Former President John Dramani Mahama, has said the main opposition National Democratic Congress’ People’s Manifesto, has awoken the sleepy government of President Akufo-Addo, including having to increase enrollment into the Ghana School of Law astronomically.
The former President , said this at a Leadership Dialogue series organised by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), a Think-Tank and hoped to have enrollment into Medical Schools across the country also increased when he takes over in 2021.
The presidential candidate, especially spoke on the NDC peoples’ manifesto on Monday, October 26 at the Centre for Social Justice, which is led by Sodzi Sodzi-Tettey.
“I am overjoyed that even before the first vote is cast, the promises in the Peoples’ Manifesto have significantly aroused the sleepy conscience and attention of this government and have shaken them to act selectively albeit too late in the day on some of our policy proposals”, the presidential candidate of the NDC said on Monday, 26 October 2020, when he interacted with some professional groups in Accra.
Mr Mahama said: “At this critical stage of our nation’s history, Ghanaians deserve more than ever before, a government that is honest and truthful to them. A government that takes responsibility and gives them results, not excuses or blame.
“We shall work to unite and create opportunities for all – not just for a privileged few, bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, end the repression of the media and end intolerance and discrimination against ethnic groups, religious groups, gender and age groups.
“Above all, we shall consider it a civic duty and support all citizens to hold our Government accountable to the people of Ghana without fear of recriminations. Together with you, we shall build the Ghana, we all can be proud of. And we shall adopt a root and branch approach to the fight against corruption”.
He promised to initiate a number of projects and policies to strengthen the business environment in Ghana, if he wins this year’s elections.
Mr Mahama, said he would refocus and re-orient the operations of the Ghana EXIM bank, which he established in 2016 to promote exports and create sustainable jobs.
“The lack of transparency in disbursement and flagrant abuse of the funds of the bank on non-core activities to the neglect of many-core and legitimate viable business plans begging for credit saddens me.
“Under my watch, the Ghana EXIM bank in addition to other funding streams will support agriculture and agribusinesses for both the domestic and export markets through the creation of agro-production and processing zones in all major crop-producing areas across Ghana,” he said.
He said “Our decline on the World Bank’s ease of doing business index will be tackled to satisfy the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Traders and all Ghanaians. We automated the Registrar General Department to facilitate business registration and we are promising to do more. We will also work hand in hand with stakeholders to be assured they will invest the gains in ventures that will expand businesses to create more jobs for the youth.
“Let me reassure you, we will scrap the 25% corporate income tax for small businesses and reduce Corporate Income tax from 25% to 15% for medium-scale businesses. Furthermore, we will not only offer a 2-year tax holiday for youth startups and businesses, but also provide a 2-year Corporate Income tax exemption for newly incorporated medium-scale businesses that employ 20 people or more.
“I promise to refocus and re-orient the operations of the Ghana EXIM bank, which I established in 2016 to promote exports and create sustainable jobs. The lack of transparency in disbursement and flagrant abuse of the funds of the bank on non-core activities to the neglect of many-core and legitimate viable business plans begging for credit saddens me.
“Under my watch, the Ghana EXIM bank in addition to other funding streams will support agriculture and agribusinesses for both the domestic and export markets through the creation of agro-production and processing zones in all major crop-producing areas across Ghana. It is our expectation that these interventions will make Ghana self-sufficient and a major exporter of finished goods. Processing of cashew, cocoa, shea, palm, cassava, pepper, ginger, fruits, and rubber will also be emphasized to put money in the pockets of farmers and entrepreneurs.
“The fishing, poultry, and livestock industry will be a key pillar in the quest to make Ghana self-sufficient. We shall hand over the management of pre-mix fuel to transparently constituted Landing Beach Committees and ensure it is affordable and available for fishing communities.
“We shall equip the Navy to fight ‘Saiko’ fishing. Subsidized outboard motors will also be made available and fishers will also be encouraged to engage in commercial cage culture on lakes and rivers. To meet our protein-energy requirements, attention will also be given to both the poultry and livestock industry. Still, in the agriculture sector, cocoa farmers will be given free fertilizer as it used to be under our administration. And in general, farmers will be supported with inputs to improve their yield.”
Answering questions on the Nation Builders Corp (NABCO), he said the personnel deserve permanent jobs.
He said, it was not enough to create an “artificial employment” for graduates and that they needed permanent jobs with decent salaries, adding, the next NDC government would create 250,000 jobs each year, with a focus on graduates.
He said under the “Adwuma Pa” project, the NDC, when voted into power would create one million jobs, where workers would work 24 hours with a three-shift system by eight hours on each shift.
Mr Mahama, said that would promote greater economic growth and enable the country’s economy to matchup with developed economies across the globe.
He said the NDC would deploy 5G Technology Network when voted into power to provide faster online engagement and would engage more Information Technology professionals to build a robust online infrastructure for rapid digital growth.
Mr Mahama, speaking on Free Senior High School (SHS), said he would make the system better by completing community-based e-block day Senior High School campuses to absorb students and abolish the double-truck system introduced by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government.
He said the next NDC government would absorb 50 percent of tertiary students fees starting from the 2020/2021 academic year and would grant full scholarship to needy, but brilliant students and all disabled student at the tertiary level.
Mr Mahama, said at least 30 per-cent of his government would be made up of women and for the first time in Ghana, women would have a representative in cabinet -Professor Jane Naana Opoku- Agyeman, his Vice Presidential Candidate.
He said he stood for peace in the December polls and called on the electorate to bring the NDC back to power.
Mr Sodzi Sodzi-Tettey, Lead Founder, CSJ said the dialogue was the third in the series and was the first physical engagement, because all the others were held virtually.
He said as Think Tank, the Centre provided the needed platform for academics, activists and Ghanaian patriots to engage stakeholders and share views on responsible leadership.
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