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Bawumia’s full speech on ‘Case for 4more years 4 Nana’

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The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, yesterday, November 26, 2020, updated Ghanaians on what the government had done in the area of economy at an event dubbed “The Case for Four More Years to do more for you,”.

He also mentioned interventions and programmes the government took and what the economy should look like in the future.

Here is the full text of the Vice President:

THE CASE FOR FOUR MORE YEARS
TO DO MORE FOR YOU
DR. MAHAMUDU BAWUMIA
VICE- PRESIDENT
26TH NOVEMBER 2020

LEGON, ACCRA

Good evening,
Eleven days from today, on December 7, you and I, and all Ghanaians, will be voting to select a President, as well as Members of Parliament, to preside over the affairs of this our beloved country over the next four years.

The year 2020 has undoubtedly been very challenging, both for citizens and leaders, in Ghana and across the world. But, with the challenges have also come opportunities. Opportunities to forge new alliances, to access new markets, and to grow domestic markets. We are on the cusp of a new world and Ghana intends to fight for its place in this new world.

The leadership we elect on December 7 is therefore not just about what they can guide us to achieve over the next four years but a leadership with the vision and foresight that can see around corners and on whom we can rely to build our economic and human capital strength for decades to come.

This evening, I would like to paint you a broad picture of what we have done over the last four years, and how each of them connects to a central theme. Everything we have successfully done over the last four years is designed to make an impact on real people. On the lives and livelihoods of ordinary
Ghanaians from all walks of life. Our stewardship over the last four years means nothing if we have not impacted the lives and livelihoods of the broad mass of Ghanaians.

As we review how far we have come, and the progress we have made with the mandate you gave His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the NPP Government over the last four years, I am confident that you will come to just one conclusion, if you have not done so yet, that Nana
Akufo-Addo is the safest pair of hands into which we can entrust our mandate, and, together with an NPP majority Parliament, the government to help build a strong and prosperous future, together, with you, for all Ghanaians, our children, and the next generation.

The Challenges We Faced
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am aware you need no reminders of the dire economic conditions at the time we came into office. You lived and breathed it, and bore the human cost of the economic mismanagement that was visited upon us by the NDC government. You remember the thousands of Ghanaian children denied secondary education, and the millions of able-bodied Ghanaian youth who lived in hopelessness and despair due to their joblessness and which, for the first time in our history, led to the formation of an Unemployed Graduates Association. You remember being told that “I am not a magician to create jobs.” You are living witnesses to the several thousand fellow citizens who lost their jobs under the unrelenting burden of four years of Dumsor, compounded by onerous electricity tariffs and burdensome taxes, as businesses collapsed.

You remember that trainee nurses and teachers’ allowances were cancelled, millions of Ghanaians were unable to get cover under a collapse National Health Insurance Scheme as Cashand-Carry reared its ugly head again because of the inability of Government to pay service providers. The National Ambulance Service was collapsing. You remember the 3-month pay policy for teachers, the problem of the availability textbooks and even chalk in our schools, the freeze on recruitment into the public sector. This means that the government was unable to recruit people. This is why for example there was a backlog of trainee nurses and teachers who could not be employed after completion of their studies. You remember the SADA guinea fowls that flew to Burkina Faso. You remember that the government had to go to the IMF to rescue the economy. That was indeed a RESCUE MISSION!

It was clear that the NDC Government had lost its way, failed Ghanaians, and did not have any idea how to get us out of the ditch it has driven us into.

What was painful, Ladies and Gentlemen, was that when we complained about our pain and suffering, the response we received from the then government was blunt and uncaring: “get out of the kitchen if it is too hot.”

The then President reiterated, in broadly dismissive terms, that he is a dead goat who could not be moved by the complaints of suffering. You remember “Yentie Obiaa.”

The NPP under the leadership of then Candidate, and now President, Nana Akufo-Addo captured best, the hardships Ghanaians were facing under the NDC Government. He said
inter alia, and I quote: “As I travel the country over the years, I see the pain and sacrifices made by ordinary Ghanaians everyday:

  • by the farmer who struggles to feed his family and send his children to school, but does not know, whether having made that sacrifice to pay the bills, his children will even be able to get a job at the end of their studies by the mother of the sick child, who has to walk miles
  • by the mother of the sick child, who has to walk miles on the dusty road to the clinic to get medicine only to be turned away because the clinic will not accept her NHIS card and she has no money to pay
  • by the husband with a family of four who lost his job two years ago, because his employers had to close down the business due to DUMSOR and the high cost of operations

It is for these people that I am running for President – for ordinary Ghanaians who have been betrayed by a government that does not care. It is to them that my Government will be dedicated.”

Today, I am happy to confirm that in just four years, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has largely fulfilled this promise: he has demonstrated that he cares about each and every one of us, especially the poor, the vulnerable, and the disadvantaged. In four years we have worked hard to
significantly reduce the human cost of the economic mismanagement we inherited.

We have stabilised the economy, created over two million jobs in the formal sector alone, kept the power on to power homes, businesses and industries, invested in massive infrastructure development at both the local and national level, and implemented far-reaching social protection programmes.

And, for this reason, Ghanaians can look forward to accelerated industrialisation/jobs and infrastructure development over the next four years.

But this didn’t happen by accident. The transformation that has happened over the last four years did because we were clear in our minds what must be done and we had a plan to do it, starting first with the restoration of the economy.

Building a strong economy is what has enabled us, even when it turned out that the depth of the challenges we faced was deeper than had been let on by the previous Government, for example the mess in financial services and energy sector, to invest in social protection programmes like Free SHS and the provision of over three hundred ambulances across the country, to withstand the “shock” of cleaning up the mess in the financial services sector, while also being able to, when CoVID struck, keep Ghanaians relatively safe and provide relief to many citizens including the homeless, nurses and
other healthcare workers, and small businesses.

