Thank you once again ladies and gentlemen of the media for honouring another invitation from the NDC forum For Setting The Records Straight.
A couple of weeks ago, we addressed the first of our 2012 series of press conferences. On that occasion, we intimated that we would be systematically and comprehensively telling the full story of President Mills’ accomplishments over the last three years plus.
We set the ball rolling by taking a comprehensive look at what has been done by President Mills in the area of macroeconomic management. We also used the occasion to straighten many distortions being peddled by the NPP and reminded the nation of the abysmal economic performance of the NPP and the crisis in which they left the economy upon leaving office.
In response to our press conference our friends in the NPP attempted what can only be described as a wishy washy riposte. Nothing meaty, nor comprehensive- they rather went on personality attacks, threw in further distortions of the truth and added some outright fabrications for good measure. NPP just doesn’t seem able to change for the better!
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, today, we want to tackle our second issue- we want to tell you about the strides made by President Mills in the area of the provision of critical economic infrastructure.
In three short years, President Mills has made giant strides in the area of investing heavily in the economic infrastructure of the country- so much stride that it is not difficult for us to point to solid accomplishments in three years. That does not seem to be the case with the NPP.
Their hapless Communications Director, Nana Akomea, recently had a torrid time mentioning just one completed major economic infrastructure in the first four years of their government. He eventually had to blatantly deceive the good people of Ghana that the NPP government in its first term completed the Accra-Cape Coast road- A project which was completed not earlier than the end of 2006. Hmmmmm… the lies NPP can tell in their utter desperation to cover their abysmal record!
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, the record of the NPP at the close of the first four years must be dire indeed judging that in their acclaimed “So Far So Good” document that celebrated their flagship projects, the only completed economic infrastructural projects they could point to are Diamond Cement in Aflao and a Cocoa processing Plant that was commissioned in 2001. Both of which are incidentally projects that were begun long before the NPP came into office in 2001.
Their own record of achievements could not index any other completed economic projects- unless their completion of the statue of Nii Tackie Tawiah, the statue of J.B. Danquah, the Mausoleum in honor of Dr Busia, which the document proudly highlights, represents their economic projects in the first four years. For those who cannot believe that there was virtually not a single completed economic infrastructural project in NPPs own document, all they need to do is to procure a copy of NPP’s So Far So Good document and verify this fact for themselves.
The only warning we want to give to such seekers, is that they need to brace up for some other shocking achievements of the NPP like the catching of a deer at a hunting festival by an Asafo group, which from all indications must have been an UNPRECEDENTED NPP feat in their first four years.
Road Sector Strides - Difference is Crystal Clear
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, the NDC family in the past invested so much into road infrastructure that the NPP which was then in opposition used to say that people don’t eat roads. That proud tradition has continued to inspire President Mills and his team.
NPP obviously made some efforts in the area of road infrastructure. But their performance in their first four years can be described as abysmal compared with the strides President Mills has made in the last three years.
Let’s take the example of cocoa roads.
Whereas in the first four years of the NPP the total spent on cocoa roads amounted to not more than 3 million Ghana cedis (30 billion old cedis), in the three years of President Mills not less than 340 million cedis have been allocated to cocoa roads. The difference is staggering and underscores the massive commitment of president Mills to the rapid transformation of the nation’s economic infrastructure.
Accra Tema Roads
That aggressive approach to the expansion of the nation’s economic infrastructure explains the huge numbers of road projects that are being undertaken nationwide. The case of Accra and Tema are worth highlighting.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, Did Accra and Tema witness the number of road projects they have seen in the three years of President Mills during the first four years of the NPP?
The answer is a big No!
The people of Dansoman did not see the highway they are witnessing today in the eight long years of the NPP. The residents along the Spintex road did not experience the development they are privy to today not to talk about the 12km long Polo Grounds bypass that has been provided by the Mills administration. The people in East Legon and Adjiringanor did not have the privilege of having a 24 km road upgraded for them under the NPP. The residents of Teshie did not also see their roads done. All these have been done by President Mills in three short years.
