One major dream of every Ghanaian is to see a better Ghana yet the political mindset of our leaders proves otherwise.
The largest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), yesterday, Monday, September 7, 2020, launched its manifesto dubbed; ‘People’s Manifesto: Jobs, Prosperity and more.’ for the upcoming December 2020 elections.
The flagbearer for NDC, John Dramani Mahama already indicated that his government will be bent on leaving a legacy. A legacy that led to their overthrown in 2016.
He said what the nation saw as “good enough” should not be viewed as such any longer.
“To prosper and thrive, we need fundamental change. We need to set our standards and expectations far higher than good enough! If we settle for ‘good enough’, we settle for the slow death of our very soul and our pride,” he stated
Looking at the conditions of our economy and looking at what they left behind it’s hard to believe that the current condition of the educational sector could be improved as stated in their manifesto.
Many Ghanaians are still not convinced by the number of jobs and free services that will be provided since the question of quality never comes to mind.
“Provide Free Primary Health Care for all Ghanaians. Under this policy, any Ghanaian who visits a CHPS compound, or health center or clinic or polyclinic or District hospital will be treated for free.”
“expand the Free SHS programme to cover students in private Senior High Schools in underserved/deprived areas.”
• Free Fertilizer and Other Agro-Inputs
The next NDC Government will continue to provide free agro-inputs (fertiliser, insecticides, fungicides, etc.) and extension services to all cocoa farmers.
• Free Healthcare for Cocoa Farmers
The next NDC Government will: provide Free Primary Healthcare for all cocoa farmers and exempt all cocoa farmers from NHIS premium payment for secondary and tertiary care
They always promise but the question is are they ready to satisfy the needs of Ghanaians as promised and what makes their 8 years of service different from the four years of service of the ruling government with the following highlights
• The need for the one million jobs which they claim will provide
• A policy that will complement the NHIS which will apply to only secondary and tertiary health facilities.
• Absorb 50% of the school fees of all tertiary students for the 2020/2021 academic year.
• accreditation to law faculties to examine their students
• Improve and continue the implementation of free SHS.
• Abolish the double-track system
• Promote the use of IT and provide free Wi-Fi in schools to enhance the performance of students
• Provide students and teachers with free tablets loaded with relevant content to help in facilitating teaching and learning
• Address challenges with the Computerised School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS)
• Pay all customers of the collapsed financial institutions their locked-up funds in full within our first year in office.
• Roll out the Big Push policy; a $10 billion investment in infrastructure (roads, railway, hospitals, markets, schools, etc.) that will create jobs. Note that, only local materials and contractors will be used for these projects.
• A component of the Big Push includes a transportation plan which would involve the completion of the Eastern Corridor road, dualization of major Highways in Ghana, construction of the Western Corridor road. Some of the specific transport projects under the Big Push will include the following:
- Complete the Eastern Corridor Road
- Dualize Accra-Kumasi Highway
- Dualize Accra-Takoradi Highway
- Dualize Accra-Aflao Highway
- Port Infrastructure at Keta
- Bridge over Oti River
- Volivo to Dorfor bridge over the Southern Volta River
- Commence construction of Western Corridor Highway stretching from Axim to Elubo, Enchi Asawinso, Goaso, Sunyani, Wenchi, Bamboi, Bole, Wa, Lawra, Hamile.
- Continue Expansion of Takoradi Port to Sekondi to improve the handling of mineral ores and other natural resources.
- Implement the Golden Triangle/Central Corridor to improve transport and access covering Accra, Takoradi, Kumasi, Kintampo, Tamale, Bolgatanga, Paga
• Increase maternity leave from three (3) months to four (4) months and introduce seven (7) days paternity leave.
• establish a Cancer and Kidney Disease Trust Fund to support Ghanaians who need assistance for such conditions.
• employ the backlog of qualified health professionals.
• establish a Professor Jacob Plange-Rhule Endowment Fund for medical and surgical specialists training.
• implement tax waivers to assist health workers to acquire means of transport to respond to emergency calls.
• establish a housing scheme for health workers and provide residential facilities at all health facilities for health workers.
• scale up the training of Physician Assistants and emergency physicians.
• construct Regional Hospitals in the six new regions, and the Western Region.
• Provide district hospitals in districts where there is none.
• small businesses will be exempted entirely from corporate and personal income tax.
• corporate income tax for medium size companies will be reduced from the current 25% to 15%.
• newly established medium-sized companies that employ up to twenty (20) staff will be exempted entirely from the payment of corporate income tax for one year.
• Legalize Okada.
• Law banning the importation of salvage cars will be scrapped.
• Provide Free TVET at secondary and tertiary levels.
• Introduce a National Apprenticeship Program (NAP). Under this program Ghanaians desirous to learn a craft will be trained by the government for free, provided with apprenticeship allowances during their training, and provided with the necessary tool-kits for them to set up businesses after their successful completion of the apprenticeship program.
• abolish the mandatory national service and teacher licensure examinations for graduate teachers
• restore automatic employment of newly trained teachers.
• fast track promotions and applications for academic progression.
* provide teachers with free tablets to facilitate teaching and learning
* implement a special regime allowing teachers to own vehicles under affordable terms
review the Legal Profession Act in consultation with stakeholders, and establish a Council for Legal Education and Training, to accredit certified law faculties to run the Professional Law Course subject to the oversight supervision of the Council.
* resource the Student Loan Trust Fund to make timely and adequate payments to students
* increase students’ loans to be commensurate with prevailing educational costs
* abolish the requirement of guarantors as a pre-condition for accessing student loans to enable more students who need financial assistance access the loan.
* make loan repayment effective on beneficiaries gaining employment after school
* Re-introduce the Student Loan Plus scheme to assist students who gain admissions into tertiary institutions access loans to pay for their admission and school fees.
• A next NDC government will introduce a new Pension Scheme for organized groups in the informal sector of the Ghanaian economy, specifically:
a. Cocoa and Cashew Farmers
b. Driver Unions such as GPRTU, PROTOA and Co-operatives
c. Ghana Union of Traders Association
d. Beauticians and Hairdressers Associations
e. Dressmakers and Tailors Associations
f. Garages Associations
g. Artisans Association of Ghana
h. Farmers and Fishermen Associations
Also, the next NDC government shall:
* amend National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766) to allow contributing workers who lose their jobs suddenly due to natural occurrences such as the COVID-19 epidemic, to be paid some allowances while they search for new opportunities
* amend National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766) to allow workers who have contributed for a period of ten (10) to fifteen (15) years to use their contributions as collateral to access mortgage loans
* amend the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766) to reintroduce the CAP 30 Pension Scheme for security agencies.
* pay pensioners an annual thirteenth-month bonus.
• The NDC Government will establish modern fish markets and cold stores along with the major fish landing sites such as Tema New Town, Cape Coast, Shama, Sogakofe, Yeji, Kpando Torkor, Biriwa, Asesewa, Discover, Kpong and equip them with smoking and processing facilities
* establish two Islamic Senior High Schools in the southern and northern belts for the Zongo communities
* award scholarships to brilliant but needy students in Zongo communities at the basic level to the tertiary level, with special focus on girls and medical and nursing students
* support Arabic teachers in the Makaranta with monthly allowances
* enroll youth in Zongo and Inner Cities into the National Apprenticeship Programme as well as the free technical and vocational education and training (free TVET)
* provide start-up capital for business owners and earmark Funds for the ‘Soyayya Development Fund’.
* Work with the Hajj Board to make Hajj more affordable to prospective pilgrims
* give representation to Zongo Chiefs and other denominations on the Hajj Board to ensure easy facilitation of Hajj
* ensure that a representative from the Muslim Umma is placed on the board of the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs
* facilitate the establishment of morgues per Islamic customs and practices and collaborate with the Ministry of Health to set up focal teams responsible for procedures that are compliant with Islamic customs and practices at all state morgues
* create a biometric database of all cocoa farmers and made available at all cocoa clinics so that at any point in time, cocoa farmers and their dependents can have access to free healthcare at the cocoa clinics in the various cocoa growing regions in Ghana. In addition to the existing Cocoa Clinics in Accra, Tafo (Eastern Region) Debiso, and Kumasi, the next NDC Government will ensure COCOBOD builds well-equipped hospitals in each of the cocoa-growing regions.
* Cocoa Roads
The next NDC Government will revive and broaden the scope of the Cocoa Roads Project implemented under the past NDC Government to cover more cocoa-growing areas and resume all abandoned cocoa road projects and pay all contractors whose certificates have not been honored by the Akufo Addo’s NPP Government
* Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme
The next NDC Government will ensure the establishment of a pension scheme for cocoa farmers so they can enjoy pensions in their old age as already captured under the pensions sector.
* Annual Increment in Cocoa Producer Price
The next NDC Government will ensure the consistent annual increment of the cocoa price to make cocoa farming more attractive, especially to the youth.
With a pdf of 143 pages including images of his service to Ghana and a new revolution of gender balance we hope the opposition can convince Electorates to vote for their definition of a better Ghana