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Opinions of Thursday, 30 July 2020

Columnist: Sarpong Osei Richard

The NPP have performed better

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo


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Dear Ghanaians,

The NPP and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is not saying we've turned Ghana into a paradise or better still an America of a sort. What we're saying and of course very true is that, comparatively, we've performed better in our 3.5yrs than the 8yrs of NDC and John Mahama.

What are saying is that, in less than 4yrs in office, we have done many things, the NDC couldn't do in 8 solid years, some of which includes;

NABCO

The Nation Builder Builders Corp was instituted as a stop gap or temporary measure to curtail the skyrocketing unemployed youth in the country as at the time we took office. With this, a 100,000 graduates who but for NABCO would be perhaps idling and indulging in many non beneficial activities were employed with a monthly allowance of Ghc. 700. Fact abounds that, before then, there were many graduates who were engaged in many jobs but we're receiving far less than 700 cedis. It is is also a fact that, the beneficiaries in the last 2.5yrs have built their career and experience in the corporate and formal job world.

To this, we say, we've have performed better!

Free SHS

In spite of the disbelieF of many politicians, CSOs, academicians and even former Presidents, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo broke all protocols to make sure this great and innovative educational sector revolution is implemented in his first year in office. To the skeptics, it was even not sustainable and questioned it's viability but today, we've witnessed over 1.2 million Ghanaians benefiting with it's ripples of economic freedom extending to million of families and caretakers. It is estimated that, out of the Ghc 3.2 billion spent, about GHc 2 billion of them are direct monies put into the pocket of the ordinary Ghanaian.

Owing to the inadequate infrastructural need of our schools, this government in it's sterning love to see Ghana built on high levels of educated nationals defied all odds and rolled an ambigious but necessary "double-track system"; this could help accommodate an extra 400,000 students who would under normal circumstance be denied SHS education, not because, they are not qualified but lack of facilities.

The Free SHS has not only improved enrollment but also learning hours and access to basic student needs such as text books, uniforms etc. It has also recruited over 12,000 graduate unemployed youth and about 3,000 non teaching staffs. Not forgetting, over 1200 new Infrastructural developments are currently ongoing in our schools, a development the Free SHS has forced us to do but we wouldn't on the normal circumstance. This is why we say, we've performed better!

Youth employment modules

whiles NABCO took care of the the graduate unemployed, the YEA also was there to take care of the non graduates. We inherited a government which has less than 10,000 of these youth enrolled under over 5 modules.

To day, the YEA has over 15,000 youth Employed under Community Police module alone. Over 10,000 sanitation personnel, 8,000 school support programme beneficiaries, over 3,000 Arabic Instructors module, about 6,000 youth in sports module and other modules recruiting over 20,000 youth.
Recently, the YEA launched the Job center module, a 3 in 1 initiative which when fully implemented, has the potency to linking thousand of jobless youth in a year.

Our female sport players will for the next 6 months be given a monthly allowance of Ghc 500 from government through the YEA as a part of the efforts to lessen the Covid-19 impacts on youth development especially in the sports sector.

This we say, we've performed better!

Public service recruitment

But for the intervention of the NPP government in 2017, our Public sectors of our economy were forced to lie low irrespective of their needs and expectations. The pining IMF conditions barred them from recruiting no matter how low and weak their staff strength fared. Since assuming office in 2017, Ghanaians are witnesses to the many public sector jobs openings given to us.

Typically, over 3,000 agric extension officers, 3,000 staff at Cocobod, over 10,000 local government staffs in various institutions. By end of this year, a total of about 93,000 Ghanaians would be employed in GES alone, over 50,000 in Ghana Health Service. The YEA recently has recruited over 500 permanent staffs, the Judicial Service, Civil Service, PBC, Zongo Development Ministry, and thousand of jobs in various public service institutions.
This we say, we've performed better!

Agriculture

Despite it's great contribution to our economic freedom, the agric sector is one of the most worst attended-to sector under the past NDC government. Today, the sector in which most of it's sub-sectors were in negative growth is now a spotlighted actor of this government's success story. Thanks to the introduction of PFJ, RFJ and others, the agric sector is in positive expedition. Under these great initiatives, there has been comparatively abundance of food; for the first time since 2007, Ghana now exports basic cereals such as maize, beans, millet, etc. Our local rice had seen a boost, a positive news for the country.

