Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has described the claim by former President John Dramani Mahama that the nationwide rollout of the Free Senior High School (FSHS) programme is causing hardships as untenable.
Dr. Bawumia noted that the suffering of Ghanaians during the tenure of the former president worsened even without Free SHS.
He accused the Mahama government of cancelling teacher and nursing training allowances, import duty waivers for health professionals, and increasing taxes on every conceivable good including bicycles, condoms, ambulances and cutlasses.
He added that Mr. Mahama brought the NHIS to its knees and returned health care to a cash and carry system as well as failing 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 on Saturday, Dr. Bawumia noted that notwithstanding the implementation of free SHS the government has implemented broad socially inclusive policies which the former president was unable to deliver.
According to him, despite free SHS, the Akufo-Addo government has been able to reduce electricity tariffs for households and industries, restore teacher and nursing training allowances, expand LEAP and the school feeding programme.
Dr Bawumia said the government has also reduced 17 taxes and import duties, provided jobs for over 350,000 people in the public sector as well as 100,000 graduates under the Nation Builders Corps.
“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 said.
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.