NDC @ 30: Faisal Mutaru Bapure writes.

NDC supporters

The National Democratic Congress, simply known as the NDC, was founded by the late former President H.E Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings. With the assistance of his true allies called cadres.

The NDC’s achievements within 30 years of its coming into being can only be considered unprecedented and remarkable. It was the first political party to win an election, form a government, and had the first president (H.E. Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings) of the Fourth Republic. The NDC was also responsible for the 1992 Constitution as the then main opposition party the NPP boycotted the formation of the 1992 Constitution. It is also worthy of note that the 1992 Constitution has been the longest in survival for the democracy of Ghana. Many have also described the 1992 Constitution as one of the best in the world, in terms of the laws therein.

The NDC at the time created 110 districts through non-partisan district-level elections. Education, infrastructure developments and healthcare all devolved to the district level. Annual government subvention by law goes to the district. The NDC passed the Value Added Tax (VAT of 10%) to secure the government revenue base, which today funds most government public expenditures.

The NDC Passed the Ghana Educational Trust Fund (GET Fund) that is today educating millions of Ghanaians. First Ghanaian President in 20 years to be received on a state visit of the US.  Also, both Bill Clinton and Queen Elizabeth II visited Ghana during NDC’s tenure to highlight the successes of the country.

The NDC’s agricultural policy and programme during 1994-2000 occurred in the recognition of Ghana’s Food Production Index of 148% for 1995-1997 as “the third highest achievement in the record after Jordan (157%) and China (156%) in the World Bank’s “1999-2000 Development Report. Contributed immensely towards dispute resolution and peacekeeping in several of the unstable countries in the West African sub-region and beyond.

The NDC Started the Expansion Project and the Renovation of the 37 Military hospitals. In the urban road sector, the NDC reconstructed the entire Kumasi city roads, Sekondi-Takoradi city roads and Accra city roads. In Accra, these included the six-lane dual carriage road leading to the four-lane dual carriage road from the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange to Independence Avenue.

The NDC Constructed the Kumasi-Sunyani asphalt road; the Kintampo-Tamale-Bolgatanga-Paga Faso asphalt road; and the double surfacing bitumen Bibiani-Awaso-Sefwi Wiawso road.

The NDC Established the University for Development Studies and used the NDC’s president Jerry John Rawlings Hunger Award Prize Money to buy books for the University’s Library.

The NDC upgraded the Winneba Advanced Teacher Training College into a full-fledged public University of Education, Winneba, thus adding two new public Universities to the three that had existed since independence. The NDC also Introduced the policy of allowing the establishment of private tertiary institutions, including Universities, to supplement the public sector Universities. Implemented the policy of one region, one Polytechnic.

Made sure that every district had at least two senior secondary schools.

The NDC Constructed the modern regional hospitals at Cape Coast, Ho and Sunyani. Numerous modern district hospitals were constructed in the district capitals all over the country.

Potable drinking water was provided for so many communities that at the time the NDC was leaving office in 2000,  guinea worm infestation had virtually been eradicated from Ghana.

The housing sector, the sprawling housing estates at Adenta, Sakumono, Lashibi, and on the Spintex Road all in Accra and the SSNIT Estates all over the country were constructed during the NDC regime.

There was a smooth, historic transfer of power from the NDC to the NPP. This was the bases for the origin of maturity for the peaceful transition of power Ghana is being celebrated across the world for.

The NDC is also responsible for the creation of the District Assemblies Common Fund, the GetFund, the Road Fund, the EDIF and the Energy Fund. Ghana’s huge reputation in international peacekeeping was by the good leadership of the NDC government. All of these were just under the first eight years of Jerry John Rawlings’s NDC-led government.

In 2009 the NDC led by H.E. Prof. Evans Fiifi Atta Mills government inherited a deplorable economy in which the inflation rate was at the highest of 18.1%. However, by October 10, the NDC has successfully succeeded in bringing the inflation down to a single digit of 9.38%.

The NDC also improved its Gross international reserve from $2 billion US dollars covering just 1.8 months of imports to $3.5 billion US dollars covering 3 months of import reserves. Again the NDC achieved the longest stabilization of the Ghana cedi since the re-denomination exercise.

Macroeconomics performance of 2010 had provisional figures indicating the expansion of the economy by 5.38 % as against the 6.5% GDP target, NDC bravely successfully implemented the Single Spine Salary System.

The NDC created the Ghana Revenue Authority(GRA), by integrating the revenue mechanisms of Ghana like the VAT, CEPS, and, IRS.

NDC introduced free school uniforms to targetted deprived Ghanaians to make education accessible to all pupils. Again the NDC initiated free books for all pupils.

