The 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says the policy initiatives he is offering to the people of Ghana ahead of this year’s elections are not promises, but solutions meant to address the myriad of problems confronting the Ghanaian people.
According to Nana Akufo-Addo, Ghana, a country blessed with an abundance of human and natural resources, has been offered poor leadership over the last 8 years by President Mahama, the reason why there is an abundance of hardship and suffering in every part of the country.
Thus, the ‘1-District-1-Factory’ policy, ‘1-Village-1-Dam’ policy, the diversification of the country’s agriculture, the effective implementation of the Free SHS policy, the setting up of an Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) the restoration of the teacher training and nursing training allowances, the effective implementation of the Free SHS policy, amongst others, he said, are policies that will bring progress and prosperity to Ghanaians.
“I’m not making promises. I am offering solutions to the problems of this country, and not promises. However, in order to bring all these policies into fruition, I need you and the people of Greater Accra and the Ghanaian electorate in its entirety to vote for me and the NPP in this year’s elections,” the NPP flagbearer said.
Nana Akufo-Addo made this known on Tuesday, September 20, 2016, when he paid a courtesy call on the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs, in Dodowa, at the commencement of his 4-day tour of the Greater Accra Region.
The NPP flagbearer noted that in the 8 years of President Kufuor, a strong foundation was laid for the forward-movement of the country. This foundation if built on, he said, would have resulted in Ghana being streaks ahead of its neighbours on the continent.
“That foundation has been destroyed these last few years. However, my message to the people is that they should not despair and must not lose hope. I am appealing to Ghanaians to look up to and ride on the back of the ‘Elephant’, so we can bring progress and prosperity to the people. We have the men and women, and policy initiatives to give this country a first class government,” he stressed.
One of such policy initiatives, Nana Akufo-Addo stated, is the Infrastructural for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP)
“Ghana’s capital expenditure budget is $1.6 billion this year. When we win, God-willing, we are going to redirect that budget, take out $275 million every year, and ensure that every constituency receives the equivalent of $1 million to deal with matters bordering on infrastructural development, sanitation, business development, amongst others in the constituency.”
“It is a new initiative that we are bringing. The money is there. We are not going to impose new or additional taxes to raise this money. The money is there and is part of the capital budget of this country,” he added.
Again, Nana Akufo-Addo explained that the spectre of thousands of jobless young men and women across the length and breadth of the country “frightens me. If we don’t nip this in the bud, we risk plunging this country into chaos.”
This, according to him, is one of the reasons why his party has prioritized the creation of an enabling environment to enable the private sector flourish, as well as the ‘1-District-1-Factory’ and ‘1-Village-1-Dam policies’
“We need to do something about employment for our young people. We cannot tackle this problem if we don’t have good policies that will attract money into the economy and bring investment into Ghana. Ghanaians who have money are hiding it because the business environment is not conducive. We want them to bring their monies out, and also foreigners to bring investment into Ghana, so that we can create jobs and get this economy moving again,” he said.
He continued, “You have heard me say that in every district, we are going to help set up one factory. We are not going to do this alone as a government, but we will encourage public-private partnerships. We are blessed in this country. In every part of this country, there is a resource, which when properly harnessed, will help the citizenry.”
Vote for me this year
Nana Akufo-Addo acknowledged that even though the Constitution bars Chiefs from openly engaging in partisan politics, they, however, vote.
“Everyone here knows where he has set his sights on. But this year, I am asking you to join the elephant. This year is the year of the Elephant and I am asking you to join and ride on the back of the Elephant. The possibilities in Ghana are immense, and if we don’t get a good government that will turn these possibilities into realities, they will, at best, remain possibilities. That is the choice before the people of Ghana this year,” he said.
With the clarion call for a peaceful election echoing across the country, Nana Akufo-Addo called on Chiefs to add their voice to this call and condemn violent acts being perpetrated in the name of politics.
“Only a few days ago, at Ningo, my wife was present at Homowo festival to grace the occasion as the Special Guest of Honour. Upon learning of this, the NDC sent thugs to scuttle the event. I’m not asking the Chiefs to become policemen. But if something like this happens, I am appealing you to add your voice to it and say this is not what we want. Everyone in this country must have the chance to campaign without acts of intimidation being perpetrated,” he added.