Dr Mahamudu Bawumia (left), flag bearer of NPP, addressing the Muslim clergy
Dr Mahamudu Bawumia (left), flag bearer of NPP, addressing the Muslim clergy
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I’ll introduce new growth poles to create more jobs - Dr Bawumia assures Imams, clergy

The presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has said that he intends to train a million more youth under his government in the tourism, pharmaceuticals, sports and creative arts sectors to bring in new growth poles.

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That, he said, was a means to create more jobs and also get more of the people, particularly the youth, educated. So far, he said, the government had created 2.1 million jobs in the last seven years, a feat he described as unprecedented in the Fourth Republic.

Job creation

Dr Bawumia, who is the sitting Vice-President, said he would focus on job creation as another way of reducing hardship because a lot of people were unemployed and did not have an income.

He added that “our hardship can also be reduced if we have a credit-based system in the country rather than a cash-based system so that we expand the consumption opportunities of our people”.

Responding to questions during separate meetings with Imams and the Christian Clergy at Tema and Ashaiman yesterday as part of his Greater Accra Regional tour, Dr Bawumia indicated that the youth population of the country was very high so the government would continue to do more.

The Greater Accra Region tour is the 15th region the Vice-President has toured as part of his engagements with groups and organisations to solicit their views to be infused into his manifesto.

Agriculture

Going forward, he said, he would focus on agriculture and the expansion of food production to bring down food prices to minimise the hardship among the people. He said it was the reason he believed commercial agriculture, technology-driven, precision agriculture, irrigation agriculture and mechanised agriculture were the way for Ghana to go.

That, the NPP flag bearer said, was because no country had developed without solving its food problems. He, therefore, mentioned that the country had made significant progress with rice import reducing to below 50 per cent.

However, he said, a lot more needed to be done to improve food production.
 

Electric buses

“I have also made a suggestion, which we hope to start experimenting with this year, that for public transport we move towards electric vehicles. “That if we move public transport towards electric vehicles, we will bring down the cost of public transport by at least 40 per cent,” he added.

Dr Bawumia said electric vehicles did not use fuel such as diesel while the spare parts were also minimal and so “we are in the process of bringing in about 200 buses through Metro Mass to pilot in Greater Accra so that we can see how these electric buses can bring down the cost of transport”.

The idea, he explained, was that the two main causes of increases in transport prices in the country were fuel prices and spare parts. Touching on interventions by the government to reduce the difficulties confronting the citizens, Dr Bawumia said: “You can imagine if we did not have free SHS education, the sort of hardship that would have been borne by people now if they had to pay the school fees of their children but that has been taken away.”

He said it was the same with free TVET that the government had introduced. “We had to restore teacher and nursing training allowances, they would have gone through a lot more hardship without that,” he stressed.

Dr Bawumia also touched on the relationship with faith-based organisations and churches concerning the management of schools in the country and said schools managed by the churches and other faith-based organisations instilled a lot of discipline, which had served the country well.

“We seem to be losing that discipline and now I think it is time for us to have that conversation on how can we leverage on the churches and the faith-based organisations to improve the management of our schools or to bring more discipline into our schools,” he said.

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