DR PAA Kwesi Nduom, the Convention People's Party (CPP) flagbearer in the December 2008 elections has taken his campaign of 'ideas' to the members of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), promising his party's support for the cause of the AGI if voted into power.
The visit, fortunately for Dr. Nduom, took the wind out of the sail of the AGI as they were in the process of developing a strategic plan to invite all presidential aspirants in the December 2008 elections in turns to 'tell AGI their plans for the local industries and also append their signatures to a document that would bind them to their words after the election period.
Dr. Nduom thus jump-started the process of the said meeting but was told that he would have to come back to conform to what the AGI was yet to put in place.
Dr. Nduom declared: “I will put the Ghanaian at the centre of opportunity in the private and public sectors in Ghana. CPP believes that the State matters and that the State has an important role to play in the economy.”
He bemoaned the many comparisons often made about Ghana and some Asian countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Korea in suggesting that Ghana had not lived up to expectations.
The CPP flagbearer attributed the successes of those countries to the 'positive role played by the State' in those countries to directly assist private sectors to grow and prosper.
“It must be stated that when these countries were off and running in the 1970s and 1980s, Ghana was labouring under the weight of military intervention,” he lamented.
According to Dr. Nduom it was not enough to say that the “private sector is the engine of growth” but stressed that it was important that the state gave “private sector engine the oil, the body and a first class road to travel on.”
He promised to implement a consistent and aggressive government policy to support industries owned by Ghanaians throughout the country to provide sustainable jobs and living wages and salaries to the people.
Such supports, Dr. Nduom noted, would come in the form of low-interest government loans and technical support to ensure ability to achieve sustained growth, tax incentives and market advantages.
“My goal will be to ensure that we have Ghanaian companies grow big to compete with foreign imports and are strengthened to compete in international markets,” he assured.
In a question on what his position was on the sale of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), Dr. Nduom stated categorically that he was against the sale but suggested that the government could invite other partners by floating some shares on the stock market.
For his part, Mr. Oteng-Gyasi reminded Ghanaians that it was important to have such interactions as they strengthen the process of democracy and good governance in the country.
He commended Dr. Nduom for his visit, especially as the AGI was developing a strategic plan to meet all presidential aspirants.
Mr. Oteng-Gyasi promised to work with the CPP and other political parties that were ready to champion the cause of local industries.
By Wisdom Peter Awuku