Year in and year out, parties and individuals seeking to capture or maintain political power make promises to the citizenry. These promises are mostly made in a bid to win the support and goodwill of the people. It is a contract; vote for me and I will give you this and that. Some of these promises are fulfilled and others are left for the gods.
On 7th January 2017 a new government was sworn in, promising hope and restoration to the masses of Ghanaians. Indeed we can give credit to government for fulfilling promises like reducing nuisance taxes, implementing the Free SHS policy, introducing the cashless port system, the Ghana Post Digital Addressing System, restoring trainee allowances, among several others.
On the other hand, we take a look at 7 of the promises the ruling NPP government was unable to fulfil in its first year in office.
1. 51 DISTRICTS TO GET FACTORIES BY END OF DECEMBER 2017
At the launch of the One District One Factory policy cum Ekumfi Pineapple Factory, the president revealed that 51 districts will benefit from this policy by the end of the year.
Not even one additional factory has been completed till date. One would wonder what informed the projection or what went wrong. Government has not given further communication on the policy after the launch. Maybe the policy has changed to one year, one district, one factory.
2. 1 CONSTITUENCY, $1M DISBURSEMENT BY END OF AUGUST 2017
In June 2017, the Minister for Special Development Initiatives disclosed that the $275 million to be disbursed to all constituencies across the country was ready. This was during the Ministry’s Initiatives programme to brief MMDCES on government’s priority areas on the Infrastructure Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP). She indicated that the disbursement of the funds will kick start in August 2017.
Later in November, Vice President Bawumia hinted at the Kurubi festival celebration at Kintampo that the disbursement will be done in 2018 instead. Should we say the minister did miss some calculations? Whatever the case, we can summarise it into one simple sentence: The minister said disbursement would be done in August but failed it was not done.
3. SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO BE NAMED AFTER MAY 2017
The special prosecutor, nicknamed corruption police, has dominated media waves since government captured power. In an interview with Bola Ray on Starr Chat on Starr FM Wednesday 12th April, government’s spokesperson and Minister of Information, Hon Mustapha Hamid said the Corruption police will be named after May, when the bill is passed.
After a year in office, one cannot be sure what has kept the feet of the first gentleman crawling as to the appointment.
4. ONE VILLAGE, ONE DAM TO START AFTER RAINING SEASON
The last time Vice President Dr Bawumia spoke on the one village one dam, he was sure when the implementation will start. Meeting a section of Muslims at the Bolgatanga Central Mosque in June, Dr Bawumia was in fact, emphatic about the fact that the project will kick start right after the rainy season. “As you are seeing, we are starting the ‘one district-one factory” the Vice President started. “After the rains are over, we will start the ‘one village one dam’ because we cannot start digging dams in the rainy season,” he continued.
Speaking at the Institutional Advancement Lecture organized by the University of Cape Coast in October last year, the Vice President reassured that the project will be launched before 2017 ends. There are two simple questions here; has the rainy season ended? Has the project been launched? And has any dam been constructed? Your guess is not as bad as mine.
5. DIGITALIZED NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION CARD BY NOVEMBER
The much celebrated National Identification was successfully launched at a ceremony in the nation’s capital. It was mentioned that registration will start after the launch from the Greater Accra Region and then other regions will follow. First, Vice President Dr Bawumia on 15th May at a National Policy Summit said the National ID card will be issued by the end of September.
Then In June 2017, the NIA confirmed it was ready to issue the cards from September 15, 2017. On September 12th 2017, during the launch of a training programme for National Service Personnel in Accra, Veep said the date was moved further to November 2017 to allow for the Digital Address System to be completed first.
As we speak the Ghana card is yet to find itself into the hands, wallets and purses of Ghanaians. The only Ghanaians with a Ghana card are the President and his vice, we can only expect the Ghana cards from the middle of this year.
6. DKM CUSTOMERS TO BE REFUNDED
On July 12, 2016, while campaigning at Nkoranza, the 2016 flag bearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, promised customers of the defunct DKM Microfinance Company a refund of their investment if elected president. Also, speaking at NPP’s mini-rally in the Brong Ahafo region in November 2016, President Nana Akufo-Addo stated among other things, “I will pay you back in full when I become president.”
After one year in office, some DKM customers have been paid, but none of them have not been paid in full as promised, leaving scores of them irritated and dissatisfied.
7. NO MORE V8 VEHICLES
Mr. Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, who some refer to as de facto Prime Minister of Ghana, revealed last year that the Finance Minister will buy Toyota Camry, Corolla and the like for Ministers and their deputies, etc. In effect, no longer will government appointees use V8 vehicles, starting this year. We can accept that the year has just started, but if a four wheel drive will cost only one ministry GHc10,000,000 there is indeed cause to be quite pessimistic.
One thing is obvious thus far, governments neither apologise to citizens nor always explain why they were not able to stand by their words or meet the times they indicate for projects. Don’t you think governments owe citizens an apology when they don’t meet their own promises and deadlines?