13.02.2003 Feature Article

NPP has not broken any campaign promises

By Press
NPP has not broken any campaign promises
LISTEN FEB 13, 2003

Accra daily Mail In only two years in office, the NPP government has taken some far-reaching actions that have the potential of resuscitating the economy and social services.

The urban mass transit system currently being re-introduced in Accra and Kumasi is an example. The first few steps have been taken; the next stage is for the service to be run efficiently, with a view to improving and expanding it throughout the country.

Another area which has great potential is the President's Special Initiative in textiles, cassava and information technology. The NPP government can claim to have been pro-active in these areas, which should be highlighted, discussed and disseminated.

The pace of infrastructural development and construction is one of the most active since Ghana's independence. The problem with the NPP government has been its inability to blow its horn loudly.

For example, the Minister of Roads and Transport could take the initiative of giving regular briefings at his ministry to inform Ghanaians about the state, problems and pace of constructing the major roads in the country. Ghanaians were informed in December that the sod would be cut for the construction of the Mallam-Yamoransa road in December 2002. It is February 2003 and the minister has not bothered to explain the delay. Some of the ministers are slow in getting information across. Not only are they nervous and complacent but also bad politicians. They cannot think policy, strategize or manage. Sadly, some of them think they have been appointed for their academic knowledge. Wrong. They are appointed to offer political direction and leadership. Perhaps A.L Adu's book on the Civil Service in Ghana should be distributed to them, that is, if they have not read it already.

Surprisingly, some of the ministers and their deputies come across as if they have not read the NPP Manifesto. Ironically, the people of Ghana have not also read the manifesto. The question can be posed: "On what basis did the people of Ghana elect the NPP Government?" Was it because of the campaign speeches? The looks of the leading members? Hatred for the NDC?

It may come as a surprise to many people, including even the NPP supporters, but on the basis of the party's manifesto, the government is really on track and has touched 60% or more of the manifesto's pledges in just two years. In the next two years and given a second term, the government should fulfil close to 90% of its manifesto's promises. This fact is not being pushed far and fast enough. Everybody has lost focus, including the NDC who are so interested in putting promises in the mouth of the NPP. But because the NPP "mouthpieces" themselves are not too sure what is in their manifesto, they also allow their political opponents to get away with it.

The major outstanding issues are the implementation of the health insurance, which we are told would start later this year, the abolition of the Cash & Carry, which would no doubt be taken care of by the health insurance scheme. The issue of election of District Chief Executives and other reforms in local government cannot be achieved overnight and after being in power for two years, the NPP has already shown that it can take the right decisions at the right time.

THE ONLY VALID PROMISES MADE TO GHANA BY THE NPP CAN BE FOUND IN THE AGENDA FOR POSITIVE CHANGE (MANIFESTO) and that is what the party should rely on for its defence when critics try to invent "electoral promises" for it.

And finally, the Campaign for Greater Discipline is a great initiative from the Vice President and another achievement for the NPP. If it is well organised it would bring great benefits to Ghana, and the party would benefit from it. The time has come for the VP to move the campaign to another level. It should now be declared a war. The war has to be won, if this country is to see development. ALL freedoms go with certain obligations and responsibilities. Nothing is free. If the NPP wants a second term, which so far it has shown it rightly deserves, it must redouble all efforts so that by 2004 the manifesto would do the talking.

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