Below is a statement read by Fiifi Kwetey, NDC Propaganda Secretary at a press conference by the NDC Forum For Setting The Records Straight.
Why Atta Mills' Promises Are Credible & Why Akufo-Addo's Are Not Worth Even The Paper They Are Written On
Thank you ladies and gentlemen of the media for honouring the invitation of the NDC Forum For Setting The Records Straight once again.
At our last press conference, a couple of days before the launch of our manifesto, we assured you that unlike the soon to be defeated NPP, who clearly delight in making empty promises and building castles in the air, the NDC in line with its social democratic philosophy- a philosophy which is underpinned by the respect for the ordinary people- was going to outdoor a manifesto that was credible and capable of achieving the party's Better Ghana agenda.
We Told You That Ours Is A Credible Platform Led By A Trustworthy Candidate
Following the launch of our credible manifesto, we are happy to say the following- we told you so!
Indeed we told you that ours will be a credible manifesto because our candidate is credible, honest, believable and is known all over Ghana as a man of truth and integrity who will not mount a political platform to deliberately deceive the people. Prof Mills is credible because he is not actuated by a desperate quest to win political power for the sake of it. The only thing he wants is to have the opportunity to serve the ordinary people by providing a stewardship of hardwork, humility and truth in order to restore our dignity and respectability after eight long years of the most corrupt and the most fraudulent government in the history of our country.
Our promises are credible because we have as candidate, a man who is a shining icon of incorruptibility, honor and sincerity.
Today, we want to tell you the other reason why the plans and promises embodied in our manifesto are credible.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are assuring Ghana that unlike the NPP, we will deliver on our promises because our party has a track record of delivery. We have over the years shown that we do not speak much but we deliver a lot. Our candidate, unlike theirs, does not gloat neither does he beat his chest in an attempt to drown Ghana with the great story of NDC's phenomenal accomplishment- but the truth is that he leads a party that has delivered solid development over the years in all segments of national life.
Our Superior & Credible Platform On Education
We have told you how in eight years, our government delivered the following in the area of education:
6321 pre schools against NPP's 2,362
12,335 primary schools against NPP's 1,013
6,414 JSS against NPP's 853
264 Senior Secondary Schools against NPP's 19
110 Science Resource Centers against NPP's zero
3 public universities established against NPP's zero
7 polytechnics against NPP's zero
We feel it will be important to also remind the country of the fact that in those eight years, the NDC government provided 2,143 head teachers bungalows for basic schools and 191 bungalows at the secondary level. Ladies and gentlemen, guess how many head teachers bungalows the NPP over the eight has provided? ZERO again!
Against this background and given the fact that our government was delivering all these fantastic results in spite of serious resource constraints, the people have good reason to believe Prof Mills when he tells them that he will deliver among others the following:
At least one secondary school in each constituency
Discontinue the policy of full cost recovery at the tertiary level
Free school uniforms for children
Restore study leave with pay and pay teachers a professional allowance and hardship allowance
Conversely, in spite of the huge resources that have flown into the hands of the NPP they have, as shown above, been mediocre in their performance- they have scored several Zeros and been abysmal in their overall performance. Instead of coming to terms with this reality, the NPP led by its presidential candidate, Akufo-Addo, has instead resorted to plain deception- they are without any shame lying that the insignificant 25 pesewas a month capitation grant has made education at the basic level free. They are misleading Ghanaians that they are feeding and transporting freely large numbers of school children. Now to add insult to injury this government that has performed so abysmally is now making fun of Ghanaians by promising free education at the secondary level, when they have not even scratched the surface at the basic level.
So here is the verdict on education- Atta Mills' policy platform is credible and backed by a solid record of sterling performance while Akufo-Addo's is dubious and borders on fraud especially given the persistent “Kweku Ananse” web of lies he and his party are spinning around about their record on education in spite of the huge GETFUND legacy bequeathed to them by the NDC.
Our Finer Track Record & Ideas On Healthcare
Prof Mills and the NDC successfully piloted the NHIS much against the vehement opposition mounted by the NPP at the time. In our 2000 manifesto, while the NPP was still staunchly opposed to the NHIS, we had clearly stated how “health insurance would be a major strategy for mobilizing additional resources and for ensuring financial access.” Our 2000 manifesto also stated that, “the NHIS pilot work already carried out (in the Dangbe West, Mamprussi East, parts of Koforidua, the adoption of the Nkoranza pilot and the setting up of the Ghana Health Company) by the NDC will form the basis for insurance schemes, both public and private, national and local to cater for salaried employees, self employed as well both rural and urban communities.”
So it is clear from the above that our commitment to a genuine NHIS has never been in question. We mean a genuine NHIS- different from the district based mutual heath scheme NPP rushed through parliament against the protestations of the NDC, the TUC, NUGS etc in the same manner they rushed the IFC and CNTCI loans and ROPAB. The NDC knew from the onset that NPP's rush of the bill was not in the interest of the people. Today, with just a couple of months to leave office, the NPP following our persistent criticisms, has belatedly awoken to that reality and is now attempting to convert the mutual health insurance into the national one NDC had always planned for throughout the piloting stage of the NHIS.
NDC's 2008 manifesto proposal to fund the NHIS principally from the 2.5% NHIL on goods and services and the current 2.5 percent workers' monthly pension underscores our party's genuine commitment to making healthcare affordable. NPP wants to keep asking our poor rural and urban folks to pay premiums annually even though 85% of the NHIS funding comes from levy alone and the SSNIT monthly contribution accounts for the substantial part of the remaining 15%.
Why NDC's plan is better is because we have a track record of remarkable delivery in the area of the facilities that provide for excellent healthcare delivery. How many regional hospitals have the NPP built with all the huge resources available to them? Zero again.
Their poor appreciation of the problems that beset our healthcare finds expression in the fact that they cannot, after eight long years, point out one regional hospital that they had constructed. Even the Tamale Hospital that the NDC was on course to rehabilitating into a Regional and Teaching hospital has been left by them to deteriorate completely.
We, in the NDC know that without the availability of adequate health infrastructure all over the nation, the whole quality healthcare talk can only remain a mirage. That explains why we followed a comprehensive program of building modern, well equipped state of the art regional hospitals in every region of Ghana and similar district hospitals in all districts in order to prepare the ground for a successful take off the NHIS.
Ladies and gentlemen, new regional hospitals built for the Central region, the Brong Ahafo Region, the Volta Region and the refurbishment that was done to the Effia Nkwanta hospital in the Western Region underscore our superior commitment to our people's healthcare. We have not even mentioned the district hospitals we constructed or the remarkable effort done to rehabilitate the Korle-Bu, 37 Military, and Okomfo Anokye Teaching hospitals to enable them serve as national referral hospitals. The next time you hear the NPP and its candidate make claims about commitment to quality healthcare delivery, we should not fail to ask them how come they have not shown that by adding to the stock of health infrastructure the NDC bequeathed them.
In a nutshell, we in the NDC walk the talk while the NPP merely talk the talk. They do the talking but we in NDC do the doing! Watch Atta Mills and Akufo-Addo and you will have no doubt about this. The latter talks while Prof Mills accomplishes.
Atta Mills To Stop The Moving Forward Of Economic Suffering
While the NDC was busy providing concrete development all over Ghana, the NPP played down the importance of infrastructural development and claimed that all that matters is money in the pockets of the people. Today, after eight long years of failing to deliver on that critical issue, when the people lament over no money in their pockets, the NPP government insults them by describing them as lazy. To the NPP, the people of Ghana must be lazy because the economy has grown from 4 billion to about 16 billion. The NPP seeks refuge in statistical indicators when the ordinary people remind them about their “affordability gospel” and their “money in the pocket mantra”.
The difference Atta Mills brings is not just a focus on the real welfare of the people but the courage to tell the nation the truth first and foremost about economic indicators.
Ladies and gentlemen, one of the biggest lies the NPP has been throwing about is the talk of having grown the economy from 4 billion dollars to $16 billion. The NPP is so anxious to mislead Ghanaians that they have completely lost sight of the fact that there is no way an economy purportedly growing at an average of about 6 percent can quadruple in eight years.
When the NPP says they have quadrupled the economy from 4 billion to 16 billion in eight years, what they are claiming is that the economy of Ghana has been growing at an average rate of nearly 20 percent every year.
An economy of 4 billion dollars in 2000 growing at the so called average rate of 6% per annum can in eight years be at most only $6.4 billion- We repeat $6.4 billion.
So why is the NPP throwing about these “419 scam” statistics and claiming to have grown the economy from $4b to $16b? Aren't our people's economic suffering enough? Why should the NPP also add insult to their pain by deceiving them as well with all these “kangaroo” statistics? The answer is this: the NPP has a mindset that believes that truth does not matter as long as one can use lies and distortions to deceive the people to get hold of political power.
