The Conventions People's Party (CPP) says the standard or benchmark on what constitutes 'Achievements' or 'Unprecedented Achievements' needs to be raised, so that the normal business of government was not continually captured and circulated as achievements, let alone unprecedented achievements.It said, for as long as any government that emerged in Ghana collected taxes from the people and contracted loans on their behalf, it was only just to expect that they “have basic obligations that they must fulfill.” These basic obligations, many of which are functions of the local or district authorities, should never be viewed as achievements, thus, 'tarring of roads', 'construction of bungalows', and construction of classroom blocks' cannot possibly be viewed as constituting achievements in any country. In a release issued to the Ghana News Agency on Monday in Accra, which indicated the CPP's general views of the publication of the Green Book' by the National Democratic Congress (NDC), was that it was good for all governments to account to the people of Ghana for their stewardship of the country. It indicated that the CPP welcomed the effort of any Government of Ghana in making provision for the various sectors, but wished to pointout that it was not 'social interventions' that the country needed, but 'social transformations.'
'Much of what is noted under various sectors does not touch on the fundamental or structural problems and needs of the sector,' it added. According to the release, the NDC government's 'Better Ghana Agenda' hinged on the four thematic areas that the CPP presented in its 2008 Manifesto, namely, a Strong Economy for Real Jobs, Investing in People, Expanding Infrastructure for Growth, and Transparent and Accountable Governance. It said the Green Book 'premise of achievements under the first theme was largely based on macroeconomic indices, adding that it may be recalled that the NPP government had similarly used macroeconomic indicators as proof of progress during its term of office, and was continually condemned by the NDC as not being meaningful and not dealing with the reality of people's lives. 'Twelve years on, nothing has changed, other than the colours of the party in government, singing from the same hymn sheet of macroeconomic indices, and the CPP believes, like many Ghanaians, that important as indicators are, progress must be measured against the reality of daily lives.'
It said as a party, the CPP shared in the views of the vast majority of our citizens that 'hardship in our lives was not in single digits; prices in all areas of life have escalated in double digits, triple digits, and in some instance, more digits.
'Kenkey prices ranged from 50 to 75%, water prices 100%, utility bills at 200%, cement prices 55%, and toll booth prices were at 900 to 1,000%.'
'Single digit inflation is not the measure of development in any country. Inflation in neighbouring Togo is currently 4.5%, and in Cote d'Ivoire is 5.2%.'
It noted that the economic growth must relate directly to the standard of living of people, saying the indices must reflect directly on the improved living standards of people, eliminating or reduction in poverty, improved supply of goods and services that Ghanaians needed, adding that prices of goods and services must not outstrip wages and salaries, and rents must be within the means of workers.
“Education and health must be affordable by all; population below the poverty line must improve below the current 30%; unemployment rate is assessed at 11%; graduate unemployment must improve beyond the current 50%, and formal sector employment must rise above the current 8%, as opposed to 18% when the CPP was in government.”
It said Ghana's banking sector employed about 10,000 people in total; Ghana's Health sector including doctors, nurses, midwives, also employed about 60,000 in total; thus, when a government “says it has created 1.74 million jobs in three years, it has to be viewed against some of the vibrant sectors of our economy.”
It said the NDC government had said that it had created more than 170 times jobs in “our banking sector, and 30 times the size of our health sector.
'We feel the presence of bankers and health workers in our lives every day. Whilst we can feel the presence of more uniformed men and women in our security services, we certainly do not feel the presence of 1.47 million new workers, the total of 820,000 noted as indirect jobs related to road and other projects, and 650,000 noted as labour intensive road projects. These figures need further back-up and clarification.'
The release stated that the CPP welcomed increased investment in all areas, but pointed out that whilst celebrating the construction of a new palm oil refinery in Tema, the huge investment in our oil refinery, Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), had been allowed to fall largely idle.
It said manufacturing experienced growth of 1.7% against a targeted 7%, while the balance of trade deficit stood at GH¢1, 201 million, or $707 million.
It stated that an industry policy remained to be implemented, saying what Ghana needed was massive industrialisation, linked with rural economic activities.
'Whilst welcoming the interventions on fertiliser subsidies and agricultural mechanization services centers, as well as increased cocoa production, we wish to point out that we still import $400 million worth of rice per year, and still import basics such as plantain and tomatoes. As a coastal country, we still import $200 million worth of fish each year”.
It said the agricultural sector growth was only 2.8% against a target of 5.3%.' – GNA