The NDC Atta mills government paid full tuition fees for teachers who are pursuing further education via distance learning. The government also built over 1000 schools in the pursuit of the eradication of schools under trees across the country.

An ultra-modern Science & Art centre was built in the upper east region of Bolgatanga and was commissioned by late President Mills in 2010. The NDC, Mills government reduced the duration of SSS, now SHS from 4 years which was done by president Kuffour without any technical backing to 3 years which is the best. And built infrastructures for it.

The NDC honoured their promise to run a lean government to reduce the burden on the government’s revenue. The Mills government reduced the number of ministers from 87 erstwhile government to 73. Saving approximately ¢8 million Ghana cedi annually. Also, personal assistants, presidential staffers, etc amounting to hundreds were relieved to further ease the burden on the government.

In 2010 alone the NDC increased the Producer Price of Cocoa twice. Making the cocoa farmers and investors benefit a lot. Having raised the price to ¢200 per bag and tonnes of 16 bags at ¢3,200. It was the highest in the sub-region and the highest in the entire history of Cocoa farmers and producers in Ghana at the time.

Eleven lifts were procured and installed at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, and another two at Efia Nkwanta hospital.

The NDC-led President Mills government commissioned the Tamale Teaching Hospital and Wa Regional Hospital. He also completed five polyclinics in the northern region. The NDC Mills government successfully contained cerebrospinal Spinal Meningitis(CSM) and the H1N1 flu.

NDC Mills government delivered six buses to the health training school in the Upper West Region, Upper East Region and Brong Ahafo Region. The NDC Mills government cut sod for an additional 500-bed facility at the 37 Military Hospital to enhance its status as National Emergency Health Centre. Also installed the MRI at 37 Military Hospital for effective health delivery. DNA laboratory for the Korlebu Teaching Hospital(KBTH),

Refurbishment of the tower section of the Medical Block in KBTH. Expansion of the Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre at KBTH. A New Reproductive Centre at KBTH

The NDC Mills government reactivated the abandoned project within Accra – Tema metropolis, the following are some of the projects.

Maternity block at Achimota hospital completed, Usher Polyclinic theatre completed, Upgrading of Mamobi, Mamprobi and Kaneshi polyclinics.

Construction of  Maternity and Children’s Block at Tema General Hospital. Major construction and rehabilitation of the Tamale Teaching Hospital. The NDC government of Mills secured funds for the expansion of Radiotherapy and nuclear medicine at KATH and KBTH.

Constructions of Bood transfusion centres. Construction of two regional hospitals and staff housing at Kumasi and Wa.

Five (5) new health centres across the country, and 3 District Hospitals are funded by Abu Dhabi OPEC respectively.

The tremendous increase in the membership registration of Health Insurance up to 15.555,816 as of 30 June 2010 representing 66.4% of the population at the time.

Also in the quest to better free Maternal healthcare, the policy was reviewed and included pregnancy tests for free to confirm a person is pregnant.

Started formal Accreditation of healthcare facilities in 2009. The new Clinical Audit Division has been able to recover over ¢ 14 Million cedis. All of these were achieved under H.E Prof. Evans Fiifi Atta Mills.

 Due to the negligence of President J.A. Kuffuor’s government in the power sector. Power deficiency surged during the NDC led by H.E John Dramani Mahama’s government. It was so severe and was affecting both businesses and residential customers of ECG. 

But it was not the first time Ghana suffered a power crisis known as Dumsor,  President Mahama promised to not to manage it as usual rather he will fix it for good. So H.E President John Dramani Mahama deployed emergency plants and speed up the completion of ongoing plants resulting in the addition of more than 800 megawatts (MW) of power within 18 months.

No president or government in Ghana’s history, worked and invested in the energy sector more than former President John Mahama. He added about 2,300 MW of power to the national grid to solve the perennial energy crisis in Ghana.

He completed the Ten, Gye Nyame, and the Volta Basin oil blocks exploration projects and successfully implemented the deregulation of petroleum products.

Other energy sector projects are: Pungu Solar Energy Project, Atuabo Gas Plant, electrification of 22 communities in Tamale South and electrification of 54 Communities in Mampong.

In addition to the Energy Sector Levy and ongoing works to restructure the legacy debt of the power utilities, which helped to stabilise the power situation.

On the water, President Mahama increased investments in the provision of clean drinking water and cited the provision of boreholes, small town water systems and major urban water treatment projects as some initiatives that had significantly increased access to clean drinking water. The Teshie desalination plant Kpong water expansion project and the ATMA project have expanded access to urban water supply in the capital, Accra. The Wa water supply project. The 3Ks project, covering Kumawu, Konongo and Kwahu, On Roads infrastructure, the NDC under John Dramani Mahama has built roads like never before in the history of Ghana.