It is to bring an end to this that Prof Mills, the man who held the economy from collapsing when the country faced four separate crises between the middle of 1999 and 2000, has proposed a credible program to restore hope to our people. The NDC family has done it before. We restored a totally collapsed economy that for years was marked with consistent negative growth rates and an inflation rate that reached over 120%. We competently managed to bring that shattered economy from those negative rates to consistent positive rates and brought inflation down to single digit before the super crisis confronted us in the middle of 1999.
The foresight and ingenuity of the NDC helped establish important revenue streams that have helped push varied segments of national life- some of these initiatives include the establishment of the District Assembly Common Fund, the Export Development Investment Fund (EDIF), the GETFund, Road Fund, the Energy Fund etc.
Even in the midst of the 1999/2000 super crisis, the country did not reach the low depths of today's economic quagmire that has seen the collapse of the textile sector, the cotton and local fishing industries, the timber, local rice and poultry sectors and seen the collapse of all the Presidential Special Initiatives. Prof Mills and his team steered the economy in the midst of that crisis so well that by 25th of every month, public sector workers had their salaries paid into their banks accounts very much unlike the situation today when the NPP is not even facing a fraction of the crisis that confronted the NDC. Railway workers, newly recruited nurses, doctors and teachers did not have to stay several months without pay even in those crisis years of the NDC. Our students on scholarship abroad did not have to suffer the humiliation of having their courses virtually called off because government could not pay. Secondary schools in the north did not have to remain closed for six weeks because government could not pay feeding grants. Waste contractors were not owed billions of cedis and Ghana as a result was not classified as the second dirtiest country in the whole of West Africa when NDC was in charge of affairs.
The following therefore is the difference Atta Mills brings. He leads a political family that has in the past reconstructed Ghana from the economic doldrums the nation found itself in the early 80s. Atta Mills has a solid track record of holding the country's economy from collapsing in the middle of a super economic crisis and above all he has an unparalleled commitment to telling our people the truth as opposed to the NPP and its candidate that have no qualms feeding our people with bogus and fraudulent economic statistics aimed at throwing dust in the eyes of our people.
Our Superior Record In Energy Delivery
The energy crisis which hit the country in the year 2007 helped the whole country to realize the incompetence and lack of foresight of the NPP. The party had to wait seven long years for the crisis to hit before realizing the need to start taking steps to address the critical energy needs of our people. Even as we speak, we cannot say emphatically that the power crisis is over- just this last weekend, the nation witnessed another round of massive and frequent power outages.
Ladies and gentlemen, contrast this with the following measures taken by the NDC. The construction and expansion of the Aboadze Thermal plant, the initiation of the West African Gas Pipeline project, our extensive co-operation with Cote d'Ivoire to access natural gas, our development of natural gas in the Tano basin, the construction of the Osagyefo barge, the TOR Residual Fuel Catalytic Cracker and the establishment of strategic petroleum storage depots.
We have not mentioned our unsurpassed accomplishment of extending the electricity to all district capitals and the massive rural electrification project that saw thousands of rural communities connecting to the national grid.
These underscore our appreciation of the pivotal role energy plays in the overall development of the nation and explain why Prof Mills and his team are more trustworthy than Nana Akufo-Addo, who incidentally is promising billions of dollars all over his campaign trail but has not found the need to help his NPP government find just $1.2 billion to save the national energy provider, VRA.
Why Ghana Is Right To Trust Atta Mills To Deliver Better Infrastructure
A close look at the quality of job done at the Sankara (Ako Adjei) interchange compared with the sub standard job that has been done at the Tetteh Quarshie interchange should inform all about the difference between the NDC and the NPP. While the NDC delivers quality infrastructure, NPP's massive corruption and kickbacks makes it deliver substandard quality.
Less than two years after portions of the Malam Yamoranza road had been substantially completed, the shoulders have already started developing serious potholes. Collection of water in these potholes is the beginning of the destruction of the pavement. Besides one needs not be a road expert to realize the superior quality of pavement between the old Biriwa-Takoradi section of the road which was built by the NDC. Like the Tetteh Quarshie interchange, the agonizing traffic jams (especially between Weija and Kasoa) which the Malam Yamoranza road was meant to cure still persist.
Motorists who used to ply the Tema motorway in the past and still do today, will also not fail to realize the significant deterioration that has taken place in recent years especially on the Tema-Accra portion of the road. The NPP has problems even maintaining the Tema Motorway.