So, what is the big-picture of what we set out to do? Broadly, we set out to create the foundations for an inclusive, prosperous Ghana Beyond Aid.

What We Set Out To Do

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our plan to roll back the human cost of the economic mismanagement and to create the foundations for an inclusive, prosperous Ghana Beyond Aid was anchored, broadly, on these seven objectives:

  1. Stabilise and grow the economy
  2. Transform the economy
  3. Create jobs, especially for the youth
  4. Modernise, digitise and formalise the economy
  5. Make development inclusive and protect the vulnerable
  6. Fight corruption, and
  7. Create a safe, secure environment for citizens and
    businesses to thrive

Now, I shall briefly cover each of these objectives, and trace how far along we have come in achieving them.

What We Have Successfully Done

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In four years this is what we have successfully achieved:

1.We have stabilised and grown the economy.

Prior to the Coronavirus pandemic which has impacted all economies in the world, we stabilised the economy. We:

 reduced inflation
 doubled economic growth in our first three years
 reduced the rate of exchange rate depreciation. The
exchange rate depreciation has stabilized with Ghana
recording the lowest rate of depreciation in the last 28
years, notwithstanding the pandemic and the election
this year. The average depreciation over the last four
years (7.3%) is the lowest for any first term government
since 1992.
 reduced the fiscal deficit (pre-COVID-19)
 improved our external payments position which is
stronger today than it was in 2016 (notwithstanding the
pandemic)
 Interest rates are on the decline in line with declining
inflation expectations
 We have cleaned up the mess in the financial sector that
we inherited. We took decisive decisions to avoid the
collapse of the financial sector, save the deposits of 4.6
million depositors and save jobs. Thus far, government
has spent GH¢21 billion to clean up the sector. 99% of

depositors of the affected banks, microfinance and
savings and loans companies have been fully settled.

 In addition to this the government on compassionate
grounds has decided to pay up to GHC50,000 to all
customers of affected Fund Management Companies
while the liquidation processes continue. Based of the
validated claims, this partial bailout would result in 89%
of the affected individuals being fully settled.

The relatively strong performance of the economy, among other things, led to Ghana becoming the destination of choice for Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in West Africa according to the 2019 World Investment Report by UNCTAD.

As I noted earlier, the strong economy we have built has enabled us to provide the basic needs of our people, both as part of our broad, inclusive, transformational development strategy and also to withstand a crises like CoVID-19.

Indeed, the shock of CoVID notwithstanding, the economy is bouncing back.

Just two days ago, Bloomberg reported as follows: “Ghana was one of the first countries in sub-Saharan Africa to lower interest rates to counter the virus shock and its economy has performed better than forecast even as the pandemic stalled activity and the oil price slumped.”

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We cannot over-emphasise the importance of a strong economy enough.

A strong economy creates opportunities, and inspires more people to start new businesses. In much the same way, a strong economy encourages existing businesses to make new investments, to grow, and expand. More and well-paying jobs are created, the private sector hires more people, and citizens
prosper. Public sector-driven job creation interventions and initiatives also require a strong economy.

Social services such as the National Health Insurance Scheme, free quality basic schools across every part of the country, the School Feeding Programme, good roads and a wider and cheaper transport network, affordable housing, stable and affordable electric power: all of these require a
strong economy.

It is important, therefore, as we prepare to vote on December 7, to remind ourselves that to protect the progress that we have made, we must ensure that the management of the economy continues to remain in the hands of the person who is not only capable, but one who has been able deliver on his
promises: that of His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

2.We are Transforming the Economy

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Stabilising and growing the economy is not enough.

Yes, it is a fundamental piece in the grand scheme of things because it is the glue that holds everything together but for long-term sustainability, our economy must be able to change its structure to lend itself to value-creation, adaptability to changing needs of its citizens and the world marketplace, and critically, to help create jobs for its people, especially the
youth.

Which is why, beyond macroeconomic stability, at the heart of our plan, we also included carefully thought-through initiatives to transform the nature of the economy:

 Improve agricultural productivity and reduce our dependence on food imports

 Add value to our raw materials through industrialisation, and

 Reduce the cost of energy and of running businesses and industries in Ghana

These we have achieved through several, highly successful flagship programmes.

 Through Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ), Planting For Export and Rural Development, and Rearing for Food and Jobs, we have improved agricultural productivity and reduced our dependence on food imports.

PFJ has led to a 71% increase in the national production of maize and 34% in paddy rice. Yields per hectare of maize, rice, and soybean have also increased significantly and we now export 19 different food items, including maize, to the rest of ECOWAS countries. The Global Food Security Index, which measures affordability, availability and quality of food across 113 countries, placed Ghana in 59th position in 2019, up from 78th position in 2016.

We have introduced major innovations in the cocoa sector with successful initiatives such as hand pollination, early spraying and replanting of cocoa farms at cost to government. Before the introduction of hand pollination, the majority of our cocoa farmers produced less than 20 pods per cocoa tree. With hand pollination, the median count is 50 pods, and we have recorded cases of 200 pods per tree. The average yield per acre of cocoa before hand pollination was 2.5 bags/acre. Today, farmers are recording up to 41 bags/acre. This is a massive increase in productivity.

Cocoa farmers’ incomes have also been improved with the historic implementation of the Living Income Differential (in collaboration with Cote d’Ivoire). Under the LID, cocoa farmers get an additional $400/ton or $25 for every bag of cocoa. This has resulted in a 28% increase in the
producer price of cocoa to GHC 660/bag.

Government has also introduced a pension scheme for cocoa farmers. The first such scheme since
independence.

