The 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says Ghana, under the leadership of President John Mahama, is being left behind, as countries on the African continent continue to make giant strides towards progress and prosperity.
According to Nana Akufo-Addo, Ghana, a country blessed with an abundance of natural resources and human capital, is mired in poverty, because of lack of leadership and clear policy directions to give Ghanaians decent standards of living.
“Ghana is being mired in poverty, whilst our neighbours are progressing. We are not a poor country. We have the resources, which when well-managed, can lift the masses out of poverty,” he said.
Nana Akufo-Addo made this known on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, as he rounded off his tour of the Brong Ahafo Region, with visits to the Nkoranza North and Nkoranza South constituencies.
At Yefri, a town in the Nkoranza North constituency, the NPP flagbearer noted that what Ghana needs is a leader who has love for the country, adding that the “the reason for our suffering is because we don’t have good policies in place.”
A leader’s love for his or her country, Nana Akufo-Addo explained, “means you will not come into office to steal the resources of the country, to line your pockets or take bribes. You won’t come into office, knowing fully well that you have no good policies or programmes for the nation. You should come into office to help the people of this country.”
With the majority of Ghanaians complaining about the hardships and economic difficulties, the NPP flagbearer stressed that “if the country is blessed with a good leader, backed by able men and women who can deliver good governance, Ghana will be returned onto the path of progress and prosperity within a short period.”
Grains Development Board
To the people of Nkoranza, whose mainstay is agriculture, specifically cashew farming, Nana Akufo-Addo stated that one of the topmost priorities of his government will be to improve productivity and diversify the country’s agriculture.
Making reference to Cote d’Ivoire, a country which is now the leading producer and exporter of cocoa and cashew in the world, he noted that the country’s progress in agriculture has been made possible because of the clear policy directions put in place by the government of Alassane Ouattara towards the diversification of Ivorian agriculture.
“They (Cote d’Ivoire) have a marketing system that is helping farmers. That is what I want to do here in Ghana. The same system that has helped cocoa farmers in Ghana is the same system we are going to employ for cashew production, as well as for other produce like maize,” he said.
To this end, he urged residents of Yefri to “give me the opportunity to help enhance the living standards of farmers across the country. In doing so, there will be factories to process your produce, which will further improve agribusiness. That is why I have stated that there is going to be one factory in every district in Ghana. If there is a cashew processing plant in Nkoranza, cashew farmers will be guaranteed a market, which will boost production significantly and also increase farmers’ incomes.”
Nana Akufo-Addo assured that his government will re-establish the Grains Development Board, which will, amongst others, provide the needed assistance to farmers; buy their produce at a guaranteed price; provide irrigation facilities; and establish mechanization centres for each district to farmers.
Reject dole-outs in election year
With a few months to the holding of the elections, Nana Akufo-Addo noted that it is only a government that has failed the people which will resort to doling out goodies in their bid to buy voters.
An Akufo-Addo government, the NPP flagbearer added, will grow the Ghanaian economy, create jobs for the masses, which will ensure that the citizenry can adequately cater for themselves.
“We are going to improve the livelihoods of Ghanaians so that everyone can have money in their pockets. We will make sure we construct a country where citizens are not dependent on dole-outs during election years. If you believe you have governed this country well, why are you moving around the country distributing cloths for Ghanaians, and commencing election-year projects? We want a country where citizens can buy their own cloths, and where our infrastructure is developed not as election-year gimmicks, but as part of a co-ordinated plan for development,” he said.
Nana Akufo-Addo urged the people of Yefri to “look up to the NPP this year, and help us get into the Jubilee House so that we can put in place good policies to move Ghana forward.”