A former Managing Director of the Bost Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST), Kwame Awuah-Darko, says the manifesto of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has the key to how the party will create sustainable jobs when voted into power.
In an interview with Inside Politics host Mugabe Maase on Power FM, he described the NDC flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama, as “trustworthy” and assured Ghanaians that the NDC led by the former president will deliver on his promises because he has a fair appreciation of the challenges confronting Ghanaians and has the wherewithal to tackle the challenges head on.
Mr Awuah-Darko who is also a former Managing Director of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) indicated that the NDC manifesto dubbed ‘The People’s manifesto’ has in stock numerous job opportunities for Ghanaians ranging from the informal to the formal sector that will create prosperity for all Ghanaians.
Touching on the job losses resulting from the freeze of road contracts in the early months into the Akufo-Addo government and the collapse of banks under the guise of banking sector clean-up, Mr Awuah-Darko noted the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) had done so much harm to the economy.
“If they had allowed the contractors to work and paid them, the economy would have been turned around because the loans the contractors took from the banks would have been settled on time to save the banks from grinding to a halt,” he criticized.
Mr Awuah-Darko went on to say the small scale mining sector had also been destroyed under the Akufo-Addo government, explaining that the government halted the activities of small scale miners yet selected some NPP members and cronies to take over the sector while genuine people with the right documents had been prevented from working to earn a living.
“When small scale mining was being regulated [under the NDC] the economy of the country was okay because the miners were buying from the market and it had an impact on almost every sector… We have about 300,000 to 500,000 persons in the small scale mining industry, but today if you are not a card bearing member of the ruling NPP, you won’t be allowed to mine,” he said and assured Ghanaians the next NDC government under John Mahama will be a government for all.
“When we assume power, we will establish a Gold Board that will ensure that the sector is cleaned and eligible Ghanaians will be given the nod to work,” said Awuah-Darko who was confident the seized excavators of persons who were given licenses to operate in the sector will be returned to them under the NDC.
He also added, there will be a support for small scale miners to be able to retrieve the right amount of gold from the lands they work on.
Apart from the promise of helping SMEs employ more people through tax cuts, Mr Awuah-Darko also spoke about the ‘Big Push’ which he said will create sustainable jobs for Ghanaians.
“With the $10 Big Push, we expect to widen infrastructure in the country. From water, power, schools, roads, especially rural roads to boost the economy. And this programme which spans 5 years will engage only Ghanaian contractors so that the money we invest in it will stay in the country,” he explained.
According to the NDC stalwart, the mess the NPP government has created in the economy is huge but hastened that a Mahama-led government fix the mess when voted into power.
He concluded that the manifesto which is the NDC’s policy document was borne out of extensive research by the party which intensified the relationship between the umbrella family and the ordinary Ghanaian when they lost power in 2016.
To this end, he said the manifesto addresses the key issues confronting Ghanaians, adding that it is the reason the ruling NPP has begun implementing some of the policies like the payment of funds to depositors whose funds were locked up due to the banking sector clean-up.