We have not even mentioned the new Fiesta Royale-Gimpa highway or the asphalted road that passes in front of Nana Akuffo Addo’s residence- a road that for the eight years of the NPP remained in dire condition.
We have not even spoken about the Panbros Bypass which is another indicator of the determination of President Mills to really open the nation with road infrastructure as part of efforts to accelerate the movement of goods and services and thus catalyze the transformational economy envisaged in the Better Ghana Agenda.
The story is no different in Tema. The 16.5km Central Business District roads, the Republic and Padmore roads signal the strides being made by President Mills. Others are the Meridian, Lumumba (Agbamami) and Beach roads, the Lashibi, Baatsonaa and Klagon Road; the Kpone main road, the Tema Oil Refinery Road and the Ashaiman-Zeenu road. The residents of Tema have never seen such a performance in just three short years. Is it any wonder that the TMA Boss is being fondly called Mr Asphalt by some residents of Tema?
Roads Everywhere You Go
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, the story of the phenomenal job done in three short years by President Mills is the same across the different regions of Ghana. The people of Akatsi through Tadjewu to Dzodze can still not believe their eyes that within three short years a major new road has been constructed and commissioned for them- opening that corridor to a whole new economic opportunity.
Infact, it would be too tedious to mention every single road project that has been done or is on target to be completed before the first mandate of President Mills is completed.
What makes the story even more remarkable is the fact that President Mills had to cough a staggering 35 trillion old cedis to pay off arrears left behind by the NPP- an amount of money that President Mills could have used to construct so many more roads and other infrastructural projects all over the country within the last three years.
Despite this massive handicap the NPP saddled President Mills with, the Mills’ government has still gone out of its way to cover the shame of the NPP- shame incurred by the NPP when it started major road projects without bothering to secure a reliable source of funding for those projects- a practice that can only be described as road construction by the Grace of God. How sad! Undeterred, President Mills is steadily but surely on course towards completing these roads, now called the gang of four roads.
Time would not permit to talk about roads such as the 94km Tarkwa-Bogoso-Ayamfuri road and many others all over the country that will see substantial progress by the end of President Mills’ first term- not to mention the unprecedented Eastern Corridor road project, (a 695km road from the Motorway Roundabout to Kulungugu) for which funding has been secured.
If we want to mention them all, we would require a whole press conference but as you know we must spend some of our time today to also touch on other economic infrastructure outside of roads. Those keen to have all the juicy details should look out for our government communication team’s updated Green book of projects that will detail almost all of Prez Mills’ socio-economic projects. But before we move on to the next section let’s mention the Worawora to Dambai road which had never been tarred before but for the first time is nearing completion under President Mills.
Transport Sector Strides
The performance chalked by President Mills in the transport sector is equally impressive. Let’s take the aviation sector as an example. In three years of President Mills, the nation has made phenomenal strides.
The three years of President Mills have seen three new boarding gates at the Kotoka International Airport, eight additional aircraft parking bays nearing completion, the construction of a Perishable Cargo Centre which is set to revolutionize the nation’s horticultural export business, the construction of a gold refinery plant, the provision of about 2300 trolleys up from the inadequate 430 trolleys that were available in 2008 among others.
Is it any wonder that in three short years, four new carriers are now operating in Ghana? United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Brussels and Turkish Airlines and TAP Portugal is about set to join? Is it any surprise also that many new international carriers are eagerly finalizing plans to open routes into Accra? Is it any shock that domestic flights have increased from two to four in three short years?
In the area of Railways, despite creating a whole Ministry for Railways, NPP was unable to do anything significant for the railway sector. Though the Sod cutting of the Accra-Tema Railway project was done in the year 2004 and the project was to be completed by the end of 2005, the Non Performing Party, NPP, as usual just huffed and puffed for years and could not deliver the project till they left office. It had to take President Mills to complete the Accra-Tema railway line.