Government has also established a Tree Crop Development Authority with a focus on mango, cashew,
rubber, oil palm, shea and coconut. It is expected that these crops will together earn Ghana $16 billion annually compared to the $2.5 billion earnings from cocoa. This is a potential game changer.

 Again, through our One District, One Factory and Strategic Anchor initiatives, we are adding value to our raw materials through industrialisation.

In four years, 76 companies are in operation under 1D1F,
including the Ekumfi Fruit Processing Company in the Central Region, producers of the now famous Eku Juice, and, Golden Africa Consumer Products Ghana Limited and Omnifert Fertiliser in the Greater Accra Region. A total of 107 IDIF factories are also under construction. We expect every district to have a factory within the next two years.

We also have VW, Sinotruk, Kantanka Group, and Nissan all assembling vehicles in Ghana under our new, forwardlooking automotive sector development policy with Toyota expected next year. Ghana is now in a position to become the automotive hub in West Africa. It will reduce the cost of imports of vehicles and save precious foreign exchange.

We have established the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) and the Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC), both of which are progressing steadily in the development of these industries.

 We have abolished or reduced over 15 taxes and levies to reduce the burden of taxes on businesses and individuals. This is unprecedented in the history of
economic management in Ghana.

We have also reduced electricity tariffs for residential, business, and industrial consumers. No government in the history of Ghana has reduced electricity tariffs terms during its term of office.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our economic transformation agenda is on course. In the next four years we will build on the successes of our “One District, One Factory” and “Strategic Anchor Industries” policies to further enhance agro-processing, including cocoa processing, add value to our minerals and petro-chemicals, promote labour-intensive and light manufacturing activities, continue the development of the Aluminium, Iron and Steel industries along their entire value chains through GIADEC and GIISDEC, and leverage our Regional Hub status and as hosts for the Secretariat of the AfCFTA to expand our access to regional and continental markets.

These things are not happening in a vacuum, and more importantly, they did not happen by accident. It came from our overarching strategy to transform the structure of the economy to add-value to our agricultural and natural resources as well as careful planning and execution. We are also building the foundations for industrial development to ensure sustainable, long-term economic growth as well as
create jobs.

This is what leadership is about.

3.We have created jobs, especially for the youth

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Another major challenge we sought to address was the hopelessness and despair that a lack of employment opportunities under the previous administration had plunged our youth into. The human cost imposed on a long line of the able-bodied, educated youth of this country by the economic mismanagement of the NDC government had grown to become a national security threat. Nothing is more dehumanising, and more frustrating, for young people, than being jobless.

Again, we did not run away from the challenge.

We took the bull by the horns, and in four years, we have created over two million jobs in the formal sector, including through government programmes such as NABCO (100,000 jobs to unemployed graduates), NEIP, and Planting for Food and Jobs.

We have also hired nurses, doctors, and other healthcare workers, recruited new teachers, police officers, and many others in the public sector after many years of employment freeze under the previous Government.

As a result of our industrial transformation interventions, nearly 19,000 direct jobs have been created by the 76 operating 1D1F firms, and since helping it to restart operations, Anglogold Ashanti’s Obuasi Mine has employed over 4,000. We have revived the Ghana Publishing Company, WAMCO, as well as GhanaPost.

Through the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Progarm (NEIP) and the President’s Entrepreneurs Living With Disabilities programmes, we are supporting medium and small businesses as another track for creating jobs and sustainable incomes.

We are impacting lives and livelihoods of Ghanaians everyday.

It took bold leadership to face these challenges head on and to deliver.

4.We are modernising, digitising and formalising the economy

Ladies and Gentlemen,

One of the biggest issues confronting our economy as with most other developing economies is its highly informal nature, along with the manual, bureaucratic and cumbersome processes involved in the delivery of government services.

Over 90% of Ghanaians had no unique identity, there was no working address system, over 70% of the those eligible to have bank accounts had no bank accounts, most transactions are cash-based, less than 10% of the population have Tax Identification Numbers, clearing goods at the ports, obtaining a driver’s license, passport, renewing your NHIS card, purchasing electricity units for your meter, obtaining birth certificates, manual and cumbersome court processes and so on were not only inefficient and costly, they became breeding grounds for corruption as bribes were demanded to circumvent the cumbersome processes. This situation resulted in difficulty in solving crimes, higher interest rates at banks, delays in obtaining government services, lower government revenue, etc.

While this situation has long been recognised, no government has undertaken a systematic and concerted effort to address it. We just lived with the problem rather than solve it.

The government of Nana Akufo-Addo made the strategic decision to address these chronic problems by digitising the Ghanaian economy as well as the processes of delivery of many Government services. The overarching objective of this digitization drive is to formalise the economy, increase
government revenue, eliminate corruption and ultimately provide public services to citizens more efficiently and more conveniently.

To do this we needed to put a number of pillars in place:

 Issue National ID cards to all Ghanaians and residents in Ghana

 Implement a functional address system for the whole of Ghana (villages and towns)

 Provide financial services for the unbanked (financial inclusion)

 Implement mobile money interoperability

 Move the economy away from cash based and towards a cash-lite economy by implementing advanced electronic payment systems, and

 Digitise the provision of government services to eliminate human intervention as much as possible.

I am very happy to note that tremendous progress has been made on all these fronts and Ghana is clearly on its way to become one of the most digitised economies in Africa.

Specifically:

 We have registered and issued biometric national ID cards which the NDC government could not do in 8 years! So far 15.5 million people have been enrolled and the process will be completed in the first half of 2021. This has provided Ghana with a database that will be the anchor for all transactions in the future, providing unique identity to all individuals

 We have implemented a digital address system capturing every square inch of land or water in Ghana. In the process, we have identified and provided unique addresses for all properties in Ghana (about 7.5 million properties). The Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority (LUSPA), working with the Municipal and District Assemblies, has also provided street names and house numbers for every unnamed street in Ghana. Government will affix the address plates for every property in Ghana in the next few months and we expect the process to be completed by the middle of 2021. We have also had discussions with Google and expect all our 7.5 million addresses to be uploaded into Google maps early in 2021.

