Dr. Mustapha Hamid
The Deputy Campaign Manager of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Mustapha Abdul Hamid, has indicated that the government will continue to offer socio-economic reliefs to Ghanaians in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic to make life more comfortable for the ordinary Ghanaian.
He said “if these reliefs or interventions aimed at economically cushioning the ordinary Ghanaians are seen by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) as ‘freebies’ then so be it.”
Dr. Hamid who is also the Minister for Zongo and Inner Cities made this known at a press conference in Accra yesterday.
According to him, President Akufo-Addo’s ‘visionary and competent’ management of the novel Covid-19 has ensured that the pandemic did not totally erode the gains made by the NPP administration.
“Week on week, we have made the argument that President Akufo-Addo presents the best opportunity for moving Ghana forward. Today, we have called you to reiterate that point and to make it even more forcefully,” he stressed.
“Thanks to the leadership of President Akufo-Addo, our country is on the move. We have moved from annual growth rates of 3.6% to 7.0% under the Presidency of Nana Akufo-Addo. We have moved from the average 1.6% of annual GDP per capita growth to 4.7% annual GDP per capita growth rate under Nana Akufo-Addo. We have moved from 1.1% average growth rate of exports to 14.9% annual growth rate of exports under President Nana Akufo-Addo,” he said.
“We have moved from inflation rates of 15.4% in 2016 to meet the Central Bank’s Inflation target range of 6-10% in 2018 and 2019,” he said, adding, “We have moved from annual manufacturing value added growth rates of 2.1% to the average 6.7% annual Manufacturing Value Added growth under President Nana Akufo-Addo.”
He said the NPP had created “a strong economy”and that is creating the fiscal space “that allows for us to implement free SHS which today allows 400,000 students, who but for free SHS will be on the streets,” adding “remember prior to free SHS, an average of 100,000 students dropped off in the transition from JHS to SHS.”
“We could not have implemented free SHS without the vision and conviction of President Akufo-Addo. Many people had argued that free SHS will collapse both the economy of our country and its educational system. It takes a leader with conviction to stand his ground and to implement such a life-transforming policy. “
He said the data also revealed that on average, successive governments of the NPP had performed better in improving the living conditions of Ghanaians than successive governments of other parties under the 4th Republic.
He talked about how the NPP administration had been able to reduce unemployment at an average rate of 15.0% annually when hitherto unemployment had increased at an average rate of 7.3% annually, adding “female unemployment has decreased under the NPP, decreasing at an annual rate of 6.1%. Hitherto, it was increasing at annual rates of 6.0%.”
He said the NDC despite inheriting a sound economic foundation by the Kufuor administration mismanaged the system and ended up going to the IMF for policy credibility.
The minister urged Ghanaians not to be hoodwinked by the NDC ‘promises’ and continue to have confidence in the Akufo-Addo administration to make Ghana a better place.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr.