The 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says considering the economic hardships, rampant and widespread corruption, rising cost of living, and the high levels of unemployment, it comes as no surprise to him that Ghanaian youth are angry, hungry and have given up any hope of the country offering them a bright future.
This gloomy picture, according to Nana Akufo-Addo, has characterised the 7 year rule of the John Mahama/NDC government, adding that the NDC government “has created an unrelenting social crisis in Ghana”, especially in the area of youth unemployment.
The NPP flagbearer made this known on Wednesday, November 4, 2015, when he delivered a speech at the 15th anniversary celebration of the Tertiary Students Confedracy (TESCON), at the Mensah Sarbah Hall of the University of Ghana, Legon, on the theme “NPP Youth – Today, Tomorrow.”
Describing Ghana’s population, which has a median age of some 20 years, as a young one which is “disproportionately jobless”, Akufo-Addo stated that the NPP sees the crisis of youth unemployment as a development that could have ripple effects for decades to come — not only for young people's demoralisation, but also for their weak contribution to the strength of the Ghanaian economy.
Instead of creating the conditions that would spur on private sector development, which will bring in its wake the much needed jobs, and income for the teeming masses of Ghanaian youth, Akufo-Addo noted that the John Mahama government has rather superintended over the country’s dwindling fortunes in every sector of the economy, adding that “at the rate at which Ghana is going, I shudder what Ghana would look like if we give the NDC another four years, on top of these eight years.”.
Touching on Ghana’s precarious debt situation, which has shot up from GH¢9.5 billion at the end of 2008 to GH¢94.5 billion as at August 2015, the NPP flagbearer remarked that soon the Mahama government “would have to sell everything that Ghana owns to pay off what we owe; debts that they cannot tell you and I what they spent the money on to build.”
These massive loans being incurred by the Mahama government, according to Akufo-Addo, are being used to refinance debt instead of being invested in areas that will create jobs for the youth, the downside, according to him, being that “these same young people will have to service the debt later.
The decision by the Mahama government to abandon teachings of the Public Procurement Act, and make sole sourcing of contracts the norm has seen a corresponding massive increase in corruption, he said.
“The nation would have benefitted so much more from such public infrastructure projects as the NDC has undertaken if the public finances of our country had been honestly managed. Instead, in a phrase that has found judicial approval, we have been subject to a system of ‘create, loot and share’”, he said.
He continued, “We have seen this in bodies like GYEEDA and SADA, which were ostensibly set up to stimulate growth and to provide jobs for young people. They became vehicles of corruption. So, too, it appears is the latest body, YES (Youth Enterprise Support), in which high ranking officials are already engulfed in allegations of corruption.”