The establishment and passage of the Tree Crop Development Authority, about six (6) plantation crops including cashew, mango, rubber, oil palm etc shall also see a boost like our cocoa. The act and the authority is going to give much attention to these crops and their developments and further processing to facilitate not only raw material exports but industrialization. This is a potential job hub for the youth. Not forgetting, the 1V1D initiative, our counterparts in the North can now farm even in the dry season. This is a source of livelihood and economic growth for many in the North.
This and many others are why we say,we've performed better!

1D1F

Again, a very important economic spike for every country-- industrialization. Since 2017, the Nana Addo led government embarked on a journey to set up at least one factory per district in Ghana. With all due criticisms and skeptical attacks, this thing is on the way to reality. Currently, there are some districts with even more than the projected one, Tema for instance. We are told by the Trade ministry that, about 58 of the factories are fully completed and operational. This is evident by the exhibition of Ekujuice from the Ekumfi Pineapple Factory in our supermarkets and retail shops. Please go get a taste of you've not before and thank me later.

We've the Glofert, OMNIfert, Casa De Ropa, Springs and Bolts at Asokwa in Kumasi (I have personally visited this company), Nsawam Prisons Tissues and paper factory.

One thing that sound like a vague promise to many was the establishment of assembling plants for some global auto giants like Toyota, VW, Sinotruck, Nissan etc. Today, Ghanaians can buy their brand new VW cars in Ghana without necessarily having to import them. We are told by CEO of Toyota, that, their first car should be ready by August, 2020. Sinotruck had already started theirs long ago. These we reflect and compare, then, we have performed better!

Health

In spite of it's necessity in national development, the health sector was seemingly neglected by the just gone NDC government. The human resource base was so weak, our health facilities deprived of adequate staff. Graduates from our Colleges of Health since 2012 were left idling at home. On top of that, their training allowance were cancelled.

The reality today is that, the health sector has seen and continues to see major human resource upgrade. Over 50,000 of health professional recruited since 2017. Existing health facilities seeing major completion works and worker-interventions under the NPP since 2017. The almighty one ambulance per Constituency is at your sight!

The Covid-19 relief package for our health workers is even enough to know, we've performed better than the NDC!

Education

It was obvious the education sector under the John Mahama and his NDC was impotent. The teachers were denied even chalks, are you not worried?

Today, the education sector is expanding and making waves. Infrastructural developments and it's accompanying jobs. No wonder, now Teacher Training graduates would just threaten demos after 3 months of National Service without postings. In the era of NDC, you could sit home for 4 years without being posted.

Teacher Training Allowances have been restored. Subventions for the various educational facilities are on constant and regular flow, each GES directorate given brand new pick-up, brand new buses for our various SHSs. On top, we are instituting an annual "thank you" gift for teachers in a form of yearly bonus. Teachers are happy. To these, we say we've performed better!

Empowered state institutions

Unequivocally, the NPP say with much confidence to say, we've very well resourced our state institutions than the previous NDC. This is evident by the visible budgetary allocations to most of these institutions, revival and resurrection of some of them, and the dynamism brought to them under this government. The CHRAJ, NCCE, AUDIT SERVICE etc have in no doubt received major budgetary boost to some of which is about over 50% increase. This has enabled and strengthened them to carry out their mandate effectively.

We have again resourced our security services. Thousands of cars and special duty cars bought for the police, military, fire service, prison service etc. We've also since 2017 increased their recruitment slots, hence, ensuring the ratio of a security man to it's corresponding nationals is reduced to international standards. Currently, the military housing projects have seen some tremendous blessings of which the President commissioned one some few months ago at Accra.

Today, the STC, Metro Mass and our Railway areas are doing the magic. With STC recording it's major profit in over a decade under this government, we are all witnesses to the dynamism that company have received. The State Housing Company can't be left out and their works, very visible to even the blind. You can add more!

Economic indicators

But for the intervention of the NPP government in 2017, the dwindling economic growth of Ghana would have been far bad by now, economists say. With all major economic indicators pointing in odd directions under John Mahama, the NPP team has miraculously turned around things. Inflation at 15.3 under NDC is now at 11.2% under NPP despite the impact of Covid-19 on global economies. Our foreign reserves have shot up comparatively, interest rates have declined impactfully, exchange rate figures showing promising signs, ease of doing business is all time high, sustainable public debt management.