 The ground breaking Mobile Money interoperability (MMI) has also been implemented. The mobile money payments interoperability has made it easy to transfer money across different telcos and between bank accounts and mobile wallets. It has also solved the major problem of the over 70% of people not having bank accounts. Today, because of MMI, you can make payments from your mobile money account into any bank account and you can receive payments from any bank account into your mobile money account. You can also receive interest on savings, acquisition of loan (e.g. Qwick Loan) on your mobile wallets.

 For all intents and purposes, the mobile money account in Ghana is a bank account because of MMI. Ghana is the only country in the world that has thus far implemented our version of MMI. It is a remarkable feat and we should all be proud of what the Bank of Ghana and GHIPSS has done. Ghana is currently the fastest growing mobile money market in Africa. Ghana has 36.9 million registered mobile money accounts. However, the most remarkable aspect of the implementation of MMI was
that the NDC was about to do it for a mind-boggling $1.2 billion. We have done it for $4.5 million; not $450 million or even $45 million. Just $4.5 million!!

 To address the issue of the dominance of cash payments in our economy, we have recently rolled out a Universal QR CODE payments system which allows all merchants (waakye sellers, trotros, shoe shine boys, shops, and service providers) to receive payments instantly on their phone as customers scan their QR CODE or dial a USSD code for “yam” phones. Ghana is the first country in the world to implement a Universal QR Code payment system that accommodates both bank accounts and mobile
wallets. It is a remarkable achievement and will allow Ghana to move towards a cashless society in just a few years. The future is really exciting!

Today, the outcomes from our digitization drive are paying off.

 We have made it easy for people to renew their national health insurance membership on their phones without having to spend precious time in long queues.

 It was really both an inconvenience and a challenge to get your electricity on again if your ECG pre-paid units got used up in the middle of the night, when raining, or when you were away from home and your precious foodstuffs had to be preserved. But today, thanks to the ECG app you can easily buy pre-paid electricity units conveniently from wherever you are from your mobile phone.

 Our online passport application processes are helping many people and making life easier and better for them.

 Come to think of it; how did we expect a poor young SHS or university graduate seeking a scholarship to further his or her education to travel all the way from Tumu, Kajebi, Elubo, Afram Plains, or Kwame Danso to Accra to apply for government scholarship? There was a huge exclusion barrier and only those who had the means and access to Accra could access government scholarship. Today, thanks to the online application process at the Scholarship Secretariat everyone is able to apply for scholarship and receive same in the comfort of his or her home via online applications.

 We have implemented the Motor Insurance Database. The objective of the introduction of the Motor Insurance Database is to curb the menace of vehicles with fake motor insurance stickers plying our roads, thus endangering lives and property. With the digitization of motor insurance in Ghana, all
insurance policies, which now have key security features, have been synchronized to a national database, which can be accessed simply with any mobile phone by the insured, the police, and the general public.

Members of the public can also self-check the authenticity of their insurance policy by dialing a USSD
code 92057# and follow the instructions thereafter to know the insurance status of the vehicle. Therefore our police and general public can easily check from their phones and devices on the road which vehicles have insurance or not.

 We have equally improved the services at DVLA and today our citizens have a much more convenient and easy way to acquire their driver’s license and register their vehicles. We are moving a step further to link vehicle registration to the motor insurance database.

 We have started automation of our hospitals and we have seen efficient and improved service deliveries at hospitals that we have implemented this. We want to make sure that we go paperless in the health sector so that you don’t have to move from one hospital to the other carrying files, or one department of a hospital to another, it will all be digital. For example, Cape Coast teaching hospital is 100% paperless, Ho and KATH are 50% paperless, Korle Bu is 86% paperless. Tamale teaching
hospital is starting the process of going paperless. We are making progress

 We are providing free Wifi to all 722 senior high schools, the 46 Colleges of Education, 260 district education offices, an initial successful pilot of 13 public universities. All public technical universities, Nursing and Midwifery training schools will also be provided free wifi next year under our policy

 We have developed a one-stop shop for government services (Ghana.Gov). The process of on-boarding all government institutions is ongoing. On this website you can apply for and obtain various government services like passports, GRA, birth certificates, etc. It will provide convenience to citizens, eliminate corruption and increase government revenue. In 2019, for instance, Government revenue from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture increased fourfold due to the introduction of
a pilot electronic payment system at the ministry.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 Next year, by the Grace of God, we will integrate the National ID card with passports, SSNIT card, Tax Identification Numbers, DVLA, Bank accounts, SIM cards/Mobile money accounts, etc. to make Ghana a functional digital economy. A few days ago, together with the NHIA, I launched the integration of the GhanaCard with the National Health Insurance cards. From next year, your TIN Number or SSNIT number will be your National ID number.

 We will also link the Ghanacard with the Births and Deaths registry so that the National ID number will be issued to every child from birth. The integration of the databases that will take place next year will bring a lot of discipline and efficiency into our economy and society and also drive down bank interest rates and help law enforcement track down criminals. It is really exciting when you think about it. We are going to have a new Ghana. A digitised Ghana.

Again, none of these things happened by accident. We planned it, and executed it. It took leadership.

5.We are making development inclusive

Ladies and Gentlemen,

For decades, many of our fellow citizens have been excluded from benefitting from the proverbial “national cake.” From access to education, health, and infrastructure, millions have been treated as “second class” citizens, even though we have the same right to stake a claim in the benefits that economic development brings.