Having used the first three years to achieve the above in the transport sector, President Mills in his fourth year has introduced the real Game- Changer to the transport sector. Through the 3 billion dollar facility, President Mills is taking the transport sector to unprecedented heights.
Whereas NPP spent precious resources out of the $750m to procure locomotives when the railway line was not yet in existence, President Mills is channelling a significant chunk of these precious resources into the western corridor infrastructural renewal- notably the Takoradi Port retrofit and the Western Railway lines and the eastern corridor multi-modal transportation- visionary and unprecedented investments that are set to completely revolutionize the nation’s transport sector.
These are the far-sighted undertakings of a leader whose obsession, unlike NPP, is not procurement politics (apology to NPP’s Deputy Minister for Finance, Dr Agambilla) but the real transformation of the nation’s economic infrastructure.
So these are feats that the nation never saw in eight long years of the NPP. Yet the NPP dares to compare its abysmal performance with the sterling performance of President Mills.
Agricultural Sector Infrastructure Boost
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, NPP came into office in 2001 trumpeting to the rooftops their avowed commitment towards the modernisation of agriculture and the 30 percent reduction in the quantum of rice imported into the country.
That was the talk. What did the NPP do about the talk? When NPP left office after eight years, the number of available Rice Combine Harvesters stood at an insignificant four. Within three short years the Mills’ led government took the number from single 4 to 140 new Rice Combine Harvesters.
Is it any surprise that whereas rice import shot up under NPP from $100m to about $500m within the space of three years, President Mills has reduced the import of rice by about 30%?
We repeat that the difference between the NDC and the NPP is like light and darkness. While President Mills walks the talk, all NPP does is to huff and puff and deliver little as can be seen in the example above.
That’s not all-
• President Mills in three years has also procured 25 new Maize Harvesters in three years when NPP in eight long years provided ZERO.
• President Mills has provided 350 new grain-cocoon storage facilities as against the 200 that were available during NPP’s reign.
• Whereas there existed no boreholes for agricultural purposes during NPP’s tenure, President Mills in three years has provided 1500 boreholes to boost agriculture.
• There were only 12 Agricultural Mechanization Service Centres (AMSECs) by the end of NPP’s rule. President Mills in three years added 77.
• Fertilizer subsidy at close of 2008 stood at 43,176 metric tons. By 2011, the Mills’ led government increased that to an impressive 176,000 metric tons.
• In eight long years, the NPP could not set up a National Food Buffer Stock Company. Prof Mills, the visionary leader took less than two years to deliver what NPP was too blind to even conceive. As a result of that visionary leadership, a government of Ghana achieved the UNPRECEDENTED feat of providing relief food items to flood victims in Atiwa and other areas without recourse to assistance from development partners; not to mention that in 2010, the World Food Program relied on the National Buffer Stock Company for its purchases to address famine in Niger.
• NPP set up a whole ministry in charge of fisheries but never bothered to procure patrol vessels to protect our fisheries resources and boost enforcement of the fisheries regulation. How has the visionary President Mills gone about this? He has quickly moved to procure four (4) patrol vessels. So President Mills has demonstrated that the answer does not lie in setting up a Ministry for Fisheries as NPP did and Akufo Addo is still dreaming of restoring, but the need to show real commitment to the sector. The same commitment being shown by President Mills in dedicating a chunk of the $3bn facility to the coastal fishing, harbours and landing sites redevelopment projects as well as boosting fishing along the Volta lake
• One of the sectors that saw a massive collapse under the NPP is the cotton sector. In three years, President Mills has given a new lease of life to the Cotton industry. For the first time in over several years, 40,000 farmers in 2011, cultivated 23,000 ha 0f cotton in the three northern regions from a previous figure of 2500. Lint cotton production increased to 7000 metric tons in 2011 from about 1300 MT previously. This came about because of the attraction into the sector of an investment of about $15m and government’s far reaching plans to create a Cotton Advisory Authority to protect and regulate the cotton industry. Under Mills’ visionary leadership, prospects for this sector and other sectors look so much bright.
