Tuesday, Aug 03
RACE TO THE JUBILEE HOUSE: THE FIERCE CONTEST OF ECONOMIC POLICIES

RACE TO THE JUBILEE HOUSE: THE FIERCE CONTEST OF ECONOMIC POLICIES

On December 7, Ghana will head to the polls to select a new leader who will govern the country for the next four years. With just some few days to the election, the two major political parties in the country; the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have both intensified their campaigns across the length and breadth of the country, both selling their policies to the electorates.

Despite the current pandemic conditions and social restrictions imposed, the election atmosphere has heightened in the country, with just few days left.

While the country has demonstrated its ability to conduct peaceful and credible elections in the past, a recent report released by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), has revealed that persistent issues continue to hamper full confidence and participation in the electoral process.

The report indicates that the country’s strong institutions, free and open political space, and commitment to democracy lay the foundation for inclusive, transparent, and accountable elections, with citizens, expressing a fervent desire for the elections to meet the high expectations that they have come to hold for their polls.

Despite the concerns, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana, Mrs. Jean Mensa, has assured the country’s Legislature that the commission is 95 per cent ready to conduct a successful, credible, fair, orderly and peaceful election on December 7.

She said the commission had already procured a wide range of election materials for the 2020 elections, ranging from ballot boxes, thumbprint pads, stationery, identification jackets, polling station booths, rechargeable lamps, indelible ink, educational posters, seals, among others.

Presenting the commission’s road map to the 2020 elections to Parliament, she said “As we speak, the distribution of these items to our regions and districts is underway.

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I can confirm that as a result of the thorough planning and distribution mechanisms employed, we are about 95 per cent done with the distribution of election materials to our various locations across the country. What is left to be delivered are the ballots and registers,” Mrs Mensa said.

This year’s election is not expected to be any different from the country’s past seven elections since it returned to democratic governance in 1992, as it is expected to be highly contested by the two main political parties in the country: The New Patriotic Party (NPP) who are currently in power and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who are the main and the largest opposition party.

Political campaigns and manifestoes in these last days have focused on issues ranging from healthcare, education, and jobs.

For the first time in the history of elections in the country, the election is being contested mainly by two leaders who have both done their first terms as Presidents of the country.

Nana Akufo-Addo who is the incumbent is seeking the mandate of the people for another term, while his major competitor, John Dramani Mahama also seeks a re-election bid after having his first shot at the presidency between 2012 and 2016.

The Vaultz Magazine therefore considers how these two candidates performed in their first terms with regards to their management of the economy and with COVID-19 hitting hard at the economy, it is imperative to find out how their respective manifestoes will provide the blue print for a quick economic turnaround post COVID.

Economic Performance

The NPP government has often complained about the state of the economy they inherited in 2017, describing it as an economy which was on its knees and heading for a collapse.

Speaking in an interview with the Vaultz Magazine, a member of the NPP’s economic team and the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Finance, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah, re-echoed this sentiment, pointing out that the Ghanaian economy was stagnant by 2014, which led the NDC government to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund in April 2015 under an Extended Credit Facility (ECF) programme.

He said by the time the NPP came into office in 2017, the ECF programme had derailed, with all targets being missed.

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"All targets had not been met. So, the first thing we sought to do was to achieve and maintain macro-economic stability because without that you cannot do anything meaningful. To assess any economy, you look at the indicators and if compare all the indicators, the NPP inherited in 2017 to the current indicators before COVID-19 struck, then clearly on every single front we performed better than them.

“If you take inflation, we inherited inflation rate of 15.4 percent now we are in single digit. The economy in the last year of the NDC in 2016 grew at 3.3 percent, we took over and it first grew at 8.4 percent, then 6.3 percent. The rate of the depreciation of the currency has been lower, and interest rates have been reduced.

“If you compare the end 2016 number to the end 2019 number, there is not a single macro-economic indicator that had not been improved significantly. We exited the ECF programme with a clean bill of health,” he explained.

 ASIBEY YEBOAChairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Finance, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah

We didn’t leave a bad economy

However, also speaking in an interview with The Vaultz Magazine, former Finance Minister of the NDC government between 2012 to 2016, Mr. Seth Terkper, disagreed that the NDC government left a bad economy, arguing that President Mahama left a better economy in 2017, with lots of opportunities despite the few challenges.

