PRESS RELEASE: PRESIDENT AKUFO ADDO; THE PROTECTOR OF THE PUBLIC PURSE – W/R NPP

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The New Patriotic Party in the Western Region will like to respond to the fabricated lies and propaganda being peddled by the National Democratic Party (NDC) through press release with the title ” president Akufo Addo causing financial lost to the state”.

Discerning people of Western Region and by extension, of Ghana, permit me to use this opportunity to share some thoughts with you and factually address some issues with regards to a Press Release by Mr. Richard Kirk-Mensah, Western Region Communication Officers of NDC on Tuesday, 14 May, 2019.

The press release, both explicitly and implicitly seeks to throw dust into the eyes of the good people of Ghana with a litany of fabricated stories prepared and cooked in the darkest closet of the NDC, based on lies, figment of imaginations and on cheap-inferior tactics all because of DESPERATION for power in 2020. While President Akufo Addo is thinking about the future generations, Mahama and his NDC cohorts are only, desperately, thinking about the next election. What a difference?

A). Discerning Ghanaians, it is an undeniable truth that “governance in any democratic dispensation is a continium,” but excessive over bloated contracts, discrepancies in contract awarded and where a budgetary allocation of GH1.64 billion was earmarked for cocoa road projects between the 2014/2015 and 2016/2017 cocoa season bloated to Gh3.52 billion under the watch of super incompetent Mahama cannot be a “continium” under any democratic country. Again, the fact also remains that corruption and throwing tax payers hard money into a drain with filmsy premises that governance is continium will not and never happen under the watch of President Akufo Addo, who in his swearing in, openly and boldly declared to protect the Public Purse, something that none of his predecessors did. Under him, all developmental projects will be scrutinised, audited and perused by specialists to ensure value-for-money at the end of every project executed.

Respectively, I crave the indulgence of you all to ask Mr. Kirk-Mensah to help us all to understand the following:

1. By alluding to the fact that late President Mills completed lots of projects (of which the definition is relative) started by his predecessor, former President Kufour, the questions to ask are:

a. What about Kumasi Sofoline Interchange Project?

b. What about the Affordable Housing Unit started in 2005 to provide at least 12, 000 families with decent accommodation?

The above stated projects, just to mention a few to buttress a point, were truncated when NDC came to power in 2009 and under both the late Mills and the super incompetent and corrupt Mahama administration.

2. Halting and Suspending.

It is quite interesting that Mr. Kirk-Mensah made a categorical statement in the press release that “…….. a letter dated May 30, 2017 gave a directive that HALTED ALL ongoing cocoa road projects without differentiating between his choice of word HALTING and the word used by NPP in The Herald, June 12, 2007, which states “Gov’t SUSPENDS Cocoa Roads Indefinitely.”

Respectfully, Mr. Kirk-Mensah should know that there is a difference between the word HALT and SUSPEND. To HALT something means to STOP SOMETHING COMPLETELY while to SUSPEND means to STOP SOMETHING FOR A WHILE. Based on this, he should in his haste to throw dust into the eyes of Ghanaians, be able to take note and distinguish clearly because the good people of Ghana are more discerning.

3. Suspension of all the Cocoa Roads Projects.

The Cocoa Road Projects, although laudable, was suspended based of factors l will like Mr. Kirk-Mensah to explain to Ghanaians as l enumerated them

a. Was it suspended to enable the NPP government complete investigation into discrepancies concerning some of the contract awarded?

b. Is it true that apart from the 5 out of the then 10 Regions of Ghana where cocoa is cultivated, namely, Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Western, Eastern and the Central Regions, some contracts were awarded by NDC in areas where cocoa was not grown, leaving a huge debt for COCOBOD?

c. Is it true that by this extension, COCOBOD automatically had to play the supervisory role of such non-cocoa roads, instead of the Roads and Highways?

d. Is it true that an interim report which appeared in Ghana Online, Nov. 02, 2017 revealed that many of the Cocoa Roads for which contract were awarded had been found to be non-existent or excessively over bloated?

e. Is it true that NDC Government left a cocoa road debt of GH3.52 billion even though a budgetary allocation of GH1.64 billion was earmarked for that project between the 2014/2015 and 2016/2017 Cocoa Seasons?

f. Is it true that under the Cocoa Roads contract, 160 four-wheel drive vehicles were purchased by COCOBOD under the watch of former President Mahama for the contractors as part of the contract price, where for example, an 18km road was allocated 6 four-wheel vehicles for inspection?

g. Is it true that the Cocoa Road contract awarded by NDC Government led by former President Mahama amounted to GH5.16 billion not GH3 billion?

h. Is it true that some of the contractors awarded the contract did not go through the laid down processes involved in awarding contracts as happened with the construction of a wall around the Ghana Embassy in Burkina Faso, of which the super incompetent and corrupt Mahama was given a Ford Escape in return for his dubious and undisclosed assistance he offered to the Burkinabe contractor as the Vice President then?

