The Presidential Candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, last Saturday pledged to restore the allowances of teacher and nursing trainees should he win the December 2016 polls.
“We have identified over 300 of such potential projects,” he said to an excited crowd that had spilled over the 80-seater conference hall of the Lambussie Karni District Assembly.
Last Saturday’s mini rally at Lambussie kick-started the Upper West leg of his campaign after he had arrived in Wa after 1 a.m. in the company of his running mate, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia; former flag-bearer aspirants Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, Mr Alan Kyerematen and Member of Parliament for Mampong, Mr Francis Addai Nimoh; NPP’s National Women’s Organiser, Madam Otiko Djabah, and other party bigwigs.
Nana Akufo-Addo, who is attempting the presidency for the third time, is now in his 70s, and in what could well be his last bid for the presidential seat, made an emotional plea to the people to consider him on his third attempt.
“I tried for the presidency in 2008, we came very close, but it didn’t work; we tried again in 2012; again it was close but it didn’t work. “This is the third time I am trying, and I need your support to be able to go through,” he appealed.
Dressed in a white shirt over pair of brown khaki trousers and a pair of sneakers, Nana Akufo-Addo set out to energise the party’s grassroots, about 40 of whom endured a downpour and a nine-hour wait from Friday evening when he was expected in Wa till the early hours of Saturday when he finally arrived.
At Lambussie, he described Ghana as a country endowed with wealth and resources, and said it would take sound governance to improve the lives of citizens.
“This is a rich country, and if it is properly managed and governed, it can produce a good quality of life for all of us who are living in it,” he said.
His pledge to restore allowances for teacher and nursing trainees attracted wild applause from the audience made up of both the old and the young.
President John Mahama, whose ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) scrapped the allowances, recently announced that a committee had been set up to review the system to determine the feasibility of a re-introduction of the allowance for nursing trainees.
But the NPP candidate said they would restore the allowances for both nursing and teacher trainees.
Factories for districts
He said Ghana’s capital expenditure for 2016 was about $1.6 billion, and that he would need just $275 million to implement the NPP’s proposed $1 million to every constituency if the party was elected.
He said the funds would come from the nation’s regular revenue sources, and would be geared towards specific infrastructural needs of each constituency in a drive towards a bottom-up approach to development.
“In most cases, projects are implemented from Accra, with little participation of the local people. The $1 million fund would enable the local people to influence development at their level,” he said.
He also affirmed his promise to construct a dam for every village in the north of Ghana to aid irrigation and agriculture for food production and food security.
With brass band music in attendance and motorbike displays at their most dangerous levels, the campaign trail proceeded to Hamile, Nandom and Nadowli where party leaders took turns to canvass for votes.