The New Patriotic Party (NPP) recently called a press conference in Accra and accused the National Democratic Congress (NDC) of plagiarism. According to the National Chairman of the NPP, the free Maternal Care, Capitation Grant, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and School-Feeding Programme, which the NDC has promised to improve were their brainchild, yet NDC did not acknowledge that in their manifesto.
The NDC, also using the same medium denied the accusations by saying that they have their own agenda which they intended to execute. The Chronicle thinks the accusations and counter accusations from the two parties on the subject is not necessary, if the two dominant parties actually have Ghana at heart. The Valued Added Tax (VAT), the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND) among others were policies that were introduced by the NDC government, but when they left office and NPP took over, the latter did not abolish them, but continued with its implementation because they saw the policies as good ones for national development.
Today, most of the infrastructures springing up on our university campuses are financed from the GETFUND. The VAT is also helping to improve upon our revenue collection to boost national development. With this in view, one can easily say that if NPP had abandoned the policy just because its opponent introduced it, Ghana would have been the loser for it. Whilst implementing the above-mentioned policies, the NPP government has also come out with many social mitigation programmes which need to be applauded, among which are the capitation grant, school-feeding programme, free maternal care, public transport system and National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
There is no doubt that these social programmes have helped in one way or the other in reducing the poverty level in the country. We therefore do not find anything wrong if NDC as an alternative government in waiting decides to continue with them, because like the VAT and GETFUND it is also going to benefit all Ghanaians. There is no doubt that Dr. K. A Busia first implemented the rural development policy, which the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) took and polished it, and it helped to lay the country's rural infrastructural development foundation, which is today benefiting all Ghanaians.
Some of the social mitigation programmes that the NPP is implementing today can be traced to the era of the Convention People's Party (CPP) government, headed by Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, which NPP has repackaged for implementation and the country is benefiting tremendously from it. The Chronicle is aware that because elections are just around the corner, political parties will be trading in such trivial accusations, therefore, we are not surprised about what is going on.
The issue has also raised the questions as to whether Ghana needs a national development blueprint that must be followed by any party that would assume power. If such a policy had been put in place and endorsed by all the political parties, this unnecessary bickering would have been avoided. We are aware that the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) is trying to come out with a blueprint for national agenda. Our request is that they should speed up their efforts so that Ghanaians would know the direction a government in power would follow.
For the time being, The Chronicle calls on both NPP and NDC to seize fire, since their intention to implement the programme or build upon it means that they all have Ghana at heart.
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