The New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidate for the 2012 election, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has spelt out his vision to transform the country if elected president.
Nana Akufo-Addo said he has a strong passion for the private enterprise to transform the Ghanaian economy.
“In terms of modernising our society, one of the main tasks of government is to ensure a strong economy, where people’s take-home pay really takes them home. Government’s business is to ensure that businesses are up and running and have access to the capital that will keep the wheels of industry moving. These are simple beliefs with profound implications. And here is something else I believe about the economy. I believe that entrepreneurs create jobs, not governments. I understand enterprise. I admire entrepreneurs,” he told NPP delegates at a conference in the German port city of Hamburg on Saturday.
In the opinion of Nana Addo, the current regime of high taxes was inimical to the growth of the private sector.
The high taxes, he noted, have brought no benefit to the economy, but are rather stifling growth.
“The NDC’s taxes are unfortunately making life difficult for our entrepreneurs and the citizenry. Under this administration, even sachet water has been heavily taxed, placing a burden on the beleaguered, hot and thirsty Ghanaian, who is not seeing the benefits of his taxes. For example, astronomical increases in highway tolls have not translated into improved road maintenance,” he said.
According to him, a journey through the Tema Motorway indicates that not mere potholes, but craters have appeared on the road, endangering life and limb of the road users.
He said his government will provide the framework and create an enabling environment and level playing field for all Ghanaian entrepreneurs to thrive, citing the track record of the party.
“We are a party of business. We understand business. I shall work with all you hard working Ghanaians and Ghanaian businesses, so that, together, we can get the wheels of business running again. This is the only way to create jobs and restore hope to a broken society,” he said.
Ghana, he said, must inspire hope in the youth and that leadership must show the way, instead of every youth struggling to leave the shore for greener pastures.
The NPP flagbearer indicated his determination to transform the public sector.
“It takes dedication, determination, discipline and a collective sense of responsibility to build a great nation. That sense of responsibility must necessarily involve the growth of a public sector that responds to the needs of its citizens. We need a public service that frowns upon the culture of corruption and provides the people with a quality environment of law and order, physical infrastructure, social services, sensitivity and quick responsiveness to needs, and a regulatory environment that allows free and fair competition,” he pointed out.
He said he intends to build a buffer for the support of the private sector.
Nana Addo disclosed that poverty has been the obstacle to the growth of the country and therefore all weapons must be directed at it.
He however noted the war against poverty must take a different shape devoid of deploying the same ineffective weapons of old.
“Ghana cannot continue the folly of doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results. We need to break our future free from the shackles of the Guggisberg economic model of producing and exporting raw materials,” he stressed.
He said the step to eliminating poverty starts with the training of the mind, pledging to make the nurturing of the intellectual property of the Ghanaian his highest priority.
“Education, education, education: Without education, we shall sweat and toil in vain. For Ghana to industrialise, we must take a total look at the economic, organisational, administrative, legal, regulatory, technical, financial and even sociological conditions of Ghanaian industry. But beyond that, we must not compromise in our commitment to provide for every Ghanaian child access to quality education, regardless of the circumstances of his or her birth,” Nana said.
The education reforms of the late 1980s, he noted, has created hopelessness among the youth, throwing thousands of school leavers onto the streets without any form of basic, employable skills.
He said the problem must be fixed to restore hope in the Ghanaian youth.
The least that a society can give to its youth, he stressed, are education and skills for jobs.
“Without the foundation of quality education, the other two become a chanced struggle and the quality of tuition a child receives before the age of 16 can make or break his or her future. That is why I am saying that, under my presidency, the Junior High School level would no longer be the first exit point for education. We will introduce a policy that will make Senior High School part of the basic school system and, therefore, the first point of exit for every child in Ghana,” he stated.
Nana Akufo-Addo emphasizes on providing quality education at the very heart of the next NPP policy on education.
“We intend to enhance quality of education in every public school in Ghana in our overriding goal of building a new society of opportunities by committing, by legislation, a significant and constant percentage of our GDP to education.
“The current situation, which has seen the percentage of GDP devoted to education decreasing gradually since 2009 and spending in key social interventions, like the school feeding programme and capitation grant, suffering cuts do not show a nation serious about its future. Education is the key to unleashing the talents of our people,” he said.
Source Daily Guide