Around the country, there are millions who face poverty and deprivation daily, and who need urgent, deliberate and forceful intervention from the state to improve their lives and their circumstances.

We were determined that access to development should not bea matter of one’s geographical location or social status. As a result, our overarching development strategy included pursuing policies that will be targeted at particular segments of our population who continue to be excluded, and who miss out on the myriad of opportunities that abound not only in the country, but also in today’s globalised world.

We promised to build a Ghana that works and gives each and every one of us the opportunity to improve our lives. A Ghana that works for us and our families, not just for the rich and powerful. A country where, if you show up, step up, and work hard, you will have your fair share of its wealth, and be fairly rewarded for your hard work. A country in which hard work pays, and cutting corners does not. A country in which, no matter where you come from, you will be rewarded based on merit, not on whom-you-know-basis. A country in which every young person can hope, and aspire, and reach his or her fullest potential, right here in Ghana.

The implementation of these policies found expression in the following, so far very successful programmes:

Today,

 there is hope for thousands of BECE and WASSCE candidates who could not register for their exams because of high registration fees – thankfully, President Akufo-Addo’s government has paid the registration fees for them

 there is hope for thousands of young people who could not live up to their dreams of becoming trained teachers or nurses – thankfully, President Akufo-Addo’s government has restored teacher and nursing trainee allowances

 In the health sector, the National Health Insurance Scheme has been rescued from its cash and carry situation as government has paid the arears owed to service providers. The National Ambulance Service has been rescued with 307 ambulances and additional personnel. Over 92,000 health personnel have been recruited for our hospitals and we have introduced drones in the delivery of critical medicine and blood to people in remote parts of the country. Ghana has now the largest medical drone delivery service in the world.

 there is hope for thousands of young children who could either drop out of school as a result of hunger or go to school malnourished – thankfully, President AkufoAddo’s government has expanded school feeding by 78%

 there is hope for tens of thousands of our young graduates from the polytechnics and universities who could not realize their self-esteem as employed graduates – thankfully, President Akufo- Addo’s government has brought NABCO to provide jobs to 100,000 unemployed graduates

 there is hope for hundreds and thousands of businesses who could fold up and collapse as a result of high electricity tariffs with the corollary of unemployment – thankfully, President Akufo- Addo’s government has reduced electricity tariffs in cumulative terms

 there is hope for thousands of farmers who could not access fertilizers and seeds to improve their farming – thankfully, President Akufo- Addo’s government has brought planting for foods and jobs

 We have expanded the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme by 53%,

 President Akufo-Addo has increased the share of District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) paid to
persons with disabilities.

 there is hope for thousands of medical professionals who could not go for postgraduate studies because of high fees – thankfully, President Akufo-Addo has abolished the fees for post graduate medical training

 President Akufo-Addo has also abolished market tollsfor kayayei

 President Akufo-Addo has also established the Zongo Development Fund and the Ministry for Inner City and Zongo Development which are addressing the needs of Zongo and inner city communities.

 President Akufo-Addo has also created six new regions to help promote decentralized and inclusive
development

 there is hope for thousands of JHS graduates who could not have access to senior high school– President AkufoAddo has implemented thankfully, Free SHS and Free TVET. The NDC opposed and bastardized the free SHS policy proposed by Nana Akufo-Addo. They said it was a hoax, a 419 promise. They said if he had GHC 2 billion they would not spend it on free SHS. They said free SHS
would collapse the education system. The NDC run over 40 adverts against free SHS. But the visionary Nana Akufo-Addo stuck to his guns and has successfully implemented the free SHS policy. Today, the NDC is saying they started Free SHS! “Awurade Nyankopong!” Are they confused or do they think we have short memories?

Thankfully their predictions of doom for free SHS have not materialized. The recent results of the first batch of free SHS graduates has shown that quality has not been compromised. Indeed, the 2020 results of the WASSCE candidates is the only year in the past six (6) years that more than fifty percent (50%) of candidates who sat the examination obtained A1-C6 in all core subjects. In fact, the performance of the students in Mathematics and English Language were the highest, recording 65.71 and 57.34 percent, respectively. Social Studies and Integrated Science recorded 64.31 and 52.53 percent, respectively, the checks further indicated. The data also shows that about 60% of the 342,500 candidates who wrote the WASSCE, representing over 200,000, scored between A1 and C6 in their best six subjects, including English and Mathematics, which qualifies them for tertiary
education.

Indeed, all our flagship programmes, be it Free SHS, “One District, One Factory”, “One Village, One Dam,” Planting for Food and Jobs, among others, have been rooted in the effort to liberate the energies of the people to grow an economy of which all the people can be part.

So far, we have invested over GH¢2.2 billion to implement Free SHS, resulting in over 1.2 million teenagers being in secondary school now, looking forward to better opportunities in life. For their parents and families, this has translated into GH¢2.2 billion in savings. That is money that the State has put back into the pockets of Ghanaians all across the country.

In line with the government’s agenda to ensure inclusive and accelerated economic development, our approach to infrastructure development has been twofold: first, to provide for the broader infrastructure needs of the economy at the macro-level to drive economic growth, and secondly, to
provide for the infrastructure needs of the poor and deprived communities at the micro level (like water, toilets, clinics and electricity) which many governments have historically ignored.

This is something that it seems many have missed: that we must, as a nation, urgently redress the infrastructure needs of the historically ignored communities across Ghana even while addressing critical, national-level needs. The NDC has made it his business to deride and mock our determined
efforts to right this wrong. These are the so-called “socialists”. It is no wonder they cannot point to just one sustained social intervention policy they have implemented. Socialism without social interventions!

