Details are emerging from yesterday’s manifesto launched by the All People’s Congress (APC).
The party, which has Hassan Ayariga as its founder and flag bearer, it is said, may have copied and presented bits and pieces of the programmes and policies that the standard bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo and his running Mate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, have been dropping on their campaign tours as part of their manifesto promises.
It has emerged that one of such policy statements which Ayariga allegedly copied was the speech delivered by Nana Akufo-Addo at the 56th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Ghana Employers’ Association (GEA) at the International Conference Centre, Accra, on Thursday, September 8, 2016.
Programmes And Policies
At the event, Nana Addo assured the association that when elected president, he would implement policy initiatives which would include “removing import duties on raw materials and machinery for production within the context of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET) protocol, eliminating the special import levy, abolishing the 17.5% VAT on imported medicines not produced in Ghana and abolishing the 17.5% VAT on financial services.”
Apart from that, the NPP flag bearer also promised to abolish the 17.5% VAT on real estate sales, abolish the 17.5% VAT on domestic airline tickets, reduce VAT for micro and small enterprises from the current 17.5% to the 3% flat rate VAT introduced by the NPP whiles re-capitalizing and refocusing the operations of the National Investment Bank (NIB) to provide significant financial resources to support industrial development (including retooling and acquisition of new technologies by local industries). Nana said he would also reorient the focus of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre to attract investments into selected strategic industries, including large scale anchor industries, to serve as growth poles for the Ghanaian economy.
These same policy interventions were also reiterated by his running mate, Dr Bawumia, on the same day – September 8, 2016 – when he delivered his famous lecture on ‘The State of the Ghana Economy – A Foundation of Concrete or Straw,’ at the National Theatre in which he dissected the economy of Ghana, likening it to one that is clutching on straws for survival.
ACP’s Ayariga literally read out ‘word-for-word’ all these policies put out by Nana Akufo-Addo and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia over a month ago.
Fiscal Responsibility Act
Another was his decision to adopt the NPP’s promise to implement a Fiscal Responsibility Act as contained in a paper Dr Bawumia presented at the party’s headquarters on December 2, 2015, in response to the 2016 budget of the Mahama-led NDC administration. Bawumia stated on page 54 that the NPP would pass a ‘Fiscal Responsibility Act,’ which he said “will require governments to declare and commit to a fiscal policy that can be monitored.”
That he indicated, “Will include fiscal rules (including rules governing election year spending), provisions for transparency and sanctions (including sanctions on the Executive). Such a law will be passed by an NPP government.”
During Ayariga’s manifesto launch, he also assured the people of Ghana that he would pass the ‘Fiscal Responsibility Act’ and proudly urged the NPP to feel free and copy his manifesto since the party was yet to launch its manifesto.
“This is a serious manifesto. They can copy it if they want, but they should copy well,” he sarcastically articulated.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu