The 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has assured Ghanaians that when he is voted into office, in this year’s elections, he will revive the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), which has collapsed under the Mahama government.
According to Nana Akufo-Addo, the last NPP government, led by President Kufuor, introduced the NHIS to remove the constant fear of falling ill under the inhumane Cash & Carry system. However, he noted that it has been painful to watch the NDC government, over the last 7 years, do its best to collapse the NHIS
The NPP flagbearer added that the Mahama government has created so much instability in the system, Ghanaians no longer have confidence in the scheme.
“I am coming to revive the National Health Insurance Scheme, which ensured that the poor in society gained access to healthcare without the financial burden which used to be associated with healthcare delivery (under the cash and carry regime),” he said.
Nana Akufo-Addo, in assuring Ghanaians of his party’s ability to revive the scheme, recounted how the NHIS policy, when proposed by then candidate Kufuor, in the run-up to the 2000 elections, was bastardised by the late Prof. Mills and other NDC stalwarts, describing it as not feasible.
“When President Kufuor won, he duly implemented the policy – a policy which was of immense benefit to all Ghanaians. God-willing, when I win this year’s elections, I will revive the NHIS for the benefit of all Ghanaians,” he assured.
The NPP flagbearer made this known on Saturday, July 9, 2016, when he addressed residents of Nkrankwanta and Diaba, both in the Dormaa West constituency of the Brong Ahafo Region, on day 2 of his 5-day tour of the region.
Truly implement Free SHS policy
Addressing a gathering of several hundreds at Nkrankwanta, Nana Akufo-Addo indicated that if good health is basic to the survival of citizens, then good education is also critical to Ghana’s development – the reason why he proposed the Free SHS policy.
Again, the NPP flagbearer recounted the bastardisation of his Free SHS policy by President Mahama and his government, which they described as a gimmick aimed solely at winning votes and, at best, an unrealistic promise.
“They told us that it would take 20 years for the Free SHS promise to materialize. When they assumed office, they turned around, stole the policy and tried to implement it. So between myself and President Mahama, who was lying to the people? I am coming to revive and truly implement the Free SHS policy for the benefit of all Ghanaians,” he noted.
Nana Akufo-Addo reiterated his pledge of reintroducing the teacher and nursing training allowances which have been scrapped by the Mahama government, stressing that “President Kufor did not benefit from oil revenues, and yet still was able to pay the allowances. However, President Mahama, with oil, has cancelled the allowances.
I am going to restore the teacher training and nursing training allowances,” he said, much to the delight of the gathering.
With the mainstay of the peoples of Nkrankwanta and Diaba being agriculture, specifically the production of garden eggs, cashew and maize, Nana Akufo-Addo assured farmers of his commitment towards giving his government’s support to production of other cash crops, akin to the support government gives to the production of cocoa.
“We are going to establish a marketing board to help in the production of cashew, and other major cash crops. Cote d’Ivoire has given tremendous backing to the production of other cash crops, in addition to cocoa, which has resulted in a decent livelihood for their farmers. I am going to do the same when given the opportunity,” he said.
Nana Akufo-Addo bemoaned the declining levels of cocoa production in country, which he attributed to the politicization of interventions, such as the mass cocoa spraying exercise. He assured that his government will reintroduce these measures devoid of politicization so the production of cocoa can increase again.
Ignore tribal and ethnic propaganda
With a few months to the holding of the elections, Nana Akufo-Addo urged residents of Nkrankwanta and Diaba not to give in to the politics of division which, he said, will be waged by the “message-less” opponents of the NPP.
“All the tribes in Nkrankwanta, including Krusasis, Dagombas, Dagartis, Grumas, Brong, all live together in harmony. However, when the time for elections is due, we see people coming amongst preaching divisiveness. They will even come and tell you that Akufo-Addo will drive away all other tribes from the region. Why would I do that? Are they not Ghanaians?” he asked
He continued, “This is nothing but outright lies aimed at putting fear in you. Pay no heed to these talks because nothing of such sort can ever happen. I am looking for Ghana’s development. When President Kufuor was in office, for 8 years, nothing like that happened. The hardship in our country is no respecter of tribe.”
Nana Akufo-Addo assured the people of Dormaa West that his government is coming to do a job for all Ghanaians across the country, without discrimination to any tribe.