Politics

Over Two Million Jobs Created Under Akufo-Addo – NPP

Speaking at the NPP’s ‘The Youth Must Know’ series on Thursday, 10 September 2020, Nana B noted: “The NPP has created over two million jobs in three and a half years (2,055,010).
These include:
• Public Sector – 778,706
• Formal Private Sector – 267,939
• Government Job-Creation Programmes – 1,008,365.”
Giving a breakdown of the figure, he said jobs were created through five government programmes, which are: Planting for Food and Jobs (Annual Average): 762,300
• Nation Builders Corps: 100,000
• National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP): 92,000
• National Identification Authority: 35,380
• Out-grower Value Chain Fund (OVCF) (Annual Average): 7,254
• Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project (Annual Average): 11,431

On education, the National Youth Organiser stressed that Akufo-Addo’s record is unmatched, especially with the coming into being of the Free SHS programme, which saved over 1.2 million students from staying at home.

The universally-acclaimed Free SHS and TVET Education have seen 1.2 million beneficiaries. The government has absorbed registration fees for children sitting the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) from both public (391,318) and private (397,500) Junior High Schools in 2020. The difference this makes to both parents and their wards cannot be overemphasized! In addition, the government has also paid Ghc75 million as examination fees for 313,838 students sitting the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE),” Nana B remarked.
He added: “Unrivalled infrastructural projects in SHS and Basic Schools – 1,200 infrastructural projects in SHS and 557 at the basic school level. This development also encompasses libraries– the construction of 2 libraries and renovation of 10 existing libraries, including the Accra Central, Asokore and Hohoe libraries. The construction and establishment of ten (10) Training Centres of Excellence for the Council for Technical, Vocational Education and Training (COTVET).

Restoration of Teacher Trainees Allowance to 48,000 teacher trainees which cost Ghc 357 million in the 2020 fiscal year alone, restoration of Nursing Trainees Allowance to 49,000 nursing trainees which also cost Ghc336 million in the 2020 fiscal year.

Youth scholarships for over 30,000 brilliant and needy students via the District Level Scholarship Scheme in 2019, alone, projected to be over 60,000 students in 2020.”

Comparing the manifesto of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and that of the NPP, Nana B said that of the major opposition is full of contradictions and promising spree.

The promising spree, contradictions and u-turns of Mr John Mahama and the NDC signal only one thing: that their singular aim is to say and do whatever it takes–including what the devil may himself frown upon– to capture political power,” Nana B stressed.

He concluded: “The NDC says they will create one million jobs in 4 years. What did they do in 8 years? Can we go and check their records? If indeed the NDC can create one million jobs in 4 years, it means they created 2 million jobs in 8 years. Since the answer to the above rhetorical questions are a big, fat NO, we can aptly say that Mahama and his NDC are back to their mendacity just to win an election.

Still holding onto the idea that Ghanaians have short memories, Mr Mahama is now promising to maintain the Nursing and Teacher Trainee allowances. S3 kwaterekwa s3 ob3 ma wo ntama a, tie ne din. Was he not the same person who claimed they were not tenable and therefore cancelled them? Does he think he can lie his way to victory in the upcoming elections?

Mahama and the NDC have promised to absorb 50% of fees of tertiary students for the 2020 /2021 academic year. For someone who vehemently opposed Free SHS and even claimed it was impossible to implement because he was bereft of innovative ideas, what can he do to tertiary education? We must ensure such a person does not come to power to mess up our education system!

Must we really remind Ghanaians about the sordid reality of dumsor, the plethora of collapsed businesses and its concomitant hiked unemployment? How can such a person who could not stabilise the power supply for eight years do it in four years? Are we ready for another NDC term to turn back the hand of the clock to those dark days?”

Double-intake system of SHS will fail — MP

The Member of Parliament (MP) for the Shai-Osudoku Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, Mrs Linda Akweley Obenewaa Ocloo, has said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government was going to seriously disappoint and disturb Ghanaians with the intended introduction of the double-intake system of the free senior high school (SHS) programme.

She asked: “What preparations at all has the government made for the introduction of the new programme which is going to disturb the already faulty start of the free SHS since last academic year?”

The MP said the NPP government had nothing good to offer in education to the country but rather they were only rushing the programme just to fulfil the manifesto promise of their party and not what would benefit the Ghanaian populace.

