President John Mahama on Tuesday presented highlights of the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) 2016 Manifesto.
Primenewsghana brings you five items mentioned in the manifesto that seem like direct responses to promises of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).
1. Creation of region(s):
NPP flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo, on his campaign tour of the Western Region promised to carve a new region out the existing one to be called North Western Region.
Speaking at Juaboso as part of his five-day visit of the region, Nana Addo explained that government will follow all the “constitutional provisions to get this new region”
Some members of the incumbent government criticised Nana Addo describing his promise as unnecessary, with others saying it is unrealistic.
But barely a month after, The NDC, in its yet to be launched manifesto, says it would look into the feasibility of creating five new regions if Mahama retains power.
According to President Mahama said “We will set up a commission of enquiry to look into the creation of new regions. We currently have ten regions, but we believe that it is possible to increase the number of regions to 15. And so we will set up a commission of enquiry that will look at the viability of increasing the number of administrative regions in Ghana from ten to fifteen. And so this commission will receive petitions and based on that, they will look at whether creation of those regions are viable options or not; and based on that recommendation, we will trigger the constitutional processes.”
This looks like an obvious counter to Nana Addo’s promise to the people of Western Region.
2. Voting of MMDCEs:
NPP flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo is on record to have stated his resolve to see MMDCEs elected rather than nominated.
“The time has come to bring accountability to local government through competitive politics. Election of DCEs at the local level can no longer be delayed. This is going to give a great boost to local initiatives and local self-reliance”, Nana Addo reportedly said while addressing a business forum in the United Kingdom in June.
Fast forward to September and the NDC manifesto is taking the voting of MMDCEs seriously.
According to President Mahama, “We’ll also implement the Constitution Review Commission’s recommendation to have MMDCEs elected and we’ll promote performance-based competition among MMDAs – Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.”
3. Provision of National ID:
NPP running mate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has often criticsied the NDC for failing issue National ID cards to eligible citizens after eight years inpower.
Speaking at a fundraiser by the NPP USA chapter in April, DrBawumia stated that the party intends to issue national ID cards to eligible citizens in the first year of their administration when they are voted into power.
“We have been going for eight years now without being able to have a national ID card for example, having passed the National Identification Act in 2008, we have still not been able to issue a national ID card even though we all know why it is very important because even your tax base is very compromised if you are not able to issue the national ID cards. I think that in the very first year, we plan to issue ID cards without any hesitation”, he promised.
The NDC’s manifesto addresses this NPP promise too.
According to President, “we will provide every Ghanaian with a National ID card” if given another presidential term.
4. Irrigation in the North:
On his campaign tour of the tour of the three regions, Nana Akufo-Addo, promised to provide functioning irrigation infrastructure through the “One Village One Dam” policy to create jobs and improve food security in Ghana.
“…As far as this part of our world is concerned, I want to go further and talk about one village one dam”, he stated while addressing members of the Bolgatanga Traditional Council in the Upper East Region.
But in an obvious response to this promise, President Mahama during the presentation of the highlights of the NDC’s manifesto stated “In many places in northern Ghana, we have dug out wells … Those are not dams”
“We will expand the investment under SADA to construct more irrigation facilities”, he stated.
5. Fiscal discipline:
The NPP has on countless accused President Mahama’s government of fiscal recklessness leading to country’s debt to GDP ratio ballooning to around 70% and left us running back to the IMF for loans.
Dr Bawumia during his lecture on the health economy of the economy hinted that “an NPP government will pass a Fiscal Responsibility Law (FRL) to bring comprehensiveness, accountability and transparency”.
The NDC’s manifesto, however, has something in it which will be of similar effect.
It aims at making all government transactions electronic in order to reduce human factors.
“By 2021, if you have to pay money to government anywhere, we won’t accept cash”, President Mahama stated promising that “this will be the last IMF program that we enter into.