Former Minister of Communications, Dr Edward Omane Boamah has issued a six-page response to a query by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to state their social intervention policies
He added that the provision of social infrastructure including the Ridge hospital, the University of Ghana Medical Centre, the Bank of Ghana hospital and the Maritime Hospital were also social interventions introduced by the NDC.
Read the entire statement below;
DR BAWUMIA’S QUEER QUESTION ON SOCIAL POLICY
In “Arrow of God,” Chinua Achebe indicates: “Whenever people have asked me which among my novels is my favourite, I have always evaded a direct answer, being
Similarly, the NDC has several social policies and interventions to its credit; we love social interventions and we implement them better because we are social democrats.
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Incredibly, Ghana’s loquacious Vice President,
This evokes an oxymoronic response: I am glad but sad! The latter feeling is because Bawumia is still speaking to the issue of the sufferings of Ghanaians, when in actual fact according to Candidate Akufo-Addo’s promise in 2016, he was expected to ‘transform’ Ghana within eighteen months upon assuming office as President.
Furthermore, my sadness is worsened because notwithstanding the litany of “sufferings” that Bawumia listed and recited like the Pater Noster in 2016, the NPP Government has only paid lip service to the plight of Ghanaians. Even when they attempt an ‘intervention’, it is rushed and fraught with avoidable yet costly, painful and amateur hitches because their objective is not altruistic and development-centred but simply for political gains.
The glaring challenges associated with the implementation of the Free Senior High School Policy and the recently launched Nations Builders Corp (
Whereas Free education is guaranteed under the Constitution and the NDC Government worked diligently towards its decent attainment through direct Government of Ghana support, the NPP is implementing progressively free SHS for Form 1 and 2 students to the exclusion of Form 3 students, and even then, in a haphazard manner. Free education is great! It should have been well thought through, in order to avoid the needless deaths, infections, congestion, and multiple track system which is being run currently at the SHS level.
With regards to Nation Builders Corp, within hours after the expensive funfair at the Independence Square led by the President, the beneficiaries have been told in plain language that the expected date for implementation cannot be respected by Government
In any case,
be queuing endlessly for employment, when others under NaBCo are being offered free passage to teach and care for patients.
Before I list a few more of the many social interventions that the NDC Government implemented from 2009 to 2016, let me first address the conceptual confusion which is confined to Bawumia’s cerebrum.
The Bawumia Conceptual Confusion
Dr Bawumia is a social scientist. Therefore, he is expected to speak to and within an acceptable framework(s) even when his concepts are confusing or deliberately made confusing for his parochial and partisan political gain. First and foremost, social interventions consist of social policies, programmes and projects as well as strategies to implement these to improve human well-being. Unfortunately for
Against this background, there is
A deeper layer of his conceptual confusion is embedded in the NPP’s consistent propagandist rhetoric which seeks to appropriate the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to themselves, and also fails to give credit to the NDC for the emerging free education programme at the SHS level. What do I mean
It is also not in doubt that the NPP scaled it up under President Kufour in 2003 and was subsequently converted into a functionally integrated National Health Insurance Scheme under President John Evans Atta Mills. Notwithstanding these immutable facts, the NPP continues to project monopoly over the NHIS!In a similar vein, the John Mahama Government implemented Progressively Free SHS for over 400, 000 students. Yet, even though not all SHS students are currently benefitting from the ongoing limited free SHS programme which covers only Form 1 and 2 students, Government dishonestly insists it is not progressive.
At this stage, the simple question to answer is, was the progressively free SHS programme under Mahama a social intervention or not? The answer is
the perverse social scientist wants the world to believe.
Another issue worth visiting is how to target people with social interventions in order to optimise benefits from the use of resources. As a Social Democrat, I vote for equity in its two dimensions. I believe in horizontal equity which expects people with equal needs to be treated equally. Furthermore, I also believe in vertical equity – which demands that people with unequal needs must be treated unequally. This is to say, do not give the same amount of resources to people of unequal needs. Adopt affirmative action.
More Social Interventions of the NDC
If it pleases Bawumia, I wish to provide him with a
I am glad to state that the specific NDC social interventions, beyond significantly expanding the NHIS and initiating and implementing progressively free SHS, include: Free School Uniforms; Free School sandals; Free textbooks; Free cocoa fertilizer; Free cocoa seedlings; Payment of premium to cocoa farmers while increasing producer price of cocoa; Ayalolo metro buses and Rejuvenation of State Transport Corporation; and Provision of funds to SMEs.
Also, the NDC deem social infrastructure as critical to the overall well-being of Ghanaians.
After all, of what use is one’s NHIS card if the sick and their caregivers cannot access health care in health facilities? Of what benefit? Therefore, several hospitals, polyclinics and CHPS compounds were deliberately constructed across the country.
The Ridge hospital, the University of Ghana Medical Centre, the Bank of Ghana hospital, the Maritime Hospital, the Dodowa District Hospital, the Upper West Regional Hospital, the expansion of both the Tamale Teaching Hospital and the Bolgatanga Hospital as well as dozens of Polyclinics and CHPS Compounds are classic examples of what the NDC did in Government with the view to
In the water sector, if today ‘the market for the yellow
We expect the NPP Government to work assiduously to at least maintain or improve upon our record, given the strong foundation provided by the Atta Mills and Mahama Administrations. Ghanaians do not deserve the reverse, as we have seen in the case hardships and in the fight against corruption under the NPP. Just an anecdote, do you recall
that Ghana dropped in the 2017 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index?
As Achebe advised in “Arrow of God,” I am equally and firmly of the mind that, Bawumia’s question is fully comparable to a naïve request for a man to list his children in the order in which he loves them. Unlike the NPP, the NDC has several social policies and interventions to
Ghanaians, let us give thanks to almighty God for offering the Akufo-Addo Government the opportunity to test their skills at the highest level. The verdict has been that of unending and spiralling hardships and monumental failures. But God works in mysterious ways; and as the Prophet Isaiah (55:8-9) captures it, his ways and thoughts are not like ours.
Dr Bawumia, I repeat, simply get to work and stop haunting yourself with ‘NDCism’ more than two years ahead of the 2020 general elections, for Ghanaians deserve better!
Dr Edward Kofi Omane Boamah
Former Minister for Communications