Awoshie-Pokuase, Sofoline, Tetteh Quarshie-Adenta.

Other projects include; The Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, The Kasoa overhead bridge, The Airport Hills/Burma Camp network of roads, and The 37-El Wak-Trade Fair road. The NDC government invested more resources in continuing the Eastern corridor roads.

Asphalt overlay of roads in regional and district capitals, Cocoa roads across the country.

Other ongoing projects before leaving office include; The Tema Motorway Roundabout decongestion project. The new bridge from Flower Pot Roundabout on the Spintex Road over the Accra-Tema Motorway to East Legon.

Projects are ready to commence, such as The Obetsebi-Lamptey interchange. The Pokuase Interchange,  The Motorway expansion. The Tarkwa- Bogoso Anyanfuri road.

Some Projects include;
Expansion of the Takoradi and Tema Harbours
Construction of Terminal(T3) of Kotoka International Airport.

Sekondi -Takoradi- Kojokrom railway line
Central Markets in Kumasi and Cape Coast.

On Economy
John Mahama’s government inherited an economy that was running a high deficit, with increasing inflation and interest rates characterised by a rapidly depreciating currency.
He recalled the forum at Senchi and said it was an attempt to forge a consensus for a home-grown fiscal consolidation programme, noting that the outcome eventually became the basis for the International Monitory Fund (IMF) Extended Credit Facility (ECF) programme that the country was implementing.

During NDC-led John Mahama’s tenure in office, a large number of health professionals were trained under his administration to improve the healthcare delivery system of the country.

District Hospitals each with a capacity of 120 beds at Dodowa, Fomena, Kumawu, and Abetifi among others.

6-District Hospitals each with 60 bed capacity at Tepa, Nsawkaw, Konongo, Salaga, Twifo Praso and the 100-bed Madina hospital, 120-bed Bekwai Hospital.

The expansion in the utilisation of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). In 2015, the out-patient utilisation of NHIS stood at 29 million, up from nine million in 2008.
The NHIS on the whole had also been improved under his administration to ensure that people, including the vulnerable, had access to quality healthcare.

Teaching Hospitals: 617-bed University of Ghana Teaching or UGMC,
In the second phase of the Tamale Teaching Hospital,

Expansion Project Regional Hospitals: 420-bed Ridge Hospital Expansion Project, Bolgatanga Regional Hospital, 250-bed Ashanti Regional Hospital at Sewua-Kumasi
160-bed Upper West Regional Hospital.

Institutional Hospitals:
• 500-bed Military Hospital Project in Kumasi
• 104-bed Police Hospital Project, Accra
• 130-bed Maritime Hospital, Tema.

Five (5) polyclinics (Phase III) in the Brong Ahafo Region at Nkrankwanta, Wamfie, Kwatire, Techimantia and Bomaa.
Ten polyclinics to be located at Besease, Gomoa Dawurampong, Biriwa, Etsii Sunkwa, Esikuma Gyamera, Agona Duakwa, Bimpong Akunfude, Ekumfi Naakwa, Twifo Atimokwa and Gomoa Postin, all in the Central Region.
Five 30-bed polyclinics are to be sited at Adentan, Ashiaman, Bortianor, Oduman and Sege all in the Greater Accra Region.

Health Centres;

18 Health Centres have been completed at Amasaman, Doffor, Pokukrom, New Jejeti, Paakro, Gwollu, Funsi, Sang, Northern Buipe, Manso Nkwanta, Abuakwa, Mase Sosekpe, Kedzi, Adamso, Kayoro, Timonde, Bonsu Nkwanta and Dadieso. CHPS Compounds
Out of 2,948 functional CHPS zones, 1,260 have been constructed.

Eye Care Centre at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.

National Medical Equipment Replacement Programme: This US$264 million initiative has ensured the provision of critical diagnostic and treatment equipment for over 150 hospitals nationwide. These include all Teaching Hospitals in Ghana (Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, 37 Military Hospital, Tamale Teaching Hospital and Korle Bu Teaching Hospital), all Regional Hospitals, 125 District Hospitals, 14 Health Centres and 8 mobile clinics.

In Social Protection the administration of NDC John Mahama helped cushioned the poor and vulnerable, and many social protection programmes were introduced.

The number of people benefitting from schemes such as the School Feeding Programme, the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) and the Eban card, had been expanded to cover the majority of the poor and vulnerable population in the country.

In the area of education, The NDC John Mahama government continued to support the provision of free textbooks and uniforms to pupils in public schools, and it has restructured and enlarged the school feeding program.

