The 2012 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Akufo-Addo, says the development of northern Ghana requires a new agenda that will focus primarily on industrialization, agriculture and access to free quality education.
He assured: “this new agenda is all captured in the NPP’s Northern Development Agenda backed by a Northern Development Authority with a seed capital of 1 billion US dollars to help achieve this paradigm.”
Speaking at the Northern Regional youth forum in Tamale Saturday, the NPP leader said the problems of the north require a focused and committed government with the vision and programmes to modernise and commercialise agriculture in the three northern regions, to create
life-enhancing small and medium scale enterprise. This he said will enhance the economic attraction of the north, create a large pool of good jobs with decent pay as well as guarantee food security for the rest of the country and beyond.
He said Ghana has the potential to become a major producer of goods and services for the West African region and beyond, “if we are able to put to good use our God given natural resources and human talent.”
Nana Akufo-Addo assured the people of the north that an Akufo-Addo-Bawumia team, if elected, would lead the north to realise its economic potential.
After lamenting over the sad fate of the Savannah Development Authority (SADA) , the NPP Presidential Candidate said, his Northern Development Authority (NODA), the original vision that was ‘copied’ by the NDC with SADA, will be implemented as envisaged.
NODA, he said, will be used to transform the three northern regions, improve the lives of the people there and make the north an attractive destination for economic migrants from the south, rather than a major source of domestic emigration which it has been historically.
Nana Addo lambasted the Mills-Mahama administration for reducing SADA, their so-called panacea for the north, into a programme of failed promises, seminars and recycled budget allocations that never materialise.
Unlike the NDC, “We will not sit in Accra and attend seminars upon seminars without doing anything tangible for you when we are given the opportunity to serve you. We will stand by our word and make the necessary investment to ensure that the lives of the people here are transformed for the better. We will not only bridge the gap, we will widen the bridge of prosperity for more Ghanaians, regardless of their geography or social circumstances to cross over,” he assured.
Nana Addo said his government will be committed to a comprehensive, all-inclusive programme of building a society of aspirations and opportunities. His vision for the transformation of the Ghanaian society hinges on the provision of free, quality education for every Ghanaian child and the acquisition of the necessary skills to meet the global economic opportunities and challenges. The NPP flagbearer reiterated his promise of not only free senior high
school education but also quality education.
“Education and skills training is probably the most important source of empowering and providing opportunities to the youth to help drive Ghana’s development and in the process create jobs,” he stressed.
But, to do this, the issue of the teacher must also be a priority of the state, he underlined. Nana Addo explained that his vision to build an educated workforce in Ghana will count on teachers who are well trained, well motivated and adequately paid.
He told the youth of the north about his “Teacher First” policy which, is aimed at ensuring the delivery of an educated and skilled workforce by “a crop of well trained, self confident and contented teachers.”
Touching on the rule of law, Nana Addo said his government would ensure easy and impartial access to justice, adding: “there should be an acceptable basic standard that should apply to all, without fear or favour; whether you are rich or poor, we should all have access to justice.”
He continued, “If we are to build a society of opportunities then we must ensure equal opportunity to justice.”
On Agriculture, Nana Addo said the NPP sees agriculture as a major wealth creation venture for the transformation of the North and Ghana, explaining: “our vision for the agriculture is to modernise the sector.”
The NPP Presidential Candidate added that his administration would invest in agricultural transformation which will constitute a major plank in wealth creation for the people of the north as well as ensuring food security.
Other speakers at the forum included the running mate to Nana Akufo-Addo, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Mustapha Hamid, Anthony Karbo, Adwoa Sarfo, Samuel Abu jinapor, and Mohammed Amin Anta.
Nana Addo and his entourage have since left the Northern Region for the Upper East Region with the first point of call being the Bawku Central constituency.