Disclose Source of US$10 Manifesto Bill-IMANI Probes NDC

Policy Think Tank, IMANI Africa has put the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to task to disclose its source of funding for the US$ 10 billion it has estimated as the total cost of its accelerated infrastructural plan, dubbed the Big Push in its recently-launched manifesto.

The ambitious content of the NDC’s manifesto is supposedly aimed at providing one million jobs through an industrialisation plan if the party wins the December elections.

But speaking on Citi News IMANI’s President, Franklin Cudjoe thought the plan was too good to be true.

“If I listen to the tenor of their argument, they haven’t mentioned how they are going to do that – which is a minus. But there is a clear intent that they may raise money from private sources as well. And I think by doing so, they may have to ensure that the management of this asset is in tandem with the private sector because you can’t allow this perpetual abandonment of projects to go on forever. I think they may have to tell us exactly how they may raise the capital,” Mr. Cudjoe stated.

“I can suggest a few things. They can look at the pension fund because it is very easy to raise close to GHS2 billion from the pension industry to do some of these things as far as they can pay for themselves. I think they should provide us with some ideas as to where they will get the money from. And if they are not able to do that, they should tell us what alternative they have.”

The NDC on Monday launched its 2020 manifesto after delaying for a couple of weeks, in what critics say was an attempt to glean from the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP)’s manifesto. However, it appears that although, the flagbearer of the NDC, John Dramani Mahama has promised to continue many of the policies of the Akufo Addo administration, he has an entirely different plan.

Some of the plans include an ambitious tax rebates for entrepreneurs and small businesses; free technical education, extension of the much-talked-about free Senior High School policy to private schools, among others.

Private Schools Welcome Mahama’s Free SHS

The Executive Director for the Ghana National Council of Private Schools (GNACOPS), Enoch Gyatua, has welcomed the promise made by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to make private Senior High Schools free.

In what critics think is an unrealistic promise, the NDC is claiming that it will expand the existing free SHS policy instituted by the Akufo Addo administration to cover private schools too.

Speaking at the launch of the NDC’s manifesto in Accra on Monday, September 8, 2020, the NDC running mate, Prof Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang said private schools were captured for the free education programme because they also need to be rolled onto the national policy in the next NDC government.

“We plan to make the Free SHS more inclusive by expanding it to cover students in private senior high schools in under-served and deprived parts of the country,” she added.

In response to this announcement, Enoch Gyatua recalled how the free SHS of the Akufo Addo administration for public SHS’ had driven private schools out of business.

“We are for open participation for educational delivery. GNACOPS have had numerous talks with Government on Free SHS. Section 27 of the Education Act empowers the Ministry of Education to include private schools in its policies to enhance open participation of programs in the sector and so an inclusion is a step in the right direction. What we will have to do is to go to the drawing table and find out the best possible way to roll us on” he explained.

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