The presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Akufo-Addo, has been making certain claims about some failed promises of President John Mahama and the NDC administration. He made these claims whiles campaigning in the Gomoa East constituency of the Central Region on November 1, 2016. Out of five such claims that were fact-checked, one was found to be entirely true, three were mostly true, while a final claim was found to be mostly false. The specific claims he made, the fact-checking verdicts and the bases for the verdicts are presented below.
1. CLAIM: “Aren’t we living in this same Ghana, when Mahama promised a 1-time premium payment for the National Health Insurance Scheme? Has that materialized?”
VERDICT: Entirely True
EXPLANATION: In the NDC’s 2008 manifesto with which Pres. Mahama then run as a vice-presidential candidate and the 2009 President’s State of the Nation address, the NDC promised to implement a one-term premium payment for the NHIS. The first green book, highlighting their top achievements mildly hinted of the abandonment of the promise saying “With or without the implementation of one time premium payment, the NHIS will need additional resources to sustain it.” And added that “A nationwide survey to determine the willingness of the citizenry to pay the one time premium was conducted in 2009”. Government later said that a forum of stakeholders had rejected the idea.
2. CLAIM: “He (president Mahama) said he was going to build 200 Community Day Schools. His own Finance Minister, when presenting the 2016 budget statement, said only 9 had been completed. You said you were going to build 200, but you have commissioned only 12 or 13.
VERDICT: Mostly True
EXPLANATION: Indeed the promise was made, what it’s not true is that the finance minister presenting the 2016 budget talked about 9 being commissioned. Its rather in Paragraph 198 of the 2016 Mid Year review that the comment was made by the minister, “Speaker, in fulfilment of the promise to construct 200 Community Day Senior High Schools, 123 new Senior High Schools are being constructed in various locations across the country. Many of these projects have reached advanced levels of completion, whilst some have been completed. His, Excellency, the President has commissioned nine (9) of such new schools in the Central, Western, Volta, Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Eastern Regions”
As of October 2016, 13 schools been commissioned by the President John Dramani Mahama.
3. CLAIM: Nana Akufo-Addo also reminded President Mahama of his 2012 manifesto promise of building 10 Colleges of Education. Again, the NPP flagbearer indicated that “not even a single one has been built.”
VERDICT: Mostly True.
EXPLANATION: None has been built. There are still some 38 public Colleges of Education (CoE). Government however absorbed some five private CoEs. The finance minister, in the 2016 Budget Statement however hinted that two CoEs will be built in the Greater Accra and Central region. These CoEs have not yet materialized.
On the economy:
4. CLAIM: the NPP flagbearer recounted the several macro-economic targets which were to be pursued in the next four years, as contained in the 2012 NDC manifesto, which included “an average GDP growth rate of at least 8% per annum; and a single digit rate of inflation.” This promise, like several others, according to the NPP flagbearer have not seen the light of day under President Mahama.
VERDICT: Mostly TRUE
EXPLANATION: Firstly, it is true that PAGE 32 of the NDC 2012 manifesto promised the specific macroeconomic targets alluded to by Nana Akufo-Addo. PAGE 32 of the document stated that “…In this regard, the following will be the specific macro economic targets to be pursued in the next four years: An average GDP growth rate of at least 8% per annum…A single digit rate of inflation”
It is also true that these targets have been largely missed by the recent NDC government. Specifically, the 7.3% GDP growth rate recorded in 2013 remains the closest to the 8% target stipulated in the NDC manifesto. Additionally, aside from 8.8% inflation rate recorded in January, 2013. The NDC government under Pres. Mahama has not recorded any single digit rate of inflation so far.
5. CLAIM: “What is the programme that is associated with the name of John Dramani Mahama in Ghana? Well, I’ll tell you. The only thing that is associated with John Dramani Mahama’s name, is dumsor. That is the only thing that is associated with his name.”
VERDICT: Mostly False
EXPLANATION: Under the John Dramani Mahama administration several social intervention programmes have been introduced. Some of them include:
- Local Enterprise and Skills Development Programme (LESDEP)
- Free School Uniforms programme
- Free Sandals programme
- Labour Intensive Public Works (LIPW): Within one and half years of implementation over 88,908 people have so far been employed under the program, with 52,177 being women.