Member of Parliament (MP) for Central Assin, Kennedy Agyapong, says he will largely depend on tourism to turn the fortunes of the country around should he become the next president of Ghana.
The MP began his drive for president on Oman FM, his radio network, on Monday, a day after his party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), had finished their National Delegates conference to elect new officers to steer the party’s affairs for the next four years.
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NPP, though is yet to set a date and timetable for presidential hopefuls to file their nominations, go through the vetting process and then open the gates for qualified candidates to tour the constituencies to meet their party delegates with their messages, the MP has gone ahead of NEC to set his intentions rolling.
“When I become the President of Ghana, my development agenda for this country will be through Geography and that is tourism, the most lucrative and revenue-generating sector no government has ever turned their attention to,” Kennedy Agyapong said.
This, he explained he would do by firstly, putting up a grand skyscrapper with continental floors in the Gulf of Guinea.
Like the magnificent towers in Paris, Barcelona and Dubai which generate thousands of dollars for the governments of France, Spain and UAE, Mr Agyapong explained that his government would provide yachts to surf tourists on the Gulf of Guinea for a fee, depending on the hours the seat trip would last.
“My government will take advantage of the Longitude 0° (zero degree) which puts our country on the Equator,” he explained.
Then, in the northern belt where there are more game reserves and waterfalls than in the southern belt, the business mogul said his government would transform the Wa and Tamale Airports into first-class airfields with helipads and better-managed shuttle buses that would convey tourists either by air or land to the monkey or elephant parks and waterfalls.
He poked that his government would not take loans to roll out social interventions, which though important, do not generate revenue to repay the loans.
“So, if you ask me how I will get the money to do all these fantastic ideas I have to change Ghana, yes, I will take loans but I will invest them in tourism which will generate more revenues to repay the loans while developing the other sectors. You know, tourism is also about building strong state security and constructing good roads, so, no, I won’t take loans to invest in social interventions,” he explained to his host.
On agriculture, Mr Agyapong explained that his government would rather invest in mechanisation than practise the government’s ‘Planting For Food and jobs’, which, he said, has been a disappointment.
With the agriculture mechanisation system, he said his government would acquire large tracts of land for state farms which would be managed by the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).
To get more workers on the state farms to grow enough food and rear animals for domestic consumption and export, he said his government, through the National Service Secretariat (NSS), would post sixty per cent of National Service Personnel (NSP) to Ghana Armed Forces to work on the farms.
He said the NSP would have their allowances increased by one-and-half per cent to motivate them to give off their best and also bait more personnel to annually desire work in state farms.
“So, growing more food and rearing animals for both local consumption and export will bring the drive for my kind of ‘One District, One Factory’ which will not need my government to fully resource individuals who will want to help my government’s industrialisation agenda.
“I am not bragging…I am a real businessman. I have travelled a lot and seen how things are done in practice to develop the countries I have visited. For example, both the NDC and NPP have failed in their approach to revamp the Komenda Sugar Factory. What the NDC did was a non-starter and equally what the NPP is doing is a non-starter.
“My ‘One District, One Factory’ for processing food crops will always have nuclear farms, not out-growers.
“I am a businessman with physical ideas…it is not about the book. I don’t just brag. I want Ghanaians to vote for me to become the President of Ghana because all our leaders have failed us and have failed to see what I can see to turn this country around with real jobs. When I share ideas with my people, they don’t take them because I am an MP,” Mr Agyapong campaigned.
When it was put to him that his sour attitude could work against him, Kennedy Agyapong responded: “I am not too emotional but everybody says so. Well, I am working on it, but I will not stop being vociferous against ugly things because I want to become the president of Ghana. I am rather passionate about the many ills in the country and so if I am seen as being too emotional, then, it is because of these ills.”
The government and its party have promised to work hard to win the 2024 general elections after its eight years in power, to which the party has been chanting: ‘Breaking the eight’, but Kennedy Agyapong said: “If the NPP wants to truly break the eight, then, I am their best choice and I will beat John Mahama effortlessly because he is a no-match for me.”
By Vincent Kubi