It is our belief, which informed our strategy, that infrastructure for all must include all the amenities that people need in order to unleash the potentials for growth in their communities, constituencies, and districts, and ultimately improve the conditions of everyday living. It must also include facilities and systems to support industrial and other economic activities.

To ensure equitable and inclusive growth, the provision of infrastructure amenities or facilities should not be dictated narrowly by our politics. It should not be for government or politicians to decide on the sharing of infrastructure amenities on the basis of tribal, ideological and political preferences.

Every community, district, and region deserves expanded opportunities for growth and improvements in their standard of living. The massive investment in water and sanitation facilities in many rural and deprived communities by our government has resulted in over 5400 communities being declared open defecation free (ODF) and has also resulted in not a single case of cholera in Ghana over the last four years!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me now present a summary of what we have achieved in the pursuit of the two-prong approach to infrastructure development, both at the local, community, basic level (through the Development Authorities under the One Constituency one million dollars initiative), and at the
national level:

The latest data shows that we have undertaken a total of 19,145 projects across every sector over the last four years.

10,408 of these projects have been completed and 8,737 are ongoing. These are across every district in Ghana. A few examples include:

Road Infrastructure (Ongoing and Completed)

Year of Roads – Massive road construction across every district of Ghana. 1,304 projects – 905

 1100 km of Asphaltic Overlay (largest in history)
 Tema Interchange
 Tamale Interchange
 Pokuase Interchange
 PTC Interchange, Takoradi
 Obetsebi Lamptey interchange
 Hohoe-Jasikan-Dodopepesu
 Kumasi Inner City Roads
 Cape Coast inner city roads
 Sunyani Inner city rods
 Prestea Inner City Roads
 Accra Inner City Roads
 Atebubu-Kwame-Danso
 Benchimaa Nkwanta – Adjoafua
 Bolga-Bawku – Polmankon
 Lawra – Hamile

AGRICULTURE (Ongoing and Completed)

 439 small earth dams (one village one dam) – 375complete
 Pwalugu Multipurpose Dam – largest investment in northern Ghana since independence.
 80 1000MT warehouses (one district one warehouse)
 100 Green houses and three Greenhouse Training Centres with commercial components, at Dawhenya, Akumadan, and Bawjiase constructed.

HEALTH (Ongoing and Completed)

844 projects. 478 completed, 366 ongoing

 439 CHPS compounds
 69 Clinics
 District hospitals at Tolon, Buipe, Wheta, Sawla,
 600 bed regional hospital in in Koforidua
 500 bed military hospital in Afari
 First ever Infectious disease center – Kwabenya
 Zipline Drone Center – Omenako
 Zipline Drone Center Walewale
 Zipline Drone Center Mampong
 Zipline Drone Center Sefwi Wiawso

 307 well-equipped state of the art ambulances

INDUSTRIALIZATION (Ongoing and Completed)

190 projects. 76 completed. 144 ongoing
 76 IDIF companies in operation
 107 IDIF companies under construction
 VW car assembly plant has commenced production
 67 Business Resource Centres established in 67 districts

SPORTS (Ongoing and Completed)

84 projects. 20 completed. 64 ongoing
 Construction of ten (10) 5,000 seater Youth and Sports Centres of Excellence in ten regions of the country are at various stages of completion.
 Kaneshie, (Greater Accra)
 Ho (Volta)
 Koforidua (Eastern)
 Axim (Western)
 Nyinahin (Ashanti)
 Dunkwa On-Offin (Central)
 Dormaa (Bono)

 Navrongo (Upper East)
 Yendi (Northern)
 Wa (Upper West)

 We have also completed or continuing theconstruction of at least 29 Astroturf football pitches
in several communities across the country, including Madina, Kyebi, Dompim Pepesa in Tarkwa Nsuem, in Manhyia South, Oda, Walewale, Fadama. Only two existed in Ghana before 2017.

SEA DEFENCE (Ongoing and Completed)

 The following sea defence projects were commenced after 2017 and are ongoing:
a. Axim,
b. Amanful Kumah,
c. Kommenda,
d. Cape Coast,
e. Elmina, and
f. Anomabu

 The following sea defence projects were ongoing, when we
came into office and we have completed them:

 Nkontompo,
 Aboadze,
 Adjoa,
 Blekusu,
 New Takoradi

PORTS AND FISH LANDING SITES (Ongoing and
Completed)

 The Takoradi Port Expansion Project is progressing
steadily.
 A Multi-Purpose Container Terminal at Takoradi
commenced in 2019 and
 Dry Bulk Jetty at Takoradi is completed.
 Construction of Jamestown harbour has also started.
 Boankra Inland Port – sod cut
 Construction is ongoing at ten (10) fish landing sites
namely :
 Axim, Dixcove, Senya Bereku, Gomoa Fete,
Moree, Mumford, Teshie, Winneba, Elmina, and
Keta.

AIRPORTS (Ongoing and Completed)

g. Construction of Kumasi Airport Phases II and III is90% complete
h. Rehabilitation of Sunyani Airport is ongoing;

RAILWAYS (Ongoing and Completed)

The railway projects, being undertaken since 2017, include
 the completed rehabilitation of Accra – Tema (30 km),
 Achimota – Nsawam (33 km), and
 Kojokrom – Tarkwa (56 km) narrow guage lines.
 Construction of the new standard gauge Western Line (Takoradi to Kumasi) has commenced.
 The Kojokrom to Manso section of 22km is ongoing.
 Railway Training School in Sekondi is complete
 Tema- Mpakadan railway line (97km) is ongoing.

