After almost eight years since his promise of putting money in the pockets of Ghanaians has not materialised, President John Dramani Mahama, leader of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), has again said that when given another four-year term he would make good his promise.
In a response to the cries of the people concerning the hardships they are facing, President Mahama yesterday threw caution to the wind and said they (Ghanaians) should wait till his ‘second term in office,’ before he would put money in their pockets, since his first term was focused on infrastructural development and job creation across the country.
He gave the assurance at the commissioning of another Community Day Senior High School at Nyanoa-Kwaobaah in the Upper West Akyem district of the Eastern Region. This brings to four – out of the promised 200 – the number of such schools constructed by his administration.
Comparing his performance to Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, who he claimed spent time improving infrastructure but was still overthrown because people could not patiently endure the momentary hardship, President Mahama said: “I can understand when people say things are tight.”
He stated, “During Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s time, they said things were not right and that there was no milk and corned beef among others; but at that time he was building Akosombo, he was building Valco, Tema Steelworks, the shoe factories, GIHOC Distilleries to create jobs; and so we drove him away in a coup. The same people complaining today that things are hard drove Nkrumah away. And Nkrumah said ‘if I knew it was milk you wanted, I would have put it through a tap for you to drink.’”
Despite the untold hardships, the president charged Ghanaians to sacrifice more before things could get better. “Times come when we have to squeeze ourselves a bit to do the precious things that we need in life. We cannot have money in our pockets when the roads are not good,” he averred.
According to President Mahama, having money without basic infrastructure is economically meaningless, adding that “it is better to sacrifice for more pressing needs in life.”
He wondered, “What is the use of money in your pockets when you are sick and you cannot get a hospital where you can be treated? So sometimes when we are squeezing ourselves it is to do the essential things in life. It is good politically to say things are hard, but the money we are raising, we are using for things that would benefit this country; you cannot have jobs when you don’t have social infrastructure, so we have spent these last four years to bring these social infrastructure back to scratch.”
President Mahama hinted that his government was undertaking many of the road projects, noting that not all the road constructions going on in the country could be completed on time.
He further posited that by this, his government was expanding the road construction industry and making Ghanaians take advantage of that particular industry.
“In 2012 when I became president, there were six foreign companies that had asphalt plants to construct asphalt roads. Today, 22 Ghanaian companies have their own asphalt plants and these are the gains that we are making in this country.”
The school project took almost 20 months to complete, becoming the first senior high school established by the government in the area.
President Mahama on March 3, 2014 broke the ground for construction works to begin on the first batch of 50 community day senior high schools, out of a projected 200, across the country.
FROM Daniel Bampoe, Nyanoa-Kwaobaah