A Vice Chairperson of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Shirley Ayittey has commended former president John Mahama for his governnance style while in power.
Speaking to Kwame Minkah, host of Dwaboase on Power 97.9 FM, the former minister noted she was happy the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has said the elections will be contested on track records of the two major political parties.
“The track record of John Mahama speaks for itself,” she said in Akan as she eulogized the achievements of the Mills/Mahama administration.
“John Mahama’s projects are visible for all to see, so when they [NPP] demand for track records we have no problem because they can’t compare theirs to ours,” she added.
She said the NPP has nothing meaningful to show Ghanaians in the run up to the 2020 polls slated for December 7,2020, stressing that Ghanaians had witnessed the abuse of power, stifling of security officials and a governance interlaced with dishonesty.
Madam Ayittey’s comment comes after media reports of intimidation and violence at the just ended nationwide voter registration exercise, which resulted in the death of a youngster at Banda in the Bono region.
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has raised concerns about “intimidation” at registration centres at Banda in the Bono region and other parts of the country by armed military men.
According to a deputy National Youth Organiser of the NDC, Edem Agbana, residents of settler communities along the Black Volta around the Bui Dam in the Banda Constituency were being prevented from accessing registration centres at Banda Ahenkro despite the Electoral Commission’s failure to provide centres for them in theri communities.
But reacting to the confusion, Shirley Ayittey condemned the military and government appointees who masterminded the intimidation.
“See, the security of the country has broken down and nothing seems to work under the leadership of Akufo-Addo,” she criticised. “they have filled the security with unqualified people and training them for war.
Madam Ayittey further observed that the Mahama administration embarked on numerous infrastructural projects such as roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, markets among others that created employment for thousands.
“In the roads sector, we did a lot that expanded businesses to rural areas that had bad roads before we took over. It ensured that persons on the food value chain had enough,” she said.
She continued,”John Mahama worked so much in the hbealth sector and the evidence is everywhere. So when he is voted into power, we will expand the access to primary health care as we had commenced.”
This week, there was a debate about who built the University of Environment and Sustainable Development in Somanya in the Eastern Region, after President Akufo-Addo commissioned the institution.
Hours before the commissioning, the NDC in Yilo Krobo issued a statement asking the President not to re-visit his usual habit of taking credit for what he has no hand in and to appreciate the efforts of his predecessor John Dramani Mahama.
The NDC said the project was one of the dreams of the NDC made possible by Former President Mahama and former Education Minister Prof. Naana Jane Opoku Agyeman.
These institution-which will offer degree programs and research in climate change, water resources development, energy sustainability, energy economics and policy, urban architecture, natural resources and environmental economics, environmental policy and environmental science-was built by the erstwhile Mahama government.
That was after then governing NDC in the executive summary of its 2012 manifesto stated that it will establish “a new public University in the Eastern Region to complete the NDC’s vision of providing a public University campus in every Region of the country and also to expand academic and residential facilities on existing campuses”( NDC 2012 Manifesto, Page 8.
Source: Starr News
In April 2013- President Mahama inaugurated a 12-member committee to develop the roadmap for the establishment of the University. https://www.mahamalegacy.com/project/university-of-environment-and-sustainable-development-somanya-campus/. The committee was chaired by Professor Raymond Benning-Amoako-Nuamah
In February 2014- President Mahama said in his State of the Nation Address that the establishment of the first University in the Eastern Region is becoming a reality and added that the 12 member committee has completed work.
He stated then, that the draft bill will be presented to parliament soon. https://www.myjoyonline.com/news/full-transcript-president-john-mahamas-2014-state-of-the-nation-address/
Shortly after his State of the Nation Address, Education Minister Prof. Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang presented the memorandum of the bill to establish the university to parliament. Clause 3 of that memorandum stated that the “The University shall be established in Somanya and shall have (a) its first campus in Donkorkrom and any other place in the Eastern region; (b) other campuses in any other place as the Council may determine”.
June 2015: The 12-member committee tasked to develop the roadmap for the construction of the University submitted its report to President Mahama.
2016: President Mahama endorsed the approved bill which was subsequently ratified by parliament that year. On 20th October 2016, Finance Minister Seth Terkper presented the loan agreement for the establishment of the University to parliament. There were three papers;
1. Buyer Credit Facility Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Deutsche Bank S.p.A. and its affiliates in the sum of up to Thirty-Eight Million, Seven Hundred and Thirty-Eight Thousand, Seven Hundred and Fifty Euros (€38,738,750.00) for the development of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development. The committee report on this agreement was submitted on 27th October 2020, motion was moved a day later and it was passed that same day, October 28.
2. Commercial Loan Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Deutsche Bank S.p.A. and its affiliates in the sum of up to Six Million, Eight Hundred and Thirty-Six Thousand, Two Hundred and Fifty Euros (€6,836,250.00) for the development of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development. The committee report on this agreement was submitted on 27th October 2020, motion was moved a day later and it was passed that same day, October 28.
