Ghana’s Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has described the claim by former President John Dramani Mahama that the nationwide roll-out of the Free Senior High School (FSHS) programme is causing hardships, as untenable and not supported by the facts.
Dr Bawumia noted that the hardships and suffering of Ghanaians existed during the tenure of the former president and pointed out that “even without Free SHS, the Mahama government cancelled teacher trainee allowances, cancelled nurse trainee allowances, cancelled import duty waivers for health professionals, and increased taxes on every conceivable good including bicycles, condoms, ambulances and cutlasses. You brought the NHIS to its knees and returned healthcare to a cash and carry system. You failed to provide employment for thousands of qualified graduates”.
Speaking at a rally organised by the youth wing of the governing NPP at Obo Kwahu in the Eastern Region, as part of activities marking this year’s Easter festivities on Saturday, 20 April 2019, Dr Bawumia noted that notwithstanding the implementation of free SHS, the government has implemented a large number of broad socially-inclusive policies, which the former president was unable to deliver because of the poor management of the economy under his watch.
Despite Free SHS, the Government of Nana Akufo-Addo has been able to:
• Reduce electricity tariffs for households and industries
• Restore teacher training allowances
• Restore nursing training allowances
• Expand LEAP
• Expand School Feeding
• Abolish or reduce 17 taxes
• Reduce import duties
• Provide jobs for over 350,000 people in the public sector
• Provide jobs for 100,000 graduates under the Nation Builders Corps
• Double the capitation grant to basic schools
• Increase the proportion of the DACF paid to persons with disabilities by 50%
• One village one dam is on course
• One district one factory is on course
• One constituency one ambulance is on course
“We have been able to implement all of these policies and programmes and still implement Free SHS, because we have managed the economy better. The issue is therefore not Free SHS but the competence in managing the economy which allows for the implementation of forward-looking programmes and policies”, Dr Bawumia declared.
Dr Bawumia had earlier taken part in a massively-attended health walk organised by the youth wing of the party, led by Henry Nana Boakye.
Other speakers at the rally included the National Organiser of the NPP, Sammy Awuku; National Youth Organiser, Henry Nana Boakye; Eastern Region Minister and MP for Nkawkaw, Hon Eric Kwakye Darfuor; Minister of State at the Ministry of National Security and MP for Abetifi, Hon Brian Acheampong; Deputy Minister of Finance and MP for Atiwa East, Hon Abena Osei Asare; Deputy Minister for Works and Housing and MP for Cape Coast North, Hon Barbara Asher Ayisi; Eastern Region NPP Chairman Kingston Akomeng Kissi; Eastern Region Secretary Jeff Konadu, and other senior party officials.