He said the NDC left the NPP government with two additional oil fields (TEN and Sankofa) in addition to the Jubilee field.

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When we were in power, we were just producing around 70,000 barrels of oil a day and due to some challenges on the Jubilee field, we couldn’t even get the 70,000 barrels in 2016. In addition, crude oil prices slumped and was hovering around US$40 dollars per barrel.

“Although oil prices are currently hovering around US$40 dollars per barrel, they have three oil fields to rely on and the investment in these two new oil fields were made by the NDC. Today, with the three oil fields, they are producing almost 200,000 barrels per day. Is this a terrible thing to leave?

He said within the four years’ term of the NPP, oil prices shot up to around US$86 dollars at one point and hovered around US$65 dollars, before slumping to the mid-40s due to tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia, OPEC, and COVID-19.

“The oil legacy alone in terms of revenue and flow to the budget and economy and output shows clearly that we didn’t leave a terrible economy,” he averred.

Mr. Terkper furthering his argument of the NDC government leaving a better economy in 2017 said, “In any event, if we left a terrible economy, the deficit we left was 6.3 percent. The 6.3 percent even included interest payments and others which they backdated in January 2017 and used it to increase the end 2016 figures. If we left 6.3 percent which is 1.3 percent above five percent, and you are leaving the economy at 11.4 percent, why do you keep blaming your predecessor?

“If we left debt to GDP at 57 percent and you are taking it to 77 percent, that is 20 percentage increase, so why blame us and how do you say your figures are better than what your predecessor left? Every indicator they met is worse now,” he revealed.

Reacting to arguments that the projected huge budget deficit at the end of the year may be as a result of COVID-19, Mr. Terkper said, that could not be the case because “according to the COVID report from the IMF, which is the report that the IMF released before giving us the US$1 billion support, the budget deficit as a result of COVID that the government disclosed to them was 2.5 percent of GDP.

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“So if add that 2.5 percent to the 4.9 percent originally projected deficit in the 2020 budget, that should give you around eight percent so what is accounting for the over 11 percent new projection?” he quizzed.

“If you look at the mid-year review, if you look at the adjustments that were made, they were not made on account of COVID because COVID was fully covered by the IMF and World Bank loans.

“The adjustments that were made had to do with wages being under estimated, interest payments being underestimated which shot the deficit up. The adjustments which were made were not based on COVID,” he stressed.

  

TerkperFormer Finance Minister of the NDC government, Mr. Seth Terkper.

The Contest of Oil dependent growth

There have been lots of critiques who have argued that economic growth in the last three years had been largely dependent on oil, following the coming on board of the two additional oil fields.

Dr. Assibey-Yeboah, however disagreed with that assertion, arguing that the NDC government were rather the ones who benefitted most from the country’s oil discovery.

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“The NPP left office in 2008 under President kuffuor and we had then discovered the first oil field which is Jubilee. It was the NDC that largely benefitted from the discovery of the oil to the extent that in 2011, the economy grew by 14.3 percent because of oil.

“This growth was three years after the discovery of oil. In 2016 when they were growing at 3.3 percent, the oil had not gone away, it was still there. These two new discoveries, TEN and Sankofa only came on board mainstream in 2019 and the production levels now are woefully inadequate.

“The first time that we recorded production from Sankofa and TEN was in 2019, so how do you explain the 2017 and 2018 GDP growth numbers which were only Jubilee dependent,” he questioned.

  

Debt management argument

Another area where the NPP government has come under severe attack is their management of the country’s debt, with latest data from the Bank of Ghana indicating that the country’s debt currently stands at GH¢273 billion.

The country’s debt has not only become a concern to the minority and Ghanaians, but with the international agencies including the IMF, all warning that the country’s debt was reaching unsustainable levels.

Dr. Assibey, however, believes that the government had done fantastically well with regards to debt management over the last four years.

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“The government has done fantastically well with regards to debt management. By end of 2016, the debt had reached GH¢122 billion after eight years of NDC rule. When Kuffuor left office in 2009, it was GH¢9.5 billion.

“Granted that when President Mills and Mahama came into office, they had decided that they are a very prudent government so we won’t borrow and will just manage the debt that has been bequeath to them. At a rate of 20 percent a year, it means the debt will be growing by GH¢2 billion every year.

