General News of Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Source: Daily Graphic

With resources doubling free SHS policy is achievable - J. A. Kufuor

Former President J.A Kufuor has said with the nation’s resources doubling, the New Patriotic Party’s Free Senior High School Policy will be easily achieved.

He contended that unlike the National Democratic Congress government, which wasted the nation’s rich resources on dubious judgement debt, an Akufo-Addo government will judiciously spend the wealth on educating the Ghana youth free of charge to the senior secondary level.

He said even with meagre resources, his administration was able to introduce the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), free compulsory basic education (FCUBE) and other infrastructural development.

Addressing a large crowd of party supporters and sympathisers at the Jubilee Square in the oil city of Takoradi as part of activities to round off the party’s electioneering activities in the region, he added that “for the good of our country and for the love of our people, vote for Nana Akufo-Addo”.

Other leading members of the party who addressed the rally included Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Mr Yaw Osafo Marfo and Mrs Gladys Asmah.

Former President Kufuor added that the NPP would use the oil resources and others to fund the free SHS to prepare the youth of the country to be competitive in the global village which was being powered by knowledge.

He said although education was the prerequisite for the advancement in the current world, not all Ghanaian children could benefit from education because most parents could not afford to pay their wards school fees, hence the decision by the NPP to make senior high school education free of charge.

In a rhetorical question, former President Kufuor asked whether children leaving JHS at age 14 could undertake anything meaningful for themselves and said it was for that reason that the NPP wanted to keep them in school till senior high school, before leaving to the world of work.

Touching on the Railways industry which used to be one of the main driving forces of the Sekondi-Takoradi economy but had almost collapsed, President Kufuor recalled that during his administration, he initiated moves to revamp the sector.

Some of the moves included summoning all the stakeholders including management of the Ghana Railway Corporation, Timber Marketing Board, Ghana Cocoa Board and Manganese to the seat of government for discussion on the way forward.

He said government set aside $90 million and urged management of all the other companies to also enter into a joint venture with government to generate $5 million as counterpart fund so that it would be used to raise $ 1.5 billion to revamp the rail line to the north.

He said the German government sent its railway advisors to offer their support but unfortunately the NPP lost power in 2008.

Surprisingly, Mr Kufuor said the NDC government which inherited all the foundation laid by the NPP had not been able to add a single rail line to what they met and urged Ghanaians to vote the NDC out of power.

Former President Kufuor, whose administration had a separate ministry for Railway added that although there was advice from some sectors that workers of the dormant Railways Corporation must be redeployed, he maintained them and paid their salaries.

He claimed unlike the NDC that promised to use 10 per cent of the oil resources to develop the region but had turned its back on them, the next NPP government would continue with the good programmes and infrastructure to ensure that the rich region had its fair share of the nation's resources.

Regarding the oil find, former President Kufuor said the NDC was in power for 19 years and could not discover oil and gas in commercial quantities.