Dr. Hassan Ayariga, the presidential candidate of All People’s Congress (APC) has explained how he will fix the power outages, popularly known as “dumsor” in less than six months.
The outspoken flagbearer made this known to Ghanaians living abroad during his recent interview on Amenado Radio at Denver, Colorado, USA. In his view, Ghana politicians always make promises about solving the problem, but they don’t tell Ghanaians what plans they have put in place to end it once and for all.
Divulging his undisclosed strategic plan on solving the controversial dumsor to the host of “think about Ghana” political show, Solomon Owusu, the APC leader said lack of vision is making the nation perish from dumsor.
“How can a country like Ghana experience power outages for over 4 years in this 21st century while God has blessed us with so many natural resources we can convert to generate power?
Have we thought of using the sun and the wind to generate electricity as it is happening in other countries?” he asked. The young presidential aspirant assured the listeners that he would support Ghanaian engineers both home and abroad to put their ideas across and solve this problematic dumsor within a short period.
As part of his irrevocable solutions to dumsor, he will build solar systems for all the three northern regions, where the sun is intensive. Dumsor will be his first priority because the country cannot progress without reliable power.
“All the industries in the country depend on power so if we don’t solve that problem, then where are we heading to?” he said. Additionally, he promised to build offshore wind turbines to provide power to some regions around the coast so that the rest can continue with the hydropower.
“My brother, this will be the simplest way to address the power outage problem that has stuck on the necks of Ghanaians for too long. If we can spend $9 million a month to fuel just one power plant, can’t we go by these outlined alternatives to end dumsor once and for all?” Dr. Ayariga demanded responses from all listeners across the world.
Touching on agriculture, he expressed his determination to replace the current Ghanaian paradigm of agriculture being a poor venture for the youth. According to him, he will transform the backyard farming style, where the rural farmers eat what they grow to the mechanised type whereby farming, in general, will be a wealthy business to attract the youth.
He believes this strategy will create employment for the youth and also ensure food security in the country. He continued by assuring the diasporas that he will grant interest-free loans to farmers and fresh graduates in order to encourage them to participate in agriculture. In a passionate voice, Dr. Ayariga couldn’t fathom why God has blessed the country with fertile land, constant sunlight and water but Ghana still imports food.
“My brother, why can’t we farm and feed ourselves but rather import food for over $600 million in a year? Can’t we channel this money to boost agriculture, create jobs and also stabilise our currency?” he questioned.
As he has lived abroad for some time, he informed Ghanaians about how he wants to implement the knowledge and experience he gained from the western world to develop the agriculture sector through effective irrigation, production, manufacturing and industrialisation. He assured that he will involve all knowledgeable and experienced Ghanaians both home and abroad in this transformation process.
Concerning port and harbour issues, the host asked whether the APC flagbearer has any policy to reduce import duty drastically or make it free like Togo.
According to Dr. Ayariga, there is no way his administration can make it free, but he will put better structures in place to monitor the Customs’ operations in order to avoid the frustrations Ghanaians go through in clearing their goods.
He indicated that Ghana is one of the countries that charge expensive fees for cleared goods. “Currently, a car duty is the same as the price of purchasing it abroad. This is not right,” he said.
Also, he made it clear that most of the fees paid at the customs go to individuals’ pockets, instead of generating revenue for the country. In his view, increasing the charges at the port is not the solution to generate more revenue but monitoring the process of receiving the money is the key solution to ensure transparency and accountability at the customs.
On unemployment and corruption, the flagbearer said, with his strategic plans on agriculture and industrialisation, unemployment will be reduced drastically. He said it is part of his plans to create conducive investment environment for investors and Ghanaian entrepreneurs, thereby encouraging them to invest and create employment in the country.
Talking about corruption, he questioned why workers have lots of properties far more than what they earn as their salaries. He wondered whether the country has institutions that investigate how people acquire their wealth.
Dr. Ayariga promised to deal swiftly with corruption regardless of party colours, family and friends affiliations.
“My brother, if Ghanaians consider me to be the president, I will crack the whip in such a way that the bad corrupt ones will go to hell in order to pave way for the good ones to transform the country,” he bemoaned.
Education was one of the key areas he considered. Elaborating on his plans to raise the education standards, the presidential aspirant said he would initiate good policies that will change the curricular to make graduates absorbable in the industry. Combining the theory with practical training are the key methodologies he mentioned as the best ways to prepare students for the industries.
He appreciated the current government’s educational infrastructure development, but he questioned how building classrooms without skilled teachers and better teaching materials can solve Ghana’s educational challenges. According to him, every government must prioritise the provision of quality trained teachers and quality teaching materials so that the country’s educational standards can be raised.
Additionally, Dr. Ayariga assured that under his watch as the president of the Republic of Ghana, he will ensure that kids from either rich or poor homes have equal training. He declared that no kid should have an advantage over the other, hence his plan to create equal opportunities for all kids under his watch as the president.
When the host asked about his plans to mitigate the degradation of lands and water bodies by the Chinese nationals all over the country through small-scale mining activities, the APC leader responded that it surprises him why the responsible institutions have allowed the foreigners to take Ghana for granted.
The youthful 43-year old presidential candidate continued by assuring Ghanaians abroad that he will ensure the various institutions including the police service, immigration service, environmental protection agency, lands commission and the inspectorate of mines enforce the laws to save the environment.
“Are we not ashamed that we sit unconcerned for foreigners to destroy our natural resources? What is happening in this country?” he questioned with a soft and sorrowful voice.
In his final message to the listeners, he pleaded to all Ghanaians abroad to come on board and share his sentiments, join the APC’s train of transforming the country with their rich ideas and experiences so that the good people of Ghana will see the change they want after 2016.
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