She noted that what was very important for the government to do in the interest of the whole country was to complete all the infrastructural projects started all over the country by the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.

According to her, even the programme which was started last year was done in a rush, hence the serious congestions in the various SHSs because the schools lacked infrastructure to accommodate the large intake of 90,000 students the previous year, asking: “How are we going to contain 180,000? We are going from frying pan to fire.”

Choirs’ Union


The lawmaker made the remarks when she addressed the Dangme–Tongu Presbytery Choirs’ Union at its 45th anniversary conference held at Mount Zion Congregation of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana at Dodowa last Sunday.

The four–day programme was on the theme: “Let the earth hear the voices that proclaim God’s message.”

The Dangme-Tongu Presbytery, with its headquarters at Odumase-Krobo, is made up of 16 districts and 46 choirs.

Take a second look

Mrs Ocloo said the double-intake system of the SHS that the government intended rolling out in September should be evaluated in order not to destroy the future of the youth who were the hope of the country.

According to the MP, there was nothing concrete in terms of financial preparation for the double-intake system in the mid-year review budget that the Finance Minister presented to Parliament recently. She asked: “Where will the government get the money for the programme when the budget has not captured it?’’

She also suggested to the government to implement its promise of one million dollar per constituency as was stated in the party’s manifesto.

The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Shai–Osudoku, Mr Daniel Akufo, in his remarks earlier at the opening of the conference urged parents and guardians to take advantage of the double-intake system of the free SHS programme to educate their children.

The Dangme-Tongu Presbytery Chairperson, Rev. Samuel Atteh Odjelua, in his sermon entreated members of the choirs’ union to be one another’s keeper.

62 vetted to contest Eastern Region NDC regional election

Sixty-two (62) candidates have been vetted to contest for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Eastern Regional executive elections.

A total of 68 people initially picked forms to contest for the over 15 positions however, only 62 were able to file as at the close of nominations and had been vetted to contest for positions at the upcoming regional delegates congress of the party.

 

In the chairmanship race, four candidates including; the incumbent regional chairman, Bismark Tawiah Boateng, Basil Ahiable, Alhaji Sumaila Mahama and John Owusu Amankra are contesting.

The incumbent secretary, Mark-Oliver Kevor face strong competition from Baba Jamal Konneh, the Regional Communication Director, while the position of Deputy Secretary position is being contested by Sawodji Kwame Stephen and Cudjoe Adukpo.

Ms Shirley Naana Osei-Ampem, the 2016 NDC Parliamentary Candidate for Lower West Akim Constituency is contesting Evelyn Korang the incumbent Women’s Organiser for her position, while the former District Chief Executive of Akyemansa District, Tom Budu Kenneth is contesting with Hackman Kabore for the position of Regional Organiser.

The vice chairman position is being contested by nine people, while the deputy organiser has four candidates.


Five candidates are contesting for the treasurer position, while four candidates are contesting for the deputy treasurer position.

The communication and deputy communication positions have three and five candidates contesting respectively and the deputy women’s organizer position has four candidates contesting.

The youth organizer position has three people contesting and seven others contesting for the deputy youth organiser and six candidates are vying for the Zongo caucus position.

7 New MCEs sworn into office in Greater Accra

Seven out of the 10 nominated Municipal Chief Executives(MCEs) in the newly created assemblies in the Greater Accra Region have been sworn into office and charged to live up to the responsibilities, trust and the confidence reposed in them by their people.

The MCEs are to serve the people in the various communities within their areas of jurisdiction to improve on their general living conditions.

Ms Gertrude Ankrah, representing the Ga North Municipal Assembly, Mr Aminu Mohammed Zakari for Ayawaso West Municipal Assembly, and Mrs Salma M.S. Adams for the Ayawaso East Municipal Assembly, were sworn into office on Tuesday.

Others are Mr Kofi Ofori for the Ablekuma North Municipal Assembly, Mr George Cyril Bray for the Ablekuma West Municipal Assembly, Mr Boye Laryea for the Okaikoi North Municipal Assembly, and Mrs Adwoa Amoako for the Tema West Municipal Assembly.

Effective local governance

Swearing in the MCEs, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Ishmael Ashitey, urged the MCEs to promote effective and efficient local government administration and participatory democracy at the local level.


