Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has described the decision by the John Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government to increase the prices of petroleum products at the time businesses are struggling as insensitive.
Government on Saturday announced a new price list which includes nine per cent increase in the prices of petrol, kerosene, gas oil (diesel) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), among others, in the midst of the energy crisis which has seriously affected the Ghanaian economy.
The price hike is also coming at the time crude oil price on the international market is less than $60.
The NPP flagbearer, who was addressing the Ghanaian community in Cologne, Germany, on the first day of his 16-day tour of some European countries, said that the increment was the mark of an insensitive government.
According to him, at a time when Ghanaians are reeling under the effect of three years of power crisis (dumsor-dumsor) and resorting to the use of generators to produce power, a responsible government would rather ensure that fuel, which aids citizens and businesses to generate power, would not receive an upward adjustment in its price.
However, he indicated, as had been the mark of the failing six-year NDC administration, this latest development ‘means there is no end to the difficulties for the ordinary Ghanaian.’
Ghanaians, Nana Akufo-Addo said, had had the opportunity to witness at first hand the governance and leadership styles of the NPP and the NDC, and the resultant impact on their standards of living.
‘When President Kufuor left office, people were speaking of our country as Africa’s success story, possessing a stable democracy and an economy on the rise. Within six years of his leaving office, Ghana has retrogressed. Ghanaians are suffering and experiencing difficulties never witnessed in our history,’ Nana Addo observed.
He stated that no single government in Ghana’s history had had the resources and monies that the Mahama administration has been blessed with.
Nana recalled that between 2001 and 2008, the total tax revenue collected by the NPP amounted to GH¢15.2 billion. In contrast, the NDC government, under John Mahama, has collected a total of GH¢62 billion in the last six years (2009-2014). Exports of gold and cocoa between 2001 and 2008 earned Ghana $16.4 billion. However, under six years of NDC, these exports have earned the country $39.5 billion, in addition to over $3 billion in oil revenue and the GH¢78.7 billion worth of new loans contracted by the NDC government, pointing out that Kufuor’s government received no oil revenues.
He noted that ‘Today, Ghana is broke and back to the IMF looking for a bailout of less than $1 billion. Ghanaians want change, they want to go back to the Kufuor era of progress and development. Despite all the difficulties they are facing, they have hope in the NPP.’
Nana Addo expressed concern about the internal wrangling in the NPP, which he admitted had become a source of worry to Ghanaians.
‘However, I want to assure all of you, and Ghanaians back home, that all these internal wrangling will soon come to an end. We will elect our parliamentary candidates on June 13, and thereafter we will announce our campaign team. We will then have one objective after that, which is to win the election of 2016,’ he said to spontaneous applause and cheers from the gathering.
Nana Akufo-Addo therefore urged Ghanaians to continue to have faith in the NPP, adding that Ghana’s predicament could be turned around, citing the case of Cote d’Ivoire – a country that was ravaged by civil war and yet has managed to turn its fortunes around.
‘Because they got a strong and competent leader, they have turned everything around, and today Cote d’Ivoire is rediscovering itself. It is again the engine of growth of Francophone West Africa because they have found a competent, strong leader,’ he noted.
According to him, ‘If a man, Alassane Ouatarra, who is three whole years older than me, has been able to change the destiny of Cote d’Ivoire, all I am asking God and Ghanaians is to give me that same opportunity to bring back our country onto the path of progress and prosperity.’
The NPP flagbearer therefore asked the rank and file of the party to propel the NPP towards victory in 2016, and by that ‘build the free, democratic and prosperous Ghana that our founding fathers dreamed about.’
That dream, he said, is very much alive in him, adding, ‘I have the hope and confidence that we can be the beacon and the Black Star of Africa.’
Nana Addo will be in Berlin today where he will participate in a series of events organised in his honour by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, the development foundation associated with the German governing CDU party – a sister party of the NPP.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu
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