“The borrowing attracts interest, so at GH¢2 billion per year, if you compound it by 8 years that is GH¢16 billion. Let’s even be generous and add another GH¢16 billion and that should have been GH¢32 billion which then takes our debt to GH¢42 billion. That is if you were being prudent,” he explained.

 

He said the country, however ended up with a debt of GH¢122 billion by the end of the NDC’s eight years’ rule.

According to Dr. Assibey-Yeboah, the high rate of increment of the country’s debt under the NPP is because what they inherited was so huge.

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“At GH¢122 billion, using the 20 percent interest rate, annually, it translates to GH¢25 billion. So end of four years, that alone is GH¢100 billion and if you add the GH¢122 billion, that gives you GH¢222 billion.

“The debt has ballooned because what we inherited was so huge. So, even without doing anything, the interest alone was huge. Apart from the interest payments, the financial sector clean up, the government has used about GH¢25 billion for that. In the energy sector, the NDC had signed power purchase agreements all over, take or pay and on annual basis the government is paying about GH¢5 billion for power that is produced that we don’t use. So if now we are hovering around GH¢273 billion, it tells you that debt management has been superior and the government has restrained itself,” he stated.

 

Contrasting the argument peddled by the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Finance, Mr. Terkper, posited that the country’s debt keeps increasing under the new government, despite the NDC government paying off US$550 million out of its first sovereign bond of US$750 million.

He said this amount was paid through the Sinking Fund, which was another legacy the NDC left for the NPP government.

“We paid US$550 million and refinanced the rest. They paid the remaining US$200 million but it was also paid out from the same Sinking Fund which we left. Fiscal management involves not just looking at deficit and throwing every money at reducing the deficit which could be just consumption. It involves debt and revenue management. We left a programme for phase two of the Revenue Modernization Programme and it has never been implemented.”

The battle of Exchange rate  

On the exchange rate argument, Dr. Assibey-Yeboah, said looking at the yearly depreciation rate, the NPP had performed better.

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“Because we are an import dependent economy, we will always need forex to import the essential drugs we need, the poultry products, the rice and all the things that we need. We still import a lot of the essential goods we need, so the currency will always depreciate but what is the rate of depreciation?” he asked.

“In 2008, one cedi was equal to one dollar, when the NDC were leaving, one dollar was equal to US$4.2 and now we are at US$5.7 which is not that bad,” he said.

 

Mr. Terkper, however, pointed out that the cedi should have been more stabilized under the NPP government due to more favorable conditions.

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“If you take the exchange rate, one would have expected that with the flow from oil and the additional revenue and in addition to cocoa and gold prices which they themselves has admitted is very high, the exchange rate should have been more stable.

“So you don’t even have to compare that to my one oil field revenue and when gold and cocoa prices were going down,” he noted.

  

What next post-election: Reviving the COVID-stricken economy

On how the NPP intends to revive the economy post COVID-19 should they be given another term, Dr. Assibey-Yeboah, said “even before we get to the revitalization stage, we have to applaud the Finance Minister and his team for the stabilization phase.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic striking, nobody knew where to turn and this was the first time we were seeing such a pandemic. How we have been able to stabilize the economy and supported the citizens must be commended.

“We have stabilized the economy and we are ready to take off. We will take off with the COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalisation of Enterprises Support (CARES) programme,” he said.

Mr. Terkper on the otherhand, said the NDC’s records speak for themselves and when given the opportunity again, they would rebuild the economy from where they left it.

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“Our records speak for us on what we can do. Remember the establishment of the Sinking Fund, they achieved results. We were able to reduce the rate at which we were borrowing which is why we were able to keep the debt to GDP low.

“We have a record of making investments and at the same time reducing the rate of borrowing. So, we do have a strategy. We were faced with the single spine salary structure but we managed to control it and we will do same with the economy if we come back to power,” he posited.

  

Parties’ manifestos: Contest of Policies

Manifesto’s have become a dominant precursor to the win of any political party vying to govern a nation and with the elections getting closer, the two manifestos of the NPP and the NDC have been brought into sharp focus, with special emphasis on the economic policy options available in the manifestos of both parties.

A critical look at the two manifestos point that both the NPP and the NDC have one aim as far as the economy is concerned; the only difference is how they both want to achieve it.

The two parties have both highlighted in their manifestos their aim to improve GDP growth, reduce the budget deficit, increase revenue, maintain a positive primary balance, stabilize the local currency, and reduce interest rates.

