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Opinions of Friday, 6 January 2017

Columnist: Baafi, Alex Bossman

Nana Akufo-Addo’s victory and beyond

By Alex Bossman Baafi

I write to extend my warmth congratulations to Nana Akufo-Addo for his landslide victory in the December 7, 2016 presidential election held in our country. This emphatic and overwhelming endorsement by the good people of our country marked the beginning of the end of the John Dramani Mahama-Amissah-Authur administration and the arrogance of the NDC communication team that dominated our airwaves for the past eight hardship years.

The massive show of the support and the confidence reposed in Nana Akufo-Addo and his party, New Patriotic Party (NPP), by the good people of Ghana, put a lot on the shoulders of the President elect because we know “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown”. Many believe that as the battle is still the Lord’s and God never takes a holiday, Nana’s government will be able to fulfill its social contract with the people of our country.

A lot of factors culminated into this emphatic mandate and endorsement of Nana Akufo-Addo. First of all NPP embarked on issues-based campaign. They remained focused and carefully articulated issues that affected the lives of the mass majority of the people. For example the theme of their manifesto, ‘Arise for Change” ‘Agenda for Jobs’ was very well hammered during the campaign periods everywhere.

Because of the poverty levels in our country, Free Senior High School education was embraced by the masses. Others messages such as rejuvenating National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), one-district-one-factory and 1million dollars to every constituency, every year portrayed Nana as generational thinker and a leader with incredible vision.

On the other hand, economic downturn of our country, high utility tariffs, high taxes, high cost of credit, high cost of raw materials, high cost of doing business, high cost of living in addition to the declining fortunes of the national currency, the cedi, which had led to huge social cost and therefore severe suffering of the mass majority of our people, made nonsense of the much trumpeted massive infrastructural development continuity campaign of the incumbent Mahama government.

Many were not happy with the perceived massive corruption, arrogance of power and show of opulence exhibited by officialdom (erecting huge electronics bill boards and cruising many Land Cruiser V8 vehicles) in the midst of current hardships of the masses.

The Ghanaian people voted for economic independence where people have jobs with pay devoid of excessive taxation. They expect an economy with low interest rates, low exchange rates and low inflation. We will cherish an economy with modernized agriculture, with the enabling environment for private sector businesses to flourish.

As NPP government is known for its laudable social intervention programs, Nana will be expected to put in place policies that will be people centered.

In any humble opinion, revitalizing the NHIS and religiously implementing the free senior high education will undoubtedly benefit our people across the country. Putting One million dollars at the disposal of every constituency every year, ear marked for basic infrastructural development is a wonderful program. It must be carefully and obediently implemented corruption-free for the benefit everybody in the country. The benefits and success of such a policy would be worthy of emulation by the nations around us and perhaps many nations across the continent.

The one-district-one-factory policy is a bold and visionary agenda that will go a long way to surmount the mass unemployment challenges and also boost output for export. Such a thought-through program when well implemented will create the synergy and enhance the inter-sectorial linkage between the agricultural sector and the industry.

A lot more needs to be done to stabilize the economy. The energy must be restructured to ensure constant availability of reliable supply of power to boost production in the country.

Corruption must be held in check at all times by making sure the Ghanaian people get value for money in all public contracts for projects. That means, the government’s majority in parliament should not be complacent and use its members to rubber-stamp and approve dubious inflated projects as witnessed from the previous governments.

The success of Nana-Bawumia government by and large will also depend on the team that will be assembled to execute the programs of the government. This is critical. Experience, competence, hardworking and selfless people who have the welfare of the nation at heart and willing to sacrifice must be chosen.

Nana Addo has the good will of the people. He has the trust and mandate of the people who are prepared to sacrifice in patience for him to steer the affairs of the nation to build a country of prosperity and opportunities for all. We trust that the administration under Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia will not let the good people of Ghana down.