EDUCATION (Ongoing and Completed)

The infrastructure in the education sector is massive.
 We have undertaken a total of 3,239 infrastructure projects in the education sector. Of these, 1,587 have been completed (including 448 senior high school projects). and 1,652 are ongoing.
 27 E-Blocks completed
 Somanya University (which was inherited) has been completed
 1,011 Senior secondary school projects (classrooms, dormitories, libraries, ICT Laboratories, etc.)
 9 model science senior high schools

I will like to remind Ghanaians that they can explore the extent of our investment in infrastructure by visiting www.deliverytracker.gov.gh. The delivery tracker platform provides for transparency and accountability for government infrastructure projects. It is the first such tracker in Ghana and also the first such digital infrastructure tracker by any African country.

Clearly, no government has achieved as much in its first term of office in terms of infrastructure projects it initiated in its first term as the NPP government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. This phenomenal record in infrastructure has been achieved in only 4 years and Insha Allah the next four
years will be even more remarkable.

It takes leadership to think through the development challenges of our people, especially the disadvantaged, and to provide solutions like we have.

6.We are fighting corruption

Ladies and Gentlemen,

A lot has been said, especially over the last few weeks, over the commitment of the Nana Akufo-Addo government to fighting corruption.

While it has not been an easy task, I can confidently state that this Government has been one of the best in years to have demonstrated uncommon boldness and commitment to fighting corruption.

Over the last four years, we have strengthened the regulatory and legal framework to fight corruption by implementing several digitisation initiatives as well as passing into law several pieces of anti-corruption related legislation, including the Witness Protection Act, 2018 (Act 959), the Office of the
Special Prosecutor Act, 2018 (Act 959) and the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2019 (Act 989) to unearth public-sector corruption. Digitization has significantly reduced corruption
in places such as the ports, DVLA, passport office, NHIS,
hospitals, ECG etc.

We have applied Open and Competitive Bidding for, and conducted Ghana’s first open bidding round for oil blocks an established a National Register of Contracts/ Register of Petroleum Agreements, as provided for by the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act, 2016 (Act 919), which the NDC refused to do. This enables anyone trace who the beneficial owners of interest in oil blocks are.

We have improved the financing of governance and anticorruption MDAs like the Ministry of Justice and Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Special Prosecutor, NCCE, CHRAJ, and EOCO. For example, budgetary allocation to the Office of the Auditor General has been significantly increased
to enable it perform its duties. Compared to 2016, the 2019 budget for the Office has increased by 177%. Year-on-Year, the budget increased by 28% in 2017, 70% in 2018, and 27%
in 2019.

In addition, more than forty (40) high profile persons have been charged for various acts arising out of actions and activities superintended by the NDC administration involving, in monetary terms a total of US$265.5 million and GH¢2.225 billion. To date, six (6) have been found guilty.

Over the next four years, we will improve the financing of governance and anti-corruption MDAs as we have done over the last few years, to enable them recruit, continue to train, and retain dedicated staff to support the fight against corruption and provide resources for the effective functioning of the Right to Information Commission.

We are not there yet, but we have demonstrated leadership in fighting corruption and we will continue to do so with your help. In fact, the NDC government cannot point to any body of work or record in fighting corruption. They rather enabled it.

7.We are creating a more secure environment for citizens
and businesses to thrive

Over the last four years, we have invested significantly towards enhancing public safety and security by providing equipment and logistics to the security services, including over 1,300 vehicles, recruitment of over 4,000 police personnel, training of 15,000 Community Police Officers, training and equipping of drug enforcement officials, and construction of housing units and accommodation for the security services and have successfully implemented the Accra Initiative, so-called because of the origin of the idea, involving the consistent collaboration and co-operation of security and intelligence heads from Ghana and our neighbouring countries, namely Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, Mali and Niger, continue to be our concrete contribution to the fight against terrorism in our region.

The leadership we have shown in maintaining peace andsafety of our citizens is also reflected in the peaceful resolution of the Dagbon crisis with the help of Eminent Chiefs.

In Sum,

Over the last four years, we have:

 stabilised and prudently managed the economy. The result has been declining inflation, declining interest rates and declining exchange rate depreciation. The average depreciation of the exchange rate in the last four years is the lowest for any first term government in the fourth republic and exchange rate depreciation in 2020 is the lowest in 28 years! The resilience of the economy is demonstrated by the fact that economic growth is also quickly rebounding from the impact of COVI-19.

 To transform the economy, we have turned agriculture into a major growth driver through our
programmes for Planting for Food and Jobs, Rearing for food and jobs, Planting for Export and Rural
Development, cocoa sector initiatives such as hand pollination and living income differential have helped improve farmer incomes, meeting local food needs, and exporting to the region


 We sowed the seeds for an industrial expansionthrough the One District One Factory and Strategic
Anchor Industries policies to transform Ghana’s economy from an exporter of raw materials to that of a private sector powered value-added economy. 76 Factories are operational and 107 factories are under construction. We have also reduced the overall tax burden on businesses to stimulate production, and reduced electricity tariffs for all other consumers

 We have undertaken the largest investment in infrastructure for any first term government and also
made investments to balance the infrastructure gaps between major cities and towns, between urban and rural communities, and between suburbs, inner cities and Zongos. Initiatives such as One constituency one million dollars (IPEP) and the Zongo Development Fundare helping provide much-needed local infrastructure in water, sanitation, and health in order to improve the
standard of living of Ghanaians living in disadvantaged communities

 We have implemented a major digitization program to modernize and formalize the economy. This include the National ID card, digital address system, mobile money interoperability, Ghana.Gov platform, Universal QR CODE, paperless ports, digitised government services such as passports and drivers licenses, etc. to make the machinery of government work for our people


 We have invested in programmes and initiatives to protect the vulnerable and the disadvantaged, and to provide social safety nets through Free SHS/TVET policies, expansion of the School Feeding Programme and LEAP, reduction in utility tariffs for households, increases in funding allocations to Persons Living With Disability (PLWDs), and strengthening the NHIS. We have restored teacher and nursing training allowances, strengthened the ambulance service, implemented a medical drone delivery service for remote areas, expanded school feeding and LEAP, waived exam fees for BECE and
WASSCE exams, etc.

