General News of Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Following a challenge thrown by Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia to the opposition to show its social intervention record while in government, a former minister has listed more than 10 policies and projects.
Former Communications Minister Omane Boamah in a six-page response claimed credit for the National Democratic Congress for the establishment of a National Health Insurance Scheme.
He said the John Mahama Government implemented Progressively Free SHS for over 400, 000 students as well as free School Uniforms, free school sandals, free textbooks.
For the agricultural sector, he mentioned free cocoa fertilizers to farmers as well as free cocoa seedlings and payment of premium to cocoa farmers.
For transportation, the former minister pointed to the Ayalolo metro buses and rejuvenation of State Transport Corporation.
Dr. Omane Boamah mentioned the provision of social infrastructure including the Ridge hospital, the University of Ghana Medical Centre, the Bank of Ghana hospital, the Maritime Hospital,
Touching on educational infrastructure, he included the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS), the Community Day Senior High Schools, among others.
Omane Boamah said that if today ‘the market for the yellow Kufour gallons’ has diminished, then it is to the credit of the NDC referring to a period of water shortage in Ghana in which residents carried yellow gallons in search for good drinking water.
The former minister called the Vice-President ‘loquacious’ for talking about issues instead of delivering the NPP’s promise to transform Ghana.
There is a subtle semblance of an ideological battle between the NDC and NPP over who is pro-poor.
The governing New Patriotic Party has pointed out that despite the NDC’s social democratic claims, it is rather a pro-free market party that has done more to help marginalized groups.
The party has pointed to the free universal healthcare rolled out under the Kufour administration in 2003, the National Youth Employment Programme and bursaries to the poor through the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme.
Under the Akufo-Addo administration, the NPP has trumpeted the implementation of free senior high school education, a costly budget item which the government has insisted has come to stay.
A former NDC minister Dr. Ekwow Spio Garbrah during his campaign launch for 2020 NDC flagbearer conceded the NPP has “done a good job” of using social intervention policies to eat into the NDC’s mass political base.
He wants to lead the party to reclaim grounds lost to the governing NPP.