The 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says his government from January 2017 will focus on making the Upper East Region a major centre for the business of agricultural production.
According to him, with several hectares of arable land available in the Upper East Region, the provision of irrigation facilities, through the ‘1-Village-1-Dam’ policy, will transform the fortunes of the region and its people, and make it a potential bread basket for the country.
This, he explained, will make the Upper East Region a growth pole and area of wealth creation, as thousands of jobs will be generated for the teeming masses of unemployed youth resident in the region.
Addressing a rally at Bolgatanga, the venue for the NPP’s Upper East regional rally, on Monday, November 21, 2016, the NPP flag bearer stated that the NPP has “a big plan for the development of our country” adding it will be “a plan that is going to bring jobs and prosperity to all parts of Ghana and, in the Upper East Region, agribusiness is going to be our focus”.
He assured: “We are going to create the conditions of year-round farming,” stressing that “if Burkina Faso can do it, so can we also do it in the Upper East Region and create prosperity and jobs for our people.”
With 15 days to the holding of the December 7 elections, Nana Akufo-Addo noted that “the time has come for the Upper East Region and the New Patriotic Party to become one”, and “forge a bond of co-operation and of friendship that is going to lead to the development of the Upper East Region and the whole of our country, Ghana”.
In this regard, the NPP flag bearer assured that the Accra-Paga railway line, which has been on the books for several decades, will become a reality in his time as president. This railway line will facilitate the haulage of goods from and to the North, as well as the haulage of iron ore and other mineral reserves in the North.
“The development of our nation that will take place will be unprecedented and will not be captured in books, but will be captured in the reality on the ground. We, in Ghana, are living in a country of tremendous resources and wealth. We’re sitting on wealth and, yet, we are hungry. It is because of poor governance that we are hungry. I am coming to change all of that so that the wealth of our country will benefit each and every one of us,” he assured.
Outlining some of the other policies for the development of the region, Nana Akufo-Addo reiterated his commitment towards the establishment of the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP), which will see every constituency receiving the equivalent of $1 million every year to deal with problems of sanitation, roads, electricity and other infrastructural needs of the constituency.
The NHIS, which he said has been compromised under the leadership of President Mahama, “will receive new strength, so we can provide healthcare that is affordable and accessible for all Ghanaians”.
Nana Akufo-Addo also reassured trainee nurses of the full restoration of their allowances when he wins the elections.
The Free SHS policy, he added, will be effectively implemented because “we are determined to secure the future of our country”. This policy, in addition, will reduce the financial burden of parents who want to provide their children with a good education.
“Apart from education of the children, we are going to revive, in full, adult education so that adults who did not have the opportunity to go to school will also benefit from knowledge and education. We want to have a nation where everybody can improve on their lives and circumstances. That is what we are fighting for, and that is why we are going to restore the allowances for teacher trainees,” he added.
He, thus, appealed for the unalloyed and unflinching support of the people of the Upper East Region to bring into fruition the policies and programmes he has outlined.
“I have come here to ask for your support, so that in December Upper East, for the first time in the history of the 4th Republic, will retain the majority of MPs for the NPP in the Upper East and give us a majority of the popular vote in this region,” he added.