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Opinions of Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Columnist: Anthony Obeng Afrane

Flashback: The 419 electoral promises by NPP

The good people of Ghana should not to buy into Akufo-Addo’s 419 promises The good people of Ghana should not to buy into Akufo-Addo’s 419 promises

It is said that sin has many tools, but deception is the handle that fits them all. It is worrying that the NPP is fast carving out a niche for themselves as masters of the art of deception. I’m, therefore, cynical about their campaign promises, and my cynicism is definitely not without cause. I have some justifications to make. Some of the broken promises in NPP’s 2000 manifesto are as follows:

Expansion of railway to the northern part of Ghana, construction of a public University in every region, building a factory in every district, create 500,000 jobs every year, establish a modern airport in Tamale, engagement of 20,000 sanitary inspectors every year, construction of fifty thousand housing units per year, just to mention a few.

Unfortunately, none of these was done in their eight years in government. The question many people would want to ask is: did the NPP lie in their campaign or to use a less pejorative term, did they mislead the electorate for political gain?

Now, let’s fast forward to 2016 and examine the One district one factory policy – an unfulfilled promise in 2000. The critical question is which type of factories are they promising, and on what infrastructural basis are they building those factories? In all sincerity, is this promise hitched on the admission that all our districts are now ripe for factories? Are they putting their hopes on the massive roadworks, extended water supply, and electricity President Mahama has and is still undertaking in the districts?

In economics, factors of production heavily hinge on infrastructure, so what is the infrastructure plan of the NPP towards their one district one factory promise? How long will it take them to put in the factors of production, and how long will the procurement process and construction of 245 factories take? We need to know the source of funding, supply chain strategy, and manpower plan.

President Mahama is building these infrastructure component factors of production, building the technical and vocational skills of Ghanaians, so he has a better understanding of how a factory is built. After all, he has demonstrated his competence by building the Komenda Sugar Factory and others from the base.

One Village, One Dam – it is possibly easier for city dwellers to be deceived by this 419 promise. Not every village has the natural features for a dam, being irrigation or hydroelectric. If it's dugouts, then Akufo- Addo should state that.

Interestingly, the one making the promise does not seem to know the difference between a dam and a dugout so how can he satisfactorily fulfill such a promise? The irrigation capacity of a dam is measured by the landmass it covers, not by the village. One dam is capable of irrigating a landmass of 50 or more villages, so one village one dam exposes Akufo-Addo’s technical ignorance.

One constituency, one million dollars is another funny promise. In Ghana, we have the District Assembly Common Fund, so why not promise to put that one million into that statutory fund? Now, he wants to allocate one million to a purely electoral area that isn’t self-accounting. If this isn’t an avenue for looting what else can it be? Pure intent to steal, because the constituencies are pure political divisions under the MPs, who have no locus in our constitution to manage funds.

In any case, are the challenges of all the constituencies homogeneous? Absolutely no! This is a pure one-shop solution, a deceptive strategy used by a frustrated flag bearer who wants to be president at all costs.

Allowance/Salary for Arabic Teachers. It’s obvious Nana Akufo-Addo doesn’t even know that this is already happening, so I will spare him for his ignorance.

President Mahama has shown commitment to Arabic teaching by building one brand new Arabic Training College in Wenchi. He has also initiated the policy to allow the Arabic language to be examinable in Ghana at all levels. Currently, the syllabus is almost ready.

Zongo Development Fund – this is laughable. What happened to their 2000 Manifesto promise of developing our Zongos into high-rise buildings?

Free SHS. The progressive free SHS which is more sensible for our economy was already being successfully implemented by President Mahama.

Jobs - Akufo-Addo has not told us how he is going to create those Jobs. President Mahama has outlined his job creation strategy which he calls Livelihood Empowerment through skills development, using YEA, then entrepreneurship development using YES, revival of GIHOC holding, Farmer Service Centre concept, expanding job avenues by building more schools, more health facilities, expanding military garrisons, and increasing police and other security agencies numbers and roles.

Growing the economy to 8% in 2017 to automatically churn out jobs, etc. This is what is called a clear plan.

NHIS now has national coverage with twenty times hospital visitations and increased payment to one billion dollars annually as compared to the NPP’s mutual scheme that was nowhere near this current one. I’ll entreat readers to go to Joy FM for the truth.

Restoration of full allowances for teacher/nurse trainees is an act of double standards by the NPP. They proposed this withdrawal in their 2007/08 budget guidelines, so why this U-turn? How can such a promise be trusted?

Fight against corruption? With which plan? Didn't they tell us corruption is as old as Adam and can’t be fought? I hope readers have not forgotten about waa waa, K.T. Hammond’s drillship, hotel Kufour, Amoako Tufour, the looting of lands in Accra, and what happened during Ghana at 50 celebrations.

President Mahama is exposing corruption, unlike those who said publicly they wouldn't expose corruption in their government to bring it down. Well, it will interest my cherished readers to know that President Mahama has signed into policy, the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan. Please get a copy and read it. This is a government that is serious in the fight against corruption.

Our primary source of revenue comes from taxes, but a party that has promised heaven, one this one that says it will reduce taxes and wouldn't borrow, and yet has a very high budget by restoring students loans, building 245 factories, giving one million dollars to 275 constituencies every year, build a dam each for all villages in Ghana! Isn’t this a joke? Even magicians have stopped making such promises. 'Opana' should come again.

In conclusion, I want to admonish the good people of Ghana not to buy into Akufo-Addo’s 419 promises as we go to the polls. Let’s heed the advice of Ekiti State Governor of Nigeria, Ayodele Fayose not to succumb to deceit and vote for change because Nigerians buying into the All Progressives Congress (APC) deceptive message of change has brought hunger, suffering, and economic recession to their country.