The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has listed some 50 hardships imposed by the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) which has been alleviated by the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
In a Facebook post, the NDC-imposed hardships the Vice President listed included the 5-year dumsor the country experienced between 2012 and 2017, freezing of public sector employment for the youth in line with IMF conditions, high import duties, collapsing national health insurance, unequal access to senior high school education, frustrations in obtaining passports and licences, high-rate increases in electricity and fuel prices, among many other.
To every of these hardships he added solutions proffered by the NPP.
Below is the full post by Dr Bawumia on his Facebook page.
INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY MESSAGE
HOW THE NPP HAS REDUCED THE SUFFERING OF GHANAIANS IN FOUR YEARS
Yesterday, we marked the International Youth Day in Ghana and across the world. I would like to remind the youth of our dear country that the NPP promised to reduce the suffering Ghanaians were going through under the economic mismanagement of the NDC. After four years in office, what is clear is that even though many Ghanaians are facing challenging times especially as a result of the economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government of the NPP under the leadership of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has, through policies implemented, delivered largely on its promise of reducing the suffering of Ghanaians even though we have a lot more to do in that direction. Below is a list of what the NPP has done to alleviate the suffering of Ghanaians since coming into office compared with the status quo ante.
SUFFERING UNDER NDC AND WHAT WE HAVE DONE SO FAR
1. High overall Unemployment. Freeze on public sector recruitment Recruited nurses, doctors, and other healthcare workers, teachers, police officers, and many others. At least 750,000 public sector workers were recruited. Additional employment is also created through IDIF, Anglogold Ashanti, etc.
2. Graduate unemployment. Established the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO). 100,000 graduates employed.
3. Lack of employment opportunities for persons with disabilities Employing persons with disabilities to man 50% of all our toll booths under the Presidential Empowerment for Women Entrepreneurs with Disability (PEWED), we provided 850 female PLWD entrepreneurs with GH¢2 million to help them scale up their businesses under the Presidential Empowerment for Male Entrepreneurs with Disability (PEMED) an amount of GH¢2 million has been earmarked for 1,000 male PLWD entrepreneurs to help them scale up their businesses.
•Through the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), we provided students living with disabilities in selected tertiary institutions with assistive technology-enabled devices and training to promote their digital inclusion
4. High import duties for importers. Import duties reduced by between 30%-50%
5. Large annual increases in petroleum prices (24% under previous government). We have achieved the lowest average annual increase (8.25%) in petroleum prices in the fourth republic.
6. Large annual increases in electricity tariffs. Cumulatively, we reduced electricity tariffs; the only government in the fourth republic to do so.
7. 70% of adult Ghanaians did not have access to a bank account We have addressed it by allowing mobile wallets to operate like bank accounts with mobile money interoperability.
8. Four years of Dumsor Largely resolved.
9. Difficulty of renewing National Health Insurance membership Fixed it. We have made it easy for people to renew their national health insurance membership on their phones without having to spend precious time in long queues.
10. Difficulty and inconvenience in buying electricity units from ECG for your meter. Fixed it. ECG customers can now can easily buy pre-paid electricity units conveniently from wherever you are from your mobile phone.
11. Difficulty and bureaucracy in obtaining a passport Fixed it. The online passport application processes are helping many people and making it easier to obtain a passport.
12. Bureaucracy and corruption in clearing goods at the ports Fixed it through the digitized process of paperless ports.
13. Difficulty and bureaucracy in applying for scholarships Fixed it. Following digitization at the Scholarship Secretariat, everyone is able to apply for scholarships and receive same in the comfort of his or her home via online applications.
14. Manual motor insurance database We have implemented the digitization Motor Insurance Database for drivers which can be accessed simply with any mobile phone by the insured, the police, and the public.
15. Bureaucracy, bribery and difficulty in obtaining a drivers licence We have digitized the operations of DVLA and today our citizens have a much more convenient and easy way to acquire their driver’s license and register their vehicles.
16. Difficulty in registering a business at the registrar generals department. Process of business registration is now online.
17. Difficulty and bureaucracy in accessing government services in general. We have developed a one-stop shop for government services (Ghana.Gov). The process of on-boarding all government institutions is ongoing. On this website you can apply for and obtain various government services from MMDAs.
18. Only 78 rural communities connected to telephone network in 8 years 400 communities connected to the telephone network in the last 4 years.
19. Lack of support to young entrepreneurs and start-ups NEIP’s programmes, including funding for young entrepreneurs, are being implemented. Since its inception, 19,000 start-ups have been trained and 4,350 of them funded to create 92,000 direct and indirect jobs.
