The New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo wants to keep ideas about how to revitalize the “ailing” National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) close to his chest because he fears President John Mahama will steal them.
Speaking at an NPP fundraising event in Hartford, Akufo-Addo claimed the Mahama-led administration has mastered in copying NPP’s policies such as the free SHS concept which was the toast of the 2012 campaign.
According to him, under the Kufuor-led NPP government, “we were responsible for the largest piece of social intervention in our history”, a reference to the establishment of the NHIS, the NPP flagbearer noted that “it has gone pear-shaped under the hands of Mahama.”
He assured that “we will pay a lot of attention to revitalizing the NHIS. It is important that we do so, and find sustainable methods of making sure that the financing of the scheme is secure.”
Nana Akufo-Addo, however, stopped short of outlining policy initiatives aimed at securing sustainable financing for the NHIS, explaining that “I dare not say them in public, because if I do, tomorrow, Mahama will take them as his own. Every time I open my mouth to say something, the next day he parrots it. So I have to be careful.”
The former foreign affairs minister assured Ghanaians that his government will pay particular attention to providing the basic social infrastructural needs of Ghanaians, by ensuring access to quality education and healthcare.
According to Nana Akufo-Addo, “whilst focusing on the industrial development of Ghana, which will create jobs for the masses, we cannot ignore the basic social infrastructural needs of our country.”
On the Free SHS policy, the NPP flagbearer reiterated that “we have not retreated from the policy of including secondary education a part of basic education. We are committed to making access as widely as possible by making it free for children in our public school system. It continues to be extremely important for the development of the country.”
In furtherance of this, Nana Akufo-Addo indicated that his government will put in place measures to address the 22,000 teacher deficit (from primary to senior high school level) currently prevailing in the country.
To ensure the realization of these policies, he explained that “we can only do so by rapid economic growth and expansion, and that has to be the way forward. We are going to do everything within our power as a government to provide incentives for the private sector in Ghana to really take off, because that is the solution to the social and economic development of our country. That is what our party stands for and that is what we are going to do when we come into office.”
He continued, “I cannot accept that the countries of East Asia, can within a generation transform their lives from the same conditions as ours, and are today, in terms of economic activity and performance, first world countries, whereas we are third world players. I cannot accept that. We can do much better than our current circumstances.”
Nana Akufo-Addo committed himself to the formation of a “solid, first class government, and a new direction for the people of Ghana. We will do it not for ourselves but for the current and future generations that are coming. We are going into office not to fill our pockets, but to provide service and leadership for our people. God knows they need it.”