The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has stated that the policies and programmes being implemented by the government will accelerate the transformation of Ghana as a development hub on the continent.
Dr Bawumia, who was addressing the 2018 edition of a joint Annual Dinner Dance of the United Kingdom (UK) branch of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Young Executives Forum (YEF), expressed confidence that programmes such as the free senior high school, the implementation of paperless processes at the ports, the digitisation of land records towards the development of a mortgage market, the setting up of three development authorities and the desire to formalise the Ghanaian economy with the help of technology would soon make Ghana a very attractive destination.
The Vice-President said the government had also embarked on several social intervention programmes to assuage the sufferings of the people through the reduction of electricity and water tariffs, the abolition of nuisance taxes and expanding the welfare safety net by increasing the share of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) allocated to Persons with Disability (PWDs).
He, therefore, called on Ghanaians to put their shoulders to the wheel and help the government succeed for the betterment of all.
“It is the responsibility of all Ghanaians to work hand in hand to ensure the success of the Akufo-Addo administration; we dare not fail. On our part as a government, we are hard at working to clean up the mess we inherited and ensuring the restoration of macro-economic stability necessary for a lift off,” Dr Bawumia added.
According to him, “we have also achieved remarkable results in many areas such as agriculture, industry and inflation targeting”.
Free SHS benefits
On the free SHS, Dr Bawumia said the actual benefit in the introduction of the programme would be felt 10 or 20 years from now when the country would have had a highly literate youth who would be able to think and make informed decisions.
This year alone, the Vice-President said, an innovative double-track system provided access for some 181,000 students who would otherwise have been denied access to senior high school education.
Additionally, he said, “we have provided opportunities for 100,000 graduates to gain practical experience and these graduates will be paid at the same time through the Nation Builders Corps”.
“We have also increased the portion of the DACF for persons with disabilities from two per cent to three per cent; we have expanded the school feeding programme from 1.6 million to 2.1 million; we have expanded the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) to cover an additional 150,000 people and we are paying the BECE examination registration fees for students,” he added.
The Vice-President said there had been an aggressive agenda to formalise the Ghanaian economy with the help of technology, hence the introduction of the nationwide issuance of national identity cards.
He also mentioned the introduction of the digital address system and said every five by five square feet of the country presently had a unique digital address.
The Vice-President also indicated that passport acquisition would soon be done online, together with the acquisition or renewal of driver’s licence.
For his part, Ghana’s High Commissioner to the UK, Papa Owusu Ankomah, lauded the Ghanaian community for their comportment and long-standing commitment to help develop the country.