I read with embarrassment a statement attributed to Ex. President Mahama (Mahama) said that "Okada" creates more jobs than both NABCO and YEA, interventions introduced by the NPP government to deal with youth unemployment in the country.
I wondered why Mahama would compare the Okada business to academic-related business. For starters, one needs tertiary education before one can be considered for inclusion into NABCO. On the other hand, anybody can become an Okada entrepreneur.
We are looking at a former president, who is seeking a comeback to the presidency with a message to continue free SHS and introduce free tertiary education in the country, downplaying the significance of what he is campaigning for. What do you think? Is Mahama saying that his tertiary graduates should go into Okada business since that is where most of them would be easily employed?
Basically, Mahama is saying that he would discourage people from joining NABCO and instead direct them into armed robbery, that is if it is considered that okada business has been one of the major mediums through which hoodlums perpetuate armed robbery.
It is very interesting to note that it is this same Mahama's government that outlawed the okada business in the country in 2012. What is the turnaround for? On second thought, Mahama considers the law as one not in the right direction and should be repealed? If this is not a double standard, what else will be?
By this comparison, Mahama missed a very clear opportunity to "score a clean goal" against NPP so far as NABCO is concerned. NPP gave the policy a three-year term, which would end in October 2021, without an option of renewal. What would happen to those who would still be in the program and not yet employed?
Mahama could capitalize on this "gaping hole" in the policy and promise to permanently employ all beneficiaries of the program. Instead of free tertiary education, the Mahama administration should promise to put all graduates into the three-year NABCO program and employ them at the end of their tenure. Here Mahama would be courting graduates of our tertiary institutions who more often do not get gainful employment after everything has been considered.
NDC and for that Mahama should desist from condemning everything NPP. Rather, Mahama should look at the loopholes in each program and capitalize on it. For example in education, NPP's concentration has been on free SHS paying little or no attention to pre-SHS education.
Mahama should promise to build, rebuild/rehabilitate and furnish all pre-SHS facilities especially those in the villages or rural areas; reduce class sizes and extend free school feeding to all children including JHS students.
In the case of ID IF, NDC should promise to supplement the private sector initiatives of the NPP government by establishing complementary factories in various districts to employ the youth in those areas. NDC could talk about five of the Nkrumah's abandoned factories and make them operational.
There are a number of villages/rural areas in Ghana that have never been visited by a single government official, let alone identify with their problems. Most of these areas need only basic things such as clean water supply and public places of convenience. People in such places would be forever grateful to whoever provided them with these irrespective of the party concerned.
In conclusion, I would advise NDC to stop their attempt to tag Alhaji Bawumia as a liar since it is hurting their course, They should concentrate on the positives and come out with programs that underlie NPP's. It is not at all times healthy to negatively criticize what the opponent said but rather take advantage of the loophole in its policy and make it yours.