AsaaseElection Nerve CentreGhanaPolitics

“NDC can’t achieve even 5% of its manifesto promises”

NPP communications honcho Fatimatu Abubakar says John Mahama’s pledges of tax holidays, free health care and support for small business are just bait for Ghanaian voters

The National Democratic Congress can achieve only a tiny proportion of the promises in its manifesto if elected to power, a deputy communications director at the Office of the President, Fatimatu Abubakar, has said.

Ms Abubakar said she questions the credibility of the NDC flagbearer, John Mahama, and his ability to realise his plans. She argued that research shows he was able to achieve only 30% of the pledges in the NDC’s 2012 manifesto.

“The NPP’s position is that let us try to reconcile the message and the person delivering it. I am of the strong belief, just like many other Ghanaians, that President Mahama is not going anywhere towards delivering even 5% of those promises that he has made, if given the opportunity – in the most unlikely situation,” she said.

U-turn on Free SHS

“Even when he made fewer promises, in 2012, he was able to attempt less than 30% of those promises,” she said. “So you can imagine, if he claims he will pay for tertiary education et cetera, ask yourself: ‘How can an economy in which he claims it will take 20 years to implement Free SHS make a U-turn [so that he can] say, ‘I’m the best person to implement Free SHS,’?” she asked.

Ms Abubakar was in conversation with Nana Yaa Mensah and Kojo Mensah on Asaase Radio’s Breakfast Show following the launch of the NDC’s 2020 manifesto on Monday evening (7 September).

The 141-page document, dubbed The People’s Manifesto, covers six thematic areas: “Fixing the economy”, “Promoting human development”, “Providing infrastructure for growth”, “Providing decent jobs”, “Good governance and corruption” and “Deepening international relations and foreign affairs”.

It promises to exempt owners of small/medium-sized enterprises, and other businesses, from paying individual income tax. It also commits to allowing small and medium-sized businesses a corporate tax holiday of between one and two years.

Fatimatu Abubakar argued that the NPP has a superior track record of reducing taxes to create a more business-friendly environment for the private sector, having scrapped 15 “nuiscance taxes” since it entered office again in 2017.

Fred Dzakpata

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