The provision of 10,000 free sandals to eligible pupils. This was his initiative to follow through on raising the quality and inclusiveness of education for everyone in Ghana.

The school shift system, through which pupils run shifts due to a lack of adequate classrooms, has now been eliminated in many of our communities. In Wa, Sunyani, Tarkwa, Dansoman, Krachi Nchumuru in the Oti Region and many other areas, school children can no longer skip school to play truant in the name of the school shift system.

In the area of Accelerated ICT Education, his administration improve upon ICT at the basic level, 81,000 basic school teachers were trained to enable them acquire the requisite skills in the use of ICT in teaching and learning.
A total of 54,500 laptops were procured and distributed to basic school teachers and 60,000 laptop computers were distributed to public schools across the country.

A bill passed in his administration includes Technical University Act, Act, 2016 (Act 992). This made some of the polytechnics change to Technical Universities.
The University of Environment and Sustainable Development (UESD), The Chartered Institute of Taxation Act, 2016, The National Commission for Tertiary Education Bill, National Accreditation and Qualification Authority Bills, 2015, Ghana Book Development Council Bill and The Chartered Institute of Bankers Bill, 2015.

To facilitate the management of education delivery the Mahama-led administration procured and distributed 500 vehicles to the educational institutions-senior high schools, universities, colleges of education and polytechnics.

In terms of School Infrastructure – A total of 1,856 out of 2,578 basic school projects have been completed under the Schools Under Trees programme. The remaining was due for completion. Several teachers’ bungalows, education offices, sanitation blocks and 203 out of 232 classroom blocks including the SHS E block have been completed.

Under the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD), the Mahama-led administration rehabilitated 345 KG classrooms, constructed 1,347 KG blocks and provision 1,875 KG tables and chairs.

In Agriculture, the NDC JDM  government believe that Job creation must also be supported by the expansion of opportunities in the agricultural sector. There is a need to secure sufficient supplies of food at affordable prices. Following our strong commitment to the modernisation of agriculture;

The government of Mahama increased the number of rice maize and yam harvesters. Additional emphasis has been put on grain storage facilities and the creation of boreholes for agricultural purposes.

Agricultural mechanisation service centres were established.
His achievements include reviving cotton farming in Northern Ghana.
Between 2009 and 2011, the government also rehabilitated several irrigation dams in the Greater Accra, Volta, Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regions.

Ghana produced more than 1m tonnes of cocoa in 2011, a significant increase over the output in 2008, which stood at about 680,000 tonnes.

In the area of sports;

In line with Government’s determination to develop sports infrastructure, the 15,000-seater capacity Cape Coast Stadium was built.

Progressive prominence of Ghanaian sportswomen and men at the African Youth Games in Gaborone, Botswana in 2014, the Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China in 2014, the Commonwealth Youth Games in Apia, Samoa in 2015, and the All-Africa Games in Brazzaville, Congo in 2015.

In the Housing sector:

NDC Mahama invested heavily in the area of housing in a bid to bridge the housing deficit. An aggressive affordable housing programme has been rolled out to provide more Ghanaian families in the lower to a middle-income bracket with decent homes. The programmes being undertaken in this regard are:

The Affordable Housing Project at Saglemi in the Ningo-Prampram District of the Greater Accra Region. “Nyame dua” Estates Under a PPP arrangement, Messrs Sethi Realty Limited has been allocated 95 acres of land at Kpone for the construction of 5,000 affordable housing units, branded “Nyame Dua” Estates.

Security Services Housing Scheme Phases 1 and 2 Government’s commitment to providing decent housing for the security services has been given meaning through the completion of 168 housing units with related infrastructure in Tema. Keta Sea Defence Resettlement Housing Scheme.

Adenta Regeneration Project (SHC Gardens) The Adenta Regeneration Project Works on the Regeneration projects at Lartebiokorshie, Kaneshie, Kanda and North Effiakuma.

  • New Labadi Villas Housing Project
  • The Ghana Armed Forces housing project
  • Police Housing Project Government, through a Public Private Partnership, at Cantonments in Accra.

Affordable Housing units started in 2006 at six sites in five regions namely, Greater Accra, Ashanti, Northern, Upper West and Eastern.

The NDC before leaving office in 2016 set up the  Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund and put seed money of 270 million dollars.

The NDC also left a stabilisation fund of ¢1.2 billion dollars.

The NDC Mahama government also left behind more than 300 million dollars in the Sinking Fund, all of these funds were left before leaving office in 2016.

These are some of what the great NDC achieved in 30 years as a political party and only four terms of government. Yet we achieved so much beyond. Truly the NDC has Ghana at heart.

Author: Faisal Mutaru Bapure

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