The Vice President of the Republic of Ghana - John Dramani Mahama has called on members and supporters of the NDC in the UK and Ireland to become Apostles for the party to help correct the misconceptions among Ghanaians in the Diaspora about the “Better Ghana Agenda” programmes being pursued by President Mills' administration in Ghana.
Mr Mahama was speaking as a guest of honour at a fundraising, dinner and dance event organised by the NDC UK & Ireland Chapter of the National Democratic Congress over the weekend at the prestigious London Marriott Hotel in Regent's Park. The fundraising event was for the benefit of the new NDC Ghana Headquarters in Accra.
He said he wanted party supporters in the UK and Ireland to understand what President Mills' Administration was doing for the country so that they become Apostles for explaining the successes of NDC Government.
Mr Mahama said although the main focus of the function was to raise money for the Headquarters Building project in Accra, the significance of the evening was the signal that would be sent to the rest of the Party that if members stood together, great things could be achieved.
The Vice President said despite the serious economic challenges inherited by the NDC Government in December 2008, President Mills' Administration had “set a record in the management of the economy in the history of Ghana”. He said the Ghanaian Cedi had been stabilised for the longest period since it was deregulated. And that during the past 19 months the NDC government had chucked great economic successes to the benefit of all Ghanaians. The NDC government in 2008, he said, inherited an inflation rate of 18%. Due to prudent economic management by the Mills' Administration inflation rate is now hovering near a single digit figure of 9. 43%.
Mr Mahama said President Mills' Administration had done tremendously well in respect of putting the country's economy on a sound footing. To the unanimous applause of the gathering: he said “Our GDP is growing to 7% this year; in 2011 Ghana's GDP is projected to grow to between 10 – 15%. Potentially, if you add the multiplier effect, Ghana GDP growth can double within the next six to seven years”
Mr Mahama also said the country had seen increased food production in every sector of the economy. Agricultural production which was targeted at 6.5% this year is projected to increase to 7% in 2011. He said increased rice production has curtailed the importation of rice by 100,000 tonnes during the current year. The country is presently enjoying a surplus maize production for the first time in 12 years. As a result, the World Food Programme was encouraged to buy surplus maize and rice from Ghana for its humanitarian relief programmes in Niger and Mali.
The Vice President was very critical of the past NPP Government for recklessly diverting income from the sale of the Eurobond in 2007 meant for infrastructure development to pay salaries and purchase of investment shares in Ashanti gold.
On the STX deal, he said the NPP did not contribute to the mass housing stock during their 8 years in government. This has resulted in a backlog of rental and affordable houses for the masses. Taking a swipe at the main opposition party he said” If Dr Nkrumah had waited for the construction of the Akosombo project because of opposition protests the dam, which today generates 50% of the country's energy needs, would not have been built. He said despite protestations from the NPP over the STX deal; the NDC government would forge ahead with the programme to benefit the county's security services and the masses.
He advised NDC members and supporters in the Diaspora not to let those criticisms and propaganda get to them as that was where it affected the Party most. He said “There is a lot of propaganda in the air, it can easily make you disappointed but this is the time to stand firm. NDC is going to deliver Ghana to the paradise that it promised the people”
He continued” Our Party is on the right track, it is doing the right thing, it is moving Ghana in the right direction and in 2012 we shall lead this Party into paradise”
Mr Mahama during his speech said that the recent discovery of oil and gas in the country has the potential to transform the economy but this does not mean it would instantly wipe away the country's problems. He told the gathering that transformation could only be achieved through hard work and dedication. And “it is only by your attitude that will encourage others to come and join us and move the Party forward”
Mr Mahama charged Party supporters not to be discouraged by those negative propaganda comments from the opposition and not to assume that progress was not being made. ……..He asked, “Who do you expect to come and join and help move the Party forward? We put the party into power; we cannot now withdraw and leave it to plummet”
Mr Mahama told the gathering” this is where the Party needs every single one of you, especially those residents in the Diaspora. I hope that when you look back next five years you can turn around and count all as those who contributed to the success of this Party”
To those members and supporters who are critical of the Party, Mr Mahama said “we called on all to explore how to unite and to find a common way forward “He said “We are in this boat together, We sink together or We float together” Vice President John Dramani Mahama charged NDC supporters in the UK and Ireland to go spread the good news on the great achievements made so far by the NDC Government under the “Better Ghana Agenda” Programmes.
He concluded: “We (NDC) shall win the 2012 elections”
Public Relations Officer
NDC UK & Ireland Chapter