The Minister for Business Development, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal has begun a week long working visit to the northern region to engage various key political actors in the area with the “4more for Nana campaign message”.
Alhaji Awal on Tuesday, 10 March, 2020 met with artisan associations in the region, youth and women groups, NPP regional executives and the communications team of the party.
He explained some government pro-poor policies and programmes that the Akufo-Addo led NPP government has implemented in the last three years.
He mentioned the Planting for Food and Jobs programme, the flagship free Senior High School (SHS) policy, One Village, One Dam; One District, One Factory; stating the impact of these programmes seeks to mitigate the impoverishment of the people and therefore, its impact cannot be underestimated, especially in the north where the poverty margins are high. He said Ghana now export food crops such as maize among others to neighboring Burkina Faso and Togo due to the implementation of the Planting for Food and Jobs programme.
Speaking to THE CUSTODIAN newspaper in Tamale, the minister said the government has built a foundation for accelerated socio-economic growth.
He noted that the macroeconomic environment has been stabilized in the last three years, adding today GDP growth is about 7 percent compared to 3.4 percent in 2016 and inflation is a single digit of about 7.7 percent compared to 15.5 percent under President John Mahama in 2016.
The Business Development Minister observed though, interest rates are still high; however he added it has reduce drastically from about 30 percent under the erstwhile NDC government to about 20 to 18 percent under the current administration.
He added these macro indicators show the economy is healthy and growth is about to takeoff.
Alhaji Ibrahim Awal stated “you can’t build a good house when the foundation is not strong”, adding “it is good to let the people know that President Nana Akufo-Addo has stabilized the economy and the next level is to move from stabilization to growth.”
Free SHS policy
According to Dr Mohammed Awal, the implementation of the free senior high school policy has enabled about 1.2 million children to get access to free education at the second cycle, hitherto, he said this would never have happened.
He posited that the free education policy is the single most important social intervention policy in the history of Ghana and the people of the north are the largest beneficiaries of the programme.
Consequent to that, the former Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group urged the Chiefs and people of the northern region to vote President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the NPP during the December Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
Meanwhile, a former Northern Regional Minister, Mr Prince Imoro Andani who was also part of the entourage encouraged the people to give Nana Akufo-Addo four more years to complete the numerous programmes the government has started.
Mr. Andani said, “For us to consolidate these projects, it makes it necessary for the President to get four more years to complete them.”
Prince Imoro Andani argued further that, looking at what the government has done within three years, it is as if President Nana Addo has governed for eight years.
“Free SHS has helped a lot of parents to get their children back to school and we cannot say that it is not important. I am a direct classmate to former President John Mahama and anytime he raises this issue, I say don’t forget we went to Ghanasco, we were even enjoying some scholarships and that was specially for northern region so it’s very important that when programmes are pro-poor, we should admit them ” he stated.