NDP prefers focus on social intervention policies — Frimpong
The National Democratic Party (NDP) will support more social intervention policies and the placement of the needed resources directly for the people to access.
It will, however, not place undue focus on what it termed, “steel and mortar infrastructure.”
The General Secretary of the NDP, Mr Mohammed Frimpong, in an interview with the Daily Graphic last Friday declared “We prefer that infrastructural development will come in a very accountable and transparent format. We just do not want to be choked with infrastructural development when the figures and value for money will not match up.”
Mr Frimpong’s comments come on the heels of the recent disagreement between the two largest political parties, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), regarding their successful management of the nation’s economy.
According to the NDP General Secretary, even though there were positive indications that there might be development across the country, the expected infrastructural outcome should be in a very accountable and transparent format.
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Performance of govt
On the performance of the ruling NPP government, he said “so far has been good even though the hardships being faced by Ghanaians are far from over”.
Having described the strides of the government so far as good, he stressed “we in the NDP are of the view that the hardships are not over but there are indications that there will be development.”
The Town Hall Meeting
Making a reference to the Town Hall Meeting that was addressed by Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, who is also the head of the Economic Management Team (EMT) of the government, he said what was striking in that meeting was the significant reduction in import tariffs.
The EMT, he said, stated that they had done all they could yet traders continued to complain about high import duty, among others.
But the EMT stressed that after a study of the port management systems in the sub-region, they found out that things were not right.
That admission, he said, even though late in the day, was a responsive approach to happenings in the country, particularly regarding the economy.
“That clearly shows that the policies on our hitherto idling ports have been well formulated and today people are happy to the extent that GUTA at Abossey Okai is planning to effect changes in their pricing,” he said.
The multiplying effect, he added, was that the impact of those reductions on the citizenry would be significant, and that was a plus for the EMT of the government.
The fate of smaller parties
On the political front, he said the smaller parties, such as the NDP, which had not had the opportunity of being in government, would not have much in terms of economic arsenals and figures to make a case as it was with the NPP and NDC, both of which had turns managing the country.
Mr Frimpong said the Vice President had spoken previously about the fundamentals not being right under the former government but tried to make a case for a well-managed one by the current administration which he did well using the economic arsenals at his disposal.
The NDC, on the other hand, seemed to rebuff a lot of the indicators that were presented by the Vice President but that, he said, was not unexpected.
“But more importantly, as far as these indices and figures are concerned, the ordinary person may not understand what they are and in that wise, practitioners will search through these figures and indices and want to debunk them as much as they can,”.
At the end of the day, he explained that “what we are all looking at is what will bring respite to the entirety of the Ghanaian people and, for that matter, the ordinary person will not be really enthused in those figures and indices.”
On the foreign exchange front, he said there was ample demonstration by Vice President Bawumia who gave a different opinion from what people had generally thought concerning a Bank of Ghana (BoG) intervention which had halted the depreciation of the cedi.
But his explanation had given cause for one to believe that it was the outcome of good economic management.
He added that “as citizens, it should be appreciated so that we see how the economy is being managed.”
Mr Frimpong posited that at the opposing side, the NDC would also give counter figures but at the end of the day, the buck stopped with the people of Ghana.
What really matters
In the long term, he held that it was laudable that the NPP had ended the International Monetary Fund (IMF) intervention in supplementing the country’s budget deficits, saying that went a long way to buttress the fact that the African was capable of managing his own affairs and also gave impetus to the President’s commitment to the policy of Ghana beyond aid.
Some form of accountability, Mr Frimpong said, had been rendered as far as the Town Hall Meeting was concerned but on the other side, in the area of social interventions and infrastructure, the government had demonstrated that its flagship free SHS policy was on course and “that is probably what most citizens will want to hear.”