By Bernice Bessey
The Founder of the Ghana Union Movement (GUM), Reverend Christian Kwabena Andrew, popularly known as Osofo Kyiri Abosom, has promised, among other things, to cut-down salaries and other incentives enjoyed by Members of Parliament (MPs) and ministers of state when given the nod.
According to him, his government would also make sure that the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and other state executives would also have their salaries slashed downwards.
This policy, he hoped, would also address the disparities in the salaries of teachers and that of MPs.
Speaking at the inauguration of the movement in Accra yesterday, he assured the nation that the number of ministers under his government would be reduced.
“Number of Ministers of State would immediately be reduced to not more than 70. Salaries, ex-gratia, allowances and other incentives of ministers, MPs, MMDCEs and other state executives will be reduced,” he said.
Osofo Kyiri Abosom also commented on key areas like education, health, industrialisation, employment, road infrastructure, security, sanitation and social security. Other sectors of the economy he intends to transform are agriculture, energy, mining, commerce, ports and harbours, and law enforcement.
The minister of the gospel seems not to support previous and current governments’ way of doing things, especially when it comes to raising revenue. He has, therefore, decided to introduce the free port concept to encourage patronage and business.
“Not later than six months of Ghana Union Movement [being] in office, port duties will be absolutely free for all Ghanaians,” he postulated. On education, reading and writing that has characterised [the] Ghana Education Service since [the] colonial era would be changed to practical knowledge and skills building.
“Ordinary reading and writing shall be in our education system from Crèche up to Primary Six. JHS up to the tertiary will have practical and technical skill education, as per the course that the pupils/student shall choose to master in.
“Also, education shall be totally free up to the entrance of tertiary institutions, and tertiary education fees shall be considered by our government,” he added.
He said a GUM government will ensure that small scale mining activities are carried out or engaged in by only Ghanaians and no foreigner for that matter would be allowed. Similarly, taxes paid by businesses would be reduced, and loans with little interest offered to businesses to operate.
On corruption, he said: “The greatest cancer, which has befallen our country and has been over looked by our leaders, is corruption. Corruption shall be our greatest enemy as a government, should Ghanaians give us the mandate, and no single person shall go unpunished under our administration for a corrupt practice. Ghana Union Movement, as a political party, shall battle corruption to the roots. We assure Ghanaians of that.”
Every Ghanaian, from government workers to the iced-water seller, after 60 years of age would enjoy old age benefits.
However, he did not disclose how these giant social interventions are going to be achieved.