Akufo-Addo's $1m per constituency promise nowhere to be found – Mahama
Former President John Dramani Mahama has chided the Akufo-Addo-led government for its continual deceit to Ghanaians by always making unfeasible promises and its inconsistency with timelines.
According to him, the one million dollars per constituency President Akufo-Addo promised to Ghanaians during the electioneering period is nowhere to be found as government keeps giving excuses for its disbursement.
The one million dollars, one constituency policy was one of the many policies announced by the then-candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the heat of the 2016 elections. The party promised to set up development authorities which will be used as vehicles to implement the policy and having won power, pressure is mounting on them to fulfil the promises they made during the campaign trail.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah recently disclosed that the money has been disbursed to all 275 constituencies in the country to start developmental projects.
“The ‘one million dollar for each constituency’ campaign promise by President Akufo-Addo is being implemented across the country now so that the people can benefit from the huge cash. As I speak with you, contracts for the construction of boreholes and toilet facilities have been awarded across the constituencies and they are being financed through the ‘one million dollar for each constituency”, the minister said.
But speaking at the maiden National Conference of Ex-MMDCEs, Mahama said the President and his appointees are inconsistent with timelines stressing that the President gives one timeline whilst his appointees give alternative ones.
Citing an example, the former president said the Ashanti Regional Minister came out publicly to say the one million dollars meant for every constituency has been disbursed but later hears another appointee saying the money is yet to be disbursed.
“One million dollars per constituency; and what I find strange is they don’t add the per year. It was not one million per constituency, it was one million dollars per constituency per year, that’s 275 million dollars a year. Now even the first one million dollars per constituency is nowhere to be found. Ashanti Regional Minister says it’s been disbursed, somebody, too, says it’s coming”, he ridiculed.
Mahama further posited that the NPP government appears to be on autopilot with no one in charge. He claimed that the ministers in government sometimes act by their own prerogative.
“It’s like every minister in this government has his own kingdom, and it’s like the government is on autopilot; there doesn’t seem to be somebody in charge and, so, any minister gets up and says anything”.
“I mean look at the timelines for different things: National ID starts November, December, January, February, March, May. One District-One Factory is ready to start. Fifty-seven factories by end of 2017. Then somebody comes and says: ‘Oh, we’re getting the money from here but the rate was not acceptable, so, we are going to look for money from somewhere”.
Mr. Mahama tagged President Akufo-Addo’s administration as a ‘governance as you go’ government with no policy to guide initiatives. He alleged that only 30% of the money allocated to the Free SHS programme has been paid.
“Different timelines, everybody speaking a different language, it’s like the government is just, as I said, ‘Governance-as-you-go’, ad hoc decisions, all the initiatives like free SHS, no policy guideline, and, as of now, the information we have is that for the first year, only 30 percent of the money that should have been paid to the schools has been paid, 70 percent has not been paid”.
The former President again stated that, “One Village-One Dam, the government said we don’t dig dams in a rainy season. Rainy season came and went, dry season came and rainy season has come again, so, are we going to wait till the next dry season before they start digging? He quizzed.