These are the nagging questions that Mr. Kirk-Mensah should find logical answers for the good people of Ghana to understand the reasons why it became very important for the NPP Government to SUSPEND the Cocoa Road projects.

B). On the Collapse of the Financial institutions.

Discerning Ghanaians on what happened in the financial sector cannot be equated with non-payment of contracts executed by NPP Government led by President Akufo Addo because we all know what culminated into that financial meltdown in the country. The causes of the financial meltdown were in 3 folds. The problems started under the watch of the super incompetent and corrupt former President Mahama, who ignored all the warning signs and advice from officials of Bank of Ghana and other financial experts.

As we all know the causes of the financial meltdown were:

1. Bank Insolvency: where the banks were failing to meet their obligations to their depositors or other creditors because they became too liquid to meet their liabilities.

2. Improper licencing and lack of supervision of those banks

3. 78% of Non-performing loans were given to key shareholders of those banks.

All these happened under Mahama’s watch, but because he lacks the skills or the competencies to tackle the problem head on, he did nothing.

In all these and because President Akufo Addo is a better manager, he has been able to address the problems without fear or favour and sanitised the financial institutions in the country.

So, for Mr. Kirk-Mensah to turn around and state these things in his Press Release clearly shows the mentality of NDC, tell lies, hammer on them and they will be accepted as the truth. But, he should understand that gone are the days when Ghanaians take things based on the face value without cross checking with facts are far gone. People know the mindset and the intent of NDC people.

Finally, discerning Ghanaians, the suspension of the Cocoa Road Projects was done with the intent to protect the Public Purse and to ensure that the projects are appropriately supervised by the Ministry of Roads and Highways, the mandated ministry instead of COCOBOD as NDC Government under super incompetent and corrupt former President Mahama administration did

Although suspension was put in place, contractors who raised genuine project progress, delay payment claims and completed project certificates were paid and those left to be paid have been assured of payment since the Ministry of Finance has been tasked to make available 1 billion US dollars for that purpose.

Good people of Ghana, especially from Samreboi to Susan-Motoso in the Western Region, be happy because the good tidings from President Akufo Addo’s Government through the Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr. Kwasi Amoako-Atta are that 10 of the suspended Cocoa Road Projects are commencing this month. And, this time the Ministry has taken over the implementation of the projects which were previously being undertaken by the COCOBOD, which Mahama saddled with GH10 billion debt before he left office.

Also, President Akufo Addo, being the President of all, has never intended to collapse any properly and legally registered business based on party lines. Mr. Kirk-Mensah, give us a break because the President Akufo Addo has demonstrated on numerous occasions that he is above that pettiness and myopic and dirty political schemes – the trademark of NDC.

Discerning Ghanaians, it is important to ponder over this, know the real incompetent and corrupt former President Mahama and his cohorts like Mr. Kirk-Mensah and make a practical decision. Reflect on this:

58% of Ghana’s bauxite reserves was given to Ibrahim Mahama before his brother’s administration exited power. Former President Mahama signed our bauxite off to his brother on 29 December, 2016 when he had lost power and was due to hand over on 7 January, 2017. Ghana’s bauxite reserve is estimated at 460 billion US dollars, out of this, former President Mahama gave 58% amounting to 266.8 billion US dollars to his brother, practically, for peanuts.

What a man with insatiable appetite for plundering and looting of a nation’s resources? How can such a person, who is only thinking of the 2020 elections, be compared with President Akufo Addo, a man who is, persistently, thinking of the present and the future generations? Discerning Ghanaians, say big NO to former President Mahama and NDC, and treat Mr. Kirk-Mensah’s Press Release with the utmost contempt it deserves because the write up lacks substance and is laced with lies intented to throw dust into our eyes.

Thank you all, God bless our homeland Ghana, God bless President Akufo Addo and God bless NPP.

Mr. Issah Fuseini – Western Regional Director of Communications, NPP

issahfuseini33@gmail.com

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Joe Bright Nyarko Journalist/Communication Researcher. Environment & Sustainability Advocate. Managing Editor of aptnewsghana.com, a non-profit news portal with bias towards environment and sustainability issues, rural development policies and gender & inequality.