The NDC family achieved so much under the road sector that the NPP then in opposition coined the phrase- “Ghanaians do not eat roads.” This was the tacit admission by the NPP of the phenomenal strides the NDC family made in the area of road construction nationwide. We do not want to take too much of your time by reminding you of the massive reconstruction of virtually all the Accra city roads, the Kumasi city roads and the Tamale city roads. We have not talked about the extensive works done in other regional capitals as well.
Let us now do a quick comparison between what NDC and NPP achieved in the road sector within the space of four years each. Within 1997 and 2000 the NDC completed the following trunk roads- (we are not even including the major bridges built within the same period)
Tamale-Bolgatanga-Paga road (more than 200 km)
Tema Akosombo road (85 Km)
Adenta Dodowa Trom Junction (about 80 km)
Kumasi-Ejura-Gyato Zongo-Yeji Road (more than 200 km)
Nobekaw-Bediakokrom-Gambia No2 (150 km)
Adomi-Asikuma-Denu (over 200 km)
Asikuma- Trom- Nkurakan
Within the first four years of the NPP from 2001 to 2004, they could not complete any of the three major arterial roads that link Ghana to her Ecowas neighbors: Accra-Kumasi, Accra-Cape Coast and Accra-Aflao.
The NPP failed to deliver any of the above mentioned and others even though the NDC government had already secured funding and obtained parliamentary approval for the following projects and bequeathed them to the NPP- 26m Euro Dumez loan for Enchi Asankragua, $78m Japanese loan for Mallam Yamoranza, $75m Japanese loan for Accra Nsawam Apedwa, $10m African Dev Bank (AFDB) loan for Apedwa-Bunso, 7 million Dutch Mark KFW loan for Tema Sogakope, $20m AFD loan for urban roads in Sekondi Takoradi and Tema Ashaiman overpass, $25m AFDB loan for the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange and the road from Pantang to Manfe, $28 million for DFID Feeder Roads Project for Northern Ghana and finally an amount of over $200m World Bank loan for the Road Sector Development Program (RSDP).
Akufo Addo's Lies About Roads Constructed
Just as the NPP has been lying about the figure of the GDP, the numbers of children being fed under the School Feeding program, the amount involved in the capitation grant etc, so have they also been lying about the kilometers of roads they have constructed nationwide. Their candidate recently stated in the Wasa Amenfi district that his government has constructed between 25,000 and 27,000 kilometres of roads and described it as unprecedented. This is reminiscent of NPP's claim that all school children in the public sector are being given free bus ride to and from school.
Just as we asked the NPP where the buses are, we wish to also ask Nana Akufo Addo where the 27,000 km of roads can be found. Does Akufo Addo know what the construction of 27,000 km of roads within eight years entail? Can he tell our people in which parts of the country they can find all this development? Can he tell how many new engineers, competent contractors, equipment, quarries and other road construction facilities the NPP has introduced since 2001 to accomplish this? Can Akufo Addo tell the quantum of resources that have been made available to the Ministry of roads for it to have undertaken such a massive work? In brief, why is the NPP so desperately throwing about kangaroo figures and lying about virtually every segment of our national life.
We would be compounding NPP's woes when we remind the nation of NPP's abysmal performance that has seen the virtual collapse of the railway sector in spite of the fact that huge resources have been wasted to create a whole ministry for Railways.
While the NDC built the SSNIT flats in Accra (Sakumono, Adenta, Dansoman, Tema Cttee 3) and all regional capitals to cater for the housing needs of the average Ghanaian, the NPP in eight years has nothing to show in that respect.
Given these facts, it goes without saying that Prof Mills and the NDC have the pedigree to provide the critical infrastructural needs to boost the socio-economic development of the country whereas the NPP only talks big and delivers little?
Ladies and gentlemen, we could go forever and prove again and again the superior policy platform of the NDC across all segments of national life and establish beyond doubt that both in terms of credibility of presidential candidate and a track record of performance, the NDC is the obvious choice to send Ghana in the right direction. We will however pause for now and use the occasion of another conference to make a case for why the critical fight against corruption, cocaine and its attendant crime boom can be best dealt with by the Prof Mills led NDC rather than Nana Akufo Addo who essentially represents just Four More Years of the Kufuor regime that has nurtured the most unprecedented Corruption, Cocaine and Crime filled era in our nation's history.
Thank you ladies and gentlemen once again for honouring our invitation.