Opinion: On Vice-President Bawumia’s List of 40 Achievements of the NPP – Part 3 by Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Ghana’s Vice President

On the issuance of the National Identification Cards, the New Patriotic Party’s Communication Team’s members need to highlight the fact that every functional and emulative or model democracy has such a National ID system in place, which facilitates such signal civic responsibilities as the payment of taxes, which is the engine-oil on which every progressive government runs or functions. Unfortunately, as usual, the civically irresponsible leaders of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) decided to play politics with this most salutary hallmark of a civilized and functional democracy. The lame reason given by the NDC leaders for boycotting the issuance of the National ID Cards and for urging their followers and sympathizers to do the same, was that the basic requirements for the issuance of the National ID Cards, including the presentation of birth and baptismal certificates and passports, if yours truly recalls accurately, would disfavor teeming numbers of rural-community residents. But, of course, it was all-too-convenient for these NDC apparatchiks to cavalierly ignore the fact that other forms of ID authentication, such as the presentation of witnesses, could equally and acceptably be used.

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 The National ID Cards, by the way, will also enable our national security agencies to readily track down dangerous criminal suspects and other criminal offenders and keep our society relatively safe; and so one reasonably surmises that since the NDC, for the most part, is infamous for thriving on various forms of criminality, accepting the issuance of the National ID Cards meant putting a definitive end to their game. At any rate, closely aligned to the issuance of the National ID Card was the implementation of the National Property Digital Address System. Dr. Bawumia says that his government has successfully delivered in this sector of the state-of-the-art modernization of the country’s identification and communication systems. I would rather not delve too deeply into this aspect of government policy because, depending on whom you ask, the National Property Digital Address System may still be a work-in-progress. But, of course, Nana Akufo-Addo’s promise to ensure a paperless clearance of goods and other imports at our ports is a fait accompli.

The significant reduction of import duties, however, remains a sticking point with both critics and supporters of the current Administration, as it also was with the previous regime. I will also defer any comments on the establishment of the three Development Authorities, namely, the Northern, Middle-Belt and the Coastal Development Authorities, to those key operatives of the New Patriotic Party with first-hand information on the ground. But I can confidently vouch for the seismic significance of the creation of the new regions, although I was of the initial opinion that three, instead of six regions, seemed to be more practically acceptable and feasible. I also tend to believe that while the One District One Factory program is laudable and, in fact, a very good startup program, nevertheless, this program may not necessarily be what the proverbial doctor ordered, in terms of its adequacy in some highly populated districts that may be richly endowed with industrial raw materials and talents, and may therefore have to be upped in the offing.

The One District One Warehouse program is also a laudable idea whose time has come, although it may actually be long overdue; a praiseworthy idea that may need to be further expanded, although the sizes of these warehouses may seem to be far more significant than sheer numbers. The One Village One Dam project may also not be necessarily conducive to our sort of sultry equatorial, mosquito-infested and poorly drained environment, as one environmental expert and critic recently pointed out on one of the country’s major media websites. The landmark implementation of the Nation Builders’ Corps, as an effective and realistic means of significantly reducing the high rate of unemployment among our college graduates may have to be studiously monitored and made a major plank of the national development agenda of the Akufo-Addo Administration, in particular the various training programs established under NABCO, if I have the acronym of the aforesaid program accurately written out.

I also find the implementation of the National Entrepreneurial and Innovation Program (NEIP) to be very vital to the country’s industrial development, although to be more effective, this program needs to be expanded to many more centers outside the Greater-Accra Metropolis, which I am sure the government may be studiously engaged in. The rehabilitation of VALCO, an industrial establishment that was owned by the California-based Kaiser Family and vindictively used by the Eisenhower government to severely suck the lifeblood out of Ghana’s seminal industrial development under President Kwame Nkrumah, may need to be thoroughly and/or significantly reconfigured to better serve both our local and sub-regional needs. Then also, leveraging some of our natural resources to boost our infrastructural development financing, such as was recently signed between the Akufo-Addo Administration and the Sino-hydro operatives of China’s government, was quite innovative, provided that sedulous attention is paid to environmentally protective measures. So far, the authorities in Beijing have given strong assurances that they intend to help their Ghanaian counterparts to protect their environment as studiously as it is done in China.

On the latter count, however, I sincerely beg to differ with Vice-President Bawumia, since the actualization of the salient tenets of the Sino-hydro Pact remains pretty much a work-in-progress, although the Finance Minister, Mr. Kenneth Ofori-Atta, and those who literally worked around the clock with him to ensure the successful brokering of the agreement, including Messrs. Bawumia and Yaw Osafo-Maafo, and, in particular, the hugely successful parrying off of the NDC’s nation-wrecking leaders who fiercely attempted to derail the Sino-hydro Pact, must be heartily commended for their efforts.

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com  Ghanaffairs

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