General News of Monday, 22 October 2018
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has challenged the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to point out a single social intervention programme it implemented during its eight-year tenure which brought relief to Ghanaians.
Dr. Bawumia said the NDC appears to be making unnecessary noise about Ghanaians experiencing hardship, yet they cannot point out a single social intervention programme they introduced in their eight years of government that alleviated the plight of Ghanaians.
The Vice President, who was speaking at the 2018 Annual Dinner Dance of the United Kingdom branch of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Young Executives Forum (YEF), called on Ghanaians to disregard the assertions of the NDC.
He reiterated the commitment of the Akufo-Addo administration to continue to improve the lives of Ghanaians through the implementation of policies and programmes aimed at alleviating hardship.
The Vice President enumerated some of the “tangible” policies and programmes introduced in the last 20 months of the NPP government which have reduced hardship of Ghanaians.
“Dumsor (frequent blackouts) is not killing people’s businesses. Electricity tariffs have been reduced for us. About 17 or so taxes have either been reduced or abolished. There is no freeze on public sector employment. We have fertiliser subsidies under ‘Planting for Food and Jobs.’
“These are things that did not exist before we came into government, and if we had not addressed them, they were going to compound the hardship of all Ghanaians.”
Although the Vice President acknowledged that the needs of all humans are not the same, he insisted that the current administration has done a lot to alleviate the woes of Ghanaians in the last 20 months compared to the eight years of the NDC government under John Mahama.
“Although as humans, we will continuously have needs, and thus keep expressing concerns of greater desires and pains, what is refreshing is that today, teacher trainees are receiving their allowances. Nursing trainees are receiving their allowances. BECE candidates have their registration fees paid for them. We have doubled the Capitation Grant; 100,000 unemployed graduates are now under NABCO.
“These are things that did not exist before we came into government, and if we did not address them, they were going to compound the hardship on all Ghanaians.
“While doing all these, we equally acknowledge the fact that we have not solved all of Ghana’s problems. Significant amount of challenges still abound that ought to be tackled with speed. But the good thing is that with what we have done, we are confident that by the Grace of God we will surely get there,” Dr. Bawumia added.
He said unlike the NDC government, the current administration has done some tangible things to lessen the plight of Ghanaians.
“So we have done tangible things to reduce the hardship on Ghanaians. We can point to them. Today, the NDC is going around saying that there is hardship. So what we want to ask them is: tell us what you have done in your last eight years of government? Tell us the social interventions you brought in to reduce the hardship on Ghanaians?”
“If you ask me, I will tell you we have increased the portion of the District Assembly Common Fund for Persons with Disabilities from 2% to 3%; we have expanded the School Feeding Programme from 1.6 million to 2.1 million; we have expanded LEAP to cover an additional 150,000 people; and we are paying the BECE examination registration for students.”
“These are some of the things we have done in 20 months. Please tell us, what social interventions did you (NDC) introduce in eight years to reduce the hardship on Ghanaians? It’s a simple challenge. They may take a long time to answer, but we’re waiting. We have time,” Dr. Bawumia added.
The Vice President gave an assurance of exciting times in the country, saying government was on course to implement programmes and policies aimed at formalizing and modernizing Ghana’s economy.
“Ladies and gentlemen, my assurance to you and all Ghanaians is that your economy is in safe hands, and there’s more to come under the visionary leadership of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Let’s work together as a country to make it happen,” Dr. Bawumia told the gathering.