Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom’s Progressive People’s Party (PPP) yesterday took time to dissect the recent State of the Nation Address presented to Parliament by President John Dramani Mahama, describing it as a ‘hollow and empty propaganda piece.’
At a press conference held at the party’s Asylum Down headquarters in Accra yesterday, PPP’s Director of Operations, Nana Ofori Owusu underscored, ‘To the surprise of many Ghanaians, the President in a well rehearsed delivery, full of needless humour, decided to travel the path of propaganda, painting a picture of what is far from the realities of the true state of the nation.’
He continued, ‘When government increases VAT, removes subsidies on petroleum products, increases utility tariffs, transport fares go up, cost of doing business increases drastically, with graduates searching everywhere for non-existing jobs, one thing is certain; the government does not care about the people, to even think of putting the people first.’
Nana Ofori Owusu observed that ‘judging from the President’s style of promises as we have seen in the past two years, we cannot be sure that any of the things he said would be done.’
This, he said, was evident in the fact that ‘in 2013 the President directed the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations to work with the Ghana Statistical Service to produce quarterly labour surveys to inform policy and planning.’
These surveys, Nana Ofori Owusu recalled, were expected to create an accurate database of the unemployed among all categories of Ghanaian society and track these on a quarterly basis, since President Mahama said they were to ensure that new jobs were accurately recorded and tracked while making it possible to coordinate the various job creation and employment initiatives.
One year down the line, the PPP quoted President Mahama as having repeated the same things when he said in his recent address, ‘I have asked the Ministers of Education and Employment and Labour Relations to sponsor a joint survey of the professional and skills sets in demand in the Ghanaian labour market.’
In view of this, the party’s Director of Operations insisted, ‘nothing came out of the 2013 survey by way of employment’ and that ‘this 2014 statement is in contravention to the spirit of Article 34 (2).’
With regard to ‘Free secondary education’ that the President promises to implement by 2016, Nana Ofori Owusu said ‘the less we say about the President’s 360-degree turnaround the better.’
This, according to the PPP, is perhaps the reason why ‘the requirement of the 1992 Constitution for free and compulsory education has been ignored by those who have had the opportunity to lead this nation.’
For the party, it comes as no surprise why what they described as ‘great ideas’ have escaped President Mahama since according to the PPP, ‘transformation needs great minds and insightful leadership’ and that ‘life-changing policy ideas require dynamic leaders who are capable of managing the challenges transformational policy change will present.’
In view of this, the PPP stressed the need for ‘urgent reforms in the country’s governance system to enable the smooth operation of good, open and accountable governance, as a catalyst for Ghana’s transformational development seems to be completely lost on the President.’
By Charles Takyi-Boadu
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