20. Large number of nuisance taxes. Even though a few taxes have been increased, we reduced or abolished over 15 different taxes and levies among others, including: 1. 1% Special Import Levy 2. 17.5% VAT on selected imported medicines not produced in the country 3. 17.5% VAT on Financial Services 4. 5% VAT on Real Estate Sales 5. 17.5% VAT on domestic airline tickets 6. VAT for micro and small enterprises from 17.5% to 3% Flat Rate 7. Import duty on the importation of spare parts 8. Levies imposed on Kayayei by local authorities 9. Import duty for all goods by 50% and 30% for vehicles 10. Excise duty on petroleum 11. Full corporate tax deduction for private universities that plough back 100% of profits into the university 12. National Electrification Scheme Levy from 5% to % 13. Public Lighting Levy from 5% to 2% 14. Special Petroleum Tax rate from 17.5% to 13% and introduced specific rates, and 15. Capital Gains Tax Exemption on stocks traded on the Ghana Stock Exchange or publicly held securities approved by the SEC.
21. Many students had difficulty paying BECE and WASSCE fees. Fixed it. Registration fees of BECE and WASSCE were abolished.
22. Teacher training allowances cancelled. Teacher training allowances have been restored.
23. Nursing training allowances cancelled. Nursing training allowances have been restored.
24. 4-year backlog of nursing trainees who have not been recruited. All nurses denied engagement by the NDC have been placed.
25. NHIS had reverted to cash and carry because of huge arrears owed to service providers NHIS arrears have been reduced from 12 months to 3 months making the scheme sustainable.
26. Arabic instructors allowances abolished. Allowances Restored
27. Limited availability of scholarships. Scholarships increased by 70%.
28. Limited availability of ambulances. National Ambulance service was collapsing. One Constituency one ambulance policy has been implemented.
29.Difficulty in access to medicines and blood by remote areas Introduced drones in the delivery of critical medicine, vaccines and blood to people in remote parts of the country. Ghana has now the largest medical drone delivery service in the world.
30. Delays in receipt of SSNIT pension after application. SSNIT pension can now be received within 10 days of application.
31. Limited availability of school feeding program across many schools Government has expanded school feeding by 78%.
32. Limited availability of LEAP program. Government has expanded the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme by 53%.
33. Inadequacy of the Capitation grant for basic education. The government has doubled the capitation grant.
34.Burden of utility bills payment for tertiary students. Government has abolished utility bills for tertiary students.
35.Teachers were being paid 3-months arrears for 2-3 years worked Government has abolished the 3-month arrears policy for teachers who had worked 2-3 years.
36. Centralisation of teacher recruitment and management. Teacher recruitment since 2017 is now done at regional levels. Documentation done at District and Regional levels.
37. Teachers who upgraded their qualifications and skills were not recognised and promoted on time. There were several years of bureaucratic delays.
The waiting period before promotion of teachers who upgrade their qualifications and skills is now halved to 2 years. The waiting period for all others is 4 Years for the first time in history, teachers are being paid a professional teachers allowance inadequacy of the cedi amount of loans under the Student Loan Scheme. The loan amount has been increased by 50% and ranges between GHc1,500 and GHc3,000.
38. Burden of the need to find a guarantor to obtain a student loan Guarantor requirement abolished for anyone with a National ID card.
39. Burden of postgraduate medical training fees on students Government has abolished the fees for postgraduate medical training.
40. Burden of market tolls for kayayei Government has also abolished market tolls for kayayei.
41. No development vehicle for Zongo and inner-city communities Established the Zongo Development Fund to address the needs of Zongo and inner-city communities.
42. Stagnant peacekeeping allowances for soldiers. The government has increased the allowances for peacekeeping soldiers from $30 to $35
43. Share of DACF for persons with disabilities stuck at 2%. The government has increased the share of the DACF to persons with disabilities by 50%
44. Problems with water access during the dry season in the 5 northern regions Government has implemented one village one dam and constructed over 400 dams under one village one dam.
45. Many communities practicing open defecation The massive investment in water and sanitation facilities in many rural and deprived communities by the government has resulted in over 5400 communities being declared open defecation free (ODF).
46.Cholera outbreaks. Not a single case of cholera in Ghana in the last four years.
47. Cry for increased producer prices plus bonuses to encourage high production volumes of cocoa and stable prices. We have increased producer prices for cocoa farmers with the Living Income Differential (LID) under the Ghana-Cote D’Ivoire Co-Operation, cocoa farmers will be earning additional income through a US$400 per tonne premium on the world price for cocoa.
48. Inadequate equipment, vehicles and logistics for security services Very significant provision of equipment, vehicles and logistics has been made for our security services.
49. Parents problem of paying fees for TVET students. Government has implemented free TVET.
50. Parents problem of paying fees for SHS students. Government has implemented free SHS
The above are the policy interventions aimed at easing the sufferings of Ghanaians, particularly, the youth. We have not completely eradicated hardships but we have made significant progress. We count on your continuous support as we deal with the other challenges facing our nation. God bless our homeland Ghana.