 

The NPP’s ‘CARES’ program 

The major economic policy program in the NPP’s manifesto which has been titled ‘leadership of service; protecting our progress’, is the GH¢100 billion ‘CARES Obatanpa’ program.

The Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, launching the CARES programme in November this year said, it will provide the blue print for the country’s economic recovery, revival and transformation post COVID-19.

He said the CARES programme was ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ in action and its implementation would restore growth to Pre Covid-19 levels and return the fiscal path to be within the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2018 (Act 982) threshold of 5% deficit and positive primary balance by 2023.

The principal objectives of the Ghana ‘CARES’ program include; the Stabilisation Phase (July to December 2020) and the government’s priority for this phase is to implement interventions that will ensure food security and also protect businesses and jobs.

In view of this, and among several other measures, this phase of Ghana ‘CARES’ will increase the original GH¢600 million soft loan programme, dubbed the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme-Business Support Scheme (CAP-BuSS), by an additional GH¢150 million to support MSMEs (GH¢700 million) and also, the Creative Arts, the Media, and the Conference of Independent Universities (GH¢50 million); establish a GH¢2 billion Guarantee Facility to support all large enterprises and for job retention.

This, the government believes would enable these businesses borrow from banks at affordable rates and over long tenors to adjust to the pandemic and to retain jobs.

The government also intends to set up GH¢100 million Fund for Labour and Faith-Based Organisations for retraining and skills development (Retraining Programme); establish an Unemployment Insurance Scheme to provide temporary income support to workers who are laid off due to the pandemic; ensure food security for the rest of the year; intensify support to the “Planting for Food and Jobs” and “Rearing for Food and Jobs” programmes; and provide financial support for the National Buffer Stock Company and the Ghana Commodity Exchange.

It also seeks to implement a range of employment retention & support services to large enterprises including: clearing contractor arrears; paying new contractors more quickly; increasing government procurement for local businesses.

Outside of the ‘CARES’ PROGRAM, the NPP in terms of infrastructure, has promised to construct a 100-bed hospital in 101 districts that currently lack such facilities, a regional hospital in each of the six new regions, a new regional hospital in the Western Region, rehabilitation of the Effia-Nkwanta Hospital, and build two new psychiatric hospitals as well as infectious disease centres for each of the three ecological zones.

It has also promised to build local capacity in the housing and construction industry, strengthen the housing mortgage and construction finance scheme initiated by Government and selected banks last year, and take measures to facilitate access to land for housing by estate developers.

 

Revitalization and Transformation Phases of the CARES program

The revitalization and transformation phases of the CARES program are expected to span between 2021 to 2023.

Over this period, the government has promised to invest in activities aimed at accelerating the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda.

Specifically, it intends to pursue the establishment of Ghana as a regional hub by leveraging the siting of the Secretariat of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Ghana, and will include the establishment of the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC).

The government also seeks to review and optimize the implementation of its flagships programmes such as the ‘one district one factory, the planting for food and jobs and the free SHS policy’.

The NPP has also promised to complement the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ initiative with a targeted programme to support the activities of the ‘Ghana Tree Crop Development Authority’ in promoting selected cash crops, support commercial farming and attract educated youth into agriculture.

It also plans to build the country’s light manufacturing sector, including its capabilities to manufacture machine tools to support industrialization; fast-track digitization of government business as well as build a digital economy; strengthen the enablers of growth and transformation by taking strong measures to improve the business environment for the private sector.

In all, the government is estimating the CARES programme to cost GH¢100 billion, with the government expected to raise GH¢30 billion of this amount, while the rest is expected to be raised from the private sector.

Commenting on whether the CARES programme was not too ambitious, Dr. Assibey-Yeboah said “I don’t see anything ambitious in spending GH¢100 billion in three years. With the establishment of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) office in the country, Ghana has become a hub and so, we have to make it a financial services hub.”

 

The NDC’s ‘Fixing the economy’

The NDC on the other hand has promised to fix the economy and create new opportunities for Ghanaians through the transition from the current economic model to what they describe as knowledge-based economy.

In its 2020 manifesto, which has been labeled ‘The People’s Manifesto’, the party intends to make job creation its predominant preoccupation, enhancing the livelihoods of citizens through the ‘Edwuma Pa Plan’ which seeks to create one million jobs.

