The leader and flag bearer of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has pledged to work with a maximum of fifty (50) ministers and deputies.
This number, if adhered to, translates into a huge reduction of 125 ministers and deputies appointed by his boss in the first term and reduced to 83 in the second term.
Further, Dr. Bawumia’s number is lower than the 60 promised by the leader of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama.
In his address at the well-attended event at the plush University of Professional Studies Accra auditorium, on Wednesday, February 7, 2024 Dr. Bawumia emphasised that an efficient system of governance will require fewer ministers, hence his decision to have fewer ministers.
“I would have no more than 50 ministers and deputy ministers,” he pledged.
The size of government has become key in the political campaign, especially in the 2020 presidential electioneering campaign.
The Vice President noted that his vision is to improve upon the digitalization drive the Akufo-Addo government championed. This, he said, was to make Ghana ready for the on-going global digital revolution for inclusive economic growth.
According to him, his digital agenda is also aimed at applying technology to transform key sectors of the economy, including agriculture, healthcare, education, manufacturing and the financial sector, for a prosperous digital economy that will make Ghana a digital hub and also create jobs for the youth.
“I want to build a Ghana where we leverage technology, data and systems for inclusive economic growth. I want us to apply digital technology, STEM, robotics and artificial intelligence for the transformation of agriculture, healthcare, education, manufacturing, fintech and public service delivery.”
The Vice President is aiming at achieving close to 100% internet penetration, as Ghana is currently at about 72%.
Dr. Bawumia also revealed an ambitious plan to train at least 200,000 youth per year on digital software skills for five years, which will also open them up for the job market, both in Ghana and globally.
Dr. Bawumia said his government will enhance TVET education and make coding and robotics standards in Senior High school.
Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has promised to scrap the electronic levy (E-levy) if he is given the opportunity to become Ghana’s next president.
“I will abolish the electronic tax, popularly called E-levy, if you give me the nod to lead you as president,” he promised.
He also outlined several other measures to improve revenue generation without burdening already-burdened taxpayers.
He said that to increase government tax revenue, the country has to reform and refocus the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) towards broadening the tax base.
RETHINK OF NATURAL RESOURCES
The Vice President outlined a number of measures, including value addition and Ghanaian ownership in the natural resource contracts to ensure the nation maximised benefits in the sector.
“As President, I will usher Ghana into a golden age for the maximisation of the benefits from our natural resources like gold, lithium, bauxite and so on,” he said.
Dr. Bawumia said some of the key policies his government will implement to maximise Ghana’s benefits from its natural resources will include measures to “formalise, regularise and regulate environmentally sustainable small-scale mining.”
The Vice President commenced his address by expressing gratitude to his boss, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for appointing him to the high office.
MAN OF VISION
Former President Kufuor, in a short remark, said he had always known Dr. Bawumia as a man of vision and had come to bear witness to such an auspicious day where he outlined his plan for Ghana.
He recalled how Dr. Bawumia delivered a paper at a conference abroad in 2002, which attracted him to Dr. Bawumia.
He sent for him when Dr. Bawumia sat down after his delivery. Kufuor said, “I don’t know what came over me. Prophetically, I told him, continue like this and you will go far.”
Concluding his remarks, he urged Ghanaians to “please, let us accept him and go far.”
The National Chairman of the NPP, Stephen Ayensu Ntim, urged unity among the rank and file of the party going into what is unarguably a crucial presidential election.
According to him, the NPP had demonstrated that they are not exclusivists but a party that accepts all and sundry.
He commended Dr. Bawumia for winning the flagbearer position and expressed optimism that it was possible to secure victory in December this year.
He said it was time to put aside all issues and work towards victory in 2024, saying that “remember, when we stand united, we are unstoppable.”