A former Managing Director of Bost Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) and Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) has said the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is the only political party in the country that has the ordinary Ghanaian at heart.
Mr Kingsley Kwame Awuah-Darko, who said the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has lost touch with the Ghanaian people, also indicated that the NDC has demonstrated its commitment to good governance by producing a people-centered manifesto that reflects the needs of all stakeholders of the country.
Dubbed the ‘People’s manifesto’, Mr Awuah-Darko described the NDC’s policy document that was launched few weeks ago as a document that represents Ghanaians’ aspirations and explained that the party went to the people who are the main stakeholders of governance to get their inputs into the documents unlike the NPP.
Speaking on Inside Politics hosted by Mugabe Maase on Power FM, Mr Awuah-Darko criticized the Akufo-Addo led administration for the hardship in the country, saying the government has cut ties with the people that voted them into power.
Describing Akufo-Addo’s governance as bad, he argued that there were so many decisions the government should have taken over the past few years to help the citizens but failed to do so because “they do not care about the people.”
For instance, he bemoaned the job losses resulting from the freeze of road contracts in the early months into the Akufo-Addo government and the collapse of banks under the guise of banking sector clean-up, while arguing that when the people called for the banks to be audited and regulated for resuscitation, the government rather targeted banks whose owners had a relationship with opposition parties and collapsed them.
“Now people have lost their jobs and can’t pay for their rent nor provide food for their families. Others have fallen ill and bedridden because their funds locked up in the collapsed banks were not paid by the government,” he said.
On the freeze on road works, Mr Awuah-Darko noted the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) did so much harm to the economy because the Akufo-Addo government refused to pay contractors who owed the banks huge sums of money.
“If they had allowed the contractors to work and paid them, the economy would have been turned around because the loans the contractors took from the banks would have been settled on time to save the banks from grinding to a halt,” he criticized.
He said the NPP government only saw it prudent to pay depositors their locked up cash after the flagbearer of the NDC, John Mahama promised to pay their locked up deposits when voted into power.
“They began to pay the depositors because we promised to pay the cash to them. This shows that the NPP has lost touch with the people,” Awuah-Darko said in Akan, arguing that the NPP rather was implementing some of the policies.
“If you have followed the style of governance of the NPP, you’ll realize they have lost touch [with the people] because they are rushing to implement some of the promises in the NDC manifesto. This means Ghanaians couldn’t talk to the government. They rather spoke to us. If they had listened to Ghanaians, they would have done what they want to do now,” he told Mugabe.
He continued, “ I have worked in government before but with what I am seeing, I am a bit confused. It’s either they [the NPP] didn’t listen to the people or they are overwhelmed by the work given them.”
He urged Ghanaians to trust John Mahama as a visionary leader who he said has the people at heart, adding that the former president’s track record in his first term shows the NDC is for the people.
“Let’s pray for Mr John Mahama and support him to be president again. He was a president and has been an opposition leader. Just as Ghanaians have weighed his governance and Nana Akufo-Addo’s, he has an experience as a former president who has the chance to be re-elected so he has done his homework well such that Ghanaians will be in safe hands when he is given the mandate,” urged Mr Awuah-Darko.
He said, “If you ask former president Rawllings and former president Kufuor, they will tell you what they would do better if given the chance to occupy the presidency again. So what I mean is that Mr Mahama has taken note of a lot of things and I can tell you his governance will be very different from what Ghanaians witnessed although he performed better in his first term.”
Mr Awuah-Darko said the NDC manifesto had a lot of job opportunities for Ghanaians especially those in the informal sector, explaining that farmers will be prioritized when the NDC wins power.
He also mentioned that the NDC will make sure businesses grow as the government introduces paid apprenticeship and also create about 250,000 jobs a year.
NDC’s Projections Under Economy
The NDC has said job creation will be the “predominant preoccupation of the next NDC Government as a way of enhancing the livelihoods of our people, under a One Million Jobs.”
As part of plans to sustaining small businesses, the NDC has promised to, from the beginning of 2021 and into the medium-term, offer several tax reliefs to the private sector, especially MSMEs to enable them to recover and get back to their full operating capacities.
The long-suffering Ghana Cedi, the opposition party noted, will be stabilised and strengthened, pledging that “the private sector will receive the biggest job-related stimulus package in Ghanaian history.
The NDC has also offered to ensure that firms leverage on these tax reliefs to expand
their scope of production and employ more Ghanaians to help boost the economy.
Among other things, the NDC has promised in its manifesto to exempt small businesses entirely from corporate and personal income tax, reduce corporate income tax for medium size companies from the current 25per cent to 15per cent while newly established medium-sized companies that employ up to twenty (20) staff will be exempted entirely from the payment of corporate income tax for one year.
Newly established medium companies that employ more than twenty (20) staff
will be exempted entirely from the payment of corporate income tax for two
years, according to the NDC while commercial vehicles and other equipment imported into the country for commercial, industrial and agricultural purposes will be exempted from import duty.