Mahama on promising spree!
It appears former President John Dramani Mahama has hopped onto a fast-moving Ford Expedition vehicle with loads of promises, going into the December General Elections.
From when the flagbearer had the nod to lead the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) into battle for the presidency, a seat he once occupied, he has assured, and continues to pledge, to do one thing or another.
Not only has he promised to review the free Senior High School policy of the Akufo-Addo government, he has also promised to pay teacher trainee allowances, a sharp U-turn from his stance when he was the Commander-in-Chief of the affairs of the country.
At a press conference yesterday, addressed by the National Communications Officer of the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi, and monitored by this paper from its holy hideout, not less than twelve promises were counted. This has been done even ahead of the outdooring of the party’s manifesto for the 2020 General Elections.
According to the mouthpiece of the party, Sammy Gyamfi, who attributed all the promises to his boss, Mr Mahama, said he was the leader Ghana needs now … “to restore the nation back to the path of true progress and development.”
Rehashing those promises he said Mr Mahama had already announced, Sammy Gyamfi indicated that the former President, who was sent packing from the presidency after his first term, is committed to “fixing the mess that has been created by the mal-administration of President Akufo-Addo in all sectors of the nation, and in all facets of lives.”
The NDC, at the press conference yesterday, said Mr Mahama, when elected, shall pay in full all customers of collapsed financial institutions whose monies are locked up, as a result of the banking sector clean up. This, he said, would be done within the first year of the next NDC government.
Again, Mahama has promised to reduce the size of government by forty ministers and channel the monies into productive sectors.
This promise comes on the back of the size of the Akufo-Addo government, even though the latter had explained why he needed that number of ministers.
Former President Mahama has also committed to provide free technical and vocational education, from the second cycle to the tertiary level, to build the human resource base of the nation for industrial development, entrepreneurship and job creation.
Further, Mr Mahama says he will institute a national apprenticeship programme, in line with his vision for the rapid industrialisation and job creation for the country. This national apprenticeship programme, the NDC says, is different from the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme under this government.
The NDC said Mr Mahama is introducing this programme “where unemployed people, the aged, adults, our mothers, some of whom are on the streets hawking as kayayei, and who cannot go back to school to benefit from the free TVET programme, can enroll into this national apprenticeship programme, where upon they will be attached to a mastercraft person, pay you an apprenticeship stipend every month, and when you are done with your course, sets you up with the tool kits you need to be able to employ yourself and employ others, possibly,” Sammy Gyamfi asserted.
At the press conference yesterday, the promises kept flowing with full force like an Airbus flight scheduled to arrive at a fixed time with goodies.
The party went on to state that Mr Mahama will scrap the 50% communication service tax imposed by this government to reduce the cost of telephoning and data.
Mr Mahama is also expected to abolish the double track system, establish university campuses in each of the six newly created regions, and also abolish the mandatory national service and teacher licensure exams for teacher trainees, and restore their automatic employment.
He will also construct a regional hospital for each of the newly-created regions, as well as the Western Region, to improve access to quality health delivery.
Another promise is to build a healthcare ship to be called ‘Onipa Nua Hospital Ship’ to take healthcare to residents in the fishing areas, especially where access to healthcare is a challenge.
In the next Mahama-led government, as the party is hopeful about, assembly members would be paid.
The NDC said Mahama had committed himself to restore the free fertiliser distribution to boost cocoa yields.
In the area of roads, Mr Mahama has committed himself to complete the Eastern Corridor road, and dualise the Aflao, Kumasi, and Cape Coast roads among others, the NDC announced yesterday.