Despite these demonstrable commitments to the transformation of the sector, high dependence on rain-fed agriculture has continued to produce very good performance in some years (2010 for example) and not so good in other years (2011 for instance). It is to significantly address this, that President Mills is dedicating a significant portion of the $3bn facility to the Accra Plains irrigation project which almost everyone except NPP has hailed as a transformational undertaking.
O, NPP! They can’t do it; and yet they will not let those who are willing and able, to do it without hindrance. What kind of people are these? They seem opposed to everything positive and progressive.
Energy Infrastructure - Mills Kayoes NPP There Too
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, the Mills’ story is no less remarkable when we take a look at the energy sector- a sector which represents one of the most critical drivers of any economy.
The NDC family is known all over Ghana as the tradition that took electricity to every district of the country- a commitment that confirms the social democratic resolve of the party in its quest to open up socio economic opportunities throughout every district of Ghana.
Eight years of the NPP after the previous NDC left office, saw another abysmal performance by the Non Performing Party, NPP. When the NPP took the reins of power in 2001, the percentage of households that were connected to the national electricity grid stood at 43%. In the period of eight long years, the NPP took this rate up by 11% to 54%.
Enter President Mills on January 7, 2009. Within less than three years, the performing government phenomenally increased the rate by 18%, taking it up from the 54% it inherited to above 72%.
Within that time span, over 1700 communities have been connected to the national grid. All indications are pointing to even more sterling accomplishment in this area by the close of this current year 2012 which will likely take the national electricity access rate to about 80%.
In the area of generation capacity, the NPP in 2001 met a generation capacity of 1322MW. After eight years they added 488MW. In less than three years, the Mills led government has taken the capacity from 1810 MW where NPP left it, to 2186MW, thus adding a total of 376MW to the generation capacity. And every indication points to the fact that by close of 2012, an additional capacity of 265MW will be installed, bringing an extra capacity of 265MW; which will take the total installed capacity to 2,451MW (that is 641MW additional capacity within the four years of President Mills.)
We have not even touched the massive transformation President Mills is about to bring to the energy sector through the $850m planned to be used for the gas infrastructure whose raison d'être is to transform the gas resource into electricity and drastically change the face of the energy sector when it comes fully on stream.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, as you can amply see from the above:
• In road infrastructure, Mills is too much for the NPP.
• In transport infrastructure, Mills is too much for NPP.
• In Agric infrastructure, Mills is too much for the NPP.
• In Energy infrastructure, Mills is too much for the NPP.
Everywhere you Go, Mills Is Just too Much and too Good For The NPP!
And yet the NPP is making a claim for a comeback-
A Comeback with this abysmal performance?
A comeback to take over from a President who has taken three short years to virtually surpass NPP in all positive areas of national life? And this despite having expended nearly 40 trillion old cedis simply to pay off the elephant size arrears NPP left behind in 2008.
We will at our next outing delve into the Mills’ social infrastructure record. By the time we are through with that Ghanaians will rightly be wondering what exactly NPP spent eight years doing at the helm of affairs.
So President Mills in three short years has not just achieved:
• an unprecedented single digit inflation that has among others stopped the price of kenkey galloping by 525% in three years as happened under the NPP
• an unprecedented low budget deficit
• an unprecedented GDP growth
• an unprecedented one million metric tons of cocoa
• an unprecedented 2 billion dollar cocoa loan syndication
• an unprecedented rise in Foreign Direct Investments and portfolio investments
• an unprecedented single digit 91 day T bill rate
• an unprecedented gross external reserves
• an unprecedented international confidence in Ghana’s economy and
• an unprecedented single spine salary scheme.
President has also surpassed the NPPs corresponding period record in all economic infrastructure and in some respects trumped NPPs eight year economic infrastructure record.
If this not a better government under a better president, what else could be?
So we wish to thank you ladies and gentlemen of the media and till we meet again soon, do keep in mind that Everywhere You Go, Mills Is Just too Much and too Good for the NPP.
Source: NDC Forum For Setting The Records Straight
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|