It also noted that there would be major annual recruitment of young Ghanaians into an expanded and productive public sector based on a carefully conducted Human Resource Gap Analysis. In addition, the party plans to commence a National Apprenticeship Programme that will train technically skilled human resources for rapid industrialization, job creation and entrepreneurship.

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“The next NDC Government will aggressively promote and protect indigenous Ghanaian businesses, to ensure greater Ghanaian ownership of the commanding heights of the economy, such as banking, insurance, construction, telecommunications, the extractive sector, energy, and international trade. The next NDC Government will also enhance the current environment for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Local Economic Development (LED) will be the bedrock of our national development strategy. We will ensure that every district and community in Ghana participate fully in national development and benefits according to its local economic development.

“We shall collaborate with the private sector to establish agro-processing factories across the country based on regional comparative advantage. To promote private sector development and make the Ghanaian industry internationally competitive, and to protect consumer interests and safety, we will enact the National Competition Law and Consumer Protection Law, which will support the establishment of a Consumer Protection Council,” the manifesto highlighted.

 

It also pointed out that should the NDC win power, existing laws and policies that constrain the growth of the private sector will be reviewed, amended, or eliminated.

“We will continue to work with key stakeholders, such as the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), the Private Enterprise Federation (PEF), the Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA), and other identifiable groups like the market associations, mechanics, tailors and barbers to ensure greater private sector participation.”

NDC’s Fiscal policy

In the area of fiscal policy, the next NDC government plans to realign the entire fiscal framework to achieve efficient resource mobilization and utilization of public funds; ensure fiscal stability using the fiscal balance as a primary anchor; and enhance the Public Financial Management Act (PFMA) to develop secondary anchors and rules around revenue, expenditure, primary fiscal balance, borrowing and debt.

The strategies it intends to use to achieve these are by broadening the tax net while containing tax rates; reduce discretionary tax exemptions; improve tax collection; rationalize expenditures; and ensure a transparent relationship with stakeholders and investors.

“The principal objective is to ensure a stable tax system that does not distort production decisions and the distribution of income. The next NDC Government will implement the following reforms that will enhance revenue mobilization while broadening the tax base and promoting business growth: improve systems and processes including integration and interfacing of customs; integrate domestic tax database with other institutional databases; streamline GRA headquarters along functional lines; improve operations in domestic tax offices and customs’ entry points; and revise income and corporate tax rates and review the system of financial support to the poor, vulnerable, and retirees.”

 

NDC’s Tax Measures

The NDC government has also promised to grant tax reliefs to MSMEs to support their operations.

Within the first three months of 2021, the NDC has promised to lay before Parliament several bills that will seek to grant these tax reliefs.

The tax reliefs include; tax Cuts for jobs; exemption of small businesses from corporate and personal income tax; reduction of corporate income tax for medium size companies from the current 25 percent to 15 percent; and the exemption of newly established medium-sized companies that employ up to twenty (20) staff from the payment of corporate income tax for one year.

Others include the exemption of commercial vehicles and other equipment imported into the country for commercial, industrial and agricultural purposes from import duty; and review of the Customs (Amendment) Act, 2020 (Act 1014) to scrap the law banning the importation of salvaged vehicles.

This, the party believes would save the local automotive industry, especially Suame Magazine, Kokompe and Abossey Okai from collapse.

The party intends to encourage vehicle assembling companies to operate as a complement to local industry.

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“We will also reverse the decoupling of VAT (12.5 per cent), NHIL (2.5 per cent), GETFund (2.5 percent), which has brought untold hardship to Ghanaian businesses and households. The NPP Government in 2018 effectively increased the VAT rate under the guise of decoupling the NHIL rate and the GETFund rate from the value-added tax system and made it a straight levy. Even though the statutory rate remained at 17.5 percent after the decoupling, the effective rate increased from 17.5 per cent to 18.5 per cent because businesses were not allowed to claim their input VAT for the NHIL and GETFund components of VAT. The NPP effectively introduced a tax through the backdoor.

“We will also introduce a Rural Investor Incentive (RII) to create meaningful employment opportunities for the youth in rural areas. This is intended to address the adverse effects of rural-urban migration. Investors in rural communities will be exempted from dividend and capital gain tax, those employing up to fifty (50) persons will be granted tax exemptions and other incentives on the importation of capital equipment.

