Former President John Dramani Mahama has promised to efficiently work with a government of 60 members and scrap ex-gratia for the members of the executive arm when his party gives him the mandate as flagbearer and subsequently as President by Ghanaians.
He said this while launching the flagbearership campaign on Thursday, March 1, 2023, in the Volta Region.
His campaign is under the theme, “Building The Ghana We Want Together”.
In his speech, he held that though a daunting task lies ahead of anyone who wins the 2024 Presidential election due to the level of mismanagement by the current administration, he is willing to avail himself to fixing the country.
“I’m aware of the extent of work that awaits the next government. There is so much to fix, there is so much to repair and there is so much to heal but I’m set and ready. Very ready to build the Ghana we want together with you.”
His focus, he said, will be on constitutional, political and governance reforms under the fourth Republic which will be aimed at restoring confidence in the democracy and governance system.
Mr Mahama said he will assemble the leanest size of government the country has ever seen.
According to him, he will efficiently run the country with 60 ministers and deputies.
Review Of Article 71
In his speech, he said a future NDC government under his administration will strictly enforce prudence and responsibility in the management of public finances by cutting out waste and ostentation.
As part of that, he said the widely protested Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution will be scrapped.
“We will continue and bring to conclusion the constitutional review process that was begun by the late President Atta Mills which will include a review of the controversial Article 71 to reduce the number of office holders under Article 71 and reduce the disparities and privileges, emoluments vis-a-vis the public sector and civil service.”
Also, he said, the payment of ex-gratia to members of the executive under Article 71 will be scrapped. This, he said, will begin in 2025.
In addition to that, he said, his government will persuade the legislature and the judiciary to accept the removal of ex-gratia payments.
Mr Mahama has plans for the Computerised School Selection Placement System (CSSPS) as well.
According to him, his government in the future will modify school selection for Junior High School (JHS) students.
He said students will be made to make choices after the release of their Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) results.
“This will put them on a better position to know what their actual grades are and make them able to match them with the cut-off grades and raw scores of the Senior High Schools they wish to be admitted to. This will moderate expectation and ensure effective demand based on real results and address the unformed demands we currently see.”
This, he is hopeful, will root out corruption and discrimination associated with the system in its current form.
He furthered that his government will roll out policies that will ensure local participation in the various sectors of the economy.
“We shall actively pursue policies to ensure robust local participation in our banking, financial, telecommunications, mining, agriculture, agribusiness and manufacturing sectors. This will be anchored on our plan to grow the economy and create sustainable employment for our young people.”
He also seeks to restore faith in what he described as the country’s almost collapsed financial system and embark on sweeping reforms at the Bank of Ghana.
On accountability, Mr Mahama promised to investigate how public funds have been expended while empowering state anti-corruption institutions.
He said his government in the future will investigate the COVID-19 audit and findings from the Auditor General report.
Independence Of State Institutions
“Institutions of state will be empowered to work independently without interference”, he said.
According to him, State-owned enterprises will not be gravy trains.
He said his government will prioritise the completion of ongoing projects rather than commencing new ones and boost collaboration with the private sector and Civil Society Organisations (CSO).
He also stated that issues pertaining to the excessive powers of the president, proper separation of powers, strengthening of Parliament, restoring the independence of the judiciary and depoliticising state institutions will take centre stage in the new administration.
Additionally, he said, “We shall reintroduce the hallmark for my previous administration that is, tolerance for criticisms and the creation of the atmosphere for the media to do its work without the fear of threat, harassment and possible assassination.”
He further said he will prioritise making Ghana a nation of peace and prosperity built on the principle of Integrity, Justice and Equity, Respect for Human Rights and personal freedom.
Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini