen

good governance and ensure that politicians do not take the people of this great

country for granted." In concluding, Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa said 93government continues to welcome assessments on how we are faring, we hope that the NPP will also welcome

assessments on how they fared hoping that they take a brief moment to reflect on

how they could be so spiteful to the Ghanaian people and offer cogent explanations

why they will not repeat the unenviable feat if giving another chance befor= e embarking on another promising spree."