The 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says the unending social and economic crises Ghana finds herself in is because the Mahama-led government over the last 7 years has proven itself to be corrupt, incompetent, indecisive and confused.
According to Nana Akufo-Addo, events of last week where Minister for Finance, Seth Terkper, and President John Mahama issued conflicting directives on the taxation of allowances and pensions are enough testament to how Ghana has been run to the ground by a clueless government.
“Mismanagement, corruption and incompetence have brought us to where we are today. When the word ‘incompetent’ is used to describe his government, the President gets very upset. But this week we have seen another example,” he said.
He continued, “The Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, told us that he is preparing to tax pensions and allowances. And his President, two days later, stated that they were not going to do anything like that. If this is not confusion in his government, then I don’t know what it is; and if this is not a sign of incompetence, then you would have to tell me what incompetence means.
“President says one thing, the Finance a minister says another. So who is telling us the truth? Are we going with the Finance Minister or with the President? There is complete confusion in his government.”
The NPP flagbearer made this known when he addressed a packed town hall meeting in Modena, Italy, on Saturday, June 4, 2016, on the 2nd day of his visit to that country.
Reiterating his belief that Ghana, under President Mahama, is reeling from the effects of mismanagement, Nana Akufo-Addo recounted how Ghana’s GDP growth rate slumped to 3.9% in 2015, less than half of what President Kufuor left, which was a growth rate of 8.4% without the benefit of oil revenues.
With government propagandists quick to cite “external shocks” as the reasons for Ghana’s slump, Nana Akufo-Addo stated that Cote d’Ivoire is experiencing the same ‘external shocks’ as Ghana, and, yet, it is experiencing a boom, evidenced in it being the number one investment destination on the African continent, 9% annual GDP growth rates and $12 billion in agricultural export revenues. Ghana, on the other hand, is in decline and could only garner $2 billion from her agricultural exports.
To this end, Nana Akufo-Addo urged NPP members, in and out of Ghana, to work hard to take Ghana out of this mess, and bring her back to prosperity.
“We have to change these statistics. We cannot continue, whilst other people are prospering, to go down the hill. We need to have a change in Ghana. John Mahama cannot help us,” he said.
An Akufo-Addo government, God-willing from 2017, he assured, is going to focus on expanding industry and modernizing our agriculture, adding that “these are going to be the main themes for the next four years.”
This twin-track of rapid industrial expansion and increase of agricultural productivity, he indicated, is what will generate the hundreds of thousands of jobs that the teeming masses of unemployed Ghanaian youth need.
The NPP flagbearer also reiterated his pledge to reduce electricity tariffs when he wins this year’s elections stating that “we are going to reduce electricity tariffs when we come into office. No ifs, no buts. We are going to reduce electricity tariffs so we can bring relief to our citizens and to our businesses.”
With the 2016 election being his third shot at the Presidency, he was optimistic of victory stating that “I believe that, like Buhari in Nigeria and Ouattara in Côte d’Ivoire, third time lucky is what is going to happen to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.”
On what remains his motivation for contesting for the Presidency, he explained that “I want, one day, in our grandchildrens’ time, when things are going well and they are writing the history of Ghana that they will say it was in our grandparents’ time when Akufo-Addo was President that Ghana was put on the road to progress and prosperity. That is what I am fighting for.”
Present at the event were wife of the NPP flagbearer, Rebecca Akufo-Addo; NPP Italy Branch Chairman, Mr. Owusu Boateng, and branch executives; acting NPP Western Regional Chairman, Francis Ndedesiah; NPP Western Regional Secretary, Charles Bissue; NPP parliamentary candidate for Evalue Ajomoro Gwira, Hon. Catherine Afeku; NPP parliamentary candidate for Effiduase Asokore; Dr. Ayew Afriyie; Italy NPP party elder, Dr. Afrifa; and a large, enthusiastic crowd of Ghanaians resident in Italy.