“As the chief executive of the assembly, you have become part of the local governance system. As such you have become a legislator, planner and manager of human and natural resources of your municipality. You have it as a core duty to deepen our democratic credentials, promote local economic development and at the same time promote effective and efficient local government administration and participatory democracy at the local level,” he said.

Legislative instruments

Mr Ashitey implored the MCEs to, as a matter of urgency, acquaint themselves with the requisite legislative instruments governing the performance of their duties.

Mr Ashitey also made the MCEs aware that their continuous stay in office to a large extent would depend on their performance and the extent to which they adhered to the rules and regulations governing the conduct of the business of the assembly.

Response

For his part, the MCE for Okaikoi North Municipal Assembly, Mr Boye Laryea, on behalf of the team assured the minister  of their readiness to take up their task and  live up to their mandate.

“We assure you that we are ready and  will not disgrace you and our party. We will ensure that all specified  rules and regulations are adhered to,” he added.

Kweku Ricketts Hagan writes to join NDC flagbearer race

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Cape Coast South, George Kweku Ricketts-Hagan, has written to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) General Secretary, officially informing the opposition political party of his intention to join the flagbearer race.

The legislator in December 2017 informed his colleague Minority Members of Parliament of his interest to become president on the ticket of the NDC.

 

The General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia last week announced the readiness of the party to allow flagbearer hopefuls to begin their campaign, but indicated that, anybody interested in the race should first inform the national executives for the permission to start campaign.

Confirming his intention and letter to the NDC in a radio interview on Accra based Citi FM Friday evening, Mr Ricketts Hagan said: “We went into an election in 2016 and lost…we have come back to the drawing board to strengthen ourselves with new ideas, with new vision and that is what I believe I will be able to offer my ideas to the party going forward and that is the reason why I have put my heart in the ring among others.”

Mr Ricketts Hagan said he sees himself as a better candidate to lead the NDC into the future.

Informing his colleague MPs in December last year, about his desire to lead the NDC towards Election 2020, Mr Ricketts Hagan said: “I have taken almost one year, since we lost the elections to do some retrospection of what has gone wrong with our dear party and the possibilities for the future, and how we can reset and reposition our party strongly and strategically to stand a chance of winning power again.”


“I have also done my own introspection and soul searching, and my readiness to lead our great party. And I can confidently say to you that I am ready to lead our great party to victory, if I am given the opportunity,’’ he said.

Information flow among people, govt hallmark of good governance — Adza

The Volta Regional Director of the Information Services Department, Mr Stephen Adza, has said information flow among the people and government is a hall mark of good governance.

He said it was also pertinent for knowledge to be shared on the use of state finances and other resources for sustainable development.

 

At the Agotime-Ziope district assembly town hall meeting at Agotime-Kpetoe, Mr Adza said, sharing information on government social intervention programmes such as Planting for Food and Jobs, free senior high school, anti galamsey operations, Zongo Development Fund, One district, One factory were very vital for good governance to prevail.

That, he said, was because the various social programmes were all designed to create more employment for the youth and lift the poverty burden on parents.

Addressing the town hall meeting to brief them on government policies and take feedback from the people, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Agotime–Ziope District in the Volta Region, Mr David Dickson Dzorkpe, said the assembly was also working with all stakeholders to ensure sustainable development of the district.

He stated that since the government was an all-inclusive one, the assembly would work with all forces of production in the district whether in government or opposition for development.


He also commended heads of department and assembly members for working together as a team to foster development.

Mr Dzorkpe advised them to contact their assembly members to enable them to access facilities made available for the grading of roads adding that there had been considerable improvement in water supply and school infrastructure for certain basic schools.

He announced that there were plans to construct an Islamic school in the district and also to increase the number of beneficiaries under the School Feeding Programme.

Member of Parliament sponsorship

The Member of Parliament(MP) for Agotime-Ziope constituency, Mr Charles Agbeve, said education was vital for human development since it would make a person survive in the highly competitive job market.

He, therefore, announced that he had sponsored a few students to tertiary institutions with his MP’s share of the common fund and that he had entered into a collaboration with a non-governmental organisation known as Pencils of Promise (PoP) to construct classroom blocks in some selected communities in the constituency.

