Free SHS Blues…
Bawumia Tackles Mahama
…“He Has No Clue What He Will Do And That Is The Simple Answer”
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has challenged former President John Mahama to provide details on how he intends to make the free SHS policy better as he claims.
Reacting to comments by Mr. Mahama that he will make the policy more beneficial to students if he wins the 2020 elections, the Vice President told a gathering at Asubio in the Eastern Region where he commissioned a US$ 4.5 million fertilizer blending plant with an installed capacity of 840,000 metric tonnes per annum, that the NDC flagbearer has no clue what he will do with the policy if he wins power.
“It’s interesting to hear the former President say today that he is committed to Free SHS. You have been criticising this policy since 2012 but as at today he has not been able to tell us exactly what he will do. What will you do? What are your concrete policies, don’t tell me you are going to wait and call stakeholders conference to consult; that is not leadership. Tell us exactly what you would do, if you are not going to do doable track, what is your alternative.
“And I throw that challenge to him, he should come out and tell us exactly what he would do. The visionary Nana said he would do and he has done it. He has not told what he will do because he I know he doesn’t know what he would do. He has no clue what he will do and that is the simple answer. I am hundred percent sure that if John Mahama was in office today, we wouldn’t have free SHS,” he said.
Glofert Limited is a wholly-owned Ghanaian company located at Asuboi in the Ayensuano District of the Eastern Region, and becomes the largest fertilizer blending factory established in the West African sub-region.
The factory, which is integrated into the One-District, One-Factory (1D1F) programme, produces all kinds of fertilizers, including NPK 15-15-15, Urea and Ammonium Sulphate and comes in solid, granular and liquid states, with the vision of improving crop production and ensure food security in Ghana.
It currently employs 220 direct and indirect employees, of which 80 per cent are from the communities within its operational area.
Vice President Bawumia said, agriculture was the nerve centre of the Ghanaian economy.
Therefore, it was prudent for Government to ensure self-sufficiency in food production, instead of relying on foreign food imports.
He said that vision informed President Akufo-Addo’s government decision to introduce the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) in 2017, to promote food security, create jobs and bolster the country’s foreign exchange earnings.
Vice President Bawumia expressed happiness that Glofert Limited was entering the fertilizer production space at an opportune time to supply fertilizers that meet the specific soil and crop needs of farmers to increase yield, geared towards achieving the Ghana beyond aid agenda.
He said food security safeguards the peace of every nation, therefore increasing food production was at the heart of President Akufo-Addo’s government industrialisation agenda, to transform the economy and ensure self-sufficiency.
He said Government’s vision of launching the 1D1F was yielding positive outcomes, with more young entrepreneurs entering the race to establish factories across the 260 metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies.
Vice President Bawumia assured of government’s resolve to create an enabling environment for private sector investors to thrive and create jobs for the youth.
He made reference to the recent Parliamentary approval of tax exemptions for companies wishing to operate 1D1F, including a five-year tax holiday, waiver of taxes on equipment and machinery and raw materials, as some measures government instituted to create a favourable environment for private sector investments.
Sourcing statistics from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Dr Bawumia said 181 factories under the 1D1F were being implemented, 57 were in operation, 22 under construction and another 33 projects were being financed by local banks and ready for implementation by the end of the year, as well as 56 small-scale enabler youth business incubators being financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Dr Gyiele Nurah, a Minister of State at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, in an address, noted that since the launch of the PFJ in April 2017, government has increased fertilizer supply to farmers from 134,000 metric tonnes to 290,000 metric tonnes at the end of 2018.
He said by the middle of this year, government would be supplying 335,000 metric tonnes of fertilizers to farmers, and targeted to supply fertilizers to at least a million farmers by the end of 2019.
The Reverend Foster Mawuli Benson, the Chief Executive Officer of Glofert Limited, in his welcome address, lauded government for creating an enabling environment for private sector investments.
He said the factory produced all kinds of fertilizers with an installed capacity of 2,400 metric tonnes per day and more than 840, 000 metric tonnes per annum.
He said it had been supplying fertilizers to farmers operating under the 1D1F, which was tailored to meet the specific soil and crops needs of farmers.
Currently, he said, the company had employed 220 direct and indirect workers, of which 80 percent were employed from communities within its catchment area.