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Opinions of Friday, 20 August 2021

Columnist: Solomon Atta

The NDC can’t win election with the ‘can’t do’ spirit

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) flag The National Democratic Congress (NDC) flag

The Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo administration is committing some $1.87 billion in the next 18 months to build 111 state-of-the-art district hospitals. AGENDA 111 if completed would be the single largest investment in Ghana’s health sector and the single largest infrastructural development with internally generated funds.

What excites me about the program is that it’s a homegrown one. According to the President, the program is designed and supervised by 20 Ghanaian consulting firms, contracted to about 250 domestic contractors, would be built with local raw materials, and be maintained by Ghanaian maintenance companies.

The project he said, would create some 25000 direct jobs during the construction phase for architects, civil and mechanical engineers, electricians, quantity surveyors, welders, masons, carpenters, steel benders, painters, and other artisans, as well as some 20,000 permanent health profession and administrative jobs.

Over 10,000 indirect jobs could be created as well during the construction and operation phases.

This model of nation-building and economic development empowers the local economy with the needed blood to power industries. It also creates the conveyor belt that creates backward linkages through the value chain to support job creation.

What worries me is the “can’t do” spirit of the opposition, who at one point says the project is Mahama’s brainchild repackaged by Nana Addo yet tout it as ‘419’.

I remember vividly in October 2017 when President Nana Addo launched the One-District-One Warehouse program in Ejura. As a young Budget Analyst and a part-time sports pundit, I was put in charge of the local Media and Publicity Committee for the event.

The opposition cast doubts. But it was delivered. Today, the program has been developed into the Ghana Buffer Stock and anchors the flagship Planting for Food and Jobs program.

Then came One District One Factory & Free Senior High School programs. Many people of the NDC said it was impossible and that those programs were a hoax.

Today, over 76 local factories have been completed and a combined total of 232 are in various stages of completion while on average 100,000 Ghanaian kids have access to senior high school education every year who otherwise would have found themselves in the street.

Vice President, Dr. Bawumia is right that the NDC is turning itself into the “party of it is not possible,” which wouldn’t serve them nor the country any good.

You would expect an opposition party to challenge the ruling party with some great alternative ideas to achieve the common good rather than pulling down any progressive initiatives.

This is worrisome and can’t win them the election because the new generation of Ghanaians want an optimistic leader rather than pessimists.