“My own sense is that the Ghanaian people have come to trust me. Contrary to the propaganda, they know that I will not put my ambition and selfish interest before the wellbeing of the country. They know I have been sincere and consistent with what I believe we must do to bring about prosperity for everyone.”
These were the words of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the 2016 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, in response to a question posed by Dr Alex Vines OBE, Head of the Africa Programme at Chatham House, the prestigious Royal Institute of International Affairs, a major British Think Tank, on Wednesday, January 21, 2014.
Dr. Vines wanted to find out from Nana Akufo-Addo why he believed he would be third time lucky in securing the Presidency, when the latter addressed a roundtable discussion on the theme, “Developing Ghana – Policies for Prosperity”.
Explaining further, with a big smile, why he believed Ghanaians have come to trust him, Nana Akufo-Addo said, “When I go around the country, I sense this and it is like, after all let us give him a chance for him to show what he can do.”
These final words brought the house down with claps and laughter at the 90-minute interaction.
Nana earlier explained that Ghanaians now have a clearer scale to measure the 8 years of NDC to the NPP’s, adding that Ghanaians are becoming more and more convinced that “we in the NPP can be trusted to better manage the economy and create the opportunities for prosperity.”
He reassured the invited gathering, composed of high-level business executives, diplomats and policy analysts, that his vision of ensuring “education for all” school going children remained unshaken, stressing that the “value of having an educated population is more than the cost.”
The NPP flagbearer added that his administration will also pay critical attention to technical education “in this critical phase of our development” with a “major emphasis on science and technology, which will feature heavily.”
On the economy, Nana Akufo-Addo said his government would ensure fiscal discipline and macroeconomic stability, to curb inflation, bring down interest rates and move away from the high fiscal deficits and reckless borrowing that has characterised the Mahama government thus far.
Additionally, his government, he said, would introduce a deliberate policy measure to achieve financial inclusion by moving the majority of citizens from cash to electronic payments (debit cards) for transactions. To do this well, “we need a national database that identifies every citizen with an address,” he said.
This, Nana Akufo-Addo said, will assist in formalising the economy, spread the tax burden, help government to plan better with statistics and dramatically increase savings in the financial system.
Nana Akufo-Addo, also lamented the current “governance arrangement” in Ghana where Parliament, he said, is seemingly subservient to the Executive, calling for a greater oversight control over the Executive in the use of public funds.
The overarching question that must be in the heart of all Ghanaians, he said, “is how we are going to raise rapidly the quality of life of the mass of our people.”
On the 2016 election, the NPP flagbearer stated that there’s a national consensus to enhance the integrity of the electoral system. He assured that more would be done to get better and fairer election process.