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General News Mon, 1 Sep 2008

NDC promises to increase capitation grant

Takoradi, Sept. 1, GNA - The National Democratic Congress

(NDC) at the weekend said the NDC would increase the capitation

grant from the current GH¢ 3.00 to GH¢ 17.00 per child. It also promised to ensure that the Free Compulsory Universal

Basic Education (FCUBE) was implemented absolutely free according to the letter and spirit of the constitution when it came to

power. Mr John Dramani Mahama, running mate to Professor Atta Mills,

NDC flag bearer, who was speaking at the NDC week celebration of

Tertiary Education Institutional Network (TEIN) of the NDC at

Takoradi Polytechnic Chapter said the GH¢3.00 per child for a year

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was too small for any government to be proud of. He said the NPP was not doing any benevolent work by

providing the capitation grant and the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE), which were constitutionally mandatory. He urged the Electoral Commission (EC) to purge itself of

complacency and again give Ghana a credible and fair election in

December. "Ghana's EC conducted four successful elections and became a

toast of the world and a model to Africa but unfortunately it has

been engulfed by complacency." Mr Mahama said when the NDC was raising issues about the

performance of the EC over a bloated register, "our opponents said

we were beating war drums. If the last registration is anything to go

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by, then the EC should bow its head in shame." He said it was always electoral disputes that had ruined many

African countries and set their clock of development back and this

was exactly what the NDC was trying to prevent. "The PNDC/NDC has ruled this nation from a collapsed state

and took it through a constitutional state to a higher pedestal and

handed over power peacefully and could ill-afford to watch the

country drift into chaos through the complacency of the EC." Mr Mahama maintained that he still stood by what he termed the

theory of comparison of records that such an activity would lead to

mediocrity and "when I explained the theory to primary school

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pupils they understood it". He said for instance the NDC made sure that all the 10 regions

got a polytechnic each and established three new universities, built

three state of the art hospitals in three regions, introduced the

GETfund and initiated many other development projects. The New Patriotic Party (NPP), he said, was using the GETfund

to provide facilities at those institutions and asked how they could

make comparisons of such a situation. The said the nation was faced with more challenging issues

which should be addressed than mere comparison of records. Mr Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, General Secretary of the party, said

the oil find could be a blessing or a curse to Ghanaians if it was not

properly managed and the interest of nation protected because

history had shown that countries where oil is found is fraught with

crime and wars. He said Ghanaians should be wary of unrealistic promises such

as turning the Western Region where oil is found into "heaven". 1 Sept. 08

Source: GNA