‘Free SHS will create many Busias from poor families’

Godwill
Arthur-Mensah, GNA
    

Wenchi (B/A), Sept. 9, GNA – Vice President Dr
Mahamudu Bawumia has said the adherence to the Danquah-Busia-Dombo Tradition
has shown greater care for the vulnerable and underprivileged as it
consistently seeks to implement policies and programmes tailored to meet their
needs.

That Tradition, he noted, began governance
under the Progress Party Government of Professor Kofi Abrefa Busia in 1969, and
continued with President John Agyekum Kufuor under the New Patriotic Party
Government, with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo now on the seat.

Ironically, the parties claiming to be of
socialist inclination, today most visibly represented by the National
Democratic Congress (NDC), have rather sought to either impede or cancel such
programmes, which went against the principles they claim to hold dear, the Vice
President said.

Vice President Bawumia said this at a ceremony
to celebrate the life and legacy of Prof. Kofi Abrefa Busia, the Prime Minister
in the Second Republic, at Wenchi in the Brong Ahafo Region on Saturday.

“The Busia Government was the first government
of the Danquah-Dombo-Busia Tradition. He left the blueprint for welfare capitalism,
which other governments from the Tradition have implemented, especially the
blueprint designed to ensure inclusive and holistic development for all,” he
said.

This blueprint led to the introduction of a
number of programmes by the Busia Government, including the creation of a new
Ministry to seek the welfare, training and employment of youth, culminating in
the National Service Corps, and a Voluntary Work Camps Association, among
others.

He also instituted a Social Security Fund for
the construction of low cost houses, a Rural Development Fund to provide the
rural areas with good drinking water, through the Ghana Water and Sewerage
Corporation, Latrine pits, markets and health posts.

The academic in Dr Busia also saw to the
building of Secondary schools across the country, introduction of experimental
schools on pilot basis, which is now called junior high schools, provided free
text books in all the schools, as well as free ‘Achimota’ sandals to pupils in
middle school.

When President John Agyekum Kufuor came into
power in 2001, he continued with the Tradition by introducing initiatives such
as National Youth Employment Programme, School Feeding Programme, Capitation
Grant, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), free maternal care for all
pregnant women under NHIS, and the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty
(LEAP) under which welfare grants are paid to the extreme poor.

“President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has
continued with the philosophy of welfare capitalism by introducing initiatives
such as Free Senior High School Policy, Planting for Food and Jobs, ‘One
Village One Dam’, ‘One District One Factory’, ‘One District One Warehouse’.

“We have also restored Teacher and Nursing
Trainee allowances, which allowed qualified but needy persons to acquire
employable skills but was cancelled by the Party, which claims to care for the
poor – NDC. We have reduced the price of water and electricity, and established
three Development Authorities to ensure development projects reach every
community in Ghana.

‘’Under the Nation Builders Corps, 100,000
graduates will be engaged in seven different modules and be paid monthly while
they gain the necessary experience to step out on their own.

“This is a practical demonstration of the
Danquah-Busia-Dombo’s commitment to caring for the vulnerable and needy in
society. This Tradition, as envisioned by Prof Kofi Abrefa Busia, has continued
to be socially responsible and has not sought to cancel programmes designed to
make the life of the ordinary Ghanaian better,” Vice President Bawumia said.

He said the late Prof. Busia would have been
especially proud about the introduction of the Free Senior High School Policy.

Vice President Bawumia said: “After we have
provided for food, water and roads, one thing Dr Busia would want us to do
without fail is to ensure that every child in the country, regardless of where
he or she lives, and regardless of his or her parents’ ability, gets the
opportunity to go to school.

“How else could a rural boy like Dr Abrefa
Busia grow up to become such a scholar? He believed and treasured the power of
the mind and in the development in freedom of every citizen. There should be no
barriers to the development of minds.

‘’It is a profitable social investment for the
future. Imagine if Dr Abrefa Busia did not get the chance to go to Mfantsipim
School. Who then says that Free SHS is not good or it is not time for it to
start?”

The Vice President extolled Prof Busia’s vision
and the principles under-pinning his politics, which continue to influence
modern day Ghana.

“Dr Busia’s vision was founded on the
principles of free governments, multiparty democracy, free press, the rule of
law and principles of democratic accountability. This is, basically, what Ghana
is practicing today. He wanted to build a democratic welfare state where people
live in a social framework in which each is his brother’s keeper.”

GNA

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