“We will also provide special tax incentives for indigenous value chain industries such as mineral processing, petroleum-based, agro-based, and pulp and paper industries, to unlock potential sustainable job opportunities. We will use special tax incentives to maximize the gains from the value chain of indigenous manufacturing activities; introduce the agriculture value chain tax incentives regime within the first quarter of 2021; introduce a Tax Support for Export Growth (TSEG) to address trade and balance of payment deficits and also in furtherance of the One Million Jobs Plan. Special tax incentives will be offered Ghanaian businesses in the Export-Oriented Industries (EOI) to stimulate exports,” the manifesto noted.

  

The NDC’s Big Push

The NDC party through its manifesto has also announced a US$10 billion accelerated infrastructural plan, dubbed the ‘Big Push’.

The Flagbearer of the party, H.E John Dramani Mahama believes capital expenditure has slowed down considerably in the last three and a half (3½) years, under the NPP Government, and the impact of COVID-19 is expected to slow it down further.

He said a “Big Push’ was therefore required to turn this around.

“The next NDC Government will set up a $10 billion Fund to build robust infrastructure like roads, railways, port expansion, inland ports, hospitals, social housing and multipurpose markets in every part of the country.”

A component of the Big Push is a transportation plan made up of three (3) major projects: the Eastern Corridor; the Golden Triangle; and the Western Corridor Project.

Under the Eastern Corridor Project, there are plans to complete the Eastern Corridor Road; Port Infrastructure at Keta; Bridge over Oti River, Volivo to Dorfor Adidome bridge; and the Tema to Ho Highway

Under the Golden Triangle Railway project, there are plans to build the Kintampo,-Takoradi-Tema rail line; the Tema- Accra- Cape Coast- Takoradi; Tema- Accra- Kumasi- Kintampo; and the Takoradi- Kumasi- Kintampo rail line.

A three carriage way, inbound and outbound Accra-Kumasi-Kintampo; Accra-Cape Coast-Takoradi; Takoradi- Kumasi- Kintampo are also expected to be constructed.

Under the Western Corridor project, there are plans to build a railway line from Sekondi-Takoradi to Axim, Elubo, Enchi, Asawinso, Goaso, Sunyani, Wenchi, Bamboi, Bole, Sawla, Wa, Nadowli, and Hamile.

There are also plans to build a dual carriage road along the railway line from Sekondi-Takoradi to Axim, Elubo, Enchi, Asawinso, Goaso, Sunyani, Wenchi, Bamboi, Bole, Sawla, Wa, Nadowli and Hamile, as well as a inland port at Hamile.

The Western Corridor project also includes the expansion of Takoradi Port to Sekondi.

To be able to achieve all these, the party plans to restore the transfer of 2.5 percentage points of existing VAT to the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF).

“The GIIF was established by the John Mahama administration with the mandate to deliver infrastructure projects in Ghana for national development. GIIF has the potential to create One Million Jobs along its value chain.

“We will also increase the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) allocation from 5 percent to 7.5 per cent of Annual Total Revenue to enable the District Assemblies to function effectively and undertake activities that will spur economic growth at the local level.

“The NPP Government, since 2017, has continually starved the District Assemblies using the Earmarked Fund Capping and Realignment Policy,” the manifesto pointed out.

 

Who takes the oath of office come January 7, 2021?

It is clear from the manifestos of the two main political parties that they both mean well for the country. They both seek to transform the country’s economy, create jobs, boost infrastructural development and create wealth for all Ghanaians.

The only difference is the means through which they both want to achieve these and on paper both manifestos look superb but the real problem is in the implementations.

Dr. Assibey-Yeboah was, however, confident that if given the chance, the NPP government would not disappoint Ghanaians.

“We are poised to deliver our second term and if you look at what we have done, it will be travesty should Ghanaians not retain us. Ghanaians must have confidence in the government and retain the NPP. When you look at the foundation laid, the next term would be beautiful,” he asserted.

Mr. Terkper, also for his part urged Ghanaians to give the NDC a second chance since from all indications, they performed better than the NPP.

“If you look at the fiscal data and everything, you will realize that we did much better than they did. With all the endowment we left for them, they have still not been able to match our records. We have done it before; our records speak for itself. Ghanaians should give us the chance again and we will deliver,” he opined.

In conclusion, whoever wins the December 7 election, has a huge task to manage an economy which has been derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whether it is ‘fourmore4Nana’ or ‘second coming of JM’, the new leader that emerges from this election must roll his sleeves for a tough ride ahead.

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