Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has described the claim by former President John Dramani Mahama that the nationwide roll-out of the Free Senior High School (FSHS) programme is causing hardships as untenable and not supported by the facts.
Dr. Bawumia noted the hardships and suffering of Ghanaians during the tenure of the former president and pointed out that “even without Free SHS, the Mahama government cancelled teacher training allowances, cancelled nursing training allowances, cancelled import duty waivers for health professionals, and increased taxes on every conceivable good including bicycles, condoms, ambulances and cutlasses. You brought the NHIS to its knees and returned health care to a cash and carry system. You failed to provide employment for thousands of qualified graduates”.
Speaking at a rally organised by the youth wing of the governing NPP at Obo Kwahu in the Eastern Region as part of activities marking this year’s Easter festivities on Saturday, Dr. Bawumia noted that notwithstanding the implementation of free SHS the government has implemented a large number of broad socially inclusive policies which the former president was unable to deliver because of the poor management of the economy under his watch.
He said despite Free SHS, “the Government of Nana Akufo-Addo has been able to reduce electricity tariffs for households and industries, restore teacher training allowances, restore nursing training allowances, expand Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) and School Feeding programme”.
“The Government of Nana Akufo-Addo abolish or reduce 17 taxes, educe import duties, provide jobs for over 350,000 people in the public sector, provide jobs for 100,000 graduates under the Nation Builders Corps, double the capitation grant to basic schools and increase the proportion of the DACF paid to persons with disabilities by 50 per cent” he added.
“We have been able to implement all of these policies and programmes and still implement Free SHS, because we have managed the economy better. The issue is therefore not Free SHS but the competence in managing the economy which allows for the implementation of forward-looking programmes and policies” Vice President Bawumia declared.
The Vice President Bawumia had earlier taken part in a massively attended health walk organised by the youth wing of the party, led by Henry Nana Boakye.
Other speakers at the rally included the National Organiser of the NPP, Sammy Awuku; National Youth Organiser, Henry Nana Boakye; Eastern Region Minister and MP for Nkawkaw, Eric Kwakye Darfuor; Minister of State at the Ministry of National Security and MP for Abetifi, Brian Acheampong; Deputy Minister of Finance and MP for Atiwa East, Abena Osei Asare; Deputy Minister for Works and Housing and MP for Cape Coast North, Barbara Asher Ayisi; Eastern Region NPP Chairman Kingston Akomeng Kissi; Eastern Region Secretary Jeff Konadu, and other senior party officials.