The National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Thursday held a public forum at the Prempeh Assembly Hall in Kumasi to deliberate on pertinent national issues as part of its 15th anniversary celebration.
The forum which was attended by civil society organizations, artisans, traders, religious groups, media and other public groups was on the theme, “Ghana's Contemporary National Issues.”
Topics deliberated upon were, “The Energy Crisis”, “The ROPAL”, “The New Educational Reforms”, “ The Redenomination of the Cedi” and “The Demolition Exercise by the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) and its effects on the people especially women and children”.
Speaking on the energy crisis, Mr Ato Ahwoi, former Minister of Fuel and Power, urged all Ghanaians to pray that the government finds lasting solution to the crisis because it had given many promises but the answers were not forthcoming.
He said the NDC government provided Aboadze Thermal Plant which generated 550 megawatts and if the Kufuor administration had added the needed power to it since it took over, the crises would not have arisen.
Dr Kwame Ampofo, Ranking Member on Energy, said it was unfortunate that the government which declared Golden Age of Business and also wanted to usher the nation into a middle-income group had not done anything on the energy situation which is the main backbone of development.
He stressed the need for the government to invite people who could really help solve the energy situation, bring in emergency power distribution and demand side management.
Touching on the ROPAL, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, General-Secretary of the Party, noted that Parliament has passed a law that was unworkable, because the Electoral Commission at the moment did not have answers to implement it.
Mr. Mahama Ayariga, Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, pointed out that under constitutional considerations, ROPAL cannot be implemented in the country, adding that there was no way of implementing a bad law.
Mr Joe Gidisu, NDC Shadow Minister of Education and Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, National Organizer of the party, who spoke on Education Reform, noted that the 1987 Educational Reform by the NDC was not a failure considering the competence of young scholars in the country who have now passed through the system.
They said the nation did not need any new educational reforms but solutions to some of the problems faced the 1987 reforms which included motivation for teachers, provision of meaningful teaching and learning materials and infrastructure facilities.
On the redenomination of the Cedi, the speakers wanted to know the cost of printing of the new notes, the company contracted to print them, adding that if it was true that “Eco” was going to be used what was the need to change the old currency.
Speaking on the demolition exercise, Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak, Member of Parliament for Asawase said the ruling government was insensitive to the plight of the poor people and asked what the government has done about the fact that the United Nations Millennium Development Goals stresses that there would be a significant improvement in the lives of people living in slums by the year 2020.
Madam Ama Benyiwa Doe, National Women's Organizer of the Party urged the government to implement the Freedom of Information Bill and also bring to the public government's policy on women.