The National Democratic Congress has pledged to revive the ministry of science and technology which it says is in a sorry state.
According to Mr. John Mahama, the NDC's vice presidential candidate, the Kufuor administration has “dismembered” and “obliterated” the sector,adding, “the ministry is no where to be found now, the mortal or immortal remains were dispersed to the education and local government ministries.”
He was addressing members of the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)on the occasion of its 50th anniversary, where he spelt out what the NDC would do for the science and technology faculty, if the NDC wins the December polls.
The theme for the occasion was “Vision of science and technology, role of the CSIR."
Hon. Mahama says the NDC has always considered science and technology an indispensable part of the country's development for which reason a whole ministry was instituted.
He reiterated his party's commitment to making the sector the centre of the country's development if voted into power in December.
To show that commitment, Mr. Mahama said the Ministry of science and technology would be reinstated with a full cabinet status as well as a clear mandate to bolster the development of the country.
He chided leaders in the sub region for paying lip service to the development of science and technology, adding an NDC government under Prof. Mills would stem the tide.
According to him, 2% of the GETFund resources would be set aside to provide “need based bursaries for the training of science students,” as a way of reducing the cost of training in the sector.
These measures he reckoned would increase the production of science and technology professionals to steer the development agenda of the country.
An NDC government he revealed, would also establish two National Science and Technology theme parks, to provide world class facilities for electronic, precision and ICT development in the country.
He intimated that the science curriculum from the primary to the tertiary institution would be reviewed, to meet the challenges of the scientific era.
Mr. Mahama commended the CSIR for its strategic role it has played towards the country's development, even though it has always been faced with difficult financial challenges.
According to him, 70% of funding allocated to the institute went into salaries and emoluments with little left for research to be carried out.
He also bemoaned poor staff incentives which he said has culminated into the loss of personnel of the institute to other sectors.
He pledged to improve the salaries of Science and Technology professionals in the public sector institutions, adding “A better condition of service would no longer be the reason for workers in the CSIR to move into other sectors”
The NDC he assured, would not need a second term to implement the promises outlined under the science and technology sector.
Hon. Mahama was flanked by the former Minister of Education Mrs Amoako Nuama as well as Alhaji Hudu Yahya former Minister of Defence.
Listen to excerpts of Mahama's presentation to the CSIR
Story by Nathan Gadugah