 We have created jobs. in four years, we have created over two million jobs in the formal sector, including through government programmes such as NABCO (100,000 jobs to unemployed graduates), NEIP, and Planting for Food and Jobs. We have also hired nurses, doctors, and other healthcare workers, recruited new teachers, police officers, and many others in the public sector after many years of employment freeze under the previous Government.


 We are fighting corruption. Over the last four years, we have strengthened the regulatory and legal framework to fight corruption as well as passing into law several pieces of anti-corruption related legislation. Digitization has significantly reduced corruption in places such as the ports, DVLA, passport office, NHIS, hospitals, ECG etc.

We have also improved the financing of governance and
anti-corruption MDAs like the Ministry of Justice and Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Special Prosecutor, NCCE, CHRAJ, and EOCO.


 We are creating a more secure environment. Over the last four years, we have invested significantly towards enhancing public safety and security by providing equipment and logistics and recruiting personnel into the security services,

 H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has provided strong, decisive leadership in managing the
Coronavirus pandemic and its effects, and committed significant financial resources in helping households, health workers, businesses, workers and MSMEs cope with the disruptions to lives, livelihoods, supply chains, and business continuity.

We have shown that, with good governance, we can help make life better for every Ghanaian, young and old, no matter where you live in this country. We want to do more over the next four years towards our overall vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid.

Going Forward: 2021 to 2025

Ladies and gentlemen, it is obvious to everyone by now that there is a major difference between an Akufo-Addo Presidency and a Mahama Presidency. What NDC destroyed in 8years, Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP have restored in less than 4 years.
We have only one choice ahead of us for the next four (4) years. And that choice is to protect and build upon our progress as a nation. We cannot now afford to go back into the days of
darkness and a broken economy.

By the grace of God, in the next Akufo-Addo government, within the context of our overall vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid, we will focus on delivering the following key outcomes:

o We will continue to stimulate growth through investments in the real sector of the economy,
particularly in agriculture and digitization.

o We will support industrialization and accelerate our efforts in agriculture modernization, provide support for farmers and improve linkages with industry mainly through 1D1F.

o Consolidate the implementation of Free SHS and Free TVET programmes. We are going to make it possible for all SHS graduates who pass and want to go to the university or other tertiary institutions to do so. For any student who has the qualifying grades and does not have money to pay his/her university fees government will pay the fees through a student loan scheme without guarantors. All that the student will need to access this loan is a GhanaCard.

o Focus on health promotion and prevention as part of the primary health care programme. Deliver on the largest healthcare infrastructure investment by any government since independence (under Agenda 111), construct infectious disease centres in the coastal, middle and northern belts of the country, among others.

o Provide one of the most ambitious housing programmes in the country from renting to low income
and middle income housing through private-public partnerships.

o Provide at least one model school for Zongo communities in each region. We are obviously not
going to build mortuaries for the Zongos but rather schools.

o We will establish a National Rental Assistance Scheme (NRAS). In partnership with the private sector, the Scheme will provide low-interest loans to eligible Ghanaians to enable them pay rent advance.

o In the next four years, we plan to build a digital services economy through the expansion of the Ghana Innovation Hub project to nurture startups to accelerate the development of applications software, provide regional e-backroom services, and enterprise level software. We will digitize the land registry next year to enable automation in the registration of land as well as checking of title to land.

A Call to Action

In 2016, our party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), and our Presidential Candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, sought your mandate on a platform of creating a prosperous society with economic opportunity for all Ghanaians.

We were clear in what we wanted to use the mandate for: to re-build the Ghana We Want, strong, prosperous, and united with expanded opportunities for all, no matter where you live in the country. The evidence shows that we have kept faith with the people of Ghana, and delivered or are
delivering on most of our promises. The job is by no means done, however. We still have more to do in our service for the good people of Ghana.

We know the continuing faith it will require on your part,and the responsibilities it places on us, but we do not ask for the renewal of our mandate in a vacuum. We ask on the basis of two convictions:

• we ask you to give us four more years because our Government, borne out of the NPP, under the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has kept faith with you, Ghanaians, by delivering on the commitments we made to you.

We are on track, having significantly delivered on our mandate. Many have asked: how could an economy that could not pay teacher and nursing training allowances suddenly deliver lower taxes, restore teacher and nursing training allowances, create jobs, implement Free Senior High School education , NABCO, Planting For Food and Jobs, One Village One Dam, One Constituency One Ambulance, reduce electricity tariffs, formal/ise the economy, industrialise the economy
through “One District, One Factory”, and reduce the cost of doing business and restore macroeconomic stability.

The question had been asked because it seemed an impossible task by the end of 2016, but we were very confident that, with good economic management and by the grace of God, we could make what seemed impossible possible.

And we did;
• by renewing our mandate and giving us four more years, you will be ensuring that all the hard work over the last four years does not go to waste.

This is a real, significant risk. We have been here before.
In 2009, after we handed a strong economy over to the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and they virtually collapsed the economy. The fiscal meltdown was so bad that the NDC signing up to an IMF ECF-supported programme for policy credibility did little to change the direction of the economy and country. He is the same John Mahama. He has not changed.

Fellow Ghanaians, we cannot afford to play “Chaskele”
with the future of this country.

On December 7, remember what we have achieved together, and what, we can achieve together over the next four years, and vote to retain Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as President, and for NPP MPs, all of whom are Number 1 on the ballot, so we can deliver once again on our mandate.

Thank you very much for your attention.
May God bless you and bless our homeland Ghana.

Source: Ghana Waves

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