We Can’t Afford To Be Poor Amidst Resources
Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, a former finance minister in the erstwhile Professor John Evans Atta-Mills administration, has said that Ghanaians cannot afford to be poor in the midst of resources available in the country.
Dr. Duffuor, who is seeking to lead the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as flagbearer in the 2024 presidential election, said, even if there is no fiscal space, it would be created for Ghana’s economy to work again.
According to him, Ghana is the second largest producer of cassava in Africa and number five in the world and, therefore, cassava, which has several uses, including breweries, can be leveraged to create jobs for country’s teeming youth to work.
Speaking at a meeting with the Greater Accra regional executives of the party on Tuesday, February 28, Dr.Duffuor said, “We cannot afford to be poor amidst resources that are available in this country,” adding, “if there’s no fiscal space, we have to create it for the economy to work again.”
Apart from the cassava, the former governor of the Bank of Ghana mentioned that the recent discovery of lithium in large quantities will also boost the country’s economic fortunes.
“We also have discovered in commercial quantities, lithium which promised so much economic benefits for the country,” he stated.
Plans For Party
The business mogul also outlined his plans for the party, as the next leader, emphasizing on the need to strengthen the structures of the party, more especially the grassroots.
He is also worried about the seeming neglect for the old guards,who have served the NDC at various capacities, but now aged,and are unable to take care of themselves, let alone afford to pay their medical bills.
“I have heard with sadness how many people especially the aged who had served the party in various capacities cannot afford to take good care of themselves at old age or pay their medical bills,” he noted.
Dr.Duffuor opined that there is a need to have an insurance scheme for the party that can address issues,such as this, saying ” Where is the heroes fund?”We will restore it,” he said.
He also explained the reason behind his flagship project, AHOTOR, which was targeted at empowering the constituencies financially to carryout party activities seamlessly.
But The Anchor has observed, this is not the first time the presidential aspirant is making such political statements, as he recently claimed he will rebuild Ghana’s economy within two years if he is elected President.
“The first year will be the restoration; the second year will be complete recovery,” he said.
He made the remarks when some Ashanti Regional Women Executives of the NDC presented his nomination forms to him at his Ahotor Project Office in Accra.
The women, led by Ms. Gloria Huze, the NDC’s Ashanti Regional Women’s Organiser, picked the nomination forms at the party’s headquarters in Accra.
Dr.Duffuor accepted the forms, saying: “I will fill it and strongly contest the NDC’s presidential primaries.”
The owner of the defunct uniBank, formally announced his bid to contest the NDC flagbearer race in November 2023.
He told his supporters that he was prepared to lead the NDC in the 2024 election to help “rescue the country from crisis” and improve the lives of the people.
Dr.Duffuor said that, under his reign as the finance minister, he supported the NDC Government to produce a “prosperous economy.”
“When we were leaving office; the total public debt was GH₵35billion. Now it is over GH₵600billion. When we left, the Cedi, 1.8 could buy a dollar. Now it is how much? When we left, inflation was about 8.4 per cent.
“We will be able to build all this back. Our government from 2025 will bring the economy back within two years,” he said.
Dr.Duffuor said he would restore power to the grassroots, whom he described as the owners of the party and asked them to support his presidential bid.
“I want us to partner so that we can move the country forward and wipe the tears from the eyes of our fathers, mothers and children in the rural areas.
“When we are able to do this, Ghana will soar again. Ghana cannot afford to be in this position…Ghana will soar again,” he said.
The NDC is expected to hold its presidential and parliamentary primaries on Saturday, May 13, 2023, to elect a flagbearer and parliamentary candidates for the 2024 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
The party opened nominations for both presidential and parliamentary primaries on Wednesday, February 22, 2023.
Four candidates have so far picked their nominations to contest the race.