Dr. Mustapha Hamid
The Minister for Zongo and Inner Cities, Dr. Mustapha Hamid, has said Ghanaians will not fall for the tricks and ‘lies’ deployed in election years by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
He said the NDC 2020 Manifesto is just a rehash of its 2012 and 2016 manifestoes as well as ‘unrealistic empty promises’ to deceive unsuspecting voters.
He pointed out that Ghanaians would not allow themselves to be deceived again by former President John Mahama and his NDC after failing massively in their previous administration and is now begging Ghanaians to give him another chance to “correct his previous mistakes”.
The minister, who is also a deputy campaign manager for the NPP 2020 election campaign, said in Accra yesterday during a press conference that all Ghanaians needed to do is to compare achievements made by the NDC in eight years of governance and three and a half years of governance under President Akufo-Addo.
The minister said Ghanaians had now seen a better government under President Akufo-Addo and his ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
He said NDC’s electoral fortunes would severely be affected in the Zongo communities having always capitalized on Zongo youths for their electoral gains after the present NPP government created a new Zongo and Inner Cities Ministry as well as a Zongo Fund to improve the lots of the youths and residents of those underprivileged communities.
He said since the NPP came into power, Zongo residents had seen a huge difference between a government that cares for them and a government which had only been paying lip services to their needs and that is the reason why a lot of Zongo residents who are ‘die-hard’ NDC supporters are cross-carpeting to the NPP as recently witnessed in Kwesimintsim in the Western Region.
He said out of the over 280 policy promises made by the NDC in 2016, the party attempted to do only 30% of them unlike the NPP which promised a major educational policy of free “SHS” in its first term and duly implemented it after just
eight months in government.
The minister also explained that when the NPP promised to give Ghanaians free SHS while in opposition, the then ruling NDC led by former President John Mahama, who is now contesting again, said the policy would not be possible to implement looking at the state of the Ghanaian economy and that the free SHS the NPP was talking about could be implemented in 20 years’ time by the NDC.
“The NDC promised to expand the NHIS benefit package to cover family planning, mental health, prostate cancer and the physically challenged but failed,” he said, stressing that “the NDC also promised to establish Job and Enterprise Centres (JEC) in all the regions to help unemployed youth but that also never happened.”
“With Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), they also promised they would co-invest in leading agro-industrial establishments and increase the number of shea-nut factories from 1 (in Buipe) to 3 (one each in the Upper East and Upper West regions) but failed (sic)”, he said, adding that it was in 2019, under the NPP’s enviable One District, One Factory programme, that a shea butter factory was operationalized at Sheaga in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region.
He said when NPP assumed office it paid all the arrears accumulated under the NHIS which disabled the scheme amounting to GH¢1.2 billion and now the NHIS is vibrant again benefitting about 12 million subscribers.
The Zongo Minister also explained that under President Mahama, employment was frozen in the public sector but when NPP took over power it has been able to create more than two million jobs in the public and private sectors mainly through NABCO and Planting for Food and Jobs initiatives by the government.
He said under the NPP government, 70,000 people had been employed in the teaching and non-teaching fields, stressing about 54,892 health workers had also been employed.
According to the minister, the NPP had also paid all salary arrears owed teachers over three years when former President Mahama was in office and also restored training allowances for trainee teachers and trainee nurses which the NDC cancelled.
He said under NPP the agricultural sector had improved significantly from negative growth under NDC to over 4% making Ghana self-sufficient in food production.
He said the NPP had also achieved a lot in industrialization with its ‘One District, One Factory’ initiative with public/private sector partnership to set up a lot of manufacturing companies across the country, employing local people.
He, therefore, advised Ghanaians not to listen to any ‘silver-tongued’ promises by the former President and the NDC to come back and derail the achievements made so far with many more life-changing policies in the 2020 manifesto of the NPP to improve the living conditions of every Ghanaian.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr.