The Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated that his party will rebuild the “shattered” Ghanaian economy and fix the mess created by the governing NDC government.
Nana was speaking at a meeting of Ghanaian and International businessmen and women, as well as professionals and students, organised by the Young Executive Forum (YEF) of NPP UK.
Nana Addo told the audience that Ghana was once the “poster boy of Africa’s rising narrative,” but this was only up until when the NPP government led by President Kufuor left office.
Nana Addo noted that democratic institutions were taking root in Ghana with a growth rate of 8 %. “This was the image that was visible to the world,” he stated.
He lamented that within 6 years after the President Kufuor regime, “we have a different image of Ghana today, a country with a struggling economy despite the numerous resources, including recently discovered petroleum resources at her disposal, a country back under the tutelage of the IMF, a Ghana that is not working in any circle, a broken society, and broken economy.”
Ghana today under the NDC and President Mahama, Nana Addo noted, is “in an even worst state than the NPP found it in the year 2000.”
Ghana’s growth rate, he added, has fallen to only 3% this year from a peak of 11-12% a couple of years ago.
“Rampant corruption, lack of proper planning and economic mismanagement of the country is what we find under the current NDC administration led by President John Mahama,” he noted.
“Ghana needs to be put back on the right track that President Kufuor’s administration placed it. Ghana needs to once again be the rising star and the hope of Africa and once again become the benchmark of a great African nation.
The road map to regaining this lauded status Nana stated, is to move away from simply being an exporter of raw and unprocessed agricultural products and instead, be in the position to add value to the raw materials and agricultural products that the country produces, with the aid of manufacturing technology.
To a standing ovation, Nana Addo stated that “my vision, is to make sure that within the next decade at least 50% of the export proceeds of Ghana come from Ghanaian industrial companies.”
Nana Akufo-Addo said that increasing agricultural productivity by supporting farmers and fishermen, building strong financial systems that will support our agricultural needs and the building of light manufacturing industry to create jobs and improve the standard of living of our citizens, is a major task, but certainly doable, with the right leadership in place.
He observed that countries such as Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Brazil and the likes of Botswana and Mauritius on the African continent had followed such programs and succeeded, and so can Ghana.
Unsustainable levels of corruption
Nana Addo said the “unsustainable levels of corruption that the NDC have introduced into their administration” will not be entertained under his watch.
“A Future NPP/Akufo-Addo government will fight and defeat corruption at all levels.”
As a first step, Nana announced that under his administration, the Office of an Independent Special Prosecutor, who will have the special powers of investigating and prosecuting acts of corruption, within and outside government, will be set up. To ensure a truly independent role, the Special Prosecutor will not be appointed by the President but by Parliament and removed in the same way from office.
“The shambles that is SADA, has, and will forever shame the NDC government for its gross mismanagement, and embezzlement of public funds meant to make a positive difference in bridging the divide between the North and South of the country,” bemoaned Nana Addo.
Sole sourcing destroying economy
The NPP Flagbearer added that the NDC government’s “appetite for sole sourcing is destroying the economy and raising the level of corruption which in effect, is raising the debt stock of the country to levels that is bringing the country back to HIPC status.”
Nana Akufo-Addo told the audience that there was the need for Ghana to do more and achieve more than it currently is doing.
He made comparison between a stable Ghana, and the neighbouring Ivory Coast that had only recently been engulfed in destructive civil war following a disputed elections.
Nana Addo observed that the positive story of recover in the Ivory Coast within the short space of three years, post conflict, and under the current leadership, is a clear example of what a good, visionary and responsible leadership can achieve for a country.
He further noted that with the same land mass and weather climate as Ghana’s, the export value of the Ivory Coast’s agricultural commodities is $12 billion as compared to Ghana’s $2 billion.
Nana Akufo Addo pointed out that La Cote D’Ivore produces 1.1 million tonnes of cocoa as compared to Ghana’s 500 thousand tonnes. With this comparison between the two countries, Ghana he said, need a leader and government with a clear cut focus, and one who would make the wellbeing of the people his primary focus.
“A good management of the economy and introduction of pro-poor interventionist policies such as president Kufuor introduced during his tenure, is the basis of freeing the people from their destitution.”
Nana concluded by promising that he will put Ghanaians first and introduce measures that will work to lift the country from a developing country to a middle income economy, and ultimately to a leading economy in the West African sub region.
To this end, Nana observed that Ghana can be the bridge between Africa’s number one economy, Nigeria, and Ghana’s Francophone West African neighbour, the Ivory Coast, exploiting this role to become even more successful in her own right.
“We need a working country, a functioning country, and a country where there is dignity in the public service. NPP will lead Ghana to the promised land,” he said to a spontaneous standing ovation.
Also attending the event was Miss Adjoa Safo, Member of Parliament for Dome Kwabenya in the Greater Accra Region, Bernard Antwi Bosiako aka, Chairman Wontumi, NPP Ashanti Regional Chairman, Mr Stanley Adjiri Blankson, former Mayor of Accra, Mr Alex Dadey, Chairman Young Executive Forum, Mr Richard Diedong Dombo, 1st Vice Chairman, NPP UK, deputising for Chairman Michael Ansah, representatives of the UK Conservative Party, and other NPP UK executives.
Source: NPP UK