The expansion of the economy is evident by the positive ratings as given by major economics outlook institutions such as Bloomberg, Fitch, Works Bank and IMF unlike previously under NDC.

This we say, we've performed better!

Youth development and sports

Despite being the future leaders of the country, youth development was all time low under John Mahama, a situation he personally admitted as president in his infamous "the unemployed youth lacked skills" mantra.

About 10 youth development centers by the NYA with a 5000 seater stadium each are currently ongoing, NEIP entrepreneurship challenge and training has seen over 10,000 as beneficiaries, out of which about 4,000 have received financial supports. Same can be said of the Presidential Pitch. Many youth have been appointed into positions of values and respect, a situation that encourages youth empowerment.

This we say, we have performed better!

Corrouption

The once upon a time normalization of corruption in government has seen a major decrease. This has become possible by the various anti-corruption measures executed by this government in our public finance. The PPA is now electronically subjecting its works to the general public. This has increased citizen participation in our procurement deals. Most allegations of current appointees engagement in rots has been subjected open investigation by appropriate institutions, some of which who deserves punitive actions have been taken. The NYA and PPA scandal are few examples.

Global participation and relations

No doubt, Ghana under Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the NPP has seen global attention and respect. The "Year of Return" initiative is very commendable. It would have taken the NDC over decades to think a thing like that. Not only did the year of return place Ghana under spotlight, huge revenues were also attracted. The visit to Ghana by high profiled leaders and anchors in the last 3.5yrs have slated good things in our tourism sectors.

Our President and his active participation in global affairs is a good sign of leadership which has led to many investment such as VW, Sinotruck, Nissan etc. You may have your doubts, but the reality beckons fast! Another great leadership echoed by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is his partnership with our Ivorian leader to negotiate a fair deal for our cocoa on the international front. It takes a leader to do so, this, we say, we've performed better!

Environment and natural resources

In spite of it's daring consequence on his government, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo never hesitated to revolutionalise our Small Scale Mining sector which was on the bent of crushing this country. Our water bodies, arable land and others resources were destroyed without mercy. It took the bold Akufo-Addo to step his foot on and instituted some level of discipline in the area.

Over 5,000 Galamseyers were trained at the Paa Grant University of Mines and Energy. This afforded them basic mining and environmentally friendly mining scheme. Comparatively, our water bodies are comparatively clean, lands are not destroyed as it used to be and our gold resources are being left to Ghanaians to mine in that sector as required by law. We've not given up, more measures in being implemented until the right thing is achieved.

The Obuasi Gold Mine was collapsed under NDC/John Mahama but thanks to God, the company has been resurrected under Nana Addo and NPP. It's first recruitment gave over 2,000 Ghanaians access to jobs. Export of Gold to bring revenue to Ghana is not far from reality. If you're from Oseikrom and you have missed why it is called the Garden City, wait, you will soon understand why. The Forestry Commission through its Youth in Afforestation Programme (employed about 80,000 youth) is greening the country. Trees are so important that, they say, if the last tree dies, the last man dies too. We're restoring the sanity of natural lives to Ghanaians. Have we not performed better on this?

Others

Time won't permit me to list all, but it is evident that, the agenda of transformative policies are overwhelming. The digitization drive in many sectors of the economy is very welcoming. Have anyone wondered why online sales and marketing is increasingly increasing mainly under this government? Thanks to the motivation by Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, who has spearheaded the digitization and encourged many to take heed.

Cocoa Farmers insurance scheme underway. NHIS debts cleared, school feeding beneficiaries increased and debts cleared, DUMSOR as a result of energy sector legacy debt is cleared and gone for good, LEAP beneficiaries increased and paid promptly, increased electronic payment in public spendings, reduced and abolished some nuisance taxes, roads Infrastructural developments Nationwide, electricity expansion, rural telephony expansion, rural water expansion, increase in share of PWDs of the DACF, successful implementation and issuance of Ghana Card, improved Revenue streams, solid banking sector restructuring, the humanitarian and caring manner in which Covid-19 and it's associated impact has been managed (free water and electricity), expansion of beneficiaries of MASLOC loans, public sector reforms, and many others underlies our memories to say, we've performed better than the NDC. We are not being complacent but we've actually gone past the performance of NDC's 8 ear rule in less than 4 years.

The fact remains that, hitherto, despite the importance of these needs on the economy and citizenry, Ghanaians were just called names like "short memory" people.

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