NEW PATRIOTIC PARTY @30: STATEMENT BY THE PARTY’S GENERAL SECRETARY, JOHN BOADU, TO MARK THE OCCASION
Today, the 29th day of June 2022, marks the 30th Anniversary of the founding of the New Patriotic Party, the most popular and oldest political tradition in our country, whose political antecedent, laid the foundation for Ghana’s Independence struggle. The Party, on this momentous occasion, celebrates its contribution to 30 years of democratic growth in the Fourth Republic. This Anniversary marks the longest period of democratic practice in our country since Independence. In the period, Ghana has earned an enviable reputation for political stability, which is a valuable brand to be cherished, protected and enhanced.
We therefore take this opportunity to congratulate all stakeholders who have supported the growth of the 4th Republic. The Party gives thanks to the Almighty for bringing us this far. We are also very thankful to the founding fathers and mothers of our great tradition from the days of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) in the 1940s, to the days of the Ghana Congress Party (GCP), the National Liberation Movement (NLM), the Northern Peoples Party (NPP), the Togolese Congress Party, the Ga Shifomokpe, the United Party (UP), the Progress Party (PP) and the Popular Front Party (PFP). We also remember the stalwarts who sacrificed their wealth, time, intellect, fighting spirit to nurture and grow rule of law and individual rights in Ghana.
We are a Party rooted in rich tradition and strong principles and values which were relevant in the pre-independence era, relevant during the times of independence and its aftermath, and even more relevant today and forever. The fact that we are the only political tradition in the country that have survived all Republics in pre and post-independence Ghana including the most cancerous dictatorial regimes and have stood the test of time, can only be a vindication of the richness and greatness of our political tradition. A tradition that was not built around individuals but strong principles and values.
Since 1992, the NPP has been the champion of electoral reforms. We spearheaded the transition from opaque ballot boxes to transparent boxes, the transition from ‘black and white’ voter ID cards to coloured ID cards with pictures and the quantum leap from a manual voters register to a biometric register and photo ID Cards for all voters from limiting it to regional and district capital to National. In spite of the disruptive threat of Covid-19, Ghana’s General Elections of 2020 have been hailed as perhaps the cleanest, most peaceful, and free and fair.
In terms of the economy, every policy of the NPP in Government has been designed to benefit as many Ghanaians as possible. The NPP Government of President Kufuor transformed the economy into Lower Middle Income status, found oil and gas in commercial quantities, restored and expanded cocoa production and expanded the financial sector.
We successfully rolled out some integrated initiatives towards agro-industry, which include One District One Factory (1D1F), One District One Warehouse (1D1W), One Village One Dam (1V1D) and Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ). Heavy investments in the cocoa sector have resulted in the highest ever cocoa crop in Ghana in excess of a million tonnes in the 2021 crop season. Furthermore, we successfully rolled out the Mobile Money Interoperability, enabling digital payments across diverse platforms, roping in 70% of the bankable population into the financial space.
This has changed the face of banking in Ghana and is set to drive transactions in the African Continental Free Trade Area headquartered in Accra, which is another major plus for Nana Akufo-Addos’ leadership. The President has also championed the successful establishment of a credible automobile assembly enclave in Ghana. Moreover, the revamped Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA) is set to drive the SME sector with appropriate support.
The NPP, despite its centre right ideology, has implemented more social intervention programmes than any other political party in the history of Ghana. Kufuor established National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and provided Free Maternal Health Care. He introduced the Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP) for indigent families and provided the Capitation Grant and the Ghana School Feeding Programme. He undertook pension reform, instilling sanity and bringing relief to retirees. He also initiated Cocoa Mass Spraying, creating new jobs, higher yields and increased incomes in the cocoa sector.
President Akufo-Addo has continued with innovative social interventions. One of his greatest legacies, Free Senior High School, is set to provide the literate society which will ensure skills and technical innovation to feed the industrialisation drive. President Akufo-Addo has delivered One Constituency One Ambulance (1C1A), a drone service for delivery of medical supplies, restoration of Teacher and Nursing Training Allowances, introduction of allowances for Arabic and Islamic Instructors under the National Volunteer Service Programme and the absorption of examination registration fees for BECE and WASSCE candidates. We successfully implemented the Zongo Development Fund and NABCO, which employed one hundred thousand graduates.
The NPP government is championing rapid digitisation of government services to improve access and turnaround time, reduce human contact, and ensure integrity of payments and receipts and the quality of records. Paperless Port System, Digital Address System, online passport application and processing system, online production of driving licences, National Identification Card System and NHIA are all taking government service delivery to a new level. The Ghana.Gov platform introduced by the NPP has made things even better as most government services may be accessed online from the comfort of your home or office.
Digitization also supports anti-corruption. Some of the best ways of preventing corruption include minimizing human contact and strengthening the capacity of regulatory, monitoring and enforcement agencies. President Kufuor legislated to strengthen public procurement and internal audit systems. President Akufo-Addo has enhanced the legal framework and invested heavily in improving the financial and operational capacity of independent regulatory and oversight agencies, including the Judiciary, CHRAJ, EOCO, the Security Services and Parliament.
The NPP also established the Office of the Special Prosecutor, with unprecedented independent powers to initiate investigations and prosecute corruption. He has also ensured the passage of the Right to Information legislation, which had been pending in Parliament for over twenty years, with an independent implementing Commission. A new Companies Act and Land Act have also been passed to ease bottlenecks in the private sector.
The NPP has also proven to be the bastion of media freedom and free speech in the country. It was an NPP government, under President Kufour that repealed the Criminal and Seditious Libel Law. President Nana Addo has gone even further with the passage of the age-long Right to Information Law and proceeded to set-up the Right to Information Commission, to give impetus to the realization of the objectives of the Law.
Free speech has expanded tremendously under the NPP, especially with heightened resort to social media. Along with expansion has come investment in infrastructure, creating a new brand of jobs, incomes and multiple channels of feedback. The vibrant social culture and promising corporate opportunities for new streams of income and technology transfer, have attracted the two international giants of social media, Google and Twitter to set up corporate offices in Ghana to serve Africa. The location of these two modern businesses in Ghana shows how attractive an investment destination Ghana has become.
Clearly, the NPP, by all indications, has proven to be the Party of choice for the Ghanaian people. We are a Party of principles; a Party of tradition and a Party of results and prosperity. To further consolidate our gains and contributions to Ghana’s democracy, we have set up a party training institute primarily to offer leadership training to our members. Members will benefit from lessons in our political history, understanding our ideology, policy analysis, communications, research and other related political issues.
The Institute would be inaugurated by the end of the year. The Party has secured a National Secretariat for the Institute, and appointed a Governing Council for the Party School which shall be chaired by the immediate past Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Mike Aaron Oquaye. The Party also appointed a Rector for the Institute in the person of Prof Bonzi Simpson, the immediate past Rector for GIMPA.
In conclusion, the NPP continues to extend a hand of hope and prosperity to the Ghanaian people to believe in our ability to spearhead the affairs of this country and to overcome particularly the current economic challenges that have plagued the country and the World, which challenges have largely been driven by the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic, and exacerbated by the Russian-Ukraine war.
We also cease this opportunity to once again thank all party stalwarts and our countrymen men and women including young people who have contributed to the Party’s unending success stories particularly over the past three decades. Finally, as the Party gears up for its 2022 National Annual Delegates Conference, between July 15th to 17th, which Conference would, inter alia, elect National Officers, the Party wishes all Candidates the best of LUCK.
Long live the New Patriotic Party!
Long live the Fourth Republic!
Long live mother Ghana!