The Akatsi North District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Prince Sodoke, who was a guest at the forum, advised the people to rally behind their leaders to enable them to steer affairs and foster rapid development in the area.

The presiding member for the area , Mr Dodzi Nutor, said town hall meetings were guided by a local government act in accordance with the principles of good governance and that it would afford the people to speak about their problems for redress.

Don’t always oppose government policies, Methodist Bishop advises opposition parties

The Bishop of the Winneba Diocese of the Methodist Church, the Right Rev. Dr John Kweku Buabeng Odoom, has counselled opposition political parties to desist from always opposing policies and programmes of the government since it was detrimental to the progress of the country.

He stated that the country was faced with a problem in the sense that “we always think that if a government is bringing a new policy, the opposition must vehemently oppose it to stifle its implementation’’.

 

He opined that the situation was the bane of the nation and that the country was not developing because the opposition was always looking at things from a negative point of view, adding that “such a practice must not be allowed to continue since it is an impediment to the growth and development of the country’’.

Anniversary launching

Rt Rev. Buabeng Odoom said this in an interview during the official launch of the centenary celebrations of the Ebenezer Methodist Church at Gomoa Ekwamkrom in the Gomoa Central District in the Central Region last Sunday.

The year-long celebration is on the theme: ‘’Hundred years of discipleship, the impact on society, sustaining our gains in community development’’.

Double track system

Speaking in relation to the double track system to be implemented in senior high schools, he noted that the yet-to-be- introduced policy was an innovation which should be embraced by all towards tackling the challenges arising as a result of the free SHS policy.


“I believe the government must move on and implement the policy properly so that the challenges may be minimal in order to achieve its intended purpose,”he said, adding that “the country must have a clear-cut policy whose implementation will dictate the direction of the country’s education system.I believe that once the government has come out with this idea, it cannot be thrown overboard but rather all stakeholders must come together and reason with the government to ensure its successful implementation.’’

He stressed that it was not necessary for the new policy to be condemned and thrown away since it was a temporary measure which would be for some few years after which the old system would be brought back.

He indicated that “if we really want this new double track system to work, it will work and all Ghanaians irrespective of their political inclination should support its implementation since it is not a bad policy’’.

Handover of mission schools

The bishop urged the government to consider handing over mission schools to churches to enable them to make meaningful physical and spiritual contributions to the growth of the educational sector.

He added that if churches were empowered to take over their schools, it would further improve performance and ensure discipline among students, stressing that ‘‘the growing indiscipline among SHS students would be reduced to the barest minimum’’.

Agents of development

The NPP Member of Parliament (MP) for Gomoa Central, Mrs Naana Eyiah Quansah, commended the Methodist Church for its numerous contributions to the growth of the country, particularly in the areas of education and health.

She implored the church to continue to support the government in the implementation of its policies and programmes towards bringing relief to Ghanaians, saying ‘‘the church is a major stakeholder in the development of the country and should always keep the government on its toes towards the transformation of the country’’.

Groups support Spio, Goosie for NDC flagbearership

A group calling itself ‘Branch Executives for Spio’ has endorsed Mr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah as the most ideal candidate who can deliver victory for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2020 elections.

According to the group, Mr Spio-Garbrah stood out among all the names coming up because his integrity was intact and could not be smeared with “corruption, incompetence, ineptitude and the disregard for party loyalty, party elders, foot soldiers and the endless mediocrity.

 

The group made its position known at a press conference in Accra which was addressed by its Chairman, Nana Baah, a member of the Madina Constituency of the NDC.

He said if all the aspiring candidates for the NDC flagbearership were candid and truthful, they would admit that Mr Spio-Garbrah had been tested in 2006 and could be relied upon in 2020 for victory for the NDC.

“Mr Spio-Garbrah’s intelligence, articulation of ideas and the knowledge to turn things around in this country makes him the unmatched candidate for other aspirants of the NDC,” he remarked.

No corruption tag


Going into the 2020 general elections, he said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) would have no corruption tag on Mr Spio-Garbrah to match the NPP’s corrupt deeds in government such as the Ameri deal over which the Minister of Energy had been sacked.

He said NDC delegates at the branch and constituency levels had spoken clearly by voting out 85 to 90 per cent of the 2016 executive members of the party at the recent NDC branch and constituency level polls.

“We believe that the same will happen in the regional and national elections of the old NDC executive members across the country. It has been a ‘tsunami’, taking away all the old executive members of our great party and bringing in new blood,” he said.

The only hope for the NDC

According to Nana Baah, Mr Spio-Garbrah was the only person who could turn the fortunes of the NDC around towards the 2020 general elections, raise the morale of foot soldiers and bring in disenchanted sympathisers of the party.

“We want to remind and warn that we NDC executive members and delegates will resist the ‘outspoken minority’s’ arrogant and intolerant attitude over the ‘silent majority’ of members of the NDC who will not encourage or vote John Mahama for fear that he will be attacked by the NPP with the corruption tag all the time,” he maintained.

For Nana Baah and those who share the same viewpoint, “the elections will remain his attack versus NPP’s attack. Let’s avoid that mess and elect someone who is clean and can ask the NPP questions that they cannot answer.”

Support for Goosie Tanoh

From the Volta Region, another group calling itself the Youth Action for Development (YAD) of the NDC has called on a founder member of the party, Mr Augustus Obuadum Tanoh, known in political circles as ‘Goosie Tanoh’, to contest the flagbearership position of the party.

The group, which is made up of grass-roots members of the NDC, said their call for Mr Tanoh to lead the opposition party into the 2020 general elections was based on extensive consultations with the rank and file of some members of the NDC across the country who saw him as the best person to secure the future of the party after its humiliating electoral defeat in 2016.

I’m grateful to Akufo-Addo for elevation – New BA Minister

The Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister-designate, Mr Evans Opoku-Bobie has expressed his gratitude to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his elevation in the first reshuffle of the government.

Mr Opoku-Bobbie, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Asunafo North was until his elevation the Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister.

 

“I am most grateful to the President for the confidence and trust he has reposed in me”, he told journalists in Sunyani a day after his elevation.

He stated that he had been blessed with unwavering support and inspiration from leaders, colleagues from across the country during his stint in politics and would continue to work for the improvement of the wellbeing of people in the region.

Conflicts

Mr Opoku-Bobbie expressed worry about series of political clashes, chieftaincy disputes and land litigation issues that had bedevilled the region.


He, therefore, pledged to work with key stakeholders such as religious and traditional leaders to ensure peace should his nomination be approved by Parliament.

According to him, the region could develop when there was peace and harmony among the people since chaos and strife were enemies of progress.

“We will sit down with nananom, opinion leaders and the people to deliberate on the way forward for our region so that we will all be part of means to find solutions to problems confronting the region”, he stated.

The Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister-designate said he was overwhelmed about the congratulatory messages he had received from the people since his elevation and pledged to work hard to justify the confidence reposed in him should he get the nod from Parliament.

Background

Mr Opoku-Bobbie, 44, holds a Masters degree in Project Management from the University of Cape Coast and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work and Psychology from the University of Ghana.

He also has a Diploma in Adult Education from the University of Ghana and Professional Certificate in Loan and Risk Management.

Before being elected as a Member of Parliament, Mr Opoku-Bobie was the General Manager of the Ahafo Community Bank.

Asomah-Cheremeh congratulated

Meanwhile the Brong-Ahafo Regional Executives of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) have congratulated Mr Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh for his new portfolio as the substantive Minister of Lands and Natural Resources following the reshuffle of ministerial position by the President Thursday.

Mr Asomah-Cheremeh, a former Regional Chairman of the party, was the Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister until he was moved to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

A statement signed by the Regional Secretary of the NPP, Mr Kofi Ofosu Boateng stated the executives and the rank and file in the region had “learnt with extreme joy, the news of the elevation oh Hon Asomah-Cheremeh to the high national office of Minister for Lands Natural Resources.

“We wish to convey our most grateful thanks to His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for elevating our hardworking Regional Minister to the portfolio of Minister of Lands Natural Resources”.

According to the release, the new office undoubtedly showed that Mr Asomah-Cheremeh had discharged his duties exceptionally well “and we are convinced he will do same at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.”

It said they were satisfied with the style of leadership and stewardship exhibited while in office as the Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister and encouraged him to administer his new office with the same boldness, efficiency and patriotism.

“The new portfolio is a rare opportunity to contribute to the restructuring and development of that critical sector of our economy and we know he is more than capable of surmounting the tasks handed him”, the statement added.