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Opinions of Monday, 27 October 2008

Columnist: Asiedu-Young, Bellinia

Nana Akufo-Addo - Ghana's Next Positive President!

I went on a search mission to find the achievements of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). Below you will find the 20 most important achievements and initiatives within the last 7 to 8 years. It is important to note that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said his government will move to the 2nd level of what has been done by President John Kuffuor. I believe the truth is that the NPP government has done a lot more than I anticipated for Ghana, given the kind of situation we had found ourselves in when they took over.

The first and most important achievement of all - FREEDOM OF SPEECH and the repeal of the Criminal Libel Law (Ask Dr. Asemfoforo, he was privy to this during the last People’s Assembly in Takoradi). And he has lived through this to praise the NPP.

The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) – this health program has been helpful, and I can attest to this from my own personal experience. Since the introduction of this initiative, I have fewer requests from family members asking for funds for medical treatment. I have in fact heard only good things about this from friends and relatives back home.

Road infrastructural network is being upgraded with highways to run across the country, such as the Aburi dual carriageway in the Akwapim ranges, also a national highway to be constructed across the country, linking major towns such as Aflao, Winneba and Kumasi. This work is still ongoing.

There is a School Feeding Program for 1 in every 4 primary schools. If this is run properly, it could end up being one of the best programs ever to be implemented. This is an added incentive for children to stay in school and will help boost the literacy rate, as I hear some families are sending their wards to these schools because the meals turn out to be the only healthy meal that these school children would otherwise have throughout the day. A healthy body is a healthy mind! Let us do even more to protect our future minds. Capitation Grant has been established to develop community and schools.

Affordable housing for workers has been implemented and it is in the beginning stages.

We now have internet backbone connection linking fibre optic cables from the north to the south.

The Bui Hydro Electric Dam has been constructed to serve the northern sector of Ghana and also to provide clean drinking water.

Thermal plants have been installed at Akosombo, Aboadze (Takoradi) and Tema to minimize the overload on the existing electrical supply.

Oil find – one will say the oil has long been there so the NPP did not find it. Yes, it is true. The difference is how it was explored before. It is possible that previous loans were misused by previous governments. In the case of the NPP, I understand since the year 2000 about 7% of revenue from sources were set aside just for the oil find, and to achieve this, it is very IMPORTANT to note that they made sure that the money was there constantly. So we now have in Ghana an American company, Kosmos, which is being partnered by Tullow Oil and Anadarko Petroleum Corporation of Ghana to explore Ghana’s oil. Another important fact that most people are not aware of is that our own revenue was used for the initial work.

Ghana has started offshore banking, bringing up the confidence of potential investors because they know their money is safe. Current Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate is 5.6 percent and is still growing. Is it true that inflation has slowed down, as a result of the stability of the cedi? I will leave this for the economists to answer. Metro Mass Transport (MMT) was introduced with about 800 buses nationwide and I even hear school children were able to ride on it for free. Let’s hope the buses are still roadworthy, and if not, they should be replenished. Brand new stadiums have been built in Takoradi, Tamale, Accra, and Kumasi stadium has been refurbished and there is another being built in Cape Coast. NPP is broadening the tax net so everyone will pay tax, and there has been a public education on this.

Salaries for workers are being improved. I suppose one can never have enough salary in these tough economic times, but they’re trying. There has been some type of land reform.

Eurobond has been launched

The railway system is going to be made an integral part of our transportation system to link the north to the south. This is being done by Japanese experts. Ghanaians now have a secured environment to go about their daily lives to do business without any form of intimidation. The gentle giant has effectively provided a peaceful atmosphere of calm and stability for our people.

There are more amazing things that have been going on for the last 8 years. They give us confidence that our people can be as good as any others when not MUZZLED, and when given the chance we will go to greater heights.

Armed with this information, the onus is on each of us in a civil society, to make a good choice. If Ghana was your project, would you make a careful prudent decision? Let’s not forget, in Nana Akufo-Addo, we have the added advantage of decisive leadership.

Now, our first duty as Patriotic Ghanaians is to help choose the right leadership that will protect our rights. Our second duty will be to return to the table to lay down our demands, such as pushing for the Right for Information Bill, pushing for Transparency and an effective Ombudsman for the people. Let us uphold our DEMOCRACY by voting NPP!

Bellinia Asiedu-Young Richmond Hill, Ontario