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General News of Thursday, 10 April 2008

Source: GNA

I'll turn trash into cash- Ansah-Antwi

Accra, April 10, GNA- Mr Emmanuel Ansah-Antwi, flag bearer of the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), for the 2008 Election, has assured Ghanaians that a DFP administration would pursue a vigorous sanitary waste recycling program to ensure that the country gains substantial earnings from waste. He said if given the mandate to be president of Ghana, one of his first lines of action would be to provide red, gold and green trash bins at vantage points across the country to collect trash for recycling and resale.

Mr Ansah-Antwi who was speaking to representatives of business groups in Accra on Wednesday at a forum organized by the Private Enterprises Foundations (PEF), said "I'll turn trash into cash if I become president." It was organised for the presidential candidates to enable them to interact with players in the local business community and discuss issues concerning business and industry, particularly what the candidates would do to improve the industrial sector if given the chance to govern the country.

The forum was attended by Dr. Paa Kwesi Ndoum, flag bearer of the Convention People's Party (CPP), Dr. Edward Nasigre Mahama, People's National Convention (PNC) and Mr. Kwesi Amoafo Yeboah an independent candidate. Mr Ansah-Antwi said a DFP administration would pay people who would voluntarily gather rubbish and send them to designated collection points for recycling adding "Don't be surprised if people begin to steal trash from their neighbours under the DFP." He said there was no reason for waste to engulf Ghanaians the way it had when simple steps by a committed government could turn waste into money for the benefit of individuals, families and the nation as a whole.

Mr Ansah-Antwi also gave the assurance that a DFP administration would pursue a vigorous program so homes and traffic lights would use solar energy to save the 52 per cent hydro and thermal energy being used by homes and industry. "We will also increase funding for research in general and also for research into robotics in particular," he said. Mr Ansah-Antwi said a DFP administration would convert the National Youth Employment Program (NYEP) in to National Youth Entrepreneurship Program (NYEP) to be run by an independent National Youth Commission (NYC) for effectiveness.

Mr Ansah-Antwi said under a DFP administration, there would be an integrated governance system, where all sectors of the economy would be synergized in a cyclical manner for proper monitoring and evaluation to prevent corruption and inefficiency in state institutions. He said it was for instance unacceptable that even though the agriculture sector employed 70 per cent of the workforce, it only accounted for 35 per cent of GDP, saying that under a DFP rule more funding would be given to the cash crop sub-sector to boost earnings from agriculture. Mr Ansah-Antwi said "We will establish a Foundation of Industries which will make use of local raw materials and support industry in such a way that they would be sufficiently protected against foreign competition.

"That is why we do not believe in the privatization of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) because such a move would defeat efforts to boost investment and earnings from the sector." Dr Paa Kwesi Ndoum also reiterated his commitment to a campaign of ideas in the run-up to the December polls and assured the business community of a CPP administration's commitment to a "Positive Action for Private Sector in Ghana" program when voted president. He said it was not enough to seek to make the private sector the engine of growth, saying that a CPP administration would also provide the fuel, oil and the first class road for the engine to run.

Dr Ndoum said that the challenges facing the private sector in Ghana were sufficiently addressed in Dr. Kwame Nkrumah's seven-year development plan, which was truncated by the 1966 coup. He said a CPP administration would return to that program and bring its good policies to bear on the economy.

Dr Ndoum said "We must understand that places like Malaysia and Korea, which we usually compare ourselves to had significant state input in the development. That is why we in the CPP believe that the state must provide the enabling environment in the form of tax incentives and fair distribution of facilities for business to be able to spread across the country and not based in the south as we have now." Dr Mahama assured the business community and the public of a "problem-solving leadership" under a PNC administration, saying that he would provide leadership by example by living a simple life.

"I will cut down the number of ministers from 88 to 40 and save salaries of 48 ministers for national development and also reduce the number of vehicles in my presidential entourage for the same purpose." Dr Mahama said that the "zero tolerance for corruption" slogan by the ruling NPP had remained just a slogan and not a policy, but under a PNC administration the policies would make it difficult for corrupt persons to thrive.

Dr Mahama expressed concerned about lateness of officials to functions, saying it was important that leaders demonstrated their commitment to national re-orientation about promptness by reporting to functions on time. Mr Kwesi Amoafo Yeboah asked Ghanaians to move away from politics as usual and vote for an independent candidate who could represent the interest of ordinary Ghanaians.