The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has debunked claims by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that its manifesto lacked original ideas.
Rather, it said most of the policies the NPP was laying claim to in their manifesto were originated by the NDC, including the NPP's current slogan “Moving Forward”, which was the title of the NDC 1996 manifesto.
The Chairman of the NDC Manifesto Committee, Mr Lee in reaction to matters arising after the launch of the NDC manifesto last week Saturday.
On the party's bid to develop northern Ghana as stated in its manifesto, Mr ocran said apart from the Convention People's Party (CPP) Administration, there had never been any government in the history of Ghana which had been more committed to the development of the area than the NDC.
He said unlike the NPP, the NDC proposal to address the problems of the northern part of Ghana captured under the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority at the Office of the President, included the northern parts of the Brong Ahafo, and Volta Regions.
Mr Ocran said the NDC, while in power, was able to provide affordable housing for Ghanaian workers, the evidence of which are Adentan and Sakomo Flats and others spread over the country, but under the NPP administration, not a single room had been provided.
He said the NDC stated in its manifesto to release all lands in the Greater Accra, which had been acquired by the state and which were not being used for the purposes for which they were acquired in compliance with Article 20 (6) of the constitution.
Mr Ocran's contention is that when the NPP heard of the NDC's proposal in its manifesto, President J.A. Kufuor ordered the release of parts of Accra lands and expressed the hope that the NPP would release lands in La Wireless, Ridge, Cantonments and Airport Residential Area to their rightful owners.
Mr Ocran described as confusing the claim by the NPP that Ghana's per capita income is about $600 because according to the National Development Commission, in February this year the per capita income was $ 401.
The $401, he said, was based on the assumption of an inflation rate of 9.9 per cent and a GDP growth rate of 13.5 per cent
He said since both the inflation and GDP growths rates were not achieved, the reliability of the figures from the NPP and the National Development Commission could not be trusted.
He explained that the NDC's pledge to continue with policies initiated by the NPP, was for the purposes of ensuring continuity in national development in consonace with Article 34 of the Constitution.
Concernilng, the Free Compulsory, Universal Basic Education (FCUBE), he said in accordance with Article 38 of the Constitution, the NDC in 1994 presented a programme for its implementation to Parliament.
He said although the Constitution did not define 'free' in the FCUBE, the NDC in its 2006 manifesto indicated that “free education in FCUBE would include free tuition, free text and exercise books, free infrastructure such as school building, writing desks, chairs, free uniforms for specified categories of students and no fees for sports and culture.
Mr Ocran said the NPP adopted the NDC programme in 2005, but instead of implementing the scheme as drawn up, it decided to introduce Capitation Grant.
He said the NPP only paid Gh¢3.00 as its version of the FCUBE, which did not meet the requirement of FCUBE as defined by the Constitution
He said the NDC promised in its manifesto to build a secondary school in each constituency to ensure that most children from Junior High School gained access to Senior High School.
“In what context could this have been lifted from the NPP manifesto which seeks to create a class society by providing a so-called free education for all second cycle students, when the majority of JHS students cannot access secondary education,” Mr Ocran added.
He said the NDC Administration before 2000 piloted the health insurance scheme which the NPP then in opposition kicked against and described it nationwide application as impossible.
He reiterated the NDC's proposal to cancel the payment of premiums on annual basis, but introduce a once-in-life-time premium which would only be used to capture and store data.
On the Metro Mass Transport, Mr Ocran said the NDC position was to investigate the level of government involvement so as to streamline its operations and make it more accountable.
Story by Donald Ato Dapatem