3. The final paper was the Commercial Contract between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Contracta Construzione Italia Srl. in the sum of up to FortyFive Million, Five Hundred and Seventy-Five Thousand Euros (€45,575,000.00) for the development of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development
SOURCE: LOANS, TREATIES and CONVENTIONS, 6th Parliament
With funds secured and the bill passed, President Mahama cut the sod for the construction of the main campus of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development on Thursday December 29, 2016 just days before he was to hand over to then president-elect Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo. At the sod-cutting ceremony, President Mahama expressed hope that their “our exploits and initiatives will be sustained for the betterment of Ghana,” https://www.graphic.com.gh/news/general-news/prez-cuts-sod-for-university-of-environment-and-sustainable-development.html
JAN 2018- Work began on the construction of the University in Somanya. Minister of state in charge of tertiary education Prof. Kwesi Yankah granted an interview to the Daily Graphic in which he said that the Akufo Addo government had no intention of abandoning the project. He said work had started as early as December 4 the previous year. The minister explained that the delay in beginning the project was because of some technical challenges. https://www.businessghana.com/site/news/general/157807/Work-begins-on-Somanya-Campus-of-Environment-University
On July 18, 2018 GBC reported that parliament had adopted the 90 million dollar loan agreement between government of Ghana and the Exim-Import Bank of Korea for the construction of the Bunso Campus of the UESD( https://www.gbcghana.com/1.11666789 . The minority had raised concerns about the decision by government to set up the satellite campus of the University at Bunso instead of Donkorkrom as stated in the act 898 which established the university. Another concern the caucus had about the move by government was the cost of the project. The NDC MPs maintained that the 90 million dollar price tag for the Bunso project was outrageous especially since the main campus was constructed at 45 million euros. https://www.ayoffycial.com/2018/minority-kicks-against-illogical-90m-loan-for-uesd-bunso-campus-project/
So let’s note this; per the act that established the University, while the main campus was to be sited in Somanya, the satellite campuses were to be in Donkorkrom first and then any other in the region as may be determined by the University Council. The minority therefore felt the government violating the provisions of the act and brought about this controversy over whether government was relocating the University to Bunso. In November 2018 while on a three day tour of the Eastern Region, President Akufo Addo asked the chiefs and people in Somanya to disregard the claims. https://www.graphic.com.gh/news/general-news/university-of-environment-sustainable-dev-won-t-be-relocated-prez-says-as-he-begins-e-r-tour-ghana-news.html
January 2020: The first phase of the project was completed. According to Minister of State in charge of tertiary education, the University will begin admissions in the 2020 academic year. https://www.modernghana.com/news/978727/er-university-of-environment-and-sustainable.html
May 2020: According to President Akufo Addo, the agreement for the second phase of the Main Campus project was signed on 6th May 2020 with M/S Contracta and valued at forty-nine million, eight hundred and ninety-one thousand, ninety-eight euros to be completed within thirty (30) months of signature of the agreement.
On August 5, 2020 President Akufo Addo commissioned the first phase of the main campus of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development.
From the above, the facts show that the NDC government did more than just the enactment of the Act 898 which established the University of Environment and Sustainable Development. Not only was the project captured in the 2012 Manifesto of the NDC, but the previous NDC administration began the process for the beginning of the project. This is manifest in the setting up of the 12-member committee that worked on the roadmap for the construction of the University. Then outgoing President Mahama also cut the sod for the beginning of the project in December 2016.
Contrary to the NPP’s claim that Nana Akufo Addo did all it takes to mobilize funds for the construction of the University, the 45 million euros for the first phase of the project was secured and approved by parliament in October 2016 under the NDC government. The NPP’s claim that the framework agreement was signed between government and the Exim Bank of Korea for the construction of the University is misleading. The facts remain that the first phase of the project was signed between government and the Deutsche Bank in 2016. Indeed the Exim Bank of Korea is providing funding for the satellite campus of the University at Bunso and not the Main Campus at Somanya which was commissioned yesterday.
That agreement involving the Exim Bank of Korea was approved by parliament in July 2018, more than 6 months after work on the Somanya Main Campus project had started. It is also not true that the previous government reneged on an agreement by bringing in a contractor from Brazil which led to protests by Exim Bank. On the website www.uesd-ghana.com, the company contracted to undertake the main campus project is Brazilian named CONTRACTA ENGENHARIA which is the parent company of the Italian firm Contracta Construizioni Italia SRL which implemented the project. Based on the facts, starrfmfactchecker finds the claim by the governing NPP that the opposition NDC lied about securing funds for the construction of the University is false. Finally it cannot be said that it was only under Nana Addo’s government that the project was started and completed. We rate the NPP’s claims as outright lies and therefore rated 2 stars.